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.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

So What Would It Mean to Make America Great Again?

Making America great again is the theme of one of our major political party candidates.  His supporters readily agree with him, but at first some people sneered and saw this as a call for the return of racial segregation, discrimination, or, who knows, maybe even slavery.

The other political party saw the danger in this thinking and began insisting that we were already great.  Of course, they said, we already are a great nation; what could possibly need to be changed?

I happen to think that we have lost some very valuable qualities in our country, and I would like to see us get them back.  When this candidate keeps speaking of making America great, the question naturally rises, So when exactly was it great like you are saying it used to be?

Donald Trump is no historian, and so I am guessing that he is referring to an America that he remembers. 

As I get older, I am learning to appreciate older people in a new way.  Not because I am getting older myself, but because they bring a perspective to things that younger people just can’t have.  For a younger person, America has always been a certain way.  For an older person, they remember when America was not that way, and they wish it could go back to what it used to be.

So if making America great again is like being able to turn the clock back, what would be some of the set points we can say would make America greater than it is now?

I would like to suggest a few.

A recent set point would be 2001.  9/11 changed everything, but it didn’t have to. 

Our leaders have long felt that we were safe from the all the wars and problems of the rest of the world, because we were separated from all that by two oceans.  But on 9/11, the war came to us.  It wasn’t by an invading army but by people that we willingly allowed to enter our country.  Was this carelessness or stupidity?  Doesn’t matter at this point.  The point is not to let it happen again.

But we have.  Over and over again.  But many of our political leaders don’t see any connection between many of the acts of violence that have occurred in our country and our policies of who we allow or bring into our country.

However, a lot of people do see a connection.  We now have over 1,000 ongoing terror investigations going on right now.  We are monitoring over a million people on a terror watch list.  We spend hours in line waiting to get on an airplane.  We have the same kind of security now even at baseball games.  And we will have these things now forever and ever.  This is the new normal.

Nobody wants to say it, but these threats only exist because we have Muslims living in our country.  I know how this sounds today, so please let me explain.

Most Muslims are just ordinary people who only want to get on in life, just like everybody else.  I get that.  But then there are the Islamic leaders, the Islamic scholars, and the imams who teach and interpret Islam for the masses. 

Islam has a program.  You can call it the Islamization of the world.  And the freedoms and democracy of Western Civilization will allow them to do it without having much of the violence that was required in the past.

The plan begins with the mass migration of Muslims to all the non-Muslim countries of the world.  As their numbers increase, they then need to build mosques for prayers, but more importantly for the imams to teach the people the duties of Islam, including sharia law, which, by the way, supersedes the constitutions of any nation in which they live.

But let us go on.

A second checkpoint would be the early 90s, before we starting shipping all of our jobs overseas in the name of free trade.  We were told that this would benefit us by lowering the cost of imported goods and creating jobs for our export industry.  They didn’t tell us that to get the lower cost of imported goods we would have to give up millions of good paying American jobs.  And that for our export industries to prosper, we have to rely on the prosperity of other nations first so that they can buy our goods, thus placing our prosperity directly in the hands of other nations.

So bringing our nation back to the safety and security of pre-2001 American would make America much greater than it is now.  

Restoring the jobs we lost would make it greater still.  When people don’t have good paying jobs anymore, not only does our government lose tax revenue that it has to make up for elsewhere, but it also spends a lot of money providing assistance to those who don’t have the money to live on.  We lose twice.

And that’s when our government debt started really spiking.  Government debt, of course, hurts us in a number of ways: it devalues our money, and it makes everything government does more expensive, because we spend billions of dollars a year just paying interest on this debt.

Going back a few decades, we had the Viet Nam War, which we actually never officially called a war.  After World War II, we stopped declaring wars.  We just starting fighting and continued fighting until we stopped.  Fifty thousand of our soldiers died in Viet Nam, and we lost.  More like we just gave up rather than being defeated. 

If we could choose our military engagements more carefully and actually intend to win the engagement, that would do a lot to enhance our nation’s image in the world and at home. 

War is hell.  I admit that, but there is a certain clarity that comes from winning a war.  Germany and Japan surrendered at the end of World War 2.  We helped them rebuild their countries, and they have been close friends ever since.  When wars don’t end in victory and defeat, nothing gets resolved, and the hostilities continue for generations after, like in Korea and the Middle East.

We don’t declare wars anymore, so we start fighting and we fight like we are not sure if we really want to win it.  Thousands of our troops die, and nothing is resolved. 

Remaking our military use policies to focus on actually winning a war without jeopardizing the lives of our soldiers needlessly could do a lot to making our country greater again.

One more major set point in Donald Trump’s lifetime would be the 1960s.  That saw the start of the Great Society.  Right after our country signed civil rights legislation banning discrimination on the basis of race, the Johnson Administration launched the government welfare system that we still see today. 

