where religion and politics meet

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you.

Larry Craig

Friday, March 15, 2019

smoking and voting in Illinois - a letter to the newspaper


Newspapers not only report the news, but they also help create news, like the editorial (March 15) that pushes to have the age raised in Illinois for people to be able to buy tobacco products.  It will save lives and help keep people off the harmful habit of smoking. 

This is all fine.  I have no problem with that. 

I do have a problem that nobody who advocates for raising the age for buying tobacco, alcohol, and guns sees a problem with 18 year olds being able to vote in our elections.
 
The idea behind raising the age for tobacco, alcohol, and guns is that someone under the age of 21 is too immature, too much governed by emotions rather than reason, or just doesn’t know enough to make wise decisions about their personal lives and behavior.  Yet we deem them mature enough, reasonable enough, and wise enough to make decisions for the sake of our country.

Nobody sees a problem here?

Saturday, March 9, 2019

So What Exactly Does Gender Equity Look Like?


Gender equity is one of those phrases that sounds good in the abstract, but like a lot of rules, there also seem to be some exceptions that a general rule won’t allow.

For example, if there is to be no discrimination on the basis of sex, then what do we do with women’s sports, women’s colleges, sororities. women’s professional groups, women’s locker rooms and bathrooms.  This is why the ERA didn’t pass.  There were too many questions about what this would look like in the future.

There is one issue about gender equity, to which I believe we need to give more thought.

Only women can have children.  Whether you believe God made it that way or it is the product of mindless evolution, this is what we have.  On average, every woman needs to have 2.1 children for a society to maintain itself

You may say there are too many people in the world, so we can use a smaller population.  The problem is that a lower birth rate only gives you a greater number of older people who need to be supported and fewer people to do that.

In the past, this was a major reason why immigration was considered so important: to provide workers who would pay into the system.  But now we have family immigration, where immigrants can bring in their entire families, so frankly it no longer helps the demographics. 

In the name of equality, we as a society have denigrated motherhood.  Not openly but in many quiet subtle ways. Having a career is more important than having a family.

A friend posted this on her Facebook page: “Your children are the greatest gift God will give to you, and their souls the heaviest responsibility He will place in your hands. . . .  When you are old, nothing else you’ve done will have mattered as much.”

Friday, March 8, 2019

Rent Control: What Could Possibly Go Wrong?


I have been surprised by the push for rent control that I have been reading about in the papers.  I’m old enough to remember that this was tried before on a large scale back in the 70s, though I didn’t pay as much attention to it as I would today.

I do know that it didn’t work out well.  You want to control the income of landlords, but will you also control their taxes and maintenance costs?  What will probably happen is that you will see a mass conversion of rental apartments into condos. 

People become landlords to make money.  If you make that more difficult, they will adapt.  And you will end up with fewer apartments to rent.  And people will still be displaced. 

Violence in a Free Society


England, which has very strict gun control, is experiencing a dramatic increase in knife violence (March 8).

The debate that is going on there about this is very instructive.  It centers on two matters:

1)         Reducing violence depends on an increased police presence to discourage violence.

2)         Reducing violence depends on government programs and money to provide alternative activities and services to care for bored and troubled people.

Note that both approaches require massive amounts of government spending to take care of people who apparently cannot take care of themselves. 

Stricter gun control no doubt will save some lives, but it won’t solve the problem of gun violence or violence in general.   There are laws against drugs, but our country is flooded with them.  Laws only change the source for the item in question. 

Our Founders knew that liberty comes with great responsibility.  That is why for almost 200 years the moral code of our country was the Ten Commandments, Love your neighbor as yourself, and Do unto other as you would have them do unto you, all from the Bible.  Mass acts of violence are a new thing in our country.  It wasn’t unheard of in the past, but it was uncommon enough that nobody thought that we had this huge problem in our country.

The best secularism can produce is tolerance, which can mean no more than to ignore your neighbor.

When I was a kid, our country openly acknowledged God both in public life and our schools.  And we felt safe.  We didn’t worry all the time about locking our cars and our homes or walking alone at night.  Now that the courts ruled that God has no place in our public schools and life, the costs of keeping us safe are enormous. 

