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.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Sex, Marriage, and Living Together

There are two basic ways to approach life as in how to live it:  On the one hand, Christians believe that God created the world and everything in it, and then He gave to humans the instruction manual on how it works.  The other view believes that there is no instruction manual, because either there was no God in the first place, or God is not the kind of thing that has a relationship with people.  That’s just vain human thinking.  But either way, the result is the same.  We are on our own. 

So essentially, we make up the rules as we go along.  Society may gradually develop some rules, but it has no real authority to impose it on you unless it wants to punish people who don’t comply.

Because I find human life, and life in general, too incredible to account for by chance and accident, I have to believe there had to be a creator.  Does this Creator love his creation and did he provide for us an instruction manual to tell us how this works? 

The only thing in life that we have that could pass as such an instruction manual is the Bible, and for reasons well beyond the scope of this article, I believe it to be God’s Word to us telling us how life works.

When God first created human beings, the Bible says that “God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”  [Genesis 1:27] It took two distinct sexes to fulfill the image of God. 

Why would that be?  From what I have read in human psychology, human traits seem to come in pairs.  Now this is my thinking about the matter.  The Bible doesn’t go into detail here.  

It seems that for every strength, there is a corresponding weakness.  Think of justice and mercy.  If a person is strong on justice, he is probably weak on mercy, and a person strong in mercy is usually weaker on justice.  If you were to make a list of your strengths and weaknesses, you could probably link each one to its opposite. 

Psychologists used to think of the different sexes as having different basic temperaments, but current psychological thinking often dismisses this as stereotypical thinking, social constructs, and sexism.  To them, differences imply a hierarchy of values, and to the politically correct, equality is one of the foundations for modern morality.  This doesn’t mean that the modern view is correct or more accurate.  I believe modern science is influenced more today by the presuppositions brought to the investigation of things than by the facts uncovered by the investigations.

I see the joining of a man and a woman forming something that could not exist on its own.  The marriage is intended to form and complete the personality of each person in order for each of them to become more like God.
Genesis 1:28   And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

God tells the first people to be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth.  A lot of people challenge this thinking, saying that the earth is already full, and its resources are limited.  Actually, no.  It looks full in certain places, because people tend to live in one place, because they have learned to be dependent on others for jobs and their needs for food and shelter.  If there is a lack of food today, it is only in parts of the world, and this is generally due more to political issues than that of resources.  But that is an issue for another article.

The Bible assumes that marriage will have children, and teaches that children are a blessing from God [Psalm 127 3 Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. 4 As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. 5 Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.]

I would contend that raising children contributes to the forming of our characters in ways that can’t be duplicated by other means, even the raising of other people’s children, like orphans. 
God is always in the business of trying to reveal Himself to us.  Having children is one of the best ways to do this, and He gives us two chances to get it right.

Hopefully a person learns what unconditional love is from one’s parents.  A love that is both tender and firm, that does what is best for us even though it may hurt for a time.  A love that seeks our benefit above all else.

But then that doesn’t always work, so we get a second chance when we have our own children.  Hopefully and generally we find ourselves loving these beings with a love we hadn’t thought possible.  We would easily give up everything for the sake of our children. 

Now the trick is to extrapolate this love onto God, recognizing that His love for us is at least as much as ours for our children or our parents for us.  Sometimes our parents fail us, and we fail our children, but we call that broken families, because we know what the family is supposed to look like. 

Families are also the place where we learn what love is in other ways.  It is more than this intense love for another human being, but it pushes us to develop this love in loving sacrificial service to someone else.  Feelings of love just aren’t enough when speaking of love.

The Bible says later: “For this cause a man shall leave his mother and his father and cleave to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”  [Genesis 2:24]

In another place in the Bible [I Corinthians 6], this theme is explained a bit for those who may have missed its significance the first time.  A man who has sex with a prostitute becomes one flesh, or one body, with her.  So sex is how the two become one.

In thinking about this, I am inclined to think that this union is the result of the emission of a life-generating fluid into the body of another person, that this is when and how this mystical connection and union is formed. 

But then I think about all the modern forms of contraception that either block or kill the living parts of this fluid, and I wonder how this affects that.

And then I think about a phenomenon I have seen over and over again in my life.  A girl will have her first full sexual experience, and she is changed.  This man could be and often is a complete jerk, but she is in love.  But more than just being in love, she is hooked.   Everybody else sees and knows that this guy is a jerk, but she will have none of this.  Unless or until this person completely rejects or hurts her, she will hold on to this person as long as she can, and I wonder if she can ever really let him go.

After this first encounter, if this person is no longer a part of her life, sex can almost lose any really special meaning for this woman.  First date, second date, it’s more than a hug, it’s not given away cheaply, at least a dinner or two first, but then often it can be there for the asking.  Just ask nicely or maybe wait until she has had a few drinks.

