If you are like me, you have wondered at times about the stories (See Old Testament: Kings 1 and 2, Chronicles 1 and 2) of miraculous victories “won” by the ancient Hebrew nation of Israel over more powerful foreign invading nations. How is it possible that these threats could simply collapse and vanish, sometimes overnight, for no good explainable reason except to attribute the occasions to the intervention of a loving, powerful God? Without knowing the politics of the moment, can we even begin to explain these situations in real-world terms?
Strange as it might seem, we are seeing something similar happen right now, in real time, in our own world. Speaking, of course, of the near-instantaneous, seemingly panic-driven withdrawal of the United States from Afghanistan, following in the footsteps of the British Empire and the Soviet Union, both of which literally disappeared within a few years of their own respective “defeats” and withdrawals from the Graveyard of Empires. What does this portend for our own society and the American nation?
Think about it.
Then, there is this. In an article in Off-Guardian, Kit Knightley asks questions about the nature of things which happened in Afghanistan and concludes that the whole thing went off as planned, not by the visible State (Pentagon, Administration, etc.), but by the few, extremely wealthy people who control the huge, international corporations which really call the shots. In other words, it wasn’t the king who pulled the plug, but the king-makers. Knightley says,
“The Covid “pandemic” has been an eye-opener in terms of conflict between nations. They’ve shown us that, when they really need to, they work together to the same end. They tell the same lies, sell the same stories, and want the same thing. The wall at the back of the theatre has been revealed, in that regard.”
“The truth is, no matter which nations notionally hold sway in Afghanistan, the profits from the war, the lithium and the heroin will all end up going to the same few pockets. Corporations rule, not countries. Nation-states are no longer the players of the Great Game, they are the pieces. Toys for corporate megaliths. Their owners can make them fight each other, or bump them together and make kissy noises. Each is equally meaningless.”
I suspect that he is onto something here. I will know more as the situation evolves.
I have no hard data to point to, but I have the sense that the tide has turned and is now starting to run hard against the Covid Monster. As time goes on and more people are made aware of the lies making up the narrative, our chances of completely destroying this blatant fraud in the grab for power increase steadily.
The situation right now reminds me of the Battle of the Bulge during World War II. The German military threw everything it had against the Western front in a desperate attempt to break out of a rapidly deteriorating situation. If it was successful, it would have given Hitler’s forces a reprieve at the very least. However, after six weeks of intense fighting, the western Allies beat back the onslaught by the Nazis, eventually driving deep into Germany to meet the Russians advancing from the East and ending the war.
When Anthony MacAuliffe, the commanding officer of the 101st US Airborne Division under tremendous attack in Bastogne, Belgium, was given the ultimatum to surrender or be annihilated, he sent back a one word reply: “Nuts!” Even though his position was in imminent danger of being overrun and destroyed, he did not entertain the idea of giving up. Rather, he kept his focus and determination, maintained the morale and courage of his men, and eventually was relieved when reinforcements arrived. For this, his comment entered the history books, never to be forgotten.
On the other hand, I could be all wet. It might be more comparable to the moment the Nazi troops marched into Paris in 1940 after a blitzkrieg sweep across Belgium, putting most of France into a vicious lockdown for years, until it was liberated by the Allied invasion in 1944 into Normandy. If that is the case, then we are in for a lot of trouble in the days ahead and will have a good, long time to think about where we went wrong. If that is the case, we will also have to wonder who is going to sweep in and rescue us.
Or not. 2 Chronicles 20 records a time when the Hebrew nation under Jehoshaphat was threatened by invading forces, but instead won a great victory because of a supernatural intervention which literally annihilated the armies of Moab, Ammon, and Mount Seir. Who can say what might happen to us if we follow the advice given?
“Do not fear or be dismayed. Tomorrow go out against them, for the LORD is with you.”
We do not have to be afraid, but we cannot be complacent. We will not win this in our own strength, but we have to do our part. The battle belongs to the LORD.
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way.“
Doesn’t that opening quote from Dickens’ novel, A Tale of Two Cities, sound familiar? It should. It fits quite well with what we are experiencing in today’s world.
Just the other day, I received an email from Rob Slane at The Blogmire, notifying me that a new post had been added to his outstanding blog. Naturally, I opened it up and found a well-written, hard-hitting remake of the Chicken Little story, but instead of being knocked on the head by an acorn, Chicken Little was smitten by the Covid Monster, and immediately set out to save all the other fowls in the barnyard, with the inevitable result of putting all of them in mortal danger.
Of course! What an appropriate response to the mass hysteria and panic over the last 1-1/2 years! Why didn’t I think of that?
The really interesting thing about all this is that just a few minutes later I saw an article by MN Gordon at the Economic Prism asking the question: “What happens when the chickens come home to roost?” Yes! Two chickens in one hour, to brutally and callously paraphrase Herbert Hoover’s presidential campaign ad in 1928. However, rather than spreading wild rumors about non-existent threats as Chicken Little did, Gordon simply makes the case that the “chickens” we have already hatched will return home, sooner or later,…with a vengeance.
“Several rounds of stimmy checks and generous weekly payments for the unemployed were handed out like breath mints. Many people are now dependent on them. In fact, the government dole is so lucrative they can no longer afford to work.”
“Moreover, the Fed and the Treasury are locked in. They cannot reverse course without causing a major upset. Thus, the Fed’s balance sheet will soon swell past $10 trillion, as it supplies credits to the Treasury. The national debt will soon swell past $40 trillion as it sends out monthly payments of fake money, and funds human infrastructure bills and other layers of dumbassery.”
And then sums it up with a very succinct statement:
“Every nation state is different. Each is disposed to its own vanities and conceits. But, in the end, when the chickens come home to roost, things go bad in a big way.“
Food for thought.
There is no good reason to buy into the fear-driven panic generated by the non-stop Covid-19 narrative. There is reason to suspect that the whole thing has been a world-wide fraud perpetrated on people everywhere in order to make them afraid and, therefore, more controllable. The evidence is steadily piling up that this is the case. Eventually, the chickens hatched by this will return home and the outcome will not be pretty as people realize they have been lied to and taken advantage of in order to enrich and empower a tiny, elite sliver of the population. The good thing about this is that the whole fabrication is rapidly unravelling as more and more people realize what has happened.
On the other hand, there is good reason to believe that the scenario posed by MN Gordon will come true. This, too, is as fraudulent as Covid, but has been going on and building up for decades. Lies piled on lies for so long that there is no longer any firm foundation beneath the edifice known as the American economy and, by extension, the world’s. When it collapses, everything about society we took for granted as ‘normal’ will be upended and we will learn how to live another way. The bad thing about this is that the harm done by “controlled inflation” will cause enormous pain and suffering, far beyond anything the Covid Aberration has or will.
Two types of chickens. Two very rotten eggs which are cracking open. The stench is becoming unbearable.