Is this too simple?  Actually, no.  We believed in self-responsibility and self-control, from our Christian heritage.  Secularism doesn’t do that.

The Bigger Dangers of a Graduated Income Tax in Illinois


In making his pitch to voters in Illinois, Governor Pritzker uses some common tactics that people should reject, because one day it can used against them too.

The first tactic is: I’ll give you a tax cut if you vote for a tax increase on somebody else.  Such a deal, who could resist it?  Someday you could be the one that other people are voting against.  It doesn’t have to be on taxes.  It could be school vouchers, a free speech case, who knows?  In this case, the wealthier people are the minority who don’t have enough votes to win here.  It’s easy for people to vote for what other people should do.  I don’t think that is the best or even a good way to run a country or a state.

The second tactic is: He tells you what he plans to do, but the structure he wants to create will allow him or anyone else to change it later on however they like with a lot less trouble.
Now with a flat income tax, any changes in tax policy affect all votes, and politicians are held accountable to everybody.  By changing the tax structure to a graduated tax, it doesn’t lock in whatever Pritzker wants, but it allows the legislators to make any tax rates they want.  Pritzker will not be governor for life, and even so, he can always change his mind in the future, citing new developments.  But the structure will then be in place to raise taxes however they like.


Thursday, March 7, 2019

Should the Census Ask a Question about Citizenship?


Every ten years, our nation conducts a census to see who’s living here and how many of them there are.  But this isn’t done out of curiosity.  There is a reason. 

The census determines the number of representatives a state has in Congress and the number of electoral votes a state has in the Presidential election. 

The question is being raised whether the country has the right to know how many of the people living in any state are citizens.  Or, to put it another way, should people who are not citizens, whether they are here legally or not, have a say in how our government runs.  If the answer is yes, then why do we even have citizenship?  And why is voting limited to citizens? 

Most recently, a judge ruled that asking for a person’s citizen status in the census violates the Constitution, because the Constitution requires “that the census accurately count the U.S. population.”  But the judge fails to explain why such a question would hinder that.  The census is not asking only citizens to fill it out.

The fact is that certain politicians want illegal residents counted in the census to bolster their state’s representation in Congress and their voice in the Presidential election.  It would also increase their funding from the federal government. 

Tariffs, Trade, and Trade Deficits - a letter sent to the Wall Street Journal


Much has been written about tariffs lately, and there are few people who write about them who favor them.

We forget that we didn’t even have an income tax until 1913, and that taxes on imports paid for almost entire federal budget for most of our nation’s history.

Apparently taxing imports hasn’t hurt consumers as much as the detractors claimed it would, since imports have increased a lot in our country. 

But let’s cut to the chase.

The purpose of tariffs is to keep jobs in the United States.  Period.  You can always make something cheaper somewhere in the world, so jobs will always leave our country for cheaper production costs elsewhere.  Try to find anything made in America anymore. 

When we made everything here, good paying jobs were plentiful and middle-class jobs could support a family on one income.  You could always buy foreign products, and they always cost more, and nobody cared, because you were buying true foreign products, like French wine or Swiss chocolate.  They were not American products made somewhere else and sent back here.

The single greatest thing we can do for our economy is to bring all the jobs back here.  When people aren’t working, we lose twice: we lose the taxes on their incomes, and we usually pay them while they’re not working.

We lost the jobs when we stopped taxing imports, and the way to bring them back is to do it again.  There will be some adjustments in our economy, because economies adapt to what you give them.  But taxes on imports are a voluntary tax.  You don’t have to pay them, if there is an American alternative, which is the goal.  And, of course, government revenue from tariffs reduces the need for income taxes.  It only doesn’t look that way, because the government is on a mission to spend as much money as possible.

Critics of tariffs claim that American producers only want them in order to stifle foreign competitors and maintain artificially high prices.  But when you have five American manufacturers making televisions here again, competition drives the prices down.  Do you still want to save a few dollars by having them made somewhere else and shipped here?   You will end up paying more in subtle ways like higher taxes, lower wages, and higher unemployment.