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 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 partiular 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:


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

Thank you.

Larry Craig

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Republicans, Democrats, and the Role of Government

Republicans, Democrats, and the Role of Government

These comments were made in response to an article appearing in the Chicago Sun-Times Sunday.

I keep hearing how Republicans (repubs, for short) keep alienating key demographic groups in our country (women, Latinos, blacks, minorities in general, the poor, the elderly, the disadvantaged, the uninsured, etc.), while the Democrats (dems, for short) are the party of compassion and inclusivity.

The difference is that the dems believe that the government can and should solve every social problem.  All it takes is a government program and a lot of your money. 

To that end, the dems have put our country 17 trillion dollars in debt.   But nobody talks about what debt does to a country. 

First of all, everything they spend costs you more than what it is worth.  If you buy a new car for $25 thousand dollars and only make the minimum payments each month, that same car might cost you twice as much.  Probably a lot more.  You might never pay it off. 

To fund this debt, we borrow trillions of dollars from whoever is willing to buy it, and often it is a country that is not on our close friend list.  But, because we don’t want to lose their money, we may allow them more influence on matters where our best interests lie elsewhere. 

Our country prints a lot of money, trillions of dollars a year.  This devalues the money you already have, in your checking and saving accounts and your paycheck.  It makes everything you buy from other countries more expensive.  And remember, ‘we don’t make anything here anymore.’ 

The people hurt most by this are the people who can least afford it, the ones who the government is probably spending that same money to help. 

The government keeps trying to get more money from corporations and the rich people.  But corporations really are people, like Romney so famously said. What this means is, when you tax corporations more, you are just taxing the people who buy those goods more.  So whatever people buy gets more expensive.  And the people who are hurt the most, again, are the ones least able to afford it.

You can tax the rich more, but what are you really doing?  What do rich people do with all their money?  They don’t leave it in banks when they don’t get any interest from it.  (Thanks, dems.)  Yes, they spend some, which increases the demand for consumer goods, which raises the demand for jobs.

But they mostly invest their money.  It takes a log of money to start a business, to expand a business.  The fact is you will never work for a poor person.  The more money you take from the rich, the less money there will be for jobs. 

Some people criticize this by calling it trickle down economics.   But the fact is you don’t have to be rich to start a company, but it takes money.  And jobs only come when you make enough money in profits to pay for a salary.

Back to the article at hand, these ‘hardliners’ who “continue to anger wide swaths of Americans,” what is it that they want? 

They want the government to stop spending money it doesn’t have.  The government lives in a world outside of reality.  Companies constantly shrink and grow as cash flow varies.  Almost every company at some point has to reduce its workforce to make ends meet.  The government thinks it is above that.  The government needs to lose a lot more than 800,000 workers.  If it did it now, our country would still be better off, because it would be cheaper to pay them unemployment than to pay their salaries and pensions. 

But our government has been so anti-business for so long, we can’t produce enough jobs to make up the difference.  At least for now.

As for the health care law, the biggest single problem with it is that the government will now be spending hundreds of billions of dollars a year subsidizing peoples’ insurance with money it doesn’t have.  The dems act as if the bubble can never burst.  It can. It will, if we don’t stop this overspending. 

You note favorably the fact that women will no longer pay more than men for health insurance.  That just means that men will pay more than their health risks would warrant.  Healthier people will see their premiums shoot up.  Many of them will prefer to just pay the penalty.

As for food stamps, our government sees it as a badge of honor that a record number of people are on food stamps.  The fact is the more money the government gives away, the more people come to rely on the government.  Our government is encouraging dependency on a bigger and bigger government, spending more and more money it doesn’t have with fewer and fewer people working who are paying into the system.

Marlen, do you have kids?  The repubs are like the mother who expects her kids to do chores without getting paid for them, who spanks them or otherwise punishes them when they do wrong, who expects them to do their homework, to get a job as soon as they are old enough, and who doesn’t buy them everything they want., who makes them pay for them by saving and working for them.

The dems are like the rich uncle or the separated father who tries to buy the kids’ love by getting them all kinds of expensive toys to spoil them. 

