where religion and politics meet

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Visit my other websites theimportanceofhealing blogspot.com where I talk about healing and my book of the same name and LarrysBibleStudies.blogspot.com where I am posting all my other Bible studies. I have also starting posting videos on youtube.

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

Thank you.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Understanding Washington

A reader (October 18) voiced his opposition to Republicans in Congress, calling them obstructionists and unproductive.
What the media isn’t telling anybody is that this same Congress passed over 350 bills last term that the Senate didn’t take up.  Many of these bills passed unanimously or with bipartisan support.
The House focused on particular problems that they could debate.  Democrats (read: Senate in this case) don’t like small bills, because people can read and understand them.  They like huge comprehensive bills that have to be passed in their entirely.  That way they can get a lot of things passed that would never pass on their own.  They want bills that are too big to read, let alone discuss and debate.
As for the particular issues the reader brings up, most involve a basic principle which divides our country.  Democrats believe that the government has the role and responsibility to protect and provide for its constituency and to solve all the problems of society, by passing laws, making regulations, and creating new government programs and agencies.  This used to be the role of the individual, family, friends, churches, and community. 
As the government has increased its role, it has also increased the number of people who depend on the government for its help and services.  The government is now trillions of dollars in debt, and financing this debt drags down the economy and devalues the money that we use.  The government needs and takes more and more money out of the economy to pay for all these things, and the country keeps moving in the direction of socialism. 

Is that such a bad thing?  It’s a choice between security and prosperity, government control and freedom.  The more security and guarantees that a public demands, the less prosperity and freedom it will enjoy.  Our country was built on prosperity and freedom.  The Democrats want the security and government control.  

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Why People Commit Crimes

A local newspaper ran an editorial recently offering suggestions for reducing our prison population.  Like almost all solutions offered for public problems, what we need to do is to hire more government employees.  So let’s hire another hundred workers at $80,0000 a year, and, oh yeah, don’t forget to add another 50% for their pension costs.
But nobody seems to be asking why so many people commit crimes in the first place.  Does anybody still remember when people didn’t lock their doors or their cars?  And I grew up in Chicago, not some small town in the middle of nowhere.
When people used to ask the question about a person’s behavior, the answer was always in the upbringing, how the person’s parents raised them.
But wait.  We have normalized single parenthood, where people don’t have to get married to have children, and fathers don’t need to be in the home to help raise that child.  There used to be a stigma here, but that was considered judgmental.  The government is very willing to provide whatever financial assistance a person needs to raise that child by themselves.
We have also normalized women working outside the home.   First we did it by telling women that they needed careers to be happy, fulfilled, and equal to men.  Then we did it through our economic policies that sent millions of good paying jobs overseas, so that the only jobs left for most people are grocery stores and fast food restaurants.  Our economic policies also replaced fulltime jobs with parttime jobs, so as a result of our policies, spouses no longer could afford to stay home to be with their children.  Everybody has to work just to make ends meet.
In addition we normalized abortion, so children took on more the status of pets rather than human beings created in the image of God which we are privileged to bear and raise.  As long as we feed, clothe, and provide them with a place to stay, we have fulfilled our responsibility as parent(s).
Our schools used to teach values, but this was done in the context of religious beliefs, specifically Christianity.  But the court we call supreme said that the government cannot aid religion in any way.  Some people who have studied American history will ask what the bleep schools have to do with government anyway.  Our First Congress had Bibles published to be used in our schools, and they were used there from before our nation’s founding until the middle of the 20th century, or over 400 years.  And now this is unconstitutional? 
So the only values we teach our children today are tolerance, fairness, equality, and diversity.  The last three are all functions of the government, so the only responsibility we teach our children is tolerance, which means essentially ignoring your neighbor, not caring or getting involved in the lives of other people.  It’s none of your business. 

We used to teach our children to love their neighbors.  It shouldn’t be surprising when we see that they don’t.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

