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 11, 2014

The Qualities of a Leader: 4. Communication

The Qualities of a Leader:

4.  Communication

To persuade others you must talk in terms of their wants. 
You must know their needs, their hopes, their ambitions, their fears.
Know to “what gods they pray and what kind of fights they have,”
know what songs they sing, and what sentiments they applaud.
William Norwood Brigance, Speech: Its Techniques and Disciplines in a Free Society, 2nd ed., p. 112

                To truly be a leader, you first need to know where you are going and how to get there.  Then you need to be able to communicate that to your followers.  And this is where it can get tricky.  Your job is to get a person or persons from point A to point B.  And when they get there, they need to be happy, enthused, and full of energy.  We don’t just want compliance to the standards and rules of Whole Foods, we want an exuberance which can be felt by every person who comes into our store.  This is what can set us apart from our competitors.  If we get compliance but we suck the joy out of our team, we have accomplished nothing. 

                Communication: that is the fourth indispensable quality that Maxwell says leaders need.  It must be competent, clear, and consistent.  We usually understand this kind of communication as our telling our team the rules and expectations of the company.  But that is only a small part of our communication.  It’s not just what we say but how we say it.  It’s not just what we say with our words but what we say with our lives.  The fact is we are always communicating something to our team, and we don’t always know what is speaking the loudest.

                Abraham Maslov was a famous psychologist who developed a commonly used theory of personality to understand human behavior.  He lists the basic human needs from lowest to highest, with the highest being what he calls self-actualization.  “The need for self-actualization refers to the need to develop the full potentialities of the person.”  (Clifford T. Morgan and Richard A. King, Introduction to Psychology, 3rd ed., p. 494)

                We have said before that not everyone who works for us will want to find the meaning of their lives in selling groceries or promoting healthy living among our customers.  But they need to find meaning for them to be truly happy.  Now the fact is we are not a church, a mental health clinic, or a therapy group.  But, according to Maslov, if a person’s lower needs are not met, he/she will never get around to doing much for the higher needs. 

                And what are some of these lower needs?   Things like food and shelter, security, stability, order, affection, prestige, and success.  Most of our people spend a lot of time here, and they’re here just to make a living.  I try to make this the most fun they can have and still call it work.   One of my guys was recently complaining about someone on our team, and I told him, “Working back here is like a party without the balloons.  Don’t let this ruin your fun.”

                I have said that I am committed to the people on my team.  If I just fire someone who is having problems, that doesn’t take any leadership skills.  Some managers like to keep their people “on their toes”, so to speak.  They think they might work better if they had to fight to keep their jobs.  Is that true?  Do I feel secure in my job?  No, not at all.  Why?  For various reason, but I see a company that is used to seeing people coming and going, and it would get along quite well without me. 

                But the more important question is:  does this insecurity make me more productive?   No, I don’t think so.  I do my best for other reasons; but for me, negative, stressful feelings on the job only take away from the energy I want and need to do my best.  I would rather my people do their best because this is the best job they ever had and this is the best company they could ever work for than for them to always wonder if they are ever doing good enough.