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:


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

Thank you.

Larry Craig

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

drawing district boundaries for our representatives

Attempts to reform the way that legislative districts are drawn usually fail on the issue of minority representation.  It is believed that districts need to be drawn in a way that puts a majority of a certain minority together, so that this district would most likely elect a minority representative. 

I believe this thinking is wrong, because this minority representation would now be a very small percentage of the whole legislative body.  But if a lot of districts had sizable minorities groups in them, even though the representative is not a minority, he would be foolish not to represent them well, because he is dependent on their votes to win.  So now there would be more representatives looking out for their interests, assuming, of course, that their interests are really any different from anybody else.  What representative would only care about certain schools in his district or the employment of only a part of his district?

Once we allow demographics to play any part in the drawing of our districts, who will say where it will end?  Other demographics would not be so obvious in knowing if the districts were drawn to favor or disfavor them.  Districts could be drawn with regard to income, religion, age, education, public dependency, or even on positions of public policies. 

In other words, I believe it is dangerous to let anyone drawing up districts have any more information than how many people live in a certain area.  

Sunday, April 26, 2015

medical insurance

A  Herald reader (April 25) thinks our country needs single payer (i.e. government run) medical insurance, because he thinks private insurance companies are mismanaged, self-serving cretins who overcharge everybody unnecessarily.  (I paraphrase.)

Private insurance costs are going up essentially due to government interference, as in the Affordable Care Act.  Insurance costs go down basically through competition.  Obamacare limits that by limiting the choices of plans that can be offered and the companies that will offer them.  The plans offered must also include far more things than they used to, all of which raise costs further.

The best and cheapest health insurance has always been group plans offered by employers.  But the government has and continues to send millions of these jobs overseas in the name of free or fair trade.  Look for more in the near future as the President secretly negotiates another trade agreement.

Actually government-run health insurance is far more expensive than private coverage.  They just don’t tell you the true costs.  They just borrow billions of dollars from China and raise your taxes in innumerable other ways to pay for it.

Speaking of which, in the near future, this government debt, which nobody seems to care about, could cost our country our world reserve currency status, which would probably cripple our economy far worse than the crash of 2008.  Only this will be harder to get out of because it would involve the government undoing decades of government programs which have enabled millions of people to be dependent on the government and will include massive tax increases which will hit and depress all but the most wealthy.  They will just have less money to invest in things that help the rest of us.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

common sense immigration policies

The Sun-Times printed a commentary (April 20) telling the Republicans they need a compassionate plan on immigration.  Compassion is good, but that doesn’t mean you have to give away the store to show it.

The writer insists that birthright citizenship has always been American policy, though it took the 14th Amendment to make it clear that should also have applied to blacks.  Not quite.  The country has never given citizenship to children born of tourists or diplomats and didn’t even give citizenship to American Indians until 1924. Why would anyone think that this was ever given to children of people who are in our country illegally, especially when this is one of the main reasons we have illegal immigration? 

Frankly, I am all for immigration.  I was surprised to read how many people came to our country around the turn of the 20th century.  But there were some important differences.

There were no government assistance programs then.   However, there were jobs.  When a country makes all of its own stuff, then as the population grows, industry grows with it, and there is always opportunities to make things and to meet the needs of the people.  But we sent millions of our jobs overseas, so we no longer have an economic system that can sustain continual population growth.  To try to build our economy on exports for our jobs makes us dependent on and hostage to the conditions in other countries to provide the jobs we need to sustain our own people.

Our country is trillions of dollars in debt, propped up by low interest rates manufactured by the Federal Reserve.  This creates an artificial economy that can burst at any time.  We can’t afford to support millions of people with public money.

We have been told that we must learn to live with millions of illegal immigrants, because it is impossible to deport them all.  We didn’t bring them here, so we don’t need to send them back.  They are here because they can either find work or have enough government assistance to make it preferable to returning home.  I think we already have laws about hiring illegal workers, but nobody wants to enforce our laws anymore.

But is there any way we can help to make them legal?  I really don’t have a problem with that.  I do have a problem with a blanket program that just pronounces certain people legal.  When all those people came to our country in the past, they met with someone face to face.  I don’t know how long these encounters lasted, but I also know our country had the right of refusal due to disease or other reasons.

Is this impractical for 11 million people to meet face to face with a government official?   Well, problems only get bigger when they are not dealt with right the first time.  I have no problem with any person who is here illegally to come to an immigration center and gain immediate legal status for himself, considering, of course, that he was accepted.  Until such time, they would, of course, still be illegal.  And I see a smooth path to citizenship for children born here to illegal immigrants: a test and an oath of loyalty.  They would need not begin a new waiting period longer than the time they have already been here.

I could accept a program where a person could apply through their employer.  Of course, their employment is already illegal, but if they applied through their company, I could forgive that.  But any employee who hadn’t done this would still be subject to deportation and the company fined.

Republicans have been blamed for failing to pass immigration reform.  No, they are not the problem.  They just don’t want to try to fix everything in one comprehensive bill.  That only means that most of the problems don’t get discussed, and you don’t even know all that is in there until the bill is passed.  Tackle the problem one piece at a time.  Some people don’t like that, because they won’t or can’t get everything they want if people actually talked about those things.

