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.

If you are new to this site, I would encourage you to browse through the older articles. They deal with a lot of the more basic issues,

For now I want to focus my writing now articles specifically addressed to Christians. So most of my new posts will be on my other website listed below. I will continue to write and post short responses to newspaper columns and letters and even other articles as the inspiration hits me.

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, September 18, 2016

OK, So I’ve Read the Constitution

Maybe you remember the man at the Democratic National Convention who pulled a copy of the Constitution out of his pocket, waved it around, and then addressed Donald Trump, challenging him if he had ever read the Constitution.

Well, I have, and I would like to share with you some of my thoughts about it.

I think the Preamble, or the beginning, of the Constitution is the most important part, because it tells us what kind of government it was that we fought the War of Independence to get, the purpose of this government, or you could say, the goals for this nation that our government is supposed to work toward.

And this is what it says:
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

Looking at it a little more closely, we see first of all that it is the people who establish the government.  The government exists for the people and not the people for the government.  Instead of the government telling us what to do, we tell the government what we want it to do.

The first goal mentioned is to form a more perfect union.  This probably originally applied to the states being united, but still the idea is that the country is to be united.  Everything I see in politics today is division, dividing up the country into all kinds of different people with competing interests and needs, and we have to take from one group to give it to another. 

Whoever says that diversity is our strength should not work in government, because diversity does not unite people.  People unite with people they have things in common with.  Our government is showing no interest in seeing that people have things in common.  They have no common vision of what we should unite around, but they encourage people to be as different as possible.  The people they seek to bring into our country are as different as possible from those who are already here.

Establishing justice would mean that the government seeks to ensure that the people have the freedoms to live out those rights spelled out for us in the Bill of Rights.  And these listed rights were not intended to be all-inclusive, and it was understood that these rights came from God and not from the government.

Our government is now finding limitations to these rights, because a) it no longer trusts the people to live freely, because it has removed the moral framework that provided the personal self-control that is necessary for people to really live free lives, and b) the government has created new rights that directly conflict with the understood rights and moral code that have always existed in our country.  

Insuring domestic tranquility means that the government really wants the people to live in peace and safety.  I see a government that is constantly forcing things on the people and telling them to like it.  Immigration, for example, is one of the most divisive issues in our country today, yet the government insists on forcing things on our people which most people don’t like, if they ever cared to ask.

Defending our country is not just protecting the country from attacks from foreign countries.  The goal of war is to change the government to something else than from what it was.  If this can be done without killing people, so much the better. 

I see people who don’t care about what this country was intended to be.  They want to make us into something different, and they are just as much of an enemy to our country as a hostile foreign power.  No, they are not killing people, but they are taking our country away from us nonetheless.

Promoting the general welfare means that the government should pursue policies that benefit everybody.  That is hardly the case anymore.  The guiding principle today is to take from those who have and give it to those who don’t.  There are more people who don’t have so they become a larger voting block than those who do.  But helping people, or let’s just say giving things to people, at the expense of other people is not promoting the general welfare, but the welfare of the people chosen by the government.  That is unconstitutional.

And, lastly, to secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.  This means that we shouldn’t do things now for the benefit of people if it diminishes the blessings to the people who will come after us.  We are now $20 trillion in debt.  This means that we are doing this for people at the expense of those who will come after us.  This is robbing our children to buy off people today.  This is wrong.  You don’t run a country on borrowed money, especially when there is no intention of paying it back.

So I read the Constitution.  I am wondering now what the point was that this man at the convention was trying to make.  What exactly did Donald Trump not understand? 

affordable housing is subsidized housing.

An organization wants to build some affordable housing in my town.  I am not happy with this.  I wrote a letter to the person who is head of this organization.  I enclose the letter below.  This letter is important, because the issues go beyond one building in one town.

Dear Mr. :

I am a long-time resident of  *****, and I would like to express my firm, deep, and complete opposition to this plan. 

There are basically three problems I have with this project.

1)         I immediately respond negatively when people use euphemisms or politically correct terms to try to hide the reality of an issue.  Affordable housing means subsidized housing, which means that other people are paying for this. 

You accept Section 8 housing vouchers, which means that our government, which has no idea how to manage money, is using other people’s money, including mine, in ways that most people would probably oppose if they knew how they were spending it.  Our country is almost $20 trillion in debt with no intention of cutting back. 