As for Bob Dole, the only reason his party is seen as alienating people is because the media is not telling the whole story, people are not seeing the big picture.  In real life, you can’t keep spending what you don’t have, and you can’t keep expecting people to give you money.  The government is living a lie, like the king that has no clothes, and everybody is afraid to say anything for fear of looking crazy.  No, wait, there are some people speaking up, and people are calling them crazy.  The media used to hold politicians accountable, but the media has gone on vacation since 2008.

Republicans, Democrats, and the Role of Government  part 2

Republicans today are often portrayed by Democrats, with the help of the media, as being cold, heartless bigots who hate minorities and only care about rich white people, actually rich white men.  Their white wives and children will share in their prosperity, but all those people of color and women who want to be like men don’t really belong here.

The Democrats are the people who are compassionate and inclusive.  Their goal (strategy) is to identify any discernible demographic group (that doesn’t have white or Christian in its label) and find a way to give that group government assistance, which not only makes that group dependent on the government (Government assistance is a narcotic, changing wants into needs.) but will also generate a loyal following at voting time.

The Founding Fathers only thought it necessary to name three rights that people have to justify our country’s existence and to give it direction: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  The Bill of Rights (ten in number) further identified the basic rights that Americans enjoy and that guide the policies of our country. 

But the idea of rights has changed in Democratic thinking.  Where before, rights were limited to things you can do or things that the government cannot do to you, now they want to define rights as things that the government owes you, things that first require the government to take money from somebody else to give to you in one form or another.

As a right, it doesn’t have to be earned or achieved by the recipient; the government just needs to see that they get it.

For the first, maybe, 130 years of our country’s existence, we were all essentially in agreement that the government should be small with a very limited role in the lives of the people.  People were eager to come here to make their fortune.  Our country rapidly achieved unequaled success and prosperity by just about every criterion.  We quickly became the richest, most powerful, and best educated country in the world.  It has often been noted that going to college was not common before World War 2, but that didn’t matter much in that an average fifth grader then would probably outdo the average twelfth grader today

The social bond of the country was religion, Christianity.  The Bible and prayer were basic and essential parts of the public school education, and social services were essential parts of the churches, where hundreds of organizations were founded to address every social need that could be found.

Shortly after the beginning of the 20th century, when communism and Darwinism were starting to gain prominence in the world, elements of collective thinking were taking root in our country.  In the 1930s, when the country was in a depression, the time was ripe for a major government expansion, which is generally agreed today to have prolonged the depressed economy until the Second World War. 

When religion was officially removed from our public schools and gradually from the public square, the government grew to fill the void of someone overseeing our society.  Where it fails is that it can only offer money to people where churches could offer love and accountability, as well as whatever other assistance was needed.

And without the self-constraints taught by religion, the growth of government was also a way for those in government to personally prosper as well.  The result of their attempts to help people through giving them money and also using the money that was available for personal and political benefits has been to create a debt load so large that the numbers are meaningless to most people.  There is no incentive to reduce this debt and plenty to keep adding to it.

The Democrats give the illusion of being more compassionate, because they identify specific demographic groups and do something specifically for them, all the while those same programs have injurious effects on our country in the long run, either by spending money they don’t have or by creating more dependency on the government which stifles the creative independence that generates economic growth.

The Republicans, when not forced by public opinion and media attention to play the same game, focus on the bigger picture, what is good for the country as a whole rather than any one particular group.  Government jobs take money out of your pocket to support them.  The bigger picture focuses on freeing up money and businesses and individuals so they can start jobs and have more personal income and wealth. 

The way you help the poor is to create an environment that creates jobs.  That means cutting down on all the hoops and expenses of starting a business, and keeping the taxes and regulations low so that a company can afford to hire more people and pay them more money. 

The poor still need to get an education, but it doesn’t help them or the country when a one in four students doesn’t even graduate high school.

The Democrats see the government for what it can do for people.  That sounds noble on the surface, but that is not the genius of our country.  That kind of government requires huge amounts of money and people to oversee and manage the lives and welfare of a country.  The countries that are trying to do this are (going) broke, and the standard of living diminishes as these policies continue.

It was not an enormous all-controlling government that made our country great, but a small government that allowed people the freedom to pursue their dreams without the heavy hand of government weighing on them.  This also required the influence of Christianity on the people to foster a climate of honesty, integrity, hard work, and compassion for others. 

Trying to run a country without Christian principles and actions will only lead to more government control, debt, and diminished lives as seen by the increasing levels of violence and poverty.