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.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

unasked questions from my Senator

Hi Mark
You were kind and thoughtful enough to email me to ask me what issues are most important to me.  You offered a list to me of possible issues.  I chose five, which you later followed up with questions.

Thinking more about this, I realize that just as important as telling you what I regard as the most important issues is explaining why I didn’t choose the other issues.  The fact that you included them on your list of possible issues shows that these are issues that you consider as possible or actual priorities.

You sent back follow-up questions to my list.  I would like to see what follow-up questions you have for these issues.  Please send them.
As for the other issues you suggested:
1)         Honoring & Serving Our Veterans
This is important, but I’m not sure our government knows the best ways to do this.  There is the VA scandal.  It’s shameful, so fix it.  If more money is needed, we need to cut something somewhere else to pay for it.  We can’t just keep spending money we don’t have.  A good start is the Department of Education.  We had the best schools in the world before we had one, and now our schools are mediocre at best.  Cut out the whole department and save $50 billion a year.

The best way to honor our veterans is to start declaring wars that we intend to win instead of broad military actions with no intent on an early resolution with rules of engagement that put our troops in grave danger and serious disadvantage.  If we want to put our troops at great risk in order to avoid civilian casualties, I think we should allow any soldiers the option to opt out in these kinds of conflicts.  I think it is criminal for our political leaders to send our troops to fight and then put their lives at greater risk than absolutely necessary. 

There is a difference between targeting civilians and targeting an enemy that may endanger other people, but we should not endanger our soldiers as an alternative.  We need to stand up to the world and say that we will not risk our soldier’s lives because our enemy has no respect for the lives of others.  But we need to start by declaring a war first.
2)         Fighting Crime
I have written extensively about this.  My articles are on my blog poligion1.blogspot.com.  Most recently, I wrote Peace on Earth and in our Streets.  I hope you can go through my site and read that and the other ones.

Very simply, the problem is the family.  We already have laws that are not being obeyed.  Our prisons are full, and the cost is a burden on taxpayers.  People learn right and wrong primarily at home from their parents.  But we have encouraged people to have children without getting married and we have pushed our women to get out of the home and into the workforce, so our children are being raised by television, movies, peers, social media, and their basic human impulses.  Until we start encouraging families to form, stay together, and encourage and enable parents to raise their children, crime will always be a serious problem for us.

A big part of enabling families is to bring American jobs back home.  Middle class families used to be able to support a family on one income.  Now most jobs left are service jobs which pay nothing. 

Our jobs went foreign primarily through free trade agreements, but our massive government with its massive spending and its need for massive tax revenues is also forcing companies to move to where the taxes are lower.  So we save a few dollars on an American product made in another country, and then we pay for all kinds of social services and a huge justice system, because we don’t’ have anyone to teach values to our children.

I support the death penalty.  We hear of cases all the time where somebody was put on death row mistakenly, but I never hear of anybody being punished for giving false testimony or withholding evidence.  That needs to be changed.  In the Bible, the person who gave false testimony received the same punishment that the falsely accused person was to or did receive.

If people are still concerned that a person may be unjustly condemned to death, then raise the standards for the death penalty.  There are cases like the Colorado movie theater case where the perpetrator is not in doubt.  He should have been executed long ago.

As for gun control, we tried Prohibition long ago, banning alcohol; and while that lowered the alcohol consumption for a lot of people, it brought about more crime related to it and was repealed.  People are less likely to threaten others if there is a good chance the other person is armed.  I have read and heard of many, many examples of this.  

Besides, our Founders believed that the public needed to be armed not for self-defense, but as a protection against its own government.  It was because so many people in our country had guns that we didn’t have dictators or tyrants in our country as they had in Europe at the time.
3)         Supporting Farmers & Agriculture
I confess to know too little about this to have any comments.
4)         Advocating For Human Rights
Our country used to think of rights as things that you could do without government interference.  Now rights are seen more and more as things that you are entitled to and that the government is responsible for seeing that you have, even at public expense.

This change in understanding rights goes back as far as Franklin Roosevelt who saw government benefits as a way to win elections, but I see another major contributor to this in the secularization of our nation.  When people had faith in God, they found their security in God, and a nation of God-believers looked out for each other.  But in a secular nation, we teach multiculturalism and tolerance, and there is no longer any social cohesiveness where people feel responsible for everyone else.  And there is a no longer any sense of security, so government is seen as responsible to take care of everybody.

So the list of human rights keeps expanding.  And the government will spend itself into bankruptcy trying to give everything to everybody.  The latest thing is now giving everybody two years of college free.  What’s another $50 billion dollars?  There is no sense of the value of money anymore.  Just spend it.  We can always print more.

What is happening also is that almost any issue can be framed in such a way that a certain outcome can be argued as being a right: a right to child care, a right to a secure retirement, a right to affordable healthcare, a right to a good and affordable education, a right to birth control, a right to a livable minimum wage.  And there isn’t enough money there to pay for all this.  Unless . . .

Why don’t we just stop the game and tell everybody what is going on?  The goal is socialism.  The difference between socialism and communism is that socialism allows people to acknowledge God in their private lives, but the government acts as if there is no God and they are the highest power.  Communism says right out that there is no God and sees religion as a threat in that it can teach values contrary to the system.  Socialism, coming through the way of democracy, can stifle the religious impulses and thinking through laws that emphasize the rights of others that trump any personal religious ideas.

In both systems, you have a ruling class of government employees and elected officials who live quite well.  And as long as they are happy and comfortable, they will put up with or accept any public outcomes that don’t affect that.

Protecting The Environment
The environment is important, but there are several problems with how we are dealing with environmental issues.  The Constitution says that all lawmaking authority resides in Congress, but we have given to government agencies authority to make rules that essentially are laws and that have a great impact on our country.  Any action has consequences.  Any car that drives emits substances in the air that are harmful.  Should all cars be banned?  This is a decision that should be and is left with our representatives in Congress.  The EPA is making decisions that Congress should be making.  Do we really want to eliminate our entire coal industry?  That question should be debated with public input rather than decided by this one government agency, and no doubt with influence from the President.

The issue of climate change is being used today as an attempt to shift wealth from richer nations to poorer nations.  I hear too many contradictory voices here, but one side is saying very loudly that the issue is settled.  I really doubt that.  I believe there is an agenda here to inhibit Western manufacturing with the ultimate goal of reducing Western (read: American) wealth and promoting socialism through more government dependency for basic needs.

I am concerned that the noble vision of protecting our environment will prompt lawmakers to make decisions with good intentions but bad judgment. 

Reforming Our Immigration System

I have also written extensively about this, so I hope you can go to my blog here as well: polition1.blogspot.com.  Let me summarize a few points:
1)         The notion of birthright citizenship to illegal aliens needs to be addressed.  The 14th Amendment was written to give citizen status to former slaves.  Native Americans did not receive citizenship through that Amendment.  It took an act of Congress in 1924.  Children born to foreign diplomats here do not get citizenship.  Why should illegal aliens?  Note the expression “under the jurisdiction thereof” in the Amendment.  This notion only encourages more illegal immigration.
2)         Immigration is important to many Western countries, because our birth rate is low, and we need immigrant workers to pay into the system and support an increasing number of elderly.  However, our immigration policy now favors families, so any benefits of new workers is nullified by the addition of the rest of the family which includes the elderly, the disabled, and anyone else who will not be working. 
3)         Our borders need to be secured.  NOW.  A country needs to know who is coming into its country, and it has the right of rejection. 
4)         Our country took in millions of immigrants in our earlier years, and we had no government benefits for them, and so we got people with ambition and initiative.  It was also much easier to start a business then.  Now we make it difficult.  And we simply can’t afford all the government benefits that we offer new immigrants, legal and illegal. 
5)         Our government is using immigration policies to change the dynamic of our country and to increase the voters of the Democratic Party.  At least that is the party that tries harder to spend government money on all kinds of benefits to gain the votes of the recipients.
6)         We used to have an American identity, which we have traded for multiculturalism.  So in the distant past, immigrants learned the American way of life, became Americans, and we were all enriched for it.  Now we are ashamed of our American heritage, and we have nothing to teach immigrants but tolerance, and so we have lost all social cohesiveness.  We live in the same space, but we are not connected to each other. 

Protecting Women's Rights

I think even asking the question of women’s rights is problematic, because I would submit in most cases we are framing issues as rights that muddy the real issues at stake.

Does a woman have a right to kill her unborn baby?  Forget the right; why is she even asking the question?  We used to teach Christian values in our country, where sex was sacred and intended for married people, children were blessings from God, and we had an economic structure that allowed families to support and raise a family. 

But we have rejected religion as being unenlightened and repressive; we have taught our children that sex is recreation; and we have taught our daughters that it is more important to have a career than to have a family. 

And so we have girls and women being pregnant who either have other things they want to do more, simply can’t afford to raise a child, or who just feel totally inadequate for the task.  This is no way to raise our next generation, and treating it as disposable like a litter of kittens only degrades human life.

Does a woman have a right to free birth control, or, in other words, should everyone else pay for her contraceptives?  Is this a joke or what?  This was just a ploy by the President and the Democrats to expand the role of government, make people feel entitled to more things, and to get more people to vote for them, the party of compassion.

Equal pay?  This is not as simple as it sounds.  I work for an industry that has ‘degraded’ contracts every time they make a new one by reducing conditions and benefits for new hires and keeping the current conditions and benefits for those voting for the contract.  So we have people working together where one person will get time and a half for Sunday work and others will get differing amounts, zero, one, or two dollars more per hour, depending on how long they have worked here.  Hourly rates of pay, vacation time, and all kinds of things can be different depending on when a person was hired.  Is all this equal pay for equal work? 

Two people with similar backgrounds hired together doing the same work, I would expect an equal compensation package.  But often one’s pay is determined more by one’s length of employment at the one place and not simply the type of work. 

Under the guise of women’s rights, we also have the push for women to do and be represented equally in all manner of things that I don’t think are in our best interests.  There is a push to have women in combat, and we need to lower our standards to do that.  Is that wise? 

We push to have women become doctors or other jobs that almost preclude even the idea of having a family.  I think we highly underestimate and understand how children should best be raised.  But that’s for another time.

In spite of all our talk about equality, the fact remains that only women can have children.  And the average woman needs to have 2.1 children for a society’s population to remain stable.  Less than that and a society shrinks as its population ages, generally burdening it with increased costs for caring for its elderly. 

We discourage women from having children, making them think they need jobs to be equal and fulfilled.  I think we are doing a disservice to them when we do this.  And when they do have kids, we make it harder for them to spend the time with them that they (both of them) need, either through the social pressure of working outside the home or simply the economic pressure of being able to live on one paycheck, assuming, of course, that she is married in the first place.

Serving Local Communities

The Federal government has no need to serve local communities and no business doing so.  The Federal government does too much as it is.  Read the Constitution and the Federalist Papers.  The responsibilities of the Federal government are few and defined, and this is not among them.  
 
Thanks again, Mark

Larry Craig



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