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Positive Events In Israel – Economic Freedom For The American People And More – Americans are buying their economic freedom by paying off their credit card debt, Bahrain appoints ambassador to Israel and much more!

Air Date: 05/21/2021

On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton


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Transcription note:  As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.

 

Rick:

Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. Thanks for joining us today on WallBuilders Live, where we take on the hot topics of the day from a biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective. Fridays are a little bit different. We do all good news on Fridays, we call it Good News Friday.

And most of the stories you’re going to hear today, you probably haven’t seen reported anywhere. I love Good News Fridays, it encourages me going into the weekend, it’s just great to know so many good things are happening across the country at a time when we also see a lot of bad things happening in the country. We’re not Pollyanna around here. We’re not covering up the bad and the ugly, but we do like to emphasize the good as well and make sure that folks out there know listen, our system does work when we work it. But we have to be engaged, we’ve got to be salt and light. When we do that, we see good results.

My name is Rick Green. I’m a former Texas legislator and America’s Constitution coach. And it’s my great honor to be here with David Barton and Tim Barton. David is America’s premier historian. He’s our founder here at WallBuilders. Tim Barton is a national speaker and pastor and president of WallBuilders. And guys, I so appreciate these Friday programs, thank you for digging in and finding so many of these. I know, last week, and we’re talking about how big the stack was, there’s no way we’re going to get to all of it. We didn’t. Of course, we’re not going to get to all of it today. But that’s a great thing.

And, David, I just want to reiterate what you said last week, which was that for the last four years, most of our good news came from the federal level, and not as much from the States. And now we’re seeing tons of good news come from the States, while we’ve seen the federal government be taken over by the leftist, we’re not going to see a lot of good news there. But it’s just good to know that still at the local level, we are making a difference out there.

David:

Yeah. And we are seeing that difference, not only at the state level, but it actually penetrates down into even the people’s thinking there’s so many stories. I mean, just think back over recent weeks how many good news stories we’ve had of an individual who is really caring to sacrifice something for someone else, or how that a policeman did something above and beyond the call of duty and did something that we would call more humanitarian, helping a homeless person or whatever it is. I mean we just seen so many heartwarming kind of stories coming from the people. And we’ve seen so much courage and leadership coming from the States. It really is a refreshing time. I guess if you can turn off the federal stuff and just look at everything else, it really is a refreshing time. And it really is a very heartwarming kind of feeling to see America has really gotten a lot of good stuff going in here right now.

Rick:

Well, so we’re still seeing a lot of that good news at the local level. What are we going to focus on today?

David:

Rick:

Wait a minute, wrong program. Stop recording, we’ll do that next week.

David:

Is a bad news Saturday after Good News Friday? Maybe that’s what it is.

Tim:

That’s why nobody tunes into that program. That’s right. That is you by yourself in the studio. We’re not even here for that.

David:

Well, this is bad news for a particular part of business industry. And it deals with a number of national tied banks, large national banks would all recognize. It deals with credit card issuers and others. And with all the COVID stuff that’s happened, they have had a real difficult time, as you can imagine, because so many banks make a lot of their income off credit card interest. And so with COVID, as you can imagine, everybody’s putting everything on credit card. Wait a minute, if they’re putting everything on credit cards, that would give them more interest? Oh, wait a minute, let me give you the rest of the story. Since COVID, Americans are paying off credit card debt at record rates. It is now some of the lowest credit card debt we’ve had in years and years and years and it’s causing the banks consternation because people aren’t getting in debt like they used to.

Rick:

Interesting.

Tim:

Well, it also probably is reflection that a lot of people that were getting in that stimulus “check” and getting it for their family, other people, they’re saying what do we do with this? Oh, let me go ahead and pay off my credit card debt. Because for the majority of Americans, even though maybe their career changed or was threatened or maybe their hours at the job slowed down, for many people it did not, and for many people, they were busier than ever. And so if they’re getting that COVID stimulus check and their life has not changed, what do you do with that money that comes in? Let’s pay off the credit card. So that actually does make a lot of sense.