But something else happens here.  Our whole culture has separated sex from marriage.  Without the instruction manual, without a God in our lives who has the plan for how this is all supposed to work and who expects us to live according to that plan, we are left with a human experience, clearly the most pleasurable one we can have apart perhaps from certain drugs, we are left with what we want to make of it, what we want to do with it.

Apart from a God who we can’t see, can’t touch physically, don’t hear audibly, we find these impulses and desires, and we look for answers on what to do with them.  But who can tell us what is right or wrong, good or bad, wise or foolish here?  It’s our life, we want to do it, and who’s to say what we should or shouldn’t do?

But what is marriage all about anyway?  Is it just the vehicle for having children? 

This shouldn’t require a lot of Bible verses to help us here.  The fact is that people get married and divorced all the time.  We used to make it a lot harder to get divorced in the past, because we valued marriage more in the past.  We knew the value of the family in raising children, even when marriages were struggling. 

Marriage is clearly about a lot more than having sex.  In talking with some single friends about marriage, I identified about six subjects that I suggested two people need to talk about and resolve before they should think about getting married: religion, sex, children, money, values (what is important to you), and how you spend your free time.  You can add other things as well. 

I suggest not getting involved with someone too early in your life.  Say, for example, after you and your partner have been long involved sexually and emotionally, you decide that you want to be a rock star.  So now you want to travel for months at a time, and your wife wants you home every night with her and the kids.  There’s going to be a problem here.  You usually don’t know what you are going to do with your life when you’re young.  Even if you do, you don’t know if you actually will end up doing that either. 

But what does this all have to do with sex?

Sex is meant to unite people on a spiritual and emotional level.  I contend that we don’t understand all that that entails.  We can’t see the spirit world.  Something happens when people have sex.  Oh, it can be stifled.  It can be dulled.  I heard a pornstar talking about how she felt when she saw her boyfriend holding hands with somebody else.  Sex had become recreation and casual, and something else had become the sign of bonding and commitment.

So, yes, I would say that getting married is part of the program.  I believe that God’s plan for human beings is to get married with very few exceptions.  The Apostle Paul thought he was an exception.  I believe it is an essential part of becoming all that God intends for us to become.  God created a man in the Garden of Eden where he had complete access to and fellowship with God in a perfect world, and then God says that it is not good for the man to be alone.  If man in a perfect state in a perfect world needed a wife, how much more today?

But marriage involves a lot more than having sex.  Like I told one friend of mine, after you have sex, you have to talk to each other.  People have sex, and even if sex has lost that emotional bonding felt with first love, there is still a sense of unity and a bond of persons.  But then in real life, there are all those other issues that two people need to be in harmony on if they are to have a marriage: agreeing on religion, sex (how often, how important, how done, etc.), children (how many, how to raise). money (save, spend, mine or ours), values (eating right, exercise, what you live for), would you rather go out with the guys or come home every night.

These are all issues that should be cleared up before getting married.  In the past, these might have been less of an issue, because there were more clearly defined roles in marriage.  People got married younger, and they were more adaptable when they were younger. 

But then I believe sex screws up your mind. 

You feel the bond and the love, but these other issues won’t go away.  The attraction, the feelings, the love, and the desire for sex generally will long precede any discussions about how you divide your money, whether you want a joint checking and savings account or whether your money should remain totally separate.  So using your head, you might think that there are so many potential irreconcilable differences, but you are in love, and you can make it.  If you knew all these things before you got involved with this person, you wouldn’t have gotten involved with them in the first place. 

Think of it like speed dating or finding love on the internet.  You meet all these people or see all these pictures of attractive people.  You could feel chemistry and desire sex with almost all of them given the right circumstances.  But instead, everyone lists their interests and you immediately eliminate 95% of them from consideration.  But if you knew them from work and didn’t know all these things ahead of time, you might long ago already have had sex with them and bonded before you even got so far as knowing all their interests.

Half the marriages today end in divorce, and I doubt any of them thought they would have ended up that way when they started.  And you really don’t want to put your kids through a divorce.  Trust me on that one.

Children are the furthest thing from your mind when you’re thinking about sex, but even with so much precaution and modern technology, people are often surprised to learn that a child is forthcoming.  Oh, you could destroy it, but then you may find yourself wondering in ten, twenty years what that child would have been like.  Some people seem able to live with that, but many aren’t.  And I’m not sure you will know which you would be until long after you are able to do anything about it.

Today more than ever people are living together without being married.  You get some of the benefits of being married without actually being married. 

People usually live together, because they aren’t sure if this is the person they should marry, and they think this will help them make that decision.  Or they just don’t have a reason not to.  The problem is that though it looks a lot like marriage, it lacks two of the most important elements of marriage, so it won’t give you all the information you are looking for.  This is probably why more people who lived together before they get married get divorced than those who don’t. 

