where religion and politics meet

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Science and education used to be valuable tools in the search for truth, but science has chosen to answer the foundational questions of life without accepting the possibility of any supernatural causes, and education no longer considers the search to be necessary, possible, or worthwhile.

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

If you are new to this site, I would encourage you to browse through the older articles. They deal with a lot of the more basic issues. Many of the newer articles are shorter responses to partiular problems.

Visit my other websites theimportanceofhealing blogspot.com where I talk about healing and my book of the same name and LarrysBibleStudies.blogspot.com where I am posting all my other Bible studies. Follow this link to my videos on youtube:

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

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

Thank you.

Larry Craig

Monday, June 11, 2018

What we are not talking about in our immigration discussions


The Tribune (June 10) ran a long, touching article about a friendship between a Muslim and a non-Muslim person in our country, putting a human face on an often contentious immigration issue. 

There is one matter that is left out of all our discussions on immigration that needs to be talked about.

The American experiment is based on a level of human rights and freedom unparalleled anywhere else in the world.  Our Founders fought a war in order to be able to establish this country with the Constitution that is currently in place. 

The basic idea for American freedom and rights is explained in our Declaration of Independence:  “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal (i.e. we don’t believe in kings, a ruling class), that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty,, and the pursuit of happiness – that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed  -- that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it and to institute new government, laying tis foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.”

It is a safe assumption that no immigrant understands or believes these things when they come into our country.   Many of our immigrants disagree with these beliefs.  Islam, for example, had been in existence for 1,000 years prior to the founding of our country, and there is no Muslim country then or now in the world with a Constitution anything like ours.  A Muslim would deny the whole premise of our Constitution.

We as a nation no longer talk about God-given rights, because we are told that any mention of God constitutes an unconstitutional endorsement of religion.  So when millions of immigrants vote in our elections and have no idea of or belief in what it is that makes the United States what it is, we will eventually lose the freedoms we fought a war to gain. 

This won’t happen suddenly, but gradually as more and more people vote according to their understanding of rights and not according to our Founders.  I dare say we don’t even teach these to our own children, given the hostility to anything having to do with God in our public schools.

We are losing our nation.  Without a war, without a revolution, without anyone even noticing it.

Is this really what we want to do?





Friday, May 18, 2018

declining birth rate in U.S.


So the United States has the lowest birth rate in three decades.   It’s nor surprising.  Our society has been telling our daughters for a long time that careers are more important than having families and that they need a career to be equal or happy and fulfilled in life.

Our society never bothered to tell them that only women can have children and that every woman needs to have at least two children in order for a society to maintain its population.

Why is that so important? 

A big reason is that a declining population is an aging one, and that places a huge financial burden on everyone else. 

Immigration used to be touted as the answer to all this: bring in young workers who will pay taxes.

But then our immigration policy shifted to families, so the young workers were bringing in their parents and everyone else regardless of their work status, and we still have the aging population.
 
The answer?  It will require a major shift from secular to religious values.  Secularism has no answer.  Secularism is new on the world scene, and this problem is their doing essentially, and it leads to a dead end. 

Monday, May 14, 2018

Yes, The United States is a Christian Nation, and, Yes, It Matters


What is an American?  

Historically nations formed from people who were of the same language or kinship, but the United States was built on a set of ideals.

And what were those ideals?

Very simply, the idea of human rights.  The idea that human rights precede government, rights that the government didn’t and cannot give and that government cannot take away.

But where did this idea of human rights come from?  Did somebody just make it up?   

If this whole thing is just some person’s political ideas, or a political wave like political correctness or multiculturalism, and the colonies then accepted it, because they thought it was a good idea, then they are ideas that can change with the times and with changing demographics.  

So where did this idea come from?

The Founding Document of our country is the Declaration of Independence.  There it states that these rights come from God, that humans were created by God and endowed by Him with certain inalienable rights.  Inalienable means that they cannot be surrendered or transferred.  Among these rights are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  And people then form governments for the purpose of securing those rights.  Government exists to see that we get to experience those rights.
Government cannot infringe, modify, curtail or revoke them.  Government is not the source of these rights, and they are not determined by public opinion or votes.

This is better but still not good enough.
How did they know that our rights come from God?  And which God?

Every nation of the world at that time had their gods, and none of them believed as we did.  They didn’t have atheistic nations in those days as we do today, but they don’t see human rights as we do either.

The fact is that our Founders got their beliefs about God and human rights from Christianity and the Bible.  

But Christianity had been around for 1700 years.  Why now?

When Christianity first began in the first century, it was often harshly persecuted by the Romans.  In the fourth century, it suddenly became the state religion.  Christianity was then united with the government throughout Europe until for most countries long after the American Revolution.

Starting in the 1500s, Christianity itself went through a major change.  For the first time the Bible began to be translated into all the various native languages of the peoples, and people could read the Bible for themselves and not rely on other people to read it and then tell them what it says.