A Voter’s Guide to American Elections

A Voter’s Guide to American Elections

Politicians have made things very easy for voters, except, or course, in primaries where you might really need to ask a lot of questions with candidates from the same party running against each other,  But other than that, you are voting for the party and not the candidate.
Gone are the days when you could evaluate candidates by comparing their views on a long list of issues.  The two major parties have solidified philosophies that guide their overall decision making, and they are polar opposites.  And while individual politicians are all unique and have positions all across the spectrum, they still vote with their parties the vast majority of the time, which is why they are in that party.  So while there will always be individual exceptions to these characteristics of the parties, they are still pretty true overall.
Democrats believe that the government has the responsibility and the ability to solve every problem of society.  This is done through regulations, laws, government programs, and executive orders.  These all come with economic costs and losses in personal freedom. 
Democrats see society as groups of people all with unique and specific needs that require government intervention to see that everyone is taken care of.  Rights used to be things that you could do without government intrusion or things that the government could not do to you.  Now rights are defined as things that you are entitled to and that it is the government’s responsibility to see that you have them. 
A distinct part of Democratic strategy is to identify a group of people and give them something.  It doesn’t matter what it costs, if it can be paid for, or how it affects everything else.  This group will then vote for them forever to keep that one thing regardless of how this affects anything else.
These beliefs about the role of government drive the need to always seek new sources of revenue:  higher taxes on the wealthy and corporations, more things to tax, more fees for regulation, more penalties for noncompliance, and more loopholes (I mean deductions) to close.   A former President described the government’s view of the economy this way, and this was at a time when the Democrats and the Republicans had a lot more in common: “If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it."
Democrats believe in diversity, pluralism, and multiculturalism.  That essentially means that Western or American culture is no better than any other culture, and there is no need to teach it in our schools to our children.  All cultures, religions, and traditions have equal value, except Christianity which is viewed as Western, white, and oppressive.  
To respect all these different cultures, the guiding moral philosophy of Democrats is equality, tolerance, diversity, and fairness.  The only responsibility of the citizenry is tolerance, which is meant to discourage personal involvement in the problems and life of society.   Government has the role of overseeing society and making sure that everything is equal, diverse, and fair.  Individual success and achievement is not as important as the success and achievement of the groups as a whole.  
Democrats believe that the basic governing principle for the founding of our country was equality, though the government didn’t always have the power to enforce it.  Evil, greedy people and corporations have always been able to take advantage of a weak government to take advantage of others for their personal gain.  We are now seeing government with the strength and tools necessary to correct these inherent flaws to the American system.
The vision of Democrats for an ideal society would still have the richest 1%.  They can’t get rid of them, but they are always a good source of tax revenue and campaign contributions.  Below that would be a large and growing army of government employees.  These are, to be sure, paid above the private sector to gain their loyalty, political support, and firm opposition to any attempts to shrink the government.  As for the rest, the goal is to have as many people as possible receiving some kind of government assistance, because they will always vote for the ones providing and protecting it.
Democrats think Americans have an inflated view of themselves and need to think more globally and blend in more with all the other nations...  It wouldn’t hurt if we reduced our economy if others could gain.  The success of the United States economically in the past was essentially due to greed, exploitation, and racism.
Republicans see the Democrat’s narrative as a new invention, reinterpreting the history and values of our country in an attempt to make something entirely different.  Republicans believe we live in the greatest nation in the world, but we have been declining for generations under Democratic policies.
Republicans see the country as losing its original vision and sacrificing its greatness, while the Democrats see the country as finally regaining its original vision of equality.
Republicans use the word ‘traditional’ a lot in public, but it is code for religious or Christian. 
While the Republican Party is hardly Christian, the traditional values were distinctly Christian values, and these values were embraced as they were seen as the cause of our country’s rapid and enormous economic prosperity. 
Republicans believe in religion, particularly the Judeo-Christian ones, because they teach love and morality, which reduces crime and promotes a strong bond in our society.  Religious people are less dependent on the government, because they have a strong support system and believe they are responsible for their friends and families and people in need.
Republicans believe in Christian morality, because it teaches values that built our country, like love, compassion, sacrifice, giving, responsibility, hard work, honesty, integrity, courage, and loyalty.   Christians believe in loving your neighbor; tolerance is just another way of saying ignore your neighbor.
Republicans believe in traditional families, because people who are married work harder and are less likely to live in poverty.  They believe that children raised with both of their natural parents do better in life.  They believe that strong families reduce the need for government programs that take money out of other people’s pockets.
Republicans are pro-business, because they believe the best way to help a poor person is not to give him money but to give him a job. 
Republicans see any money given to the government as money taken out of people’s pockets and lowering their standard of living.  They do not see government spending as a boon to the economy, because it leaves less money in the pockets of everybody else, and any borrowed money to finance this ends up devaluing the money we already have.
Equality for the Republicans is an equality before the law, where there is no longer a royal class as they still have in parts of Europe.  To a Republican, Democrats would rather everybody be equally poor, dependent on the government rather than everybody being free and encouraged to achieve their best.  They believe that every individual working to achieve their own success will produce more prosperity for everyone than any other system, though certainly some will always end up with more than others.
The Tea Party, though separate from the Republican Party, aligns itself with the Republican Party, because our politicians have made having more than two political parties unworkable in our elections.  A third party would usually require a runoff election or some equivalent to get true results.  Now a third party candidate allows someone to win an election with less than a majority vote.
But the Tea Party has the same basic beliefs as the Republicans, but they believe that our country is near a breaking point economically and morally and that we need to act quickly and decisively now to avoid some very serious consequences.  Republicans have not tried hard enough to support these principles.  The Tea Party believes that if your spouse has a spending problem and has maxed out all the credit cards, the answer is not to take out a new card with a lower limit but to stop using credit cards altogether. 

