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.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Sad Truth about Wealth Gap

Sad Truth about Wealth Gap
letter to a news columnist about her article

Hi Mary
I read your article on the truth about the wealth gap.  Twice.  
I agree with you.  It’s sad.  But now what?  Is this a call for ideas on what to do?
You mention one course of action briefly at the end, but the emphasis of the article seems to be on “structural elements” that all but preclude progress yet alone success in fixing this problem. 
Is there anything that can be done?  I believe there is, and I would like to offer some suggestions.  Like a lot of things, the problem did not happen overnight, and it won’t be solved overnight.  There is a tendency today to think the answer for every problem is for the government either to spend money or give money.  But I have heard and read too many stories of professional athletes or lottery winners who either earned or won millions of dollars yet in a few short years were broke.  I would suggest that the answers need to lie with what individuals can do to for themselves more than what somebody can do for the groups as a whole.
One of the most important things a person can do is to get a good education.  Yes, I went to good schools, but I did not always have good teachers.
I remember a German teacher I had in high school.  I heard he had recently been in a mental institution.  He walked and talked like he was in quasi-catatonic state.  He went over the same material again and again and again.  But you know what?  I wanted to learn German.  I had the book.  And, no, it wasn’t a new book.  It was well worn, but it was intact.  I was not limited in learning German by what was taught in class or by my homework assignments.  I could read the whole book in my spare time if I wanted, and there were plenty of German books I could get from the library.
I was in honors classes through high school, but one semester I was not, because my previous grades were too low.  I had to get top grades to get back in again, and I did.  And that had nothing to do with my teachers but what I did when I was not in school.
Yes, schools in poor areas could use more funding, but, frankly, education is a mindset, a hunger for learning which should start long before a child reaches school.  And for the vast majority of people, they will need a good grounding in formal education to get anywhere in life.
The biggest single indicator of poverty is a single parent household.  Being a parent is a fulltime job, at least for the early years, and how can a person go to school or work and be a parent as well?  One of the secrets of gaining wealth is to control the spending of it.  Having children when you are not able to provide for them will trap you at the bottom economically for a very long time.
There is still the issue of good paying jobs, yet our government sent millions of good paying jobs overseas.  Why?  Simple answer: a combination of greed and stupidity.  We tax our companies at some of the highest rates in the world (that’s the greed part), and companies simply left for places where they could make more money (that’s the stupid part). 
Companies exist: to make money.  They don’t exist to provide jobs or to pay taxes.  Companies were started by people who wanted to make more money than they could by working for somebody else.  They identified a need and try to meet it.  It might seem noble and patriotic for a company to stay in the country and pay the high taxes, but companies know that their existence is not guaranteed.  Many large companies have gone under in a very short time due to competition, changes in the cost of doing business, or other factors.  They can’t afford to just accept higher costs, including taxes, just for worthy motives.  They’re either making money or losing money.  And unlike the government, they can’t lose money for too long without closing up.
If our government sent jobs overseas, it can bring them back.  But this would take a major shift in political thinking in our country.  Our country is divided pretty evenly politically right now, which means that policy decisions can swing back and forth depending on which party has the upper hand.  This makes it hard for companies to make major moves costing billions of dollars knowing that a favorable law today can change in a few years.  All this is not providing encouraging news for those who want to gain wealth, but it does point out some areas of government policy they can get involved with.
You mentioned insurance in your article.  The best place to get insurance is through one’s work.  The group plans have the lowest premiums and the best coverage.  And this goes back to the jobs issue.  Our government intentionally sent millions of good jobs overseas.  (See my article The Quickest, Easiest Way to Fix the Economy on my blogsite.)  And new government regulations are forcing many employers to drop their health insurance, and this will diminish the wealth of everybody as more people have to pay more money out of pocket for insurance.
The problem you highlighted in your article is enormous, affecting millions of people.  If the source of the problem is structural and solutions are sought that would elevate everyone at the same time and any time soon, I would say that things look pretty bleak. 
But for any particular individual, the younger the better, their success in life has a lot to do with the choices they make.  Doing well in school.  At least finishing high school.  Don’t have children until they are married.
To hope and wait for some government solution only encourages the idea that people are trapped, that things are hopeless.  I think the focus should be on what any one person can do to improve their life.
Thank you

Larry Craig

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