Five years ago when we left California for Texas I wrote a column for the Dallas Morning News explaining our reasons. There were too many excellent reasons to list here, but you can read them all in my column still on the Morning News’ web site.
Among the final straws that prompted our exodus was one reason not many people paid attention to at the time. I said it wouldn’t be long before it will be a crime to preach from the Bible in California.
“…under California case law’s ‘plain meaning rule, AB 2943 could prohibit a bookstore from selling a book in which a Christian author urges people to repent of sexual immorality, which he identifies as including homosexuality and to take their strength in the sacrificial love of Christ,” writes Chriss W. Street at Breitbart.com.
I’ve taken to describing California’s condition with a curt, sarcastic phrase: “California is toast.” As in done. As in beyond repair. As in finished, through, at an end.
My bride and I had a combined century of life in California, and left dear family members behind. It wasn’t a decision we came to lightly. But everything that has transpired since we departed reinforced our decision, difficult as it was at the time.
Even if Texas wasn’t as wonderful as it is, we would have left California. God’s blessed us with a new home that we hoped would be as un-California as possible, and it has turned out to be everything we prayed it would be, and more. Our son followed us to Texas a couple years ago, and we hold out hope our daughter, her husband and our two granddaughters eventually will too. Some dear friends followed us here, and some others are seriously considering it. Everyone has a different tipping point.
At first, we indiscriminately urged Californians to join our exodus. Now the word seems to have gotten out. There are at least two Facebook pages devoted to leaving California for Texas. Arthur Laffer, of the Laffer Curve, predicted recently in the Wall Street Journal about the escalating exodus from California and other high-tax states:
Since 2007 Texas and Florida (with no income tax) have gained 1.4 million and 850,000 residents, respectively, from other states. California and New York have jointly lost more than 2.2 million residents. Our analysis of IRS data on tax returns shows that in the past three years alone, Texas and Florida have gained a net $50 billion in income and purchasing power from other states, while California and New York have surrendered a net $23 billion.
True enough, but for countless Californians like us, the economics of the issue, as onerous as it is, isn’t the greatest motivator. As the pending legislation to effectively outlaw sharing from the Bible illustrates, California has accelerated its slide down that moral slippery slope. Its laws have embraced depravity and not even subtly condemned faith. It’s gone over to lawlessness in the name of sanctuary. It’s destroyed property values for the disfavored while driving property values to obscene heights for the privileged, pricing average families out of the market. I could go on and on. Suffice it to say…
California is toast.
I write today to offer some advice for those suffering souls still in California, and those who like us already escaped by God’s good grace: Be wary about inviting everyone you know in California to join the exodus. Frankly, the last thing Texas needs, or any other God-fearing state for that matter, is more of the progressive mindset that made California what it is today.
Sadly, even progressives have their economic tipping point, and many will leave California for places where the cost of living and taxes are lower. But they will bring with them their progressive poison. And make no mistake about it, progressive poison can turn Shangri La into hell on earth, as the once Golden State demonstrates daily.
For progressives, I offer this advice: stay in California. Live out your convictions of big government, high taxes, Christian-bashing, abortion on demand, homosexual-exalting, intrusive, oppressive government and the rest of the progressive agenda. If those things indeed are good as you claim, why would you want to leave? You’ll do just fine in California as it swirls the drain. Don’t import that stuff to us. We left California to distance ourselves from all that. Keep it. Stay there.
Maybe progressives don’t think California is toast. Good for them. And good for the rest of us if they have the strength of their convictions to live out that California dream. Or should I say nightmare?