Who Chooses the Christian Patriots?

Last Friday Mark Robinson told his supporters at a rally in Raleigh: ‘Tell our enemies this nation is not yours. You did not build it. You did not defend it and you will not own it. The Christian Patriots will own and rule this nation.’

So, who exactly are Mark Robinson’s ‘Christian Patriots’?

It’s not any religion that is not Christian: Not a single Jew. No Mormons. Forget about Hindus or Buddhists. Robinson cut them all out.

It’s also not all Christians – no, it’s only those Christians that Mark Robinson authorizes as his Patriots.

Is it right to tell a combat veteran that happens to be Jewish, Unitarian, atheist, or even Christian ‘you did not defend it and you will not own it’?

Is it right for you to tell people who were born in America and grew up in America that they aren’t part of America?

That’s a radical idea. Actually, it’s beyond radical. It cuts into the very foundations of America.

And this proposal is not some odd notion being shouted by a protestor standing on a street corner waving a sign. This foundational change in our country is being shouted by North Carolina’s Lt. Governor, the highest elected Republican in our state, who wants to be the Governor of North Carolina.

Ask yourself: How much damage could be inflicted by Governor Mark Robinson?

John the Baptist

This is a speech by a man that is both angry and clever.

Lt. Governor Mark Robinson was introduced as ‘a spiritual John the Baptist.’ Then, speaking, Robinson depicted himself as a fire-breathing Christian. Robinson said the words he speaks are not his words they’re God’s words.

When you disagree with Mark Robinson, you disagree with God.

He goes on, I’m going to protect the Constitution, preach the message of Christ and kick people in the teeth who disagree.

To those who disagree with him, he says: If you don’t like it, you can leave. You won’t be missed. This nation is not yours. You did not build it. You did not defend it. And you will not own it. We will.

When a politician tells you disagreeing with him is the same as disagreeing with God, you may want to take that with a grain of salt. It’s more likely the reason he wants to kick people in the teeth is because they criticize him.

Thomas Jefferson lived in a land filled with people who had different religious beliefs. He watched state sponsored religion under King George III, the Church of England, abuse Baptists and Presbyterians. Jefferson understood respecting other people’s belief’s, even when you disagree, was necessary to unite a divided country. Jefferson saw religious freedom as part of the foundation of our country.

As imperfect humans in a fallen world none of us is a saint. I’m a flawed Christian. I believe in Christ. And I believe God sent John the Baptist to prepare the way for Christ. I’ve also read Christ’s warningin the Sermon on the Mount, “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits.”

Mark Robinson is no John the Baptist.

The New Monster

Inflation’s a nasty – and dangerous – word.

It means the money in your pocket is worth less today than it was yesterday. Gas prices go up. Food costs more. Your paycheck buys less.

Joe Biden says, It’s transitory…it’ll go away. Washington politicians point to long lines of ships outside harbors and shrug, It’s a glitch. It’ll straighten out.

But it’s a big mistake to bury your head in the sand. The Inflation Monster is real.

The first two Covid relief bills spent $3 trillion. The third bill spends $1.9 trillion. Trump signed the first two. Biden passed the third.

If a state spent money like that it’d have to raise taxes to pay its bills. But Washington doesn’t work that way – when Washington politicians spend trillions they simply print more money to pay for it.

And printing money feeds the Inflation Monster. Politicians printed trillions – and there’s no point mincing words: We’re going to have to pay a price.

When you walk down the aisle in a grocery store you stare at the higher prices of meats, eggs, bacon then, at the cash register, inflation bites you like a hidden tax.

Biden says, It’s transitory…

But inflation’s like Covid – when it breaks loose it wreaks havoc.

And if politicians – like Biden – go on spending like there’s no tomorrow the price we pay is going to be worse.

What’s the cure? Is there a vaccine that kills the Inflation Monster?

Stop printing money.

Politics of Fear

When enough people are immune, we’ll be free of Covid. That’s what’s called herd immunity. We’re not there yet but more people get vaccinated every day and some survive the virus and have immunity.

There’s also bad news: Many people, digging their heels in, say adamantly, I’m not getting vaccinated.

But consider this – if you refuse to get vaccinated, it doesn’t just affect you. Other people have to live with the consequences. Some don’t live.  As long as the virus has a breeding ground in human bloodstreams Covid doesn’t go away. Herd immunity remains an unreached goal.

Lt. Governor Mark Robinson, touching the fear of vaccinations, sowed a firestorm on social media…he told people any politician who urges people to get vaccinated “needs to be voted out of office.” (WRAL News)

But stop and think about that…Donald Trump, Joe Biden, Roy Cooper, Thom Tillis, Tim Moore, and Phil Berger all got vaccinated and encouraged people to get vaccinated.

Because they took the vaccine and suggested that others do the same Mark Robinson said they ought to be ‘voted out of office.’

