"You shall know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free"
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Right Brain, Left Brain

June 30, 2008

Liberals and Conservatives think differently. Really. I have become convinced that it is a right brain, left brain thing. Conservatives use the right side of their brain because their thinking is right. Liberals use the left side, because all their thought processes come from the far left. And never the twain shall meet.

This is a great example of how this works, sent to Conservative Truth by subscriber Vladimir Alexandrov from Palm Beach, Florida: Four-year-old Catherine had decided that she wanted to be President one day. A Conservative asked her what her first act would be should she become President. Her proud Liberal parents observed the conversation.

Catherine replied, "I would give houses to all the homeless people." The Conservative replied, "That is a worthy goal you have there Catherine," as her parents beamed. "But you don't have to wait until you're President to do that. You can come over to my house and clean up the dog poop in the back yard and I will pay you $5 dollars. Then we can go over to the grocery store where the homeless guy hangs out, and you can give him the $5 dollars to use for a new house."

Catherine thought that over for a second, and then replied, "Why doesn't the homeless guy come over and clean up the dog poop himself, and you can pay him the $5 dollars?" Welcome to the Republican Party, Catherine.

I once heard it said that if a young person is not a Liberal, he or she has no heart. But if an older, experienced person is not a Conservative, he or she has no brain. That sums up the whole subject very nicely.

My daughter, Sarah, has a great heart. She is full of compassion, always ready to share. When she was six we were at a minister's conference in Bradenton, Florida. As we left our hotel on our way to a meeting, she saw a "homeless" man in the median at a stop light begging. She asked if we could give him some money.

We had already turned the corner heading toward the freeway. It was quite some distance before we found a place to make a U-turn, after which we re-traced our path to the hotel, made another U-turn, and approached the man, who held a sign proclaiming that he was "homeless and hungry." I gave Sarah $5, which she personally handed the man, who wore ragged, mismatched clothing. Sarah was very happy.

She didn't notice that he wore name-brand running shoes which probably set him back at least $150, or that he was wearing a Rolex watch. I doubt that most of the people who stopped and gave him money noticed these little details, either, but having been a police officer, I am trained to notice details. And none of us could see inside his pockets, where there was probably a key to a Lexus which was hidden around the corner.

I once spoke to a man in Atlanta, Georgia, who makes a nice living doing what Sarah's "homeless" friend did. He is very serious about his "job," getting up early every morning and arriving at his station at about the same time every day. He works until lunchtime, when he changes to a more presentable shirt and washes off the dirt he smears on his face every morning. After lunching at one of the nice restaurants in the area, he puts his ragged shirt back on, smears a little dirt on his face, and goes back for his afternoon shift. He never misses his job unless the weather is bad or he has a doctor's appointment. He works Monday through Friday, 9 to 5, then goes home to his apartment in the Buckhead area and enjoys his stereo and wide-screen TV, resting up for the next day's labor.

I asked him how much he makes doing this. He told me that he usually pulls in at least $400 each day, and that on a good day he can make up to $1,000. The Christmas season is particularly good for him, because people are much more generous then. He was intelligent and articulate, and obviously the product of a good education. I asked the obvious question: "If you're smart enough to pull of a scam like this, why don't you get a real job?" His reply? "Why should I? I make better money doing this that I did when I worked as a retail manager. I can take a vacation whenever I want to without anyone's permission. And I don't pay taxes."

I could have told Sarah all this that day in Bradenton. I could have given her a great lesson by taking her to the nearby McDonalds and buying a $5 gift card for the man. He would probably have refused it and asked for the money instead. (I have done this myself in the past. The first time I was surprised when the man angrily refused the card and demanded money. I am no longer surprised.)

Had I done this, Sarah would have seen for herself that things are not always as they appear. I didn't do that for several reasons, the most important of which was that I didn't want Sarah's beautiful, generous heart to be damaged by the man's duplicity.

I also did not want her to start believing at such a young age that all people who appear to be in need are scam artists. There are many people who are genuinely in need who beg on the streets. Yes, there are multitudes of churches, charities and government services to make sure that no one in this country ever needs to go hungry. But some people have too much pride to avail themselves of these services. And some, due to mental illness, are fearful of all organizations.

But this article is not about whether everyone who appears homeless and hungry is who they seem to be. It is about the way Liberals think.

