where religion and politics meet

Everyone has a worldview. A worldview is what one believes about life: what is true, what is false, what is right, what is wrong, what are the rules, are there any rules, what is the meaning of life, what is important, what is not.

If a worldview includes a god/God, it is called a religion. If a bunch of people have the same religion, they give it a name.

Countries also have a worldview, a way of looking at life that directs government policies and laws and that contributes significantly to the culture. Ours used to be Christianity. Now it is secularism, which is practical atheism.

Some of us are trying to engage the government, the culture, and the people who live here to see life again from a Christian perspective and to show how secularism is both inadequate and just plain wrong.

A religion is not a culture, though it creates one. It is not what you prefer, like your taste in music or your favorite movie. It is what you believe to be true. Because it deals with things like God, much of its contents is not subject to the scientific method, but the reasons why one chooses to believe in God or a particular religion certainly demand serious investigation and critical thinking.

Every human being has the duty to search for and learn the truth about life. Education and science used to be valuable tools in this search, but science has chosen to answer the foundational questions without accepting the possibility of any supernatural causes, and education no longer considers the search to be necessary or worthwhile.

poligion: 1) the proper synthesis of religion and politics 2) the realization, belief, or position that politics and religion cannot be separated or compartmentalized, that a person’s religion invariably affects one’s political decisions and that political decisions invariably stem from one’s worldview, which is what a religion is.

Visit my other websites theimportanceofhealing blogspot.com where I talk about healing and my book of the same name and LarrysBibleStudies.blogspot.com where I am posting all my other Bible studies. Follow this link to my videos on youtube:


If you want to contact me, email is best: lacraig1@sbcglobal.net

Thank you.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

gay marriage debate

‘Gay marriage’ is a major political and social issue today, and like possibly all political and social issues, how the issue is framed can or will determine the outcome of the debate.  The media, politicians, and activists emphasize that this is an issue of equality, fairness, and human rights. 

But this is not about equality, fairness, human rights, or gay rights.  It is about the rights of children, the right of a child to have and be raised by its biological father and mother.  Children often grow up today in single parent homes or with adoptive parents, but nobody has been calling that equal to the biological two parent family.

But with ‘gay marriage,’ society will remove a biological parent from a child’s life and call this new family equal or just as good as the two biological parent family.  What gives society or any person the right to say for an unborn child that this child does not need or have a right to one of its natural parents?  And we are supposed to call this good, right, just, equal, and fair? I’m sorry, but it’s not.

With ‘gay marriage’ we are saying as a society that parents don’t really matter.  We can remove one from a child’s life, and we are supposed to say that the child’s life is as good or better than if it had both of its natural parents.  Nobody has that right.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

When a President Lies

We hear now that the President lied about his views on ‘gay marriage’ during his Presidential campaign.  It was feared that he could not have won if he didn’t.

We found out earlier  after the Affordable Care Act was passed, that he lied about that as well in his efforts to get it passed. In fact, he lied about it over and over again. 

And yet the public and the press seem to take this with yawning indifference, attributing this to politicians being politicians, promising us the moon to win our votes, but nobody really expecting them to deliver on those promises.

Yet just this week Brian Williams, a TV news personality was suspended for six months without pay for lying, I mean misreporting, about a personal event that happened over ten years ago.   I would think we would hold the leader of the free world to a higher standard, or at least the same standard as any other person whose position is based on trust.

I want to know what else he might be lying about.  Might some lies have graver consequences than these already past? 

What if he is lying about his determination that Iran will not get a nuclear weapon?  After all, all nations are equal, right; all nations are exceptional.  Why should only non-Muslim nations have the bomb?  Isn’t it only fair that at least one Muslim nation has it?  Better that all nations be more equal in fact than that some nations have power to bully over others.

