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:

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

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

Thank you.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Obama's speech on immigrants - a response

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I could go on but I’ll stop.                                          

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Three Things We Need to Learn from Donald Trump - Now


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

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

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

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

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

Most important issue: [He offered five choices.]

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

Larry Craig


Sunday, August 2, 2015

Time to End the Two Party System


So Bernie Sanders is a Socialist and Hillary Clinton is a Democrat.  Jeb Bush is a Republican, and Ted Cruz is Tea Party.  Ron Paul, from the last election, was a Libertarian. 

So why is it when we have an election for President, we only get two choices?  Oh, there are others, names you never heard of from parties you never heard of.

But anybody who is somebody tries to run under one of the two main labels in American politics.  Why?   Because we have a two party system in the United States.  When a third major candidate runs for President, he ends up splitting the votes of one party and essentially giving the election to the other candidate, meaning that the winner has less than a majority of the vote.  In Presidential elections, the winner still needs a majority of the electoral votes to win, but he could win a state without getting a majority of the votes when there is a third party candidate.

My question is: why doesn’t anybody see a problem with this?  Whether it is the newscasters reporting on the election or the candidates or party that lost the election, nobody says a word about it.  The only time the subject comes up is before the election when a would-be candidate mentions the possibility of a third party candidacy, and he is then cautioned against it, because a) he has no chance of winning, and b) he is essentially giving the election to the person farthest from his own views.
We have a nation of 330 million people, and we can only get two people to choose from for the most important job in our country? 

Someone will say that we have a primary system that sorts through the candidates, and anybody that doesn’t win the primary surely wouldn’t win in the general election. 

What could possibly be wrong with this thinking?

The first thing is that, for example, a Socialist running in the Democratic Party faces a non-Socialist leadership and non-Socialist donor base.  If the leadership of the Party that you are running in doesn’t support you and the big Party donors don’t support you, do you really think you are going to win the primary for that Party?  Yes, people still have to vote for these candidates, but I don’t believe for a minute that anyone will win any Primary election and become the Party nominee who does not have the full support of that Party’s leadership

But wouldn’t other Socialists rally to his cause and provide the support that the Party leadership is not providing?  That would be like a Mom and Pop store trying to survive in the shadow of Walmart.  A political party in existence for 150 years is not going to let some outsider come in and ruin their party (pun intended).

The second thing wrong with the thinking that the primary process is the best place to sort through and weed out all these various Party contenders is that the Primary process strongly favors established candidates with large donors.  Many candidates drop out after the first few primaries even before most of the votes get a chance to even vote for them, because nobody knows them well enough, and their money has run out. 

There are currently 16 or 17 declared Republican candidates, and half will drop out before half of the primaries take place.  If they ran as whatever Party they wanted or even as an Independent, more people would get a chance to learn about them and money would be less of an issue.

We need to demand more choices for President and not let the Parties winnow our selection down to two.  And there is only one thing that stops this from happening, and it is something that voters should have demanded years ago.  It’s already in place in many elections that currently take place in our country, but we need to demand it for all elections, and particularly for the election of the President of the United States.

We must demand that no candidate wins an election without getting a majority of the vote.  It sounds so obvious, but in most major elections, if there are more than two candidates, a person could win the election with as little as 34 % of the vote.  Not only is this absurd, but it is also wrong.  Yet we see it happen all the time and nobody says a word, except before the election warning that third person not to run.

We need more candidates, not less.  And winners must have more than 50% of the vote to win.  In the elections that require this now, they have runoff elections, which frankly can be expensive, and for a Presidential election could be problematic.

The solution for this is a ballot that allows for a second choice.  If the first choice is for a candidate who is eliminated, the second choice becomes valid.  This would save time, money, and ensure that we get the best candidates available.  Now people often will not vote for third party candidates, because they know that if they lose, the election would probably go the candidate neither of them want. 

Don’t expect our current politicians to suggest this fix to our current election system.  This is something that people need to talk about, write letters about, get the local newspapers involved, and mention to every politician and candidate that we can. 

If I had to make a short list of actions that our country needs to take to save us from the death spiral it is currently in, this would be on it.




Thursday, July 23, 2015

Globalization: Spreading Poverty Worldwide

Note:  After this article, I want to focus my writing on Christians.  You could call my articles sermons or Bible studies.  If our country is saved, morally, economically, politically, spiritually, it will be because Christians have increased their involvement in our culture and our politics. 
I will continue to write short responses to letters and columns in the newspapers, most of which are posted here.  My sermons and Bible studies will be on my other site,LarrysBibleStudies.blogspot.com
If you are new to this site, be sure to check out the older posts.  