People living together don’t have the commitment that is necessary to make a marriage work.  That’s one reason why they didn’t get married in the first place.  They won’t be trying as hard now to make it work.  And because there is no commitment, people generally cannot and will not fully be themselves.  It’s a little like you’re still dating.  You’re still trying to make a good impression.  People living together know that they don’t have to stay in this relationship.  It need only be temporary.  It’s like that test drive on that new car you want.  If you find something you don’t like, you don’t have to keep it.

When people choose to live together, they are forming a half marriage.  They are investing their lives in something that is just as likely to fail as to succeed.  And their experience together won’t really help them to know which it is going to be.  They run the risk of having children which will bind them together though they may not be the person they should be binding themselves to. 

The fact of living together will make it harder for them to know what they should do and to do it.  Their lives will become so enmeshed and tangled that trying to separate them later on may seem to be more trouble than it is worth.  And the time they spend living together will take a huge part of their life that take a huge price. 

Learn the things you need to learn about each other before taking the step.  Talk through these deep issues.  Marriage is more the gritty day to day stuff than intense feelings of passion.  Pretend you’re on a speed date, and see if you would make it past the first round.  Make internet profiles, and see if this person is someone that you would contact. 

The younger generation is far more casual about sex than older generations.  Take a survey.  Ask the young men you know if they would rather marry a virgin or somebody who has already had maybe some of their friends.  It seems most would rather marry a virgin, but they have no problem being somebody’s first in order to satisfy their craving for it.

So, contrary to the casual nature of sex as seen on television and in movies, sex is the tool God uses to join two people together for life to create and form the next generation.  This union is not just for creating and forming the next generation though, but it also forms our own lives and increases our own enjoyment of it.   

The pressure from society can be immense to just do what you feel like and any call for restraint or ‘traditional’ thinking can seem strange.  But any time you try to bring God’s perspective on anything in life, you can expect that it will often stretch our thinking and ask us to trust Him where we might want to have different thoughts.  That’s just the nature of humans and God looking at the same issues.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

response to a friend to questions and concerns about Trump and immigration

Hi Emily (fake name)

Good to hear from you.  I miss the days when we talked more often.  I enjoy seeing the pictures and updates of your family.  

The alt-right is a term used for a lot of different people.  I tried to find some specifics on what defined them and found that the term is used for a broad umbrella that certainly could include neo-Nazis and white supremacists, but it could also include people who just want to restore America to the country it was founded to be.  And that would include me.  We are constantly being told by the media and other people about “who we are,” but most of the time they are trying to lead us to new places rather than actually knowing and defending what we are supposed to be as a nation.

I have not spent too much time at Breitbart News, though I recently subscribed to their daily emails.  I constantly find that site cited for news articles, and none of them have anything to do with neo-Nazis and white supremacists.  The left is very quick to use labels to put people into boxes and brand them as evil, because they disagree with some of the things they say, and they don’t want you to read them for yourself.  I read a lot of news sources and hadn’t even heard of Steve Bannon until he was selected by Trump.  I suspect that most of what is being said about him is what has been fed to us by the media and not from those who have actually spent much time on the site.   I heard some people on the radio say that all this Bannon talk is not true at all.

The person who has probably influenced Trump the most on immigration is Ann Coulter.  He read her book Adios America: The Left’s Plan to Turn our Country into a Third World Hellhole shortly before he announced for President.

Trump’s focus on immigration and the wall has been on illegal immigration.  A country has the responsibility to know who is coming into it and the right to refuse someone.  We have diseases that had long been eradicated here which are on the rise again, like polio and tuberculosis.  We have a drug epidemic due to Mexican drug cartels.  We even have a lot of Middle Easterners who come through Mexico, and who have intentions of bringing death and destruction to our country.  The fact is that with illegal immigration, we just don’t know who is coming in.  Trump’s announcement came shortly after the murder of Kate Steinle at the hands of an illegal immigrant, someone who had been deported several times yet still was able to come back again and again.

Is the government is trying to bring minority immigrants into the country to the "almost entire exclusion of whites.?”  Actually, yes.  Prior to 1965, it was the policy of our government to try to retain the current demographics of the population of the United States with immigration.  There were even quotas on how many from what countries could enter, and they were primarily if not exclusively European. 
In 1965, immigration was opened to all the countries of the world, and it has been focused almost entirely on minorities.  Is this political?  You only need to look at the maps of the Presidential elections for evidence, but that is certainly not the only evidence, though you may not find somebody saying so much in public.
Trump, for example, won the majority vote in probably 95% of the counties in our country.  The 5% of counties he didn’t win were the large cities which are magnets for new immigrants.  A person from a third world country will vote for almost anything, because anything is an improvement over that from where they came.  And, yes, this is mostly the work of one political party, the one that favors government involvement (control) over as much of American life as possible. 