Which actually even goes back to something we mentioned last week, some even on Good News Friday talked about people getting back in the workforce. One of the challenges has been that people are making more on unemployment now than they were making in many of their jobs and industries. And so when you are paying people to not work or you’re paying people who already have existing job, you’re just giving them bonus money, so to speak. What they’re going to do is, for many of them, the very prudent thing and they are paying off credit card debt Now guys, I also can tell you probably true for many of our listeners. It was not just credit card debt they got paid off, because the gun industry is also doing real well.

Rick:

That’s right. I personally talk to many people that said I spent my check on a new gun, I’m not kidding.

Tim:

Well so guys, for us, we would never say we went out and bought new guns. Because actually, right, if anybody’s listening I’m pretty sure we had like a boating accident and all our guns sunk to the bottom of the lake and so we have no gun left except by the ones we carry for self-defense. Other than that, we’re out of guns. But yeah, we might have made a purchase here or there.

Rick:

No doubt.

David:

Interesting thing about this, and Tim, you’re right that back in that time people were taking paying off debt. And that’s what the credit card companies say is people we’re not charging on their credit cards, they’re paying off debt. But here’s the really interesting thing. This year, as the economy has come back, they said people are now charging on their credit cards again. So credit card purchases are back up, except their debts are going down, they’re still paying down their debts, even though they buy more credit card.

Capital One said they’ve had the highest payoff rate this last month, in May, that’s the highest they have on record. They’ve never had so many people be current on their credit card and pay it off and keep it low. So this is really good news from the people standpoint. Because the Bible says in Proverbs 27, that the borrower is servant to the lender. In other words, you get into a kind of debt slavery, if you will, economic slavery in the sense that you don’t have the freedom to spend your money where you want, because you have to designate it to the people you owe it to. And we’re seeing people get more economic freedom right now than we see in a year.

So guess what the banks are doing, they’re putting all sorts of advertising into get more on your credit card and use your credit card more often and get big things on your credit card. And they like debt because they make interest off it. But the good news is that the American people really are becoming economically and fiscally sound in a way that we have not seen in years and years and years. COVID was one thing, but now that we’re away from that, and people are back to charging, they’re still paying off their debts. And that’s really healthy.

Rick:

That may be the most unique piece of good news we’ve had all year. I mean, I would have never thought that, that’s just counterintuitive to me.

David:

It is. That’s not what… I would have thought people are underwater in a way that they haven’t been because the last year and COVID and unemployment everything else but it hasn’t been away, and that’s really good.

Rick:

Really good stuff. Alright, Tim, where are you taking us?

Tim:

Well, the first one I have goes to Israel. And this deals with the fact that this was announced back in March that Bahrain appointed their very first ever ambassador to Israel. Now, this is something that we would argue is probably still part of the outflow of the Abraham Accords, part of the stuff that President Trump did.

David:

It did. They announced that they were going to back in those Abraham Accords. So this is followed through.

Tim:

And with that being said, we’ve seen also a more recent weeks, a lot of unrest happening in Israel, where Hamas in a period of, I don’t remember how many hours it was, but it wasn’t very long, they launched more than 1,000 rockets into Israel. So now you are certainly seeing unrest in Israel. This is something that we are now seeing more instability around the world in genera. With things happening with Russia, and Iran and China, there’s a lot of problems that people who have bad intent are becoming emboldened to go and do bad things.

With that being said, this is not take away from the fact that there still are positive things happening, that there are more nations now who still are wanting to have those conversations, those diplomatic relations with Israel. And even in the midst of some of these terror attacks that are happening in Israel, these Islamic extremist jihadist who are wanting to end Israel and hurt innocent people in Israel, there still are positive things happening. So it is still great news that Bahrain followed through, has very first ever ambassador to Israel. And so the first part of good news is coming from Israel.

