Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Beshear Comes Home to God, Guns and Family

In the last few days Steve Beshear has embraced the values that elected him Attorney General and Lt. Governor. Rural and Western Kentucky have waited to hear for Beshear's commitment to the values and traditions of Rural Kentucky. I have included some of the programs that Beshear is proposing which include funding Faith Based initiatives.

-Fund marriage promotion programs sponsored by local Faith-Based and community organizations.
-Minimize child support default rates and increase payment rates.
-Improve the identification of serial batterers.
-Form "Domestic Crisis Teams"
-Promote anti-child abuse and anti-violence programs.
-Encourage schools to develop anti-violence curricula.
-Organize a "Dinner with Family" campaign.
-Require all pregnancy counseling programs that receive public funds to include information about adoption.
-Declare February Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month.
-Promote good citizenship and civic involvement among our children.

Beshear has also stood his ground in the past week in his support for gun owners. We can only hope that he will hold the line on this issue. It would be nice to see some proposals for mandatory sentencing for gang related crimes. Kentucky has become a breeding ground for gangs because our laws are not as strict as other states. Mandating and providing funding for coaching supplements in all sports will provide a proven avenue to keep kids in constructive environments while improving test scores and lowering juvenile crime rates.

I am sure the Liberals, oh I'm sorry, progressives, will not like faith based initiatives, family values, guns or marriage but it will provide the foundation to return the Democratic Party to the people who really decide who gets elected in Kentucky.

I do want to be fair in this regard and I believe the left-wing liberals deserve a spot in the big house. Hey, as we like to say, Somebody has to cook the cornbread and cut the tobacco. Steve Beshear's personal commitment to these issues should go a long way with making rural voters feel comfortable about voting for him. He just has to keep the freaks on a short leash. The old liberal way of doing business has ruined the Democratic Party in Kentucky and has cost us both U.S. Senate seats, the State Senate, the Governors chair, and way too many Congressional seats. It is time for Western Kentucky to step up and take back our Party and our State. With our people, our way. Who better than the son of a Baptist Minister.

While social and religious issues are important. I am also reminded by my friend, Rep. John Tilley, that family values have to mean more than just going to church. We must defend our family farms, protect our wildlife, and lower the cost of prescription drugs. We must support our Veterans by providing the funding for new veterans facilities and expanding the existing ones. Exempting our active duty military from the state income tax will do more for the economy in the Fort Knox and Fort Campbell regions than any new industry.

We appreciate Steve Beshear for his personal commitments to empowering Western Kentucky once again.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Jeff Noble here, a Catholic Christian Social Liberal Democrat - from Louisville no less. If I haven't lost you by now, please continue reading.

I will step up as a liberal and respond to some of what you have written. Liberals do not automatically take issue with some of the issues those of you who aren't automatically think we do - and the key words in both parts of that sentence is automatically.

Using your litany of Beshear's list of ideas, most of them present no problems.

Minimizing child-support default rates and increasing payment rates are things everyone should support. My feeling is child-support is not a liberal/conservative issue but rather is one of doing what is right.

Improving the identification of serial batterers has found support most widely from liberals groups aligned with women's issues. I am glad to see support of these programs expanded to include others.

I am not sure what a Domestic Crisis Team is, so I wont comment on it, although it doesn't sund so radical that lefties couldn't be supportive.

Promoting anti-abuse programs of any kind is another program typically most often promoted by liberals, so again, having it a part of Beshear's plan seems like a very good thing.

I think the anti-violence program for schools is also a good idea, if we can get the local school boards to go along with the idea. Again, this is an issue most often addressed by lefties like me so any help on this front is appreciated. But some matters are best left to local school boards and dictation to by Frankfort and Washington should be strongly scrutinized.

As someone who is single and childless, a Dinner with Family campaign could mean a lot of things to me and people like me. Promoting such a thing seems harmless enough. I spend most every Sunday with my mother and some of my nieces and nephews and more often than not, that includes the breaking of bread together.

Pregnancy programs promoting adoption programs are worthwhile and should be required, especially if those "pregnancy programs" are really abortion-promoting programs. Any government funded programs should be open to all the alternatives available which would include alternatives to pregnancy itself, as well as alternatives to abortion. There should be an plan to deal with an ever-expanding population base, but there isn't. We also have no plan for the required support of same, both of the needed education requirements these new children require for the first eighteen to twenty years of their lives as well as the employment base necessary when they are adults. Family planning should mean much more than abortion clinics and adoption planning. Families last long after the conception and delivery, but this is the time during which many conservatives devote an inordinate amount of energy.

I have left off faith-based funding. I do not support faith-based funding although I am aware governments at every level do. Here in Louisville, an increasing amount of money goes directly from the City coffers to those of religious institutions providing programs of some sort. If those same programs require some religious participation or identification of any sort, then I do not want my tax dollars funding them. If churches and other religious institutions wish to supply services, their parishioners or membership should be willing to foot the bill and not ask for help from the government. Governments are provided to help individuals, not institutions. I view government support of religiously sponsored initiatives a form of corporate welfare, and I am against it, just am I am opposed to other forms of corporate welfare. I still believe there is a role for the government in the lives of people, just as I believe there is a role for religion in the lives of people, as there is in mine. But their overlapping worries me, particular if their overlapping includes using my tax paid dollars to promote ideas I do not religiously support. The Association of Religion Data archives on religion provided in its 2000 report the following numbers on Kentucky's population:

24.25% of Kentuckians belong to a Southern Baptist Church. (I did at one time).
4.09% belong to an independent christian church or Church of Christ.
10.05% were Roman Catholics, as I am now.
5.16% belong to the United Methodist Church.
1.67% belong to the Disciples of Christ, also called the Christian Church.
0.05% were members of orthodox churches. (I don't really know if that means Jewish, or if the next statistic includes Jews).
0.88% were affiliated with other theologies or beliefs.
Finally, and importantly, 46.57% were not affiliated with any church. That doesn't mean they aren't believers or spiritual, just that they aren't affiliated. That's nearly half of the state's 4,100,000 people who aren't involved in church.

So nearly half aren't involved in a church, and the other half of us are in any number of churches from very conservative evangelical primitive free will baptists to the Unitarians down on S. 4th Street in downtown Louisville who let the Wiccans use their sanctuary. Is it possible to think that all of us who are religiously-affiliated can agree on how our tax dollars should be spent on faith-baith initiatives? I think not, but I am open to a discussion. I realize I am in the minority on this matter, but I also feel I am on the right side of God as well.

I appreciate the opportunity to explain my spot in the big house, as you called it. I remember once I commented on BluegrassReport that the Democratic Party's tent is big enough for both me and my friend from Benton J. R. Gray. I still believe that.

Jeff Noble
Louisville, Kentucky