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

Friday, December 26, 2014

Questions from my Senator part 5 reforming our tax code

Hi Mark
Happy New Year!
As per your questions:
Do you support simplifying our burdensome tax code to encourage small business growth?
You answered your own question by calling the tax code burdensome.  The tax code, like the entire federal government, has become burdensome with the constant addition of new regulations.  The Constitution vests all legislative authority in Congress, but government agencies add thousands of new laws (regulations) every year, and, yes, they are all burdensome and (almost?) all should be eliminated.
All taxes limit economic growth, and it isn’t just the small businesses we should be thinking about.  Any tax cuts leave more money in people’s pockets to spend, save, and invest as they will, and all these will lead to economic growth. 
But you can’t address taxes without addressing government spending, because just reducing taxes could cause higher deficits and debt, as least for a while, which will result in the Fed increasing the money supply and devaluing whatever money we still have. 
The government has lost all sense of fiscal responsibility.  It spends millions, billions, and trillions of dollars without any concept of how much money that is.  It’s not their money, and they don’t care.  They use their spending to win voters and don’t care about the long term consequences. 
But back to your question.  There are really two issues here:  simplifying the tax code and reducing taxes.  A simpler tax code, by itself, may only save a small amount of money as it involves only the cost of preparing the taxes.  A simpler tax code is often talked about as being revenue neutral, but what’s the point of that, unless you don’t like tax lawyers?
But the government spends too much money on almost everything, and that raises the need for more tax money.  So the government needs to do both: reduce spending by a lot and reduce taxes by a lot as well.
Do you support closing corporate tax loopholes to keep business and jobs in the United States?
Businesses and jobs need to be kept in the United States.  They want to leave primarily because the corporate tax rates here are too high.  And they are high, because the government has become greedy, because it spends too much money.  Closing these ‘loopholes’ may keep more businesses and jobs here, but they won’t be as profitable, so we won’t be making full use of that potential.
The greatest single thing probably that our government has done to ruin the economy here is the free trade agreements.  They basically allowed our companies to move overseas and then send everything back here. This almost singlehandedly wiped out the middle class in our country.
Do you support decreasing income taxes as a way to stimulate the economy and provide relief to families?
Yes, reducing income taxes will stimulate the economy and provide relief to families, and I support that wholeheartedly.  But if the government doesn’t reduce its spending, this economic boost not only will be short-lived, and it will end up costing us all more in the long run.

The government keeps trying to figure out ways to stimulate this and relieve that, and that’s not its job.  It has taken on responsibilities the Constitution doesn’t give it, all in the name of trying to help people, though the real reason is to get their votes.  The government is the drain on the economy.  The government is taking away our freedoms bit by bit.  Someone has called it death by a thousand pinpricks.  


Thursday, December 25, 2014

Peace on earth and in our streets

The Sun-Times editorial for Christmas Day was spot on in its title and intent: Peace on Earth begins at home.  But then that was the last mention of home in the article. 

The first half of the piece clearly painted the picture of a world in need of peace, but then the article sought to identify the causes and solutions for this criminal behavior that is so rampant today.  The answers to all this turmoil and violence and anger and killings come down to two things: schools and jobs. 

And this answer clearly shows why we are having these problems. 

A child’s character is formed moment by moment through its interactions with its parents.  If the parents are firm, the child learns discipline   If the parents are indulgent, the child learns instant gratification.  If the parents are patient, the child learns self-control.  If the parents are loving, the child learns to love.  If the parents are not home, because either one doesn’t live there or because the one or both are working, then the child’s character is formed through television, media, peers, the internet, or just left to its own impulses.

Children need to be taught honesty, hard work, discipline, self-control, love, respect for others, kindness, forgiveness, sharing, patience, perseverance, sacrifice, giving, mercy, compassion, helping others, generosity, integrity, and humility.  And where would they learn that?  At home from their parents.  Day care won’t teach that, and neither will the schools, although they used to do a lot of that before schools were scrubbed clean of everything having to do with God.

We have tried so hard to promote sexual freedom that we have millions of children growing up with their mothers who never married, and the fathers are not there.

We have tried so hard to get women out of the home and into the work force that there is nobody home to raise the children. 

We treat children like pets who only need a place to stay, something to eat, and a few simple life skills like potty training and how to put on a condom. 

We have tried so hard to remove religion, specifically Christianity, out of the public view and thought, and we are slow to see and admit the gaping holes it has left in the fabric of our society.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Questions from my Senator Part 1 creating jobs and improving the economy

Hi Mark
Thank you for writing.  To answer your questions:
Which of the following do you believe is more likely to secure economic prosperity?
Decreasing federal regulations
Increasing federal spending

Economic prosperity means that I and people like me have more money to spend, save, and invest as we see fit.  When the government spends money, it has to take it from people like me in order to spend it.  The government could borrow or print the money, but this ultimately either makes what they want to do more expensive or just devalues the money I already have. 

Federal spending is a drag on the economy.  Cut spending drastically, and the economy will boom again.

How important is balancing the federal budget?
Very Important
Somewhat Important
Not Important

Balancing the budget is unimportant at this time, but not for the reasons you might think.  Making the budget balance as a priority will most likely demand a huge tax increase, because the government will not have the brains or the balls to cut the size of the government and its spending the way it needs to be cut. 

But as a principle, the budget should be balanced.  Otherwise you are like a homeowner who is paying interest fees on your credit cards every month.  It only makes everything more expensive.  But the government has a huge spending problem, both in terms of how many people work for the government and how it spends its money.  Taxes are too high, so the only room for movement is to cut the size of the government and its spending.

Thanks again.


One additional note on business regulations.
Regulations increase the cost of businesses unnecessarily in most cases and only raises the prices of their goods and services, which diminishes our prosperity.  This added cost also works to hold down hiring and employee compensation.
We need to encourage people to start their own businesses rather than hope to work for somebody else.  Business regulations and fees and red tape only make it harder. 

Thanks again.  And Merry Christmas! 