You mention a fear of minorities.  It’s not a fear of minorities per se, but they are visible reminders of what is happening to and in our country.

Our country is changing and has been changing for a long time.  These changes are intentional, and they are not good ones.  They include the rise of post-modernism, secularism, political correctness, revisionism, and deconstructionism, and, yes, these overlap at points.  Western Civilization itself is at stake, and it is losing as each generation knows less about what it is, how it started, and whether it should be preserved.  Has the West prospered because of inherent differences with other cultures, or did it prosper because it repressed, oppressed, and exploited other people?

The mantra of diversity is code for we don’t want what America used to be, and we are working to make it as different as possible.  Older people see how much our country has changed over the last 60 years, and they are not happy about it.  We remember when prayer, the Bible, and God were removed from our public schools and the public square, and it’s going to be a lot harder to try to bring that back when diversity has done its intended work.

Consider the refugee ‘crisis’ today.  There are between 19 and 55 million refugees in the world today, depending on who’s counting.  Almost all (over 99%) of the refugees brought to our country in the last two years have been Muslim, though Christians are being killed and driven out of their homelands throughout the Middle East. 

It’s not “that white people will lose out”, but we (not white people per se, but long time citizens) are losing our country, and these are all visible reminders.  We used to be the richest country in the world, the freest, with the best schools, the highest standard of living, very low crime, and the most Christian country in the world.  Even though people might question how many people were ‘true’ Christians, everybody respected and knew basic Christianity.  All the department stores played Christmas hymns during the Christmas season, schools sang Christian songs, Spring break was Easter break, and winter break was Christmas break.  The Ten Commandments were the moral code of our nation.  They were often displayed in schools and other public places, and more people knew and accepted them as being the right way to live.

Now we are arguably the poorest country in the world.  When our federal debt is $20 trillion, our state debt is over $120 billion, and the average credit card debt is over $10,000, we are living on borrowed money.

When people talk about our country being a nation of immigrants or that we are all immigrants, they are trying to cover the real issues.  Any person not now living here is potentially an immigrant, and they want you to think that one is as good as another, and we have no right to be picky about who comes here.

I have a government textbook from 1949 that lists 11 different standards that were applied to all immigrants before they would be accepted, including literacy, health, basic intelligence, good morals, job skills, and the expectation that they would not require government assistance. 

Now those standards are ignored for legal immigrants, and who knows about those who come illegally?

We are bringing into our country hundreds of thousands of people that we support for upwards of $35,000 a year at a time when our country is $20 trillion in debt, and we have more people out of the work force than at any time in probably the last 50 years. 

Yes, the Indians preceded the Europeans coming here, but they say that the Indians came from Asia through Alaska.  Did they displace anyone when they came?  My family has been here for a hundred years, so I wouldn’t think of myself as an immigrant.

You mention that most immigrants these days are coming from Central and South America, with China and India second.  Those pie charts are missing something.  They list the names of the individual countries with the most immigrants, but then there is the large blank of about 40% of the total immigrants from ‘other countries.’  This would be the Muslims that our President is so eager to bring over here.  There are almost 50 Muslim countries in the world, and it doesn’t matter which one they come from, just as long as they come.

The Christian response is to, as you say, welcome and help them.  But the government is not acting in the name of Christ, the Church, or the Christian.  It has been enabling the weakening and gradual destruction of our country. 

Right around the time all this was starting to happen, political correctness began emerging.  Among the ideas that came with that was that our country was founded as a secular nation and that of diversity.  Diversity is another way of diluting and diminishing the influence of the dominant culture, in this case, Christianity, white, and traditional. 

We used to have an American (Western) culture that we were proud of and taught our students in all of our schools.  Colleges used to have required classes on the history of Western Civilization.  That has all been rejected in favor of multiculturalism.  WestCiv has been branded the belief system of dead white people who became rich by oppressing people of color. 

One of the most important things that should be considered in answering any questions about immigration and everything else is the Constitution.  The most important part of the Constitution is the beginning.  That is the part that tells us the purpose of the whole thing, the goal of what government is supposed to work on, what it is exactly that our country fought a war in order to obtain.

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

First of all, it is the people who are in control of the country, not the government.  The government doesn’t run the people.  We run the government. 

The first goal mentioned is to form a more perfect union.  We are constantly being told that diversity is our strength.  To me, diversity weakens and divides a nation.  But either way, our country is about forming a more perfect union.  If there are controversial issues about immigration, the government has no right to do something and then tell the American people to like it. 