The Chicago Sun-Times ran a series of articles on these housing subsidies, and it revealed that these vouchers can run as high as several thousand dollars a month.  I’m sorry.   I have great sympathy for poor people, but our government has created a lot of these problems and spends our money foolishly trying to make the best of what it screwed up. 

Spending money in this way only masks the deep seated problems and prevents anyone from trying to solve those.  I am taxed-up and don’t want to pay a penny more in taxes, regardless of how worthy the cause appears to be.  As long as our government continues spending money it doesn’t have trying to solve everybody’s problems, it will only keep wanting more of my money.  Enough.

2)         We moved to ***** from Chicago to get away from its congestion and high crime.  Our political and community leaders keep trying to bring Chicago to us.  They think that those who come here will benefit from a new environment, but they forget basic science.  If you mix two compounds or liquids together, both are changed.  If one is more toxic, it becomes less toxic.  If one is more innocuous, it become less so, absorbing the other’s toxins. 

So it works both ways.  Those who move here from, say, crime ridden areas still have contacts and friends who will continue to maintain relationships.  So crime tends to follow.

***** is primarily single family homes.  People invest more in their homes than in rental units, especially when they don’t have to pay full value for them and are living above their means in the first place.  If they can’t afford to pay their rents, how can they afford to keep their places up?

3)         I reject the social engineering ideas that a lot of people are pushing in our society today.  I could talk long and hard about all that is involved here, but basically it involves either government or people who want to in some way bring change to the lives of people who are neither asking or looking for it, and who will contend they would rather not have it in the first place.  And when it happens, many of them simply move somewhere else. 

So a project like this is not simply what is done for certain needy people, but what it does for those who are already here.  Life in ****** is expensive.  We have thought many times about moving because of that, but we have kids who live in the area.  If these people can’t afford their rents, then they sure can’t afford their taxes.  Which other people, like myself, will have to make up.  And what else won’t they be able to afford that other people will end up paying for?  School fees?  Utility bills? 

I am not against compassion and helping people.   But compassion and charity involve people who voluntarily give their rime and resources to someone else.  But government merely takes money from some people and gives it to another, and that is too easily abused and wasted. 

I want to be kind, but I wish your organization would just go away.

Thank you.

What is the left, and what are they trying to do to our country?

[Somebody wrote the following article about the left, and I was asked what I thought about it.  My comments follow the article.  These issues are important for understanding what is going on in our country right now.]

"Republicans think that the battle with the left is over issues like these:
Personal Responsibility
Pork Barrel Spending
War & Peace
Civil Rights
The environment
But these are issues debated WITHIN a constiutional system; this is the game on the surface. The left is playing on a different level. They are not debating policy within the system, they are trying to ALTER the system itself.
The REAL game is a list of issues about the system itself. This second list shows a much deeper level of understanding of the left and it’s tactics; a reality that many on the center right won’t name or acknowledge. The right mocks the left because they can’t call Islamic Terrorism, Islamic Terrorism, and then we turn around and won’t use the correct words to label leftism. 
These issues are not being debated in mainstream media, but they are what leftist activists debate and study among themselves. How many of these terms are elected republicans familiar with? If I asked republican officials to explain these terms, what they mean to the left, how they affect their strategy and tactics, and how they relate to one another, would they know the answers?
Cultural Marxism, Marcuse and the Frankfurt School
Hegemony (patriarchy, white privilege, cisgender)
Critical Theory
Critical Race Theory
Liberation from Oppression
Liberation Theology
Structural Functionalism - systems of oppression
Social Construct
Political Correctness
Social Justice (food, environmental, etc.)
Antonio Gramsci
Social Constructs
Agenda 21/Sustainability
Moral Relativism
Hegel & the Dialectic/dialectic materialism
Scientific Socialism
Long March thru the Institutions
For example, Gay marriage appears to be an issue of civil rights, an end in and of itself. But actually, to the hard left, it's a an issue of Critical Theory and Social Justice. Not an end, but a plan of attack against the foundations of the Republic. Marxist tactics are filled with jargon, front groups, and front issues.
I don't blame Trump for not knowing this. I think dozens of friends of mine on facebook could answer a quiz on the above topics better than EVERY elected republican in congress. But whereas they all cave to it, Trump instinctively fights back. Not intellectually, but on a gut level that he's on the right side."
----Jeffrey Varasano
(from Flavia Eckholm)

