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:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCb-RztuRKdCEQzgbhp52dCw

If you want to contact me, email is best: lacraig1@sbcglobal.net

Thank you.

Larry Craig

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Are we a Christian nation? Does it matter?

A reader ((January 19) says he gets tired of pointing out that the United States is not a Christian nation.  And I think he means as well that the United States never was a Christian nation and that it was never intended to be one.  He didn’t say, however, just what kind of nation we are or were supposed to be.  I think he meant to say secular. 

Nations have a worldview, just like people do, an underlying set of beliefs about life that direct its policies and actions: what is right, what is wrong, what is true, what is false, what is good, what is not, what are the rules, are there any rules?

When our country was founded, all the countries from which our people came were Christian countries with state churches.  All Christian but different denominations.  The Founders wanted religion free from government control, but they did not separate religion from public life. 

To do that would say that religion had nothing to do with reality or truth but was just people’s personal feelings and preferences, like their taste in books or music.

A good place to start with determining the worldview of early America is to look at the schools in our country from before our country’s founding up to modern times.

Education is now a function of the federal government, but that was not the case at the beginning.

The New England Primer was the first textbook printed in the United States (1690) and was for the next hundred years the beginning textbook for everybody and was in widespread use in public and private schools until well into the 20th century.  Forget Dick and Jane.  Children learning to read from this were well beyond that in a very short time.  But they learned their ABCs with such rhymes as:

In Adam’s fall we sinned all
Heaven to find, the Bible mind.
Christ crucified for sinners died.

The McGuffey Readers came in the early 1800s and were the dominant readers used in public and private schools for at least the next century.  Not only did they teach reading at a much higher level from the earliest stages, but the series includes passages like this from the First Reader:
“Who is it that gives us food to eat, and clothes to make us warm?
It is God, my child; He makes the sun to shine and sends the rain upon the earth, that we may have food.”

And, of course, the Bible was taught as a main textbook.  Schools were meant to teach morals as well as facts, and there was no other book for that like the Bible.

For a country to have limited government, such as the Federalist Papers described it, it needs a moral, independent, and caring citizenry. 

Moral in that they don’t require an ever expanding government to keep making more rules, regulations, and laws that require more police and courts and prisons to keep everybody in line, safe, and compliant.

Independent in that they don’t require government assistance, financial or otherwise, people who believe in hard work and self-reliance.

And caring in that the people willingly and eagerly sought to provide for the needs of others, eliminating the need for government programs, and since these are all at the grass roots level, eliminating waste and fraud.  
There used to be hundreds of Christian societies devoted to every kind of social problem in the land, all run without public money.

Christians are taught to love their neighbors and not merely to tolerate (put up with, ignore) them. 

As John Adams said: “[W]e have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

But now our country has officially become secular through fiats from the Supreme Court and the rise of political correctness, multiculturalism, and an immigration policy that currently favors those most unlike the majority of us in culture and religion.  Our schools have been stripped of everything remotely religious, and the newer generations have been taught a version of American history cleansed from anything religious.

With this secularization, our government has expanded, because it has now assumed responsibility for the welfare of all its citizens.  They can no longer take care of themselves or act honestly and humanely with each other.  They now require the government to monitor and control all areas of their lives to ensure the right outcomes. 

For those who can see history from the broader perspective, our county changed radically starting in the 1960s (though earlier signs were present, like the 1930s with the New Deal) with a new view of government that replaced the kind of government you could have with a religious and moral people.  The country is now living on borrowed money. It’s the largest debtor nation in the world.  Our schools are average at best, where they used to be the best in the world.  We lead the world in almost no positive categories where we used to lead the world in everything.  The standard of living has been in decline for decades

There is so much debate about whether our country was or is a Christian nation, but no one seems to be asking whether our country is going forward or backward.  Are we going in the right direction? What is the right direction?  Where will we be in 10, 20 years if we continue on this same path?  I contend that we have lost our way as a nation, and we won’t like a lot of the things that we will meet on our current course.