After trillions of dollars spent, only a few things have changed. and none of them good.  One is that where welfare used to be the domain of the church, now it is the responsibility of the government.  When the church did welfare, the church knew the people who were receiving it.  People were held accountable.  That’s gone, as well as the public sentiment that getting welfare was embarrassing for people; we have now made it mainstream and totally acceptable. 

A lot of people attribute the government welfare program also for the destruction of the black American family.  Where now about 70% of black children are born to unmarried parents, the rate was probably in the low teens back in the 60s. 

So, yes, I would love to see America return in many ways to what it used to be in the past.  I am really hard-pressed to think of anything that has improved in our country due to anything that the government has done for us. 

People may fuss about what greatness in America can actually mean, and I’m not sure if Donald Trump is thinking of set points as I am, but the fact that he is even bringing up the issue encourages me that we can finally make something better than it has been.

unintended consequences of raising the minimum wage

Most people who work in grocery stores, restaurants, and fast food places make a lot less than the new minimum wages that are being pushed across the country.  As these new minimum wages go into effect, expect to see food prices increase all across the board, and we will soon be hearing again about how people can’t live on the minimum wage. 

A lot of these people working at these place, by the way, are high schoolers, college kids, and retirees, who are not expecting to live off these wages.  These are some of the few places where they can find part-time, summer, and weekend jobs.  Expect to see a lot fewer of them getting these jobs in the future.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

politicians, Presidents, and sex scandals

This is a response I wrote to a friend on Facebook when she expressed embarrassment and disgust over the recent talk of Donald Trump's behavior of 2005.  Her children were particularly upset.

When we had 17 Republican candidates, I thought that there were about 7 or 8 that I could support.  As I started thinking and writing about the issues, I identified 5 that I called the iceberg sinking the ship. If the ship sinks, nothing else is going to matter. On each issue, Trump was the only one who either saw the problem, offered the best or right solution to the problem, or showed the resolution and independence to do what needs to be done.  Since then he has brought up other issues that I never imagined a candidate would bring up, and these would have incredible benefits to our country.

Hillary Clinton has lied to Congress, the FBI, and to the American people.  She left 4 Americans to die and then lied to their parents about why they died.  I can’t think of one policy, plan, or program that she has proposed that will not hurt our country.  Among others, she has spoken often of the need for religious values to be subordinated to the higher secular values.  This is how the persecution of Christians in our country will start.

John Kennedy, Ted Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, and Bill Clinton had sex scandals all through their political careers, and three of them still became President.  Their same behavior continued through their time in the White House.

Trump is crude.  No question.  But frankly our political system in Washington is so corrupt and entrenched in self-serving abuse of power that it will take somebody who is not a part of the system to break it.  Samson was one of the judges of Israel, and God used him.  I don’t see anybody else who sees so much of what needs to be done, has actually talked about doing it, and has shown the independence to do it.

We are in a war for the survival of our country.  Wars are not pretty and not always suitable for  younger viewers.  

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Remember the Trojan Horse

One of the earliest memories I have is sitting in a movie theater watching Helen of Troy, a movie about the Trojan War.  Basically the war was a ten year war between Greece (I think just one of their city states) and the city of Troy in what is now Turkey.  Finally, the Greeks built a large wooden horse (maybe 60 ft tall) and sailed away.  The Trojans thought it was a peace offering or something like that and brought it into the city.  In the middle of the night, Greek soldiers from inside the horse came out and were able to open the gates to the Greek army that had gathered outside.  The Greeks won the war that night.

What brought this movie to mind was a news segment from ABC recently about a refugee family that was settled in California.  It focused (as far as I watched) on two young girls as they started school in their new country.  Two sweet little girls in a strange new world.  It made you want to go over to Syria and bring them all over.

There are between 19 and 65 million refugees in the world today, depending on who’s counting.  What should the world do in response to this crisis?

The best way to answer that question might be to ask yourself this question: To what lengths would you go personally to meet this need?  How much would you give up in terms of freedom, security, wealth, or your children’s future?  How much change would you accept in this country?  How much financial sacrifice?  Are there any other countries in the world that you would like to move to or rather live in?  Because the country you know will not be the same as the one it will become, and you have to decide how much change you would be willing to accept.

Most of the refugees that our country is currently focused on bringing into our country are Muslims.  When you see a child suffering, who cares what religion they are.  You want to help.  So this year we brought in about 10,000 Muslims refugees.  Hllary Clinton wants to bring in 65,000 more, and President Obama addressed the United Nations urging all the countries of the world to take in as many of these refugees as possible. 

Some Muslim countries have set up refugee camps, but I know of no Muslim country that is actually trying to assimilate refugees into their society.  This burden seems to be given to all the non-Muslim countries. 

So at great expense, all these non-Muslim countries, from South America to Australia, and the United States and Canada, are trying to bring in refugees to relieve some of their misery. 