Now I’m going to back up. This one actually comes from Justice Clarence Thomas, who came out and recognizing what happened with President Trump and President Trump being banned on Twitter and these different platforms. And opinion Justice Clarence Thomas issued was drawing significant attention when he acknowledged Twitter made it clear the right to cut off speech lies most powerfully in the hands of private digital platforms. He goes on to say, the extent to which that power matters for purposes of the First Amendment and the extent to which the power could lawfully be modified raise interesting and important questions.

He goes on to explain that big tech could be a major factor to consider, and it certainly does open up the door, maybe the window, I’m not sure if it’s the door yet, it’s at least cracking the window to this notion that big tech censoring, this is more than just a private company controlling and operating their organization as a desire, which we’ve talked so many times. We are in favor of the free market. We’re in favor of the capitalist system where you let individuals help regulate what’s going on. If you don’t like something, you go somewhere else.

The problem is, when you have an industry that you are largely a monopoly, and there’s nowhere else people can go to get the same service or industry, and you are then having different tax incentives by the government, and you are filed as a certain way that you are just a platform that you, right, in this case, you’re not a publisher, so you’re not regulating content, and then you take the law that was designed to protect you and you flip the law on its head and you just say, well, we’re going to do something we think to protect the American people. So this isn’t us regulating content, this is us protecting the American people, etc. We’ve seen these major problems from big tech.

But now recognizing that you have a Supreme Court justice, who in April sounded off on this, acknowledging the problem with big tech, it certainly does seem, and guys, we know that there’s already some things in the pipeline lawsuits already underway, that they’re trying to get at the US Supreme Court dealing with big tech and censorship of free speech. It does seem like there are several justices who would at least be favorable right now from the appearance of saying that big tech should not be able to censor free speech of individuals.

Certainly, like in the case of Facebook, when they have not violated the basic rules that Facebook set and Facebook arbitrarily changed the rules on President Trump to say, well, we just don’t like you, we think you’re dangerous, we’re going to ban you. Well, what did he say that was dangerous, right? And you the two posts they highlight, there’s nothing in those two posts that’s inciting violence. Now, certainly, if we backed up and said that we think he said dumb things over time, okay, I think almost every American would agree with that statement…

David:

But he’s the only one in America who said dumb things. Nobody else has said anything dumb on Facebook or Twitter or anything else, he’s the only one.

Tim:

Yeah. As you’re saying that tongue in cheek, right, where it’s crazy is you have people who literally are calling for active violence, like literally calling for active violence, you have actual terrorists and terrorist organizations who are still on those platforms. They have not been deplatformed, as they’re spewing hate, as they’re encouraging violence, and yet Donald Trump was pulled down.

So anyway, the good news is you do have a Supreme Court justice who came out and said, this is a problem, we need to do something different. And so we expect in, I mean, really the next cycle or two to see one of these cases probably get the US Supreme Court, and it certainly will be very interesting to see how that unfolds.

David:

Well, I’m going to piggyback on what you just said, Tim, because you said that, so I picked up a story that was in the stack that goes right with that. And it deals with, you remember a decade ago when we had the presidential election between Trump and Biden, and so and then a…

Tim:

A decade ago? No, I mean, pre-COVID it was feels like a decade. But…

David:

That’s the longest decade we’ve ever had is that your COVID. So what happened at the time was when they deplatformed Trump, when Twitter deplatformed Trump, what happened was, at that point in time, a Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed suit against Twitter because Twitter would not release really kind of public information that he wanted. And he wanted to say, okay, what is your reasoning for deplatforming Trump because you’ve now gone through deplatformed? And this was part of what he said at the time.

He said “The seemingly coordinated deplatforming of the President of the United States and several leading voices, not only chills free speech, it wholly silences those whose speech and political beliefs do not align with leaders of big tech companies. In other words, big tech is saying, hey, if we disagree with you, we’re just going to cut you off in silence. And that’s Tim, kind of what you’re saying with the chilling effect that Clarence Thomas was talking about First Amendment.

