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.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Dear Mr. Trump

I believe you need me to be a part of your Presidential team.
I do a lot of political writing, and I have identified 5 issues so far that I call the iceberg sinking the ship.  If the ship sinks, nothing else is going to matter. 
These issues are jobs, immigration, Muslims, being a non-politician, and the Supreme Court.  There are other issues that I will be working on that are really important, though I don’t see them as yet being as important as these first five.
On the first three of these issues, you have been the only person who has proposed the solutions that you have.  You have the right answers, but you are not convincing people who don’t already agree with you that they are the right answers.  I am not even sure you understand completely why some of your positions are right, and necessary, because you have been shifting in your position on Muslims.
There may be enough angry and frustrated Americans now to be able to elect you in November.  But you will need a supermajority to win, because there will be a lot of voter fraud that will swing a close election.
You don’t want to have come this far without ensuring a win, and there is too much opposition to your positions from people who should already have been supporting you.   
You need to explain why taxing imports is right, necessary, and good, even though every Republican disagrees with you.  You need to explain why birthright citizenship is misapplied, damaging to our country, and must be stopped immediately.  You were right in your ban on all Muslims entering our country, but you didn’t make the case forcefully enough, and you have even backed off of it under the constant pressure of the media and those who disagree with you.
You were right the first time to ban all Muslims, but making it only temporary suggests perhaps that you think there could be safe Muslim immigration. 
I believe you need me to help make the case why your ideas are the right and best ones for our country.  You can’t just hope you have enough people who already agree with you.  The ones who don’t agree with you will try to stop you and only make your candidacy seem more controversial than it need be.   You need to convince those who don’t agree, and if you can’t convince them, by showing them that you have really good reasons for what you do, you can soften their opposition so that they won’t fight so hard against your ideas, both before and after the election.
I post my articles on my blog poligion1.blogspot.com.  You can read everything I have written so far.  Frankly, I see and write about things that I don’t see and hear about anywhere else.  I could recommend somebody else for the job, but I don’t know anybody else who can offer what I do. 
I wish you the best.  Frankly, I am just hoping you get this letter.
Sincerely,

Larry Craig

solution to the Illinois school funding issue

I have the answer to the school funding problem in Illinois.  I have written about this for years, but I am afraid to suggest it now.  I am afraid that only some of my suggestions will be taken, and a lot of things will be worse than they are now.  I think I am more afraid of what will happen without my proposals.
1)         Start by separating school funding from the general budget.
2)         Establish a base line amount of funding for each student to expect a quality education, say, $6,000 a year.
3)         Raise this money by a state income tax separate from the state income tax we already have.  The current state income tax should be reduced accordingly.  The amount to be raised by this income tax can be easily calculated, multiplying the number of students by the established per student amount.
4)         This money will be paid to each school district based on enrollment.
5)         What a person pays in this school state income tax should be deducted from his property taxes.  If a person rents his home, this should be deducted from his rent, prorated over the course of the year.
6)         School districts will still be allowed to raise additional school funding through property taxes as now.
7)         What a person pays toward private school tuition and fees should be deducted from what he would owe in this state education income tax.

8)         The State Constitution must be amended to allow responsible changes to the state’s pension plans.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

But I Don’t Like Either One!

Think about this for a second.

We have 330 million people in our country, and we have to choose between only two people for President.  One is a woman under criminal investigation by the FBI; the other is somebody who has never been in a political office before, and a lot of people wonder if they can and should trust him.

Does anybody see a problem here?  Or better yet.   Is this really the best that we can do?

Do you know what?

The solution is easy as pie. 

There is only one thing that we need to change about our elections that will fix all this.   

Require candidates to get a majority of the vote before they can be declared the winner. 

Now if we have three candidates running in the same election, a person can win with as little as 34% of the vote.  Not only is that undemocratic, it's stupid.

But wait.  We had 17 Republican candidates running and Donald Trump easily won over all of them.

Actually no.

You need to ask how many states did he win with over 50% of the vote.  If he won 40% of the vote in a state, that could mean that 60% of the people didn't want him at all.

When you have 17 candidates running, you shouldn’t ask people to choose one.  You ask people who they can support.  I could have been happy with any of about 8 of them. 