Questions from my Senator Part 2 improving our country's heathcare

Hi Mark

In response to your questions:

Do you support a full or partial repeal of Obamacare?

I would like to see Obamacare repealed in full.  This bill is a betrayal of our form of government.  

1)    Something like 1,700 exceptions to the law were allowed in order to get votes for the law.  

2)    It is 2,800 pages long, which we were told we would have to pass the law to find out what was in it.  That is a criminal betrayal of the public trust, but the lawmakers make the laws so nobody holds them to account.  

3)    The people who passed the law keep postponing parts of the law until after the next election, because they are afraid that people will vote them out of office when they feel the effects of this law.  

4)    The President lied about the provisions of the law over and over in order to get the thing passed.  He should have been impeached for that fact alone.  He is a proven liar.  How can we believe him on anything that he says?  We can never know he is lying until it is too late.  That is unacceptable for the President of the United States.

5)    Obamacare is raising the costs of health insurance to the point that a lot of people can’t afford insurance any more.  It requires so many things from insurance companies and insurance plans that prices can only go up.

6)    The success of the law (getting more people insured) is due primarily to the government covering most the cost of their policies, but the government is not straightforward about how much this is costing us.  Not only is this dishonest, but we simply can’t afford it.  We can’t keep telling people that they have a right to something, and then have the government (meaning: everybody else) paying for it.  We are $18 trillion in debt.  When interest rates normalize, we are going to be dumbfounded by how much of our federal budget will be going just for interest payments.

The answer to this is to bring American companies back to America and go back to employer based group insurance plans.  

Do you support increased funding for the National Institutes of Health?

No, I do not support increased funding for the National Institutes of Health.  I admit knowing less about this than a lot of other issues.  I find the Wikipedia summary interesting:

From logistical restructuring, to funding increases, to research prioritization, to government expansion and political influence, the history of the National Institutes of Health is extensive and full of change. The NIH has grown to encompass nearly 1 percent of the federal government's operating budget. The NIH now controls more than 50 percent of all funding for health research, and 85 percent of all funding for health studies in universities.

This summary touches on a lot of the things that are hurting our country:

1)    Our country is in serious debt.  We can’t keep spending money that we don’t have.  We can’t keep writing checks like there is no limit to our money.

2)    I don’t think the government should be deciding the priorities in research.  They end up sending money to people who are connected; they dry up funding for projects they don’t like.  Too much money and potential for both spending it unwisely and for political advantage.  We have pharmaceutical companies and universities who are very interested in research.  Let them do it with private money.

3)    Government has to stop expanding and start shrinking.  The Constitution has very few and defined responsibilities for the federal government. 

Thanks again


Questions from my Senator Part 3 strengthening our schools

Strengthening our schools is one of the most important things we can do, but I don’t think we are asking the right questions or focusing on the right ways to make things better.
As for your questions:
Would you support increasing the length of the school year if it would improve the effectiveness of American schools?
Yes, but that would take a large spending increase.  Property taxes are out of control, and the states don’t have any more money to give to schools.  If I didn’t have two kids in the area and a job that I need for my medical insurance, we would have moved long ago out of our state to somewhere where taxes were more reasonable.
Do you believe charter schools are an effective way to improve our education system?
Yes, but we shouldn’t overlook supporting private schools as well.  We are told that we can’t give public money to private schools, but it is wrong to expect parents to pay twice for their children’s education, once through high property taxes for public schools and secondly through tuition and other costs for the school of their choice.
Public education is like the government collecting the food and clothing budget of everybody in the country and then using the money to buy gift cards to Walmart for everybody.  You could still shop somewhere else if you wanted to, but few people can afford to pay twice for the same things.
Do you believe it should be the role of the federal government to forgive student loan debt?
No, but for a different reason.  The federal government shouldn’t be in the student loan business in the first place.  That’s not a role that the Constitution gives to the federal government, and the government is trying to do too many things, and it is costing us far more than it should and what the private sector would.

We need to ask the question:  We used to have the best schools in the world, and now they are mediocre.  Why?  What has changed?
One big change is that we now have a federal Department of Education that has 50,000 employees.  That’s 1,000 employees for every state in the country.  I heard on the radio of a recent book that noted that our student population has increased in our country by about 10% in the last 50 years, and our school paid staffs have increased over 150%.  My numbers may be slightly off. 
Homeschooled children consistently do better than public school students, and their parents aren’t even trained teachers.  I saw recently a test given to 8th grade students in 1895.  Most high school seniors today would have a hard time passing it. 
There are a lot of factors that contribute to this, but as for schools themselves, I would say that every school district has a school board and teachers, and that is all we really need.  Get the federal government out of the school business, and let teachers teach.  We would save so much money we could give every student a free computer and hire a lot more teachers.

Thanks again for asking.


Questions from my Senator Part 4 defending our country

Hi Mark

As per your latest questions:

