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:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCb-RztuRKdCEQzgbhp52dCw

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

Thank you.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

It’s Time for a Second American Revolution

It’s time for a second American Revolution.  Wait.  Let me correct that.  It’s past time.  If the Founding Fathers were alive today, we would already be either in a second revolution or it would have been over.

Why do I say this?

We need to look first at what they said at the time of the first one, beginning with the Declaration of Independence. 

“We hold these truths to be self-evident:That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that,

to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men,

deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed;

that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends,
it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and

organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.  Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that

mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism,

it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.

Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.”

The Founders said that we have rights as human beings given to us by God which include life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Government exists to see that we have and enjoy these rights, and governments derive their power from the consent of the people. 

When government works against those purposes, the people have a right, even a duty, to alter or abolish it.

But wait.  Isn’t this what elections are for?

The election process has become so corrupt in our country as to often dilute if not thwart the will of the people:

1)         First, representative districts have become so gerrymandered that there are few choices for many political offices (most, in my state) and the same people who stay in office become less responsive to the needs and wants of the people as they rely more on certain people to help them stay in office.   
2)         The number of illegal immigrants is so high that their numbers inflate population numbers to skew the number of representatives a state is legally allowed to have, shifting political power to states more likely to favor a role of government that is more actively involved in the lives of its people, in a word, socialism.  This is contrary to our Founders’ vision of liberty and pursuit of happiness, because it involves the government controlling more of your labor and wealth to use as it sees fit rather than you doing that yourself.  
            This also gives a state more electoral votes than it should have in Presidential elections. 
3)         Political parties, while an early feature in American history, greatly limit the choices for political office and essentially block any person not in those parties from being elected.  Having a third person in most elections allows a person to win an election with less than a majority of the vote, usually giving the election to the candidate of the other major political party who should not have won.
4)         Our government has created so much government dependency that it is impossible for people to vote to end it when they are the recipients.
5)         We have lost our moral compass so that parties will do whatever is necessary to win an election.  The city I grew up in had (has) a motto: Vote early and vote often.  Many states and cities are so welcoming to illegal immigrants and so resistant to means of safeguarding the integrity of elections, it would be naïve if you thought illegal residents are not voting in numbers that are significant.
6)         Media have become so lax and useless in their role as informants of the public that they make it necessary for people seeking political office to raise enormous amounts of money to get their message out.  This ends up giving us politicians who owe a lot of very rich people a lot of very large favors

And when these politicians do get elected, they find a government so unwieldy that gradual change won’t help it.  It’s like a person so obese, he is confined to bed.  To try to reduce his weight enough so he can resume normal activity solely by diet would take years, if it is at all possible.  His metabolism has become so slow, he would probably die before achieving any kind of mobility.  This person would require radical surgery to remove an enormous amount of his bulk.  I don’t even know if that is possible.  Can you imagine eliminating a million government employees?

It’s true that our Founders wanted to make change a slow process in government.  That helps to prevent sudden mass swings on government policies based on public emotions, like we saw happen with the gay marriage issue.  We’ve lost a lot of that slow process.  Courts can now change major issues overnight.  Doesn’t matter what the people want.

But after several hundred years, small things have become big things.  Small changes over time become big changes.  But small changes are easier to accept when they occur.  Incremental changes in the same direction over generations will produce huge changes, but newer generations won’t know what was lost, how far we have come as a nation, or how it was supposed to look in the first place.  We keep getting ‘a new normal’, and only the older people know what the old normal was.

One example is that of government agencies.  Originally all lawmaking was to be done by Congress.  With the creation of all these various agencies, thousands of regulations are made every year, which have the impact of laws.  They just don’t call them laws.  Otherwise, people might wake up and realize what’s happening.

Another example is government assistance.  We all think that having some kind of safety net for people is a good concept.  But the number of people or households who aren’t receiving some kind of government assistance keeps shrinking, and the government has to borrow money it can’t pay back to pay for it.  If you talk about cutting some of this, be prepared for being portrayed as a heartless SOB.  But talking about cutting these benefits rarely happens, because politicians are afraid of losing these votes.