Phil Berger’s a conservative who’s done more to cut government spending in North Carolina than anyone. Hopefully, Mark Robinson doesn’t want Phil Berger out but a desperate need for attention can drive some sticky rhetoric.

It’s time to put coronavirus behind us, and move on to a healthier place, but to do that we need herd immunity. Mark Robinson doesn’t understand that. Worse, he goes a step further to inflame fear.

Playing on fear to get attention may work politically. Just remember other people pay the price.


The Sermon on the Mount

I opened the newspaper: Standing in the pulpit in a Baptist Church Mark Robinson called gays ‘filth.’

Democrats screamed.

Robinson screamed back, held a press conference, and said he didn’t take back the word filth. Denied he called gay people filth. Claimed that he called a pornographic book – in some school libraries – filth.

I watched the video of Robinson standing in the pulpit at Asbury Baptist Church – he said: “There’s no reason anybody, anywhere in America should be telling any child about transgenderism, homosexuality, or any of that filth.” He added defiantly: “And yes, I called it filth. And if you don’t like that I called it filth, come see me.”

It was clear: Robinson said homosexuals are filth.

I supported the marriage amendment like most North Carolinians. Marriage, unlike a civil union, is a sacrament between a man, woman, and God. I supported HB2, men shouldn’t share a restroom with women. But when Mark Robinson, standing in a pulpit, called gay people ‘filth’ he crossed a line.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Christ taught: Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgement you pronounce you will be judged. Christ also taught: Do unto others.

In a Fallen World, none of us are righteous. All of us are sinners. Some fall into sin, others fall into a deadly sin – pride.

Christ taught humility and kindness… even to sinners.

Mark Robinson crossed that line.

Democrats screamed. Robinson screamed. People are tired of hateful politics. We want better. How do we right the ship? Republican and Democrats don’t need to see eye to eye…but they do need to disagree with a bit of humility and kindness. Unfortunately, that’s where Lt. Governor Robinson came up short.

Building on Sand

Two thousand years ago Jesus told us a profound truth: Build on rock not sand. That truth applies to everyday life, faith, and even politics.

We’ve just watched a political catastrophe in Afghanistan. And it sure looks like we built on sand.

For years we’ve said, America does not negotiate with terrorists. Since you can’t trust terrorists’ promises that makes sense – it was building on rock. But then, President Trump and President Biden both headed down a different road. They decided to negotiate with the Taliban, a terrorist group.

Trusting terrorists’ promises sowed the seeds of the disaster we just watched. It is disappointing that President Biden chose that path. But it wasn’t just Biden’s mistake. President Trump chose the same path. He negotiated with the Taliban and signed the agreement.

Now the Taliban’s back in power in Afghanistan. And America is less safe.

A candid acknowledgement – from either Biden of Trump – that building on sand (by trusting the Taliban) was a mistake would be refreshing. But, instead, we have Biden blaming Trump and Trump blaming Biden. Even though both made the same mistake.

That leaves a question on the table: Will our country repeat the mistake of building on sand?

That’s a good question to ask our Senate candidates, Pat McCrory, Ted Budd and Mark Walker: Is the Taliban a terrorist group? Did President Biden and Trump make a mistake by negotiating with terrorists? Will you negotiate with terrorists?

Before the election rolls around it would be good to hear their answers to that question.

The Equity of Roadbuilding

I don’t guess anyone driving down the road is happy with the litter, and overgrown weeds, along our highways. COVID certainly reduced congestion – but traffic jams will return, and potholes are there waiting.

Poor judgements by the Department of Transportation led to reckless spending which landed the department, and our highways, in a ditch. Workers were laid off, litter pickup services stopped, roads we needed to build were put on hold. Staring at the mess DOT had created the General Assembly stepped in, adding legislative appointees, like me, to the Transportation Board to try to improve oversight. But now, an even bigger crisis is looming.

Two-thirds of the money the state spends to build and maintain highways comes from one source – the gas tax. It works like this: Every time you fill up your car at the service station you pay a gas tax – which means what you pay is based on the amount of miles you drive. In effect, what you pay depends on how much you use and wear down roads. It’s a user fee.

But the days when almost everyone drove a gas-powered car are past. Today many people drive electric cars and while they use and wear down roads – just like people who drive gas cars – they pay no tax to build or repair highways.

Our biggest automakers are working to accelerate the shift to electric cars, and liberals, from President Biden on down, agree – which is fine. But, at the same time, how will we pay to build and maintain our highways? After all, whether you drive an electric car, or a gas-powered car potholes and traffic jams are a problem. It’s also a looming economic threat, and our biggest cities – the pillars of our economy – will be hit the hardest.

There’s a way to fix the problem but, as often happens, politics is standing in the way. To keep highway funding adequate every driver, whether he drives a gas car or electric car, needs to pay a fair share to help build and maintain roads. Governor Cooper and the Transportation Department know that.  But to suggest electric car drivers pay a ‘user fee’ – the same way gas car drivers do – draws the wrath of the left. So many politicians remain silent. But how long can we go on without building roads and fixing potholes?

