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.

We are being told today that the United States is and has always been a secular nation, which is practical atheism.

But 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 even more basic, our country was founded on the belief that God gave unalienable rights to human beings. And that is a Christian belief based on the Bible. Islam, for example, does not believe in unalienable rights. Without Christianity, you don’t have unalienable rights, and without unalienable rights, you don’ have the United States of America.

Unalienable rights are the basis for the American concept of freedom and liberty. Freedom and liberty require a high moral code that restrains bad behavior among its people; otherwise the government will need to make countless laws and spend increasingly larger amounts of money on law enforcement.

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.

As a secular nation, the government now becomes responsible to take care of its people. It no longer talks about unalienable rights, because then they would have to talk about God, so it creates its own rights. Government-given rights are things that the government is required to provide for its people, which creates an enormous expense which is why our federal government is now $22 trillion in debt.

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 generally 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 particular 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

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Maybe the United States isn’t for Everybody


Our national anthem calls our country “the land of the free and the home of the brave.”  Every country has brave people in it, but to say that this is the home of the brave is saying something different, something more.  It means that bravery is an essential part of what it means to be an American.  

And why would that be?

Because America fought its first war against its own government, and the Founders thought they might have to do it again.  Which is why we have the Second Amendment.

The Declaration of Independence says that God gave unalienable rights to human beings, and governments exist to secure those rights.  And when they don’t, the people have the right to change it or make a new one.  And that’s what the Founders did.

America is built on the idea of personal freedom.  The average person today probably couldn’t tell you what they meant by freedom, because we haven’t taught that in our public schools for decades, and we haven’t taught it to the millions of people who have moved here in that time either.

Why not?

Freedom has to do with people having unalienable rights.  Unalienable rights come from God.  A secular nation cannot give you unalienable rights.  They require a Higher Power.  In a secular nation, there is no higher power than the government. 

And not just any Higher Power.  Islam, for example, does not believe in unalienable rights.  Neither does Hinduism.

It was the Christian God who the Founders saw gave them unalienable rights, and it was the Bible and Christianity that informed them of that.

But all that talk about God was deemed to be religious, and religion was deemed to be something not fitting in public discussion let alone public schools. 

But since unalienable rights come from God, and God was banned from public life and schools, rights are no longer seen as unalienable but government-given, and the whole idea of rights has changed.

While unalienable rights are things you can do without the government’s permission, regulation, or intrusion, government-given rights are things the government is required to give you.  Why?  Because you have a right to them.  So essentially government-given rights require other people to do things for you and often at enormous expense.  Which is the exact opposite of freedom. 


This is the short answer why our government is now $23 trillion in debt.  With every election cycle, the list of new rights keeps growing.  The government cannot take in enough money to pay for all the things that it wants to give to people.

People don’t need to be brave anymore.  The government is there to protect you, even if people say unnice things about you.

The most common idea of America today is that America is a nation of immigrants, that the Founders wanted to create a nation that is defined by ideas and not culture, race, or ethnicity, that they wanted a nation where everyone can come here and create a rich potpourri of diverse cultures. 

Except that our Founders did not go to war with their own government over its immigration policies.  The fact that our country is a nation of immigrants is not because our Founders thought the diversity of the world would create the society they desired, but because the kind of nation they created was a kind of nation that many people wanted, and so they came.

Much is being made today of the inscription on the Statue of Liberty:
"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
People yearning to breathe free were invited to come here, but it doesn’t say what will happen to them when they get here.  They weren’t invited here so we could take care of them.  They were invited here so they could make what they could out of their lives.
There was no SNAP, TANF, or CHIP.  What we had was the freedom to pursue your happiness with the minimum of government interference.  When people were in need, there were thousands of churches and charitable organizations, usually affiliated with churches, who were there to help.  It wasn’t done at public expense through taxpayer dollars.  It was volunteers who worked with money that was voluntarily contributed.  What we call welfare today used to be called charity. 

What’s the difference? 

Charity is voluntary.  When the government does it, it’s mandatory.  The government has no money but what it takes from the people.  When the government makes its people do things for other people, that’s the definition of slavery. 

When a government has an expansive system of financial assistance, you don’t need to be brave to come here. 