So here’s Ken Paxton actually acting on that. And so Twitter didn’t like the fact that he’s asking for that information. I want to see the reason. I want to see the background. I want to see the documentation you have on deplatform, because Twitter did keep that. They’ve got the information. They had discussions and debates. We’ve seen some of it kind of come out from individuals there. We’ve seen even recently, one of the people said, hey, it should not have been a lifetime ban, shouldn’t happen.

And so we’re seeing people kind of say the internal process wasn’t good. Well, that’s what Attorney General Ken Paxton was looking for back at that point in time, back, I guess it would have been in January when this was happening. So because he’s asking for information, Twitter filed a lawsuit against him asking the Judge to keep him from getting that information. So this is kind of really crazy. I don’t know that I’ve heard lawsuits kind of like that where that he’s asking information, and I file a lawsuit, make him stop asking. I mean, that’s just kind of a crazy notion and so on.

But because it is Twitter, guess where they follow the lawsuit. They’re out of California. They followed it in California. Everybody kind of knows what’s happening in California and the Left coast. So they filed it, and the federal Judge ruled against Twitter. They dismissed Twitter’s lawsuit, which lets Ken Paxton still be able to move forward.

So Tim, kind of go into what you’re saying with what Clarence Thomas said, and just kind of like bring us the case, I don’t know maybe what’s happened with Ken Paxton will head in that direction. But certainly, the fact that Twitter has had their lawsuit thrown out that they can’t kind of hide that stuff that you need to respond to what a public official is asking for here, that’s another piece of good news.

Rick:

For good news on the big tech front is maybe a first in a long time to have good news on that front. Quick break, guys. We’ll be right back with more good news, folks. Stay with us, you’re listening to WallBuilders Live.

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Rick:

We’re back here on WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us on this Good News Friday. Back to David for some more good news, David.

David:

Well, I want to start with some things that are going on with the trucking industry. And with the trucking industry, and by the way, trucking industry, we’ve seen reports over recent weeks about all these immigrants that are being trucked in. And as they get stopped, for example, in San Antonio, and what was it, 100 folks ran out of the back of the truck, etc. So there’s some problems with those kinds of trucks on the southern border.

But in the trucking industry, it’s interesting to me that there is an organization called Truckers Against Trafficking. And what they do is they train truckers to look for girls who are being trafficked. And the way to do is kind of interesting. Because where these girls are not necessarily how they get to where they’re being trafficked, but where they end up. They’re going to end up in places where there’s guys and not many wives. And so that would be truck stops is a place or sporting events or places like that.

And so since truck stops are really kind of a key place for traffic girls, they trained truckers to be able to look for girls that are being trafficked, how to recognize that, how to know what the trafficking is. And here’s what kind of blew me away. Any clue how many truckers have gone through the training to recognize sex trafficking? Any guess?

Rick:

None. Let me just guess. 10,000.

David:

Alright. Tim, you got any kind of clue?

Tim:

No, I don’t.

David:

It’s over 1 million truckers I didn’t even know we have 1 million truckers.

Tim:

Exactly. I didn’t know there were that many trucks out there.

David:

According to the group, it’s 1 million.

Rick:

Tim, did you notice he only asked us questions when he knows we’re going to fail?

David:

So it makes me feel better about myself. I’ve got the right answer. I have to read it, but I don’t have the right answer.

Rick:

That’s incredible, over a million.

David:

Over a million. They say 1,014,367 drivers so far have completed the training. And so far, there’s been about 3,000 calls made that have saved about 1,300 girls from trafficking. So truckers, this is a really cool thing that again, individuals are making a big difference in this. And that’s what we talked about even last week. One of the healthy things we see going on in America now is the way the individuals are stepping up and taking responsibility.