I see two dynamics at work here.  I have often thought that, after looking how things have progressed (regressed) over the generations, it looked like there were a group of people who sat in a room and planned out a hundred-year plan to take over Western Civilization.  (Islam did that also by the way, but that is separate from this.).
Through the first half of the twentieth century, there was a strong fear and awareness in our country of communist infiltration into our government.  After Joseph McCarthy,
Joseph Raymond "Joe" McCarthy (November 14, 1908 – May 2, 1957) was an American politician who served as a U.S. Senator from the state of Wisconsin from 1947 until his death in 1957. Beginning in 1950, McCarthy became the most visible public face of a period in which Cold War tensions fueled fears of widespread Communist subversion.[1] He was noted for making claims that there were large numbers of Communists and Soviet spies and sympathizers inside the United States federal government and elsewhere. Ultimately, the controversy he generated led him to be censured by the United States Senate.
The term "McCarthyism", coined in 1950 in reference to McCarthy's practices, was soon applied to similar anti-communist activities. Today, the term is used by critics of McCarthy in reference to what they consider demagogic, reckless, and unsubstantiated accusations, as well as public attacks on the character or patriotism of political opponents.[2]
the whole idea of communist subversion in our country just seemed to disappear.  Even to talk of communist spies and of communist plots to take over were dismissed as crazy conspiracy theories.  Apparently they are not.  Most of these terms are Marxist, but nobody thinks of Marxism anymore as an existential threat to our country.
The other dynamic I don’t know if it is independent of this or a result of this.  The whole drive to get religion, specifically Christianity, out of the public square and establishing the idea that our country was founded to be a secular nation. 
Once secularism is established as the ruling worldview, the need arises to create a new value system, which essentially is made up as we go along.  But the determining values are equality, fairness, diversity, tolerance, multiculturalism, and relativism.  This is directly related to the rejection of Christianity as providing the moral framework for our country. 
I have often wondered how secularism was able to take hold.  The Supreme Court’s decisions played a big part, starting in 1947 when it ruled that government cannot aid or favor any religion.
In terms of strategy, someone has said that he who frames the argument wins the argument.  As soon as gay marriage was framed as one of equal rights, the outcome was assured. 
The left is quick to use such terms as homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic, sexist, racist, discrimination, inequality, nativist, protectionist, and separation of church and state.  All these terms are meant to simply end the discussion.  There is nothing that you can say against any of these.  Once these words are used, it is understood there is nothing more to be said.
This is where Christians and conservatives are failing.  They don’t know how to respond to these either with a quick rejoinder or some response that gets to the heart of the issue and shows the issue in a different light that the public can quickly see as making sense.
Now Marxism is atheistic as well as secularism.  Did one spawn the other, or did they both begin and grow independently?  In the first case, we can read and learn of their overall strategy, but still nobody sees them as the problem. 
The whole idea of secularism is the root issue that Christians need to challenge.  It’s a debate rooted in history, but we then need to show how Christianity was responsible for the rise of Western Civilization and the establishment and flourishing of our country.  Secularism inevitably leads to socialism, maybe communism, but ultimately the demise of a nation.  It bankrupts it financially and morally.  Christians need to insist that the country needs their work and influence to prosper again, and Christians need to challenge the Supreme Court’s rulings and the common (mis)understanding of the separation of church and state.  Without this, there is little we can do to reverse the course of our nation.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Immigration and Product Recalls

Politicians often use such expressions as: That’s not who we are,” or “Americans have always done such and such” to make a case why what they are doing is the right thing to do.

Allow me to do the same.

America is a nation that will recall millions of pounds of ground beef because there is a chance some of it might be infected with e coli bacteria.  

America is a nation that will recall millions of automobiles because the air bags may go off unexpectedly. 

America is a nation that will tell us not to use a certain Samsung cell phone because the battery may catch fire.

Yet at the same time our government will bring millions of Muslims into our country, knowing that no matter how hard they try to prevent it, there will be terror attacks.  And they will tell us to like it and call us bad people if we don’t.  

Forever and ever we will now endure long lines at the airports because they are afraid a Muslim will bring a bomb onto a plane. 

Forever and ever we will not be able to bring water or drinks into a baseball or football game for the same reason.

We spend over $60 billion a year on the Department of Homeland Security, a department that we created specifically to protect us from Muslim terrorism.

The FBI is currently working on over 1,000 open terror investigations, almost all of them involving Muslims.

Yet the government keeps bringing more and more Muslims into our country and accuses us of being very bad people if we object. 

I think our government has an agenda that is not seeking the welfare of the American people.

