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.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

How ‘the Separation of Church and State’ will destroy the United States and Western Civilization

We are constantly being told that the United States was built on the idea of secularism, that is, that religion is something that can and should exist entirely separate from government and public life, that religion is something private and personal, like your taste in music and your taste in clothes.

The obvious problem with this thinking is that it has only been the last generation or so that this principle has been identified and applied to our public life.  It was only in 1947, 170 years after our nation’s founding, that we were told by the court called supreme that government cannot aid religion or have anything to do with religion.  Since that time that court has expanded on that ruling to apply it to such things as the use of the Bible in public schools, public prayer, Ten Commandment displays, and any other mention of God in public and by government and its representatives, like public schools.

Some public mentions of God have remained, for now, like having ‘In God We Trust’ on our money, ‘under God’ in our Pledge of Allegiance, and retaining Christmas as a national holiday.  That only remains for later versions of that court and further challenges before those disappear as well.

So exactly how will this secularism destroy our country and Western Civilization?

We first need to ask what a religion really is.  We are told that it is our beliefs about God and our duties to Him.  True, but that is only part of it.  A religion is a worldview.  It encompasses all of life and answers life’s biggest questions, like what is the meaning of life, what are the rules, are there any rules, what is right and what is wrong.

Secularism is also a worldview, and it also has answers for life’s biggest questions.  Where Christianity teaches that we are accountable to God, secularism teaches that man is the highest being.  There are no rules but what we decide for ourselves or as a society.  Some recent examples of how this can go are Germany, Russia, and China, where millions of people were killed in the attempt to create a perfect society.

Christianity taught us to love our neighbors.  Now we are taught to tolerate them.  The first requires an active caring for them, helping them in need.  The second simply means to ignore them. 
Christianity taught us to set aside a day of rest to honor God and to, well, rest.  Now society is all 24/7, and people don’t have time or opportunity to think and reflect to maintain balance and perspective.  This makes a people less aware of the bigger picture and more easily swayed and manipulated by media and government. 

Christianity taught us not to steal or to covet.  This was the basis for the idea of property rights.  Now we feel that the government has the right to appropriate as much of that as it wants and give it to whoever it deems worthy.  Nobody has the right to own any more than anyone else.

Speaking of the poor, Christianity taught us to care for the poor.  And in the past, millions of Christians volunteered and generously gave their time and money to help people in need.  Now the government has assumed most of the responsibility for this, but at a much higher cost.  And instead of voluntary contributions, they take and borrow whatever they want to give to those most likely to vote for them to keep the benefits coming.

Christianity taught us that God is our security.  Absent God in public life and government, government now feels responsible to be our benefactor and security.  We have traded our prosperity for our security.  Where the American Dream was that our children would have better lives than we and that there is no limit to one’s success, now government takes whatever money it can from those who have it to give it to those who have less.  Better that nobody be rich than anybody be poor. 

 Christianity taught us not to go into debt.  Now everything is run with borrowed money, including our government.  Borrowed money always costs more than it would have otherwise, and we keep devaluing our money to hide the true cost of this debt.  Except that only increases borrowing.  And the whole thing is due to collapse.

Our entire value system can now be described in four words: tolerance, equality, fairness, and diversity.  Our only responsibility as a people is tolerance.  The rest is the responsibility of the government. 

We already mentioned tolerance, which breaks down or eliminates the bonds that hold us together as a society.  We no longer have any responsibility to our neighbors.

Equality means that we discourage high achievers.  It is just as important to deter those with the most potential as it is to help those with the least.  Better to have everybody at the same level of achievement than to have some more successful than others.  We also need to lower our standards to ensure that more people meet them.

Fairness applies equality to society, working to eliminate anything in society that might seem to favor one group or individual over another.  If, for example, an industry, field, town, occupation, school is perceived as having too many white males, too many whites, or too many males, it is concluded that discrimination has to be in play, so the government has to work to remedy this.  If the remedy requires lowering standards, reverse discrimination, or government subsidies to make it happen, the government does what it has to do.

Diversity means that we encourage differences between people so that there remains very little to unite us.  People generally make friends with people with whom they share common interests.  Now we want to have the widest range of differences everywhere we can so that we no longer have a united society, but only small clusters of different groups with nothing in common with the others but their dependency on government   It is a plus if all of your neighbors don’t speak your language.  You might actually talk to them and develop attachments.

