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

Monday, January 25, 2016

America is dying, and Christians can't make up their minds what to do about it

Christians came to the United States, before it was called that, to escape persecution, to live their lives according to their conscience.  Now persecution has followed us here, and there is nowhere else to go.  We had the freest country in the world to live out our faith, and that is being taken away from us.  And Christians have to decide what they are going to do about it.

If our Founding Fathers were alive today, there already would have been a Second American Revolution.  If the Christians today were alive back then, there never would have been a first one.
Christians today are divided.  Many of them see persecution as something that is inevitable and even something to embrace.  Then they should admit that the American Revolution was a mistake, and the United States should never have come into existence.  After all, people took up arms and fought a war in order to have it. 

What makes it all so confusing is that the Bible was written at a time when the world was ruled by kings.  There was no such thing as freedom, at least as we have come to know it in the United States.  Christians read Romans 13 and I Peter and see their place in American society as one of passively accepting whatever the government decides is right.

What they are forgetting is that we don’t have kings any more.  Or rulers.  Or Caesars.  We have representatives.  It’s like somebody came into your house and told you how to run your house and to give you half of your money.  Would you just let them do whatever they wanted, or at what point would you stand up and defend yourself, your property, your family?

It’s the same thing with our country, only on a bigger scale.  Government was an extension of the way you ran your house.  America respected your freedoms, but it came at a price. 

But what happened is that change came gradually, like the frog in the pot who didn’t notice that the fire was on until the water started boiling but then it was too late to jump out.

America is unique, or was unique.  But we forgot what made it unique.  We forgot what made us what we were.  So when people started changing things, we didn’t know we were giving up the things that made us what we were.

So what changed?  I could give you a list, but the list almost isn’t even important. 

Christians in the United States had the greatest blessing that God could give a human being in terms of an earthly blessing: freedom.  But they fought a war to get it.  But not just any war.  They fought a war against their very own government.  This was not a defensive war to protect their loved ones from an attacking enemy.  This was a war of resistance against a government that was stifling their freedom. 

Christians today seem unwilling to fight such a war, and as a consequence, they will lose their freedoms, and in a few generations, the United States will cease to exist.  The name might stay the same, but the Church will be irrelevant, and the country will be very unlike the one that was created. 

Don’t look for the persecution to bring revival.  What you are calling humility is fear.  What you are calling submission is timidity.  What you are calling love is accommodation borne of fear. 

The Bible had prophets, but they stirred up things and we don’t want strife.  We want everything to run smoothly.  We call that unity, but the price for that unity is weakness. 

We have reduced the Christian life to a ticket to heaven when we die, and Bible studies and small groups to keep us busy until we get there.  We have withdrawn from the world around us, because we are so focused on our own spiritual lives, like the monks of old but without the sackcloths, funny haircuts, and the walls that clearly define where their sanctuary ends and the world begins.

Our country is dying, and only the Christians can save it.  But they’re just not sure if they should.  They don’t know how.  They’re not sure if it is God’s will.  What will people think if they get excited, or angry, or if they actually say no to people, say no to the government.  They might lose their tax exemption. 

As awful as that may be, that just shows how disengaged Christians are in the world.  The government is just people like you and me.  When the government and the courts and the schools become hostile to Christians, that only means there weren’t enough Christians in government, courts, or the schools to guide and form the right policies. 

The First Congress was filled with Christians and pastors.  Now we have left all that to the atheists and the secularists, because we are too busy reading books about personal issues and sharing our feelings to get involved in the world around us. 

We are careful to give God ten per cent of our income, but then we give the government 50% of it and don’t get involved in how it spends it. 

We start Christian schools to give our kids a good education, but the rest of the kids can just go to the public schools and learn about atheism, naturalism, secularism, tolerance, homosexuality, and how every culture and religion are all equal, equally irrelevant, but mostly Christianity.  And you wonder why it is so hard to witness to people. 

Our public schools used to teach the Bible.  They probably didn’t teach you that in school or even in church.  Like I said, we don’t know where we’ve been, how we got here, so we certainly don’t know where to go from here. 

So what are we supposed to do about all this?  The first thing is to start talking about it.  And, of course, that includes the P-word: politics.  I describe it like this:  religion is your relationship with God and how you view the world.  Politics is everything else.  Christians have left the running of the world to the atheists, the secularists, and to all the people who hate everything they stand for. 

But why?  Because Congress passes a law that says tax exempt organizations can’t do politics.  Churches were the most political people and organizations in the country for 200 years, but we let one Senator tag an amendment to an unrelated bill that essentially shut the Church up, because now it was illegal for them to get too involved in politics.  Time to say, this is wrong, and we won’t be silent any more. 

When you start talking about it, you will find that you aren’t the only one thinking these things.  Maybe then you will begin to cry out to God for some leaders who will show you what to do next.  

Without a leader, Christians are nothing more than sheep without a shepherd.  With the right leaders, the Church can become “like a mighty army.”  But we don’t sing Onward, Christian Soldiers anymore.  The Church is afraid, afraid to take a stand, afraid of being criticized, afraid to challenge the thinking of the day.  It’s time to wake up.

