where religion and politics meet

Everybody has a worldview. A worldview is what you believe 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.

Nations have worldviews too, a prevailing way of looking at life that directs government policies and laws and that contributes significantly to the culture. Politics is the outworking of that worldview in public life.

Our country’s worldview used to be Christianity. Now we are told it is and has always been secularism, which is practical atheism. This issue divides our country, but those who disagree are divided as well on how to respond.

Our country could not have been founded as a secular nation, because a secular country could not guarantee freedom of religion. Secular values would be higher than religious ones, and they would supersede them when there was a conflict. Secularism sees religion only as your personal preferences, like your taste in food, music, or movies. It does not see religion, any religion, as being true.

But God, prayer, the Bible, and the Ten Commandments were always important parts of our public life, including our public schools, until 1963, when the court called supreme ruled them unconstitutional, almost 200 years after our nation’s founding.

Our country also did not envision a multitude of different religions co-existing in one place, because the people, and the government, would then be divided on the basic questions of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Our Constitution, which we fought a war to be able to enact, states, among other things, that our government exists for us to form a more perfect union, ensure domestic tranquility, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity. It could not do this unless it had a clear vision of what it considers to be true, a vision shared with the vast majority of the people in this country.

I want 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.

Because religion deals with things like God, much of its contents is not subject to the scientific method, though the reasons why one chooses to believe in God or a particular religion certainly demand serious investigation, critical thinking, and a hunger for what is true.

Science and education used to be valuable tools in the search for truth, but science has chosen to answer the foundational questions of life without accepting the possibility of any supernatural causes, and education no longer considers the search to be necessary, possible, 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. Many of the newer articles are shorter responses to partiular problems.

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:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCb-RztuRKdCEQzgbhp52dCw

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

Thank you.

Larry Craig

Monday, April 16, 2018

What is an American: a response to a newspaper column


I hope you are doing well.

You had a column printed on February 27 that has been on my mind since then.  I wanted to write you sooner, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to say.  I do a lot of political writing, and I have written on this before, but I’m sure you wouldn’t have wanted a four-page response.  I needed something different and finally figured out what it was.

Your column asked the question: what ‘American’ really means?

What has made our country different from all the rest is our level of freedom, our understanding of human rights, plus the separation of Church and State.  Europe recognized most of our understanding of freedom and rights, but each nation had a Church that was a part of the government. 

England had the Church of England, a number of countries were Lutheran, some Reformed, and some Roman Catholic.  Our Founders didn’t want that.  But they also didn’t want a secular country.  That’s why the Bible, prayer, and the Ten Commandments were a major part of our public life and schools for almost 200 years after our nation’s founding.  They didn’t want God out of our schools and public life, but a particular Christian denomination as a part of our federal government.

But that’s not the point.

They said our rights come from God and not the government.  If they came from government, government would have the power to take them away.

Now this is the point.

How did they know that these rights came from God?  No other nation recognized these same rights.  What was different? 

The Founders believed in the Bible as revealing God to humankind.  That’s where their understanding of God and rights came from.  They believed that Christianity is true.  They, unlike what we are told today, saw a religion as a description of reality.  Today we think of religion as a person’s personal preferences, like a person’s taste in food, music, or movies.

If religion, and in this case Christianity, is not true, then all our talk about human rights is simply our opinion.  People don’t die for their opinions, and they certainly shouldn’t try to impose them on others.

If our human rights are not based on the Bible and Christianity, then we have no basis to believe in them except as a majority of opinion in our country.  Meaning, at some point in our history, we can vote them out of existence.

For example, Muslims have a very different view of God and rights.  You have 50 Muslim countries in the world, and not one of them is anywhere near to the United States in their understanding of rights, liberty, and representative government. 

Europe in a generation of two will become a Muslim majority continent.  When it does, you will see major changes taking place in the laws of those countries.
I
f we in our country do not agree on what is the foundation of our rights and our liberties, then we can find them removed, limited, or changed by elections and changes in our leadership. 

There is talk now about repealing the Second Amendment, the second item in our nation’s Bill of Rights.  But the Bill of Rights was supposed to be a statement of some of these natural rights that come from God.  John Adams, our second President, said that our Constitution was made only for a religious and moral people.  It is wholly inadequate for any other.   You can’t have true freedom without a people who have self-restraint through a high ethical code, like the Ten Commandments, which we have banned from our public life and schools. 

If we deny the importance of religion, and in this case specifically Christianity, we lose the entire foundation of our country.  If we don’t know, believe, and affirm these basic principles, our country will gradually change over generations into the lowest common denominator of all the nations, or eventually a Muslim nation.

The changes will be gradual, as the older generations die out, and the younger generations have no clue about what made us what we are, what we fought a war to create.

We no longer teach these founding principles in our schools, to our children, and certainly not to the millions of people who come to our country. 