I have a 1949 textbook on our government.  There were 11 requirements for immigrants to be admitted to our country.  Now the only requirement is to show up.



Kamala Harris and what is wrong with our electoral process


As I write this, Kamala Harris became the latest Democratic hopeful to drop out of the race for the Democratic nomination for President.

She is I think the fourth candidate to do so, and this is before anybody had even voted in the primaries.

Does anybody see the problem here?

In all the polls, people are asked to pick one candidate.  When the Republicans had 17 candidates running for President in 2016, I could have supported about 8 of them. 

The polls are asking the wrong question.  It shouldn’t be the one person you want to be President, but which candidates can you support in the election?  I’m sure most Democrats would be happy with any number of candidates. 

This current system is too dependent on candidates having or raising money and doesn’t show a candidate’s true support.  This is just plain wrong. 

Monday, November 18, 2019

endless wars


On Veteran’s Day, we stop to think of those who have died serving their country in the military.  We ask the question: was it worth it?  Was the conflict worth the lives of those who gave it? 

Wars have changed in my lifetime.  Now we must fight kinder, gentler wars so that we don’t run the risk of being accused of war crimes.  If we had fought WW1 or WW2 under the new rules, we would have lost.  If both sides fought by the new rules, we would have had another endless war. 

War is hell.  I get that.  I missed my chance at war.  It would have been Viet Nam, but then that was one of those wars where we weren’t really trying to win it.  We wanted somebody else to win it, and we would help them.  And that is one of the reasons we get endless wars.   A short war requires going all out.  You have to defeat the enemy decisively, so that they surrender unconditionally.  Otherwise, you’re going to end up fighting the war all over again in a few years. 

This is what is happening in the Middle East.  Israel and its neighbors have been at war for 70 years.  Two of them experienced a major defeat, and they  signed peace treaties with Israel.  The others in most cases simply endured imposed cease fires, and the war just keeps going on and on.  They won’t end until one side defeats the other, so that they surrender.  Then the war ends.

Germany and Japan suffered tremendous losses in World War 2.  Frankly, that was the only way that war would have ended.  And it did.  And now we are friends and allies with both nations.  As horrible as war is, it almost seems necessary at times to resolve the issues. 

Now a new thing has emerged, yet it is actually an old thing.  Islam has been at war with itself and the non-Muslim world for 1500 years.  That’s not going to end soon or ever.  And this is a different kind of war.  The soldiers don’t wear uniforms and in many  cases do not have defined borders to their realms.   And they probably won’t surrender as easily as Germany and Japan did. 

If you don’t want an endless war if you were involved with one of these, you will need to use incredible power but you will need to warn everybody else to get as far away from the enemy as possible, because their safety cannot be guaranteed.

This is the simplest reason why wars take so long today.  We are trying so hard to protect people who not directly our enemy that we are not able to hurt our enemy hard enough that they would want to quit.  You quit; they win.  You keep fighting, and you have an endless war.

Saturday, November 2, 2019

some advice for the Democratic Party and those candidates who are thinking about dropping out


The Democratic Party is in the process of choosing its next Presidential candidate.  Now we are hearing that one candidate has dropped out and another is close to dropping out, and nobody has even cast a vote yet.

But you may say, they are low in the polls and don’t have enough money to continue.  Nonsense.
The problem is that our current political system is not suitable for too many candidates at one time.  In a poll and even in the primaries, you must choose only one candidate.  Do you choose your favorite or the one you think will have the best chance of winning? 

Right now you have about 20 candidates running, and only one will win the nomination.  So you have people voting for 19 people who will not win.  You need to know who they would vote for if their candidate was out of the race.  That’s the only way you will know who the best candidate is. 

In the primaries, every voter should be able to vote for, say, up to 5 people.  You could rank them, but it probably isn’t necessary here.  That would give you a much better idea who the best candidate would be, who the majority of the voters really want.

Beto and Harris should not give up now.  As long as they can stay in the debates, they will have a chance.  But they should be fighting now to change the way votes are cast in the primaries.  The current way is not only not fair, but it won’t give them the best candidate.

Friday, October 18, 2019

religion and politics


I can sympathize with Steve Chapman’s concerns (Barr to nonbelievers: go to hell, October 17), but I think he misrepresents the role of Christianity in the founding and nature of our country.