Since I started Face of Freedom some seven months ago, I have been asked numerous times about education issues facing parents and grandparents of school age children. Generally these questions have revolved around the issue of mask-mandating and Covid restrictions and what could be done about the issue, if anything. The major problem with this is that these questions seek to resolve the symptoms of the disease, but do not identify and attack the actual underlying causes.
There is no doubt that the education system in this country is desperately ill and needs to be rejuvenated. The first step in treating any sickness is to diagnose the problem and identify what is causing it, after which an appropriate treatment regimen is applied. With that said, here are some of my conclusions. You may or may not agree with these statements.
The schools you send your kids to are not your schools. They are State schools and they answer directly to the State education bureaucracy.
The schools you send your kids to do not teach what you want. They teach (indoctrinate) the State-mandated curriculum which is often at odds with what you want your kids to learn.
The boards who run the schools you send your kids to are not working in your (or your kids) best interests. They are State employees and they will do whatever it takes to keep the gravy train rolling, which means they will do whatever they are told. In addition, many of the people who sit on these boards have leftist agendas to promote and they do so with vigor.
The schools you send your kids to increasingly teach a “herd mentality” in which everyone thinks alike, especially on social issues. Critical race theory is being openly advocated as a means of “righting historical wrongs”. Kids are being taught that the color of their skin is more important than their character and that “diversity and tolerance” are more important than traditional moral viewpoints.
The schools you send your kids to do not teach them to ask “Why?” Students are not encouraged to think independently. Instead, they are conditioned from a very early age to do as they are told, to conform to the rules, to submit in every way to authority, and to never, ever kick over the traces and step outside the box. Those who do so (trouble-makers) are reprimanded and/or punished severely, not just to retrain and rehabilitate them, but with the ultimate intention that everyone else sees this and falls into line.
I could go on, but there is no need. You get my point. What then, is to be done?
The usual response follows along these lines.
Go to school board meetings and voice your opinion.
Meet the teachers and express your concerns.
Work within the system to resolve problems and issues.
Run for school board or support others who think like you do.
Organize with like-minded parents around you to create solutions.
Jerk your kids out of State-sponsored indoctrination centers and shoulder the responsibility of educating them yourself.
Whoops! That last didn’t seem to fit, but now that I’ve got your attention, let me say just one more thing which will be hard to swallow for many people, but it is the absolute truth about this issue.
You can sacrifice yourself and your lifestyle for the sake of your children and their education OR you can sacrifice your children for the sake of your lifestyle, comfort, and convenience! Let me be quite explicit here–sacrifices will be made. Costs will be incurred. There is no such thing as a free lunch. Either you will do what is best for your children regardless of the cost or you will not. There is no other choice.
If you do not like what is happening in the schools and what is being taught to your children, then you should know that the most effective way to change that system is to withdraw from it. Schools receive money from the State based on the number of students they have enrolled and they lose money when students are taken out. School administrations are keenly aware of this, and, if it occurred in sufficient numbers, would immediately create effectual changes in policy.
The very best way to make positive change happen at your local State school is to pull your kid(s) out and find another way to teach them. Anything else is just putting lipstick on a pig.
“This makes scientific inquiry prone to the eternal rules of human social life: deference to the charismatic, herding towards majority opinion, punishment for deviance, and intense discomfort with admitting to error. Of course, such tendencies are precisely what the scientific method was invented to correct for, and over the long run, it does a good job of it. In the long run, however, we’re all dead, quite possibly sooner than we would be if we hadn’t been following a diet based on poor advice.” — Fred Reed
This sounds suspiciously like the insanity surrounding the Corona Monster, more commonly known as the Covid Aberration. Much of this, most especially the part about ‘intense discomfort with admitting to error’, rings true in society today. My guess is that, sooner or later (if we have not already), most of us will conclude that our reaction to it really was not such a good idea and should be abandoned. Some of us, however, are True Believers, and will never admit to anything except that we are right, regardless of the evidence against us.
I like Fred Reed. He asks questions, hard questions, about things that others would prefer to remain unasked. The article cited above, references the origins of life and evolution, which he says cannot be proven according to science and are only beliefs which are held religiously and incoherently. The article is long, but he writes in a lively style, and if you want arguing points you can use to promote an alternative theory, it is well worth the reading.
We have been told repeatedly, almost from the very beginning of the Covid “crisis” that we need to ‘Follow the Science’ and that anything which deviates from the accepted, promoted narrative is unscientific and, therefore, false. Even though numerous scientists, epidemiologists, medical doctors, and other highly trained professionals (nearly 60,000 at last count) have voiced different opinions and numerous studies have been done showing that “official” methods of dealing with the situation have been proven to be faulty, they have been dismissed out of hand as dubious, reckless, uncaring, etc., and branded as conspiracy theorists who simply cannot be believed.
In other words, whatever happens to be the ‘scientific dogma’ of the moment, regardless as to whether it can be verified as accurate or not, must be held in highest regard and never, ever questioned. Today, this is climate change (global warming). Yesterday, it was climate change (global cooling). Fred Reed makes a good case concerning the origins of life and evolution of species. Before that, Malthusian theory held sway for a short period of time. Earlier in history, mankind had experienced the “science” which held that Earth was the center of the universe and that everything, including the sun, revolved around it and, by extension, man himself. Quite naturally, this created serious problems when people like Galileo caused an uproar by stating that this was not true, and, to maintain the status quo, he had to be shut down and shut up.
Problem is, once the truth is let out of the bottle, like the proverbial genie, it is impossible to stuff it back in and cork it. Galileo was proven right, the naysayers had to recant, and the world has moved on. Most of us, anyway. Flat-earthers do still exist and will vociferously defend their viewpoint even in the face of irrefutable evidence against it.
At one time or another, all the above-mentioned items have been held up as scientific, but on close examination of the hard facts, appear to be much closer to religious belief, which must be held tightly regardless of the evidence to the contrary. Religion requires faith, it does not require provable evidence and it is impossible to convince diehard believers that their faith is misplaced using only logic and argument. The current obsession with climate change (global warming) is a good example of this, but eventually, it too, will be discarded into the “dustbin of history” and replaced by a newer, more fashionable theory.
Back to Fred Reed.
“If you have ever debated a Marxist, or a serious liberal or conservative, or a feminist or Christian, you will have noticed that, although they can be exceedingly bright and well informed, they display a maddening evasiveness. You never get a straight answer if it is one they do not want to give. Crucial premises are not firmly established. Fundamental assertions do not tie to observable reality.”
Ya! I try not to tackle anyone’s irrational beliefs head-on whenever I am debating with them. Instead, I make a conscious effort to zero in on the inconsistencies in their arguments, saying one thing which contradicts something else which they assert they believe. For example, the very prevalent attitude among Christians that the end of the world is near, that evil is growing more powerful, AND that this will only change when Jesus comes back to bail us out of our self-induced dilemma. When you ask these people if they are personally doing anythingto change this trend in a positive way, you get equivocations and statements to the effect that there is no use in trying, since the Bible predicts that the Anti-Christ and the tribulation are just around the corner. After all, is not the evil growing stronger and stronger every day? If you say that a refusal to confront evil allows evil to grow, which results in the scenario mentioned, they will say that they are building spiritual treasure in heaven as individuals, not here on Earth. If you bring up the question as to what might happen if Jesus does not come back according to their belief, they simply state that the world is getting worse, the Tribulation is right around the corner, which proves that they are right. Circular reasoning, which to a true believer, cannot be refuted.