Establishing justice is not referring to foreign or immigration policy.  It is about protecting the rights of the people of the United States.  The government has no right to put the welfare of people who are not of the United States above those who are.  It’s like a family.  You have three kids and a husband.  You take care of them first.  That doesn’t mean that you don’t care about the other kids on the block, but your focus is on these four people first.  Hopefully, those other kids on the block have parents who care about them.  The purpose of our government is to take care of the people of the United States first.  If individuals in the United States want to help people from other countries or if the United States votes to do something, that’s fine.  But most of what is happening with immigration today is not the will of the people, but the will of certain people in our government with an agenda that is far more than about helping people.

Number three is insuring domestic tranquility.  Tranquility.  I have read so many times where the Founders actually talked about the happiness of the American people as being the goal of government.  You don’t make people happy when you try to cram things down their throats, no matter how worthy it is or may seem to some people.

Provide for the common defense.  War isn’t really about killing people.  The goal is usually to change the government of the other country.  Killing people is usually just the means of doing that.  But if people can change our government without killing people, all the better.  There are a lot of people who are trying to change our country in innumerable ways that are contrary to what our country was intended to be.  If we don’t know what that is, we have no way to counter what they are trying to do.

Promoting the general welfare essentially means doing things that benefit everybody and not just a select group.  When the government gives free housing and thousands of dollars a month to certain people, that is not promoting the general welfare.  That’s for private organizations or individuals.  That’s not the role of our government. 

And lastly to secure the blessings of liberty to our posterity.  That means basically that we don’t live on borrowed money, where we jeopardize our children’s future for present gain.  All this money that we are spending on immigration frankly is borrowed money.  We have destroyed our middle class by sending millions of good jobs overseas, and we are spending money we don’t have.  We have changed the rules by which our country used to work, and too many people don’t know how it is supposed to work.

Sorry for taking so long to answer your concerns.  There is certainly so much more that could be said.

Wish you the best.


Which is more dangerous: Muslims or gun owners? response to a news article

Neil Steinberg asks the question of which group is more dangerous: Muslims or gun owners.  Using statistics isn’t helpful here, because we are spending billions of dollars keeping track of thousands and thousands of people hoping to stop them before they do something wrong.

But there is a bigger picture here.  Islam has a goal of making the entire world Muslim.  Not every Muslim is thinking about this, of course, but their leaders, their scholars, and imams are.  After failing to conquer Europe in the Middle Ages and being on the losing side of World War 1, they developed a new strategy: mass migration to the West and using its freedom and democracy to promote their cause. 

In a few generations, Europe will be a Muslim majority continent.  The United States will take a little longer.  No rush here.  Western people are not reproducing at replacement levels, so they see this a very doable.  In a hundred years, it will be The Islamic States of America. 

This isn’t inevitable, of course, but it’s a lot easier to prevent the earlier we recognize it and do something about it.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Christians and America

Christians came, actually fled, to America, because they wanted religious freedom.  Now they have lost it, and there is nowhere else to go.

A lot of you are reading this and wondering what I am talking about. 

Religious freedom, like all freedom, isn’t necessarily lost suddenly, violently, or completely.  It can happen slowly, like the proverbial camel’s foot in the tent, over generations.  Each generation loses a bit, learns to accept it and finds it not worth fighting for, and the next generation starts with less freedom as the new norm.  This new generation is easily swayed that this is the way it has always been or at least how it was supposed to have been, and they shrug their shoulders and think that Christians shouldn’t be concerned about these things anyway.

A lot of you are still wondering why I said that religious freedom is lost in America.  The First Amendment denies Congress the right to prohibit the free exercise of religion. 

But this right can only be guaranteed when religious values are consistent with the highest values of the country.  That is no longer the case.  We are told, over and over, that our nation was founded as a secular nation where all the different religions of the world can live together in blissful harmony free to do whatever they want inside their respective buildings, up to a point.

As a secular nation, there are secular values, and these values are higher than any religious ones.  First there was abortion.  Not only is your money now used to pay for them, but if you work in the medical, pharmaceutical, or pregnancy care fields, you may find that you are required to provide assistance for abortions in ways you would rather not.

As government confers or establishes rights for more kinds of human behavior, those rights supersede your religious rights not to participate.  You may even be compelled to do things against your conscience. 

Many of you are saying that it isn’t so bad.  Things are far worse in other parts of the world, and we shouldn’t complain.  But you would be missing the point.

The framework has changed.  The trajectory has moved.  The direction of the country is leading away from your religious, or Christian, values.  It’s only a matter of time, for example, before a pastoral candidate sues a church, because it found out that he or she is married to another person of the same sex, and since gay marriage is legal, you will lose your right to discriminate against him or her in a position of employment. 

