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.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

a letter to the archdiocese of Chicago about schools


Friday, October 31, 2014

Archdiocese of Chicago
835 N. Rush St.
Chicago IL 60611-2030

Re: Catholic schools (closings)

Greetings!

The Chicago Sun-Times a few days had an article about the closing of a number of Catholic schools.

I wrote the following letter to the editor:

More Catholic schools are closing, and we all lose for it.  And, no, I am not a Catholic.  Some might dispute whether the education there is better than in public schools, but having more options for parents is always better than fewer.  Think of it like grocery stores.  Would you rather have only one grocery store to choose from rather than having a number of them compete for your business?
Why are they closing?  Lower enrollment.  But why is there lower enrollment?  The only clue in the Sun-Times article is that “with the economy, people can’t afford it.”
I submit that it is a lot more than just the economy.  We wanted to send our kids to private school, but we couldn’t afford it.  And that was when the economy was good.  The killer is property taxes, 2/3 of which or more goes to pay for public schools.  We need for parents who pay for private school expenses to be able to deduct from their income taxes the amount of those expenses up to at least the amount that they paid for public schools on their property taxes. 
But some will say that we can’t afford to do that.  Besides being unfair to parents who have to pay for education twice, I have long advocated for public education to be paid for through income taxes.  We all benefit when everybody gets a good education.  Wealthier areas could always raise more money through property taxes if they choose, but a good basic education should be paid for on one’s ability to pay for it and not on the value of their property, which has no bearing on their ability to pay taxes on it.
The unfairness of this was made very clear to me during a period of extended unemployment when my property taxes still had to be paid.

This proposal would provide more options for parents and better funding for the schools that need it.

I believe that because taxes, all taxes but particularly property taxes, are constantly being pushed higher due to out-of-control government spending, private schools, like yours, will continue to see declining enrollment.
The fastest ways that I see that this trend can be turned around is through funding public education by income taxes or giving parents school vouchers.  Vouchers will be harder to get Springfield to pass, because it looks like taking money from public schools and giving it to private schools. 

My proposal is for the state to fund a good solid public education for all students through the income tax.  The state would set a dollar amount per student, and this would be raised through income taxes.  The part of the property tax bills for public education would then be reduced by an equal amount.  Wealthier school districts could still raise more through their property taxes.  Then all those parents who send their children to a private school would receive a tax credit up to the amount that they would have owed on their current property taxes for public schools. 

The idea here is: why should a parent pay twice for their child’s education?  This would make a better case, as well as a better sound bite, to push for this change.

As meritorious as I believe my plan to be, I don’t think this is an idea that the archdiocese should push for directly.  It would seem self-serving.  But if Springfield received 50,000 or 100,000 letters from concerned parents, they would probably listen.  You would need to push your people to write letters and make phone calls.  You would also need to make this as easy as possible for them, like providing all the contact information, but I would strongly urge not to use form letters.  I think that blunts the effect.

There is, however, one major danger to this proposal.  Lawmakers as a group cannot be trusted.  There will have to be strict oversight to see that the money raised is the right amount and that it goes where it is supposed to go.

I wish you the best and hope your school system expands and prospers to record levels.

Cordially,


Larry Craig



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