Being an American is having a certain belief system, a certain worldview.  And, frankly, Christianity is at the core of it.  Remove it or ignore it and we lose the foundation of our beliefs about liberty and human rights.  And without the foundation, we will lose them.  Maybe not in our lifetime, but we will lose them.  If we don’t teach our children and all those millions coming here what it is that made us what we are, then we will lose it, just like the rest of the world doesn’t have it.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

xenophobic America: a response to a newspaper opinion column


The Sun-Times (April 9) ran a full-page article about xenophobic anti-Muslim Americans.  Xenophobic was the word of choice in describing Americans who oppose Muslim immigration or who have not been enthusiastic about the growing Muslim population in our country.

There is an issue here, though, that is not being discussed. 

The United States, when it was formed, was unique among the nations of the world.  No other nation in the world had the same views as ours on human rights and freedom

The Declaration of Independence states that these rights come from God.   In saying that these rights come from God, the Founders were saying that the rights were based on our understanding of God as shown in Christianity and the Bible.  This is why the Bible was an integral part of public school education and public life for almost 200 years after our nation’s founding. 

Islam had been in existence for a thousand years when our nation was founded; and today, when there are about 50 Muslim countries in the world, there is no Muslim country in the world that is anywhere close to the United States in its Constitution and its views on human rights and freedom.  The God from whom our Founders believed they received these natural rights is not found in Islam.

Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world today.  Not because it has a high conversion rate but because it has a high birth rate and a unique response to those who want to leave it..  The birth rate of Western countries, including the United States, apart from first generation immigrants is below replacement value.  In a generation of two, for example, Europe will become a Muslim majority continent.

The court called supreme was wrong to remove the Bible and the Ten Commandments from public life, including our schools, because they are the basis of our freedoms as Americans.  Apart from the Bible and the Ten Commandments, our views of human rights are merely our opinions which can be voted away by a majority vote.

Diversity is good, when you are buying a car or ice cream.  In a nation, not so much.  If we don’t agree on the basis of our rights and freedoms, they are only one election away from being taken away from us.  Maybe not the next one, or the next.  The changes will take place gradually, but they will happen.



Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Proof that the Church and State separation dogma is wrong


The first Ten Amendments to our Constitution are called the Bill of Rights.  Our Founders were hesitant about including a list of our rights to the Constitution.  They were concerned that the people would think that their rights were limited to only those specifically stated in the Constitution, and they were concerned that the people, and the government, might think that their rights came from the government.  In which case, of course, they could then be modified, limited, or revoked. 

The Declaration of Independence states that these rights come from God.  But every nation at that time believed in a god of some sort, and they did not see human rights as we did.  The difference is that our Founders believed that the Bible was God’s revelation to us about who He is and the nature of the world.  It was from there that they learned of these human rights.  This is one reason the Bible was a major part of public school education for almost 200 years after our nation’s founding.

If we don’t teach this to our children in our schools, then we are not teaching them the founding principles of our nation, and we cannot expect them as our future leaders to know and understand what makes the United States what it is.  After all, most nations of the world do not see human rights as we do.  Human rights are either our opinion, and everybody has an opinion.  Or they are based on transcendent values, which means God, and specifically in this case, the Bible and Christianity.

And what this means ultimately is that our country is not and never was a secular nation as we are commonly told we are.  We cannot separate ourselves from our Christian roots without separating ourselves from our founding principles and thereby weakening the very things that we fought a war over so that we could establish our Constitution. 

The court called supreme was wrong when it said that our government cannot aid or favor any religion, because our nation was founded on the Bible and Christianity.  If we don’t acknowledge and teach this to our children, at some point we will cease to exist as the nation we were founded to be.  Our name may not change, but we will have thrown away the very things that made us a great nation.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

The Second Amendment: the bigger issues


This new call by ex-Supreme Court Justice Stevens to repeal the Second Amendment shows how much we have lost in our understanding about what exactly the United States is.

Tue first Ten Amendments are commonly known as the Bill of Rights, rights that our Founders believed came from God and not from government.  They were hesitant about including a list of rights to the Constitution for two reasons: they thought people might think that these were the only rights they had, and people might think that these rights came from government and not from God.  If they came from government, then, of course, they could be repealed.

And then, since these rights come from God, this also shows that the idea that we are a secular nation is not true. Our freedoms depend on our belief in God.  Our government must favor a belief in God over atheism, because our foundation as a nation depends on it.  So, the idea that schools and government must be neutral to the very idea of God undermines our country at its very core.


Wednesday, March 21, 2018

No, J.B. Pritzker Didn’t Win the Primary


How could J B Pritzker win an election when more people voted against him than for him?  Eleven out of 20 Democrats who voted in the Tuesday primary did not vote for him, so how can he be the winner? 

Who is the winner then?

We don’t know. 

Oh, and Kwame Raoul didn’t win the attorney general primary either.  Seventy per cent of the primary voters didn’t vote for him.  How could he be the winner?  And Joe Berrios might not have lost the Cook County Assessor race.

We could have runoffs, but that is a very expensive option when just about every government body in Illinois is deeply in debt.  But in these cases we need them.