This caused conflicts between a lot of people and the Church and, consequently, the governments. When this New World was discovered, they had now somewhere to go to be able to live in freedom according to their conscience.  No, not everybody who came to the New World was a Christian looking for religious freedom.  Many people came for economic opportunities.  But almost everybody was from Europe, so they were at least nominally Christian.

Not all Americans at that time wanted Church separated from the State.  In fact, many states had state churches long after the First Amendment was passed.  The First Amendment addressed only a State Church at the federal level.

Having the Bible in their own language spawned the birth of many different Christian denominations, all uniting under the authority of the Bible and the Ten Commandments as our moral code.

Our Founders believed that the Bible was God’s revelation to humans, about what He is like, what humans are like, and what the world is all about.  They saw the Christian understanding of God and the world as being true.  

A religion is not a list of personal preferences and beliefs of a particular set of people like their taste in food, music, or movies.  A religion is a worldview, a description of reality that defines what is true and what is false, what is right and what is wrong, what is good and what is bad.

So our nation’s founding is inextricably united with Christianity.  If we separate our rights from the belief that they come from God as Christians understand God through the Bible, if we deny the Christian foundation of our country or deny that we need to continue to believe in that, if we say that we are a secular nation where God must be absent from public life and discussions, if our rights do not have a transcendent authority or value, if we say that all religions are equal in our country and government cannot favor or aid any religion, then our ideas about human rights are just products of our imagination.  They are only opinions that will change with time.

If we don’t teach each succeeding generation of our people and the millions of immigrants who come here where these ideals come from, they won’t know where they came from and someday there will be more people who don’t know and understand the nature of these ideals than those who do. 
Almost all of the immigrants who come here come from countries that don’t share our ideas of human rights and freedom.  Over time the whole concept of human rights can, and will, change as the country absorbs the contributions, and thinking, of its very diverse population.  And they can then all be voted away in the next election.

It wouldn’t happen overnight, because we still have a lot of people around who remember where our rights came from.  But that will change over time.  

We fought a war in order to be able to establish a nation with these ideals.  If we were in the same circumstances today, there never would been a war for independence.  It took a sense that the government was taking away something that had been given to the people by God.  It’s hard to imagine someone in Congress making that argument today.


John Adams, our second President, said that our Constitution was made only for a religious and moral people.  It is wholly inadequate for any other.  And by religion he meant Christianity, because religions are not all alike when it comes to morals and certainly when it comes to rights.  That’s why the Ten Commandments were a major part of the public life in our country for two hundred years after our founding.  You can’t give innumerable rights and freedoms to people who don’t have a high moral code.

After several generations of having our leaders call our nation a secular nation, we are already seeing calls to modify those rights.   Freedom of speech must now be abridged if it might offend someone, and the right to keep and bear arms must be infringed for the sake of safety.  Constitutional amendments describing some of those rights were fine as they were for over 209 years, but now all of a sudden people are finding problems with them.  And this will continue until all of our unique God-given rights are gone, unless we again find our roots and reassert the Christian foundation of our country.

The court called supreme was wrong when it said that prayer, Bible reading, and the Ten Commandments in public life. and our schools are unconstitutional.  Evan judges can be ignorant of the foundations of our country.  Did not our Founders know what they meant when they wrote the First Amendment and then had the Bible used in all our public schools?  They knew you had to teach each generation how to live.

The modern moral standard of tolerance, equality, fairness, and diversity is showing itself to be wholly inadequate as a moral foundation for our country, as it essentially puts the burden on the government to impose and enforce it.  Previously the basic moral standard was ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  From the Bible.

Frankly, we are running out of time before our nation no longer has the mind and the will to restore our country to the founding principles of our country.

Those who know the truth need to speak the truth, publicly, frequently, and even loudly.  If not for us, then for our children and our grandchildren.  And we must insist that we teach these ideals to our children and the millions of people who come there and particularly those who want to become citizens.

In 1862, Abraham Lincoln called our nation “the last best hope on earth.”  If anything, that statement has never been truer that it is today.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

chaplains in Congress, and what that means


The Sun-Times (May 6) devoted a whole page to a writer who questioned the practice of having chaplains in Congress, because our country was “founded on the principle of separation of church and state.”  Yet, as he notes, the day of the First Congress opened the session with prayer, and “the first order of business was to perpetuate that practice,” by electing a House chaplain.

Maybe this idea of separation of church and state as commonly thrown around today is not what the Founders intended when they wrote the First Amendment.  They certainly didn’t use that expression, and it isn’t found in our Constitution.  We should expect that they knew what they meant when they wrote it.

We use this idea of separation to exclude any mention of God in our public schools, yet Congress itself opens its daily sessions with prayer.  Why or how could the court called supreme then find prayer unconstitutional in our public schools?

