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.

Friday, June 16, 2017

letter to my state representatives

Hi Laura, Daniel

Laura, you sent me an email regarding some open meetings on updates from Springfield.  It’s been a while since I wrote either of you, so I thought it is time that I do.  A joint letter makes sense, since you both are my representatives in Springfield.

Daniel, you are running for governor, and I wish you well.  I am glad that you are, because it shows that you want to do more for the state than your current position allows.  I would do the same thing, if I were a state senator.

Let me be very frank, even blunt, in my comments.  I am angry with the entire political system in Illinois.  The problems have been here long before either of you went to Springfield.  So I blame your predecessors, but now that you are there, you have to decide what the real problems are and how and if you really want to tackle them. 

The most serious problem in Illinois is the government pension plans and the state Constitution that protects them.  The Constitution needs to be changed, allowing pension plans to be changed, but nobody wants to even talk about it.  I write letters to the newspapers.  Silence.  I write letters to politicians.  Nothing. 

The state is bankrupt, and this is the reason.  The Democrats don’t care about paying the bills, balancing the budget, bond ratings, nothing.  The only things they care about are raising the state income tax and getting a progressive income tax.  If they get these things, they can die happy. 

Me, I am taxed out.  A few years ago while doing my taxes, I noticed that taxes took one half of my gross income.  And that’s not counting sales taxes, fees on utilities, and all the other myriad of ways that the government confiscates my money to spend in irresponsible ways. 

I started collecting a pension from my union a few years ago.  After what they take out for taxes, it’s under $600 a month.  No wonder I’m still working.  Politicians find the temptation to use public money for their own interests too strong to do the right thing with all that responsibility.

If you don’t change the State Constitution, the state is done.  If you don’t change the State Constitution, nothing else you do will really matter.  You will be spending borrowed money that will never get paid back.  And we will be spending billions of dollars just on interest payments.  That’s a waste of money that we entrust you to spend wisely.

The second biggest problem in our state is the size of our government.  We have more agencies than any other state in the country, and it’s not even close.  That shows that our elected leaders have no responsibility in spending our money.  They are out for themselves.  Making friends and building their political bases. 

A third significant problem, I don’t know how big it really is, but if it is typical for other municipalities, then it is a very significant problem.  Schools take up about 2/3 of our property taxes.  Property taxes are driving people from their homes, especially older people.  Some years back, I was out of work, and I realized the unfairness and stupidity of taxing people on what they own, which has no relation to their ability to pay huge taxes on it.

Several years ago, when the Chicago Public Schools was going through its annual financial mess, I found that at that time CPS had about 50,000 employees and only 15,000 of them were teachers.  I suggested they fire everybody but the teachers and the janitors.  I have no doubt the students and taxpayers would both be far better off.  Another example of the state just spending money first and then expecting people to cough up the money to pay for all these things.

Maybe I shouldn’t rank these problems.  Number one is definitely number one.  Another major problem is gerrymandering.  People who draw up legislative boundaries should not have demographic information when they are doing their work, especially about voting patterns.  All they need to know is where people live and geographic boundaries.  Communities should not be divided in drawing maps.  It’s probably best for computers to do the job, but they should have only the barest of information. 

Some will argue that you need to draw districts that have minority majority populations, as this is the only way to ensure a minority representative.  But that’s what people do when they want to minimize a group’s representation: put as many of them as possible into as few districts as possible.  Better to have sizable minority populations in many districts rather than a majority population in a few. 

The only real way to avoid mischief is to draw maps blindly.

I could go on, say, with term limits, but if you try to do too much, you probably won’t be able to do anything.

I wish you both well. 

Larry Craig

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Time to Do Something [an article for Christians]

A lot of Christians see our country in serious need, and they don’t see the answer in politics or Presidents.  They believe God has to do something, and they are praying for a miracle.

But when you look at the history of revivals or miracles, they are always identified with people.  The United States has had revivals before, and they all started with the work of people, like Jonathan Edwards, John and Charles Wesley, George Whitefield, Charles Finney, and others. 

In the Bible, Jonathan delivered Israel, when he took his armorbearer and went the two of them to pick a fight with the Philistines.  The Israelites were stalemated for 40 days, intimidated by Goliath’s challenges, until a shepherd boy, David, said, I’ll go.  I’ll kill the Philistine.  Jesus fed 5,000 people with a few fish and loaves of bread, but someone had to give Jesus his lunch. 