Some of them are simply opportunists who use whatever situation they encounter to further their political aims. I believe Bill Clinton is such a man. Others sincerely believe that Government has the answer to every problem of society, that Big Brother will take care of everything if we can just feed the monster enough tax money. As misguided as he is, I believe Jimmy Carter is such a man.

Unfortunately, both types of Liberals are equally dangerous. It doesn't matter whether they are sly and calculating, or warm and fuzzy. Liberal thinking takes away a man's responsibility for his own actions. It sets the Government up as the parent of society. Because, while parents have the responsibility of providing for their children, they also have the authority to dictate how the children act and think. That is the ultimate end of Liberal thinking - the complete control of the citizenry.

We all saw Bill Clinton laughing and joking with friends after Vince Foster's funeral. But when he noticed a camera pointed his way, his face dropped in sadness. Somehow he even managed somehow to produce a tear. If Clinton had known that the "homeless" man in Bradenton was a scammer, he still would not have hesitated to use him to promote higher taxes to "...help our fellow man."

Carter, on the other hand, would have convinced himself that some kind soul had given our "homeless" man the running shoes and the Rolex. Then he, too, would have used him to promote higher taxes to "...help our fellow man."

Conservatives know that the best way to help others is to help them in all areas of their lives. What good does it do to help people physically by giving them food and shelter, if you destroy them emotionally by stripping away their pride?

That's what the monster created by Liberals, our so-called "welfare" system, does. It makes its victims believe that they are helpless, that only Government can provide for them. It crushes their spirits, and punishes ambition. It destroys families, by taking away benefits if the father lives with the family. It encourages immorality by paying unwed mothers by the baby. It does nothing to promote their "welfare."

Bill Clinton wrote an article in the extremely liberal New York Times on August 22, 2006, entitled "How We Ended Welfare." You "ended welfare?" On what planet, Bill?

Today we have third and fourth generation welfare families. The Bible says that without a vision the people perish. Where do we receive our vision of what men and women should be? From our fathers and mothers. So if children grow up in homes where their parents' idea of "work" is cashing a welfare check, should we be surprised when those children end up on welfare?

So what do the Liberals get out of making citizens dependent on welfare? That's an easy one. Have you ever heard of a welfare recipient voting Republican? Liberals promote welfare for the same reason they promote and encourage illegal immigration: to ensure a steady stream of new voters for the Democrat Party.

True believers in Liberalism should learn from the fall of Communism, since Communism is, after all, the ultimate end of all Liberal policies and programs. Whether you call it Liberalism, Socialism, or Communism, the goals are identical: Take from the "rich" and give to the "poor." Never mind that most of the "rich" who are being taxed out of existence (and may end up on the welfare rolls as a result) are anything but rich. And never mind that the "poor" in this country would be considered fabulously wealthy in most of the world. The Liberals say with one voice, "My mind is made up. Don't confuse me with facts."

They don't want to hear the facts about welfare increasing poverty. They don't want to hear the facts about criminally burdensome taxes crushing small businesses. They are ideologues, and if you challenge their ideology, expect the same treatment as a dog would give you if you try to take away his bone. The bone is all they have. In their strange world, ideology trumps truth every time.

Conservatives think "right." They value human life, as does our Creator. Liberals think it is just fine to kill babies and old people who are no longer "useful." Abortion and euthanasia are two of their favorite things.

Conservatives understand that God created the universe, and that nature teaches us how He intends things to be. Liberals will die for the "right" of homosexuals to "marry" in an attempt to legitimize their perverted lifestyles.

Conservatives believe what the Bible teaches, that if a man refuses to work, he should not eat. Liberals believe that if a man is too lazy to work, "society" (meaning those who work and pay taxes) should support him. In fact, they believe that people who pay no taxes at all should get tax "refunds," so they can afford to buy beer to go with the free food we give them.

I believe in helping the helpless. I have given many thousands of dollars to help people who are in need. Churches have been doing that for thousands of years. In fact, before Roosevelt's "New Deal" and Lyndon Johnson's "Great Society," the local church was the welfare system in this nation. If an individual or family was truly in need, the church made sure they were not hungry or homeless. The difference was that, instead of a bunch of bureaucrats who are too lazy or too dumb to see through the scams of their "clients," the people in the churches knew the people in their communities. They knew who worked hard when they could, and needed help when they were sick or injured. And they knew the people whose only "disabilities" were that they were too drunk or too lazy to work.