 Do you believe the United States should use military force to fight terrorism?
The question is not worded correctly.  We are not fighting terrorism.  That is like saying that we are fighting random killings and bombings.  We are fighting Muslim jihadists, specifically al-Qaida, ISIS, Boko Haram, and any number of other organizations. 
The fact that, say, Boko Haram is in Africa and is no threat of mounting an attack in the United States does not make it less our enemy.  These groups all have a common goal: a world Islamic caliphate.  Each of these groups is working in specific nations at this time.  If we allow them to take over any of them, 1) we are standing by while evil people are murdering innocent people, and 2) they will in various ways in time unite with other nations so run to work in ways against the interests of the free world.  You can fight them now, or you can fight them later when they are much stronger.  But the fight is inevitable.  If they are able to attain a nuclear weapon, you know they would use it.  The world is not safe until these groups are neutralized.
So, yes, the military should be used to fight Muslim jihadists.  And our Congress should declare war on them, and then identify the particular groups.  And then we need to fight it as a war.  We fought and finished World War 2 in four years.  The rules of engagement that we have fought under in Iraq and Afghanistan were treasonous.  We should not put our soldiers at such risk. 
I understand the desire to minimize civilian casualties, but you don’t endanger the lives of our soldiers to do that.  There is a difference between targeting civilians and targeting an enemy with civilian casualties.  With a declaration of war, we put the world on notice who our enemies are and that those who collaborate with and give aid to the enemy are in danger.  If we fought World War 2 with the same rules of engagement today, we would not have won the war.
Do you support increased economic sanctions against Iran to apply non-military pressure which would increase the chances of an acceptable nuclear agreement?
This whole Iran situation is a joke.  How long has this been going on?  When you take years without resolving a problem, you allow the enemy time to prepare so that any military options now become more costly and eventually prohibitive.  Iran must be dealt with firmly and decisively.  You apply every sanction you can.  There is no room for negotiation.  There is nothing to negotiate.  We have reason to believe that Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapon, and that is unacceptable.  If they don’t want the sanctions, then they need to prove to us that such is not the case.  And now.
How important is the United States’ strategic partnership with Israel?
Israel is our only real ally in the Middle East and one of our best friends in the world.  I wouldn’t even characterize it as a strategic partnership.  That makes it sound like our relationship is built only on a contingency basis, viz. we need them to help us secure our interests.  I believe our relationship goes beyond that.  It’s more like, say when one’s spouse has a stroke, and their partner continues in the relationship even though they might be the one doing all the giving. 
Do you support ending sequestration?
Yes, but probably not for the reasons you might think.  The Constitution gives the House the power of the purse.  All spending bills have to originate in the House.  Sequestration tells the House how to budget the money.  The House should be deciding that.  If they want to give the military more money, then they should.  If they don’t want to fund Obamacare or amnesty, that’s their right.  But they have lost the will to do their jobs.  They are afraid of the press and what the Democrats and the President will say about them.  The Republicans have had control of the House for two years, and spending and fiscal priorities are still out of control.  They wait until the last minute to do an appropriations bill, yet they were not in session for several months preceding the election and have hardly worked since.  This is totally irresponsible.

Merry Christmas!


Sunday, December 21, 2014

Should Obamacare be repealed?

This is my response to a question to my from my Senator:

Do you support a full or partial repeal of Obamacare?

I would like to see Obamacare repealed in full.  This bill is a betrayal of our form of government. 

1)         Something like 1,700 exceptions to the law were allowed in order to get votes for the law. 

2)         It is 2,800 pages long, which we were told we would have to pass the law to find out what was in it.  That is a criminal betrayal of the public trust, but the lawmakers make the laws so nobody holds them to account. 

3)         The people who passed the law keep postponing parts of the law until after the next election, because they are afraid that people will vote them out of office when they feel the effects of this law.  

4)         The President lied about the provisions of the law over and over in order to get the thing passed.  He should have been impeached for that fact alone.  He is a proven liar.  How can we believe him on anything that he says?  We can never know he is lying until it is too late.  That is unacceptable for the President of the United States.

5)         Obamacare is raising the costs of health insurance to the point that a lot of people can’t afford insurance any more.  It requires so many things from insurance companies and insurance plans that prices can only go up.

6)         The success of the law (getting more people insured) is due primarily to the government covering most the cost of their policies, but the government is not straightforward about how much this is costing us.  Not only is this dishonest, but we simply can’t afford it.  We can’t keep telling people that they have a right to something, and then have the government (meaning: everybody else) paying for it.  We are $18 trillion in debt.  When interest rates normalize, we are going to be dumbfounded by how much of our federal budget will be going just for interest payments.

The answer to this is to bring American companies back to America and go back to employer based group insurance plans. 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Why do the good die young?

The Sun-Times (December 20) asked a question on the front page:  Why do the good die young?
Answer:  Because science can’t teach us the value of a human life, and neither can a secular society.  That takes religion, specifically Christianity.  Science tells us our chemical composition and our biological classification: the top of the line of mammals, a little above chimpanzees.  We are only here on earth because our planet had water.  We have come to where we are today through the survival of the fittest.  Or as we used to say as a kid, dog eat dog.  Only the strong survive.
It was Christianity that taught our people to care for each other, to love our neighbors, to respect human life.  But when we removed God from our public education, all we can teach our children is tolerance, which is another way of saying don’t get involved with other people.  Ignore them. 
We used to teach our kids morals, at school and at home.  But we can’t do that at school anymore, because you can’t teach morals without getting into religion.  And it isn’t happening at home, because there is no longer a home to speak of.  Either both parents are working, or there is only one parent there, and she is working, and nobody has the time or energy to raise the kids.  They are often left to themselves or in daycare, where they can’t teach them morals either.
You may never realize the value of a human life until you go to a funeral, and you realize that life is more than just chemical reactions.  The chemicals are still there, but the life is not.  The emotions we feel are more than just the release of chemicals into our brains.
A secular society cannot succeed.  There is nothing that unites every person with his neighbor.  Either it is done through the free will of people who love each other in response to God, or the government has to try to control everybody at an enormous cost, so everybody ends up as a ward of the state, except of course for those who work for the state.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