Too Much Debt

Hopefully, it hasn’t happened to you. But you probably know someone who has been crushed by too much debt. Student debt weighs down an entire generation.  The housing boom leading up to 2008 created a bubble that trapped many families in a hopeless situation.

Sometimes debt is so big it’s incomprehensible; if you look at the debt per taxpayer at USDebtClock.org you see that every U.S. taxpayer owes nearly $225,000 each ($450,000 for a couple). That’s your share, and mine, of the federal government’s debt.

How did we land in the ditch? Washington politicians found a clever way to spend all they want without raising taxes: By borrowing. Politicians spend billions, buying votes from special interests or passing bills for lobbyists who make big contributions. If they had to raise taxes every time they jacked up spending the public uproar would stop them dead in their tracks. Instead, they borrow and hope nobody notices. And, so far, they’ve been right.

The Cato Institute provides detailed information  about the federal debt (including the chart below).

Even when our country was deeply divided, during our bloodiest war 150 years ago, federal debt was a fraction of what it is now. Today, we’re eyeball to eyeball with a debt level that exceeds even the World War II era, when we were fighting for our survival on two fronts in a brutal war that ended with Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Here’s an unfortunate fact: Today, in Washington, neither party says ‘no more debt.’ The debt has continued to rise for years no matter whether Democrats or Republicans held the White House or majorities in Congress.

We’ve seen this tragedy play out before in history and it never ends well. But there is one glimmer of light, one way to stop Washington politicians piling up debt: State legislators can step up and send forward a Constitutional Amendment to require Congress to balance the federal budget. The same type amendment many states – including North Carolina – already have.

Washington politicians won’t solve this problem. They’ll continue to borrow more every day. It’s time the people told them, Stop!




A Way Around Washington Politicians

Two things Washington politicians love: Getting reelected. And spending money. And since they have more political power than anyone else it’s hard to see a way to stop them in Washington – but there is a glimmer of hope outside Washington.

We just witnessed an example in the State House.

U.S. Term Limits is asking state legislators to call a limited constitutional convention that would do one and only one thing: Pass a Term Limits Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

And the Compact for a Balanced Budget is asking state legislators to call another constitutional convention to do just one thing: Pass a Balanced Budget Amendment.

Two conventions. Each limited to just one vote. On one issue. And that’s it.

A few days ago North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore sponsored legislation to call a constitutional convention to pass Term Limits. His bill passed.  It’s no surprise every Democrat on the House floor that day voted against Term Limits. It is a bit of a surprise six Republicans did.

One Republican explained most people “have somebody who they’d keep voting for until Jesus comes” – and he didn’t want to stop them. That’s straightforward. But does voting for a Congressman until Jesus comes matter more than curbing Washington politicians’ spending?

Another Republican said he was worried a limited convention could stray onto other issues – but under Speaker Moore’s bill North Carolina’s delegates would be bound by state law to only vote on one thing: Term Limits.

In addition, at a constitutional convention, each state has one vote. Wyoming has one vote, New York has one vote, North Carolina has one vote. Republicans now control state legislatures in 31 states, Democrats 19.

Last year a poll showed 73% of North Carolina’s voters support Term Limits: 79% of the Republicans, 71% of the Independents, 68% of the Democrats. And every Democrat on the State House floor – the day Speaker Moore introduced his bill – is now on record voting against Term Limits.

Class War

Crises like coronavirus and unprecedented numbers of private sector workers out of work fuel fears and fears fuel anger so it’s natural we’re seeing protests that mirror those emotions.

Now, in any crowd of emotional protestors it’s simple to video clips of bad behavior – then, if you flash a few trigger words,  like ‘Nazis,’ with those videos of angry protestors, you have the Washington Democrats’ recipe for firing up ‘their base,’ getting hits on donate buttons, and reelecting Governor Cooper.

The Democratic Governors Association did just that in its new ad telling viewers that unemployed workers protesting against Governor Cooper’s shutdown orders are dangerous for North Carolina.

Let’s put politics aside for a moment and look at a couple hard facts: over a million North Carolina workers have lost their jobs. And, a month later, many of them never received their first unemployment check. Why? Mismanagement of Governor Cooper’s Division of Employment Security. And if an unemployed worker tries to call the Cooper Administration to find out what he must do to get his check, he may spend ten hours in phone-hold purgatory.

People don’t always express their fear, hurt, and anger well. It’s natural. If Governor Cooper did an experiment and suddenly stopped checks to government employees, I suspect we would see outbursts of anger dwarfing these protests.

Here’s the bigger question: What should the Governor be doing? Should he be exploiting the unemployment crisis with cheap political videos? Or should he be straightening out the mess at DES – and getting those unemployment checks out the door to people who need them?

Governor Cooper’s allies in Washington have given us their answer. But it won’t help a single worker.