Revivals and miracles can also be associated with particular problems.  I read recently of the revival under George Whitefield, and then the problem was infant baptism.  The Church had been relying on its people having been baptized as infants and didn’t press people for their personal commitments to Christ as they got older.

The big problem that defines our country and Western Civilization today is secularism.  And I believe this is the issue that the Church needs to confront and the one frankly that God will use to bring the revival we have been praying for.  This is the issue where the Church can confront society peacefully but forcefully, where its message will become the talk of society, from news shows, talk shows, social media, and the person on the street.

Secularism puts all religions in the box of private opinions like your taste in movies or music, your favorite ice cream.  There are no right or wrong religions; they are just opinions on things that are not relevant to the workings of society.  And they certainly don’t have any place in public life.  One is as good as another, so just don’t try to impose yours on anyone else.

Secularism is essentially atheism, but it prefers to say that it values and respects religion.  All religions.  Which really means no religion, because every religion believes that it is the truth, the truth about life and reality.  They have very little in common, if you actually do the work as to what they believe and how they affect life.  So to say that you respect all religions means that what they teach is inconsequential in that it isn’t really true.

Secularism likes to point to our First Amendment as touting freedom of religion, as if our Founders didn’t really care what religion anybody believed in, like they were all equal and one is as good as another.  This is all historical revisionism, where when people don’t know the history, modern political figures alter the narrative to fit their agenda, and people learn to accept this new version of their history as true.

The facts are that the Declaration of Independence says that our rights come from our Creator, so atheism is incompatible with the American Spirit.  If there is no God, then our rights come from government, and that is precisely what our Founders fought a war over. 

The Constitution contains the words “in the year of our Lord.”  You can find sources that say that that phrase is not original, but you can see pictures of the original Constitution, and it is hard to imagine how this could have been added later.  The Constitution wasn’t done on a computer where you can easily move text around.  And that is a specifically Christian statement.

The First Congress had Bibles printed to be used in all the public schools.  And it was only in the early 1960s, that the court called supreme ruled that Bibles and prayer could not be a part of public schools, almost 200 years after our nation’s founding.  Nobody caught that for 200 years?  The same goes for public displays of the Ten Commandments.  Now all of a sudden, we are to believe that they are incompatible with our Constitution?

So how do we confront this secularism peacefully but forcefully, in love but with conviction, openly and publicly?

I believe the answer is by remembering the Sabbath Day, to keep it holy.  Or, as Christian’s used to say, the Lord’s Day. 

For most of our nation’s history, stores were closed on Sundays in respect to God.  Now not only are they open on Sundays, but for most businesses, it is the busiest day of the week.  And when people shop on Sundays, people have to work in those places of business on that day to take care of these customers.  And in many cases, working on Sunday used to be voluntary at overtime pay, but now it is just another work day.  A day like any other. 

I think we underestimate how much value God puts on that seventh day of rest. 

Christians have long argued about “keeping the Sabbath.”  Some say it is only a Jewish responsibility, that it was just a part of God’s covenant with the Jewish people a long time ago.  But the idea of the Sabbath goes back to creation and Genesis.  The very existence of the seven day week throughout the world is testimony to the idea of the Sabbath that goes back to the very beginnings of human history. 

You can read the various attempts to explain the origins of the seven day week, but there is nothing in nature that makes a seven day week obvious or natural.  And they just don’t know how to explain it. 

I was stunned recently when I read Jeremiah 17 again, a passage I have read dozens of times before.  In verses 24-27, God told His people that if they had just kept the Sabbath, they would not undergo the judgement that He was bringing on their nation.  I know there are other verses in the book that show that this was not the only reason for the judgment, but this one issue alone was enough to avert the entire crisis. 

So what exactly am I asking for by remembering the Sabbath?
I am asking that Christians stop shopping on Sundays.  This would include going to restaurants, the movies, the library, gas stations, Walgreens, and even sporting events.  This is not a boycott, because it is only shifting your buying to another day.  Sporting events can be another story.  Kids have sports on Sundays.  And when the Christians stop playing on Sundays, somebody is going to take notice.  Then, of course, there are the professional sports where you have to miss church to go there. 

It’s time that Christians confronted the culture and said, “Enough.  We were wrong to sit by and let our country turn the Lord’s Day into an ordinary day.  The God of the Bible is God, and we are going to live our lives to honor Him.” 