The Republicans should have allowed people to vote for as many candidates as they like.  That way you combine who people like with who they don’t like.  You would have gotten a far different result than what you got now.  And I say that as a Trump supporter.
Under this new scenario, we don’t have to have Socialists running as Democrats, and Tea Party people running as Republicans, and Trump wouldn’t even have to bother running with a party at all.

Well, too late now.  Why didn’t I say something about this a lot sooner?

Actually I did.  Several times.  But why would anybody listen to me? 

But the election is still 5 months away.  There is plenty of time to change this if people want to.

This might actually be the best chance we will ever have to change this.  There is enough anger and frustration out there over the two choices, and particularly over the fact that a third party candidate can’t win and will only ensure a victory for the person fewest people want. 


Anybody listening?

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Free college for everyone


There is a video going around the internet of Joe Biden explaining how he and the President want to make education free for another two years beyond Bernie Sanders’ plan.  Paying for this would be simple.  There is a certain tax loophole that would more than cover for the cost of this program. 

A friend posted this on her Facebook page, and this was my response:

Oh, fix the tax loopholes.  Crap!  Why didn’t I think of that?

Let me explain how government works.  You may have noticed that our federal debt has increased from $9 trillion dollars in 2009 to $20 trillion dollars today.  The basic reason is that a large number of politicians don’t really care about paying for the things they want.  They are very happy just to borrow the money. 

So every so often we ask other countries if they want to loan us some money to buy things, like voters, and countries like China and Japan say, Sure, how much to do you want?  Nice people there.  The rest of the money we need, we just print, and that lowers the value of the money you already have.  That’s why prices keep going up, and your salary doesn’t.

They have been talking about closing tax loopholes ever since they have had taxes.  But that’s not really important.  They are not really concerned about how to pay for the program.  They just want the permission to spend the money.  After they get that, they will try to raise taxes again by closing loopholes on the rich.  As long as the Democrats run the show, they will get their tax increases, and maybe close a few tax loopholes. 

The Republicans will run on a platform of tax reductions.  When they get in office, they will reduce taxes, but the spending program will remain as it is, because millions of voters will vote against them if somebody tries to take it away.  And the debt just keeps going up.  And the cycle is repeated.

Politicians, Democrats more than Republicans, keep looking for things to spend money on.  What this does is develop classes of people who become dependent on government money.  Try to take it away, and you lose their votes.  This is what happened with Obamacare.  The program is unsustainable financially, so we just give it billions of taxpayer dollars to buy the votes of those dependent on it. 

What is surprising is how people do this with a straight face and think they are solving anything.  

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

What Nobody Wants to Talk About with regard to these Long Lines at the Airports

The news media have been talking a lot lately about the long lines at the airports.  We see these long lines, and we complain about it, and we ask what can be done about it, but nobody is even asking why we have any lines in the first place. 

They talk about a shortage of help and a new program that the TSA started to speed some passengers through, but nobody is talking about why we even have the TSA in the first place.
All these long lines and security screenings are to keep us safe.  But from what?  We never used to have security screenings years ago.  What is different now that we can’t bring liquids onto a plane, and why we have to take off our shoes and our belts and undergo intense screening before we can board an airplane?

We are afraid somebody is going to bring a bomb on the plane.  Has everyone gone crazy?  No, it’s not everybody.  There are only certain people who want to bomb airplanes.   They are terrorists. 

We have over a million people on our terror watch list that we try to monitor at a cost of billions of dollars a year.  And that obviously doesn’t prevent anyone of them from boarding an airplane, because we still have to screen everyone who wants to board an airplane.

And the reason the terror watch list is not enough is that ordinary people can become terrorists without our government knowing it.  They could be rich or poor, highly educated or poorly educated, they could have families or be loners.  This can happen without warning.  To anybody apparently.

So forever and ever, the new normal now is that we have to spend billions of dollars a year and spend countless hours waiting in line to board airplanes and now even to go to baseball games.

There is just one small detail we have left out.  These terrorists are all Muslims.  Oh, sure, non-Muslims have committed awful acts of violence, but it is specifically Muslim terrorism which has the entire world living in fear of somebody blowing themselves up or randomly killing as many people as possible.    

Yet our government insists on bringing millions of Muslims into our country.  And why?  Well, most of them are just nice people.  Well, nobody is questioning that.

