Why I Can’t Vote for Hillary

So I realized a few days ago that I had written a blog about the leadership faults of Donald Trump. That was before he became the Republican nominee, etc. I stand by what I said, you can read that here.

But after much discussion (both in my head and with others), I’ve come to the conclusion that I can’t vote for Hillary Clinton. Here’s why and how I came to that conclusion.

  1. Leaders are supposed to represent us. I can’t support someone who so vehemently upholds abortion and homosexual marriage. I don’t believe either is right. People will make their own decisions, regardless of the law, but I can’t, in good conscience, cast my vote for someone who will stand for things I can’t support. (Ironically, I hope Trump learns to be more diplomatic, because I would hate for him to show his immaturity when representing the USA).
  2. The government isn’t supposed to take care of us. That’s one of the strongest points I’ve heard from Christians on why they’re voting for Hillary. As Christians, we’re supposed to take care of the poor, the weak, and the helpless. What’s the point of banning abortion if nobody cares for that mother, or her child, after the birth? Which is a VERY good point. HOWEVER, the government sucks at taking care of people. It’s a big, unwieldy machine, it takes care of some people who don’t actually need it and passes over others who actually do. That’s why, as Christians, we’re supposed to take care of our own neighbors, in our own communities. It’s easy for deserving, needy people to be passed over by the government. It’s really difficult for those same people to be passed over by their friends and neighbors. We can’t abdicate our responsibility because the government is supposed to be doing it. They don’t do a good job. We would be much more effective if we took own hard-earned money home, found a friend/neighbor who needed it, and bought them food and met their other needs.
    1. When I was growing up, we had neighbors across the street who received all sorts of government assistance. Clothes, food stamps, you name it. But that’s not what they needed. After they left, we bought the property and found outbuildings caked with clothes, baby stuff, and toys. So much waste. But as their neighbors, we could see they didn’t need all that stuff. It could have gone to a family who really needed it.
    2. In contrast, I knew several staff during college who really did need help, but couldn’t get government assistance because they had a job and/or didn’t know how to work the system.
    3. I’ve met dozens of people on disability who are actually physically and mentally able to hold down a job. But they’ve learned how to manipulate the system.
  3. ObamaCare does not make business sense and should be destroyed. It’s a good idea, but unfortunately, there’s a reason a lot of people weren’t being covered by normal health insurance. It drives prices way too high for normal people with no health issues. Instead of trying to get health insurance for everyone, let’s find out why healthcare is so expensive. Is it malpractice insurance? Is it the nature of a non-competitive system? Whatever it is, find a way to make healthcare more affordable, instead of trying to pay everyone’s bills without question. Again, the government sucks at taking care of people.
    1. I know a family who, because of ObamaCare, was paying $1,200, for just them and ONE kid. And they just got a letter saying that, in 2017, it would go up to $1,800 per month. That’s ridiculous. You could buy a good car for that much. That is not “affordable healthcare.” And if you’ve been listening to anyone talk about ObamaCare, you know that it’s pretty bad. Once again, the government is not good at taking care of people, and that’s not their job anyway.

Final note: This has nothing to do with Hillary as a person. She has a lot of experience and could potentially be a good leader. But for the reasons above, I cannot vote for her. Her party stance is not feasibly sensible. I would hate to vote for Trump, either, but I might have to… 😦

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Little Drops

Sometimes I feel so small. Like nothing we could ever do could make any difference. Like we’re just a tiny little drop trying to change the color of the ocean. And even if we make the biggest splash possible for a little drop, not much actually changes.

But my heart was lifted today. We met a bunch of other little drops the same color as us, all marching along valiantly.

We’re not alone. And even if we only change the color of a handful of drops, those drops will go out and keep up the fight, even after the original drops fly to heaven.

Join hands, together we can change the world for the better.

Child Beggars (Mindless Charity Hurts)

IMGP6125Child beggars are tough. There is no real welfare system in India. The government isn’t the smoothest operator and frankly, there is still enough prejudice and not enough compassion. These kids tug at you and put out their little hands. Sometimes they’re gaunt and have blank-looking eyes. Sometimes they just look like normal kids in rags running around. Whatever they look like, those young eyes and little hands tug and guilt you so it’s almost impossible to pass them by.

But sometimes, as hard as it is, giving these kids money isn’t always the best thing for them.

Families with children oftentimes know that school is the key to getting out of cyclical poverty. But, when you’re trying to find enough food for the day, the fact that this will go on indefinitely is not something you can think about. And, along with the cost of education, kids are a viable source of income through begging. Think about it: would you be more likely to give to a middle-aged man begging or a helpless little 8-year-old girl?

