Pastor Ken Hutcherson tells Al Sharpton "Not Again"

by Dr. Ken Hutcherson

I was born in Anniston, Alabama, in the 50s and had to fight for my equality most of my life. You see, there were many who thought I should be treated like a second class citizen, drink from a different water fountain, sit in the back of the bus, be counted as three-quarters of a person, go to a different school, eat and sit in the black section of restaurants, use a different bathroom; you know, be separate but equal. Then came Dr. Martin Luther King and all that started to change and praise God! I became a Christian in 1969. Today, I find myself again being put in that same category as a second class citizen, and I am not going to have that same fight.

I did not become a Christian to live the 50s and 60s all over a second time. Muslims have more rights and freedom of religion than I do as a Christian. Tell a Muslim he can’t pray at school or at the airport or downtown when prayer time is called for, and see what happens. Tell a Muslim cleric serving as a chaplain in our brilliant military that he has to marry a same-sex couple, and see what happens. Some of you are saying “what is that about?” Well hold on to your hat, there is more to come.

But as a Christian, let me say Merry Christmas on a national holiday called Christmas and you’d think Satan incarnate himself just showed up. I’m sorry that is a bad example because if Satan did show up, he would get more respect than Christians, Jews, Tea Partiers, patriots and conservatives. Thus all the forenamed groups, and any like them, must stand and fight for their equal rights that are disappearing faster than San Antonio fans after game seven of the NBA championship in Miami. This brings me to the point of Al Sharpton’s recent comments about our movement of taking back our civil rights as conservatives.

 

You mocked Glenn Beck, thus all of us, with your insult on the tea party fighting for their equal rights. Do you think we are going to go find a hole and hide somewhere? Mr. Sharpton that is not going to happen anymore. We refuse to sit by and let you or anyone else mock, attack, demean or laugh at our beliefs, and think it is okay to push us to the back of the Capitol in DC assuming we will just shut up.

Let me see if I can explain something to you, Al, that it seems you have forgotten. When you and Dr. King fought for our civil rights, was it because no one else had their equal rights? Black people were the first to get their equal rights, right? I presume you think that is correct the way you are talking. We both know that the reason why Dr. King and thousands of others fought during the Civil rights movement was because someone else had their rights and liberties, and blacks didn’t. My question to you Mr. Sharpton is who had those rights when we as a black people didn’t? It is true then that equal rights existed first for us to want them. Seems to me it was the white race that enjoyed that freedom. We saw it, said we wanted some of that, and fought and died until we got it. So why is it that you think Judeo-Christian believers, the religious right, tea partiers, patriots and white people in general who are starting to feel like second class citizens and separate but equal; are being scrutinized by the IRS and spied on by the NSA. Why should they not stand up and demand equal treatment under the law and the Constitution of these United States of America? The greatest nation ever founded under the banner of freedom, one nation under God, gives its citizens certain inalienable rights and the promise that they have the right to pursue their happiness. I believe we are endowed with those rights Mr. Sharpton, and deep down you know we are too.

As a black man Al, who went through the Civil rights fight in the 60s just like you did, and saw the first freedom bus burn in my home town of Anniston, Alabama, on May 14, 1961; I hated Dr. King for his non-violent philosophy. That did not change until I became a Christian later in life. Then I understood God’s biblical truth of love your enemy and do good to those who hate and persecute you. I think I have the right to tell you this sir; I think the likes of you and Jesse Jackson have done more damage to the black race than any white man will ever accomplish. You see as long as you can produce an ethnicity with a victim mentality to keep them in poverty, as the two of you get richer – you know like poverty pimps – and convince them that it is the white man’s fault because he has his boot on their necks, and as long as you teach our beautiful black women that there is a government out there to be their baby’s daddy, the two of you win. You are the self-proclaimed, appointed leaders of the black people. How we as black people have swallowed the lie that we have to have certain black leaders to get on the government teat escapes me.

I have to tell you Al, I have seen your work, it has been weighed, it has been measured, and it has been found wanting. Daniel 5:27.