What if he is lying about his pledge to degrade and destroy ISIS?   What if his talk is just bluster to appease the angry American masses?  We have had over 2,000 airstrikes against ISIS but less than 10,000 of them have been killed.  These are not numbers that we expect from airstrikes.  News reports say that 20,000 foreign fighters have joined ISIS in recent months.  So after all our bombing ISIS now has more soldiers than before we started bombing them.  

What if all of his speeches are half-truths, exaggerations, misrepresentations, overselling, political hyperbole, things we used to just call lying, just so he can sell us an America which is a shadow of our past; where the new normal is average, where in the past we used to lead the world in everything.   Now we just blend in so as not to look better than anyone else.

We are told that all politicians lie.  Get used to it.  I say, lie to me all you want. But as soon as I find out you are lying to me, I will never trust you again. President Obama has lied to us over and over again.  I can never trust him again.  I would impeach him.  I can’t have a President that I can’t trust.  I wish everybody else would see things the same way.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

short thoughts on various topics

The Herald printed a long rambling letter (January 31) touching on all kinds of things, but things that need to be answered.

Universal health care is a tradeoff between prosperity and security.  We are already so far in debt, this would push us over the cliff.

These are responses to a long rambling letter to the Daily Herald (January 31) that the paper must have liked, because they printed it.  Each thought corresponds to a point made in that letter.  

The Affordable Care Act will add another trillion dollars to our federal debt in a few years.  People aren’t paying enough attention to our debt, but they should.

Before, those with health insurance were paying for the uninsured through higher premiums and medical costs.  Now they are paying for the newly insured by paying toward their insurance premiums. 

More people are in poverty because the government encourages dependence on it and makes it harder for companies to do business.  They also sent millions of good jobs overseas under the name of Fair Trade.

The Bush recession was caused by Democrats who kept pushing banks to give mortgages to people who couldn’t afford them.

The layoffs were caused by government panic, declaring a crisis that made people react the way they do in a crisis. 

The national debt is not on a downward trend.  We would have had to have a budget surplus to do that.  The debt continues to grow with no end in sight.  The downward trend refers to the deficit which is only down because of the massive deficits we ran for Obamas’s first 5 years in office.

Unemployment is down primarily because the government doesn’t count people who have stopped looking for work.  And that number is at an all-time high.

The Democrats took the House and the Senate in 2007.  They deserve more credit for our problems than Bush.  Bush is not the brightest bulb in the room, but Democrats don’t know how to handle money.

The Founders considered being an “armed” nation an advantage over being unarmed.  Guns are a protection against government.  Read history. 

An assault rifle is simply a semi-automatic rifle.  Ask the shop owners from the Los Angeles riots if they really needed one.

There are many examples of self-defense appearing all the time where a semi—automatic weapon was a real help.  You won’t see too many of these on the network news.

Most or all mass gun shooting occur in gun free zones.  The Colorado shooter went to the one theater that was gun free rather than the other five theaters showing the same movie.

Tearing out pages in biology books can only refer to objections against evolution being taught as fact.  Anyone who still believes it is hasn’t been keeping up with the science, only the parts that supported his preferred beliefs.

Religion is a person’s worldview that includes a belief in God.  To exclude God from school or government is practical atheism.  If there is a God, it is utter foolishness to leave Him out of school or government.

The value of religion is not diminished by the fact that there are so many.  I can’t think of anything more important than figuring out which one is right.  If none, I need to know that.  If one is true, you better find out which one it is.  And you don’t think people in school should ask those questions?  When will they ever have the time and the setting for discussing and debating these issues?

Don’t’ give up on religion because you think it’s too hard to figure out.  Anything worthwhile takes effort.  The truth about God may take a lot of effort.  You don’t think that’s important?

more on the question of whether the United States is or was a Christian nation

Those who want to prove that the United States is not and was not intended to be a Christian nation often cite The Treaty of Tripoli.  This was a treaty with the Muslim nations bordering the western Mediterranean Sea in the late 1700s.  Tripoli later declared war on the United States shortly after this treaty was ratified.

The one sentence in this treaty that is offered as proof of this reads: “As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion, . . . it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.”