answers to a survey on government issues

I.                    Political landscape
  1. There is no need to list these in order of priority.  One of the big mistakes that Congress makes, or better call it problems with Congress, is that it tries to deal with problems only with comprehensive bills that are too large to read, discuss, or debate.  It ends up that a lot of things get passed which are not good and that would never pass on its own. 
All of these things are important, very important.  And they don’t require a 1,000 page bill to correct.
  1. The best insurance has always been employer provided group plans.  We sent millions of good paying jobs overseas through free trade agreements.   Free trade was a mistake.  Countries should make their own stuff.  Imports are for people who want Swiss chocolate or French wine or Persian rugs.  Imports should not be American companies sending their products back to the States. 
  2. Taxes are too high.  The reason is that the government spends too much money.  The government spends too much money because it got rid of our jobs, but also because it has taken on the responsibilities that people use to be responsible for themselves, which all started when we secularized our country.
  3. It’s not just spending across the board that should be eliminated.  The government does things it shouldn’t even be doing in the first place, like a federal Department of Education.  We used to have the best schools in the world before we had one.  Now they are only mediocre.  That department should be eliminated.  We have departments making laws that only Congress should be making.  All these departments that keep making regulations need to be dismantled. 
But our problems all started when we let the Supreme Court tell us that the government cannot aid any religion and we have come to believe that anything related to the government cannot mention God in any way.  That’s like removing the rudder and the anchor off of a ship and letting it float around as it is pushed by the wind and the waves.  That’s the cause of 90% of the problems we are facing as a nation today.
  1. Borders must be secured immediately.  Every country should know who is coming into it.  And have the right to refuse anyone.  Children born here of illegal parents should not be considered US citizens.  Children born to tourists and foreign diplomats are not automatically citizens.  Why should children of someone who is in the country illegally be considered a citizen?  That only encourages more people to try to come here illegally.
The policy of reuniting families is not a good policy. The main reason we need or want immigration is to bring in workers to pay for our aging population.  When they bring in their families, then we have the same demographics of what we already have, and it strains our system financially.
  1. Restore our military so it can fight a two front war.  But we need to start declaring wars again, and then fight to win them quickly.  We need to let the world know that we won’t target civilians, but if we are at war, civilians need to know that if they are too close to the enemy, they are at risk.  So tell whoever to stop counting civilian casualties.  Blame the enemy who hides behind women and children, because they have no value on life.  We are not going to jeopardize the lives of our soldiers by allowing our enemies any advantages.
  2. As for the economy, we are taxed to death.  I don’t want to pay one penny more to any government for anything.  I am tired of being robbed by people who are supposed to represent me.
II.                  Policy issues
  1. Pro-life.  We need to value our children and our homes.  Read my article on How Christianity Prospers a Nation, Part 3, Families and children at poligion1.blogspot.com
  2. Same-sex marriage is not constitutional.  It is not even a marriage.  Marriage only exists as a vehicle for raising the children that occur when people have sex.  If children occurred any other way or if we didn’t need children, there never would have been a thing called marriage in the first place.
By recognizing a thing called same-sex marriage, we are diminishing the role of natural parents in the lives of our children, which is leading us to the time when the government wants to raise our children.  That way it can be sure of raising up a people who appreciate it for all it wants to be.  See the article mentioned above.
  1. Guns are a fundamental right.  They are number two on the list of the Bill of Rights.  Read the McGuffey Readers, which were the basic school books in our schools for well over 100 years.  Even children used to have access to guns and were taught how to use them.  Our problem is that we have lost respect of human life, because humans are now seen as accidents of nature, smart monkeys, or grown up babies who happened not to be aborted.
  2. The NSA is out of control as well as our entire federal government.  The government wants to take care of us like we are its children, and it is its responsibility to do so.  That is not what freedom is all about.  As long as that is the role that the government sees for itself, it will keep growing like a cancer until it engulfs everything and takes all of our money.
7,8. I see the one single foundational issue for the next generation is the Church-State issue.  It defines who we are as a nation.  When God and Christianity were removed from the core of our nation, it’s like we are making it all up as we go along.  We have no moral guidance. 
Christian morality gave us love thy neighbor, compassion, helping people in need, mercy, kindness, forgiveness, giving, sacrifice, honesty, integrity, hard work, responsibility, respect,  courage, self-control, discipline, humility, trust, honesty, integrity, loyalty, faithfulness, hard work, responsibility, courage, patience, saving yourself for marriage, not  having children out of wedlock, and working through hard marriages rather than breaking up a family.
We have replaced all this with tolerance, equality, fairness, and diversity.  And a growing behemoth of a government to make sure that everything is equal, fair, and diverse.  As in everything mediocre, poor, and dependent on the government.
I have a website poligion1.blogspot.com where I have written extensively on these same issues.  I hope you can go there often and read what I have written.

immigration, religious violence, money and elections

Responses to letters in the Daily Herald
There are a few matters regarding immigration that are not being talked about in the news:
1)         Nobody is questioning the value of immigrants. But a nation has the right and needs to know just who is coming into its country.  And that includes the right of refusal.  Nobody has a right to move to another country.  And if a person will break the law with regard to entering the country, he no doubt will break other laws to stay in this country.  And why are some laws okay to break and not others?
2)         It is wrong to say that immigration legislation has been sitting idle in Congress for over a year.  What has been sitting idle has been an 800 page comprehensive bill with regard to immigration, a bill that must be accepted or rejected in its entirety.  That’s never a good option.
The House passed over 350 smaller bills that the Senate never even considered.  I am sure many of them had to do with immigration, but we need to wait until the Republicans have more people in the Senate to find out.
3)         The President’s actions were wrong, because all lawmaking is to be done through Congress, and his actions do a lot more than just defer some deportations.  The ultimate effect will be that it will only make it harder for Congress to pass any laws that are not as favorable to these immigrants as the President’s orders.

Religious violence
Several recent readers were critical of religion for all manner of violence in the world.  They make the mistake of attributing to religion something which is just a human trait not limited to religious people and of lumping all religions into the same bundle, as if they are all interchangeable.  That would be like saying that all governments are bad, because some governments have become oppressive at some time in history. 
In the last century when atheism finally achieved political power, it was directly responsible for the deaths of perhaps 100 million people in Russia, China, Cambodia, and Cuba.  People don’t need a god to motivate them to force other people to their way.

Money and elections
I agree that it is unfortunate and troubling when money plays such a large role in the outcome of elections.  The solution is simple, but it is not one that the government can fix and probably wouldn’t if it could. 
How is the public to learn about the issues necessary to intelligently decide how to vote?  They could do the research but that would take far more time than most people could give to it.  But the media make choices everyday about what news they consider newsworthy and what they will print in their newspapers or talk about on television or the radio.  They could make all this money irrelevant if they were more concerned about seeing that the public has accurate and helpful information about the candidates and the issues.