Every election is becoming more important than the last one, as policies that are enacted shape our society in ways that make reversals harder to imagine.  

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Real Problem Behind all the Other Problems in Our Country

This sounds like it could be the start of a joke: What do President Obama, ISIL, and gay marriage have in common?  The problem is that those who get it won’t think it is funny, and there are too many people who just won’t get it. 
So what do they have in common?  They all picture in some way the underlying problem in our country, the problem that is at the root of all the other problems. 
President Obama is an example of our nation having lost our sense of right and wrong.  When the President was trying to get people to support his healthcare law, he lied.  Not once, but over and over again. 
Now I am the first to acknowledge that all lies are not created equal.  There is the response to the angry voice about who took the last cookie out of the cookie jar.  There is the response to the question about the phone number found in your wallet or the woman who called you on your phone.  A President asked a question at a press conference regarding the potential or planned government action to an enemy threat might be less than straightforward or even entirely untruthful in order to avoid giving sensitive information to the wrong people. 
But this was a man who lied to people who were looking to him for answers and help.  He lied in front of cameras and to the largest audiences that anyone would ever hope to have.  He knew the truth would eventually come out, but he didn’t believe he would suffer any loss when it did.
My question is: where was the outrage?  The public and our representatives in Congress should have demanded his impeachment, and there should have been no problem getting the votes in the Senate to convict him.  Why?
Because once a person is known to lie, how will you ever know when he is telling the truth?  When the President of our nation says that there are no immediate threats from ISIS, can we believe him?  When the President of the United States says that Iran will not get a nuclear weapon on his watch, is that true?  When the President of the United States says that the economy is doing better now than in his entire presidency, is it?
What did the media say about his lying?  He was overselling????  Were we supposed to know that he couldn’t possibly be telling the truth, and we should have seen it as politicians just doing what politicians do.
It used to be that when a person lied, it was called a lie.  We have lost as a nation the sense of right and wrong.  If something can produce ‘good’ results or was for a good reason, then we overlook the act, even if the act itself used to be considered wrong.  The end justifies the means.  That kind of thinking was a common plot in futuristic science fiction novels meant to waken people to impending government control or novels raising moral questions like 1984 and Crime and Punishment.
What? You never read those books?  I am not surprised.  The government is in charge of our education now, and they have other books they would rather have you read.  They have other things they want to teach you.
But all politicians lie.  Actually no.  But if that is the perception or the expectation, then we have lost all sense of moral values in our country.  We have lost something vital to the health of our nation.   If our politicians are dishonest, then where are the calls for their resignation?  Why are we not demanding better? 
Simple answer: we accept lies as a part of doing business.  We expect our politicians to promise us the moon in their campaigns, but we don’t expect them to keep his promises after he is elected.  We expect lies, because we lie. 
A person’s word used to be his bond.  If a person couldn’t keep his word, he would be considered untrustworthy and somebody to avoid.
When the idea of right and wrong become blurred, we don’t know how to respond to wrong anymore.  We have no grounds to judge the behavior of another, because we see all behavior as self-motivated, self-serving, and generally quite justified.  This person has a good reason in their eyes to do what they did.  So when something happens that used to be called evil, we don’t know how to respond.  Anger seems to be too judgmental.  And we certainly don’t have any moral authority to try to stop it.  Who appointed us to be the judge for the world?
And this is what happened with ISIS.  ISIS finally did some things that angered enough people to force our government to take action.  Do I believe they are serious about what they say they want to do?  He lied about health care.  How do I know he is not lying now?  My personal assessment is that much of this is for show, but that is for another article.
The point is that when they first appeared, their movement was seen as political, not evil, disenfranchised Sunni Arabs in a Shiite majority country.  They essentially declared war on us, but we didn’t see it as a real or imminent threat, so we ignored it.  They committed evil atrocities on Christians and Yazidis, but we only did what was necessary to feed some refugees trapped on a mountain and help expedite their safe exodus off the mountain. 
ISIS seemed more intent on getting our attention by beheading several American journalists.  And this finally provoked our leaders to action.  But because our leaders were so slow in responding, the best time to have confronted them had long passed.  When they were moving from town to town looking to gain new territory, they were on the road, completely exposed.  Now they have control of cities and towns where any action from the air would have heavy civilian casualties. 
In fact there is no way now to defeat them without going into these same towns we went into before on the ground a very high cost to our troops.  Now we, or somebody else, has to do it again?
We have given ISIS plenty of time now to prepare for all this.  When our troops fought in Iraq, they faced countless roadside bombs and booby traps, and whoever goes into these towns can expect the same.
