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.

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.

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