Do they ever admit that their religious beliefs about the future might be wrong? Do they ever admit that they have been spiritually irresponsible? Do pigs fly? As Fred Reed said, “…they display a maddening evasiveness. You never get a straight answer if it is one they do not want to give.”
What is to be done? Well, at least in my opinion, the old saying holds true. “When you’re wrong, admit it.” However, admitting wrong is not enough, you must also abandon the wrong and change your course. In the case of the cartoon above, both these people ought to admit wrong and make course corrections. This is nothing more than what the Scripture calls repentance. Change the way you think, and you will change the way you act. Change the way you act, and you will change the world around you.
“G.K. Chesterton warned against “the modern and morbid habit of always sacrificing the normal to the abnormal.” That is liberalism in a nutshell, and it will always find more things to sacrifice on its altar of abnormality.” — Joseph Sobran, from his book Subtracting Christianity: Essays on American Culture and Society , chapter titled, “The Few and the Many”.
Is there any question about that today? Can anyone say, truthfully, that American society is not sacrificing what used to be considered normal for some perverted, ever-changing, abnormality? For example,
Covid-19, which has done more to disrupt “normal life” than anything which I have ever experienced before.
State education, which is now openly promoting many of the items listed below.
Trumpism, which is only one example of widespread belief in false messiahs.
Extreme media bias which does not inform, but is meant to influence.
Suppression of free speech and promotion of a one-sided narrative.
The Great Reset, which is aided by grass-roots communistic thought
And more. Too many to mention, in fact, and I am sure that no one can capture all of them.
Societies and cultures tend to move (not the same thing as progress) from normality to abnormality, and then they die and disappear. One observation I have made (not necessarily backed up by science or data) is that the direction of these moves is always from right to left, politically speaking. From individual freedoms and responsibilities to social adhesion and herd-like characteristics. From common sense to mindless pandering to the latest fads, fashions, and drivel endlessly promoted. From clear-headed vision to muddled confusion. And all the time, there are those agenda-driven persons who continually shout, “More, more, more!”, and there are those power-driven persons who implement policies to that effect.
Until it all falls apart and the cycle starts all over again.
There are hard limits to leftward movement beyond which a society cannot “progress”. Eventually, the forced integration of individuals into one seamless, unified mass fails and collapses into splintered bits and pieces. The mantra of leftism is always more government, more rules, more victimization, more control, more collectivization, more punishment, etc., but this is self-defeating. When there are no more persons to be subsumed and integrated, the end has been reached and all that remains to do is to “purify” those within the system, which devolves into social suicide. A society may be driven to a point of total slavery, but once there, nothing more is to be gained and it becomes a system of total loss, eventually destroying itself. The Soviet Union is a good historical example and North Korea appears to be following that same path.
“Despite the obvious absurdity and somewhat comic nature of the bizarre law and spectacle of the ongoing “crackdown” – which sounds like it’s a write-up in The Onion, it strongly suggests that Pyongyang is legitimately worried at this point about maintaining ideological control over the population.” Zero Hedge
In economic terms, loss (negative growth) can only continue until there is nothing left to lose. Beyond that, there is only room for positive growth and profit, which flourishes as long as freedom is allowed and there is no end to the amount of profit to be made. A society never stays constant nor static. It is always gaining or losing and the only thing which counts is which direction it is moving.
Last word: I do not like the common practice of using the Left/Right continuum to assess political position. In my opinion, it is a flawed metric which does not allow any room for individual freedom, but only compares one type of oppressive government with another. Consequently, the conversation (argument?) only revolves around one question, “Right vs. Left?”, with everyone occupying some space on that continuum. Nazism is the poster child of the extreme Right while Communism is the standard bearer on the extreme Left. The problem with this is that both these, and all other political systems from the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11: 1-9) onward, are socialistic at the core and have no tolerance for free, individual liberty, which must be stamped out of existence, even if it takes generations to accomplish. They all fall on the Left side of the spectrum. A benevolent monarchy may be the most free and stable governmental system, but it still exhibits socialistic tendencies which will, over time, accrue to its detriment.
A continuum which has absolute liberty at one end and absolute slavery at the other would be more accurate and far easier to understand.
Some Predictions (WAG’s) for the rest of 2021 and 2022
I offer these, not because I have any supernatural view of the future, but because I think they are plausible, possible, even probable due to the nature of the financial and social current we are caught in. No one should point to these as certainties. In fact, any or all of these could be completely wrong. Nevertheless:
Covid-19 is in the terminal stage of death. The narrative surrounding it has been proven to be faulty, fraudulent, and untruthful. As time goes on and more evidence appears against it (and the persons who have deliberately perpetuated the lie), it will be exposed as pure evil. Only those who have some vested interest in the scam or those who refuse to admit they were fooled will continue to promote it. Anthony Fauci, the widely acknowledged mouthpiece of the Covid aberration will resign in disgrace and be seen no more. However, his legacy will live on as history records an article of clothing in his name: the Fauci Mask. This labeling would be similar to that given to the Mao Jacket, worn by millions of Chinese Communists at the height of Mao Tse-Tung’s power.
Bill Gates is on the way out. Ditched by his wife, thrown out of Microsoft, the exposed friend of Jeffery Epstein, (a rumored blackmailer of extremely powerful people), will die in like manner—either by his own hand in a room by himself, or, well, you know how it is. When an asset has reached the end of its usefulness, it is retired. Bill Gates will be retired in disgrace and never seen again.
The Republican Party will see a massive sweep of Congress in 2022, not because their platform or record is any better than the Democratic Party, but because Americans, by and large, are thoroughly disgusted with what has happened recently. This is not to say that anything will become better as a result.
Millions of Americans will start to use their rented storage units, not as holding places for the excess baggage they have accumulated, but as living spaces out of pure desperation. The “stuff” will be piled outside and brought back in, one piece at a time, to burn in the “central heating unit” so that the occupants can stay warm through the cold winter months.
Enough said about items 1-3. Number 4 needs to be expounded on. Some variation of this is going to play out.
There have been a few novels I have read which have impacted me deeply, penetrating into the depths of my soul, and changing the course of my life forever. One of these, The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck is the inspiration for the premonition that is #4. If you have never read the book, you should. It is a tale of desperate people and the lengths they will go to survive and defeat the odds against them.
Toward the end of this story, Ma and Pa Joad take shelter in an abandoned railroad car along with another couple. None of them have anywhere else to go and must make the best of what they have. A single blanket tied up in the middle of the car is all that provides any semblance of privacy and it is easily swept aside at will by any of the occupants. Nevertheless, it is the best they have and they take advantage of the situation. At the very least, it affords some protection from the elements.