Muslim nations along the Mediterranean were seizing merchant ships for ransom.  They were particularly focused on the Christian nations as retribution for past grievances going back even hundreds of years.  This had been going on for a while, and at that time our leaders had resigned themselves to simply paying the ransom, hundreds of thousands of dollars.  Under Jefferson’s Presidency, we finally sent our navy there and ended this nonsense.

In making this treaty, our government wanted to assure these countries that we did not and would not in the future use religion as a pretext for hostilities between the countries.  When you consider the parties to this treaty, you can understand better the wording of this treaty. 

The Christian religion or the Bible do not teach or describe a representative government.  The only government in the Bible with instructions as to how it should work was a theocracy, where God directly ruled the nation.  Some instructions were also given for the time when the people would choose to have a king over them.  But there is nothing in the Bible or any Church teaching that showed what a Republic should look like or how it would work, unlike the Muslim nations where the Koran was the guide for their government. 

However, the United States government, while not based on the Christian religion is certainly dependent on it.  How?  A limited government, as the Federalist Papers described and explained our government, requires a citizenry self-motivated for good.  As John Adams put it:  “. . . we have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

When people vote for their leaders, they soon learn that they can vote themselves money and benefits. When given the choice, people often find they would rather have the government take care of them than taking care of themselves.

Political leaders are tempted to use their power for personal gain, especially getting and staying in office by promising and providing goodies for people.

A limited government needs a moral, independent, and caring citizenry. 

A moral people doesn’t need or want an ever expanding government to keep making more rules, regulations, and laws that require more police and courts and prisons to keep everybody in line, safe, and compliant.

An independent people doesn’t need or want government assistance, financial or otherwise, people who believe in hard work and self-reliance.

And a caring people willingly and eagerly seeks to provide for the needs of others, eliminating the need for government programs, and since these are all at the grass roots level, eliminating waste and fraud.  Christians are taught to love their neighbors and not merely to tolerate (put up with, ignore) them.  There used to be hundreds of Christian societies devoted to every kind of social problem in the land, all run without public money.

People who try so hard to defend and promote a secular country want to remove the very things that made our country great in the first place.  The only alternative is a government that keeps taking more and more money from those who have it to support more and more people who have become dependent on it.  And as Margaret Thatcher said: it doesn’t work, because “you always run out of other people’s money.”

Friday, January 30, 2015

Health care, immigration, and the Republicans

The Herald printed a long letter (January 10) on immigration, Obamacare, and Republicans that needs answering.  If it made it into print, someone high up at the Herald must have thought it was worthy.

The reader finds the Affordable Care Act a resounding success, though it had a rough start.  She believes that it proved the insurance companies were unjustified for high insurance costs that they blamed on the insured having to pay for the uninsured.  And now people are able to buy, as in afford, their own health insurance. 

I recently saw figures that said 87% of the people on Obamacare get government subsidies.  That means that other people are paying toward their policies.  So, in the past, insurance premiums were higher than what they could have been if people didn’t have to cover for the costs incurred by the uninsured.  Now instead of people having to pay for other people’s costs for their health care, now everybody has to pay for other people’s insurance premiums.  Is that better?  No.  Actually it is far worse.

In the first case, the costs were paid for.  But our government runs on borrowed money.  It doen’st have all the money that it spends.  So that means to pay for, I mean subsidize, all these insurance premiums, it has to borrow money.  If out interest rates ever go back to normal, as in to rates such as they always have been, we, as in our country, will be paying anywhere between a half to a trillion dollars a  year just in interest payments on what we owe.  This is because our government wants to provide for everybody’s needs and provide security for every problem from the cradle to the grave.

So if people now have medical insurance now that didn’thave it before, it is only because everybody else is paying for it.  The old way was better, because the costs were paid off, but now it’s like a credit card that will never be paid off.