The 2016 Presidential Campaign

The 2016 Presidential campaign is officially underway.  It started in August 2014 after one white policeman shot and killed one black man who did not have a gun and under circumstances still unclear to the general public after 4 months.   This event, and another similar event later in New York, are cited as proof that our nation is deeply flawed and racist at our core. 
No candidates have announced yet, but it doesn’t matter.  Political elections have become just as much about parties as personalities.  Consequently, Presidential campaigns need a theme.  Barring a major crisis, like another 9/11 carried out by ISIS terrorists who crossed over into our country through our southern border, the themes of the Democratic Presidential campaign will be social justice, equality, fairness, and racism.  And if Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee, and I believe she will be, the theme will also include women (the glass ceiling, the war on women, women’s rights, and women’s equality).
As this will be expressed: We have had our first minority President, and it is time, long past time, that we had a woman President.  Our country has been run by men from the beginning, and look where we are: a divided country, full of hatred, as evidenced by our rampant discrimination against minorities and women; inequality, as evidenced by huge wage discrepancies in our country and lack of opportunity for women and minorities (read: blacks and Hispanics); and the war on women.  No woman should have to choose between having a career and having a child.  She has a right to reach her full potential and equal pay, so every woman should have the right to universal daycare, universal pre-Kindergarten, and pre-school and after school programs paid for or subsidized by the government   We need to open up all fields to women on an equal basis, and the office of President will help to lead the way.
Our country has gone through a long process of normalizing behaviors that have worked to destroy what we call the traditional family, including but not limited to single parent families, two parent working families, and gay marriage, which have broken the link between two natural parents actually raising a child to just the need for adults to tend to them and a government to educate them from the earliest ages through high school and many colleges, so the Democrats will push for more government involvement in the raising of children as part of their program to ‘help’ women.[1]
There are many issues the Republicans believe the current administration is failing at, but there is nothing that has the public attention right now like the two police events.  All other issues, like Ebola, immigration, the borders, the economy, jobs, energy, Federal Reserve policies, labor force participation, tax reform, tax cuts, Social Security reform, Obamacare, $18 trillion debt, deficits, value of the dollar, spending, the IRS, the NSA, gun control, defense spending, ISIS, Ukraine, Iran, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Israel, have lost their urgency due to lack of major media attention.  Plus the Congress has had so much time off, they have been out of much of the mainstream news.
The Republicans now have majorities in both houses of Congress for the first time since President Obama took office, and they will have to show the country what ideas and kinds of legislation they will offer.  One big difference we should see is the size of the bills.  For far too long, major bills have been known for their size as well as their substance: 800 pages on immigration to well over 2,000 pages as in Obamacare.
The reasons for this are many.  When a bill is really long, nobody can read the whole thing.  Most of the bill will never even be discussed let alone debated.  But they have to vote on the whole thing in one vote.  So a lot of things will get passed that would never pass on their own.  And that’s exactly the way they want it.
More and more Republicans are seeing the inherent dishonesty and deception of this practice.  This is why the Republican House did not pass the Senate’s 800 page comprehensive immigration bill. Too big to just vote yes or no on.  Take it apart and let’s vote on the pieces separately. 
Lost in the media blackout of anything positive about the Republican Party is the fact that the do-nothing House of Representatives passed over 350 bills last year which the Senate under a Democratic majority never even considered.  Many of these bills were bipartisan and even unanimous.

The success of the Republican Party at this point will depend on just what bills they can offer the President to sign and whether the public will know what bills the President will veto, why, and then who the public agrees with more.  If the Republicans can show the American people that they can produce simple commonsense ideas that will benefit our nation, it almost won’t matter who they nominate. 
So the Republican candidates are waiting until their party has some successes with their new majority in Washington, and the Democrats [read: Hillary Clinton] are waiting as long as they can so they can keep the focus of the public on the issues that they want.  Right now the focus of the country is on race.  This is right where they would like to keep it for as long as possible. 

[1] I talked more extensively about this in my article How Christianity Prospers a Nation Part 3 posted on my blogsite poligion1.blogspot.com.

Ethics and Morality in War and Interrogations

A reader (December 12) was hard on the CIA for its use of enhanced interrogation techniques and talked about morals and ethics with regard to the CIA and to war in general.

I have two observations on this debate:
1)         If enhanced interrogation techniques are torture, then we need some new words in our language.  I believe that for most people torture is the inflicting of pain and suffering for the pleasure of the person doing the inflicting.  To call CIA interrogations torture is misleading and an abuse of language. 

Is what they did right or moral?  Ask the question: if you had a person in custody who you knew planted a nuclear bomb in New York City or who had your children in a life threatening situation, and they were not cooperating with your attempts to gain the necessary information, what would you do? 

If your answer includes the use of force or pain, then I guess you believe in torture too, and we are only quibbling now about whether the circumstances warranted these enhanced techniques in these cases and not the morality of their actions.

Be careful about making rules or laws that would prohibit something you might wish you could do in the future. 
2)         If we had fought World War 2 following the modern rules of warfare and ethics, we might not have won the war.  Japan only surrendered because we destroyed two of their major cities with nuclear bombs.  We targeted civilians.  We would not do that today. 

The alternative was to invade the island, and they were expecting that we would have lost about 150,000 of our soldiers.  I don’t know if they ever calculated how many Japanese civilians they would have killed.  Our estimated losses were equal to the approximate number of civilians killed in those two cities.  Should we have sacrificed our men so that they might have lived?  An invasion of the island probably would have killed more civilians than our losses.

In Germany the allies destroyed the German city of Dresden, and Berlin was almost destroyed too to end the war.  Many of the German soldiers were put up for war crimes, but by today’s standards, allied forces were also guilty. 

When civilian casualties are a major concern, you are putting your own troops at a serious disadvantage.  If you want to play nice in war, you better hope your enemy has the same intentions, because you are seriously risking the lives of your people for theirs.  If you want to risk your life to save another’s to follow your enlightened moral standards, that’s fine; but it is another thing entirely for you to risk someone else’s life to do that.