Please see the Constitution, particularly the beginning where it tells us what kind of government we fought a war so that we could get it.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

The Most Important Issues of the 2016 Presidential Race Part 4

I have identified 5 issues in this 2016 Presidential race that I call the iceberg sinking the ship.  If the ship sinks, nothing else is going to matter. 

The first three issues were issues of policy, and the issues were that of jobs, immigration, and Muslims.  These last two issues are different. 

The fourth issue has to do with whether a non-politician is automatically unqualified to be President, because politics is a field that requires prior political experience, just like a teacher would go to school to learn both how to teach and the material to be taught, and a tradesman would serve an apprenticeship before being fully prepared for work in that trade.

There is a problem with that supposition:

The political system is broken, and professional politicians seem unable to even see the problems, let alone be expected to fix the problems, especially since they are the ones who created the problems.
What are the problems?
1)         It is very common for politicians to amass great wealth while in public office, and this continues often long after they leave office, as long they remain in some way connected to public service or public policy.  This can only be interpreted as politicians are easily corrupted to serving their personal interests over that of the public’s, and the current public political system is conducive to major abuse.
2)         Voting for our representatives seems to be rigged in some way.  Representatives are elected to only two year terms, because this way they are supposed to be held accountable to their constituents.  They could be easily voted out of office.  The fact is that most representatives are able to stay in office until they decide to leave, which can only be interpreted as they are able to game the system, either through the gerrymandering of their districts, legal obstacles they have created to shackle or otherwise hinder potential opponents, the use of public money to buy votes through legislation, or the accumulation of money for campaigning made easier by their political office.
3)         Politicians control the spending of enormous amounts of money, and this has shown to be highly profitable for them.  And it’s all legal.  Their spending is very beneficial to a lot of people, companies, and nations, and somehow these are able to reward them for their help. 
4)         Politicians are unable to curb their spending, such that the federal government and many state and city governments have amassed debt levels that cannot be repaid, but no worry in that they have no intention of getting out of debt. 

Much of this debt is fueled by pension systems that are incredibly generous and should have been seen as unsustainable as soon as they were passed.  Another huge portion of this debt is caused by the government assuming responsibility for people’s welfare.  This discourages or disincentivizes  personal initiative and responsibility, thus pushing for more government spending.
5)         Politicians use their law-making power to benefit themselves over the public interest.  This can be done in several ways. 

Politicians use public money to buy votes by providing benefits to people, like subsidizing their medical insurance.  The government can’t pay all of its own bills as it is, but we’ll just borrow or print money to pay for people’s health insurance.  The politician who votes to end this program will face the wrath of however many millions the government has been able to give this program to.

Another way politicians use their law-making power for their own benefit is by writing legislation that is as long as possible.  The goal here is to see that as few people as possible read the bill, to make it too long to discuss let alone debate the provisions of the bill, and to ensure that nobody knows everything that is in the bill.  Politicians are then able to add all kinds of things to the bill that ultimately comes back to benefit them.

The bill will contain a lot of things that would never pass on their own, but since they have been added to an important bill that ‘has’ to pass, it gets passed and becomes law.  The public doesn’t benefit, but the politician does, either directly or indirectly.
6)         Politicians have shown their inability to run the country by pushing it to the brink of bankruptcy, causing millions of people to depend on the government for their food and housing, taking the best schools in the world and making them mediocre, flooding the country with immigrants many of whom we are providing for at public expense when we already have the highest number of people out of the workforce in 40 years and we are borrowing money to do this.

By what measure can we say that politicians have done a good job?  Or to put it another way, divide our nation’s history into two periods, say, pre-1965 and post-1965.  I am hard pressed to think of any ways that our government has improved our lives since then.  Yes, there has been a massive increase in public programs and public spending, but what has been made better? 

We have more welfare, but fewer good jobs.  More integration and affirmative action, but still the same poverty.   
7)         But lastly and most importantly, politicians see all this as normal, as the way of doing business.  My response to this is: Are they nuts?  The difference between a bank robber and a politician is that a politician doesn’t have to wear a mask. 

I can imagine someone like Donald Trump getting a thousand-page bill spending half a trillion dollars and laughing his head off and giving it back to them with the remark, “You’re kidding, right?”  

Congressional bills should be short enough for everyone to read them and debate them.  If you can’t read a bill and don’t debate the bill, you certainly shouldn’t be voting on it. 

