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, October 18, 2015

Trying to Understand Why Things Don’t Get Done in Washington

A reader of the Herald (Oct. 15) wants to show us how Washington is broken, but he missed the point entirely of the article he used to illustrate and prove his case, and he misunderstands the nature of the divide in Washington.

Suppose your spouse had maxed out all your credit cards and was borrowing money to pay the minimum balances of them every month.  Your spouse won’t stop, so you go to marriage counseling, and the counselor advises you to compromise.  But what would a compromise look like?  A new credit card with a lower spending limit?

A compromise in Washington in such a situation is to lower the rate of spending increases.  If interest rates were to go back to normal, we will be paying almost a trillion dollars a year in interest alone.  Some people in Congress believe that this has to stop.  A compromise will only mean that spending increases and borrowing won’t end; they will just increase more slowly.

The writer also apparently missed the point of the reference in the article to Article 1.  That’s the part in the Constitution that spells out the role of Congress.  The Federalist Papers, that were written to explain the Constitution in order to help get it ratified, states that the powers of the Federal government are few and defined.  A lot of Congressmen believe that the federal government is doing a lot of things that it is not authorized to do, which is one of the reasons for its massive spending.  

They believe we need to follow the Constitution better, otherwise our country won’t be the country we started out with.  When we followed the Constitution more closely, things have worked out quite well.  If we start a new course, it’s not likely to be an improvement, seeing already this massive debt we have incurred so quickly.

There is strong opposition to our President and his administration, because many in Congress see an eager willingness on their part to bypass the Constitution and a continual failure on the President’s part to execute the laws of the land.  He chooses which laws to obey, and he has often just changed laws as he sees fit.  So, while there may be some Republicans who oppose Obama for political or other less noble reasons, there have been too many instance of this lack of regard for the Constitution to make general opposition to the administration justifiable.

And, finally, Republicans want to be more aggressive with the media, because the media are painting a picture of Washington that the Republicans assert is false.

For example, the House is supposed to control the spending, but if they don’t fund everything the President wants, he threatens a veto.  The government could then shut down for a lack of a budget, or authorized spending, and the media and the Democrats blame the Republicans.

The House could fund everything but one thing, like, say, Planned Parenthood, and the President threatens a veto, and the Republicans are accused of wanting to shut the government down over something as silly as this.  Everything else is fully funded, but the President won’t accept it, and the whole government shuts down?

Years ago, the House used to fund the government piecemeal, approving appropriations for different parts of the government at different times.  If the funds are approved, there is no reason to shut anything down.  The choice to shut the government down is the President’s, not Congress’.  But the media and the Democrats will blame the Republicans.  And the public seems to buy it. 

So the Republicans see that they need to be far aggressive in telling the public how things are supposed to work, because they are not hearing it from the media or the administration. 

As I see it, our country is going through an identity crisis.  We used to have a consensus on what America is all about.  Now we have differences of opinion, so we need to be patient while we all work this out.