I am asking that you pray about this.  If you agree with this, post it on Facebook.  Print it out and take it to church.  Show it to your pastor, and ask him to support it from the pulpit.  Take it to your small group; talk about it with your friends. 

We have been praying for years for God to do something.  I believe He is waiting for somebody to start doing something, and He will work through that.  And I believe this is that thing.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

stopping gun violence

A recent Sun-Times reader again called for the government to get rid of guns as the way to solve the high rate of gun violence in Chicago.  We are forgetting history when we do this. 

First of all, James Madison noted in the Federalist Papers that we were an “armed” people, which he regarded as a good thing and the only thing that prevented us from being ruled by a dictator.  And, secondly, John Adams said that our Constitution was only made for a moral and religious people. 

The Ten Commandments used to be the moral code for our nation.  It has only been in the last few decades that suddenly the display of the Commandments has been ruled unconstitutional after centuries of common use. 

Secularism and political correctness do not provide the moral fabric needed in a nation to provide domestic tranquility.  Those last words are taken from the preamble to our Constitution as part of defining the purposes of our government. 

Senate confirmation hearings and Democrats

A recent Sun-Times reader lamented that the Republicans seemed to be rushing on Donald Trump’s cabinet appointees, scheduling hearings for several nominees at every day and seemingly not waiting long enough for thorough background checks. 

I had just read about this where it said that this was somewhat rare for the Senate to do.   The most recent time it had done this was on President Obama’s first cabinet.  That was when the Democrats just got complete control over the House, Senate, and the Presidency. 

We should expect with some level of certainty that the Republicans will be a bit more, what’s the word, perhaps brazen in their dealings with Democrats for a time.  It has been observed that Democrats only talk about bipartisanship with they are in the minority.

Friday, January 13, 2017

fixing gerrymandering: a response to an editorial

The editorial in today’s Sun-Times reminded me of something I heard once about Democrats: they only believe in and talk about bipartisanship when they are the minority party.

The editorial was about gerrymandering, one of the greatest evils in our country today, though I haven’t yet been confident in the proposed ways that representative districts should be drawn.  Nobody seems to want a blind map.  They always want maps drawn to help or favor some group that needs help, and the meddling and mischief begin.

But the thing about the editorial that prompted me the most to write was this deep concern that the Republicans in most states would be drawing the maps the next time.  So somehow the Republicans apparently won the majority of the states’ legislative branches when the Democrats drew the districts. 

It was bad when the Democrats had the power to draw representative districts.  But now that the Republicans are going to do it, it’s so bad that we now have to stop it.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Is diversity really a strength? a response to a friend about diversity

Hi Emma
I hope you guys have a great Christmas.  Christmas is special for kids.  Yes, I guess a lot of that has to do with getting presents.  When I was a kid, Christmas permeated everything, so that the entire country felt Christmas-y for a good month and a half before Christmas.  Schools had Christmas trees and sang Christmas songs.  Even the hymns. 

I was thinking about this debate about whether parents should tell their kids about Santa Claus.  There is this video online of a pastor telling kids in a Santa Claus line that their parents were lying to them.  I think I would tell my kids that Christmas, among other things, is the season where people give gifts to people they love or those in need.  No mention of Santa Claus or emphasis on getting gifts.

Thank you for your thoughts on my comments. 

It looks like you understood me as saying that diversity created or promotes post-modernism.  You see the causes for post-modernism as “technology, philosophy, economics, our culture of busyness, the idolatry of academia, [and] materialism.”  It seems also that you see these things as contributing to apathy in the churches and among Christians in America, particularly perhaps more so among whites. 

Christianity had always been an integral part of American life.  Beginning in 1947 with a Supreme Court ruling that the government cannot aid or favor any religion, secularism as a government policy was born, though it took a while to take over.  It wasn’t until the early 1960s that the Bible and prayer were removed from public schools.  The fight over the presence of the Ten Commandments took years to play out, but the die was cast.

This created a moral vacuum in our country, and political correctness developed to fill the void.  Instead of favoring Christianity, all religions were equal.  Instead of an American culture that was taught in our schools, and Western culture that was taught in all of our colleges, all cultures became viewed as equal. 

Prior to this time, almost all immigration was from Western countries that shared our culture and that also shared the demographics of those who already lived here.  That changed in 1965.  While they said they would not change the demographics of our country, almost all immigration since then has been from non-European countries. 

Since 9/11, Muslims have probably been the single dominant group of immigrants.  Since they come from so many different countries, this doesn’t get noticed much, because they all get grouped under ‘other.’