All these things have been going on for years, starting small and incrementally increasing in size and scope, burdening our nation with debt and diminishing the freedom and wealth of those who live here.  But like the frog being slowly boiled to death as the temperature of the water rises, those who call for major changes are labelled extremists and out-of-touch with the national consensus.

We all know these are problems, but at least they seem to be errors of judgment, natural human tendencies and faults.  Decisions made for short term gain but failing to see the long term outcomes. 

But what about government actions that are more intentional?

It’s Time for a Second American Revolution Part 2

The Founders wrote something else besides the Declaration of Independence: the Constitution.  We hear a lot about whether things are constitutional or not, but we miss the overall goal of the thing.  That will tell us whether we are even heading in the right direction at all.  The answer to this is found in the Preamble to the Constitution:

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

All those other problems of government can be excused to an extent, but this is where we can see the real intent of government.  I believe this is where our Founders would take their stand and say, “No more.”

The first purpose of our government as listed in our founding document is to “form a more perfect union.” 

It would be helpful before looking at the role of government to look a bit at some background.

When the court called supreme removed religion (Christianity) from our schools and our public life, something that had been a part of them for almost 200 years before our nation’s founding and 170 years after its founding, something had to be found to replace it. 

A religion is not simply a system of one’s personal beliefs about God.  It’s an all-compassing worldview that describes all of life.  Nations have this as well as individuals.  So while not everybody in our country was a Christian, Christianity was the worldview under which our country ran and maintained itself.  That is why Christmas could be a national holiday, why we have a Thanksgiving, why stores and businesses were closed on Sundays for most of our history, why the Ten Commandments were posted in schools, courtrooms and government buildings all across the country, and why there were so few or no government assistance programs until the 1930s.  Churches and Christian organization did all that for free, i.e. free of public taxpayer dollars.

When that court said in 1947 that government cannot “aid religion,” it eventually removed all mention of God from our schools and public life.  A few things remained like the motto on our coins and a few words in the Pledge of Allegiance, but education became completely secular.  Everything happened in life without God causing it, motivating it, guiding it, blessing it, and there certainly was nothing that He commanded people to do so that they knew how to live. 

So a new moral code and worldview were needed to fill the void.  It was obviously secularism, but there was no complete moral system yet.  It had to be made up as we went along. 

The Ten Commandments were reduced to five guiding inviolable rules: multi-culturalism, tolerance, equality, fairness, and diversity.  Only tolerance was the responsibility of individuals.  The others were the responsibility of government.  But you had to believe in all of these to be an accepted member of society.  If you rejected any of these, you are deemed as racist, phobic, bigoted, extreme, right-wing, or any combination of these.

Again, these changes happened gradually.  With each passing generation, people knew less and less about our founding documents and what concepts like church and state meant.  So people learned to live with these things.

But something changed.   A new attitude of government developed.  It is now:

We know better than you.  We will tell you what to do, we will do what we want, and you will like it.

So go back to the Preamble.  The first goal of government mentioned is to form a more perfect union.

And just how do we do that?  For years the government has been pushing diversity.  I don’t want to push exact word meanings here, but diversity means “unlike in kind or character” and “implies both distinctness and marked contrast such diverse interests as dancing and football>.”

I’m not talking about, say, a job field that is almost entirely homogenous in its work force because people in that work force have sought to exclude others who are different.  I would submit it is wrong to lower any kinds of standards for those jobs where we get less qualified people just so we can achieve some kind of diversity.

But the kind of diversity I am talking about has primarily to do with cultures, where all cultures are considered as equal, and there is nothing unique or better about American culture that is worth keeping or protecting.  So there is no reason to favor or not favor any groups of people from coming to our country.  In fact those with cultures most like ours are almost barred from entering, and those with the greatest differences are not only preferred but sought out.

