where religion and politics meet

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

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

Countries also have a worldview, a way of looking at life that directs government policies and laws and that contributes significantly to the culture. Ours used to be Christianity. Now it is secularism, which is practical atheism.

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

A religion is not a culture, though it creates one. It is not what you prefer, like your taste in music or your favorite movie. It is what you believe to be true. Because it deals with things like God, much of its contents is not subject to the scientific method, but the reasons why one chooses to believe in God or a particular religion certainly demand serious investigation and critical thinking.

Every human being has the duty to search for and learn the truth about life. Education and science used to be valuable tools in this search, but science has chosen to answer the foundational questions without accepting the possibility of any supernatural causes, and education no longer considers the search to be necessary or worthwhile.

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

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

For now I want to focus my writing now articles specifically addressed to Christians. So most of my new posts will be on my other website listed below. I will continue to write and post short responses to newspaper columns and letters and even other articles as the inspiration hits me.

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

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

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

Thank you.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

How to Pick a President – Really

How to Pick a President – Really
Can you think of any problems with the way we currently elect a President?  Do we really think we are getting the best people to run, yet alone be elected?  Is anybody bothered by the need for a candidate to raise millions of dollars to mount a campaign?  Isn’t the very idea of a campaign fraught with cunning, manipulation, deception, backroom deals, slander, owing contributors and favors, potential for outride fraud, stolen elections?
Do we really think we are getting enough options?  Under our current system, third party or independent candidates have little chance of success in that under our present system, they only reduce the number of votes needed for somebody to win, meaning that a candidate can win a state without even getting a majority of the votes, which is just wrong.  Do you really think our politicians want to change this? 
Does a President really need to be photogenic or a good debater?  Doesn’t the very idea of running for this office attract people who might seek personal power and glory rather than what is really best for the country?  Should an incumbent spend half his term running for a second term?
Did you know that our Constitution wanted none of this?  Political parties were considered “mischievous if not downright evil” in those days, and it was “felt that gentlemen should not campaign for public office (The saying was "The office should seek the man, the man should not seek the office.").”[1]
A direct popular vote was rejected also, because larger states would have too much weight in the decision. 
The Founders decided to have an electoral college.  And like a lot of good things, if you don’t take care of it and remember why it was set up in the first place, it deteriorates and changes, and shrewd people can distort it.
The Founders didn’t want a campaign where people bashed each other and had fund raisers where you had to pay $5000 to have dinner with the person.  And who and how many people can take two or more years out of their lives to campaign and travel around the country?  Don’t these people have jobs and families?  So it’s usually (career) politicians and the very rich who run.  We say we don’t like either, but all the other people don’t want to be away from their families or can’t afford to be away from their jobs.
Each state is supposed to choose people to be electors.  They couldn’t be federal office holders or profit from the government.  I would take that to mean for our day that they would not be recipients of any kind of government assistance or benefitting from a government program, besides not already holding office.  I would understand that also to mean Social Security, but that’s another article.
The electors could vote for anybody they thought would be the best President.  It could be somebody already in government, but it could also be a writer, a business person, a professor, why even a talk show host.  And, of course, at that time, there were no political parties. 
Originally they voted for two people, at least one of which had to be out of state.  A list of all the nominated candidates with their vote tallies was then sent to the Senate to be counted.  If someone had a majority, they became President.  If no one had a majority, the names of the five people with the highest number of votes was sent to the House where they would vote state by state (one vote for each), the one with the majority would win.  The 12th Amendment reduced this number of potential candidates to the top three. The person with the second highest number of votes would be Vice-President, not somebody that a candidate picked out by himself, but actually the second most desired person for the job.  The 12th Amendment changed this also, so that they would vote separately for each position.
What happened along the way was that the states ended up letting voters decide who the electors were, and political parties chose who the possible electors would be, based partly on their commitment to a predetermined candidate.  It’s a bit like a gerrymandered representative district.  You can vote how you like, but the politicians have essentially already decided who is going to win.  You do get two choices, but the plan was to have a totally open field of candidates based entirely on merit and not on looks, debating skills, or political clout.
It sounds so democratic to have the voter choose the electors, but what it has done is to limit our choices in many cases to the lesser of two evils.  It has limited our choices essentially to the two major parties whose candidates were chosen in primaries where, depending on the number of candidates, it could have taken at little as 20% of the vote to win in a state. 
And, again, we are limited to those people who can take several years out of their lives to campaign, travel around the country, raise funds, and owe a lot of people favors for their help and money.
Now we are at a point in our country where, while politicians have always tried to buy people’s votes through government goodies, this has been taken to a whole new level where our country is drowning in debt, and the people continue to vote for the one party determined to give as much as they can to as many people as they can to ensure their continued success at the polls, regardless of how this affects the country as a whole.
Now this may sound like a problem so large that talking about solving it is meaningless.  But it’s not.  It starts with the states, even one state.  It’s the state legislators who decide how a state chooses its electors.  They would need to explain to their people what the Constitution says about how a President is to be elected and why they chose to do it that way.   They would need to explain how the current system fails the intention of the Constitution and them by severely and adversely limiting the number of possible candidates and probably excluding many better candidates. 
The legislature would need to establish rules for choosing electors and be very transparent about the whole process.  This whole change in procedure will be portrayed by the media as a way to further rather than impede backroom political maneuvering and dealing.  It’s a political axiom that you can’t take something (away) after you have given it. 
There will be loud critics who will believe that this will undermine democracy by supplanting voter participation.  They would rather you felt empowered by voting for either of two candidates of their liking rather than having the possibility of having better people through an unfamiliar, long forgotten process that was originally conceived by the very people who created our Constitution in the first place.
In a close Presidential election, this state’s action, or states’, might be enough to leave the election undecided after election night until the Senate counts the votes at a later date and maybe even has to send the matter to the House for the final decision.  The public would then learn of the possibilities offered to them by doing this the way it was originally intended.
The office of President is too important not to ensure that the very best person is elected to this position.  Our current system has too many problems and limitations: only two parties to really choose from, a pool of candidates pretty much limited to career politicians and the very rich, a process based on campaigns requiring huge amounts of money that ends up rewarding the large donors, a route that attracts people who seek power more than service.
As states gradually try to follow more the parameters of the Constitution, it will lead other states to do the same.  Many times when I have seen the Presidential candidates, I have thought to myself, “Is this really the best that we have?”  The only way we will have the best candidates is that we choose them out of everybody and not just from those who are willing and able to mount a two year, extensive, expensive campaign where their lives are examined back to their earliest childhood.  The Constitution tells us how we do that.







[1] http://uselectionatlas.org/INFORMATION/INFORMATION/electcollege_history.php

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