Globalization: Spreading Poverty Worldwide
We have been told, and we are constantly being retold in case we might forget, that globalization is inevitable, good, and necessary for (our) prosperity.  I believe that this is a false narrative.  I believe that the only people who prosper in globalization are the rich and the politicians, but neither need this to get richer.  They just use whatever we give them to make their money, though if you tax the rich too high, they will just move somewhere else where they can keep or make more money.   

Globalization is essentially political correctness applied to nations, where nations only became rich at the expense of the poor, where nations are all equal such that no nation should be rich while others are poor. The wealth of the richer (read: Western) nations should be spread out over all the nations.  No one nation should be a world leader.  All should sit at a round table and vote equally on world issues.  Everybody, especially the richer, more powerful nations, should be subject to the feelings and opinions of all the nations as a whole. 

No political system or culture is considered better than another, though richer, Western, and Christian nations, cultures, and religion are inherently suspect, because they have been deemed oppressive, phobic, and exploitative.

But what exactly is it about globalization that is so wrong?

There are at least three problems with globalization, any one of which should be enough for any nation, at least those considered to be wealthier, to reject it.

The first problem with globalization is that it links all the economies of the nations together.  This has two results. 

The first is that problems in other countries can now hurt our economy.  As I write this, there is talk that a recession in China could cause a worldwide recession.  When China was booming, nobody was saying how wonderful that was for everybody else, but when they have problems, everybody else can be affected. 

We are told that we should be happy China is sending all these cheap imports here, because they save us money at the store.  That’s good only because incomes have gone down here since we sent so many jobs overseas and flooded our country with more workers than we have jobs for.

With globalization, when a country does well, it doesn’t transfer into prosperity for anybody else.  But when a country does badly, everybody else, meaning richer nations, can suffer.  Even Greece’s near bankruptcy sent American stocks downward. 

But globalization also means that we are taking the control of our economy out of our hands and placing it in the hands of other people, people over whom we have no control.  We can’t tell China how to run their economy. 

Globalization wants us to build or maintain our economy on exports, which means that we are dependent on other nations prospering and buying from us before we can prosper.  So they have to be doing well before we can, and if they don’t have the money to buy our stuff, then we don’t make any money and we lose jobs.

Why would any nation want to depend on everyone else for their own prosperity? 

When the United States made all of its own stuff, we always had plenty of jobs.  The 1930s were an exception, but that period of time was unique and subject to different interpretations, whether you think the government, including President Roosevelt, was a hero or the villain, whether you think they showed the limitations of capitalism and the need for more government control or whether the government itself hampered the economy.

Which leads us to the second problem with globalization.  With the rise of free trade and globalization, things can be made anywhere, and they are pretty much no longer made here.  And, consequently, we no longer have enough jobs for our people, which drives the need for higher taxes and more government borrowing, because we now expect the government to take care of everybody.

When we made all of our own stuff, we had plenty of jobs. And as the population increased, so did the jobs, because the population increase itself fueled the demand and growth of the economy.
When we had the jobs, there were very few government assistance programs.  Now that we don’t have the jobs, we have all kinds of government assistance programs, and where does the money come from to pay for them?  From those who are still working.  But their buying power is vastly reduced, because the government needs more and more of their money to help the people who can no longer find jobs.

In fact, since the rise of globalization, the United States has gone from being the richest nation in the world to arguably one of the poorest.  The point is arguable because of all the material things that everybody seems to have, but the federal government (that’s all of us) is $18 trillion in debt, the states are another $4 trillion in debt, and average household debt is over $7000, not including mortgages.  And these debts are increasing, not diminishing.

The third problem with globalization is that it is like adding another 2 billion people to the workforce.  A surplus of labor only works to drive down worker’s wages and benefits.  You can always find somebody who will do the work for less.  This drives jobs out of the wealthier nations and sends them to the poorer. 

Does this help the poorer nations?  Not really.  They are poor because of the economic structure of their country.  In about a hundred years after our nation’s founding, the United States became the world’s leading economy.  It surpassed nations that had existed for thousands of years.  People will argue about the reasons, trying to isolate that one leading factor: was it capitalism, the right to private property, the Protestant work ethic? 