Today, many churches continue to minister to the helpless and hopeless. But it is much harder, because people believe that the Government helps people who are down and out. And because they believe this lie, or because taxes have taken most of their discretionary income, they give less to churches and other faith-based organizations that really help people.

I am personally familiar with two great Christian organizations which help people at far less cost than Government, and with much greater effect. Teen Challenge (www.TeenChallengeUSA.com), which recently celebrated its 50th anniversary, has helped hundreds of thousands of young people live drug-free, victorious lives in Christ. Many of the kids they have helped had been through Government programs over and over again, and had fallen back into drugs. Up to 90% of people who go through Government rehab programs end up back on drugs and alcohol. Teen challenge has had over a 90% success rate in keeping young people who graduated from their programs clean.

Matthew 25 Ministries (www.Matthew25Ministries.org) in West Palm Beach, Florida, has had similar success in helping former prisoners stay out of prison. Florida has a terrible recidivism rate. (Recidivism is the percentage of former prisoners who re-offend and end up back in prison.) Recidivism among graduates of the Matthew 25 year-long program is about one-tenth that of the rate of those who go through Government programs.

I could give many other examples, including thousands of ministries who give genuine help to hungry and homeless people, faith-based programs that help people gain job skills and get off of welfare, and missionaries who help whole villages become self-sufficient. The main lesson here is that Conservatives believe in and support ministries and programs that help people help themselves, while Liberals continue to push the lie that Government is the answer to all problems.

When I started writing this, I realized that some of you would challenge the idea of Conservatives being right-brained, and Liberals left-brained. Most of you are smart enough to realize that these are metaphors. But I came across some data that actually supports the idea that right-brained thinking is more useful to society.

"Chracteristics of Left Brain: Logical, sequential, rational, looks at parts, analytical, objective. In addition, this part of the brain likes technicalities, numbers, data, facts, logic and precision." Sounds kind of cold, doesn't it?

"Characteristics of Right Brain: Random, intuitive, subjective, looks at wholes, holistic, synthesizing. This part of the brain is more interested in challenge, risk, new ideas, imagination, and whole picture." So thinking from the right brain is more concerned with the whole person, and more open to imagination and innovation.

Wow. What started as a mildly amusing premise for this article (Conservatives are Right thinkers, Liberals come out of Left field) may in fact be true. Liberals may operate more out of their left brains, and Conservatives out of their right.

Left brain characteristics of logic, analysis, dealing with numbers and data, looking at parts of things (or people). That sounds like what Liberals do - devising one-size-fits-all programs (much like full-blown Communism, Liberalism's Big Brother) that strip away man's humanity. If Liberals come up with a program to help part of a person (such as physical needs like food and housing), then they'd better be happy. Forget about all that touchy-feely stuff like challenging the intellect or fulfilling the soul.

On the other hand, right brain characteristics include intuitiveness, accepting challenges, new ideas, imagination, and looking at the whole picture (or person). That sounds an awful lot like what Conservatives are famous for - coming up with innovative, imaginative, out-of-the-box solutions to thorny problems; solutions which take into account the soul and the intellect as well as the body. Conservatives consider people, not just statistics.

All these years Liberals have accused Conservatives of being cold and heartless. Now it turns out that they are cold and heartless and we are warm and fuzzy. Go figure.

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Copyright ©2008 Tom Barrett

Dr. Tom Barrett is a pastor, teacher, author, conference keynote speaker, professor, certified executive coach, and marketplace minister. His teaching and coaching have blessed both church and business leaders. He has been ordained for over 40 years, and has pastored in seven churches over that time. Today he “pastors pastors” as he oversees ordained and licensed ministers in Florida for his ministerial fellowship.

He has written thousands of articles that have been republished in national newspapers and on hundreds of websites, and is a frequent guest on radio and television shows. His weekly Conservative Truth article (which is read by 250,000) offers a unique viewpoint on social, moral and political issues from a Biblical worldview. This has resulted in invitations to speak internationally at churches, conferences, Money Shows, universities, and on TV (including the 700 Club).

“Dr. Tom,” as his readers and followers affectionately refer to him, has a passion for teaching, as you can see from his ministry website (www.ChristianFinancialConcepts.com); his patriotic site (www.ConservativeTruth.org); and his business site (www.GoldenArtTreasures.com). Tom's friend Dr. Lance Wallnau wrote of him, "Tom Barrett is a Renaissance man with a passion for subject matter ranging from finance to theology and American history."
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