Bills should deal with as few issues as possible so that you are not voting for things you don’t want to get the things you do.  They call this compromising, but ultimately it means that you have two bills that can’t pass on their own merits, so they combine them into one, and they both pass.  We can do without that kind of compromises.

There are those who contend that Donald Trump is eminently unqualified for the office of President, because he has not held any public office.  I see this as a rare advantage, particularly if you see the matters I mentioned as problems, and you want somebody with half a chance of fixing them. 

We don’t need any more of the same old thing. 

It’s not experience that is the important thing in running for political office, but your vision for the country, your vision for how the country is supposed to run, work, and thrive. 

There is a fifth issue in this Presidential race that is of paramount importance: the Supreme Court. 

The next President could actually nominate quite a few Supreme Court justices. 

There are two very different political philosophies in our country today, particularly as it relates to our Constitution.  One tries to understand what the Founders of our nation were intending by what they wrote, and the other tries to see how what is written there can be construed to justify modern politically correct ideas.  They still want to use the words of the Constitution, but they don’t see anything particularly valuable about how our country did things in the past or what the Constitution originally intended or referred to in its various parts.  They believe they can improve on what was there.  The first philosophy believes that we regress as a nation as we move away from the Founders’ principles of government. 
Supreme Court justices sit for life.  The laws, the executive orders, and a lot of stupid things that Presidents do can be undone by a later President.  The Supreme Court cannot.  Immigration we have already mentioned in a previous article is something else that cannot be undone.

The next President can shape the Supreme Court for generations to come.  And the Supreme Court can shape our country for generations to come.  Doesn’t matter what the people want or what their representatives vote for.  The Supreme Court, even one person on the court, can change everything to a far different direction than the country had been heading in.  One case, nine judges, one swing vote, and hundreds of years of precedent and tradition can be overruled.

We have two major party candidates running for President right now.  Barring any rare, strange events, one of them will be the next President.  It does no good to say that you don’t like either one.  On this one issue alone, one should be able to make a clear choice for President. 

There are dozens of important issues facing our nation.  It is hard to find even one candidate who anyone can agree with on everything. 
I have identified 5 issues that I believe are easily the most important in this election.  In each case, only one candidate even closely fulfills what is needed to address these issues, and on all five, it is the same person.  Is he a perfect candidate?  Hardly.  Is he the right candidate?  In this election, there is no question.  Is not voting an acceptable option?  No, because your inaction will not stop events from happening, your inaction may cause others to do nothing as well, and your actions could prompt others to action. 

Learn about the issues, talk about the issues, and then do one of the most important things you can do about the issues.  Vote.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

What Religious Freedom Really Means in America

Did you know that when our Founders were writing our Constitution, they debated whether they should add a list of rights to it? 

They were afraid that if they listed these rights, the government might think that these were the only rights that the people were entitled to.  They also thought that the government might think that government was the one who gave them these rights.  And some thought also that there’s no point in saying that we have a right to something if there is nothing in the Constitution that gives the government the power to restrict that right.  

They used the example of freedom of the press.  They asked why they should have to say that the press is free if there is nothing in the Constitution that gives the government any right to restrict that freedom.   By saying that the press has a right to be free might suggest to some that the government has power to restrict the press in some way if they wanted to.

Eventually they decided to list some of these rights, and so the first ten amendments to our Constitution are called the Bill of Rights. 

Among the first rights to be named is that “Congress shall make no law . . . prohibiting the free exercise [of religion].”  The statement is absolute, no law shall be made, and the exercise of religion shall be free.  And since this is part of the First Amendment, it is as if to say that this right is at the foundation of who we are as a people.

But this statement, this right, only makes sense under certain conditions.  For our country to recognize the importance of free exercise of religion among the first rights listed in guiding our country says a lot about our country that needs to be heard and discussed today.  

I submit that this one statement in the First Amendment defines our nation in at least three ways.

Some people today will want you to think that what the Founders of our nation intended is not important today.  They will say that our Founders could not foresee the many ways that our nation would change over the years, and therefore we have to change our understanding of the Constitution and our country to adapt to new circumstances.

On the contrary, to change the intended or original nature of our country to conform to modern thinking is, frankly, a form of treason.  When nations fight wars, the primary goal is not to kill people.  They only kill people in order to achieve that goal.  The goal is essentially to change the government of the nation they are fighting against. 