By and large, if Americans think at all about what is coming down the road, they tend to think that they will be safe in their own homes. What they do not consider is what will happen to them when (not if) the economic system we live in today (debt, paid off with depreciating dollars) collapses and all those 30 and 40 year mortgages become due and payable right now, i. e., on demand by the bank which holds the note. What will they do when (not if) the breadwinners in the household lose their “secure” paycheck because there is no more demand for their services? How will they pay those mortgages? What will prevent The Bank from foreclosing on the property and booting the occupants out into the street? Where will they go?
Some will move in with family, friends, or neighbors and learn the hard way how to get along with others out of sheer necessity. Some of these will be booted out onto the street because they refuse to learn. Some will simply have nowhere to go because they have burned their bridges in their drive to show their independence. However, many will have a recourse of last resort–storage space.
Yes, storage space, where they have been piling up the acquisitions of prosperity for years.
In my corner of the world, storage space is one of the hottest property trends. Everyone wants a place where they can keep their excess stuff and developers and contractors are rushing to fill the demand. Yet, if you can imagine a world which has come unglued, those storage spaces may very well be the only thing which offers a barrier from the elements and is somewhat affordable. In fact, it may be that people simply cut off the locks of any available space, move the stuff out, and move in–because there is no other option.
A lot of water has gone underneath the bridge since March 22, 2020, when I posted the first article which mentioned the corona virus confusion which swept the world. Currently, this blog has about sixty articles directly related to the phenomenon.
In November 2020, I set up an organization, Face of Freedom, to galvanize and stir up people to take highly visible action against the Covid restrictions, edicts, and mandates. Writing blog posts which might or might not be read by a small, limited number of people simply was not sufficient any longer. Talking and discussion had to give way to movement. You can see some of the results here and here.
Because of that effort, three things (at least) have happened.
My work load has increased significantly.
I have come into contact with an enormous amount of people, in person, over the phone, or digitally. Many of them have become close friends.
I have found my calling. My wife says I come alive when I’m working on it. Bless her! She has been understanding.
Recently I received an email from a person who will only be known as Z. In the back and forth conversation which ensued, Z raised some interesting questions about face masks, vaccinations, and religion. I soon realized that our dialogue was more than I wanted to continue through email, so I promised I would write this post in which these issues could be explored more thoroughly. I will be directly quoting some parts of the discussion. You are free to comment. Keep it clean.
“I’m intrigued by your format and what you’re putting together here! It’s good to meet and discuss your views and positions and that’s what makes our country great.” — Z
It is good, as Z says, that we can meet and discuss views and positions in a peaceful manner. I appreciate that and will converse with anyone who is willing to do so respectfully.
“What is your position on the vaccine”? — Z
My position: I am against it lock, stock, and barrel. The concoction being promoted is not a real vaccine in the traditional sense of the word, but rather something which is being foisted onto the public in a fraudulent manner. I believe it is a live lab experiment which many people have rushed into in the hope that it will keep them safe. I think it is unwise to make oneself a “guinea pig” regarding anything about which we know virtually nothing and is highly suspect. This is my position. Please note that Z asked only for that.
My statement: I will not inject an unproven, unknown substance into my body on the grounds that it might prevent a viral infection of which I have a very low risk of catching and an even lower one of being harmed or killed by it. I will not allow an injection of any sort of which I do not approve. I will not comply.
“What I think would help would be promoting the vaccines more because that will make sure the mask mandates will be lifted.“ — Z
“What is the “beneficial influence on society” of seeing people by the thousands lined up to be forced to take an injection, or to spend months (going on years) of not seeing another human face?” — Bionic Mosquito
Unfortunately, the way this is posed creates a no-win situation. It limits our choices to two options: The Mask or The Jab. Take the jab or wear the mask. Everyone will be forced to wear a mask, like it or not, until everyone decides to get the jab. You do not have a choice. There simply is no other option. What is even worse, there is no guarantee that the mask mandates will be lifted even if everyone gets a shot and there is every possibility (probability) that the mandates will be re-imposed if the virus (or some variant) comes roaring back.
This is a choice between the lesser of two evils and is quite similar to voting in “democratic” elections. Vote for the Republican ( Democrat) or you will be saddled with the Democrat (Republican). You pick the “least evil” in the vain hope that life will become better. You have no other option, unless there is a third party running who has virtually no chance of success. On this, I am in agreement with Murray Rothbard.
“In the modern world, democracy or voting is only important either to join in or ratify the use of the government to control others, or to use it as a way of preventing one’s self or one’s group from being controlled. Voting, however, is at best, an inefficient instrument for self-defense, and it is far better to replace it by breaking up central government power altogether.”
I choose neither. I do not vote (another story for another time). Neither will I make a decision between one (so-called) medical device which is nothing more than cosmetic and another which might actually kill me. Both are bad. Both are unwanted. I will not comply. I will not choose between two evils which are forced on me. I will choose my own way.
“It seems like you’re a libertarian minded individual and I think that’s great. I also notice references to religion on your website. I’ve always found conflict between a belief in personal liberties and religion”. — Z
I am libertarian-minded. I am also Christian. There is no conflict. What does Z want? Should every person who has a belief in personal liberty abandon religion entirely? This question sets up a conflict by itself–either you can believe in personal liberties OR you can believe religiously, but not both. The unsolvable problem with this is that everyonebelieves religiously in something, whether they admit it or not. Find the absolute highest value that any person has and you will have found their god and their religion. The obvious conclusion is that since everyone has some religious belief, no one can have personal liberty. There is another question here, however. Where does personal liberty spring from if not from a search for truth–which is religious in nature?
“Christianity teaches a sense of community where a libertarian mindset encourages self over community.” — Z
The basic premise in this statement is wrong. Z does not understand.
“A libertarian mindset says nothing about self over community, it only says something about when the use of force is legitimate.” — Bionic Mosquito, from an email conversation.
(For a more extended study by Bionic Mosquito on the growing atomization of society in favor of individualism over community and the tyranny it is engendering, see here. Scroll down to Robert Nisbet, The Quest for Community, and follow the links.)
Libertarianism discourages and condemns acts of aggression against others (see “non-aggression principle” here and here). Libertarianism seeks to determine only what an act of aggression is and how to treat it when it occurs. It does not make any attempt to determine the manner or shape in which society forms itself. Individualism and community are left entirely up to individual choice. Walter Block had this to say about it.
“…the real, more basic, unders[t]anding of libertarianism is not the NAP. Rather, it is our libertarian punishment theory. A more sophistica[t]ed understanding of libertarianism does not say, with the NAP: “Thou shalt not murder, initiate violence against innocent persons or their legitimate possessions.” Rather, it states, that if you do, you will be punished in accordance with libertarian punishment theory.”
