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.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Comparing the United States with other countries

The Sun-Times editorial (January 5) noted that our country now ranks 16th in the world in livability where we were number one as recently as 1988.  It’s “time to start climbing from no. 16 ranking,” though the article didn’t tell us how but did offer several noble reasons why it is so hard to stay on top.

It’s hard to be livable when we are “absorbing large immigrant populations” [their words, not mine] and “trying to make multiculturalism work.”

But we have always had a large immigrant population.  Isn’t that what we keep hearing, that we are a nation of immigrants and that immigrants built our country?  We didn’t just start doing this in 1988 after we last led the list. 

And why is trying to make multiculturalism work such a good idea?  That just means that we believe we have no uniquely American culture, American values or identity, or at least one that we want newcomers to our country to embrace.  One culture is as good as another.  Is that a good thing?  Exactly what is it that made our country the one that more people want to go to than any other in the first place? 

The editorial gives the various reasons why Switzerland is the number one country for livability:
1)         The Swiss have money.  Our government has decided to be responsible for the welfare of 300 million people and is now over $18 trillion in debt.  Many people, including in the media, don’t see what the problem with that is.  For one thing, debt makes everything that you buy more expensive, so you are wasting money that could be spent better elsewhere.  And this takes money out of the economy, meaning your pockets, to pay for all this. 
2)         The Swiss not only have a low crime rate, but people feel safer there.  We used to teach morals to our kids, but that involved religion, and we don’t want any part of that anymore.  And there is nobody at home anymore to raise the kids, because if there are two parents there, they both need to work just to get by, and the rest of the homes only have one person there, and, well, kids do better with two.  Kids are raised today more by their peers and the media than by parents’ role modelling and personal instruction.
3)         The Swiss can find decent work.  We sent millions of good paying, decent jobs overseas.  We call it free trade.  The idea of free trade sounds so noble, so American, but instead of other countries sending their goods to us without being taxed, we just sent our companies and our jobs over there to send our own goods back to us.  But didn’t this help our export business?  No export business will exceed what a country needs to produce just to meet the needs of its own people.  How much of our products were they expecting that we would sell overseas anyway, especially with our higher labor costs?
4)         The Swiss have good schools.  We used to have good schools, the best in the world, until we started the federal Department of Education to run our schools.  They are mediocre at best today.  We need to get rid of that department and return education to the local level.  Homeschooled kids regularly do better than public schools students.
5)         The Swiss don’t retire broke.  We used to have people who could live off the interest of their savings.  But now with the government debt so high, they manipulate the interest rates so that they stay low, so people don’t see the true cost of the massive debt of our government.  So any money left in banks loses value.  And with our manufacturing jobs gone, people aren’t making enough to save anything let alone money for retirement.

The editorial then names two other factors that are taken into consideration here: the health of family life and trust in public institutions.
1)         We have no family to speak of anymore.  We have made the idea of a stay-at-home mom demeaning, and we have even made it impractical as well, since it is becoming harder all the time to provide for a family on one income.  We have encouraged children without marriage and children without their natural parents, so children are more along the line of pets that only need a minimum of care. 
2)         Trust in our public institutions is at an all-time low.  ‘But then it is not surprising.  The President of the United States has shown himself to be an inveterate liar, but the public and the media shrug it off as overselling or politics.  The government seems to be a world unto itself, finding new ways to spend money it doesn’t’ have to gain the favor of different groups of people who they want to vote for them in the future.  

The game is how to gain benefits for themselves and close allies in ways that don’t attract the public attention. 

Now the editorial asks us to start climbing out of this mess.  But how?

I contend that our problems stem from the idea that our country is supposed to be a secular nation, and anything religious must be strictly private and totally absent from anything having to do with government.

Why is this the problem?  Because it is hard to talk about yet alone teach morals apart from talking about God or a Higher Power.  So our schools are bereft of moral instruction, and our families, what’s left of them, have little time or energy for that either.  After several generations of this, we have a population whose only morals are pragmatism and tolerance.   No one’s looking out for anyone else anymore, because that is a religious concept, so it’s everyone out for themselves. 
There is a lot more that can be said, but this is a letter and not a book.


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