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.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

a response to this "humanitarian crisis"

The Sun-Times (Dec. 29) printed a guest column telling us to put our fears aside and bring in thousands of Muslim refugees into our country.  What could go wrong?

In the old days, Americans were proud of their Western culture.  We taught it in our schools to our children, and immigrants were expected to assimilate into our society.  And they did.  Gladly.

But now we celebrate diversity, where every culture is as good as another, and American culture has a lot to be ashamed of.  So we no longer expect assimilation, and not surprisingly there is less of it.
Europe has taken in Muslim immigrants for generations now, and the continent is in turmoil.  Watch some of the thousands of videos on youtube coming out of Europe showing the clash of cultures.

We forget too that Muslims have a problem unique to their religion.  At any given time, they can become radicalized and start to kill people.  This can happen without warning, and apparently it can happen to anyone, Muslim, that is.  Radical Christians or Jews may pray more, but they don’t blow themselves up or shoot lots of people.  There is a worldwide epidemic of this going around right now, and it is irresponsible to think that we are not endangering the lives of people here by bringing in thousands of people most likely to be infected with this disease.  We forget that when people move here, their families are here forever.

There are between 19 and 55 million refugees in the world today (depending on who’s counting).  Are these the only ones we can help?  And is making them a permanent part of our country the only or best way to help them?  Wouldn’t it be a lot easier to provide assistance until the war is over, and they can return to their own homes?


We have a responsibility to the people living here first.  Sorry, but that’s what governments are supposed to do.  Take care of their own people first. 

Monday, December 28, 2015

Muslims and human rights

A Herald political cartoon (Dec. 26) touched on three hot topics and got them all wrong.

It began talking about “human rights violations” of Muslims committed or suggested in our country.  Some would refer this to the suggested suspension of Muslims entering our country.  They forget that entering another country is never a right but a privilege, except perhaps if you are fleeing across a border to save your life, but certainly not if it is across an ocean. 

I just read that as of 2013, there were over a million people on our terror watch list, probably 99+% of whom are Muslim.  That is more than 1 in ten the number of Muslims currently living in our country.  Why should we spend billions of dollars every year monitoring them to see if or when they commit an act of terror, hopefully before they do?  We recently saw a case where we failed and 14 people did.

We are told that they don’t represent true Islam, yet the entire Muslim world is divided between Sunnis and Shiites who will go to war in an instant over which is the truer Islam.  And there are very few Muslims countries in the world where Christians or Jews would feel comfortable yet alone safe.

The question must be asked whether there is something inherent in Islam that explains all these Muslims involved in mass killings.   This is not a problem with other religions, only Islam.  We are told that these are only violent people who use religion as an excuse for their violence.  But again.  Why is it only in Islam that we have this problem?

Many Muslims in our country defend Islam, denying the violence link, but that’s a bit like calling City Hall or the police department and asking if there is any corruption there.  Better to bring in somebody from the outside to answer that question.

The cartoon mentions Gitmo, suggesting that this is where human rights violations are indeed common.  The Guantanamo Bay prison is where we keep our prisoners of war.  Countries at war do this to keep enemy combatants away from the fight until the war is over.  It’s unfortunate this war is taking so long.  Our country is trying to fight a kinder, gentler war than in the past, and those don’t end quickly.  If we have used harsh interrogation tactics, the intent has been to gain information.  Our policy has never been to inflict pain merely for our own enjoyment.

Lastly, the cartoon mentions this common refrain about who we are as a nation.  Let me tell you who we are as a nation.

We are a nation that will recall a million pounds of ground beef if we think there is a possibility it might be contaminated.  We are the last nation in the world to approve a cancer treating drug, because we want to be absolutely sure this drug is safe for use.

There has been a worldwide epidemic of Muslim terrorism for decades now.  Exercising some caution with regard to Muslim immigration is indeed called for, particularly since Muslims can apparently become radicalized without warning at any given time.  This is not a problem with any other identifiable group of people.

If Muslims were airbags, they would have been recalled a long time ago.  And if they were imported airbags, they would never enter our country.


Trump is right.  We have a lot of stupid people running our county.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Should we believe in climate change?

The Sun-Times (Dec. 14) and at least one reader (Dec.24) believes that it is important that we elect a President who believes in climate change.  This decision will have long lasting major implications for our country.  Even if our country did everything that these proponents of climate change want, the impact on global temperatures, even by their calculations, would be minimal, yet the costs would be enormous.