But then what.  In a generation or two, these Muslim people have now become a Muslim community, and they need a mosque.  Now they need to bring in an imam to lead and teach them.  And what do they teach them?

I have an Assyrian friend who is fluent in Arabic and has clients who have asked about mosques in the area.  So he attended at least one local one with them.  He told me they teach their people to stay separate from the Americans, especially the Christians.  Sharia law is the way of salvation for Muslims.  It shows them how to please God.

Islam is incompatible with Western Civilization.  Women wear hijabs and burkas to live according to Sharia.  But what they don’t tell you is that you should be wearing them to, even if you are not a Muslim.  Your short dresses and tight pants and shorts show what low morals you have. 

We are told that America is a land where everyone is free to live out their religion.  When our Founders wrote that, they were thinking about the various disputes between Baptists and Presbyterians, not Jews and Muslims.  We went to war with a number of Muslim nations soon after our nation’s founding, and the Muslims leaders showed our leaders from the Koran that it was their duty to attack our ships and enslave our sailors.  That’s what Muslims do. 

So, no, our Founders were not envisioning a country where all kinds of religions with very different standards of right and wrong and morality would try to coexist in some sort of utopia.  Western culture is decadent to Islam.  It just might take a generation of two before they feel free enough to tell us that.  They will need a few more mosques to teach their people their obligations to Allah.

All this is being clearly played out all over Europe right now.  There are probably thousands of videos on Youtube that show this clash of cultures.  And you don’t think it will happen here?

Why would anyone oppose illegal and Muslim immigration?

Neil Steinberg (Chicago Sun-Times  Sept. 21) thinks a lot of people are needlessly worried or bothered by illegal immigrants and Muslims.  After all, children from even the best families can go wrong, and people die every day from automobile accidents, and nobody talks about banning cars.    

He is sure that the only reason these people are so worried about illegal immigrants and Muslims must be because they hate immigrants.

I think there are a few other possible reasons.
As for illegal immigration, I would think a country has the responsibility to know who is coming into it.  Try to enter Mexico or Canada illegally and see how they respond.  You’ll either be in jail or back where you came from. 

I have a government textbook from 1949 which lists 11 criteria that immigrants had to meet before being accepted into our country, including their health.  Diseases that had long been essentially eradicated in our country are back, like tuberculosis and leprosy.
People were not allowed in if it was thought they would require government assistance.  Now the government gladly assists them whether they are legal or not.  And it borrows money to do that, as the federal government alone is $20 trillion in debt.

Years ago, we used to make all of our own stuff.  As the population grew, demand increased, and so did the jobs.  We had jobs for everyone, and they were good paying jobs.  You could stock shelves in a grocery store and support your family so your wife didn’t have to work.

Now we have about 90 million people of workforce age out of work, the lowest rate of labor participation since the late 70s.  And all these people are being supported by the rest of us who are working.

As for Muslims, the key to understanding the issue is to compare life in the United States before and after 9/11 and seeing how our country has changed solely because we are afraid a Muslim will commit an act of terror. 

The FBI has over 1,000 open terror investigations right now.  I won’t say that none of these involve Protestants, Catholics, or Jews, but I would bet at least 1,000 of them involve Muslims.

We have over a million people on a terror watch list.  Again, I won’t say there are no Protestants, Catholics, or Jews on that list, but I would bet at least a million of them are Muslims.  It is costing us billions of dollars a year trying to keep track of all of them.

We have the Department of Homeland Security, including the TSA, that was created solely as a result of 9/11.  We are closing in on almost a trillion dollars that have been spent on this department since 9/11.   

Forever and ever we now must spend hours in line at airports being screened for bombs.  They are only afraid of a Muslim bringing a bomb onto the plane.  That is the only reason we started doing this.
Now this has been expanded to baseball and football games.  

Forever and ever we must endure screenings and are forbidden from bringing drinks into the stadium, because we are afraid a Muslim will bring a bomb or other weapon inside.  The Chicago White Sox have a stadium on the south side of Chicago, which has possibly the highest gun violence rate in the country.  But they were never worried about gun violence at a ball game before now.  Why?  Solely because of the threat of a Muslim committing an act of mass violence.

Why are we doing all this?  The Constitution says that government, our government, exists to “form a more perfect union, . . . insure domestic tranquility, and promote the general welfare . . .”  And it is supposed to do all this for the people of the United States. 

It seems to me that our government is expecting our people to give up their money, freedom, and security to put the needs of the people of other countries before the needs of its own.  That sounds noble and compassionate, but it doesn’t have that right without the consent of the people it governs.  As controversial as these issues are, I would say that the government is acting without the consent of the people. 

Sunday, September 18, 2016

OK, So I’ve Read the Constitution

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

affordable housing is subsidized housing.

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

Dear Mr. :

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

There are basically three problems I have with this project.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you.