Jim Jones taught a ‘sense of community’. So did Mao Tse-Tung. As did Josef Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Charles Manson, and the Moonies. All of these (and many others unmentioned) taught that the ‘community’ they envisioned and aspired to reach depended on separating from the greater society they lived in and forming their own distinct group which was (supposedly) superior to the rest of the world and at war with it. All of these taught that the individual must be subsumed and absorbed into the community, losing any sense of self and living only for the benefit of the group. Outliers and dissidents were to be punished and/or excluded from the group. The Amish practice this to some extent. This is not libertarianism nor Christianity. It is the religion of socialism, albeit, in the Amish community, it is a “voluntary” choice and the adherents are “free” to leave if they so choose, although extreme pressure is put on everyone not to make or follow through with that decision.
Christianity does not teach a ‘sense of community’, per se. Instead, it teaches that we are to “Love one another” (without exception) and it is from this that the community springs. Isolated individuals are not ‘taught’ about community as much as they are ‘brought’ into the community, where they learn how to get along with others in a peaceful, non-violent, non-aggressive way. Christianity does not denigrate ‘self’, but rather encourages and allows the individual to grow, prosper, and develop, within the community, in his or her own way without ever losing sight of the command, “Love one another.”
“That being said, religion would recommend the vaccine as the Catholic Church openly does.”— Z
Religion (adherence to a specific set of man-made rules ostensibly designed to make oneself better spiritually) probably would recommend (require) the Jab. The Catholic Church falls into this category. Some (so-called) Christian churches do. Other religions probably do. Certainly, socialism does. True Christianity does not. Rather, it allows individuals freedom to make their own decisions based on the principle of free will. As human beings, created in the Image of God, we are able to choose according to our own desires and what we think best for ourselves. God does not override our choices nor force us to act differently, but we are responsible for our actions and will bear the consequences of those actions, be they good or bad. Christianity teaches that we are to live according to the Golden Rule. “Do unto others what you would like to have done to you.” Or, put another way, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” With respect to this, Christianity and libertarianism are compatible, in that both rely on freedom of choice rather than coercion.
If I love my neighbor as I do myself, I would not try to force him into any situation which he was not willing to participate in, simply because I do not want him to try to force me in the same manner. If I love my neighbor as Jesus tells me to, then I have to let him alone to live his own life as he sees fit, because I want him to leave me alone to live my life as I see fit. If I love my neighbor in this way, I will not order him (even by proxy) to submit to taking The Jab because I do not want him to order me (even by proxy) to do so. I do not want my neighbor telling me that I have to get the shot. I will not tell him he has to. It is that simple. This concept is not difficult to understand.
“Libertarianism would go against vaccination as if you are a healthy person,…” — Z
Libertarianism is not for nor against vaccination for anyone, healthy or not, but would leave the choice to vaccinate up to the individual person. Libertarianism would be concerned about forced, mandatory inoculations in which free individuals are required to get The Jab against their will. Whether you are a healthy person or a sick one on your death bed has nothing to do with it and is irrelevant.
“…the vaccine would help create herd immunity even though it may not have substantial individual benefit.” — Z
Why would anyone submit to The Jab unless they received some substantial individual benefit from it? Yeah, I cannot figure it out either.
This is pure conjecture and contradictory to boot. The “official” narrative is that herd immunity over the corona virus can be achieved only through widespread injections of the (so-called) vaccine, but there is no evidence that this is the case. Belief that this is true implies an unquestioning, blind acceptance in government/corporate/medical “official statements”, the promoters of which have an enormous financial/social stake in making sure that the narrative wins out. There is pushback on this in the form of numerous influential, professional voices speaking out which are urging caution. What cannot be denied, however, is that real exposure to the virus (like any other communicable disease) confers a natural immunity to those who have been infected and survived. Considering that we know, beyond a shadow of doubt, that the disease is overwhelmingly a threat only to aged, infirm, obese, and/or diabetic persons who have poor immune systems and other serious health issues, the average person in relatively good health probably has no need to be injected against it.
The contradiction comes in the phrase, “may not have substantial individual benefit.” The official mantra is that “You should still wear the mask even if you get The Jab.” However, either the shot protects you or it does not. Either you are safe after you have been inoculated or you are not. Either there is substantial individual benefit to taking the shot or there is not. Since community is composed of numerous individuals, if there is no substantial individual benefit to injection (or anything at all, for that matter), then there will be no substantial benefit to society at large. If there is no individual benefit, then why would anyone take the risk of getting shot with an unproven substance which might hurt them? Take a bullet for the team for nothing? Surely, no one is that altruistic! There must be someperceived substantial individual benefit to the procedure or no one would participate voluntarily. That benefit can only be seen as “personal self-defense”, which is anathema to those who seek to integrate everyone into an easily controlled mass. Whether Z realizes it or not, this is an argument for what is known as the “hive mentality” or “groupthink” in which the individual is of little or no worth compared to the community at large. Pure socialism, in other words. Pure contradiction. Utopia.
Not for me. I prefer freedom. End of argument.
Sung to the tune and cadence of the military chant, “Sound Off.”
“Ain’t gonna wear no mask, no more,” (Ain’t gonna wear no mask, no more)
“Ain’t gonna lock down, that’s for sure.” (Ain’t gonna lock down, that’s for sure)
“Ain’t gonna get jabbed, not for me,” (Ain’t gonna get jabbed, not for me)
“Ain’t gonna comply, I am free.” (Ain’t gonna comply, I am free)
“What good does your cursing do? You stand around, you curse and you chatter, but you don’t do anything. You’ll chatter your way into the grave.” –Percik, Fiddler on the Roof
Regular readers of this blog know my fondness for the musical, Fiddler on the Roof. I find so much in that which could easily be applied to our time and society, or to any other for that matter. The quote above is no different.
Really, now, how many people do you know who complain about the status quo of their lives, but do not and will not take any deliberate action to change anything for the better? You know, the ones who constantly bellyache about the current political state of affairs, but pull the party lever every two years. Perhaps the source of their irritation is their unreasonable, tyrannical employer who expects them to work and be productive, when they would rather stand around the water cooler discussing his ‘warts’. Maybe it is the ‘filthy rich’ oppressing the lifestyles of ordinary people, who would much rather wander out to the mailbox to see if the monthly “bean check” has arrived instead of risking everything in business for themselves. This list could go on and on, but for the sake of argument, it is sufficient. One thing which is common among these scenarios, though, is that it is easier to talk about the problems associated with them than it is to put any effort into making positive changes happen.
“Somebody ought to do something about this! Somebody else, that is, do not ask me to stick my neck out. Do you know what it is like out there?”
One current event which fits this description quite well is the whole Covid hysteria and pandemonium. The face masking. The lockdowns. The social separation. The increasing pressure to “vaccinate”. In any given part of the world, within any given group of people, many have simply blended this in with their lives, complaining about the inconveniences posed or the “sacrifices” they were forced to make, but have not once refused to go along with the charade. Today, over one year after the corona virus took the world by storm, the overwhelming data show that the average person in good health is in very little danger from contracting the virus, yet the narrative continues that this is an existential threat to humanity. Today, the average person either knows or suspects this to be true, yet the obsequious submission to inane, contradictory, totalitarian rules continues. If the sign says, “Wear a mask”, then people comply, even though they hate it and believe that it is useless to stop the virus. Go against public opinion? Refuse to be different? God forbid! They may complain in private, but when others are watching or listening, they keep themselves aligned with the status quo. After all, what can one person do, anyway? You can’t fight City Hall, can you?