Our country was founded on 5 beliefs as noted in the Declaration of Independence.  The second belief is that God gave unalienable rights to human beings.  An atheist cannot argue for unalienable rights, because there is no higher authority than human beings.  Same for a secularist or an agnostic.
 
And then too, not all gods recognize unalienable rights.  Allah does not, neither does Krishna.  The most fundamental human right is to live according to your conscience.  Islam does not recognize that.  You are not free to leave Islam for another religion.  Those unalienable rights include the pursuit of happiness.  Hinduism does not recognize that.  Everybody is a permanent member of a caste, a station in life from which there is no exit.

It was the God of the Bible who was the creator referred to in the Declaration.  And how did the Founders know that God gave unalienable rights to human beings?  From the Bible and Christianity.  The courts would call a religious opinion.  The Founders called it a fact.  Without Christianity, you don’t have unalienable rights, and without unalienable rights, you don’t have the United States of America.

The court called supreme was wrong to say that our government cannot favor one religion over another.  The very essence of our country depends on it.  What the Founders expressed was that our country cannot favor one Christian denomination over another.  That is what was meant by establishing religion in the First Amendment, like in England where the Anglican Church is the Church of England.

In the early years of our nation, people who didn’t believe in God were routinely rejected from juries and political office.  They felt that any person who did not believe in a future judgement before God could not be trusted to tell the truth. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

slave owners


I would like to take issue with the Sun-Times Fact Check (Fact-check: They signed Declaration of Independence – but nearly three-quarters also owned slaves, September 11).

It’s not just a matter of finding facts but understanding them.

For example, the article states that “in 1776, slavery was legal in all 13 of the new states.”  It fails to note that the United States was still a colony of Great Britain in 1776, and King George was responsible for most of their laws.  The colonies then spent the next 7 years at war, so slavery was not the first thing on their minds.  However, the northern states did begin enacting laws soon after such that by 1804, all of them had either abolished it or were in the process of doing so. 

The new Constitution wasn’t ratified until 1788.  The very next year, Congress had to deal with the question of new states coming into the Union.  They passed the Northwest Ordinance, which said that any new states would be free states, i.e. no slavery would be permitted.

But imagine that you lived at that time and were opposed to slavery, what would you do?  

You knew that any person who was put on the auction block would be bought as a slave.  You knew that many (most?) of them were treated harshly.  You knew also that if you bought a slave and then set them free, their future could be very uncertain.  You could pay their way back to Africa, but the same people who enslaved them the first time could maybe do it again.

So what do you do?

If I were wealthy and lived back then, I think I would secure as many people as I could.  Yes, they would work for me.  Everybody works.  But they would be treated kindly, housed, fed, and educated.  In the absence of legal freedom, they would have security and care.  Of course, in future generations, I would be branded a slave owner. 

But what would you do?




Monday, September 9, 2019

Solving Chicago’s Budget Crisis


I am a long-time Tribune reader and subscriber.  I still don’t understand the thinking of the people who run this paper. 

Today you run a major article on how to solve the Chicago budget crisis.  (September 9, “Forget property taxes. Forget Springfield.  Here is the one way to solve Chicago’s budget crisis.”   Here is the one way to solve Chicago’s budget crisis”).  I’ll accept your printing of this article as your endorsement of the writer’s view.  And, of course, the only possible answer is another tax.

The article notes right away that “the pension benefits of public employees are constitutionally guaranteed.”  But so is a flat tax for the residents of the state, but the politicians don’t see a problem with changing the Constitution on that.  A raise in a flat tax affects everybody, while a graduated tax only affects a portion of taxpayers at a time, so it’s easier to pass. 

Public pensions are bankrupting the state of Illinois and most of the communities in the state.  It is easily the number one problem facing Illinois today, and the only solution is to change the State Constitution. 

Yet both Chicago newspapers are silent on this issue.  Why aren’t you leading the way in saving our state?  You’re supposed to be the defenders of the people, the watchdogs, the ones who hold our leaders accountable.  You’ve watched this crisis develop for generations, and you’ve done nothing. 

Shame on you!  You should have weekly articles on this demanding that the necessary changes to the Constitution be put on the ballot for 2020.