But because we no longer have clear ideas of right and wrong, our leaders are hesitant in the face of evil, not knowing how or if we should respond.  What moral authority do we have?  We don’t even like to talk about right and wrong anymore?  Who’s to say what’s right and wrong?  Is it really our fight?  Do we really want to get involved?  Do we really have to?  Until they beheaded these journalists so blatantly, trying very hard to provoke a response from us, we would have dithered about for months or longer, hoping it would all go away on its own.
Right and wrong invokes a standard, a universal standard of how things are supposed to be.  We used to have such a standard, but its basis was religious.  Among other principles, there were Ten Commandments.  Commandments is much too strong a word for us to use today.  After all, who is doing the commanding?  We can’t appeal to a God, because that invokes religion, which is only meant for private use, not public policies.
Gay marriage is becoming harder and harder to talk about, because for more and more people this is their reality, their family, and in the case of the children, this is all they have known.  It is seen as being harder and harder to oppose gay marriage, because this has to do with people loving each other and not about evil people trying to destroy other people.  These are just people who want to get on with their lives and be left alone.  There is another larger agenda at work here as well, but for most I think they just want to be validated by society and no longer looked upon as being somehow inferior to everybody else.
The bigger issue goes back to the God question.  Questions like right and wrong need somebody to authoritatively answer.  Who says something is wrong, or right?
Christians believe that God created the world, that we were created in His image, and that He gave us the directions, or the instruction manual so to speak, on how all this is supposed to work.  Our nation used to believe in those instructions.  We used to post the Ten Commandments in our schools and in public places, and we used to teach the Bible in our public schools.
Now that we have removed the Bible and the Ten Commandments from public life, then there are no rules but what we make up along the way.   
I believe marriage has always been about children.  If children grew on trees, there never would have been a thing called marriage.  Some people would have paired up, but it is doubtful there would have been sexually exclusive relationships apart from the issue of children, disease, or moral constraints imposed by a religion.  But all living arrangements would have been considered equal, whether roommates, lovers, or communes.
Now whether you believe in God or evolution, they both ended up with the same thing.  Children are the product of a man and a woman and need all kinds of care, nurture, and training for a long time until they are able to fend for themselves.  For most of human history throughout the world, this job was considered the primary responsibility of the natural parents.
But then after our nation officially became secular, we normalized sexual activity outside of marriage. Yes, I know, people have always had sex outside of marriage, but sex was now considered recreation and a right and a right that needed to be aggressively pursued, by women as well as men.  A part of their equality.
Then we normalized abortion.  Human life was no longer considered sacred, but babies were seen along the line of pets.  You can have one if you want one, but nobody can make you have one.  Your own life and comfort are the important things.
Then we normalized divorce.  Marriage just became a mutual relationship that could be dissolved when either party failed to find it personally fulfilling. 
Then we normalized single parenthood.  If sex was a choice and having children was a choice and being married was a choice, then why again did we need marriage in the first place?  Single parenthood became the leading cause of poverty in our country, but the government was eager and willing to help out to support the new family.
Then as our science improved, we could achieve pregnancies without a man even being present or needed in the life of the child.  And with the sacredness of life diminished, women began offering to bear children for other people.  Hey, the pay is good, and you could still keep your regular job.
Now in gay marriage, we are taking a step further, yet having coming this far, this is only one more step, and there is little or no reason not to take that next step.  With gay marriage, we will now intentionally remove one parent from a child’s life and call it good, normal, and equal to the way we used to have children and families.  Our society is formalizing the break of natural parents from the responsibility of raising their own children.  We are normalizing the concept that children just need loving adults rather than blood parents. 
Sure, we have always had this with adoption, but now we are officially saying that it doesn’t matter. One is just as good as the other.
And there are more steps to follow.  The next step in the process, and there is a process, is to increase the government’s role in the family.  Since children no longer need their natural fathers and mothers, and marriage is only a matter of mutual convenience and fulfillment and not critical to the life of the children, the government will become more responsible for the raising of our children.  This same government that sent millions of jobs overseas which now forces many parents to work who would rather be home with their children, this government now wants to offer more after school programs and before school programs, and child care, and mandatory pre-kindergarten for all children. 
The more the government can be involved in raising your children, the more they are able to produce people who believe in and support the work that the government does.  They will actually like government control.  The goal is to raise children who expect government assistance in every aspect of their lives. Freedom is only for people who don’t like their chains.  A nation that believed in freedom, that saw government control as tyranny will now see government control as security, desirable, and necessary.