As for immigration, the Senate bill was over 800 pages long.  More and more Republicans are rejecting this massive comprehensive bills, because nobody can read them, they don’t and can’t get debated in full, and there are always things hidden in them that most people won’t like when the bill is passed.  They realized it is more responsible to debate and vote on a few ideas at a time.  But the Democrats in the Senate last term wouldn’t take up any of these bills.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Are we a Christian nation? Does it matter?

A reader ((January 19) says he gets tired of pointing out that the United States is not a Christian nation.  And I think he means as well that the United States never was a Christian nation and that it was never intended to be one.  He didn’t say, however, just what kind of nation we are or were supposed to be.  I think he meant to say secular. 

Nations have a worldview, just like people do, an underlying set of beliefs about life that direct its policies and actions: what is right, what is wrong, what is true, what is false, what is good, what is not, what are the rules, are there any rules?

When our country was founded, all the countries from which our people came were Christian countries with state churches.  All Christian but different denominations.  The Founders wanted religion free from government control, but they did not separate religion from public life. 

To do that would say that religion had nothing to do with reality or truth but was just people’s personal feelings and preferences, like their taste in books or music.

A good place to start with determining the worldview of early America is to look at the schools in our country from before our country’s founding up to modern times.

Education is now a function of the federal government, but that was not the case at the beginning.

The New England Primer was the first textbook printed in the United States (1690) and was for the next hundred years the beginning textbook for everybody and was in widespread use in public and private schools until well into the 20th century.  Forget Dick and Jane.  Children learning to read from this were well beyond that in a very short time.  But they learned their ABCs with such rhymes as:

In Adam’s fall we sinned all
Heaven to find, the Bible mind.
Christ crucified for sinners died.

The McGuffey Readers came in the early 1800s and were the dominant readers used in public and private schools for at least the next century.  Not only did they teach reading at a much higher level from the earliest stages, but the series includes passages like this from the First Reader:
“Who is it that gives us food to eat, and clothes to make us warm?
It is God, my child; He makes the sun to shine and sends the rain upon the earth, that we may have food.”

And, of course, the Bible was taught as a main textbook.  Schools were meant to teach morals as well as facts, and there was no other book for that like the Bible.

For a country to have limited government, such as the Federalist Papers described it, it needs a moral, independent, and caring citizenry. 

Moral in that they don’t require an ever expanding government to keep making more rules, regulations, and laws that require more police and courts and prisons to keep everybody in line, safe, and compliant.

Independent in that they don’t require government assistance, financial or otherwise, people who believe in hard work and self-reliance.

And caring in that the people willingly and eagerly sought to provide for the needs of others, eliminating the need for government programs, and since these are all at the grass roots level, eliminating waste and fraud.  
There used to be hundreds of Christian societies devoted to every kind of social problem in the land, all run without public money.

Christians are taught to love their neighbors and not merely to tolerate (put up with, ignore) them. 

As John Adams said: “[W]e have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

But now our country has officially become secular through fiats from the Supreme Court and the rise of political correctness, multiculturalism, and an immigration policy that currently favors those most unlike the majority of us in culture and religion.  Our schools have been stripped of everything remotely religious, and the newer generations have been taught a version of American history cleansed from anything religious.

With this secularization, our government has expanded, because it has now assumed responsibility for the welfare of all its citizens.  They can no longer take care of themselves or act honestly and humanely with each other.  They now require the government to monitor and control all areas of their lives to ensure the right outcomes. 

For those who can see history from the broader perspective, our county changed radically starting in the 1960s (though earlier signs were present, like the 1930s with the New Deal) with a new view of government that replaced the kind of government you could have with a religious and moral people.  The country is now living on borrowed money. It’s the largest debtor nation in the world.  Our schools are average at best, where they used to be the best in the world.  We lead the world in almost no positive categories where we used to lead the world in everything.  The standard of living has been in decline for decades

There is so much debate about whether our country was or is a Christian nation, but no one seems to be asking whether our country is going forward or backward.  Are we going in the right direction? What is the right direction?  Where will we be in 10, 20 years if we continue on this same path?  I contend that we have lost our way as a nation, and we won’t like a lot of the things that we will meet on our current course.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Response to a newspaper columnist’s statement about Jews and hell

Hi Neil
I hope you are doing well.