In an article on Lew Rockwell, Allan Stevo wrote about the need for people who refuse to be quiet, who attempt to succeed against the odds, who will not live the way that society wants them to and, in the process, change the world.
“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
Percik was everything which Stevo has described. He was arrested and exiled to a labor camp in Siberia because he saw something he thought was wrong and dared to speak out about it. Nevertheless, the cause he lived and worked for, flawed though it was, eventually came into being. Was it worth the personal cost to him? My guess, if you could ask him, is that Percik’s answer would be an emphatic, unhesitating, “Yes, absolutely!”
On the other hand, as Tevye was fond of saying, the Jews of Anatevka who only cursed and chattered were evicted from their homes without mercy and scattered to the whims and caprices of an uncertain, unforgiving future, probably many of them to their graves.
There is only one question to answer. Are we radical world-changers or conformists keeping our heads down and trying to blend in with the crowd?
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. — Romans 12:2, New Living Translation
“Why do you keep on saying that I am your Lord, when you refuse to do what I say?” –Luke 6:46, Contemporary English Version
“If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.” –James 4:17, New International Version
Charles Dickens would have been right at home. In a tale of two cities, London and Calgary, police invaded church services during the recent Easter season.
In London, police brazenly entered the church and broke up the service at Christ the King Roman Catholic Church in Balham, supposedly because there were too many people in attendance. One of the officers was heard announcing, “I appreciate that it is Good Friday, and you’d like to worship, but this gathering is unlawful.” Read about it here.
In Calgary, atThe Cave of Adullam, the Polish pastor, Artur Powlowski, confronted the cops when they tried to enter the church in an attempt to enforce Covid-19 restrictions. Refusing to back down, the pastor repeatedly ordered them to leave the church property and not to return unless and until they had a legal warrant.
‘“Police were hesitant to leave but the pastor wasn’t backing down. “Out of this property, you Nazis!” Pawlowski shouted. “Gestapo is not allowed here!” As police left the property, Pawlowski told them “not to come back, you Nazi psychopaths.” “Unbelievable sick, evil people. Intimidating people in a church during the Passover! You Gestapo, Nazi, communist fascists! Don’t you dare come back here!” he shouted as they walked away.’
Update: This article reports that the police have now taken complete control of the church property, fencing it off and using roadblocks to prevent worshippers from accessing it.
It has come to this.
It would be easy to cast this in the light of the Covid Aberration, but the far more fundamental issue here is that we have arrived at a point in the West where officers of the State brazenly enter churches and shut down services, threatening parishioners and clergy alike with fines, jail sentences, and violence. Covid provides an excuse which is disseminated to a gullible, uninformed public. The real intent is the total takeover of churches everywhere by an increasingly unhinged, voracious, and evil State which seeks to destroy all competition in its drive to become sovereign over the entire world.
The Church of Jesus Christ should be, a protective bulwark against the depredations which civil government visits on its citizens. Unfortunately, this aspect has been lost and all of us are in real danger of losing the freedoms and liberties we have become accustomed to. In the last year, we have seen churches everywhere simply close their doors and kowtow to the rules and restrictions the State imposed on them, all in the interest of “controlling the spread of Covid.” All to “flatten the curve.”
No close contact, like hugging and kissing
Pews and chairs at least six feet apart
Water fountains turned off
Communion, if performed at all, from a distance and absolutely no touching
No choirs singing.
No laying on of hands during prayers
Complete sanitization both before and after services
And on, and on, and on…
Unfortunately, too many churches did not have enough courage to stand up and say “No, we will not!” Too many churches have played the whore, worshipping the State instead of the Christ. Too many churches have applied for, received, and spent the PPP money (filthy lucre) which the State offered them as compensation for doing what they were ordered to do. Too many churches preach the message that the State must, according to Romans 13, be blindly obeyed. Too many churches do not, as Solzhenitsyn would have put it, “…love their freedom enough.” Consequently, the State learned that it could simply steamroll over them, as witness the church service in London previously referenced.
Now that we have started down that road, will it ever end? How will it end? When?
My answer, without wavering, is “Yes, it will end…someday.” I do not know how or when, but I am certain that it will. You can quote me on that.
This is a war between good and evil. It is now becoming apparent that there is no middle ground. Either we will stand for the good or we will cooperate with the evil. We do not have any other choices. However, stuck as we are in the middle of the universal struggle, we do have certain promises we can hold on to.
“The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.” – Revelation 11:5 (English Standard Version)
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.” – Isaiah 9: 6, 7 (New International Version)
“…God has said: “Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence: “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” – Hebrews 13: 5, 6 (Berean Study Bible)
“To everything, there is a season…” – Ecclesiastes 3: 1
IF we believe that Jesus is the King and that ALL opposition to His rule will be vanquished and destroyed, then we can be confident that the current battle we are experiencing will be won. IF we believe that the words quoted above are promises from the Word of God, then there is no room for questioning the outcome. We might die before we see the victory, but there should be no doubt at all as to the end. The human species was created in the Image of God and created to be free, not only from sin, but also from the effects of sin, such as the current situation of lies, deceit, fear, delusion, and manipulation by those who wish to force all of us into their mold. We were not created to be slaves of other men. Jesus has set us free and we ought to act like it.
Which raises a question. Where are all the “good” people of Calgary and why are they allowing this assault to continue? And another question, even more ominous than that. Would the situation be any different if that happened in your own area?
Easter Sunday is coming up fast. Churches world-wide will be celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ and proclaiming triumphant victory over sin and death. Very few will mention that His death and resurrection give men the power to be free in the physical here and now, not just in the spiritual or future sense. Even fewer will dare to say that this freedom means that we no longer need endure bondage to other men, who are even more evil than ourselves.
“Then, in February, 1932, again in Leningrad, many churches were closed simultaneously…” – Alexander Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago
Fast forward 88 years and paraphrase.
“Then, in March 2020, in the United States, many churches were closed simultaneously…”
History, it is said, does not repeat, but it often rhymes. To be sure, the circumstances are not the same, but the pattern is. What was once done in the totalitarian regime of Stalinist Soviet Union (USSR) is now being done here in the growing totalitarian regime of the United Socialist State of America (USSA).
Does it really matter whether a statist, centralized government closes churches to eliminate adversaries to the Communist doctrine or to eliminate adversaries to the modern-day doctrine of the New World Order, recast as The Great Reset? Does it really matter that there is not a great amount of ideological difference between Uncle Joe Stalin and Uncle Joe Biden, both of whom typify the description of megalomaniac? The fact is that Christian churches everywhere, IF they are true to the original mandate of Jesus Christ, DO pose a significant threat to power-brokers who are determined to destroy all opposition to their self-imposed rule.
