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, October 28, 2014

Fixing Elections

The Sun-Times ran an excellent article Oct 26 profiling Chad Grimm, the Libertarian candidate for governor.  At the same time, the article also noted a few things that should enrage every Illinois resident.  Me, I am doubly outraged.  Why?  First, because the article points out some facts about our election process that are just wrong.  But that’s why you should be enraged.  I am enraged because the newspapers haven’t said a peep about these things and have allowed them to go on forever, and now the next election is only a few days away. 
Our lawmakers are supposed to represent us, but then after they are elected, they make it as hard as possible for anyone else to ever take their place. 
We have 13 million people living in Illinois, and we have essentially only two candidates to choose from.  Two, out of 13 million people.  We need to have more choices.  What’s the point of a democracy if they only give you two people to choose from?
We do have this third party candidate I just mentioned.  But in most states, including Illinois, the system is rigged against him.  How?   Third party or independent candidates rarely can gain the same exposure as regular party candidates, so in most cases they only take votes from one candidate which essentially gives the election to the other candidate.  In states like Illinois, having three candidates in one race means that someone can win the race with as little as 34% of the vote.  That means someone can win an election with a little more than 1 out of 3 votes.  And this is supposed to be a democracy?
People who believe in this third party candidate almost always know that their candidate doesn’t have a chance at winning, and they are faced with the pragmatic issue of whether to vote their conscience or to vote for their number two choice who has a better chance of winning.  If a state had a runoff election between the two top vote getters, then independent or third party voters are more likely to vote their conscience, and we will then see more elected officials outside of the two major parties.
This article in the paper also points out two other ways that our lawmakers, our representatives, have made things difficult for anyone outside of their parties to run for elective office.  Apparently candidates who don’t have established party status have to get more signatures to get on the ballot.  And why should that be?  And why does a candidate need to be part of a party anyway?  And why should a candidate even need signatures to be able to get on the ballot? 
Signatures don’t represent people who actually want you to win.  They are just people who think you should have the chance to make your case.  They are not supporters whose numbers make you a viable candidate.  They are just people who believe in the process and whose signature you were able to get at a great cost in time and money.  This has no bearing on your qualifications or fitness to run. 
I considered a run for Congress.  The Republican primary had passed, so I would have had to run as an independent.  But why should I need to get more signatures than someone who is a Republican or a Democrat?  I have a fulltime job.  Trying to collect signatures requires a huge amount of time and does nothing to promote a candidate.  The system is set up pretty much so that only the very wealthy or the very connected can run for office.  Where is the chance for Mr. Everyman to have a voice and to run to represent his neighbors?
This article also points out that candidates from a lesser or no party are limited as to when they can even start raising money and when they can start their campaigns.  So how does this help us get the best representation in Springfield or Washington? 
Now all these are the reasons why everybody should be angry at our political leaders.  They are not out for us but for themselves.
But I am angry at something else as well.  So if the lawmakers make the laws and they make unjust laws, how do we get them changed?  Or maybe I should ask: how do ordinary people who have fulltime jobs and family responsibilities take on the entire political system and demand change?
Whatever else they may do, I believe one indispensable force for change is the newspapers and other news media.  I believe they have the responsibility to make the public aware of the issues and then to keep focus on them until those in power address these issues.  I believe the newspapers and other media are supposed to be the voice of the average person.  But I don’t see this.  At least not near enough. 
Is it because newspapers and other news media are only supposed to report the news?  That can’t be the case, because half the paper is columns from people expressing their opinions.  But if the newspapers and news media don’t do this, who will?  Change hasn’t come yet, and who is in a better position to say and do something about it? 
The lawmakers make the laws, and they have made laws that benefit and protect themselves first.  The system was set up originally so that we can vote them out when they need to be, but they changed the system to make that as difficult as possible.  If we can’t get our representatives to listen to us, then we need to try to get the newspapers to.    
We’ve always been told to write our Congressmen, our Senators, and our Representatives.  And we should.  But I believe we should also be writing our newspapers, talk show programs, and everybody we know.  I send letters constantly to the newspapers, and maybe one in ten gets printed in the paper.  But I don’t write them hoping to get my name in print.  I am hoping somebody will just read them.  Newspapers don’t just print the news, they also decide what news to print.  They also have columnists who do get their opinions in print on a regular basis, and we should write them too.
A lot of people think they can’t make a difference, so there is no point in trying.  I submit that you never know the difference you are making in the world or in people’s lives.  I submit that the world is changing, and you are not going to like the changes.  If your children’s lives were in danger, I believe you would risk your life to save them, even if the chances of doing so were very, very slim.  John Adams, our nation’s second President, put it like this:
“I must study Politics and War that my sons may have liberty to study Mathematics and Philosophy.”
I say: You need to get involved so your kids can have a better life than we do now.

Or, like I told a friend at work: what are you going to do with your life? You can go partying or you can change the world.

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