Personally, I am skeptical of the whole thing.  Why?  Several reasons, but the first fact we need to understand is that prior to the age of satellites, the very idea of knowing an average global temperature was impossible.  So that means we only have about 60 years of reliable data. 

Yet we know of a number of long periods of cold and warm ‘ages’ lasting hundreds of years, and these were all prior to the industrial age.  I understand that roughly around 800 A.D. to 1200 A.D. there was a warm spell, which allowed the Vikings to sail to the Western hemisphere.  There followed then another period of cold that lasted around another 400 years.   


Sixty years of precise data about a climate that they say has existed for billions of years is not enough to prove a long term trend that requires us to further depress our economy and to spend (borrow) untold billions of dollars on government approved and funded projects that will most likely just profit the insiders with the connections, like with Solyndra, where an Obama donor got billions of dollars for a company that soon went bankrupt.

what's wrong with affordable housing

A reader (Dec. 24) is disappointed by some of the responses to the proposed affordable housing in Wilmette.  I am one of those who oppose this, and I wrote to both the village and the organization involved to express my concerns.

‘Affordable’ is code for subsidized, and federal tax credits is another way the government spends money it doesn’t have in a way where they can avoid calling it spending.


The government feels compelled to solve every hardship and problem of society by spending money on it such that we are now $19 trillion in debt.  This is not only irresponsible but criminal.  We used to deal with problems like this through private charitable organizations.  Relying on the government has sapped and stifled true public involvement in the lives of others.

A letter to my son

Hi ______

You are my son.  I love you more than anything else in the world.

There is one way that I have let you down, and I am sorry for that.  Let me try to make it up to you.

There is nothing more important in life than God.  You’ve already experienced a miracle in your life when I saved it that day.  But then you said that you didn’t remember anything.  I remember it very vividly, and it makes me sick.  That noise I heard in the kitchen when I knew something was wrong.  What if I hadn’t been there right at that time?  I wouldn’t have been there if I hadn’t had that heart attack.  I should have been at work.

Lifting that weight off you was a miracle.  I had to lift it over that curling attachment.  I don’t even remember doing that.  I grabbed the bar and set it on the floor.  I don’t remember anything in between.

You went into convulsions.  I immediately put my hands on your chest and neck and commanded you to be healed in Jesus’ name.  And you were.   Most people I am sure at that point would have run upstairs to call 911.   You might have been a vegetable by then.  I don’t know.  But you were fine and went back to your workout. 

Nobody knows how life works out.  What I mean is that nobody knows how much God influences or brings together events.  This event required a number of ‘chance’ circumstances for everything to have worked out.

I had to be close by when it happened.  Why was I home at all?  If I didn’t believe in healing like I do, your life today could be living in a wheelchair or being dead. 
One thing I do know about God is that He wants and expects to be a very big part of our lives.  Actually first.   The most important thing in life to do is to love Him with all of our heart, soul, strength, and might.  Those are His words. 

But what does that look like?  It shows itself in different ways with different people.  But there is at least one common thread.  It affects one’s whole life such that you can’t do it in secret.  It changes your priorities, the things you do, the things you love, how you spend your time, everything.  God is what gives any real sense of meaning to life.  Without God we are just random molecules that collide and have reactions with other molecules.  There is no real point in living apart from just enjoying yourself until you die.  Doing good things for other people can give one some satisfaction, but life is just a matter of staying busy so as not to get bored, trying to minimize any pain or discomfort until we die and go into oblivion.

But God says that we are created in His image.  That means that we are not just physical beings but that we have a mind and a soul.  Our lives exist and will exist apart from our bodies, and there is no real end to our existence.  Heaven or hell.  Life has consequences.  We have purpose.  Life is about something. 

Everybody will have a different specific mission in life, but there are some common threads.  The Bible is our instruction manual, our guidebook, the rulebook, our education in the fine workings of life, the communication from headquarters, our Father’s heart to heart talk with us, our spiritual food for the soul that we need to feed on, our light in the darkness, our compass giving us directions, our protection against error, deception, temptation, or bad choices. 

Anybody who doesn’t read the Bible regularly and tries to learn it doesn’t have a clue about God and life.  They are walking in darkness and are lucky that they don’t walk off a cliff.  I saw an old Bible that you had sitting in our attic.  Do you have another one?

Another common thread is church.  I know I don’t go, and the reasons are actually complicated.  I certainly would rather be in church on Sundays than working.  When I started in this business, they didn’t even sell meat on Sundays.  But I wanted to go into the ministry, but that didn’t work out for a lot of reasons. But this is after a lifetime of going to church, so what I am missing now is not as critical, at least in most ways.  It’s not as important for a person who graduated from college to go to school compared with somebody who never finished grammar school.  Church is about a lot more than just getting an education, but I believe God is preparing me for something else.  But that’s another story.