I have written before (see here and here) about churches closing their doors because they were issued an order to do so, supposedly as a safeguard against the Dread Corona Virus which was going to kill us all unless we completely dismantled society as we knew it. I have nothing good to say about those pastors and church boards which instantly gave in to the ‘Edicts from on High’. Many of those “leaders” are still groveling in quivering puddles of obeisance. Neither do I have any respect for those church parishioners who exemplified, embodied, and exhibited the attitude of slavery at a moment’s notice. Pity, perhaps, but not respect.
Where is the courage which is supposed to be infused into a man of God? Maybe the more appropriate question to ask is this: “Who or what is God anyway?” Well, at least both God and Government begin with the same letters—Go, but from that point on they diverge widely. Jesus tells His disciples to go and follow His example in the power of His Spirit. The President (whoever that might be) tells everyone, disciples or not, to go and do as they are told. Or Else!
But, enough of the rant. Let’s go back to The Gulag and the lesson learned too late.
“And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: what would things have been like if every security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand? [They] would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If . . . if . . . we didn’t love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation . . . . We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.” — Solzhenitsyn
How far would the Statist cause in America have advanced if moral, courageous men had stood in the doors of their churches and declared that they would not be shut down nor shut up? What would have happened if the governors, mayors, and local health boards had experienced real resistance to their unlawful decrees and edicts, to the point of widespread refusal to obey them? What if…what if…? If this had occurred, might not the Cursed Machine be grinding to a halt even now?
Like Solzhenitsyn, we did not love our freedom enough. Unlike him, we have no excuse for being unaware and have not learned our lesson yet. Purely and simply, we deserve everything which is going to happen from here on out and many of us will have ample time to rue the day we did not resist the tyranny which came for us. The tyranny which came for us in the broad light of day, not even trying to hide its sin by resorting to the cover of darkness at midnight.
In this increasingly insane world we live in, there are those few individuals who are able to cut through the fog of politics that is used to deceive people into believing that governments are the solution to the problems of their everyday lives.
“There are those who, on moral and historical grounds, want Russia to liberate at the very least the Ukrainian east and the Ukrainian south (the area from Mariupol to Odessa). I categorically disagree. It is all very fine and cute to say “Putin come and restore order”, but the people of the Ukraine must liberate themselves and not expect Russia to liberate them.”
Now, you might wonder why I would include this quote about Putin, Russia, and the liberation of Ukraine in an article about insane politics, but the explicit message from The Saker says it all and bears repeating (with emphasis added).
“…the people of the Ukraine must liberate themselves and not expect Russia to liberate them.”
This statement cuts to the chase and it does not matter one bit whether in Ukraine, Uruguay, Uganda, or United States. The people MUST liberate themselves and NOT expect someone else to do that for them. The absurd notion that a political savior can and will enact and implement freedom for the individuals who make up the society is prevalent everywhere and is a major reason why we cannot move beyond the normal pattern of “…Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.” In the United States, the most recent and (still ongoing) saga of Donald Trump and his legions of True Believers is a clear indication that people in this country are also prey to this fallacy.
This morning I opened up Lew Rockwell and saw that someone closer to home had expressed the same opinion.
“Only individual resolve and a willingness to take great risk in order to restore true freedom can change this course we are on, and absolutely no one can force these citizens to do it; they have to come to that as individuals.”
As “citizen comrades” of the Free World, we are in the precarious position of watching the jaws of a trap snap shut on our (so-called) liberty. We delude ourselves that we live in the “land of the free” and praise God that we do not live in such “slave societies” as Russia, but seem to be oblivious that we are rapidly being rushed into that type of condition ourselves. And, if we do understand that, we simply succumb to the siren song of a snake-oil salesman who promises great things, but never delivers. Having great hope and faith, we pull a lever which seem to be the means to the end—our freedom, but simply cannot comprehend that the lever we pull is attached to a mechanism which perpetuates the System which is squeezing us tighter and tighter. Then, two years or four years later, having great hope and faith, we do the same thing over again. This is the classic definition of insanity.
Returning to The Constitution will not save us. We have never left it. Writing a New Constitution will not save us. In fact, any constitution at all which grants power and authority to governments will not produce freedom and liberty, but will instead enslave individual people, albeit in a different manner.
It is incredible how as soon as a people become subject, it promptly falls into such complete forgetfulness of its freedom that it can hardly be roused to the point of regaining it, obeying so easily and willingly that one is led to say that this people has not so much lost its liberty as won its enslavement.” ~ Etienne de La Boetie (1552-53)
No, there is only one solution to this consequence of the sin nature of humanity and it is timeless because it is true.
“‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” – Jesus Christ (Matthew 22: 37-39)
People who love their neighbors as they love themselves do not seek to enslave them, but rather will do everything they can to set them free, allowing them to become the persons they were created to be free. Furthermore,
“Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full–pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.” – Jesus Christ (Luke 6:38)
Did you get that? The amount you give will determine the amount you get back. Unfortunately, too many Christians think that this only applies to financial affairs, narrowed down to the weekly injunction heard in churches everywhere–Tithes and Offerings. Too many do not understand that, in order to be free, they must give freedom. First, they must give freedom, after that they will receive freedom.
“Absurd! Unheard of! Tradition!!” – Tevye, from Fiddler on the Roof
Tevye, however, saw his dogmatic observance of tradition broken over and over again…and so must we if we are ever going to be free. We must stop relying on others to do this for us and get on with the task ourselves.
“The time has come and the time is now!”—Percik, from Fiddler on the Roof
“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.” — H.L. Mencken
Almost a year ago, shortly after the Corona Monster (Covid Aberration, Covidiocy, call it whatever you want) was wound up and thrust upon the world, I posted an article in this blog literally stating that Christian churches everywhere ought to defy government orders and throw open their doors, allowing and encouraging people to come in and celebrate the Good News of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. I said that pastors and church boards should “gird up their loins” and tell the State to get out. I also predicted that this would not happen and concluded with the admonition that, “We must not be quiet or we will be silenced.”
This article was an expansion of a Letter to the Editor which I had published in the Ravalli Republic just a few days earlier. In the initial throes of insanity, panic, and fear-mongered hysteria, this was DEFINITELY NOT well received. Needless to say, my counsel was not followed and church doors were locked on that morning. History shows that, in the face of entrenched, over-powering evil, people will do whatever it takes to avoid trouble and churches everywhere did just that, collapsing into piles of quivering rubble instead of standing erect and strong as the megaphones and mouthpieces of the Light of the World.
Nevertheless, it is now one year later and we (some of us, at least) are “free” to conduct our affairs in a (more or less) restricted atmosphere. The parishioners will be treated to sermons which expound on the glories of “Resurrection Power” and what it means for us today. I wonder, though, how many pastors will take the bull by the horns and preach about being sold a “Pot of Message” and actually dare to admit personal wrongdoing by leading the congregation in a direction which is completely opposed to the liberating, freedom-enhancing message of Jesus.