I enjoy reading your columns.  You always have something worth reading. 

In your column on the Pope and Hebdo, you made a statement that is not true, though I am sure that statement has been used to make a point, but the point has been muddled.  I apologize that my explanation of all this is a little long, and you probably heard all this before, but your statement surprised me, so something was lost along the way.

No church believes or teaches that all Jews go to hell, or as you put it, “damned . . . for the unforgivable crime of being ourselves.” 

Jesus was Jewish, and so were Peter, Paul, and all the other apostles. 

Christians believe that the religion of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob has been thoroughly revised and updated, such that instead of calling it Judaism 2.0, it was given an entirely new name, Christianity.

The animal and grain sacrifices, practiced from before even the time of Moses and greatly expanded at his time, were replaced by Jesus’ one sacrifice and offering, his death and resurrection, Good Friday and Easter.  That’s why they happened in conjunction with Passover.  He was the new Passover lamb.

Instead of a high priest and other priests, Jesus is the new high priest and all believers become priests themselves.   

Instead of a temple, a place where God was uniquely present and where all these rites were to be performed by the priests, every believer’s body has become a sanctuary where God’s Spirit would reside.

The ethical and dietary laws were simplified and even dropped as legal requirements in many cases, though  the value of many of those laws in offering direction to one’s life even today are still recognized.  E.g. pork is no longer forbidden, but there were reasons why it was prohibited in the first place, and many believe those reasons are still valid today.  A number of sexual practices like incest and bestiality were called abominations, and the Church and most societies today still consider them off limits, though some other practices are being challenged.

Oh, and the user name and password have both been changed to J-E-S-U-S, not case sensitive.  These changes had been talked about for centuries prior to the changeover; and when the time came, many Jews switched over, but many still preferred the analog, beta, black and white, dial up, floppy disk version.   
When the reception became spotty and muffled, they rewrote the instruction manual to lower performance expectations and found meaning in the fact that they were owners of the original product, though it became more like a Victorian mansion that had been gutted and completely redone inside. 

These upgrades are still available today at no cost to anyone who asks for them, but Management will not be responsible for damages for those who don’t make the switch.

The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob promised them that He would make a great nation out of their descendants and give them a land as their inheritance.  But first they had to live for 400 years in Egypt under Egyptian rule.  He then sent Moses to bring them out of Egypt and into this new land.  Before they entered the land, He made a covenant with them.  As part of this covenant, He gave them His laws for this new life that included an elaborate sacrificial system involving priests and animal sacrifices to make atonement for their sins.

He also warned them that if they didn’t keep His covenant, He would scatter them throughout the world.   He also promised them a time when He would bring them back to the land and restore their fortunes.
Twice in their history their nation and temple were destroyed. The first time was in 586 B.C. by the Babylonians.  He warned them this was coming and told them they would be back in the land in a short time.  A small remnant returned under Ezra, a priest, in 536 B.C.

The second time they were destroyed was in 70 A.D. by the Romans.  Survivors were scattered throughout the Roman Empire and again in 136 A.D. 

Their entire Temple system had been destroyed including their priesthood.  This second destruction of the Temple forced the Jewish leaders to rethink their whole religion.  They got together somewhere around 94 A.D. and essentially redefined the Jewish religion without the priesthood and sacrifices.

Since then, many Jewish people have accepted Jesus, and many of them no longer felt it necessary to marry only other Jews.  But there are many Jewish people today who identify themselves as Jewish believers or Messianic Jews.  They celebrate all the Jewish feasts as well as the Christian ones.  They consider themselves fully Jewish and fully Christian.  And Christian Bible is the Jewish Bible with an appendix describing all the updates with a full explanation of why they were necessary and how to implement all the changes.

Wish you well.