Friday, April 17, 2015

The One Issue of ‘Gay Marriage’

The Supreme Court will decide soon whether our country can and should recognize an institution called gay marriage.  Nobody seems to asking what marriage actually is, why there is such a thing in the first place, why it started and what is it supposed to do.  It’s all about who gets to say what it should look like rather than merely what should it look like.

As argued before the high court, there are 5 issues here.  I say there is really only one.  All the others are legal wrangling that will all depend on the skill of the lawyers arguing the case.  I say there is only one issue, and how that issue is answered should and will resolve the issue.

Does a child have a right to a father and a mother?  We know that for any of a number of reasons, children don’t have both parents growing up.  Children survive, even do well under those circumstances, though statistically we know they have more problems than children who grow up with both parents.  But nobody has said that it doesn’t matter or that one is just as good as the other.

But with gay marriage, we will intentionally remove one parent from the mix right from the start.  The child may still have two adults raising it, but it will not have either its mother or its father.  And not only will we call this good, we will call this just as good as a two parent family.  We will say they are equal.  A child doesn’t need its mother; another adult male is just as good.  A child doesn’t need a father; another adult woman is just as good.

The big problem here is that you will need to wait until these children are grown before you are able to really answer the question.  These are not lab rats that you watch over the course of a few years but human beings in a sort of lab experiment that will take 25 years or so.

In the last few months, I have read a number of articles by children who have grown up in these circumstances.  They have uniformly said that they missed, wanted, and needed both of their parents.  Is that proof that gay marriage is wrong or bad?  Actually, no, because we haven’t heard from all the children who grew up like this. 

But the real question is:  who has the right, or who gave anyone the right, to make the decision for a child that it will grow up without one of its natural parents?  It takes a man and a woman to create a child.  And we can decide that we don’t need them after that; their role and responsibility is done?  We have an equal alternative to their raising of their children? 

I think our society is rushing to make a decision on something, because we have been led to think that anything that looks and sounds like equality and fairness must be right in all circumstances.  After all, we won’t see the results of our work here for another 20 years.  By then, no one will care what these children think.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

what is wrong with our country today.

Reading the Sun-Times today gives us a snapshot of what is wrong with our country today.

The African-American community is entirely dependent on the help of elected people and the resources of government.  If the African-American community ever has innovators or billionaires, it will be because of the government. Smokers need the help of the government to stop smoking.  Youth in the state need government jobs, and nobody can provide meaningful after school programs or anti-violence programs except the government.

Oh, and the state is billions and billions of dollars in debt. 

When you have a secular country, the government becomes responsible for everybody and everything.  You end up trading your freedom for security as you turn over more and more of your life and your money to the government to meet all your needs and solve all your problems.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The Real Problem with Gerrymandering

Deep down inside, everybody knows that gerrymandering is wrong.  It is politics at its worst, where politicians do what they want to try to stay in office or to give their political party huge advantages in elections and policy decisions. 

A big reason it has been put up with is that it is portrayed as being necessary, and, of course, the supposed beneficiaries of this practice are minorities, who could not possibly succeed in life without the help of government due to the inherent racism of white people which keeps them trapped in poverty and hopelessness.  While gerrymandering won’t solve this problem entirely, it is believed and promoted that gerrymandering will ensure minority representation in the political process, and that is considered a necessary part of any government efforts to help the disadvantaged demographic. 

Is this true?  I don’t believe so.  Why?  For example, there are 435 Representatives in Congress.  Having a handful of, say, black Representatives is not going to pass any bills if the needs and wants of the black community are so very different from those of whites.  But if minorities are a substantial voting bloc in any district, the Representative, white or black, would be sure to work with them, because he knows his election may very well depend on their vote.  In this case, there will far more districts with the interests of minorities in mind and far more likelihood that anything could and would be done. 

Let me say this again in another way, because this is the most important point here.  Having a majority minority district actually reduces the influence of that minority in the political process, because it concentrates its power on the fewest number of Representatives.  If the minorities were represented in more districts, they would have more Representatives interested in getting and retaining their votes.

And this assumes, of course, that the needs of minorities are different from the needs of everybody else.  I can’t imagine, for example, that a Representative would only try to help some of the schools in his district.

The real danger of gerrymandering lies elsewhere though.  We know that gerrymandering is done to dilute the votes of the opposing party or to concentrate them in the fewest districts to minimize their overall number of elected officials.  That alone is enough to discourage any opposition to the majority party.  I live in Illinois, which is a prime example.

However, who says that that is the only criterion they use when they divvy up the districts?  Districts can be drawn to dilute or concentrate voters by any measurable demographic: income, age, religion, sexual orientation, education, ethnicity, even their positions on particular issues, like abortion.  There is no end to the mischief which someone can do with a computer and the power to draw voting districts.

I agree with the use of computers, but any and all demographic information should not be a part of the process.  The computer should only be used to calculate the number of residents in each district, following the natural boundaries of geography and existing borders as much as possible.  People living in the same areas will have more in common with their neighbors than artificially constructed districts that pick and choose their constituents.

This is not a problem which we can expect politicians to solve without the public demanding it.  You need to start talking about it everywhere.