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

Friday, March 25, 2016

pluralism: a strength or setback

A reader recently wrote a letter that made the point that pluralism is the strength of the United States.  I submit that this is only a recent concept with no empirical or historical basis.

It was only in 1947 that the court called supreme ruled that government cannot aid or favor a particular religion, nearly 170 years after our nation’s founding, though as recently as 1955 it still noted that we are a Christian nation.

Prior to 1965, almost 200 years after our nation’s founding, immigration to our country was almost entirely from Europe, Western countries that shared a common culture and worldview, which is what a religion is.

Prior to 1965, immigrants had to meet a long list of criteria that included literacy, health, morals, and the likelihood they would not require government assistance.  Now the politically correct, global mindset is that every immigrant is of equal value and any desire to choose between them is inherently racist and evil.

The reader also criticized the idea of the American Dream, some idealized picture of American life from the past, which apparently to him never existed.

Well, it did.  In my lifetime, the United States has gone from being the richest nation the world to arguably one of the poorest.  We look rich, but you can’t be rich when you are 20 trillion dollars in debt, and that’s only our federal debt.  We used to have the best schools in the world, and now they are mediocre, at least by traditional American standards.

We used to feel safe in our homes and on the streets, even though guns were always a part of American life.  We used to have gun clubs in our public schools. 

Now we live with terror watch lists and the threat of terrorist attacks in our country, just like third world countries have had for decades.  Those of us who are older are seeing their country being transformed into a third world country with its violence and poverty. 

It would be wrong to say that pluralism is the reason for this decline in the quality of American life, but the mindset that created pluralism is: 

the idea that it is wrong for us as a nation to pursue policies that benefit us more than they might benefit the world community as a whole;

the idea that truth is not an absolute, but a social construct, that absolute truth if it existed is unknowable, such that religions are mere preferences like one’s taste in food or music rather than one’s view of the world and thus inconsequential for public policy and the life and health of a nation;

the idea that it is wrong for a nation to select immigrants on the basis on which ones would contribute more to our country, meaning also the right to refuse an immigrant who does not meet certain requirements;

the idea that Western or American culture is not something special or unique in world history but that American life should become a culture of either the lowest common denominator or reducing our entire cultural life to the bare minimum of values, like tolerance, equality, fairness, and diversity.

Instead of being our strength, pluralism is the driving force toward mediocrity and social chaos.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

government debt in Illinois: a letter to my state represenative

Hi Laura

I haven’t written to you personally for a while.  I hope you are doing well. 

There is a huge problem in our state with an obvious solution, but nobody is talking about it.

The state is broke, Chicago is broke, and the Chicago Public Schools are broke.  They keep borrowing money to meet their obligations, which not only puts them further in debt but the interest costs make every dollar they do collect of less value.

The whole problem is one sentence in the State Constitution about the ability of the state to in any way reduce pension benefits.  Yet nobody is talking about changing the Constitution. 

Is the state expecting that at some point the Federal Government will just bail them out and pay for their debt?

Oh, the Federal Government has problems of its own.  It’s 20 trillion dollars in debt. 

Do politicians actually live in the real world?  Do they have any common sense?  Do they care for anybody besides themselves? 

Of course, I am not including you in this indictment.  You are only one person in a sea of politicians.  But I haven’t heard one person speak up about this.  Not even the newspapers.  And I have written them about this a number of times.

I cannot think of any issue in Illinois right now more important than this.  And I can’t think of any other solution than the one I mentioned here.  I hope you will rise to the challenge and do the right thing.

Thank you

Larry Craig

Friday, March 18, 2016

smoking and voting

Did anybody catch the irony of the Chicago City Council? 

They raised the age of smoking to 21, because they think someone younger than 21 is, what, too stupid to know better, too immature to have sound judgment, too weak to exercise self-control, too naïve to see the real risks? 

Ask them if they think an 18 year old is too young to vote?

Since I first posted this, the state of Illinois now also wants to pass a law raising the age of buying tobacco products to 21.  I'm waiting to see if they want to raise the age of voting as well.

Everything you need to know about jobs and trade in 10 easy points

Trade is an important issue that has appeared several times recently in the Sun-Times.  Below are ten facts about trade that need to be part of any conversation about trade:
1)         Taxes on imports paid for most of our federal budget for most of our nation’s existence.  We didn’t even have an income tax until 1916.
2)         Jobs didn’t leave the United States because corporate tax rates were too high.  That came after the jobs left to help make up for the lost revenue.
3)         Jobs didn’t leave our country because labor was cheaper overseas.  It was always cheaper somewhere else.
4)         Jobs left our country when we stopped taxing imports.
5)         We are told that if we start taxing imports again, consumer prices will rise to pay for those taxes.  But those taxes will go to the government.  We could easily reduce income taxes to compensate for that with no loss of revenue.  See #1.
6)         We are told this will start a trade war, which will hurt our export industry.  This wasn’t an issue for the 140 years before we had an income tax, and this wasn’t an issue before we stopped taxing imports and sent our jobs overseas.
7)         We are told that taxes on imports contributed to the Great Depression.  Taxes on imports were raised after the Depression began, which did hurt exports.  But taxes were raised everywhere else as well.  And the government starting growing at a fast pace, taking a lot of money out of people’s pockets.  And nobody thinks that had anything to do with prolonging the Depression?
7)         Relying on exports to strengthen or support our economy is bad economic policy.  That would mean that we are relying on the rest of the world doing well before we can.  They have to do well first to be able to buy our products.  Why would we want to rely on other countries for our own prosperity?
8)         Relying on exports ties all the world’s economies together such that problems elsewhere hurt everybody else.  Somebody somewhere is always having problems.  Relying on exports is like the addicted gambler who believes that he will get lucky more often than not.
9)         Free trade is like having a labor pool of 3 billion people.  You can always find somebody who will work for less, and this drives down wages for everybody. 
10)       When we made all of our own stuff, we had good paying jobs for everybody, including the millions of immigrants coming here.  Now that the jobs have left, we don’t have enough jobs for the people who are already here, and wages keep going down.

You’re not going to solve our jobs problem by doing more of the same thing that caused it in the first place.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

fixing gerrymandering

I have a question for the Sun-Times editorial board, minority political leaders, the courts, and everybody who says they oppose gerrymandering:

Which arrangement is better for minority representation?  Trying to cram as many of the same minority into as few districts as possible to ensure a minority representative is elected who then faces a legislative body with very few representatives who have those same minorities in their districts in numbers that they will be accountable to, or

having many legislative districts with minorities in them where representatives need to address their issues if they are to win elections.

Courts have already ruled that it is both desirable and necessary for districts to be drawn that create minority districts, however contorted those districts are, in order to ensure a minority representative. 

This means that whoever draws up legislative districts will have access to all manner of voter information and demographics, and since these citizen boards to be entrusted with drawing these ‘fairer’ districts will have politically affiliated people on them, we will need another board to watch over the work of the first board to ensure fairness.

The only fair and right way to draw legislative boundaries is to allow access to only the information about where people live and about all the natural boundaries that often unite or divide voters’ interests, like city boundaries, rivers, mountains, forests, etc.  Districts should not change their shapes and sizes too much from census to census, except for expanding or shrinking the district because of population changes.  The general shape of the district should remain relatively unchanged.