Our nation was never ‘officially’ a Christian nation, yet it was always Christian in the sense that there was a consensus on believing in God, Jesus, the Bible, the Ten Commandments, the Golden Rule, and the need or value of going to church.  This also gave our country a moral consensus, things like loving your neighbor, helping your neighbor or someone in need, trust, honesty, integrity, loyalty, faithfulness, hard work, responsibility, giving, compassion, mercy, courage, kindness, patience, sacrifice, saving yourself for marriage, not  having children out of wedlock, and working through hard marriages
We have been told over and over in the last few years that our country was intended to be a secular country, that there is a wall of separation between church and state that makes it unconstitutional for anything associated with the state, which now includes public schools, though originally it didn’t, to even mention God except in curse words, that anything religious has no place in discussions of public policy.
The problem is that there is nothing in secularism that provides a moral framework telling us how we should live or behave, telling us right from wrong or whether there even is a right and wrong.  This is not to say that secularists cannot exhibit love, compassion, and all the other qualities I mentioned, but it’s just that there is nothing in secularism that says that anyone should. 
There are no rules or codes of behavior but what society can agree upon, and apparently it has settled on just three.  Any other values seem to be holdovers from more religious times and are subject to challenges at any time.  So where there used to be Ten Commandments, we now have three: equality, tolerance, and fairness.
For over three hundred years starting from the first settlers to America until 1962, the Bible was taught in our public schools.  Why?  Because it was believed to be true and because it was believed that it contained and encouraged the highest human values and virtues.   And even when there started to be doubts in some places about the truth of everything in the Bible, it was still taught because the Bible was at the root of much of the great literature in Western Civilization.  If you didn’t know who or what Job was, or David and Goliath, a Philistine, Samson, Solomon, Jesus, Paul, Pilate, Easter, Moses, the Ten Commandments, Passover, Noah, the flood, shibboleth, the Golden Rule, an eye for an eye, turning the other cheek, the Good Samaritan, the rich man and Lazarus, the other Lazarus, Adam and Eve, the serpent, the apple, the Garden of Eden, the Sabbath, not only would you then not understand much of the foundation of Western Civilization or much of its great literature, but you would just be a poorer person.  Not financially, though they were thought to be related, but poorer in your soul, who you were as a person.
When our country was founded, the issue of separation of church and state had to do with having a national church like they had in Europe at the time.  England had the Church of England, Germany was Lutheran, France was Roman Catholic.  Giving to church was a part of paying your taxes.  All of them, of course, were Christian churches.  That’s why it is called separation of ‘church’ and state instead of separation of religion, or God, and state.  The very Congress that passed the First Amendment saying the Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion also had Bibles printed to be used in our public schools.
We used to teach values in our schools, but then it was ruled unconstitutional because you couldn’t teach values without teaching about God.  Let the parents teach their children religion at home. 
But what home?  We have taught our women that it is oppressive and demeaning to stay at home to raise children.  They needed to go out and work to find their true meaning and worth in life. 
But what was first portrayed as a choice then became a need as our government sent millions of good paying jobs overseas and allowed our country to be to be flooded with millions more people than our immigration system would normally allow.  The results have been that wages have gone down, good jobs are harder to get, and there is no home life to speak of.  The people who have the morals are all working, as they still resist government dependency.  Those with moral values not as strong are more willing to rely on the government to take care of them.  So either way values are not being transmitted to the next generation, because those who have them don’;t have the quality time with their children and those who might have more time don’t have the same values to transmit.
Wow, what this all intentional?  You see policies over generations all leading in the same direction, like there was some great plan in design to ruin our country by breaking down the home life of our people.
It all comes down to the God question.  If there is no God, there is no moral consensus in a country like ours but the lowest common denominator, because there is nobody who can or will tell us how things should be, at least anybody that everybody needs to listen to.
But if there is a God, then God is not just for private consumption and enjoyment.  There is a way how things should be.  We have lost our way as a nation, and we need to get back what we have lost. 

