Joseph Avenue Christmas is the story of one man's journey to the true meaning of Christmas. Not just the birth of the babe, but the salvation of the soul. Set on the wintry streets of Rochester, NY it is a visit to the heart of that city and the hearts of some of its best and bravest people. From their good example, and the simple lessons of their own lives and faith, a troubled man finds on a dark Christmas Eve an escape from an increasingly failed life.
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I’m not over the election.
I don’t talk about it anymore. I recognize that what’s done is done, and there’s no use crying over spilled milk.
But I am still dumbfounded.
I honestly do not see how America goes forward under its current leadership. The same man, the same arrogance, the same destructive agenda. The next four years will be a lifeless march, a stressful anxiety as we hope to endure one more term of a man and a philosophy which I honestly believe hate the values and culture of half of America.
We have not been delivered, we have been condemned.
But the election outcome wasn’t Barack Obama’s fault.
It wasn’t even Mitt Romney’s fault.
It was America’s fault.
Elections aren’t about candidates or parties, they are about the people. On Election Day, it’s not the politicians we hear from, it is the people.
And this past election told us a great deal about the people. Mitt Romney offered a plan to save the nation. Barack Obama offered a plan to benefit the individual. On Election Day, individuals chose to help themselves instead of their nation.
That’s not Barack Obama’s fault.
That’s who we are as a people.
And maybe that’s what we need to recognize, and find some way to do something about. It’s not our politics that are changing, it’s our culture. Specifically, it’s our values.
We are rapidly becoming a welfare country.
And I’m not talking about the generations of welfare-dependent people in America’s cities.
Their situation – and voting preferences – are essentially unchanged since the 1960s.
Where America is changing is in the middle class. Even in the ostensibly conservative middle class.
Increasingly and astoundingly, the middle class is bellied up to the welfare are, just like everybody else. It is a casual survey of the lives of my friends which bears this out.
As I look across the people I know, the ones with whom I associate personally, a large percentage of them use government welfare programs.
They work, they are homeowners, they take vacations and own land and many of them have more comfortable lives than I do.
And yet they use a variety of government programs that truly are nothing more than welfare. All the more troubling is the rapid rate at which they are embracing these programs.
For example, there is WIC. This is a nutrition program for little children and pregnant woman. It is likely that most of the people I personally know who have young children have them on WIC.
Many of these people have more discretionary income than I do. They take trips, they have four-wheelers, they have flat-screen televisions. They own land I can dream of but will never afford.
And my taxes are feeding their kids.
They have signed up for these things with every bit as much a sense of entitlement as the most inveterate welfare queen.
They don’t think twice about it.
Further, many of the parents of young children I know get health insurance for their children through government-subsidized programs. Some of these people are financially limited. Some, but not most.
As my wife and I scrimp with our health savings account, and skip doctor visits because our deductibles are so high, we see others all around us whose children are doctored by taxes taken out of my paycheck.
I’m not talking about inner-city stereotypes. I’m talking about suburban and rural families with two cars, swimming pools and bachelor’s degrees.
And a benefits card.
It is amazing to me.
What is all the more astounding is that in conversation with these folks, about current events or politics, most of them talk a conservative line. They talk about self-reliance and being self-supporting, and they criticize individuals and politicians who they say are promoting entitlement and supplanting responsibility.
There is a new blindness in America. Those afflicted by it can see perfectly the immorality of the welfare system when engaged in by others, but they are completely blind when they engage in it themselves.
I am not a particularly old man. But I have seen in the course of my adult life a complete reversal in the attitudes of most of my peers about welfare.
When I was a young man, the people with whom I associated wouldn’t get caught dead taking a dime they hadn’t earned. Today, a good percentage of my personal friends, maybe even a majority, are on the dole, in one form or another.
And that’s what worries me the most.
Obama will be hard. But he’s gone in four years.
By that time, however, I’m not sure how much of America will be left.
Not because of him, but because of us.