Our Founders wanted and expected and formed our government the way they did because they wanted the nation united.  How is a nation to be perfectly united when its people can’t even agree on the most basic questions about life?  Married people have a hard time achieving a perfect union, and they enter that relationship willingly and after having committed themselves to each other in love.  Asking or expecting people to unite who don’t share the same culture or values is asking quite a bit.  I don’t believe a nation has ever done that before.

The government is supposed to make things easier for us, not harder.  It is not supposed to force things on its people that they naturally see problems with.  That is not the role of government.

The Preamble goes on: to insure [sic] domestic tranquility. 

Do you know what tranquility means?  Freedom from disturbance or agitation.  It is not the government’s job to force things on the American people and tell us to like it.  No, they would say we are to tolerate it.  Or, put up with it.

The latest of a long series of government imposed changes to our country is its immigration policies.  It is intent on bringing into our country as many people as possible with apparently the greatest cultural differences.   Immigrants from countries that helped build our country are routinely denied entry in favor of people the most disparate.

And now the government wants to bring in hundreds of thousands of refugees from a culture as far different from ours as any can be.  These same peoples have been migrating to Europe for generations now.  While there are exceptions, they are not assimilating.  They want to create in Europe the life they had back home.  They want Europe to become like them.  When their numbers are large enough, they will vote their way of life into existence, and you will learn to like it or live with it.  Did you know that Christmas is very offensive to them?  Not the part about exchanging gifts and having family over, but the part about the birth of Jesus, the Son of God.             

In the past, we made all of our goods here, so we could absorb new immigrants readily, because as the numbers of people grew, so did the jobs.   But our government essentially drove the jobs overseas, and now most of the new people coming here will be on public assistance for years.  Paid for with borrowed money that we will never pay off.

Sure, we have always been a nation of immigrants.  European immigrants.  Was that because we were racists?  No.  That’s because it was Europeans who founded our country, and they thought it wise to preserve the make-up of our country. 

European countries were all Christian nations, or what could also be described as Western Civilization.  Our schools used to all teach classes on Western Civilization.  There were reasons why science developed in the West, and human rights, and property rights, and immense wealth.   Even the poorest people in the United States had more than almost anyone else in the world.

The main difference between the United States and Europe is that the United States had the concept of equality of people and did not have a state church.  Europe had a noble class from which they had their kings, queens, and royalty.

Does this mean that these other peoples cannot assimilate, or melt in our melting pot?  No, but it does mean that previously there was a lot less to assimilate and that they were more likely to do so. 

But we also had a common all-encompassing worldview that covered all of life.  And we taught this to our children in our schools, and it guided our public life.

Our Founders broke from the British government, because, in a word, it was not protecting and promoting our “safety and happiness.”  Got that?  They expected the government to contribute to the happiness of its people.  And that was worth fighting for.

Government is supposed to work to form a more perfect union, ensure domestic tranquility, promote the general welfare. and secure “the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.”  Our government is hellbent on doing everything possible to divide our nation, ensure unrest and discord, promote the welfare of everybody else over its own people, and cripple our posterity with an unconscionable amount of debt.

Our government is miserably failing the task given to it by our Founders.  Maybe that is worded wrong.  That would assume they are even trying.  If the Founders were alive today, they would be thoroughly fed up to the point of abolishing our government and starting over.  Unfortunately, there aren’t enough people in leadership positions today who have the knowledge and wisdom of our Founders to make it right.  And the people don’t have the moral and Christian values to have the self-restraint to shun government assistance and the knowledge and strength to debunk secularism, restore a Christian worldview, and correct the false narratives as to our nation’s history. 


In other words, we need a revolution, but we don’t have the wherewithal right now to make things better.  We need a revival among the Christians, an active engagement of them in public life, like they used to do before government made much of it illegal, and, lastly, we need an education in American history so that we really know what our country is all about.

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