You and I are both loners.  That’s why we work out with weights instead of joining a basketball or bowling league.  But the Bible says that church is like a human body.  Each part has a different function, but they all work together to form a person.  So the church is like a huge team, an army, a nation, a multi-national corporation.  It has a mission of transforming the world, and it can’t do that as a bunch of individuals.  A running back is going nowhere without blockers. 

Now if none of this is making your heart beat faster in anticipation, then there is something that is missing.  Your life isn’t plugged in.  The switch is shut off.  The motor is out of gas.  There are no batteries.  The thing is broken.  You need a new one. 

A new what?  A new life.  Spiritually we all start out dead.  Young children are aware of God more than we are, but as they get older, it’s like the light just keeps getting dimmer.  They need an awakening, a new beginning.  Actually it’s called a new birth.  And it’s a lot like getting married.  Life is full of so many analogies that picture this reality of God.  That’s why so much of life is the way it is.

Marriage is a choice where two lives become one.  A relationship with God starts with a choice.  Not always conscious whet n it begins, but a definite choice nonetheless.  Marriage has a ceremony that marks the beginning of it, and sex is called the consummation of the marriage.  Without it the marriage is not complete.  But sex alone doesn’t make the marriage; both are required.

So accepting God, or beginning a life with God, requires a conscious beginning.  The Bible calls this baptism, though the Church has kind of garbled the message.  It emphasizes the fact of a personal commitment to Christ, sometimes called asking Jesus into your heart.  Baptism is often neglected.  

But both are important.  Just like a wedding is a ceremony, it needs vows.  A wedding without vows is just a ceremony, and vows without a wedding don’t hold weight. 

So a life with God needs a beginning.  We aren’t always sure when it begins, but we can tell if it has begun by what we see afterwards.  If you plant a seed, you will see something grow.  If nothing is growing, there is either no seed or it never took.  And if it is growing, it will be seen by everyone who looks at it.

I know you accept the Christian worldview.  A religion is a description of life, basically telling what is true in life.  But it is also a person, a relationship.  And like getting married, it involves a commitment.  You know a lot of people, but there will only be one who you are married to.  This person becomes the center of your life.  The one you always go home to.  And God is the same way.
Jesus is the one who connects us with God.  (Deep theology here.)  God in Himself is just too big and too holy to connect with human beings as we are.  Not originally but something happened early on that changed things.  So Jesus’ death and resurrection make it all possible.  And Jesus is the one who we get married to, though He is actually the husband, but that’s another story as well.

When we invite Jesus into our lives, commit ourselves to Him, accept His as our savior, get baptized, something happens.  Again, this part gets a little garbled at times as well, but we become born again.  The Bible talks about having someone lay hands on us (this is another way the church is important), and we receive the Holy Spirit.  Most Christians don’t do this, but I think they are missing something important.  But anyway, things change.  God starts working in our lives to change us into his image.  

It’s a slow, lifelong process, but it’s like stopping your car, turning around, and going in the opposite direction.  But there should also be desires and a new passion for God.  We finally realize just what God is all about, and we are overwhelmed.  They call that worship.  Churches try to do that on Sundays, and it’s always better to do that in groups, though it takes place all the time in people who have encountered God.

So Christmas is in a few days.  This is why it is so big.  God entered the world so He could have an intimate relationship with people like us. 

You grew up in a family where we always believed all this, but just like you moved out and started on your own, your life with God requires just as decisive of a move.  At home we cooked your meals and made many of your important decisions for you.  Now you do that.  Same with God.  If you had made this decision with God, I think at least mom and I would be more sure that you had. 

God gave us families for a lot of reasons.  But know that He loves you more than we do.  And He wants your love and respect just like we do, only on a much bigger scale. 

Everything I have done for you in life is for nothing, if this part isn’t right.  My life isn’t complete until I know that my sons love God as much as I do and that they want His will for their lives.

love,

pops


Saturday, December 5, 2015

Two Invented Diseases that will Destroy our Country

Did you see it?  Did you hear about it?  Possibly the scariest things I have seen or heard in my life.  Just happened.  No, not the shootings.  After that.  On the news.

I call these things diseases.  Invented diseases.  Few things scare people like diseases.  You never know when it will strike, and most people feel powerless when it does.