How?  That’s for another time, but I have already written extensively about this and posted my articles on my blog, poligion1.blogspot.com.  Stay tuned.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The nine impossible miracles of evolution

Before I talk about the nine impossible miracles of evolution, I need to explain a few things first.
The first is what I mean by an impossible miracle. 
We use the word ‘impossible’ in several different ways.  We can use it to describer something that just isn’t going to happen, like the Cubs winning the World Series.  Or often we talk of something being physically impossible, like lifting a car over your head or being able to jump over a house.
But with regard to evolution, we run into something else.  Say I flip a coin.  I can get heads, I can get tails.  The odds are 50/50, or 1 in 2.  But if I flip it again, the odds of getting the same thing is half, or 1 in 4.  If I try for 3 heads in a row, the odds become 1 in 8. 
But what if I wanted to get heads, say, a thousand times in a row.  The calculator I used just used the word infinity.  That would be like painting a grain of sand black, dropping it on a beach anywhere in the world and asking a blind man to pick it up on the first try.
But every time I flip that coin, the odds of getting a heads or a tail is always 50/50, so theoretically it is possible to get heads a thousand times in a row.
Now evolution does something just like this. 
Evolution, or science, assumes that everything that exists came about through natural causes.  It then tries to figure out what would need to happen for the world and life as we know it to happen.  And then they conclude that it happened just as they said, because, well, we are here, the world is here, and that’s the only way it could have happened.   
So evolution depends on millions of chance events to take place in a certain order on the order of getting heads a thousand times in a row.  Don’t forget, evolution doesn’t work with a blank screen.  It doesn’t get to erase mistakes.  They stay there.

But, again, they assume from the start that all these events happened on their own, without the action of a God, so their account of what happened is considered proven true, because there is no other way that they would acknowledge that it did happen.

The second matter that I need to mention is that I do something here that evolutionists strongly object to.  They make a distinction between the origin of life and the development of life after that.  I have considered them together under the word ‘evolution’ for two reasons. 

One, I am not sure there is a consensus on what the minimum criteria are for what constitutes life.  So I believe what some scientists call an origin of life issue, another would consider as evolution.  And, secondly, I believe that any non-scientist would see both issues as really one: did a God create and shape all of life, or did it all just happen on its own.

So I ask any evolutionist to bear with me as I try to look at the bigger picture of how we got to where we are.

The first impossible miracle is how life started in the first place.  The human body, for example, is made up of things like carbon, water, which is hydrogen and oxygen, (put the three together and you get sugar), nitrogen, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sulfur, chlorine, sodium, and magnesium.  The simplest life forms would need at least the carbon and the water. 
Carbon is perhaps the easiest atom to bind with other atoms, but the carbon molecules found in living cells are really unusual, actually unique.  They are joined together in ways that they would not join if left to themselves.  It’s like somebody made them fit. 

Frankly, I don’t see how life could have formed by itself in the first place.  How did carbon and water and whatever else join together to form life?  And is life just certain molecular formations?  What would animate carbon and water molecules to move and reproduce itself?

But let’s suppose lightning struck a piece of wet dirt, and it came to life (the first miracle).   There would need to be a second miracle immediately after.  Unless this living thing were able to metabolize energy, it would die within seconds.  So this lighting would have to strike again immediately and form a metabolic system.

But another miracle is needed very soon after.  Unless this thing could replicate itself, it would disappear from history, and life would end.  We know today that this requires things like DNA or RNA, a written code that makes up the blueprint for the current and future life forms.  We know that these things are not as simple as flipping a switch. 

According to the principles of evolution, these would have to evolve through random, small changes, but you need a complete reproductive system very, very quickly.  How long

The models I have read of what these earliest life forms must have been like just don’t seem like actual living things.  They divide like raindrops and acquire bulk by osmosis rather than assimilation. 

The fourth miracle is again DNA.  The third miracle is the fact of having DNA developing so quickly, but think for a minute what DNA actually is. 

First it is like an artist’s rendering describing what this living thing is going to look like.  Then it is like the blueprints of your house, giving the dimensions of every room and the location and sizes of all the doors and windows.  And thirdly, DNA is like the instruction manual telling you to first insert part A into part B, guiding the entire growth process so everything takes place in the right order at the right time.   Like a general contractor who who builds the frame of the house before he calls in the electricians and plumbers.

And this was all supposed to have happened without outside intervention, strictly on its own.

There is another impossible miracle with regard to reproduction.  You can go anywhere in the world and this reproduction system works with any other human being.  The existence of races shows how long these different branches of humans developed separately from each other, yet they have all ‘developed’ like they were all from the same playbook.

Then the sixth impossible miracle, which to me is the ‘most impossible.’  Sex.  Up to this point, every living thing could reproduce itself by itself.  Now we are asked to believe that these living things, strictly by accident, random mutations, essentially divided themselves into two camps, each developing a complementary reproductive system over maybe a million years, a system that was not needed, and which eventually replaced the system of self-reproduction. 