But that’s not the point.  Terrorist organizations do not need to try to smuggle their operators into other countries.  All they need to do is see that Muslims mass migrate into all the countries of the world.  From there, all they need are mosques that enlist Muslims to the cause of jihad as their moral duty to Allah.  It’s not hard to find a good number of people in any country they are in who will take up the torch to wage jihad against the infidels.

So, again, why is our government insisting on bringing so many of them into our country?  Is it because they have a right to migrate here and we don’t have a right to stop people based on their religion?  So we are supposed to spend billions of dollars a year to protect us from threats which only exist because of people that we willingly bring into our country?
Does anybody remember our Constitution that says that we are creating our government to form a more perfect union, to ensure domestic tranquility, and to promote the general welfare of our people to future generations?  It seems to me that our government is trying very hard to divide the country, foment domestic instability, and lower the quality of life for everybody living here.

By the way, I read yesterday that these long lines at the airports are causing more people to drive rather than fly.  And it has been calculated that 2300 people died in car accidents who wouldn’t have died if they had flown instead of driving.  It’s like a bad medical experience where the medicine you are taking for one illness causes side effects that make you feel more miserable than the actual disease.

Muslim migration to the United States is easily one of the most important issues in the coming Presidential election.  Immigration is forever.  Bad taxes can be undone.  So can bad trade policies and bad laws.  But bad immigration cannot.





Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Taxes on imports, jobs, and the health of our country

When there are not enough good paying jobs for everybody, it drives people to depend on the government for financial assistance.  This is considered the compassionate thing to do, a safety net, but the result of this is to increase the role of government in the lives of everybody. 

Throughout history, there have been essentially only two forms of government: tyranny and freedom.  Most governments throughout history have been tyrannies.  Life isn’t necessarily miserable under a ruler, but our nation fought a war to get the kind of government and the freedoms that we have.

When we think of tyrannies, we usually think of kings or dictators where one person basically rules the country, but freedom can be lost piece by piece as people gradually trade freedoms for security, prosperity for a safety net, and responsibility for dependency. 
When you have a massive government with an ever increasing number of rules and laws, the will and the power to force compliance on more and more things that were not issues in the past, when the government believes it is responsible for the economy and is responsible for solving all the problems of society, then your government is going from freedom to tyranny.  For many countries today, freedom and tyranny exist together on a continuum with varying degrees of each.

Our nation is moving slowly from freedom to tyranny.  Instead of being ruled by a king, we are being ruled more and more by government officials who want to protect us from ourselves and the evil around us, but are just as likely motivated by the power and the money that comes with their position.

The issue of jobs is possibly the single most important factor in preserving our freedoms, because when a person can no longer provide for oneself or one’s family, they cry out for somebody to take care of them.   This causes the government to grow, requiring more of your money and expanding the government’s reach into every area of your life.  The loss of jobs reduces revenues to the government while at the same time creates pressure on the government to grow, assume more responsibility, increase governmental spending, and consequently government debt.

Our churches used to be the primary source of public charity in our country, but the government has now become responsible for the welfare of the people.  The government is now the protector and provider of the people.  The government has assumed responsibility for, and consequently the control of, the economy.

So the economy is basically about freedom, but according to Forbes[1], more than half the people in our country now receive some form of government aid.  When this happens slowly and each new generation is not taught what freedom is all about and each new generation gets used to the increasing role of government in their lives, freedom is traded for rulers who are now looked upon as our benefactors. 

The loss of good jobs has also been a large factor in the deterioration of our families and as a result the moral deterioration of our country.  Those who do work work more jobs and more hours to try to provide for their families and more and more parenting is done by day cares, and raising children becomes a lot like having pets.  Feed them twice a day, and see that they don’t soil up the house.   The lack of good jobs takes parents out of the homes and children are raised too often by people who have little or no vested interest in their lives. 

Broken families lead to more crime, but it also contributes to the moral breakdown of our country.  What I mean by moral breakdown is that there are a lot of things that are wrong but not illegal.  All kinds of corruption, mean-spiritedness, unkindness, abuse, exploitation, indifference, negligence, selfishness, hatred, anger, things that laws either don’t touch or can’t fix, come from the breakdown of the family.  Bringing American jobs back to our country will do more than probably any other one thing to help our country economically, but also in strengthening our country morally. 

So why did we lose all these jobs?  Labor has almost always been cheaper overseas, but the jobs didn’t leave to get cheaper labor.  