If our new enlightened society does not first collapse from spending itself broke, it will collapse as people who do not share our values, old or new, migrate here and try to create here the society they left, and we feel powerless to stop them, because we feel we don’t have the right to or a better alternative.  We then become a different nation very unlike the one we grew up in and the kind of nation our founders fled from to start this one.

Many people are promoting the idea of a secular nation mainly because of their dislike of the religion that was prominent in our country for so long, Christianity.  Often these same people have a disregard for all religions, mainly because they reject the concept of a Higher Power to which they are subject. 

The irony here is that they have merely substituted one religion for another, one that at least purports to have revelation from God as to how life is supposed to work for another religion run entirely by human beings who are still figuring out all the new rules that apply in a secular state. 

Nations have always had their gods.  People in secular nations have the same need for a higher power to protect, guide, and care for them.  Government now assumes these roles.  Those who seek to remove religion from society have only changed religions but now with human beings like themselves playing the role of the all-wise, all-knowing lawgiver and judge.

You would think that a religion in existence for thousands of years would have all the kinks worked out by now, but now we have ventured on a new path, making new rules with no hindsight to give us a clue if we are on the right or even a viable path. 

As a society, we no longer know what made Western Civilization and the United States what they are.  So when changes occur, we have no way to judge whether they are improvements or not.   So we are in a mad rush to change our country according to the latest cultural trends, like walking in the woods without a compass.  We are lost, but we are enjoying the scenery.

If our economy doesn’t collapse first from the unsustainable debt we have incurred trying to meet every need and protect against every misfortune, we will find ourselves living in a country very unlike what it was like or what it was intended to be like.  The tragedy is that most of us won’t even know that, because we have accepted a much lower and different vision of how things should be. 

We won’t hear on the evening news: “In national and international news, Western Civilization collapsed today.  Tomorrow officially the entire world will be third world countries.”

The United States will still exist in name, but it will be one where if our Founders were alive today, they would either look for another country to flee to or there would be another revolution.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Ending the gun violence in Chicago - a response to an editorial

I agree with the Sun-Times and the people of Chicago that this senseless gun violence must stop.  But I think we are missing something so obvious that it borders on the comical that we aren’t talking about it.  But we need to talk about it before we will ever achieve a lasting solution.

We are blaming illegal guns and the lack of background checks for all these shootings, but we are not saying anything about why this is basically a problem only in the black community.  The only time we talk about or are allowed to talk about blacks as a group is when we deplore how badly they are treated by white people or by the police. 

But the violence we are so concerned about here is not white on black shootings or even black on white shootings.  It’s not even police on black or black on police shootings.  It’s black on black shootings. 

And again, something so obvious here, we are careful not to blame them for this.  It’s the fault of those evil people who sell them illegal guns or the fault of the system for not doing thorough background checks or for allowing people with mental problems to legally own guns.

You want an answer.  I will give it to you, but you won’t like it.  The problem is the lack of families where the father and the mother live together and raise their children together in a loving environment.  Children need role models.  We all recognize this when we talk about mentoring programs for disadvantaged youth, but we don’t talk about why they are disadvantaged in the first place.  Their mentors should be their parents, their fathers and their mothers. 

We don’t want to use the word ‘should’ anymore, because we are afraid of hurting people’s feelings. But fathers and mothers should be married to each other and raise their children together, and the violence will cease.

If you want the government to do something for blacks, get them to bring the jobs back to our country.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Chicago Public Schools teacher layoffs

We have just been told that the Chicago Public Schools may have to lay off up to 5,000 teachers if they don’t get a lot of money soon from the state.

Something just didn’t sound right with this, so I tried to get some numbers from the internet.

It seems there are about 41,000 CPS employees and about 396,000 students or roughly 1 employee for every ten students. 

The average class size for CPS is around 25 students, so that means there are about 15,000 teachers altogether.  And 26,000 non-teachers. 

And they want to tell us that the first people to go are teachers?

This reminds me of the times our state leaders said they needed higher taxes, otherwise they would have to cut education funding or help for the disabled.  They just couldn’t’ think of anything else that could be cut.