But the point is that the movement of a company or even an industry to another country will not turn that country from a poor one to a rich one.  It just dilutes the wealth of the rich nations and spreads it out all over the world, so richer nations become poorer, the poor stay poor, and all the nations become more equal, equally poor.

Prior to 1916 there was no income tax in our country, so taxes on imports were the primary means of financing our federal government.   During the Great Depression, many argued for not taxing imports, because we sold far more in exports than we bought in imports, and they were afraid that countries taxing our imports would hurt our economy even further.  But there was never a question of our companies moving overseas and then shipping their goods back to us.

Globalization wants you to think that putting your own country first over other countries is selfish.  They will use such terms as nationalism and protectionism as disparaging terms to shame compliance with their agenda.  The argument is also framed as greedy corporations wanting protection from foreign competitors, resulting in consumers paying higher prices to benefit that corporation. 

The fact is that our government needs money to provide necessary services.  The government has no money of its own.   The money has to come from somewhere.  When we don’t tax imports, then we have to tax our own people more.  When we tax imports, we can tax our own people less. 

Why is taxing imports preferable to taxing our own people?  Imports compete directly for American jobs.  So whatever we save on cheaper imports from not taxing them, we pay for in lost jobs and higher taxes.  So ultimately it costs us more when we don’t tax imports.

Growing up, we always had access to foreign made goods.  We usually paid a little more for them, but it was often considered worth it because they were either unique or thought to be of better quality.  But it was never our companies sending our own stuff back to us.

But just as families put their needs over that of their neighbors, so countries need to put their needs over that of their neighbors.  Each family is a unit of society motivated by love and responsibility.  It is also the largest unit of society that individuals can actually control, so to speak.  I can’t control what goes on in my neighbor’s house, just as we cannot control what goes on in another country. 


If we take care of our country first, like we take care of our families first, and other countries take care of their countries like they take care of their own families, we will all do our best for our own.  We have always helped other countries, but it is the difference between giving them a fish or teaching them how to fish.  The first has a limited impact, but the latter an unlimited impact.  You don’t give them our jobs; you show them how to create their own.   

Friday, July 17, 2015

gay marriage again - a response to a letter in the paper

The issue of gay marriage is far from settled, just like the issue of abortion wasn’t settled by a Supreme Court decision either.

The issue isn’t about who you love or whether you were born a certain way.  The issue is children, whether a child has a right to a mother and a father. 

Whether you believe in God or evolution, they both ended up at the same place.  It takes a man and a woman to create a child.  The Bible talks a lot about the roles of both parents.  Without a Bible, we have no idea of how things are supposed to be.  We all have opinions but no one to tell us if one is right or wrong.

With gay marriage, people want to remove a mother or a father from a child’s life and call it good, no, just as good, in fact equal, to a family with both natural parents.  It’s true that children often grow up without one or both of their natural parents, but nobody has been calling that good or just as good as if the child had both parents. But with gay marriage they want to call it equal.

Who has the right or who gave anyone the right to take one or both of a child’s parents from them and then try to tell them that they didn’t really need them, that this arrangement is just as good?


This trend has been a long time coming, with surrogate mothers, sperm donors, and the normalization of single mothers.  But up until now, nobody has been calling them equal to the natural family.  Gay marriage is that next step, and it is one step too far.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

How to fix the pension crisis in Illinois

Why is nobody talking about changing the Illinois State Constitution with regard to pensions?  I’m not one to change constitutions lightly, but the one sentence added to the 1970 Constitution regarding pensions is nothing essential to our form of government and certainly was not a provision that was debated with public input to ensure a government that best represented the people and that had their best interests in mind.  Somebody wanted to protect a benefit that was too good to be true and likely to be looked at in future budget discussions.  So this provision locked it up, and politicians could act like this was untouchable.

If and when people start talking about fixing the Constitution with regard to pensions, we will no doubt be flooded with stories about former public employees just scraping by on a measly pension, as if we are required to provide a generous middle class lifestyle for life for all former state employees.

But those who are serious about correcting our pension system will find outrageous, even criminal abuses of our system, things like career end promotions that boosts one’s lifelong pension payments; people retiring in their 50s, living off the state, meaning, everybody else pays them generously while they go out and get another similar job, six figure pensions with full health insurance.


I wouldn’t charge the recipients of these benefits with criminal behavior, but those who made them possible should be held responsible for criminal abuse of the public trust and public money.