Our corporate taxes are among if not the highest in the world, but the jobs didn’t leave because of high corporate taxes.  Corporate tax rates were raised to help make up for all the money the government no longer was getting from working people.  We are told that we must lower our corporate tax rates to bring jobs back to our country, but if that isn’t why they left, it won’t make much difference in bringing them back. 

The jobs left as we stopped taxing imports.

We have forgotten that taxes on imports paid for almost our entire federal budget for most of our nation’s history.  There was no federal income tax before 1913. 

We are told that taxing imports will raise the prices that consumers pay for those goods.  Yes, but these taxes used to be collected in lieu of income taxes, so income taxes should be reduced accordingly. 

We are told that Herbert Hoover raised taxes on imports as the Great Depression was just starting, and that was responsible for prolonging and intensifying it.  But the Great Depression lasted for another eight years or so under Franklin Delano Roosevelt who raised all kinds of taxes and created all kinds of government programs, and nobody thinks that had anything to do with prolonging the Depression?

Without taxes on imports, the jobs will stay overseas. 
We are told that taxing imports will start trade wars, where other nations will tax the goods we send to them, thus hurting our export industry.  But this wasn’t an issue for the 140 years before we had an income tax, and this wasn’t an issue before we stopped taxing imports and sent our jobs overseas

We are told that the world now has a global economy, that we have to support a global economy, and that to resist it is economic suicide.  By a global economy, they mean simply free trade, no taxes on imported goods.  They use words like protectionism and nationalism to describe those who oppose this, as though we are supposed to understand these words as obvious proofs of these people’s folly.

But the problem is our own companies making our own products and then sending them back to us.   Foreign goods were always available in our country, and we always paid a premium for them.  But these were actual foreign products, like Swiss chocolate and German watches, not American companies making things somewhere else and then shipping those products back here.

Our political leaders have forgotten our Constitution, which our Founders fought a war in order to be able to establish it.    Our government exists to promote the general welfare of the people of the United States.  It’s like when parents give everything they have to their children.  That doesn’t mean that they hate or don’t care about the other children on the block.  But they can only be responsible for those that belong to them over whom they have some control or major influence.  We cannot control the events, the people, and the governments of other countries, so frankly they have to take care of themselves, except perhaps in the case of a major natural disaster.

We are told that globalization is good for everybody because everything is now cheaper.  What they are not telling us is that, with globalization, most people are making a lot less money as a global labor market keeps driving wages downward.  A global economy is like adding 3 billion people to the labor force.  There are always people who will work for less somewhere in the world, and wages go down everywhere else to try to compete with that. 

Rich nations become poorer, and poor nations stay poor.  The poor nations are not starting their own businesses; they’re just relying on ours. 

And, besides, it is a very dangerous policy to build or base an economy on exports.  That means that our prosperity depends first on the prosperity of other nations so that they can buy our goods.  Basing our economic health on a global economy ties the economic health of all the nations together such that a problem in one country affects all the others.  What this does is create a new normal of a sluggish world economy.  Some major country is always experiencing some kind of downturn or economic crisis. 

This ideal world of free trade also requires everybody to ‘play fair,’ nobody gaming the system by manipulating their currencies.  So the experts want to build a global economic system that requires nobody cheating for it to really work?  Seriously?   You want to build a system that every nation in the world is dependent on but that requires everybody to follow all the rules?  Can’t be done unless you create a new world system where everybody is subject to a new world government.

Quite frankly, I think the motivation behind this is resentment for the United States being so prosperous.  At least it used to be.  Before the jobs went overseas, our federal debt was minimal.  Now it is almost 20 trillion dollars and counting.  And, yes, the two are related, and we won’t fix the one without fixing the other.
How can we have a robust American economy when it is dependent on nations all over the world having the money to buy our stuff first?  We have 330 million people in our own country.  If that is not enough of a market for a company to prosper, please don’t blame our trade policies.

Before the jobs went overseas, we had plenty of jobs for everyone, good paying jobs, and our nation prospered.  When we made all of our own stuff, the jobs grew as the population grew.  Taxes on imports went away, and the jobs went away, government debt skyrocketed, and wages stagnated.  Now we don’t have enough jobs for all the people who are living in our country, yet at the same time the government keeps bringing millions more people into our country as well as allowing untold numbers of people to just come in however they can.


We now have record numbers of people on government assistance, which ends up lowering the standard of living of everyone through government borrowing, inflation, and higher taxes.