CPS should fire everybody but the teachers and the janitors.  They would make their budget and probably get better results in the classroom.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

European migrant crisis

It has been said as good political advice to never let a crisis go to waste.  Forward thinking politicians can create crises by postponing actions, commonly called kicking the can down the road. 

When the crisis emerges full-blown, we are told we must take immediate and drastic measures to deal with it or the problem will swallow us up whole, like the trillion dollar bailout of 2008.  (Just spend it.  Doesn’t matter how.) 

The immigration problem in our country, including the current migrant crisis in Europe, is the latest example. 

We have always been a nation of immigrants, but for most of our history, we knew who was coming into our country.  They met face to face with immigration authorities, and we had the right to refuse entry for any of a number of reasons, including disease, illiteracy, morals, lack of work skills, or criminal activity.  Now we are being asked to deal with millions of immigrants as a whole, where we have no idea who we would be granting legal status to.

In Europe, close to a million migrants, some from almost 3,000 miles away, by air, have suddenly appeared seeking to enter.  Nobody is asking how they got there or why.  How many countries did they have to go through to get there?  Did they just walk through them all?  How did they survive?  Why didn’t they just stay in any of these other countries, most of which are already Muslim countries?

I have read that ISIS is making a lot of money transporting refugees.  Do you think maybe that some radicals might see this as a unique and favorable opportunity to get into Europe to carry out their acts of terror?  Isn’t this what ISIS has already said it wants to do?  Now we are being asked to just take in hundreds of thousands of people where we have no idea who they are.

Of course, many or most of them are just ordinary people just trying to survive.  And just how many terrorists does it take to blow up buildings and randomly kill people?  And, of course, there are millions more waiting in their home countries to see how this all works out before they make the same trip. 

Most of these European countries are already in deep debt and don’t have enough jobs for their own people.  They want more younger people to pay toward their aging population, since they are not having enough children anymore.  But since they are not just taking in young educated workers, they will incur huge societal costs to support, care for, and educate them, which they can ill afford.

On a side note, when there are crazies trying to take over a country or otherwise causing millions of its people to flee the country, the countries that can expect to clean up the mess by absorbing all these refuges have a right to intervene in that country militarily to stop the crazies and keep all of these people in their own homes.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Obama's speech on immigrants - a response

The United States went from being a British colony in the 1700s to the richest and most powerful nation in the world in about a hundred years.  It reached its peak in success as a nation probably in the early 1960s.  We had by far the best schools in the world, one of if not the lowest crime rates, highest standard of living, greatest wealth.

Now we are one of the poorest nations.  Don’t be fooled by all the material stuff you see.  The nation is bankrupt and only goes on as it has because the dollar is the world reserve currency, which could change shortly.  We owe trillions of dollars to China, Japan, Russia, Brazil.  If and when they want to collect, we could be selling them our national parks.  They already own many of our companies.

What happened?  A lot of things.  We used to be a Christian nation that taught the importance of hard work, self-reliance, and loving your neighbor.  That was officially rejected by the Supreme Court, and the government now became the supreme benefactor, provider, and protector of the American people.

Christianity was replaced by political correctness and socialism, though that had to be introduced gradually so the people wouldn’t react too strongly against it.  They had to gradually accept being dependent on the government for their security.
The country started to be flooded with immigrants, starting in 1965, from all over the world, where before that we limited immigration to basically the countries that were present so far in the history of our country, countries that shared our basic Western (Christian) values.

We now have more first generation immigrants in our country, both in actual numbers and per cent of our population, than at any time in our history.  The schools are below average in the world, crime and violence are rampant, and the country is broke.

We sent millions of jobs overseas and can’t even provide jobs for the people who are here, yet alone millions more mostly unskilled, uneducated people from around the word.      

Nobody even knows anymore what built our country.  Why did the United States achieve the success and wealth it had?  Everybody wants to come here, but without knowing and keeping the things that made us great, we have become a shadow of what we were and are falling rapidly in decline.  The whole house of cards could collapse as early as this year when it is believed the dollar will no longer be the world’s reserve currency.             

They try to tell you that all it takes for a country to become rich and great is for it to be a democracy, and everybody can come here and all will be wonderful.  Without a Christian foundation, governments take on the role of God becoming protector, provider, and benefactor.  The country then heads straight to poverty as the people become dependent on it, and the government takes more power to itself to control the behavior of its people. 

