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

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Globalization: Spreading Poverty Worldwide

Note:  After this article, I want to focus my writing on Christians.  You could call my articles sermons or Bible studies.  If our country is saved, morally, economically, politically, spiritually, it will be because Christians have increased their involvement in our culture and our politics. 
I will continue to write short responses to letters and columns in the newspapers, most of which are posted here.  My sermons and Bible studies will be on my other site,LarrysBibleStudies.blogspot.com
If you are new to this site, be sure to check out the older posts.  

Globalization: Spreading Poverty Worldwide
We have been told, and we are constantly being retold in case we might forget, that globalization is inevitable, good, and necessary for (our) prosperity.  I believe that this is a false narrative.  I believe that the only people who prosper in globalization are the rich and the politicians, but neither need this to get richer.  They just use whatever we give them to make their money, though if you tax the rich too high, they will just move somewhere else where they can keep or make more money.   

Globalization is essentially political correctness applied to nations, where nations only became rich at the expense of the poor, where nations are all equal such that no nation should be rich while others are poor. The wealth of the richer (read: Western) nations should be spread out over all the nations.  No one nation should be a world leader.  All should sit at a round table and vote equally on world issues.  Everybody, especially the richer, more powerful nations, should be subject to the feelings and opinions of all the nations as a whole. 

No political system or culture is considered better than another, though richer, Western, and Christian nations, cultures, and religion are inherently suspect, because they have been deemed oppressive, phobic, and exploitative.

But what exactly is it about globalization that is so wrong?

There are at least three problems with globalization, any one of which should be enough for any nation, at least those considered to be wealthier, to reject it.

The first problem with globalization is that it links all the economies of the nations together.  This has two results. 

The first is that problems in other countries can now hurt our economy.  As I write this, there is talk that a recession in China could cause a worldwide recession.  When China was booming, nobody was saying how wonderful that was for everybody else, but when they have problems, everybody else can be affected. 

We are told that we should be happy China is sending all these cheap imports here, because they save us money at the store.  That’s good only because incomes have gone down here since we sent so many jobs overseas and flooded our country with more workers than we have jobs for.

With globalization, when a country does well, it doesn’t transfer into prosperity for anybody else.  But when a country does badly, everybody else, meaning richer nations, can suffer.  Even Greece’s near bankruptcy sent American stocks downward. 

But globalization also means that we are taking the control of our economy out of our hands and placing it in the hands of other people, people over whom we have no control.  We can’t tell China how to run their economy. 

Globalization wants us to build or maintain our economy on exports, which means that we are dependent on other nations prospering and buying from us before we can prosper.  So they have to be doing well before we can, and if they don’t have the money to buy our stuff, then we don’t make any money and we lose jobs.

Why would any nation want to depend on everyone else for their own prosperity? 

When the United States made all of its own stuff, we always had plenty of jobs.  The 1930s were an exception, but that period of time was unique and subject to different interpretations, whether you think the government, including President Roosevelt, was a hero or the villain, whether you think they showed the limitations of capitalism and the need for more government control or whether the government itself hampered the economy.

Which leads us to the second problem with globalization.  With the rise of free trade and globalization, things can be made anywhere, and they are pretty much no longer made here.  And, consequently, we no longer have enough jobs for our people, which drives the need for higher taxes and more government borrowing, because we now expect the government to take care of everybody.

When we made all of our own stuff, we had plenty of jobs. And as the population increased, so did the jobs, because the population increase itself fueled the demand and growth of the economy.
When we had the jobs, there were very few government assistance programs.  Now that we don’t have the jobs, we have all kinds of government assistance programs, and where does the money come from to pay for them?  From those who are still working.  But their buying power is vastly reduced, because the government needs more and more of their money to help the people who can no longer find jobs.

In fact, since the rise of globalization, the United States has gone from being the richest nation in the world to arguably one of the poorest.  The point is arguable because of all the material things that everybody seems to have, but the federal government (that’s all of us) is $18 trillion in debt, the states are another $4 trillion in debt, and average household debt is over $7000, not including mortgages.  And these debts are increasing, not diminishing.

The third problem with globalization is that it is like adding another 2 billion people to the workforce.  A surplus of labor only works to drive down worker’s wages and benefits.  You can always find somebody who will do the work for less.  This drives jobs out of the wealthier nations and sends them to the poorer. 

Does this help the poorer nations?  Not really.  They are poor because of the economic structure of their country.  In about a hundred years after our nation’s founding, the United States became the world’s leading economy.  It surpassed nations that had existed for thousands of years.  People will argue about the reasons, trying to isolate that one leading factor: was it capitalism, the right to private property, the Protestant work ethic? 