The first is the disease of radicalism.  It can take hard working average Americans and turn them into mass murderers almost overnight.  One day they are normal as heck, and the next they are bloodthirsty killers.  No warning signs.  No symptoms.  It just happens.  Apparently it can happen to any of us.

At least this is how it is presented.  And they expect people to actually believe it.  They seem to believe it themselves.

And this radicalism apparently has nothing to do with the religion of peace. 

Let me quickly introduce this second invented disease, because there is a close connection between the two.  One will shed light on the other.

The other disease is political correctness.  Now I know that has been around for a long time, but much of it has been harmless.  We talk about people being intellectually challenged rather than retarded or humans rather than the generic man, as in humankind vs. mankind.

But there is a pathological side to it where you are trying so hard to put a positive spin on things you miss some things that can put you in danger.

We talk about Islamic extremists or Islamic radicals, and then we want to say that they have nothing to do with Islam.  But we miss something.

I have known or known of radical Christians.  They might spend the night in prayer, they might fast for a week or longer, they might stand on street corners and preach to the people walking past.  Now all the moderate Christians believe in prayer.  They know a bit about fasting and that many Christians do it from time to time when they are serious in prayer about something.  They also believe it is important on reaching people for God, though they can’t see themselves doing street evangelism. 

I have known of radical Catholics.  I went to a Catholic church for a while.  I love the quiet before the Mass.  The whole atmosphere speaks of worship and God’s glory.  But then there was this man who kept saying the Hail Mary out loud real loud, over and over.  I started wearing ear plugs before the service so I could get some peace and quiet again.  A radical Catholic.

There are orthodox Jews who only eat Kosher, won’t even turn on a light switch or the heat on the Sabbath, and let the hair on the sides of their face grow long.  All these practices have some basis in their holy book, the Bible, or The Torah.  Radicals, or orthodox as they call them.

So the question that nobody wants to ask is:  if a Muslim becomes radicalized or extreme, what Muslim practice or practices are they taking to the extreme?  That’s what radicals and extremists do.  They take something that everybody in their group does or is supposed to do, or is written somewhere in their holy book that is a good thing, and then they do it far more than anyone else.  They do it to the extreme.

Why do all these radical Muslims think it is important to kill people?  Can’t they show their radicalness in some other way?  Why aren’t they praying ten times a day instead of only five?  Why not visit Mecca every year and not just once in a lifetime?  Why not fast more than just that one month?  Why not give twice the amount an average Muslim gives to the needy?

Either these Islamic terrorists are just bloody murderers, or they are radical Muslims.  For some reason they all think they are doing this in the name of Allah.  Why would they think that this is what Allah wants?

One way to see what a radical Muslim looks like is to look at regular Muslims.  Our leaders and 
media think the way to do this is to interview Muslims in our country.  No.  The way to know what moderate Islam looks like is to look at Muslim countries to see what they do when they don’t have to put up a good front, or try to make a good impression, where they don’t have to try to blend in.
And what do we find?  With no real exception, we find a culture that is hostile to both Christians and Jews.  It is true that the Church has had a long history in a number of Muslim countries, most notably Egypt, Syria, and Iraq.  The Church actually did alright when those countries were run by dictators, but when the dictators left, for whatever reason, Christians were either forced to flee or face almost certain death.  Same for Jewish people.

Now these diseases of becoming radicalized or political correctness see no connection between radicalism and Islam.  Radicalism can happen to anyone regardless of one’s religious or cultural background.  And they see nothing inherent in Islam that would explain why they have so many radicals and why they all manifest their zeal in the same bloodthirsty ways. 

So trying to see the best in everybody, the United States and Europe are doing their best to bring in as many Muslims as they can, and they see this as a good thing without any real dangers here.  Go to  youtube and watch the countless videos coming out of Europe about what happens when the number of Muslims in a country reaches a certain critical mass.  If we can’t or won’t see what is happening, we will be powerless to stop it when it happens.  Why would we want to throw away all that we have? 


It’s happening slowly like the frog being boiled to death.  If it happened suddenly, we would all wake up and know we are in danger.  But it is happening slowly.  We accept a little bit here, a little bit there, and then it’s too late to undo.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Vetting the refugees: a page from their handbook

A lot of people are concerned that these Muslim refugees that our President wants to bring into our country are properly vetted.  I was able to obtain a page from the vetter’s handbook that we use to vet them, and I reproduce it here.