One side wins, the other side loses, and the winner imposes its will on the loser.  Maybe it takes control of some land or absorbs that nation into itself.  If it can be done peacefully, all the better.  We may talk about things like conquest or retaliation with regard to war, but what it boils down to is changing the government of another nation, whether changing its leaders or changing its policies,

When people in our own country try to change our government, our country, from what it was intended to be to something else, then they are doing the same thing as if another country had attacked us and imposed its will on ours.  It isn’t any less insidious or treacherous if it is done slowly over generations than if it is done quickly through a coup or a war. 

So what our Founders intended for our country is essential in deciding everything we do as a country.  Politicians and courts and Presidents can act as if what the Founders intended for our country isn’t important, and there is nobody to compel them to try to keep or restore our country to its original settings, but people need to learn what our country is supposed to be like and keep talking about it and keep judging the things that are happening in our country as to whether they are right or wrong based on that information.

So what exactly does the right to free exercise of religion mean for our country?
1)         It means that religion, as understood by the Founders, was consonant with the highest values of our country.  Countries have values just like people do.  If our country was founded to be a secular country, as we are constantly being told, then there would be a value system higher than that of religion or religious values, and free exercise of religion could not be promised.

But free exercise of religion is a right, so government has no authority to restrict it.  So the Founders assumed a religious nature for our nation.  John Adams famously said that “our Constitution is made for a religious and moral people.  It is wholly unsuited for any other.”

We are being told today that religious people must restrict their rights or conform their actions to public demands because it is necessary for the rights of other people.  Our Founders saw no conflicts between religion and other people’s rights. 

Notice that the rights affirmed in the Bill of Rights are all things that people are free to do without the intrusion of government or things that the government cannot do to its people.  There is nothing that compels anybody to do anything for or to somebody else.  Now we are told that people have rights to things that require other people to do things for them, whether by their actions or by the government taking their money and using it to give things to people that they now have a right to have.

The very idea of a secular nation is shown to be wrong by the mere fact that these rights were considered to be given to us by God.  Atheists and secularists don’t like anything about religion and God influencing public policies, but the whole idea of human rights as found in the Constitution is based on God and a particular understanding of that God. 

So, yes, it was religion that influenced the very idea of a free nation, our nation.  This fact alone should prove that the idea of the separation of church and state is wrong as it is currently understood.  The Founders’ views of God showed them that independence was the right course of action.

2)         The right to free exercise of religion means that the Founders had a particular religion in mind.  The Founders weren’t philosophers who hypothesized: what about this religion, or that religion?  They knew that there were all kinds of religions in the world and that they have competing ideas of truth. 

Religions all have very different practices on what is normal or moral behavior.  In India, they used to burn alive the widows of their newly deceased husbands in one huge bonfire.  It was the English who governed the country and who reintroduced Christianity back into India who were responsible for ending that practice.

Religion isn’t just about doctrines, what you believe about a God who is out there somewhere.  Religion is a whole encompassing worldview that defines your views of truth and falsehood, right and wrong, good and evil, good and bad, worthy and unworthy. 

Laws are based on these kinds of values.  You can’t promise on the one hand that religious exercise is free, and then, based on an entirely secular worldview of moral relativism and cultural equivalency, make laws that limit what religious people can do. 

That may sound like religious people are given a blank check to do all manner of things in the name of their religion.  But the moral code of Christians was well known, to the Founders and to the public.  

The moral code for our country was basically summarized by the Ten Commandments, which we used to display in our schools, court houses, and in the public squares, plus the general command to love your neighbor.  Our nation felt quite safe allowing and even promoting this free exercise of religion.

Our First Congress had Bibles printed to be used in all the public schools.  I am reading now the basic reading books used in our public schools during the 1800s.  They are very explicitly Christian in their content.  Much of it could be used just the way they are in Sunday School, the teaching arm of the Christian Church. 

Christian morality gave us love thy neighbor, compassion, helping people in need, mercy, kindness, forgiveness, giving, self-sacrifice, honesty, integrity, hard work, responsibility, respect, courage, self-control, discipline, humility, trust, honesty, loyalty, faithfulness, patience, promoting marriage, saving yourself for marriage, having children only in a marriage, and working through hard marriages rather than breaking up a family.

I’m not saying that these virtues are not found anywhere else, but Christianity was the value system which embraced all of these virtues, and they were equally embraced by our country.   No, not everybody lived by these virtues, but these were all considered to be virtues and the right way to live. 

So when the Founders said that the free exercise of religion is a fundamental human right, they had Christianity in mind. 

But if free exercise of religion is a fundamental human right, then it must apply to all religions and not just to Christianity.

