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

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

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.