Should we elect our Presidents by popular vote or the electoral college?

A columnist (January 24) wants to get rid of the electoral college, because the states choose the President and individual votes don’t really count, particularly when a state tends to vote for a particular party in Presidential races.  He says that candidates will often skip campaigning in a particular state, because it isn’t worth their time.

What he is missing, among other things, is that the same would hold true if we had popular votes for President.  Candidates would concentrate only on the large urban areas and skip the smaller towns and less populated states. 

Actually the Founders didn’t envision people campaigning for President in the first place.  The electors choose the best possible people for the office, and if a person didn’t have a majority of the votes, the House would then vote on the top vote getters.

But if the Founders had decided on having Presidential campaigns, there is no doubt they would have created a system like our present electoral college.  They would have the states vote for President rather than the individuals, so as not to give too much power to the larger states. 

Thursday, January 21, 2016

How Democrats lost white working class (a response to a newspaper article)

The Democrats lost the white working class through immigration.  Ever since 1965, when Ted Kennedy pushed through his immigration reform, our country has brought in almost exclusively non-whites into our country.  They then have the nerve to call any resistance to this racism.

No, it is not racism.  Our country has changed in many dramatic ways since then, and I can’t think of any real positive ones.  They say diversity enriches us.  I say it divides us and fills the voting booths with people who need the government to pay their bills. 

Democrats believe the success in winning elections is to bring in as many minorities as possible and forget about the white vote, except for the young whites who have benefited enough from public education to know the politically correct thing to do.

Who is a natural born citizen?

Now that we have a Republican Presidential candidate who is doing well in the polls, it’s time to raise the question of who is a natural born citizen.  Yes, President Obama faced a similar challenge, but he didn’t produce a birth certificate until long after he took office.  This issue didn’t merit attention from the media before then, because he was a Democrat.  The birth certificate showed some major problems, but I digress.

Is Ted Cruz a natural born citizen, having been born in Canada to an American mother? 

There is no question that he was born a citizen.  Any child born to an American citizen who happens to give birth in another country is automatically a United States citizen.  It would be a strange policy indeed that a child born to service members overseas is ineligible to run for President. 

I believe the issue that the Founders were concerned about is when an immigrant applies for citizenship and has to renounce his allegiance to his former home.  This person they would deem ineligible for the office of President.  They want to minimize any possible split in the President’s allegiance to this country.  

fixing the Chicago Public School fiscal crisis

The answer to the Chicago Public Schools fiscal problem is simple, but nobody wants to talk about it.  The public pension problem in Illinois is unconscionable, irresponsible, and I would contend criminal.  It is like legalizing robbing banks.  It’s still wrong, just legal now.

The State Constitution has to be changed.  It need only remove one sentence to fix the problem, and there is no justification for leaving that one line in there.

As long as I am here, I would like to add that I tried reading your analysis of the whole CPS problem and the proposed solutions, and I had to stop reading.  You, and too many other people, see everything as political posturing, grabs for power, and partisan politics.

That is cynicism at its worst. 

The fact is that Democrats solve fiscal problems by borrowing money and eventually raising taxes.  Republicans in general want to cut spending, so people have more money in their own pockets.  State employees, of course, live under their own rules, where they are promised money that is not there, and the people who have to pay for them are shamed into coughing it up.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Should Muslims Be Banned from Entering the United States?

Should Muslims be banned from entering the United States?  Donald Trump thinks so, and he is the only political figure I know of who does.  Speaking as a Christian, I know that a lot of Christians disagree with him as well. 

But wait a second.  What is the actual issue here?  Many of the people in our country, Muslims and non-Muslims alike, contend that Islam is a religion of peace.  Yet the world is experiencing an epidemic of terrorist violence in the name of Islam.

So which is the true Islam?  And this is the whole point. 

This is what is called a theological controversy.  Christianity has had many of these throughout its history and still does.  In Christianity’s earlier years, it would call a worldwide church council and hash it out, and the matter would pretty much be resolved. 

But then in 1054, the Church split into East and West, Catholic and Orthodox branches, and they each went their own way.  In the 1500s, the Church split again into Protestant and Catholic.

So Islam has a controversy over which is the true Islam.  People in the West want to believe that the peaceful Islam is the true one, but they are not in a position to say.  No non-Muslim government or individual has the right to take sides in a religious controversy of a different faith and declare who’s right.  At this point in Islam’s history, there is every reason that these two sides will both exist together forever.

So what does that mean for the West?  In a religious controversy, people of faith often can and will move from one side to the other. Even children of peaceful Muslims will at times hear the siren call to destroy the infidel in the name of Allah and will answer the call.  This is not a problem with any other religion.

We spend billions of dollars every year tracking over a million people on our terror watch list.  We have to take our shoes off before boarding an airplane.  Why?  Because Islamic terrorism can strike anywhere. 

