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If you were to go on a long road trip to places you had never been before, do you think you might look at the map a lot to be sure you’re still on the right road?

I feel that way about our federal government.

Why?

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It’s now 21 trillion dollars in debt with no sign of slowing down.  That’s more money that anyone is able to comprehend.  We owe both Japan and China over a trillion dollars each.  Does nobody find it at least a little embarrassing to ask another country to loan us money so we can pay our bills?  I am embarrassed and ashamed.

Now if you look at a graph of our federal debt, you will see that it didn’t really start going anywhere until the 1960s, picked up steam in the 1980s, and then after 2000, the government just seemed to give up any thoughts of not living on borrowed money.

While both Democrats and Republicans are responsible for this debt, the blame is not to be divided equally.  I don’t think you will one Democrat who wants to cut spending.  They feel it is their job to spend money, and the more they spend, the better they like it.  The only time they will show concern for the debt is when Republicans want to cut taxes.  A Democrat is always looking for new ways to tax people, more things to tax.  And the more money you make, the more they feel they have a right to take more of it from you.

The Bible which formed our moral foundation for almost 200 years taught a flat tax.  Everybody paid the same rate, even the poor.  When people don’t pay any taxes at all, why would they care about whether they government is in debt?  For people who are not the very, very rich, a progressive tax often discourages people from working longer and harder, because they don’t feel it is worth it.  We should never discourage people from doing that.  The only time people should choose to not work longer and harder is if they have more important things to do, like spend time with their family or to pursue other things.

Democrats believe that it is the government’s job to solve every problem.  And the way to solve a problem is to pass a law and start a program.  If the program isn’t working, it’s only because they’re not spending enough money.  If the problem no longer exists, they will increase spending, because the program must have worked, and they don’t want the problem to come back.  They won’t end the program.

It was the 1960s when our country basically changed direction.  A lot happened in the 60s, but two seemingly unrelated events stand out for this change.

The first was in 1962 and 1963 when the court called supreme removed prayer and Bible reading from our public schools.  The court believed that the government must be neutral toward religion and can’t therefore favor one religion over another.

The problem here is that the court showed a complete misunderstanding of religion.  For a lot of people, a religion is simply a system of beliefs about God and particular beliefs about worship and conduct.  That’s only partially true.

A religion is a description of reality and life, all of it, about what is right and wrong, what is true and false, what is good and bad, what is important and what is not, what are the rules, are there any rules.  In other words, a religion is a worldview.  And guess what?  Everybody has a worldview, and every nation has a worldview.  Everybody and every nation has a basic set of beliefs that form the framework out of which people and nations make their decisions

A religion is a worldview that believes there is a God who has shown to the world what He is like and what the world is like.  Atheism is a worldview that doesn’t believe there is a god.  There is just matter.  When we die, that’s it.  There is nothing else or more, and we humans have to figure out for ourselves how best to live our lives.

When the court ruled that government cannot favor one religion over another, it essentially said that our nation must be a secular nation.  In other words, indifferent toward and unconcerned about religion.  One is as good as another, meaning, it’s fine for what you do in the privacy of your home, but it has no place in America’s public life.  We will conduct our business as a nation as if there is no God.

To say that there is a God would be is to promote theism (a belief in God) over atheism, and the First Amendment doesn’t allow that, according to that court.  If the court had actually read the writings of the Founders, they would have known that the issue was about the federal government establishing a national church as they have and still have in Europe and not theism.  It was about favoring a particular Christian denomination over another.  Prayer and Bible were always part of our public education and public life from the beginning.  You don’t think the Founders knew what they meant by the First Amendment?

The problem, of course, is that our nation is based on Christian beliefs about God and human rights.  And they got them from the Bible.  When the Declaration of Independence said that we were endowed by our creator with unalienable human rights, how did they know that?  And what God were they talking about?  Short answer: the God of Christianity as taught in the Bible.  How can we teach our future votes, whether our children or the millions of immigrants, what our nation is based on without teaching them the Bible and talking about God?  And if we don’t, we will lose our country, because they won’t believe in unalienable human rights.  Only those given by the government and / or the consensus of the people.

Then a few years later, the federal government started welfare programs as we know it.  Prior to this time, welfare, or charity as it used to be called, was done primarily by churches and other non-profit organizations, and it was voluntary.  But if as a nation we must be separate from religion in our public life, then government now becomes responsible for people.  Instead of people looking to God for help, now they are supposed to turn to the government.  Government is now looked upon to solve every problem and meet every need.

They have given trillions of dollars to poor people, and it hasn’t solved the problem of poverty.  They (Democrats primarily) just want more money to spend on them.  Other people think poor people need jobs and better jobs.  That’s why we need to bring the jobs back to America.  I haven’t heard any Democrats talking about that.  Not too many Republicans either.  I will, but then if I am not elected, who’s going to listen to me?

People will say that the government should give a lot of money to poor people and, no, it’s not voluntary.  That’s the way it should be.  If you want a secular nation, then yes.  But that’s not what we were founded to be, and it certainly looks like secularism is going to bankrupt our country.

We know our country was neve meant to be a secular nation, because the First Amendment promised freedom of religion.  It couldn’t promise freedom of religion unless religion, and in this case specifically Christianity, was consistent with the highest values of the land.  In a secular country, secular values are the highest values in the land, and they would supersede religious values whenever a conflict would arise between religion and the laws, and these conflicts would be inevitable.

When we live on borrowed money, everything costs more.  Not the things in themselves, but we pay for the debt from our taxes and more borrowed money.  We are spending (wasting) a half trillion dollars a year just on interest for that debt.  That’s one untalked-about reason why the Federal Reserve wanted to keep interest rates so low during the Obama years: so people wouldn’t notice how much we were spending on interest.

Before our country changed, people used to retire and live off the interest they had on their savings accounts.  Now many of them are dependent on a government that has to borrow money to pay its bills.  That’s not a good place to be.  But that’s a discussion for another time.

The government needs to get out the road may that guides our country.  Where is that road map?  It is found in the Preamble to the Constitution, the Constitution itself, and the Federalist Papers, which were written to explain the new Constitution and to encourage people to vote for it.  James Madison wrote both the Constitution and many of the papers.  We will look at these in future articles.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author and are not not necessarily either shared or endorsed by iPatriot.com.

Larry Craig

concerned citizen

 

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