So which is it?  Did all the living things in the world through random mutations develop these complementary reproductive systems or was it just one line of them, like an Adam and Eve of evolution, two individual organisms that randomly developed these systems.

And think what these systems had to encompass.  Not only were these physically complementary systems, they had to divide up the reproductive functions, creating eggs and sperm that would unite to form the DNA of the new being.  Not only that, after these organisms developed these complementary systems over thousands, millions of years, they had to create something that would prompt these separate organisms to join together to create new life.

When the time came for all this to take place, these organisms had to be in close enough proximity to each other to engage in a new act, and, again, all the necessary codes of information to an offspring were written, again separately yet forming one coherent new code when joined.  Again, by chance, random actions.

The seventh impossible miracle is the human body.  The human body is the most complex, sophisticated thing in the world, and we are supposed to believe that this is the result of random, chance changes.  We are supposed to believe that eyes, brains, a neurological system are all the products of mindless events, which is contrary to everything we know about life.  If you went to the moon and found a computer there, or even something as simple as a table and chair, you would say that someone had been there.  You would not say that these things evolved by chance over millions of years.  Yet this is the essential premise of evolution.  Like finding a Michaelangelo painting in the ground and asserting that this formed naturally by nature without any human involvement.

I can understand the idea of design with regard to the world not being evident to everyone, so I suggest intelligence as the more fitting word.   

Scientists who have been studying DNA have been paying attention to these mutations.  Most mutations are either neutral or harmful, harmful enough that the accumulation of them has enabled scientists to determine an upper limit on how long the human species could have been in existence.  And it is a lot shorter than the time frame commonly accepted by evolutionists.

Evolution is about the survival of the fittest.  Those organisms or attributes that are best suited to the environment survive, while those less fit do not.  Yet evolution says that organisms spend millions (?) of years developing organs and things they didn’t need, like eyes, brains, hearts, lungs.  These wouldn’t have spontaneously appeared in a generation but would have taken thousands of generations to gradually form, yet these would all have been useless features until they were fully developed, so why would these traits have survived until they were?

The eighth impossible miracle.  As evolution would have it, it would seem to me that humans are a product of chemical reactions, and these would govern the actions of the being.  But humans have thoughts.  Are thoughts just a response to a chemical reaction?  How would my thoughts in response to your thoughts be caused by chemicals?  There is no physical interaction.  I hear or see words, and my mind chooses how to respond.  It is not instinctive; it’s deliberate.  It can go either way.  I can choose how to respond. 
There is a self that can think and choose a course of action based on reason and not on chemical impulses, and this is separate from any physical processes.  So a human being is not simply the sum of all the chemical parts.  There is something more that nature can neither explain nor provide: a soul.

The ninth impossible miracle of evolution is that after millions of years and billions of people, animals (is there a difference?), everything looks like it’s done.  You don’t evolve hearts and brains and lungs in one generation through one mutation.  It takes thousands of mutations over thousands of generations, yet you look around the world and every thing looks finished.  You don’t see any living thing in the middle of developing a new organ or limb or body part. 

Evolution is based on the idea that there is nobody overlooking this process.  Change happens by accident, and those organisms that live long enough to reproduce reproduce what they have. 

Evolutionists act as if every living thing is living in some small room, so that the gene pool keeps mixing evenly.  But that’s not what we see in the world.  You have life on different continents that would be on separate evolutionary programs, yet you can go to the remotest parts of the world and find human beings with the exact features, abilities and compatible reproduction.  Sure, people have always traveled, but there is not and never has been the kind of interaction that would put everybody in the world on the same page evolutionally.

If you want to believe in evolution, go ahead, but please, just don’t call it science.  It may be science as science is commonly understood by scientists, but that is not the way everybody else thinks of it. 
Everybody else thinks that when you say science says something, that means that it has been proven.  But you didn’t prove evolution.  You assumed it.

You assumed it because you didn’t like the alternative.

Either God created the world and life as we know it, or everything came about on its own.  You didn’t want to think that God created all this, so you chose to believe it all happened on its own.  You figured out a step by step process that would have achieved the same results, and then you say that is what happened, because that is the only way it could have happened, apart from a God which you reject.