Obama’s speech is true up to a point, not telling the whole story.  But countries need to know who is coming in, who is here.  The country, any country, has always had the right of refusal.  We used to turn back anyone coming into our country who was sick, couldn’t read, had no skills, or was likely to become dependent on the government. 

We didn’t even have welfare in the old days when immigration was so strong.  People could come over here with $5 in their pocket and become rich.  Now they come over poor, they get on government assistance, and then they don’t want to work too hard otherwise they will lose it. 

I could go on but I’ll stop.                                          

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Three Things We Need to Learn from Donald Trump - Now

Whether you like Donald Trump or not, he has certainly sparked a lot of conversation, much of which has long been needed.  But there are three conversations that we are not having that we need to have and very soon, because nobody is stepping back and looking at the bigger picture.

1)         Donald Trump is getting a lot of attention, because he is holding a commanding lead in the polls for the Republican nomination for President.  Except for one thing.  If he is getting 20 % of the votes, that could mean that 80 % of the voters don’t want him at all.  But nobody is asking.

I think most Republican voters like a number of candidates, but they are only asked to pick one.  That spreads the vote out to paper thin.  Somebody needs to ask them which candidates they like.  I like about 8 of them. 

You want the candidate with the broadest support, and nobody is trying to find out who that is.  We might find then that Donald Trump has 20% of the Republican voters, and Ben Carson could have 90% of Republican voters supporting him.  But if we don’t start asking the right questions, a lot of the Republican candidates will drop out for lack of money, but not because they couldn’t have been the best candidate.

2)         Donald Trump has been threatening to run as an independent if he doesn’t win the Republican nomination.  I understand this is meant to be leverage, to keep the Republican leadership from not being fair to him.  Of course, everyone knows that if he were to run as an independent, this would essentially give the Presidential election to the other party. 

And that’s precisely the problem.  In most of the elections that take place in our country today, if there are more than two people running, someone can win the election with far less than a majority of the votes.  That is absurd and just plain wrong. 

The good thing is that Donald Trump’s threat could be the impetus for politicians to finally correct this.  The Republicans know they will probably lose the election if Trump were to run as an independent, but if they could get the states to have runoffs, that could change everything.  More and more elections now are having for various positions, but none for the Presidential election.  Not only does this mean that we are getting more choices for the various positions, but people are voting their consciences as well. 

In elections with third party candidates, many people will not vote for that candidate, because they know they are usually giving the election to the person furthest from their own views.  But with a runoff, people will vote for the person they want the most, and even if that person loses, their vote is not wasted, because they can then vote for that person they would have voted for before.

3)         Donald Trump is a very blunt outspoken person.  Certainly this is his personality, and he would be this way under any circumstance.  But there is something else at play here.  He is financing his own Presidential run.  He doesn’t have to raise any money.  He doesn’t have to ask anybody for money.  He doesn’t have to worry about saying the right things to get the right people to turn over their money. 

When candidates need enormous amounts of money to mount a campaign, they are always very careful of what and how they say things, so they can get the most money.  How can they not become beholden to large donors which then compromises their ability to conduct themselves honestly when in office?

But candidates do need enormous amounts of money, and this is how candidates can be bought. 
But this doesn’t have to be this way. 

I blame the media here, print and television mainly.  They can be quick to criticize politicians for things they do wrong, but they are negligent when it comes to helping us get good ones. 

At the end of the political process, they will give comparative analyses of the final candidates, but they do almost nothing prior to that while the nation is trying to figure out who those final candidates should be.  They wait until a candidate does or says something embarrassing and then they won’t let it go, but they feel no responsibility to giving the candidates any meaningful exposure prior to that.  They feel it is not their job, where they are the only ones who could help curb the influence of big money on politicians.

I suppose we could publicly finance all political campaigns, but the last thing we need is another government program spending money it doesn’t have.  The media could do the job quite well if it had any sense of moral and patriotic responsibility.

A case in point here: Donald Trump is getting massive amounts of media exposure over a comment he made about a newscaster.  I can think of dozens of questions I would rather Trump deal with than what he meant by his comment.  What are his plans for bringing jobs back, for example?  Why aren’t they asking that?