This is what happened in Iraq and Afghanistan and why we are still there with nothing resolved.  We kept changing the rules of engagement to be more civilian friendly, and we have thousands of dead and permanently wounded soldiers as the price of our ‘morality’ and only because of that.  Are their lives less valuable than the others we tried to protect?  If we want to play by those rules, we should give our soldiers the option to opt out if the rules of engagement give the advantage to the enemy.

The last war we declared was in 1941.  Germany and Japan were defeated.  They surrendered, we helped to rebuild their nations, and now they are our allies and friends.  But the war ended.  Now we and most other nations don’t finish wars.   Everybody tries to stop them, and nothing gets resolved.   The two sides then prepare for and wait for the day to do it again. 

We see this in the Middle East today where Israel has been in a state of war for over 60 years.  Two nations, however, Jordan and Egypt, signed peace treaties with Israel after they were defeated in one of those wars, and they were done with fighting. 

War is hell.  I have no illusions about it.  But sometimes it seems it is necessary to get a lasting peace.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

letter to my Senator

Senator Kirk: 
Thank you for sending me a survey on what I think are important issues for Congress to focus on.  I sent the survey back, but I would like to explain my answers.  Talking about reforming or strengthening something means different things to different people.
I have written extensively on many of these topics, and my articles are on my blog poligion1.blogspot.com.  Many of them I have already sent to you in the past.
1)         Creating jobs and boosting the economy
One of the worst things that the Senate has ever done is to pass free trade agreements.  All they have done is to send millions of good jobs overseas.  Taxes on imports have been a major source of our government’s income for most of our history. 
I believe a country should make its own stuff.  If somebody wants Swiss chocolate or French wine or a Persian rug, they can buy it and the products were taxed before entering our country.  But we should not have American countries making stuff overseas and then sending it back here.  That is not what we should mean by imports. 
The single most important way of creating jobs is to bring our companies back to the states.  The single best way to boost the economy is to reduce government spending.
2)         Reforming our tax code
The single most important way to reform the tax code is to reduce taxes.  I would support a plan where everybody paid a flat rate of, say, 10% of their income for federal taxes, no deductions, no exemptions. 
3)         Defending our country
Romney summed it up the best:  We need to be able to fight a two front war.  Obama wants only a one front war.
I would like to see Congress declare wars again and then use all our resources to fight it and end it quickly.
4)         Strengthening our schools
We used to have the best schools in the world and now they are mediocre.  Homeschooled children do better than public school children.  So what do we need?
We don’t need a Department of Education.  Why do we need 50,000 federal employees?  That is 1,000 for every state in the country.  Eliminate the DOE and 90% of the administration of our schools.  Let the teachers teach and parents have more say.  Don’t’ force everybody into the same mold, like this Common Core.  And stop this boycott of everything religious/God in schools.  That is not what the First Amendment is all about.  (Read my articles.) 
5)         Reforming our immigration system
As someone in Congress already said, what’s the point of changing the laws if we don’t enforce the ones we already have?  How do we know the new laws will be enforced? Will the President pick and choose which parts he will enforce?
Children of illegal immigrants should not be considered US citizens.  The 14th Amendment doesn’t grant citizenship to children of foreign diplomats or tourists and didn’t give citizenship to Indians.  The text has the qualifying statement “under the jurisdiction thereof.”  Illegals are not under our jurisdiction.  This practice only ensures that more and more people will try to enter our country illegally.
We need to install that e-verify system to check the legal status of job applicants.  Employers who knowingly hire illegals should be fined heavily enough to make them stop.  And there should be increased penalties (or at least enforce existing laws) for using false identification or Social Security numbers.  These three matters will eliminate the need for deportations.
6)         Improving our Country’s Healthcare
The best health insurance has always been employer-provided group plans.  We need to bring back our companies and stop making laws that encourage employers to hire only part timers, like Obamacare. 
We also need to stop requiring insurance plans to cover things that people don’t want or need.  That only increases the cost of insurance.  A person should be able to get insurance for as few things as they want.
7)         Other
Bills should not be 800 pages long.  They should not be comprehensive.  That just means that nobody is reading them, most of them are not discussed yet alone debated, and there is a lot of junk in there that would never pass on its own.  This has to stop. 
Bills should not be rushed through for a vote.  They should deal with as few topics as possible.  They should be posted online so they can be read at least three days to a week before the vote.

Thank you.

Monday, December 1, 2014

How Christianity Prospers a Nation Part 3: Children and Families

Whether you believe in God or evolution, they both ended up in the same place: it takes a man and a woman to create a child.  But that’s where the similarities end.  Christians believe that children are gifts from God, created in His image, and parents are privileged and entrusted with the critical task of raising the next generation. 

Secularists are working to break that link, essentially relegating children to the status of pets with the ultimate goal of the government raising our children.  That way they can be sure that they have a compliant populace, grateful and supportive for a massive government controlling more and more of our lives, all for our good and protection. 

Christianity and secularism have very different views of families, children, and all the various parts of the dynamic, like sex, parenting, divorce, and cohabitation.  Secularism maintains that all these things have been inhibited by unnecessary and needlessly restrictive traditions that keep people from fully developing or from their true personal fulfillment.
Christians believe that God has given us the directions on how life works, including all things relating to sex, propagation, and personal fulfillment.  As individuals prosper in all areas of their lives, the society prospers as well.  Secularists find these directions oppressive and any supposed benefits outweighed by the loss of personal freedom.  Picture an athlete who wants to win the prize and who willingly and gladly gives up the party life, maintaining rigid dietary rules and exercise routines so he can perform at the highest level.  

Secularists would rather have the immediate pleasures and see that as more important than any imaginary or possible long future goals that are unattainable by most people.

Every time that our modern culture has rejected the Bible’s views of children, family, parenting, or sex, it has come at a great economic price, or cost, to society.  I would say a moral price too, but we no longer have a sense of morality to speak of.  We keep being told that our nation is and was always intended to be a secular nation, yet somehow our country didn’t see itself that way for almost the first 200 years of our existence. 