In best case, these kids really do need the money and either buy food themselves or their families use it for food or education. In worst case, the child (and maybe his or her family) could be part of a gang of beggars built specifically to get money, regardless of what they do to the kids (or the adults) in the process. This is where beggars get the reputation for being thieves and liars. From the few that are thieves and liars.

I’ve seen young street kids smoking. These are kids as young as 10. They were running through the streets in Kathmandu, and we would get tapped and look down to see a young boy pleading for money. But we didn’t give it because we had seen them earlier passing around cigarettes. They weren’t going to school. They didn’t have families. They would grow up living day-to-day and not caring, as long as they could eat and smoke.

IMGP6441And, for all these reasons and with all these stories, that’s why I can’t give money. I do give food. That’s the safest bet, if not hauling them home or to the nearest charity or church. I can’t give nothing. Regardless of what they’re doing with their lives or the cycle of poverty that they’re in, God still loves them and cares that they’re in pain. Sometimes they really just can’t help it and there’s nothing they can do. Sometimes it’s just a hard patch. And most of the time, there’s no real way we can know for sure. But if they need to eat, you can give them food. That way, you know it’s at least accomplishing the immediate task.

You can usually tell who is real by how they react when you do give them food. One raggedy little girl came begging from us once, and we gave her the soda and chips we had gotten for a snack. You should have seen her face. It was Christmas morning for her. She literally jumped with joy, gave us a huge smile, and ran off. This has happened quite a few times. Children begging at traffic lights. We gave them what we had: chips. They shrieked with joy and ran off to enjoy their bounty. Little boy on a bus, I gave him the ice cream that was melting from the hot hot sun. A huge smile came across his face.

In contrast, once we gave a begging woman with a baby a protein bar. She looked at it, disappointed. She gave it to the baby she was holding and held out her hand again. She wanted money. One guy we offered food to flat-out refused. He shook his head, his eyes turning from pleading to annoyance, and held out his hand again.

SCH3So, what can we do to help? Money sometimes hurts more than helps, when it’s going to the wrong causes or when it sets up a child as an indispensable source of income (which rules out school). Food is a better bet, even though it takes more thought and intention (making sure you pack snacks whenever you go out is tough to remember sometimes). Investigate charities that work to get children off the streets (make sure they’re transparent about their finances and make sure more money goes to the kids than to admin costs). Sponsor a child. Invest in education or trade schools for human trafficking victims. Go to a third-world country and teach English for a year. Buy a woman training and a sewing machine so she can make her own living.

Think about what you’re doing. If you feel the guilt, good for you. It shows you have a heart. But think about it, do your research, make sure this is the best way to use your money. A dollar in the right hands can change a life. A hundred dollars in the wrong hands can create corruption and feed habits of abuse and neglect.

On that cheery note, we’re going to the grocery store! Oh! We made a video awhile back, telling a little story and what can happen when somebody cares. 🙂

Our parent organization, India Christian Ministries, is a very well-run, transparent, professional, thoughtful charity that’s doing some awesome, innovative orphan care, ministry, and millions of other things. Check them out here.

Mindless Charity, I

It was Diwali. The landlord’s wife proudly told me that they were going down into the slum to give sweets to the poor people so they could celebrate, too. Once or twice a year they share their bounty with their neighbors.

Historically Christians have a reputation for giving. The vast majority of hospitals, schools, and orphanages have been built by Christians, who gave their time and money to make life better for strangers. But as our society has become more self-centered, giving falls away, even among Christians. People start to wonder why they give.

If it’s to ease their guilty conscience or “just because it’s a good thing to do,” they do it once in awhile, just whenever they feel like it or whenever their friends are doing it. This is mindless charity. Everybody does this, whether they have religious beliefs or not. Christians do not monopolize this market.

But that’s not why Christians are supposed to give!

Why did Christian men and women give up their entire lives to travel months to a land they had never seen, just to build or bring innovations or the Gospel to a people they had never met?

Because they knew and loved Someone who had given up Heaven to step into mud and love muddy children.

Not because it made them feel good. Not just when it they felt guilty.

This isn’t intended to degrade those who give out of a pure heart or, in innocence, wanting to help. But if you want to make a long-term impact (and followers of Christ do want this), I would challenge you to think about how you’re giving. In my next few blogs, I’m going to tell some stories I’ve seen and heard and show a few examples of what’s possible when money gets into the right hands.