Update: Decided to make this a 3 part series. Next post – the effort to suppress religious freedom will not succeed.
Efforts to restrict the first amendment right of free expression of religion are growing in strength here in California. At least three counties are participating in the effort.
Pastor John MacArthur and Grace Community Church are standing in the gap, but other churches are also receiving pressure including planted spies, as discussed below. This is second article in this specific series.
Previous post gave recap of enforcement efforts against Grace Community Church. At end of this post there is a great comment from the GCC elders why the state dictacts are a direct restriction of religious expression
The efforts by the state of California and at least three counties in the state to restrict the first amendment right of free expression of religion are growing in strength.
Pastor John MacArthur and Grace Community Church are standing in the gap, but other churches are also receiving pressure, including planted spies. This is first article in this specific series.
Next post will give a concise explanation why prohibiting indoor worship, limiting worship size, and banning singing are direct restrictions on religious freedom.
In my humble opinion, the county does not yet know that in picking on GCC, they have targeted a church that will not back down when they have made up their mind. I predict there is a small but measurable chance this case could wind up in the U.S. Supreme Court.
“Three very definite propositions were set out in its (the Declaration of Independence) preamble regarding the nature of mankind and therefore of government. These were the doctrine that
all men are created equal,
that they are endowed with certain inalienable rights, and that
therefore the source of the just powers of government must be derived from the consent of the governed.” (emphasis added)
He explained these issues are settled, resolved, final.
We can expand on those ideas. We need to bring them into further fruition. We can dive deeper into their meaning.
Setting them aside or replacing them means we go backwards. Declaring they are no longer true is regression to the ancient past.
More eloquently than I could ever describe, the president said:
“About the Declaration there is a finality that is exceedingly restful. It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776, that we have had new thoughts and new experiences which have given us a great advance over the people of that day, and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern. But that reasoning can not be applied to this great charter. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction can not lay claim to progress. They are reactionary. Their ideas are not more modern, but more ancient, than those of the Revolutionary fathers.”
With our freedom under assault by many state and local politicians across the United States, it is more important than ever before that on this Memorial Day we remember those who shed all their blood so that we may be free.
A ‘thank you’ from me is so trivial. I will demonstrate my appreciation for freedom purchased by others by exercising my freedom of speech today. Yesterday I exercised my freedom of religion. Today and tomorrow I will exercise my economic freedom, also called pursuit of happiness, by running my business the way I choose to do.
Following post was first published on May 29, 2017. It reprints an earlier post of May 30, 2011. I will update the discussion slightly. Deletions are struck through, new comments are in italics. This feeble tribute to those who have gone before will be posted across several of my blogs.
From May 29, 2017:
Those of us living in the United States are blessed with religious freedom, political freedom, and economic freedom because those who went before us fought for freedom.
Many of those fighting offered up their life for freedom and the offer was accepted.
I am humbled and grateful to God that some of my ancestors are included in the long list of those who fought. I am especially humbled that a great, great grand-uncle is in the list of those who died in the defense of freedom and the effort to crush slavery.
Because of their sacrifice, I get to enjoy this kind of freedom:
Going concern thoughts for accountants: I have stopped cross posting all my comments on the pandemic to this blog. The focus here is accounting and attestation issues.
The following conversation is worth listing here, so you can bring into consideration what is going on in the broader economy as you ponder your client’s going concern assessments. The economic damage from the shutdown is an issue for audits, reviews, and comps.
You might pay particular attention to comments by the Atlanta Fed on near-term GDP forecasts.
The damage from the lockdown is spreading. More news is emerging about the devastation that took place in just the first full month of the closure.
The damage will continue to grow the longer the shutdown continues. At some point it will start compounding, growing at a faster rate out of proportion to the time that is passing. Keeping the economy closed now is unnecessarily so the compounding damage is a choice.
Merely a few of the articles in recent days:
Guess on GDP shrinkage in next quarter
Disproportionate number of poorer households hit by job losses
Collapse of tax revenue in New York state
Collapse of home sales in Southern California
Another retail chain announce store closures and another announces liquidation
It is imperative to reopen the economy in full, not just for ‘curb-side delivery.’ If we don’t open soon, I fear the following articles will be mild in comparison to what we will see in the future.
This discussion will be posted on several of my blogs.
If the politicians don’t start relaxing the lockdown and letting people pay their rapidly accumulating bills, bunches of people are going to take the initiative and do so on their own.
I sense there is a limited time for those in power to start loosening the extreme restrictions or people are going to start ignoring parts of the rules.
At a deeper level, the concern I have is what’s referred to as the “social contract.” Government gets its authority from consent of the governed.
If a large number of people get to the point of concluding the rules in places like California and Virginia are unnecessarily severe and are causing more health, mental, social, and economic damage than they prevent, people will conclude our leaders have broken the contract.
If we get to that point, respect for law and respect for public officials will decline. That is not a good place to go.
Next two articles point out a small number of people who have already reached that conclusion:
Warnings are surfacing about the damage from the stay-at-home orders. There are mental health repercussions from isolation. There are also negative health implications from rapidly dropping income and disappearing wealth, such as missed medical screening and delayed or skipped treatment.
4/9/20 – Wall Street Journal – Coronavirus Pandemic Takes Toll On Mental Health – Article describes how the forced isolation and disruptions are starting to cause distress in terms of mental health. There will be a severe Ripple effect from the stay-at-home orders and shutting down the economy.
We are starting to see some guesses about the economic damage from the shutdowns driven by the pandemic.
When you read about the 10 million people who have filed for unemployment in the last two weeks and consider there will be millions more and the unemployment will continue for another month or two, ponder the ripple effects.
That shock of unemployment translates into cars not purchased, summer & Christmas vacations not taken, conferences not attended, college enrollment delayed a year, fancy wedding receptions never planned, and house renovations postponed by a decade.
When will we be done with this stay-at-home restriction?
When will the economy recover?
When will we be back to “normal?”
I don’t know the dates for any of those transitions.
I have a suggestion for you.
Don’t set a specific date in your mind. Instead firmly set in your mind that this mess will end, we will get through it, we will survive, and we will thrive at the end.
What is the danger of setting a date in your mind and having faith it will be over on that date?
Let me introduce you to the Stockdale paradox.
Admiral James Stockdale was an American pilot shot down during the Vietnam war. He was a prisoner in North Vietnam for 7 1/2 years, routinely subject to brutal torture, legs broken twice during interrogation, and held in solitary confinement during four of those years with his legs locked in a metal stock each night. He was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor a few years after his release.
I think we should listen to him. His physical courage and moral courage are a role model for all of us.
If you are an auditor getting ready to issue opinions on client financial statements, you might want to ponder the subsequent event implications of the U.S. shutting down large portions of the economy this week. Might want to take a closer look at going concern assumptions.
If you happened to have slept well last night, you might ponder the impact on the financial statements you released a couple weeks ago.
Here are some initial thoughts for consideration as disclosable material subsequent events and perhaps contingent liabilities: