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

Sunday, February 1, 2015

more on the question of whether the United States is or was a Christian nation

Those who want to prove that the United States is not and was not intended to be a Christian nation often cite The Treaty of Tripoli.  This was a treaty with the Muslim nations bordering the western Mediterranean Sea in the late 1700s.  Tripoli later declared war on the United States shortly after this treaty was ratified.

The one sentence in this treaty that is offered as proof of this reads: “As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion, . . . it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.”

Muslim nations along the Mediterranean were seizing merchant ships for ransom.  They were particularly focused on the Christian nations as retribution for past grievances going back even hundreds of years.  This had been going on for a while, and at that time our leaders had resigned themselves to simply paying the ransom, hundreds of thousands of dollars.  Under Jefferson’s Presidency, we finally sent our navy there and ended this nonsense.

In making this treaty, our government wanted to assure these countries that we did not and would not in the future use religion as a pretext for hostilities between the countries.  When you consider the parties to this treaty, you can understand better the wording of this treaty. 

The Christian religion or the Bible do not teach or describe a representative government.  The only government in the Bible with instructions as to how it should work was a theocracy, where God directly ruled the nation.  Some instructions were also given for the time when the people would choose to have a king over them.  But there is nothing in the Bible or any Church teaching that showed what a Republic should look like or how it would work, unlike the Muslim nations where the Koran was the guide for their government. 

However, the United States government, while not based on the Christian religion is certainly dependent on it.  How?  A limited government, as the Federalist Papers described and explained our government, requires a citizenry self-motivated for good.  As John Adams put it:  “. . . we 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.”

When people vote for their leaders, they soon learn that they can vote themselves money and benefits. When given the choice, people often find they would rather have the government take care of them than taking care of themselves.

Political leaders are tempted to use their power for personal gain, especially getting and staying in office by promising and providing goodies for people.

A limited government needs a moral, independent, and caring citizenry. 

A moral people doesn’t need or want 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.

An independent people doesn’t need or want government assistance, financial or otherwise, people who believe in hard work and self-reliance.

And a caring people willingly and eagerly seeks 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.  Christians are taught to love their neighbors and not merely to tolerate (put up with, ignore) them.  There used to be hundreds of Christian societies devoted to every kind of social problem in the land, all run without public money.

People who try so hard to defend and promote a secular country want to remove the very things that made our country great in the first place.  The only alternative is a government that keeps taking more and more money from those who have it to support more and more people who have become dependent on it.  And as Margaret Thatcher said: it doesn’t work, because “you always run out of other people’s money.”