Tim:

And so just kudos to all the truckers listening right now, as you’re driving, great job, keep doing it, keep it up. And if you got a story, we would love to hear that story. Here, wallbuilderslive.com, you can send us an email, we would love to hear about that story. But certainly, kudos to all those guys doing that. We pray that God helps you find even more if that situation persists. And first of all, we pray God shuts down that whole industry that that’s rooted out and that stops happening.

But as we are working in that process that God uses you to help rescue people that are being trafficked, and so again, any cool stories along the way, and this is for all listeners, really, if you have a cool story, we’d love to hear about it, and maybe even be able to talk about it on a Good News Friday. Nonetheless, very cool from truckers.

David:

I’ve got another piece of good news. Now this one is going overseas and it deals with the Iraq. In Iraq, one of the regions in Iraq is where the Kurds are. And the Kurds, while they’re Muslims, they’re really kind of unusual Muslims, they love Christians. And quite frankly, we’ve talked before on the program we had Rudy Italo not long ago talking about the Nazarene Fund. And it’s actually Kurds that we use in Iraq to go save persecuted Christians, trafficked Christian girls, trafficked Yazidi girls. I mean, the Kurds have been just absolutely phenomenal.

Some years ago, I was invited to help start preparing a Kurdish Constitution because they really want to be separate from Iraq. Iraq, the Sunnis and the Shiites, they fight each other back and forth, and the Kurds are kind of like they don’t belong to anybody. They’re kind of off on their own. And they are such a different region.

But this statement just came out from the head of Kurdistan, I thought it was really good. Says “Christians are an integral part of the Kurdistan Region and play a significant role in serving, building, developing, and fostering a culture of coexistence in the Kurdistan Region: guaranteeing the rights of Christians and other ethnic and religious groups will be protected in the new Constitution that’s being prepared.” So you actually have Kurdistan, which is a Muslim region of Iraq, but it’s not the crazy kind of regions and saying, we’re going to protect Christians. And they have a record of doing that. So that is really good.

And now the bad news is that Biden is pulling back from the Kurds, just as he’s pulling back from a lot of the allies we’ve had over recent years, kind of pulling back from Israel and encouraging the Palestinians and making friends with Iran again and getting closer to China and kind of making the wrong friends. We’re not doing real well toward the Kurds right now with American foreign policy. But the good news is the Kurds are willing to include and protect Christians, and what’s happening in building that new nation.

Final thing I’ve got is I was just really intrigued with the, by the way, I did not know who Prince Philip was when he died. Did you guys know Prince Philip?

Tim:

Yes.

David:

He is?

Tim:

No. So I know Prince Philip because I have a wife who for some reason cares about the royal crown and watches some of these movies and TV shows. So absolutely, I knew who Prince Philip was. Can I tell you the background on him? Not very well, I know military, was it World War II? He was involved in some kind of officer, and so already I’m exposing myself having seen too much of these documentaries. But a few details about him I do know…

David:

Well, as an American who’s not really interested in royalty, I thought that the husband of the queen would be called a king. And I had no idea…

Tim:

He’s not from the rural line.

David:

That say, I didn’t know how it works, I’m just not into that. So Prince Philip, but what’s interesting is Prince Philip studied and loved theology and got Queen Elizabeth to start being public about her Christian faith. And while we hear very little about it over here, like on our annual Christmas messages, she’s talking about Jesus and it was really cool that Prince Philip got her to be open about her faith, and she really has a very strong faith, she just not been talking about it. And so I thought that’s really cool to have husband encouraged the queen, in this case, Queen Elizabeth II to be open about her faith. And that’s encouraging.

Rick:

This is just a weird Good News Friday guys. So, good news about credit card debt and good news about Prince Philip in his faith, and encouraging the Queen to share her faith. So some really interesting good news items today. We still got a little bit of time, Tim, you want to share a few more pieces before we close?