But after our nation officially became secular, we normalized sexual activity outside of marriage. Yes, I know, people have always had sex outside of marriage, but they knew they were crossing a boundary.  Sex was now considered recreation, and a right, and a right that needed to be aggressively pursued, by women as well as men, as part of their equality.

Betty Friedan is usually credited with sparking the women’s movement.  I think someone often overlooked here is Hugh Hefner, the founder and chief creative officer of Playboy Enterprises.  In the 1960s, he published his Playboy philosophy that included the concept of women being sexually free and active, apart from the constraints of traditional (read: Christian) morality and marriage.  I have no doubt that a good part of the motivation of his philosophy was to vastly increase the number of potential sexual partners for the men like him who had already abandoned Christian principles.

Saving oneself for marriage, while often only an ideal, was still in the consciousness of our nation.  But is this so important?  Actually, yes.  And for at least two reasons. 

As much as women think they need to be sexually free as part of their pursuit for ‘equality,’ that first sexual experience is still different for women than it is for men.  Something happens that binds that woman to a man at the subconscious level.  This was seen over and over again growing up when the hottest girls had the jerkiest boyfriends and often married them or had their babies.  This strong attachment created in the sex act bound them to somebody who everybody but her knew was a jerk.  Maybe she knew, but she didn’t care, because he was her first love.  Those who got married had high divorce rates, and many had children who grew up without a father in the home.

As for men, sex can also cloud their judgment, where the pleasures of sex keeps people together who would not stay together otherwise, people who would not make good life partners, resulting again in higher divorce rates, more parents trying to raise a child alone, and more people requiring government assistance.
Then we normalized abortion.  All this sexual activity produced a lot of babies whose parents found this quite disruptive to lives that weren’t intending to have children, at least not then.  With secularism, which had to avoid religious concepts, human life was no longer considered sacred, but like puppies, which you didn’t have to keep.  You don’t have to have one if you don’t want one, and nobody can make you have one.  Your own life and comfort are the important things.

This same lack of respect for human life that would end a pregnancy shows up later in life when we so easily kill people over drugs, turf, or revenge.

Planned Parenthood was founded to provide many of these abortions, and it has been receiving millions of your tax dollars every year since.  Schools also began extensive sexual education programs, another government program at your expense.  What time and money spent on these programs is less time and money spent on other educational material.

Then we normalized divorce.  Personal enjoyment, also to be known as personal fulfillment, came to be the ruling philosophy, and marriage was often seen as a major impediment.  Besides being hard work, resolving marital problems would involve compromises which is certainly less than complete personal satisfaction.  So dissolving marriages was made easy.  Marriage became just a mutual relationship that would last only as long as both parties found it personally fulfilling.
Children of divorced families have it harder in life.  They have more adverse outcomes in life with increased costs to society including lost productivity, the need for a much larger legal system, and a higher likelihood of repeating the pattern.

We normalized the idea of cohabitation, because marriage was seen as too much work and not rewarding enough in return.  It just made sense to be able to have the joys of marriage without the headaches.  Marriage was seen as just a carryover from outworn tradition and out-moded religions that were neither relevant nor true.  Marriage was often seen as nothing more than a piece of paper, and family was just the people who were a part of your life at the time.  Lifelong commitments were considered unimportant and unnecessary.

Marriage was postponed or avoided, and a new thing called delayed or perpetual adolescence became common.  Besides those living together without the commitment of marriage, many others stayed at home for longer than in the past.  Our government even normalized children staying on their parent’s medical insurance until they were 26 years old.  All these things either delay or discourage people from growing up, from taking full responsibility for their lives.  This same disposition that would prompt someone to rely on their parents for insurance at 25 is more inclined to rely on the government for all the assistance programs that it can provide as well.

We normalized single parenthood.  If sex was a choice and having children was a choice and being married was a choice, then why again did we need marriage in the first place?  Of course, many of these single parents had been married, but there was no longer a stigma for people to have children with no plans or intent of getting married.  Single parenthood also became the leading indicator of poverty in our country, but the government was eager and willing to help out to support this new family.

We normalized the two working parent family for those families that did stay together.  We taught our daughters that it was more important to have a career than to have a family, so children were the afterthought, the career was the priority.  But what started out as a shift in values, careers over children and the need for jobs as a essential part of equality, soon became an economic necessity when our government essentially sent millions of our manufacturing jobs overseas, leaving most people with lower paying service jobs to try to support their families.

Children, being now of pet status, the only responsibilities of the parents were feeding them, giving them a place to stay, and seeing that they were housebroken.  Schools would teach them everything they need to know.  We can’t teach morality and values in schools, apart from tolerance, equality, fairness, and diversity, because you can’t really do that without religion.  We say morality should be taught in the home, but there is no home to speak of anymore.  Everybody is working, and there is little time and energy for quality time with the children.  Let them watch television and get their moral education from sitcoms and reality shows.

Our science improved; we could achieve pregnancies without the presence of a man.  And as the sacredness of life diminished, women began offering to bear children for other people.  Hey, the pay is good, and you could still keep your regular job.  While this was first used to help infertile married couples have children, there was certainly no reason to limit these procedures to married people.  Now anyone could have a child without the confinements of a marriage or even another person. 
“Gay marriage,” which was widely rejected in our society until our President came out in favor of it, takes the process a step further.  Up until this point, the value and need for marriage was diminished as it became normal for people to have children without it and even without that second person.  Now with “gay marriage,” we intentionally remove at least one parent from a child’s life and call it good, normal, and equal to the way we used to have children and families.  

Before, a marriage broke up, or children lost their natural parents through some misfortune, or people were in relationships that didn’t work out, or people just chose the path of having children without the benefit of a partner, but we never called these ideal or in the best interests of the child.  But now with “gay marriage,” we are making a statement as a society that children don’t need that second parent at all, and even any natural parent.  The child may never even know who its real parents are.  And all this will be called good, normal, and equal to the traditional form of marriage.  Children don’t need parents, just adults.