6)         You have a neighbor who is an evangelical Christian.  He invites you to his house for a Bible study.  What do you do?
            a)         Go to it.  Maybe you can then invite him to your mosque and tell him about Islam.
            b)         Thank him for the invitation, but say that you would rather not at this time.
            c)         Kill him.
7)         You are worried that your young daughter will be corrupted in modern American culture.  What do you do?
            a)         Get her involved in a youth group at the mosque to keep her busy.
            b)         Get her a female genital mutilation.
            c)         Kill her.
8)         Your nephew has become a born-again Christian.  He wants to talk to you about Jesus.  What do you do?
            a)         Ask your imam to go see him.
            b)         Talk to your Muslim community with people with similar problems seeking their advice.
            c)         Kill him.
9)         Your child’s teacher at school tells your child that all cultures are equal, and that we need to be tolerant of other cultures.  Your child agrees with her.  What do you do?
            a)         Meet with the teacher and explain how Islam is an exception to this rule.
            b)         Kill her.
            c)         Kill her and your child.
10)       A co-worker got into a discussion about religion and said that all religions are alike, manmade inventions, and people like Muhammad are just charlatans.  What do you do?
            a)         Engage him in discussion and ask him to show evidence for his statements.
            b)         Invite him to your mosque so he can see the truth of your religion.
            c)         Kill him.
11)       Your teenage daughter has begun dating a non-Muslim boy.  What do you do?
            a)         Have the adult members of the family talk to her of her responsibility to her family and her religion.
            b)         Ban her from seeing this boy anymore and restrict her social life.
            c)         Kill her.
­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­______________________________________________________
Scoring:           There are no right or wrong answers to these questions.  What matters is that you answered the questions truthfully and sincerely.  Who are we to judge the religion or culture of another?  In the West, we consider all religions and cultures to be equal.  All we ask is that these are sincere beliefs.

You have passed the vetting process.  Welcome to the United States!  You will be contacted shortly about where and when you may move into your new home, and your government assistance payments will begin a week or so after you move in.  Again, welcome to your new home!

Do we need more gun laws?

Our country once banned alcohol.  It kept a lot of people from getting it, but it gave rise to a huge underground business.  Remember Al Capone?  We ended up repealing the ban.

Guns have always been a part of the American way of life.  Our Founders thought this was a good thing.  Guns were a safeguard against dictators like they saw so often in Europe.

If guns have now become a problem after 240 years, we should first ask why.  What happened?  What changed in American culture?  Guns didn’t just now become available to the public.

I will say that this is due to the rise of the secular society, the marginalization of religion and the removal of it from our public schools, the multiculturalism that refuses to take moral stands on right and wrong until something gets really, really big.


Schools used to have rifle clubs; now we have metal detectors.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

The one thing missing in all this discussion about the Syrian refugees

When I read articles about the Syrian refugee crisis, it usually reminds me of the story of the Emperor’s New Clothes.  There is something important here which nobody wants to mention. 
Refugees are not abandoned and abused puppies who will become good pets if given the right home.  Refugees are people whose descendants will become a permanent part of our country, in numbers far greater than that of those who first came here.. 

This latest article in the Sun-Times (December 3) wants us to think of all refugees as simply people who we need to let live in our country.  This is the only way apparently that we can help them.  The author makes no mention of the fact that the refugees in question here are almost all Muslims. 

Many people today find it necessary at this point to ask why this is significant.  People are people who just yearn to live free and go on welfare.  (Sorry.)  No, the real reason why this is important is that Muslims only seem to assimilate to another culture when they are in the smallest minority.  As their numbers reach a critical mass, you will be asked first to accommodate them and later to assimilate to their culture.

In the West, we teach in all our schools now that all cultures are equal.  None is better than another.  So why should we expect anyone to embrace ours? 

But Muslims have been moving to Europe for generations now, and the results are in.  Europe is being torn apart as the two cultures clash, and it is only European culture which is acquiescing.  After all, Europeans (and Americans) are taught to be tolerant.   That is another word for being passive. 

Anyway, the Europe we had come to know and love from our history books and travel, the knights, the castles, and the cathedrals, is looking more and more like a third world country.  Don’t take my word for it.  Go to youtube and watch the countless videos coming out of Europe showing how Muslim migration is changing Europe. 

Our Constitution begins like this:
“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 ...

This is what our government is supposed to do for the American people.  We fought a war for the right to have a government that would do these things.


Bringing in thousands of Muslims who will in time become millions into our country will not form a more perfect union, will not insure [sic] domestic tranquility, will not promote the general welfare, and will not secure the blessings of liberty to our children (posterity).