Tim:

Yeah, I got two in my hand I’m going to try to get through actually, technically three, but two are dealing with the same one, so two different stories. The first one deals with homeschooling. And this is from the Census Bureau of all things. So, the Census Bureau has identified that homeschooling has more than doubled or more than doubled in 2020.

So the spring of 2020, there were approximately 5.4% of US households with school aged children that we’re doing homeschooling. Come to the fall of 2020, and that number was up over 11% of homeschool or families with school aged children were doing homeschooling. Now well, first of all, shameless plug with all that going on, there’s a lot of really great content for homeschooling families at wallbuilders.com.

Rick, I know at patriot Academy, you guys have a lot of stuff for homeschool families as well, so there’s a lot of great resources. You also can get on the WallBuilders YouTube channel and we do lots of stuff for school age students, for parents and teachers. So there’s lots of great resources. But it’s super interesting seeing the growth of the homeschool movement, recognizing so many problems, big picture with education today.

And not the least of those problems is a bad ideology that’s being taught to students, in regards to whether it be race or gender or human sexuality. And so getting them now in a home where the mom and dad or in some cases, maybe it’s just a mom or just a dad, but whoever is overseeing this can help pour in a different kind of value system, a different philosophy, ideology, theological perspective. There’s a lot of good news recognizing that we’re getting kids out of a very toxic educational environment. So that’s one piece of good news.

The second thing I would point out is from the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, there was a decision they came down, actually just in the last couple of months, and the case goes back to 2016. There was a college professor in Ohio, who taught at Shawnee State University, guys, he had been there for 25 years. So at this point for most universities, right, do you have tenure? Now I’m not sure how Shawnee State does it in their faculty. But they tried to fire this professor for an egregious offense. Now this is back in 2016. What a grievous offense would be worth firing a professor over?

David:

That would have been before pronouns were a big thing. So it would have been after 2016 probably for that. I don’t know. I don’t know.

Tim:

So your logic is very sound, which is why I wanted to make sure I pointed out it was in 2016, because the pronoun thing wasn’t really happening then, except apparently Shawnee state was leading the way on pronouns…

David:

Oh, I forgot to college, they’re way ahead of everybody…

Tim:

Because this college said that he had misidentified with a proper pronoun a transgender students, so it was a biological male, who now identified as a female, presumably dressed on some level like a female. And in the midst of class discussion, he referred to the student who was a biological male, he referred to the student as a he and the school said, oh, you have offended, there’s pronouns. The transgender student sued, all this, of course, that happened…

David:

You’re going to tell me after 25 years, the school said you got to go for using the wrong pronoun?

Tim:

That is exactly what happened.

David:

Are you kidding?

Tim:

So what’s really great about, and by the way, the school took the side of transgender student and said you violated our policies, you can’t stay here anymore. So it’s really great as a Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals came back and said, this is one of the most ridiculous things ever. Obviously, at a college, a professor has a First Amendment protection of the freedom of speech. Not to mention this professor, Nicholas Meriwether is a very outspoken Christian and pointed out that the religious foundation, the philosophical foundation of his beliefs would prevent him from saying someone that was a biological male was actually a female.

So the court sided with this professor’s position, saying absolutely, not school can’t fire him for actually saying something that’s protected under the First Amendment. So that’s the good news for this Professor Nicholas Meriwether. And as we’ve pointed out, guys, so often when somebody stands up and is willing to fight against the ridiculous, we see good results and outcomes. So, kudos to that Professor for standing up for what makes sense.

Rick:

Lots more good news at our website, wallbuilderslive.com, be sure to visit there today. And while you’re there, please consider stopping for a moment and making that one-time or monthly contribution. We appreciate all of you out there across the country that are continuing to support us financially. It allows us to reach more people that to speak truth into a culture that desperately needs it. So thanks for being a part of that. Check it out today at wallbuilderslive.com. Thanks so much for listening to WallBuilders Live.