The founding document of our nation, the Declaration of Independence, declares that our rights come from God.  You may call that a religious statement, but they regarded that as a true statement.  And, more specifically, our Founders based this on a Christian understanding of God as found in the Bible. 

You can say what you want about multiculturalism and pluralism and diversity, but if we divorce Christianity from the foundation of our country, our whole idea about human rights just becomes our opinion, not grounded in a Higher Authority, and we would then be only an election away from losing them.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

heaven: a letter to a newspaprer columnist


Hi Mary

I am sure you that you will receive a lot of mail after your column about heaven.  I’m guessing you might not read them all, or if you do start reading a lot of them, you will start just skimming through them, expecting them to all read alike.

I have rethought my religious beliefs a lot.  Life hasn’t been easy, so I wanted to be sure I was on the right track.
Life is short, and usually there is no way to check our answers before it is over.  So we are left with trying to make the most sense out of what we see by what we have.

I start with the whole idea of God.  Is there a God or not?

I find the answer easy here.  I see any attempts to explain life, existence, consciousness, the complexities and marvels of the human body, and all animal life, without the aid, involvement, or work of an outside Intelligent Being as being contrary to all human experience. 

The idea that life can spring from non-life and then by random acts develop things like brains, cells, eyes, DNA, is simply people trying too hard to deny the obvious.  The idea of a God makes people think that somehow they are responsible to this Being, and so a lot of people will try very hard to find ways to deny His existence, and they end up believing things they would see as being silly if they didn’t want to believe them so much.

The next question is whether this God cares about and wants to communicate with the people He has made.  Of course, why would He bother to do all this if He didn’t care about what He made?  Our human experience is that things we make are expressions of ourselves and, yes, we value them far more than that of someone else.

Humans universally ask  questions about God, and throughout history the vast majority of people have always believed in a God.  I find it quite reasonable to think that God would want to communicate to us and tell us what the whole thing is all about.  Like you buy a new appliance and you get an instruction manual telling you how the thing works. 

We could spend our whole lives trying to figure out the MOL (meaning of life) and never know if we have the right answer, or spend our whole lives learning things and then wishing we had known these things when we were young, so we wouldn’t have wasted so much of our lives doing the wrong things.

So if God wanted to communicate with human beings, surely He would have done so by now.  And I would find it reasonable to assume that this knowledge, or source of knowledge, would be widespread by now as well. 

The obvious first place to look would be at the major world religions.  There are the Asian religions: Buddhism, Hinduism, and Confucianism.  They have a lot of people who believe in them, but they have made no real attempts to spread this knowledge throughout the world.  So unless you think God only cares about Asians, I think we need to keep looking.

Islam is considered to be the fastest growing religion in the world today, but then how is it growing?  Historically it has grown through military force.  The countries that are Muslim today I believe without exception were conquered by Muslim forces.  They did not send our missionaries.   And while Western countries have greatly reduced birth rates, because we teach our daughters it is more important to have a career than a family, Muslims in general have very high birth rates.  And they don’t take kindly to anyone who thinks about leaving the Muslim religion. 

Is this the way God is?  I suppose it’s possible, but I would keep looking before I decided it was.

Judaism is a world religion, though its numbers are small by comparison.  One big reason for that is that Christianity considers itself to be Judaism 2.0, and Jewish people who agree identify themselves as Christians as to their religion.

Christianity is obviously the most widespread religion in the world.  In fact, many nations in the world are literate today, because Christian missionaries went there, learned their language, and then translated the Bible into that language so that they could read the Bible for themselves.  Seeing the Bible as God’ revelation to humans, they didn’t just tell people what to believe, they gave them the book and the means to read it for themselves and come to their own conclusions.

The Bible is grounded in history.  It is not just the thoughts of a holy person sitting in a cave musing over the idea of God or having a vision from above.  It traces God’s interactions with humans throughout history. 

How can we know it is true?  There are scores of books written to show how the Bible can be trusted, whether through archaeology, psychology, literary criticism, textual criticism, but in this short life that we have, there are not unlimited options. 

Many books have been written in objection to the Bible, and more books have been written that adequately defended the Bible from these criticisms.

The Bible says there is a heaven.  No, not everybody goes there, otherwise it wouldn’t be heaven anymore.  But God wants people to go there.  No, it doesn’t say that all roads lead there.  That really doesn’t make any sense.  The Bible says that Jesus is the way to heaven.  Is that so hard to believe?  Even those who are Christianity’s biggest critics find it hard to say anything bad about Jesus.

Yes, the truth is that we all die.  And, no, we don’t know a thing about what happens after death unless God Himself tells us.  Has He?  On something as important as this, I would expect that He would.  And the Bible, I would say, is the best answer to those who look for the MOL and the other questions about what comes after.

I wish you well.

Larry Craig
 heav