In the future, we should start using weighted ballots, if that’s what they’re called.

Any election that has more than two candidates, voters should be able to mark their second choices.  And they should be able to rank as many choices as there are candidates in that race.  As the lowest vote getting candidates are eliminated, their voters’ next selections are counted.  And so on until one candidate gets more than 50% of the total votes.

In an election with more than two candidates, nobody should be declared the winner who does not get more than 50% of the votes.   This destroys the very idea of a democracy.  Presidential races are an obvious exception, because there the states elect the President and not the general populace.

When there are more than two candidates, one or more of them generally divides a certain group of voters, essentially giving the candidate that group doesn’t want to win the victory.  Too many people will not vote for who they really want, but they will vote their second choices to keep that other candidate from winning.

Now is the time when we need to rethink our election process, while these results are still fresh in our minds.  The system is broken, and we need to fix it now.  Otherwise, we will forget until the next unjust elections are held.

Friday, March 16, 2018

ending gerrymandering?


The Tribune ran a major opinion piece on gerrymandering (March 16), but the article undercut the very point it wanted to make. 

If you want to end gerrymandering, there is one thing that has to be done.  The people drawing the map, and I don’t care who they are, must not have access to the demographics of the people on the map. 

We think of gerrymandering usually only about political parties, but demographics often correspond to the parties.  Older people tend to vote Republican.  Minorities tend to vote Democratic, as well as younger people. 

The author of the article spoke quite favorably of district boundaries that created majority minority groups, because that almost ensured that a minority candidate would be elected.  So now we are supposed to draw boundaries based on ethnicities?  What about religion, sexual orientation?  Should we try to get all of Boy’s Town into one district to be sure that we can elect a gay candidate?

Frankly, I think those who try to do this, and even courts have come out in favor of it, are badly mistaken.  If you put all of a particular minority into one district, you may well end up with one minority representative who has their interests in mind.  But if that particular minority group is present in a number of districts, then all of those representative will most likely have to represent them well if they want to get and stay in office.

Any demographic, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, education level, income level, ethnicity, nationality, employment status, occupation, etc., can be used to draw boundaries that can favor one political party over another.  If you justify it for one reason, ethnicity, how can you deny it for another? 

If you want fair elections, those who draw the boundaries should have no knowledge of the demographics of the people.  They should only know where they live and the natural boundaries that exist, like city, county limits, rivers, mountains, major highways, etc.  Anything beyond that can and will lead to mischief.

affordable housing: a letter to my village board


I understand the Village Board will hear a case for an affordable housing development on April 10, 2018.  I would like to express my opposition to the plan. 

I only learned about this project and meeting from the latest Wilmette Life, so I have only the facts that article articulated.  But my objections are two:

1)         When you talk about affordable housing, you are either talking about housing that is cheaply made and thus costs less, or you are talking about subsidized housing.  I am sure they mean the latter, and I would appreciate it if they would just be a little more straightforward about the nature of the project.

So, if it is subsidized, then it must be taxpayers who are paying toward it.  The article mentions that they are seeking state and federal funding.  That is like asking your drunk uncle for money.  He probably won’t turn you down, but he has no business giving you any money in that condition.

The state is approaching $200 billion in debt, while the federal government is over $20 trillion in debt.  Neither has any intention of paying these debts off.  They are content to just waste billions of dollars a year paying interest on these loans.  They cannot be trusted anymore to make wise and responsible decisions, particularly when it comes to spending other people’s money.  Asking them for money is like asking them to use my credit card without asking me if that is how I want to spend my money.  They are as complicit in this abuse of power as any politician.

Winning state and federal funding probably shouldn’t be difficult, but their wasting of other people’s money I find immoral and criminal. 

To approve this project means that you are approving the government’s total mismanagement of the public’s resources.  If your credit card is maxed out, you need to start passing on spending opportunities, even though someone may argue that the case is worthy.

2)         My second objection relates to a comment the WL attributes to a supporter of the project.  It is said that, quoting the article and not a person, “the project would bring needed diversity to Wilmette.”

The project purports to be about the elderly and disabled of Wilmette, but it seems the larger intent is to bring more diversity to Wilmette.  And so, my question is: why is this diversity needed?  Needed for what?  Is anybody asking for it?  I have lived here since 1975, and I never thought to myself that what we need here is more diversity.  Are we somehow diminished as a village without more diversity? 

I object to the government and people telling me what I need and then deciding for me to give me what they think I need and then telling me to like it or I am somehow a bad person.

Perhaps it might sound like I am overreacting or seeing more in this than there is, but I have long learned that most change happens slowly.  Either it is in the right direction or it is in the wrong direction.  And because it happens slowly, even over generations, the changes are minimized, but for those who live long enough, the little changes add up to big changes.  And then people wake up and ask, what happened? 

So I am opposed to this project, and as opposed as I can be.  I hope you will at least consider my objections when you discuss and vote on this project.

Thank you