There has always been violence in the world, but since the withdrawal of European powers controlling the Middle East, Islam has resumed its ambition of world domination through violence, and the world has now become a very dangerous place to live.  This danger only increases with the increase in the number of Muslims living in the West. 

I have to think that Donald Trump is right on this one.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Should we tax products made in other countries and sold here?

For most of our nation’s history, taxes on imports paid for most of our federal budget. We didn’t
have an income tax until 1916. We also made all of our own stuff, and we had jobs for everybody. Foreign products always had cheaper labor, and people always had them to choose from, but they cost more. Imports were always things like French wine, Italian cheese, and Swiss watches, foreign products made by foreign companies. They were not our companies making our things over there and then sending them back to us.
Bottom line. It’s about whatever it takes to bring our companies back here again. The cost of
buying things from other countries is a lot higher than just what we pay for them, if we don’t have those jobs over here. Higher taxes, more welfare type programs, more government borrowing,
higher inflation, etc.

what we need to learn from Martin Luther King

On Martin Luther King Day, the Herald had a front page article about King, prominently displaying a quote from him, essentially saying that only love can drive out hate.

We honor Rev. King with a holiday, but do we actually listen to the things he said?  He certainly said far more than just this one quote, but this short sentence summarizes his whole message very well.  We need to learn to love each other.

But where will we learn to do that?  Not in our schools.  They only teach tolerance, which means to put up with or to ignore each other. 

The only places I know that teach love in the way Rev. King admonished is the Bible or in churches.  It is the Bible that teaches us to love our neighbors.  And it was Jesus who taught us to love even our enemies. 

We are told that our nation was founded as a secular nation, but they are wrong.  The Founders wanted the Bible taught in public schools, because they knew that only a moral people could be a free people.  Unless a people willingly did what was right and was morally restrained from doing evil, only then would or could the government remain small.

A small government is essential to the prosperity of a people, because unless the people willingly did what was right and was self-constrained from doing evil, the government would have to grow exponentially to try to control evil, regulate our lives, and to punish wrongdoing.

Friday, January 15, 2016

citizenship and the 14th Amendment

Linda Chavez (Jan. 15) is usually spot on in her commentaries, but her latest one promotes a common misunderstanding of a very important political question: citizenship.

She puts the words in Donald Trump’s mouth, though I have heard him say different things as he learned more about the issue.  She seems to agree with the statement and to believe that “the 14th Amendment clearly states that people born on U.S. soil are citizens.”

The fact is that this has never been true without qualification.  American Indians didn’t become citizens with the 14th Amendment.  That took an act of Congress in 1924.  Children born to foreign workers in our country like diplomats don’t receive citizenship, as well as children who are born to people vacationing in our country.  Why would anybody think that a child born to somebody in our country illegally would automatically become citizens?

The right and wrong way to end gerrymandering

The Sun-Times (Jan. 15) urges people to sign a petition and to rally around a measure meant to end gerrymandering in our state.  I believe the plan it supports is not the answer.  The commission drawing up the map contains politicians, and you can be sure that you will find them trading and negotiating over the maps. 

There is only one way to get a fair map for our representatives and state senators, but the courts have already ruled against it.  The only way to get a fair map is that the only information the people drawing the map should have is where people live. 

We think of gerrymandering as being about political parties.  But it can be used for any demographic, such as age, wealth, religion, race, ethnicity, education level, level and kind of government dependency.  If politicians can’t draw maps by party affiliation, they can draw it by any number of means that can reflect how a group of people vote.  The courts have already said that gerrymandering is acceptable to ensure a black majority voting district.

Maps will continue to be used to favor or disfavor certain groups.  Maps will be drawn to minimize white voting power, maximize minority voting power, ensure that a certain minority group gets to elect somebody from their group, even by the likelihood that an area tends to be pro-life or pro-choice. 

If you believe any of these actions are justified, you will never end gerrymandering.  You will only change one form for another.  The only real solution is to draw maps based entirely on numbers and natural boundaries, like cities and neighborhoods.  Suburbs should remain intact as much as possible.  Any commission that requires political party members will not solve a political problem but only make new ones.  

Friday, January 1, 2016

Should voters be allowed to smoke?

A reader (Dec. 31) informed us of a push to raise the legal age of smoking in our country to 21.  What is ironic here is that 40 years ago there was a push to lower the voting age to 18.   The reason for this was that there was a draft, and 18 year olds were taken into the military and sent to Viet Nam.  If anyone was old enough to fight and maybe die for our country was thought to be old enough to vote.

But then we no longer have the draft today, but we do have 26 years olds still living at home and being on their parents’ medical insurance.

I bet that these same people who want to raise the legal age for smoking to 21 want to keep the legal age for voting at 18.  People who don’t have the sound judgment not to smoke surely have the sound judgment to vote for their political candidates.

I submit that the legal age for voting be raised back to 21, or even 25, the legal age for a Congressman, with exemptions for those in the military.  I would also grant exemptions for married people, homeowners, business owners, heads of households, and any other people who show indications of above average responsibility.