The themes of healing and redemption appear throughout the Bible.

Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. They are buried in weakness, but they will be raised in strength. — 1 Corinthians 15:43
It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners. — Mark 2:17.

So, for many Christians, it's no surprise to hear that people of faith live longer lives.

Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved, for you are my praise. — Jeremiah 17:14.

But it is certainly lovely to hear, and a recent study by a doctoral student at Ohio State University is just one more example of empirical evidence confirming the healing benefits of faith and religious belief.

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Moreover, the study finds that religious belief can lengthen a person's life.

A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. — Proverbs 17:22
Lord, your discipline is good, for it leads to life and health. You restore my health and allow me to live! — Isaiah 38:16

The study analyzed over 1,000 obituaries nationwide and found that people of faith lived longer than people who were not religious. Laura Wallace, lead author of the study, noted that "religious affiliation had nearly as strong an effect on longevity as gender does, which is a matter of years of life."

The study notes that, "people whose obits mentioned a religious affiliation lived an average of 5.64 years longer than those whose obits did not, which shrunk to 3.82 years after gender and marital status were considered."

And He called to Him His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction. — Matthew 10:1

"The researchers found that part of the reason for the boost in longevity came from the fact that many religiously affiliated people also volunteered and belonged to social organizations, which previous research has linked to living longer. The study provides persuasive evidence that there is a relationship between religious participation and how long a person lives," said Baldwin Way, co-author of the study and associate professor of psychology at Ohio State.

Prayer is good medicine, and faith is a good protector.

In addition, the study showed how the effects of religion on longevity might depend in part on the personality and average religiosity of the cities where people live, Way said.

Prayer is good medicine, and faith is a good protector.

And the power of the Lord was with him to heal. — Luke 5:17
Heal the sick in it and say to them, The kingdom of God has come near to you. — Luke 10:9.

In early June, the Social Security and Medicare trustees released their annual report on the fiscal health of these programs, and the situation looks dire. Medicare is scheduled to run out of money in 2026 (three years sooner than anticipated), while Social Security is expected to run out in 2034. The rising national debt is only one of the well-known financial struggles the millennial generation faces. The burdens of student loan debt, high housing prices (thanks to zoning restrictions), stagnant wage growth, the rising cost of healthcare and lingering aftershocks of the Great Recession are among the biggest sources of economic anxiety millennials feel.

Progressive politicians have been very successful at courting the youth vote, partly because they actually promote policy ideas that address many of these concerns. As unrealistic or counterproductive as Senator Bernie Sanders' proposals for single-payer health care or a $15 an hour minimum wage might be, they feel in theory like they would provide the economic stability and prosperity millennials want.

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Republicans, on the other hand, have struggled to craft a message to address these concerns. Fiscal conservatives recognize, correctly, that the burden of the $20 trillion national debt and over $200 trillion in unfunded liabilities will fall on millennials. Some conservatives have even written books about that fact. But the need to reform entitlements hasn't exactly caught millennials' attention. Pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson, in her book The Selfie Vote, notes that millennials generally view protecting the safety net as more important than reducing the deficit.

Clearly, Republicans have a problem. They need to craft solutions that address the millennial generation's struggles, but they can't seem to sell entitlement reform, their biggest policy preference that addresses those problems. The Republican approach to wooing millennials on policy is failing because talking about stopping the debt from reaching an unsustainable level is long-term and abstract, and offers few immediate tangible benefits. A new approach to both pave the way for entitlement reform and give millennials an immediate financial boost is to first reform not entitlement spending, but the payroll tax: specifically, by partially (or wholly) replacing it with a value-added tax.