But I digress. 

Post-modernism, with its rejection of absolute truth, moral authority, divine revelation, all basic tenets of Christianity, spawned the idea that diversity is good, a strength.  A lot of people were expressing discomfort with seeing growing numbers of people very different from them, and political leaders needed to calm them down and offered this as their paternalistic wisdom. 
So post-modernism came as a result of secularization, which came as a result of Supreme Court rulings, which frankly had no precedents or case histories.  

I had heard years ago that Obama was deporting a lot of immigrants.  Then I read that the government changed its definition of deportation.  The government has a practice of using statistics to say things they’re not really saying.  Just like unemployment statistics don’t include the record number of people who are no longer in the work force and inflation statistics don’t include a lot of things that people regularly use, so deportation numbers have been expanded to include people who are turned away at the border as well. 

Which by the way has practically dropped down to zero, it seems.  Our southern border is being flooded with people who have been coached to say that they are refugees, and the government then whisks them to cities throughout the country.

As for diversity, certainly all people are created in God’s image, and heaven will be filled with people from every country, race, and language.   Meanwhile, back here on earth, we have around 200 countries in the world.  Many of them, like Iraq, should be divided into more countries.  There you have Kurds, Sunni Muslims, and Shia Muslims, who don’t get along to the point that they only live together to avoid a war to separate them.  There used to be a sizable Assyrian Christian population there, but since the death of Hussein who kept the peace, that group has pretty much disappeared through killing and emigration. 

Why do I mention this?  Countries developed as people of like minds and like cultures formed governments to work for their common interests.  We used to have an American culture based on the principles of Western Civilization, our unique Constitution, and Christian values as taught in the Bible and the Ten Commandments. 

Secularism and post-modernism are not just content with living in an alternate universe with Christianity.  It wants to do away with it.  If it can keep it confined to the four walls of a building on weekends, that would work.  When we are talking about our government leaders attempting to diversify our nation, we are not talking about bringing in Christians from all countries of the world, but as much as possible non-Christian groups to make any attempts of normalizing Christianity again impossible. 

Diversity weakens and divides a nation when there is no underlying common value system, moral code, worldview, and loyalties.  Language is important too.  Being an American used to mean a lot more than simply the fact that a person lives here or was born here. 

You mention the importance of having “a leader providing guidance of how to honor and respect each other.”  The Church has that; our schools and society used to have that, but now the highest values of our country are not love your neighbor but tolerate him.  Which means little more than ignore them.  

You mention that Americans kill each other far more than a terrorist does.  That’s because there are way more Americans than terrorists here, and we spend billions of dollars a year tracking over a million people on terror watchlists and over 1,000 open terror investigations at any one time to see that more don’t’ take place.

Why in the world should a country have to do that?  We didn’t used to have that problem.  And we didn’t used to have all those killings either.

The problem frankly is Islam.  Not radical Islam, but Islam itself.  The way to tell is that there are about 50 majority Muslim countries in the world today.  The only ones a Christian or Jew would feel relatively safe in are those run by strong secular rulers, like kings or dictators.  Once the religious Muslims take over, persecution is strong against Jews and Christians.  Bringing Muslims into our country may not cause immediate problems, but it will create all kinds of problems for our kids, grandkids, and their kids and grandkids.  You can watch thousands of videos coming out of Europe that show where we will be in a few years.  If we were winning them to Christ, that would be one thing.  But they are changing Western life far more than we are changing them.

This is probably far more than you were hoping for in response.  You will always be my friend.

solving the financial crisis in Illinois: a letter in response to a newspaper opinion column

Thank you for giving us some background on the fiscal crisis in Illinois.   I would like to add one little detail that will explain a lot about what is happening.

Democrats have two long range goals here that residents need to be aware of.

Democrats want the 5% state income tax made permanent, and they want a progressive state income tax.  They are quite willing and perhaps eager to have our state debt balloon to the point that even the strongest opponents of these measures will have to concede that these measures are necessary. 

The easiest way to solve our problems is to change the State Constitution, saying that pensions can be reduced and ideally tied to actual contributions and not to promised contributions.  But nobody will talk about it: not newspapers, broadcast media, politicians.  I can write letters to the editor, but those letters never get printed.

You want to do some good for Illinois?  Start a campaign to change the State Constitution.  Nothing is more important for our state at this time.

Thank you.