We are told that we live in a diverse country and must accommodate and embrace this diversity.  But what we are not told is that this diversification of our country is intentional.  It is meant to dilute and diminish any Christian influence in our country.  And the very idea of diversity today has come more and more to mean the Islamization of our country.  The government supposedly isn’t keeping track of the religious affiliation of immigrants, but Muslim countries are providing the bulk of our new immigrants. 

In 50 years of less, Europe will become a continent of Muslim countries.  What the Muslim world could not do in a thousand years through war, it will now do peacefully, relatively speaking, through immigration.

Christians in general have not seen political involvement as something that they should do.  Yet Christians own businesses and houses, pay taxes, have investments, hire lawyers to protect their interests, and send their kids to public schools.  What happens politically affects all of these things.

Christians may give 10 % of their income to God as an act of being a good steward, but they probably give 50 % of their income to the government in the form of taxes, fees, licenses, and fines.  If we care where that 10 % goes, shouldn’t we care where that 50 % goes?

Christians are often taught that they must be submissive to government.  But they forget that the kind of government we have today is not the kind they had in Bible days.  We don’t have kings, Caesars, or rulers; we have representatives.  If our leaders do things we don’t like or agree with, we have the right and the responsibility to remove them and replace them with ones who will see to our best interests.  And sometimes that will mean that we will have to try to become those leaders ourselves.

We forget that the right to exercise our religion was won by a war that we initiated.  I have often said that if the Christians alive today were alive at the time of our nation’s founding, there never would have been an American Revolution.  And if the Christians alive then were alive today, there already would have been a second one.

Where do we start?  I would say that we first need to know and understand more about the origin of our country.  And to do that you need to read not the history of our founding but the writings of our founding.  History books can be very selective on what they talk about and what they omit. 

David Barton, founder of the organization Wallbuilders, is probably the foremost authority on writings in American history as they pertain to religion and our country.  His books make the case for a Christian founding of our nation, but more importantly they gather together the primary sources so that you can read the Founders for yourself.  You can read The Federalist Papers, which were written to explain the Constitution so that people would vote to ratify it. 

Everybody’s busy.  I know.  I have put a lot of things on hold in my life while I try to get my country back.

You want to win the world, but if you lose your own country, the country you are living in, the country that used to embrace your Christian values, then I think we are missing something very important.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Some Final Thoughts on the 2016 Presidential Campaign

This is easily the most important Presidential election of my lifetime.  With every political cycle, the two major political parties become more different, each wanting to take the country in very different directions.  The biggest examples might be the ones regarding the First and Second Amendments.

Now these differences are not some legal hairsplitting involving some finer points of law, but basic differences of understanding as to what kind of country we were meant to be and what kind of country we are going to be.

The First Amendment guarantees among other things the right to free exercise of religion.  This can only be guaranteed when the country, including the government, courts, and schools, regards religious values as being consistent with the highest values of the land.   That is no longer the case.

This, by the way, is proof that our country was indeed founded as a Christian nation.  You can’t guarantee religious values if you now recognize higher values that can conflict with that.

Being founded as a Christian nation did not mean that people were compelled to adhere to the Christian religion, but it does mean that it was respected and the Ten Commandments reflected the basic moral code for our nation.  They were prominently displayed in schools, courtrooms, and on government property throughout our country.

Now we are told that our nation was founded to be a secular nation, and there are secular values that supersede all religions ones.  These values are tolerance, equality, diversity, and fairness.  And these values will be strictly imposed.  Defy them or even unintentionally break one, and you risk being sued, arrested, harassed, shamed, fined, or fired.

The First Amendment also covers freedom of speech.  Are there to be no restraints on what people can say?  I contend as I just noted that the Founders assumed a religious foundation for our country. 
After all, they had the Bible taught in all the public schools.  And it was only in 1962 that that practice was banned by the government.  
They expected that Christian values like loving your neighbor would temper people’s speech.  But many of them came to this country because they were denied the right to freely speak in their home countries on matters of politics and religion, and they didn’t want the government telling them what to believe or what they could or could not say.  They wanted people to be free to express their opinions. 

But isn’t teaching the Bible some kind of government indoctrination in a certain belief system?  Certainly.  The problem is that every person and every government has a belief system that guides and directs their behavior.  And it is the Christian belief system that is the guarantor of our freedoms and rights.  That would take another article to prove if you don’t agree with that statement, but at least recognize that schools and governments have to work under some basic belief system to function.  Where it used to be Christianity, it is now political correctness, or secularism, with its new values of tolerance, equality, fairness, and diversity.

While Christianity has a commandment against lying, which, by the way, political correctness does not, it embraces it, Christianity, promoting freedom of conscience, was the driving force behind your freedom of speech.