Under the current Social Security model, workers pay for the benefits of current retirees through the payroll tax. This system creates the illusion of a pension program, in which what you put in is what you get out, but in reality Social Security is a universal safety net program for the elderly paid for by taxes. The payroll tax falls on workers and is a tax on labor, while the value-added tax (VAT) is a tax on consumption imposed at every part of the production process. Assuming that this policy change is revenue-neutral, switching to a VAT will shift the responsibility for funding Social Security and Medicare away from workers, disproportionately poorer and younger, and onto everyone participating in the economy as a whole. Furthermore, uncoupling Social Security funding from payroll taxes would pave the way for fiscal reforms to transform the program from a universal benefit program to one geared specifically to eliminating old-age poverty, such as means-testing benefits for high-income beneficiaries, indexing benefits to prices rather than wages or changing the retirement age.

Switching from the payroll tax to the VAT would address both conservative and liberal tax policy preferences.

Switching from the payroll tax to the VAT would address both conservative and liberal tax policy preferences. As the Tax Policy Center notes, the change would actually make the tax system more progressive. The current payroll tax is regressive, meaning that people with lower incomes tend to pay a higher effective tax rate than people with higher incomes. On the other hand, the value-added tax is much closer to proportional than the payroll tax, meaning that each income group pays closer to the same effective tax rate.

For Republicans, such a change would fit conservative economic ideas about the long-run causes of economic growth. A value-added tax has a much broader base than the payroll tax, and therefore would allow for much lower marginal tax rates, and lower marginal tax rates mean smaller disincentives to economic activity. According to the Tax Foundation's analysis of a value-added tax, the VAT would be a more economically efficient revenue source than most other taxes currently in the tax code.

Not only would replacing part or all of the payroll tax provide an immediate benefit to millennial taxpayers, it would also open the door for the much-needed entitlement reforms that have been so politically elusive. Furthermore, it would make the tax code both more pro-growth and less regressive. In order to even begin to address the entitlement crisis, win millennial support and stimulate the economy in a fiscally responsible manner, Republicans must propose moving from the payroll tax to the VAT.

Alex Muresianu is a Young Voices Advocate. His writing has appeared in Townhall and The Federalist. He is a federal policy intern at the Tax Foundation. Opinions expressed here are his only and not the views of the Tax Foundation. He can be found on Twitter @ahardtospell.

Glenn was joined by Alanna Sarabia from "Good Morning Texas" at Mercury Studios on Thursday for an exclusive look at Mercury Museum's new "Rights & Responsibilities" exhibit. Open through Father's Day, the temporary museum features artifacts from pop culture, America's founding, World Ward II and more, focusing on the rights and responsibilities America's citizens.

Get tickets and more information here.

Watch as Glenn gives a sneak peek at some of the unique artifacts on display below.

History at the Mercury Museum

Alanna Sarabia interviews Glenn Beck for "Good Morning Texas" at Mercury Studios.

Several months ago, at the Miss Universe competition, two women took a selfie, then posted it on Instagram. The caption read, "Peace and love." As a result of that selfie, both women faced death threats, and one of the women, along with her entire family, had to flee her home country. The occasion was the 2017 Miss Universe competition, and the women were Miss Iraq and Miss Israel. Miss Iraq is no longer welcome in her own country. The government threatened to strip her of her crown. Of course, she was also badgered for wearing a bikini during the competition.

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In an interview, Miss Iraq, Sarah Idan, said:

When I posted the picture I didn't think for a second there would be blowback. I woke up to calls from my family and the Miss Iraq Organization going insane. The death threats I got online were so scary. The director of the Miss Iraq Organization called me and said they're getting heat from the ministry. He said I have to take the picture down or they will strip me of my title.

Yesterday, Miss Iraq, Sarah Idan, posted another selfie with Miss Israel, during a visit to Jerusalem.

In an interview, she said that:

I don't think Iraq and Israel are enemies; I think maybe the governments are enemies with each other. There's a lot of Iraqi people that don't have a problem with Israelis.

This is, of course, quite an understatement: Iraq, home to roughly 15,000 Palestinians, refuses to acknowledge Israel as a legitimate country, as it is technically at war with Israel. The adages says that a picture is worth a thousand words. What are we to do when many of those words are hateful or deadly? And how can we find the goodness in such bad situations?