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.

Friday, June 16, 2017

letter to my state representatives

Hi Laura, Daniel

Laura, you sent me an email regarding some open meetings on updates from Springfield.  It’s been a while since I wrote either of you, so I thought it is time that I do.  A joint letter makes sense, since you both are my representatives in Springfield.

Daniel, you are running for governor, and I wish you well.  I am glad that you are, because it shows that you want to do more for the state than your current position allows.  I would do the same thing, if I were a state senator.

Let me be very frank, even blunt, in my comments.  I am angry with the entire political system in Illinois.  The problems have been here long before either of you went to Springfield.  So I blame your predecessors, but now that you are there, you have to decide what the real problems are and how and if you really want to tackle them. 

The most serious problem in Illinois is the government pension plans and the state Constitution that protects them.  The Constitution needs to be changed, allowing pension plans to be changed, but nobody wants to even talk about it.  I write letters to the newspapers.  Silence.  I write letters to politicians.  Nothing. 

The state is bankrupt, and this is the reason.  The Democrats don’t care about paying the bills, balancing the budget, bond ratings, nothing.  The only things they care about are raising the state income tax and getting a progressive income tax.  If they get these things, they can die happy. 

Me, I am taxed out.  A few years ago while doing my taxes, I noticed that taxes took one half of my gross income.  And that’s not counting sales taxes, fees on utilities, and all the other myriad of ways that the government confiscates my money to spend in irresponsible ways. 

I started collecting a pension from my union a few years ago.  After what they take out for taxes, it’s under $600 a month.  No wonder I’m still working.  Politicians find the temptation to use public money for their own interests too strong to do the right thing with all that responsibility.

If you don’t change the State Constitution, the state is done.  If you don’t change the State Constitution, nothing else you do will really matter.  You will be spending borrowed money that will never get paid back.  And we will be spending billions of dollars just on interest payments.  That’s a waste of money that we entrust you to spend wisely.

The second biggest problem in our state is the size of our government.  We have more agencies than any other state in the country, and it’s not even close.  That shows that our elected leaders have no responsibility in spending our money.  They are out for themselves.  Making friends and building their political bases. 

A third significant problem, I don’t know how big it really is, but if it is typical for other municipalities, then it is a very significant problem.  Schools take up about 2/3 of our property taxes.  Property taxes are driving people from their homes, especially older people.  Some years back, I was out of work, and I realized the unfairness and stupidity of taxing people on what they own, which has no relation to their ability to pay huge taxes on it.

Several years ago, when the Chicago Public Schools was going through its annual financial mess, I found that at that time CPS had about 50,000 employees and only 15,000 of them were teachers.  I suggested they fire everybody but the teachers and the janitors.  I have no doubt the students and taxpayers would both be far better off.  Another example of the state just spending money first and then expecting people to cough up the money to pay for all these things.

Maybe I shouldn’t rank these problems.  Number one is definitely number one.  Another major problem is gerrymandering.  People who draw up legislative boundaries should not have demographic information when they are doing their work, especially about voting patterns.  All they need to know is where people live and geographic boundaries.  Communities should not be divided in drawing maps.  It’s probably best for computers to do the job, but they should have only the barest of information. 

Some will argue that you need to draw districts that have minority majority populations, as this is the only way to ensure a minority representative.  But that’s what people do when they want to minimize a group’s representation: put as many of them as possible into as few districts as possible.  Better to have sizable minority populations in many districts rather than a majority population in a few. 

The only real way to avoid mischief is to draw maps blindly.

I could go on, say, with term limits, but if you try to do too much, you probably won’t be able to do anything.

I wish you both well. 


Larry Craig