That is all now increasingly in jeopardy of being lost.  The thought and speech police are everywhere monitoring what you say and think in case you might offend somebody.  Hate speech it is called.
And the Second Amendment is not just about guns.  The bigger issue is whether we as a nation want to trade our freedoms for security.  Security means that the government gains more power and control over our lives to protect us from everything that could go wrong.  Secularism gives the government the responsibility to protect us from all manner of bad things, whether it is being shot, being poor, or getting fat.  You give up your freedom of choice so that the government can try to minimize the risk of bad outcomes in your life. 

The large and grave responsibility of government also comes with another huge price: money.  Lots of it.  It requires a huge government work force generously compensated, to get the best people, of course, and you trade personal wealth for government oversight and protection.  How great a deal is that?

This new responsibility also finds the government looking for new ways to extend its protective power, new things that it can guarantee to people, all in the interests of improving their lives.  This also comes at great expense, so we have gone from being the richest nation in the world to the most indebted nation in the world.  Some people might find ways to dispute that, but I think if you include all the state and local debt incurred in pursuit of this perfect society, we are easily now the poorest nation in the world.  We still have our color TVs and cell phones, but when the share of federal government debt alone is over $50,000 a person, we are not rich, we just owe a lot of people a lot of money.

Where the Christian worldview gave us a moral system that has been in existence for thousands of years, secularism is relatively new, and it is making things up as it goes along.  Gender equality morphs into gender fluidism, where it can be chosen and changed at will.  In the attempt not to offend, we change our methods of labeling things to create neutrality, fireman to first responder, and slowly we even change definitions of what things mean. 

Where marriage was once the uniting of a man and woman such that children are created and raised in a nurturing environment by the two parents, marriage is now simply a legal connection of two people for certain legal and social benefits.  And even the idea of being a parent has been redefined.

Another morphing of its values is globalism.  Globalism sees all nations as equal.  All their various cultures and religions were found equal under diversity, tolerance, and equality, so now all nations have the same status.  This makes borders irrelevant, because they become arbitrary.  Why would or should a country be able to prohibit anyone from entering it who wants to?  People are people.

It becomes wrong for a country even to seek its own interests above that of the world community’s.  How can one nation justify being rich when so many others are poor?  Not only is that unjust, but the mere fact that one nation is rich while others are poor can only be due to that one nation oppressing or exploiting the others.  Ultimately this means that the rich nations become poorer, and the poor nations stay poor.  Who gets rich?  Individuals who know how the play the game by the new rules, many of whom work in government.

But back to the election. 
Everything I have said here is basically the current philosophy of the Democratic Party.  While the Republican Party has some very serious problems of its own, those are issues that need to be sorted out in the primaries where the Republican candidates are chosen, not in the general election where the choices are down to basically two. 

Our political leaders have given us a system that only realistically gives us two choices.  Voting a third party candidate may make you feel better, but it won’t change the system and will only make the results of the election worse.  That is an issue that you need to deal with between elections, not in an election.

You thought the election was about Trump and Clinton, the lesser of two evils perhaps.  Actually it is, but it is also quite a bit bigger than that.  However, they do epitomize the choice.  And the choice has never been clearer or more significant than in this election.

Trump wants to put America first.  This is what people do everyday when they put their family first over everybody else.  It doesn’t mean that you hate everybody else.  It does mean that if you try to take care of everybody, you end up taking care of nobody.  And if you read the Constitution, especially the beginning, taking care of its citizens first is precisely the role of government in our country.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

So What Would It Mean to Make America Great Again?

Making America great again is the theme of one of our major political party candidates.  His supporters readily agree with him, but at first some people sneered and saw this as a call for the return of racial segregation, discrimination, or, who knows, maybe even slavery.

The other political party saw the danger in this thinking and began insisting that we were already great.  Of course, they said, we already are a great nation; what could possibly need to be changed?

I happen to think that we have lost some very valuable qualities in our country, and I would like to see us get them back.  When this candidate keeps speaking of making America great, the question naturally rises, So when exactly was it great like you are saying it used to be?

Donald Trump is no historian, and so I am guessing that he is referring to an America that he remembers. 

As I get older, I am learning to appreciate older people in a new way.  Not because I am getting older myself, but because they bring a perspective to things that younger people just can’t have.  For a younger person, America has always been a certain way.  For an older person, they remember when America was not that way, and they wish it could go back to what it used to be.

So if making America great again is like being able to turn the clock back, what would be some of the set points we can say would make America greater than it is now?

I would like to suggest a few.

A recent set point would be 2001.  9/11 changed everything, but it didn’t have to. 

Our leaders have long felt that we were safe from the all the wars and problems of the rest of the world, because we were separated from all that by two oceans.  But on 9/11, the war came to us.  It wasn’t by an invading army but by people that we willingly allowed to enter our country.  Was this carelessness or stupidity?  Doesn’t matter at this point.  The point is not to let it happen again.