Like him or not, Donald Trump’s appearance on the political stage right now can transform American politics if we only ask the right questions and do the things that his candidacy is essentially begging us to do.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

answers to a questionnaire from Dr. Ben Carson on his Presidential campaign

Dr. Carson
Thank you for asking for my input.  I always have plenty to share.

I wrote once before about the need for a new way to rank candidates.  There are a lot of good people who would make good Presidents.  When we are only asked which ONE we want, too many people only get single digits.  If you were to ask, which candidates you can support, then everybody could get double digits and a number of them should be over the critical 50 % mark.  This is how we should winnow the field and how we should find our final candidate.  Nobody is talking about this. I hope you can, otherwise I think we won’t get our best person, and many candidates will drop out who really shouldn’t.

You asked two specific questions.  I gave my answers, but I think it is important to explain why I gave the answers I did.

Most important issue: [He offered five choices.]

Islamic terrorism is real and will not go away any time soon.  Our response has been tepid and timid at best.  Even if there were another 9/11 in our country, that would still be far from the most important thing for us to think about as a nation.  A big part of dealing with future threats to our country has to do with your second option: Border security and immigration reform.
Border security and immigration reform.  Our immigration system is broken in many ways, and “immigration reform” has become a tagline for changes that are not improvements.  This issue is very, very important but still number 2 on your list.  But briefly, immigration reform must include the following:
1)         Secure the border.  This must be done first without any concessions with a promise of getting to it later.  A country has a right and an obligation to know every person who enters our country and also has the right to refuse anyone as well.
2)         Birthright citizenship is wrong.  We don’t give automatic citizenship to children of diplomats or tourists, and we certainly shouldn’t give it to children of illegal immigrants.  We didn’t even give it to the American Indian without a special act of Congress in 1924.  It’s only a magnet for further illegal immigration.
3)         We need to end family reunification, or at least greatly limit it: spouse, minor children, parents.  We don’t have enough jobs for our own people, and we certainly don’t have the money to support people who don’t work.
4)         No drivers licenses, state IDs, voting, or jobs for illegals.  We have e-verify system; use it.
5)         I have no problem with any person here illegally walking into an immigration office and applying for legal status.  Subject, of course, to the traditional criteria and subject to refusal.  Sick people I believe were refused until they were healthy.  A person who did not have an employable skill I believe was also rejected.  Criminals were also rejected.  They would have the same path to citizenship as any other legal immigrant.
What I believe is a huge mistake and one that they will try to foist on the American people is a blanket program, where we don’t know who is here, where we legalize millions of people all at once.  Just plain wrong, and stupid. 
Won’t our immigration offices be flooded with people?  Of course, but that is what happens when you ignore a problem for 50 years.
Jobs and the economy
This is easily the top issue of these five.  Yes, immigrants built our country, but we had jobs for them.  Now we don’t have jobs for anybody.  We have unsustainable debt at every level of government basically because we don’t have enough jobs for people.   We sent them overseas.  And then we are killing jobs over here because of concerns over climate change.  [See my articles on globalization and climate change on my blogsite poligion1.blogspot. com. for expansion of these ideas.]
The fewer jobs we have, the more dependency on the government we incur, as well as more debt.  The ship is sinking.
The national debt        The debt can easily bury us a nation, sooner than we think.  The biggest single antidote for that for now is bringing the jobs back.
Defunding Planned Parenthood          Important but too much emphasis on this and you will be marginalized as having your priorities in the wrong place.  If you can frame the issue into one of valuing human life and show how we are showing a lack of it in the rest of society, you can have a case.  Can you link the high rate of shootings in Chicago with a general devaluing of human life in our society?
What part of my background is most important for me to address?
None of your previous experience will help you here directly.  You will meet people who will quickly point out to you that you have no relevant experience here.  I’ve heard you respond to this already where you note what experienced politicians have already given us, and we can’t take too much more of it.  If you can be specific here, it would help.  Specific examples of lies, deception, abuse of power, abuse of the public trust, uncontrolled and unsustainable debt, more government control over people’s lives.
The fact that you were a neurosurgeon means that you are not stupid, and your rise from poverty shows that people are not trapped in their circumstances and that government programs are not the answers.
I wish you well.

Larry Craig