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:


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

Thank you.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Problem with Trade Agreements

Senator Mark Kirk (May 27) makes the case that we should ratify the new trade agreement with the Pacific Rim countries, because this is supposed to be good for American jobs; and nations, and people, who would not want such an agreement are isolationists, protectionists, have their heads in the sands, and pretend that the world is flat.

That’s enough to shut down any debate with opponents who should feel embarrassed to raise any objections.  But if anyone had the courage to challenge this thinking, this is what they might say:

A nation has a responsibility to take care of its own people first.  We are not doing that, because we cannot provide enough jobs for our people.  So they rely on the government for assistance, and this takes enormous amounts of money from everybody else to pay for this.

The only way we can provide good jobs for all of our people is to make all of our own stuff here.  We used to do this, and jobs were always plentiful.  As the population increases, demand increases, and so do the jobs. 

But now our politicians are trying to sell us the idea that the key to jobs and our prosperity is in exports, selling our goods to the whole world.  However, there are a number of problems with this thinking.

First, it takes the control of our country’s prosperity out of our hands and puts it in the hands of everybody else.  If other countries are in an economic downturn, then we will be too, because they won’t be buying as much of our products. 

Secondly, for years we have known of other countries manipulating their currency to make their goods cheaper relative to ours.  We haven’t been able to stop them then, and we won’t be able to stop them now.

And, thirdly, treating the world as one large economy essentially makes all nations equal.   By that I mean that all standards of living will gradually meet somewhere in the middle.  Rich nations will become poorer, and poor nations won’t get much richer.  The jobs will gravitate toward the countries with the lowest labor costs, regulations, etc.  Competing with 200 nations is like flooding the labor market with workers.  Those who get the jobs will be the ones who pay the least.

Kirk believes that without free trade our exports won’t be bought by other countries, even though our products are the best in the world.  Not quite.  When we used to make all of our own stuff, we always had the opportunity to buy foreign products.  They were always more expensive, but nobody minded paying a little more if they thought the product was better than ours.  So if our products are indeed better than others, there will always be a market for them. 

Our country is in a deep economic crisis.  The biggest single reason for this we don’t have enough jobs for our people, because we sent so many of them overseas.  All this increased the cost of social services, and in our search for the money to pay for all this, we take more money from our companies, making overseas locations looking even better.

This trend can and must be reversed.  Our national debt can cause our economy to collapse.  And what drives the debt the most is the amount of people dependent on the government, because there aren’t enough good jobs here for them.

All imports should be taxed.   A trade agreement is not forever.  We made a mistake. 

In our nation’s history, we have gone through periods of taxing imports and periods of not taxing imports.  In the 1920s, we probably led the world in exports, and imposing and raising tariffs dampened our economy at a time when we sorely needed jobs.

The fact is that since we started free trade agreements in the 1990s, we have sent millions of our jobs overseas, and we are no longer able to provide good jobs for the people of our country.  Our trade deficits run into the billions of dollars every month, and this hurts our economy even more. 

Taxes on businesses need to be reduced.  Say what you want about greedy corporations, but if it is cheaper to make widgets in China, they will make them in China.  And taxes on profits and taxes on imports all enter into the decisions on where to make things.

And all the rules we put on corporations make a difference too.  If you’re worried about climate change, it doesn’t do any good to try for cleaner air here by making manufacturing increasingly more costly.  They all just go somewhere else where the standards are far worse than ours were 20 years ago. 

Trade discussions will always use such terms as isolationism and protectionism in pejorative ways to shame people, and countries, into what they call free or fair trade.  The fact is that ultimately we can only control what happens in our country, if control is the right word.  Just like our Representatives and Senators are there to act on behalf of the people of their districts and not on behalf of the people of other countries, we must make decisions in international matters on what is best for us. 

What I am suggesting is not selfish or harmful to other nations.  If every nation made their own stuff, they could provide their people with jobs and a good standard of living.  If they need to import things, they don’t have to tax them.  They wouldn’t be losing any jobs.

Exports are great when you can get them.  To rely on them for jobs and prosperity is a mistake.  You need other countries to prosper before you can.  If we make all our own stuff, we will have jobs for all of our people, because people will be competing for the needs of everyone around us.  Most of us can’t see what is going on in a foreign country else to try to compete against them.  As our population grows, demand grows, and so will our jobs.  And they will be good jobs too..