But we have.  Over and over again.  But many of our political leaders don’t see any connection between many of the acts of violence that have occurred in our country and our policies of who we allow or bring into our country.

However, a lot of people do see a connection.  We now have over 1,000 ongoing terror investigations going on right now.  We are monitoring over a million people on a terror watch list.  We spend hours in line waiting to get on an airplane.  We have the same kind of security now even at baseball games.  And we will have these things now forever and ever.  This is the new normal.

Nobody wants to say it, but these threats only exist because we have Muslims living in our country.  I know how this sounds today, so please let me explain.

Most Muslims are just ordinary people who only want to get on in life, just like everybody else.  I get that.  But then there are the Islamic leaders, the Islamic scholars, and the imams who teach and interpret Islam for the masses. 

Islam has a program.  You can call it the Islamization of the world.  And the freedoms and democracy of Western Civilization will allow them to do it without having much of the violence that was required in the past.

The plan begins with the mass migration of Muslims to all the non-Muslim countries of the world.  As their numbers increase, they then need to build mosques for prayers, but more importantly for the imams to teach the people the duties of Islam, including sharia law, which, by the way, supersedes the constitutions of any nation in which they live.

But let us go on.

A second checkpoint would be the early 90s, before we starting shipping all of our jobs overseas in the name of free trade.  We were told that this would benefit us by lowering the cost of imported goods and creating jobs for our export industry.  They didn’t tell us that to get the lower cost of imported goods we would have to give up millions of good paying American jobs.  And that for our export industries to prosper, we have to rely on the prosperity of other nations first so that they can buy our goods, thus placing our prosperity directly in the hands of other nations.

So bringing our nation back to the safety and security of pre-2001 American would make America much greater than it is now.  

Restoring the jobs we lost would make it greater still.  When people don’t have good paying jobs anymore, not only does our government lose tax revenue that it has to make up for elsewhere, but it also spends a lot of money providing assistance to those who don’t have the money to live on.  We lose twice.

And that’s when our government debt started really spiking.  Government debt, of course, hurts us in a number of ways: it devalues our money, and it makes everything government does more expensive, because we spend billions of dollars a year just paying interest on this debt.

Going back a few decades, we had the Viet Nam War, which we actually never officially called a war.  After World War II, we stopped declaring wars.  We just starting fighting and continued fighting until we stopped.  Fifty thousand of our soldiers died in Viet Nam, and we lost.  More like we just gave up rather than being defeated. 

If we could choose our military engagements more carefully and actually intend to win the engagement, that would do a lot to enhance our nation’s image in the world and at home. 

War is hell.  I admit that, but there is a certain clarity that comes from winning a war.  Germany and Japan surrendered at the end of World War 2.  We helped them rebuild their countries, and they have been close friends ever since.  When wars don’t end in victory and defeat, nothing gets resolved, and the hostilities continue for generations after, like in Korea and the Middle East.

We don’t declare wars anymore, so we start fighting and we fight like we are not sure if we really want to win it.  Thousands of our troops die, and nothing is resolved. 

Remaking our military use policies to focus on actually winning a war without jeopardizing the lives of our soldiers needlessly could do a lot to making our country greater again.

One more major set point in Donald Trump’s lifetime would be the 1960s.  That saw the start of the Great Society.  Right after our country signed civil rights legislation banning discrimination on the basis of race, the Johnson Administration launched the government welfare system that we still see today. 

After trillions of dollars spent, only a few things have changed. and none of them good.  One is that where welfare used to be the domain of the church, now it is the responsibility of the government.  When the church did welfare, the church knew the people who were receiving it.  People were held accountable.  That’s gone, as well as the public sentiment that getting welfare was embarrassing for people; we have now made it mainstream and totally acceptable. 

A lot of people attribute the government welfare program also for the destruction of the black American family.  Where now about 70% of black children are born to unmarried parents, the rate was probably in the low teens back in the 60s. 

So, yes, I would love to see America return in many ways to what it used to be in the past.  I am really hard-pressed to think of anything that has improved in our country due to anything that the government has done for us. 

People may fuss about what greatness in America can actually mean, and I’m not sure if Donald Trump is thinking of set points as I am, but the fact that he is even bringing up the issue encourages me that we can finally make something better than it has been.

unintended consequences of raising the minimum wage

Most people who work in grocery stores, restaurants, and fast food places make a lot less than the new minimum wages that are being pushed across the country.  As these new minimum wages go into effect, expect to see food prices increase all across the board, and we will soon be hearing again about how people can’t live on the minimum wage. 

A lot of these people working at these place, by the way, are high schoolers, college kids, and retirees, who are not expecting to live off these wages.  These are some of the few places where they can find part-time, summer, and weekend jobs.  Expect to see a lot fewer of them getting these jobs in the future.