Our society is formalizing the break of natural parents from the responsibility of raising their own children.  We are normalizing the concept that children just need loving adults rather than blood parents.  Sure, we have always had this with adoption, but now we are officially saying that it doesn’t matter. One is just as good as the other.

So does this really cost society in any way?  Does it make our nation any less prosperous?  There are studies out that pronounce no difference in outcomes from children raised in normal two parent families or children raised by gay couples.  I contend it’s too early to make judgments based on statistics yet, and this isn’t the time to contest the findings of those studies that have already come out.

But at the end of this long progression of events, and it is a progression, it has led us to a place I consider unsafe for a country that values freedom.

If parents are not needed in the raising of a child, just adults, and that only minimally, seeing as they both work, there is still a great need for child care.  With the breakdown of the traditional family and society, this need is being more and more met by the government.   The government will become more responsible for the raising of our children.  This same government that sent millions of jobs overseas which now forces many parents to work who would rather be home with their children, this government now wants to offer more after school programs and before school programs, and child care, and mandatory pre-kindergarten for all children.

Is that so bad?  Depends how you define freedom.  When the government raises your children, your children will be taught the value of a large government that regulates every part of your life, except, of course, your personal sex life, which it encourages you to maximize.  This is all for your safety and protection, a safety net against all those bad things in life.  Our Founders revolted against the English government over taxes mostly, but now we have become accustomed to having the government take half our income.  Essential services and our safety net. 

In the past, we used to rely on family, churches, neighbors, and communities to protect us against tragedy, but more and more we have come to rely on the government.  And where we used to rely on the goodwill of this support system, we now rely on the government for an increasingly large amount of things.  And who pays for all this?  You do, through ever higher taxes. 

When families are strong, people rely on family for help.  When families are weak, people rely on the government, which means the government needs more money from you to pay for all of this.  When two natural parents are able to raise their children, the children normally grow up with values and a sense of responsibility, both for themselves and for others.  When children grow up without their parents’ role modeling and guidance, they need more help from the government, whether through financial assistance or the legal justice system. 

But there is more.

You want to talk about a war on women?  This is it, folks.  And it’s not whether women can get free birth control or government-subsidized abortions. 

People are born, they live, and then they die.  All of us.  The only reason there are still people left in the world is that women have children.  Now this isn’t something like becoming doctors.  Yes, both involve choices, but one involves something where you have to train through years of instruction and practice.  The other is the most natural thing in the world.  Men can become doctors, but they can’t become mothers.  Only women can do that.

Becoming a mother and raising a child is the hardest and yet the most fulfilling thing a woman can do in life.  There are people in life, many of them in politics, who would think that that is a sexist statement.   I just saw a clip of a speech that the President gave where he said that women should not have to choose between staying home to raise a child and staying in the workforce.  When they leave the workforce, for even a little while, they decrease their earnings potential, and that would be awful.  They should put their children in a government-run daycare and let some professional raise their child.

We have taught our daughters that it is more important for a woman to have a career than to have a family.  A woman needs a career in order to be equal to a man, and this is very important that she does.  When she is older, she can have a child if she wants, just to say that she did, but this child doesn’t need all the time and attention that women have been led to believe in the past.  A few weeks off work, and society can provide care for the child just as good if not better than what she could do, and why on earth would she?  She could be out in the workforce making money, as much as a man in fact.

People who have done the math say that every women needs to have on average 2.1 children just for our population to stay even.  What does that mean?  If we bear fewer children than that, then we have an aging population, which will increase the costs to society to take care of them.  Which is what has happened.  When people had larger, solid families, the cost of taking care of the elderly was often absorbed by that family.  Now more and more, the costs fall on society, which means more money out of everybody’s pockets.
There are two remedies for this: encourage women to have more children or bring in more immigrant workers to pay into the system.  But wait.  Where we used to bring in more workers, now we bring in the whole families, so we get more elderly and disabled, so the effect of more workers is muted to an extent.  Immigrants tend to have larger families, at least for the first generation, so that helps a little.  But we have made it harder for these new immigrants to get jobs, good paying ones, so we end up with more people on government assistance, which is just as much of a drain on public resources as the elderly.

As we have tried to break down the traditional family, all in the name of personal freedom, the role and size of government has increased many times over.  Where our nation used to be rich, it is now in debt, more debt than any nation in the world.  Why?  What families used to do, now we pay the government to do for us. 

What we call traditional values are really Christian values.  As we have discarded Christianity as a society, government has increased to meet needs that used to be met by families, churches, and neighbors.  Without Christianity and Christian values, we only have a government that needs more and more of your money for our nation to be able to survive.

But we have been told and are continually being told that our nation was always intended to be and is a secular nation and that our government cannot so much as acknowledge God or otherwise promote anything resembling religion.  And this was the conclusion of the highest court of our land, the one we call supreme.

Yet the people who wrote and debated and passed the First Amendment, which allegedly demands this, would surely have a better understanding of what they meant by it than people who lived 200 years after the fact.

And if schools are meant to produce wise, moral, responsible, productive citizens, then prayer and Bible reading was always considered the main instruments for doing that.  The Bible was considered absolutely necessary in forming character and wisdom, and it was continuously and extensively used from the time of the first settlers in our country in the early 1600s to the middle of the 1900s. 

This was the time period which formed the foundation of our country through the time of our nation’s greatest prosperity and rise to world leadership.  Since the Bible was removed from our public education, the United States has become the world’s largest debtor nation, and its status in the world is at the lowest point in our nation’s history.

Is this merely coincidental?  No, because having rejected Christianity as its worldview, our nation has replaced Biblical morality with a morality of the lowest common denominator (tolerance, equality, fairness, and diversity), which lacks anything that fosters responsibility, honesty, or social cohesiveness and promotes the role of government as responsible for the wellbeing of our country and not merely the promoter of it.  
And it’s taking more money than they are able to get in order to do this.

In this series, we are looking at how the Bible and Christianity helped to make our country great and how much our abandonment of them has contributed to our decline as a nation.