So this leads to the third meaning of religious freedom in our country.

3)         The right to free exercise of religion in our country would also mean that our Founders were not expecting or planning to create a diverse nation where everybody under the sun would or could come here and “do their own thing.”  There are religions that have practiced human sacrifice, the burning alive of widows, honor killings, and female genital mutilation.  So, no, I do not believe that they were dreaming of an America where everybody could come here and freely practice their religion from back home.  They were thinking of those people who already constituted this new nation.

A few years after the Constitution was ratified, the United States went to war with four Muslim nations on the northern coast of Africa.  They were hijacking our ships and taking our sailors captive.  Our leaders couldn’t understand why they were doing this, so in talks with them, the Muslim leaders showed them from the Koran that it was their duty as Muslims to wage war against the infidels.  That’s what Muslims do.

So while our leaders believed that freedom of religious exercise is a human right, I don’t believe for a minute that they expected, wanted, or would have allowed massive migration of Muslims into our country, knowing that there would inevitably be a clash of cultures at some point. 

If you read the early writings, you know that there were some Muslims in our country.  But you also know that our Founders fully expected that differing ideas would be fully debated, and the truth would win out.  They did not understand religions as personal preferences like one’s taste in music or food.  Religion was about truth.

Christian exercise was not muted so as not to offend those of other religions.  The country took a stand as a Christian nation as evidenced by the use of the Bible in its public schools.

As for the idea of diversity and the mass migration of differing cultures into our country, if you read the Preamble to the Constitution, you will see that our government was founded to form a more perfect Union
[how can diversity create union?],
establish Justice,
which would mean the securing of our rights, like having free exercise of religion,
insure domestic Tranquility
[how can you have tranquility when everyone disagrees on what is right and wrong, good and bad],
provide for the common defense,
which would mean keeping our government and our country from changing into something they were not intended to be,
promote the general Welfare,
which means to promote what is best for the citizens of our country before that of the rest of the world,
and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity,
which means to see that we don’t ruin the future for our children because of something that we want to do today. 

We shouldn't do things that endanger our nation’s future, like accumulating massive debt that can’t be paid down or bringing in masses of people whose values are very different from our own.  Immigration is forever.  Hundreds become thousands become millions. 

Government exists for the happiness and security of its own people.  Happiness is their word.  In modern political speech, you could use a slogan like America First.

Conservative Christians and lawmakers keep trying to pass laws to protect religious freedom.  I believe that is a mistake.  By trying to pass these laws, they are saying that the First Amendment didn’t really address these issues, and we are trying to get something that wasn’t a part of the original plan. 

On the contrary, they need to reassert all that the First Amendment promises, that the First Amendment is enough to guarantee them these right.  They should be challenging the assumption that our Founders intended our nation to be a secular nation and that religion, specifically Christianity, has no place in our public policy. 

It is often noted that John Adams and our Congress stated once that our country was not founded on the Christian religion.  But this statement was made in 1797 in dialogue with the Muslim pirates before we went to war with them.  We had been paying them tribute, buying them off, to keep them from attacking our ships.  

When you see the context of their statement, you understand better the point of the statement.  They were trying to avoid giving them any further reason for hostile action. 

Muslim countries are run by the Koran.  That is their highest law and forms their legal system.  Christianity does not form our legal system or spell out the form of our government.  So what they said was factually true, but perhaps a little incomplete. 

Christianity is not related to our government like the Koran is related to the government in Muslim countries.  But Christianity did form the basis of our moral values as evidenced by the Declaration of Independence and the high place the Bible had in our public schools.

Christians are concerned today over the increasing government restrictions on religious freedom.  They would do better if they focused on what kind of nation we were founded to be. 

Even if we were founded as a Christian nation, should or can we still insist on that since we have become a very diverse nation since then? 

The choice is either being a Christian nation or a secular nation.  If we choose to be a secular nation, then we are no longer the nation that was started in 1776.  We should change our name so as to not confuse the two nations with each other. 

We will become increasingly diverse with very little to bind us together.  We can expect to have continual strife as major cultures, value systems, and truth systems clash, with nobody willing to compromise.  Frankly, that is a dim prospect for the future of our nation. 

As a secular nation, we have no choice but to bring in as many different cultures and religions as possible.  Diversity is our strength, so we are told.  But expect then to have a society continually at war with itself, with every group fighting for its own truth, validation, and piece of a shrinking pie.