So because of these nine impossible miracles, I cannot accept the idea that all of life and the world as we know it is the result of mindless, random events.  There is a God who made all this. 
Evolution is about a lot more than just trying to explain how we all got here.   It figures a lot in the question of whether there is a God. Our society has been trying to act like God is unimportant or just trying to keep everybody busy enough that they don’t even think to ask the question.
But if evolution is based less on fact and more on wishing it were true, then people are confronted with the idea that there might really be a God, and that would change everything.
When I realized that I believed in God, I realized also that the most important thing in life is to know this God and to serve Him.  Everything else is just temporary.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

President Obama and ISIS

A reader (Sept. 11) can’t wait to watch Republicans as they respond to President Obama’s plans with regard to ISIS.  I am only a Republican by default (Most elections are rigged against third party candidates.), but perhaps I can give this reader some amusement with my response to Obama’s actions.
1)         First of all, he is about two months too late.  The best time to have confronted ISIS was when they were expanding their area of conquest.  Then they were on the move in large groups away from any civilians.  Now they are embedded in civilian populations where you would need ground troops to combat them with very high casualties, both on our side and civilians.
2)         The land that ISIS now controls in Iraq is territory that our troops spent months securing at a very high cost.  We watched and did nothing while ISIS went from town to town taking control.
3)         The President is going to rely on troops from other countries to do the hard work, countries that don’t feel the threat as greatly as we do.  Will they stick it out when their casualties mount?  Will we compel them to use the same rules of engagement that we did that cost our troops so many lives and wounded?
4)         The President is relying on training soldiers of another country to fight a war we are not really sure they want to fight.  It didn’t work in Viet Nam; it didn’t work in Afghanistan, and it didn’t work before in Iraq.  Why should we expect a different or better result now?
5)         Why in the world would the President announce to the world that he is going to bomb ISIS targets in Syria?  He should have had a major onslaught like we had at the beginning of the war in Iraq, and then tell us what he did.  Never tell your enemy what you are planning to do.  Do it, and then tell everybody what you did.  Be sure that many targets will now be off limits as civilians are moved closer to the people we want to eliminate.
6)         Have you seen the videos of the bomb strikes against ISIS?  A hundred and 51 air strikes probably killing a total of 200 militants.  I get the impression he is more interested in looking like he is doing something rather than actually doing something.
7)         Now that everybody knows our plans, watch for any ground troops sent into ISIS territory to encounter IEDs and booby traps, just like our troops did, at very great cost.  In war, you don’t want to give your enemy time to prepare for what you are going to do. 
8)         Speaking of enemy, I would like to see Congress declare war for once.  They haven’t done that since World War 2.  What’s the difference?  Simply, we will try harder if it is a real war and not just counterterrorism tactics.
9)         The President is catching a lot of heat apparently because he said that ISIS is not Islamic.  If ISIS is simply a group of radicals who hijacked a peaceful religion, why are there so many other groups of radicals all across the world doing the same thing?  What is it that makes so many people and groups of people think that this is the way it is supposed to be?  Is there any Muslim country in the world that became Muslim without the use of force? 
We are now seeing millions of Muslims moving into Europe thanks to an open door immigration policy.  Interestingly, as their numbers grow, so does the tension between them and the native Europeans as they seek to make Europe more Muslim.  A moderate Muslim is a Muslim who is a very small minority in a non-Muslim country.  While those individual moderates may not become militant as the number of Muslims increases, the presence of militants will increase.  There is no way to differentiate between them when they immigrate.  It may be generous to say that one in ten Muslims is a radical, but when we have 3 million Muslims in our country, that is 300,000 radicals.  
10)        Attacking ISIS when they were on the move could have decimated them.  Now he is expecting and planning on a war that will last longer than his presidency.  There will be groups of Islamists that will need to be faced constantly in the years ahead.  He talks resolve, but I think he was more accurate when he spoke of trying to make them “a manageable problem.”

Illegal immigration and American jobs

Facebook post re: the question of whether illegal immigrants are taking American jobs

We have the highest unemployment in our country since probably the Great Depression.  The government numbers don’t count the people who gave up looking for a job.  If anything, we need a moratorium on almost all immigration, unless a person has skills for jobs that are hard to fill.
Our country is 18 trillion dollars in debt, most of it is due to government assistance programs where now I think more people receive money from the government than people who actually work fulltime.  Now is not the time to qualify millions more people to receive government assistance.
I have worked in retail my whole life.  The work force has changed from 99% white to 60-70% Hispanic.  These are union jobs.  Years ago, you could stock grocery shelves fulltime and support your family.  Now you can’t.  Why?  The presence of companies and people who will work without unions and for less money and benefits.  All the stores used to be union, now maybe have.  The non-union competition forces the union jobs to constantly lower pay and benefits.

Americans expect jobs with benefits like health insurance.  They know it’s too expensive buying it separately.  Jobs used to provide insurance.  If people will work without them, companies won’t offer it.  If they can’t get workers, what happens?  Workers become more valuable to them, and they pay more or use benefits to attract the best workers.