But the point is that the movement of a company or even an industry to another country will not turn that country from a poor one to a rich one.  It just dilutes the wealth of the rich nations and spreads it out all over the world, so richer nations become poorer, the poor stay poor, and all the nations become more equal, equally poor.

Prior to 1916 there was no income tax in our country, so taxes on imports were the primary means of financing our federal government.   During the Great Depression, many argued for not taxing imports, because we sold far more in exports than we bought in imports, and they were afraid that countries taxing our imports would hurt our economy even further.  But there was never a question of our companies moving overseas and then shipping their goods back to us.

Globalization wants you to think that putting your own country first over other countries is selfish.  They will use such terms as nationalism and protectionism as disparaging terms to shame compliance with their agenda.  The argument is also framed as greedy corporations wanting protection from foreign competitors, resulting in consumers paying higher prices to benefit that corporation. 

The fact is that our government needs money to provide necessary services.  The government has no money of its own.   The money has to come from somewhere.  When we don’t tax imports, then we have to tax our own people more.  When we tax imports, we can tax our own people less. 

Why is taxing imports preferable to taxing our own people?  Imports compete directly for American jobs.  So whatever we save on cheaper imports from not taxing them, we pay for in lost jobs and higher taxes.  So ultimately it costs us more when we don’t tax imports.

Growing up, we always had access to foreign made goods.  We usually paid a little more for them, but it was often considered worth it because they were either unique or thought to be of better quality.  But it was never our companies sending our own stuff back to us.

But just as families put their needs over that of their neighbors, so countries need to put their needs over that of their neighbors.  Each family is a unit of society motivated by love and responsibility.  It is also the largest unit of society that individuals can actually control, so to speak.  I can’t control what goes on in my neighbor’s house, just as we cannot control what goes on in another country. 

If we take care of our country first, like we take care of our families first, and other countries take care of their countries like they take care of their own families, we will all do our best for our own.  We have always helped other countries, but it is the difference between giving them a fish or teaching them how to fish.  The first has a limited impact, but the latter an unlimited impact.  You don’t give them our jobs; you show them how to create their own.   

Friday, July 17, 2015

gay marriage again - a response to a letter in the paper

The issue of gay marriage is far from settled, just like the issue of abortion wasn’t settled by a Supreme Court decision either.

The issue isn’t about who you love or whether you were born a certain way.  The issue is children, whether a child has a right to a mother and a father. 

Whether you believe in God or evolution, they both ended up at the same place.  It takes a man and a woman to create a child.  The Bible talks a lot about the roles of both parents.  Without a Bible, we have no idea of how things are supposed to be.  We all have opinions but no one to tell us if one is right or wrong.

With gay marriage, people want to remove a mother or a father from a child’s life and call it good, no, just as good, in fact equal, to a family with both natural parents.  It’s true that children often grow up without one or both of their natural parents, but nobody has been calling that good or just as good as if the child had both parents. But with gay marriage they want to call it equal.

Who has the right or who gave anyone the right to take one or both of a child’s parents from them and then try to tell them that they didn’t really need them, that this arrangement is just as good?

This trend has been a long time coming, with surrogate mothers, sperm donors, and the normalization of single mothers.  But up until now, nobody has been calling them equal to the natural family.  Gay marriage is that next step, and it is one step too far.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

How to fix the pension crisis in Illinois

Why is nobody talking about changing the Illinois State Constitution with regard to pensions?  I’m not one to change constitutions lightly, but the one sentence added to the 1970 Constitution regarding pensions is nothing essential to our form of government and certainly was not a provision that was debated with public input to ensure a government that best represented the people and that had their best interests in mind.  Somebody wanted to protect a benefit that was too good to be true and likely to be looked at in future budget discussions.  So this provision locked it up, and politicians could act like this was untouchable.

If and when people start talking about fixing the Constitution with regard to pensions, we will no doubt be flooded with stories about former public employees just scraping by on a measly pension, as if we are required to provide a generous middle class lifestyle for life for all former state employees.

But those who are serious about correcting our pension system will find outrageous, even criminal abuses of our system, things like career end promotions that boosts one’s lifelong pension payments; people retiring in their 50s, living off the state, meaning, everybody else pays them generously while they go out and get another similar job, six figure pensions with full health insurance.

I wouldn’t charge the recipients of these benefits with criminal behavior, but those who made them possible should be held responsible for criminal abuse of the public trust and public money.