Apart from a major religious revival, as in Christian revival, it is getting harder and harder for many to make the case for returning to our Christian roots, because there are so many people here now who have brought their other worldviews, i.e. religions, here.  Since 1965, our leaders have focused on diversity in our immigration policies, so any kind of national consensus keeps getting harder to attain.

But Christianity lost its foothold in America, not because it proved unworthy or because Christians became indifferent to their religion, but because the court called supreme ruled its exclusion from public life, and lawsuits, court rulings, and a few generations of children growing up under the new rules made it seem passé or at least marginalized in modern America. 

The Christian Church needs a religious revival in America, and it often tells us that our hope is not found in politics.  But if we don’t challenge the assumptions about our nation’s history and founding, that revival will do very little to change our country, because our schools, our government, and our courts will still be doing things based on secularism, because they believe that is how our country is supposed to be.  And they will still be restricting the way that the Church can interact with society and what the Church can say publicly.

The Church needs to challenge the thinking that it is forbidden for it to talk politically and to be involved politically.  Our country is a representative country, and Christians must insist on being represented as well.  It’s not humility to let the heathen, the atheists, and the secularists run the country, the schools, the media, and then mourn that our country is going to hell.  The Church needs to challenge the idea that schools and public life must be devoid of anything having to do with God. 

All those lawsuits about crosses in public places and Christian organizations in public schools need to be challenged and thrown out.  Christians need to become more vocal.  This is their country too, and the country that their children will grow up in.  This is the country that used to be the leader of the free world, a light to the nations, an example of what freedom and religious freedom can do for a nation.

There may well have to be acts of civil disobedience where people defy a government edict, law, or regulation, and the Church needs to be ready to stand with these people when this happens and force the government to back down.

Jesus said that if someone strikes you on the cheek, you should turn the other one to him.  If someone strikes me on the cheek, I will try to do that.  But if someone starts striking my wife or my kids, I will try to stop them.  And that it takes force, I will use it. 

If Christians think it virtuous to let the heathen, the secularists, and the atheists take over their country, that’s one thing.  But for the sake of your children and grandchildren, you need to fight to get back the country that our forefathers left to us, what some famous people from our past called “the last best hope of earth.”

Saturday, July 23, 2016

White People and Racism

I keep seeing short videos that are supposed to tell the whole story and convince people either to change their minds or to embrace the ‘truth’ about something. 

Note:  This is a short response originally on Facebook in response to a video of a professor labeling all white people in America as being racist, having been taught that particularly through their education.

I keep seeing short videos that are supposed to tell the whole story and convince people either to change their minds or to embrace the ‘truth’ about something. 

No, white people didn’t start a religion, because religion is not just something that a person makes up.  A religion claims to be a revelation from God about the truth about life.  I shouldn’t expect too many of those to even exist in the first place. 

This person completely misunderstands so many things about real life.  Just to name a few.

Most people throughout history have always preferred to ‘live with their own kind.’  If you want to label that racism, go ahead, but to condemn people for that is plain stupid.

But more specifically, in the United States, something else is happening.  For most of our history, our immigration policies have favored immigrants from the same countries from which previous immigrants have come here, i.e. Europeans.  They wanted to maintain the present demographics.  But also the people came from the same cultures and would assimilate better.

Since 1965, our immigration policies have favored everybody but Europeans.  But because they didn’t share the same cultural values, they began voting for and electing people with very different views of what America is all about.  So we went from being the richest nation in the world to maybe the poorest, if you judge it by its debt.  People who don’t understand our culture will vote for anything that promises free something.   Those who have lived here a long time have seen our country go from leading the world in just about everything to being just average or poor.  And, frankly, immigration policy has been a major though not the only factor involved.

This woman wasn’t paying attention in school.  The question is: what is Western Civilization, and is it good, and did it help bring the world out of illiteracy, backwardness, poverty, violence, and ignorance.  Science, technology, education, medicine, literature, morals a middle class, and wealth essentially came from Western Civilization.  Where other nations have these things, they basically got it from the West.  And they basically got it from Christianity.  There are books and books written on this, and this is too big to try to prove in a FB post.

And guess what?  Western Civilization started in Europe and the United States, which happened to be white.  Does that prove superiority?  Not at all.  But it does explain why Westerners (white people) resist the mass migration of non-white people to their countries, when the cultures are so different, and our countries no longer teach Western Civilization and assimilation.  That means our whole culture has to change and in ways that we generally don’t see as progress but rather regression.