So how do we bring the jobs back to our country?  Corporate tax rates are too high.  But they are high only to make up for all the loss of revenue from the loss of jobs.  The jobs didn’t leave because tax rates were too high, though more have left since they were raised.  The jobs didn’t leave because labor was cheaper somewhere else.  Labor has always been cheaper somewhere else.

The jobs left because we stopped taxing imports.  And they will not come back until we do that again.  I should add that we have also lost jobs due to the increase in government regulations.  

The Presidential candidates all talk about the issue of jobs in various ways, but this issue needs to have a national debate and reach some kind of consensus.  The reason is that moving a company from one country to another is a major decision that can involve billions of dollars.  If one President instituted a policy which the next President might want to reverse or change, companies could be slow in doing anything differently because the cost of changing could outweigh the cost of staying put.

Right now most opinions you will hear on this matter support free trade.  Much of that I believe is due to do politically correct thinking that views taxing imports as the work of greedy American companies who want to charge high prices free from the challenges of competition or the outdated notion of putting American interests above that of other countries. 

But taxing imports again is the most important means for bringing jobs back to the United States.  I would suggest a blanket tax on every product brought into this country.  Let’s say 20%.  We can calculate the projected income from imports, though total imports should decrease a bit.  The tax is paid by the company, and the consumers will then pay them back as they buy their products.  Income tax rates should then be lowered corresponding to the projected income.  As jobs come back to our country, the revenue from taxed imports will decrease but more people working at better jobs will reduce government spending and increase government revenues.




[1] http://www.forbes.com/sites/merrillmatthews/2014/07/02/weve-crossed-the-tipping-point-most-americans-now-receive-government-benefits/#56676bea6233

Friday, May 6, 2016

A Case for Donald Trump

The Herald (May 6) printed a reader’s case why he believes Donald Trump should not be our next President.  I feel compelled to vote for Donald Trump.  Everybody had his list of important issues by which he judges a candidate.  For me there are 5 issues that are the iceberg sinking the ship.  And if the ship sinks, nothing else is going to matter.  In each case, Donald Trump is either the only one who understands the problem, has the right solution to fix the problem, or is the only one I believe will actually do what is needed to fix the problem.
The first issue is jobs.  I believe the loss of jobs is probably the biggest reason for our country’s staggering debt.  It combines the loss of tax revenue with an increase in government spending for assistance programs. 
The jobs didn’t leave because of cheaper labor somewhere.  There has always been cheaper labor somewhere else.  They didn’t leave because of high taxes.  The high taxes came afterwards to help make up for the lost tax revenue.  The jobs left because we stopped taxing imports.
Taxes on imports used to pay for almost our entire federal budget.  We didn’t even have an income tax until 1913.  Yes, taxes on imports will raise the cost of foreign goods, but they will make possible a reduction in income taxes and will bring jobs back here.  Trump is the only one who believes in taxing imports.
The second issue is immigration, and Trump is the only person who you can believe will secure the border.  Congress has promised this since Reagan in 1986 with nothing getting done. 
Trump is the only person who challenges birthright citizenship.  We don’t give citizenship to children born to people here on vacation or to foreign workers, so why should we give it to children of people in our country illegally?  The American Indian didn’t even get this privilege.  That required an act of Congress.  With birthright citizenship, it is becoming almost impossible to deport families of people who have children born here. 
The third issue is Muslims.  The world is experiencing incredible violence and instability, whether in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, or Asia.  And, frankly, it is entirely due to Muslims.  Will America be any different?  You only need to watch the hundreds of videos coming out of Europe to know that it is only matter of time.  They just need to become a higher percentage of the population.  Trump is the only person who actually sees a problem here.
The fourth issue is the court called supreme.  This court has assumed a role in forming policies far beyond the role given to it by the Constitution.  In this case just about any of the Republican candidates would do, but those who are concerned about future court appointments need to be concerned about which political party makes the nomination.  So if Trump is the candidate, you can’t stay home and not vote if you don’t like him.  That just gives the job to the other party.
The last issue is the business as usual in Washington.  The entire political system in Washington is broken.  We need a lot of non-politicians running things there, who might, for example, replace a thousand-page bill with maybe a dozen 3 page bills, which they can actually read and debate.

Anybody but Trump will just give us more of the same.