Not very many, I’ll bet. More than likely, they will proclaim their gratefulness and thanksgiving to a State system which “graciously” allows them to meet together on this Auspicious Day, so long as they sit seven feet apart, do not greet each other with a hug and a kiss, and take Communion digitally instead of in a physically dangerous manner.
I would really like to say “God damn them all!”, but since this blog is read by people who might be offended by that, I will not say it. Besides, God might take that curse seriously at face value and start orchestrating events which would flush them down the toilet. I prefer that did not happen, so I will not curse them. Furthermore, “Judge not, lest you be judged.”, is an admonition I am slowly beginning to realize the value of, so I will pray for them instead and try to encourage them to be consistent with their stated beliefs.
The on-again, off-again event known as the Keystone XL pipeline is now off. Again. For now, that is. Who knows what its status will be in a few years?
Thanks to Joe Biden’s singular effort in writing his name on a piece of paper, a.k.a. Executive Order, the project has just simply been cancelled and shut down. It does not matter that billions of dollars have been invested in it nor that thousands of well-paying jobs have disappeared, disrupting (destroying?) the lives of those workers. It does not matter that the producers of the oil now have no good way to transfer their product to market. It does not matter that the consumers of the end product now find their options more limited. What does matter is that the political “tenor of the moment” called for the pipeline to be stopped in its tracks…and Biden did it, to the accolades of millions of people who have absolutely no stake in the venture.
Ain’t democracy grand?
I take no position on the pipeline itself. I am not opposed to it nor in favor of it. However, there is one aspect of the whole venture which causes me concern. It has nothing to do with oil or the environment, but instead focuses on the (supposed) rights of property owners who might resist an oil-carrying pipeline built into their “back forty”. In any case of this nature (I am sure there are some), eminent domain would be brought into play, court orders issued, arbitrary figures assessed for the damages, and checks distributed to ease the pain. All done legally, mind you.
“I have an order here!” — Constable, Fiddler on the Roof
“A piece of paper and get thee out.”— Mordcha, Fiddler on the Roof.
We understand that illegal taking is wrong–theft, fraud, murder, rape, slander, etc. What is not so clearly seen is that legal taking is just as wrong. In the eighth commandment to the Hebrews, Moses said, “You shall not steal.” Ever since people have corrupted that in many ways. “You shall not steal, except by majority vote.” “You shall not steal, except by government action.” “You shall not steal, unless you are driven to it by external circumstances.”
Private property in America today is not owned privately at all. It is controlled and regulated, perhaps even expropriated, by society in general and civil governments in particular. A man’s home is not his castle. It can be taxed away from him. It can be zoned out of existence. It can be condemned and taken by eminent domain. It can be seized and destroyed because it doesn’t meet the “standards” of the community. In short, private property doesn’t really exist. Everything is owned by the State or the collective society. The will of the individual is overruled by the will of the many. This is neither liberty nor freedom. It is majoritarian slavery (socialism) and far too many people buy into it because they do not understand what it really means to be free. The end result of such a policy is that no one’s property is secure.
In essence, the “taking” of private property by eminent domain is not any different than the legal taking of private property for other uses: zoning, setbacks, urban renewal, even taxation, just to name a few. In every single case of taking, whether legal or illegal, someone is forced to give up justly owned property for the use and/or abuse of someone else.
Should any individual person have the power to halt a project which has been deemed necessary and beneficial for the community at large? Can a hydropower dam be stopped because one man, whose farm would be flooded under several feet of water, refuses to sell out and get out? Must an interstate highway be rerouted because one woman, whose restaurant would be bulldozed into oblivion, will not give up? At first glance, the answer to these questions is quite simply, “No! It should not. They have to move.” This runs headlong into the lodestone of libertarian thought, however–property rights. Individual freedom is based on property rights, which are paramount above everything else.
If the deliberate abortion of an unborn child can be justified in the name of “property rights” regardless of the harm done to the child or society at large, then why cannot a landowner tell a government or corporation to simply bugger off? Is it because we are inconsistent on this question, voicing an opinion and belief, but acting differently when the chips are down?
What is the problem here? It should not matter that this is an extreme example of the philosophy of personal liberty. It should not matter that we “need” the oil or that “we” will die if it pumps. What should be proclaimed loudly and clearly is that the individual right to own and keep property is in danger by the selfish interests of others, who want to take that property and use it for their own benefit.
“Thou shalt not steal.“ –God, via Moses and the Ten Commandments
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” — (Matthew 22:36-40, NIV)
I have not been shy about airing my irritation with and dissent from the ubiquitous Covid mindset and Grand Social Experiments visited upon society worldwide. In fact, most of the articles published on this blog over the last year have been related to that. Occasionally, I receive feedback from the opposition, to which I usually reply with a short and sharp rebuttal of the argument, along with a note that I will not respond to any further communication on their part.
Recently, I received a message from a man whom I will call DS. He contacted me through a website, Face of Freedom, which I had recently set up to stir people into action against the lockdowns and mask mandates. DS probably responded to a letter which I wrote to the Editor at the Ravalli Republic, although he did not specify where he found the website address. His irrational argument is indicative of the mentality that supporters of the State enforced actions exhibit. There is no logical reasoning here, but it is shot through and through with guilt-manipulation and emotional histrionics. (And bad spelling and grammar, but I choose to overlook that.)
“I have to ask you, Do you all have a problem wearing a shirt into a restaurant? Shoes? Do you even understand peoples health concerns? Do you even care? I have lost friends because of this pandemic, many sick, I CHOOSE to wear a mask for them? There have been several scientific studies that have indicated how many people could have been saved is people would have JUST taken common sense precautions. You site biblical passages, I wonder what Jesus would have done? I think he would have cared about his fellow man.”
I have to ask you. What does wearing a shirt into a restaurant have to do with wearing a face mask as “supposed protection” against the Corona virus? Ditto with shoes. Presumably, he meant the wearing of shoes into restaurants as well as shirts, but that is not what he said, to which I can only repeat the wisdom of my father. “I don’t know what you meant. I only know what you said.”
This is a non sequitur, bringing up something which is totally irrelevant to the argument in the feeble attempt to make a point and it shows the shallow and unthinking reaction of people like DS as concerns this topic.
Do I understand the health concerns of people? Of course, I do. Everyone is concerned about their own personal health as they should be, and if some choose to wear a face mask or to sequester themselves away from others because they think this will prevent them from getting sick and/or dying, then I wish them well. I grant them the right to choose their own method in combatting this “dread disease”, which has been proven over the last year to be on par with a normal flu season. Where DS and I part company is that he wants to force everyone to wear the “face-covering diaper” and to isolate themselves, regardless of the rights and desires of those who disagree with him. I grant him the freedom to choose for himself, but he is not willing to do that for me. And they call people like me selfish?
Do I even care? Do I care that people get sick and die? Of course, I do. I have experienced personal loss from sickness and death among family members, friends, and acquaintances and have felt the grief and pain which comes when such events occur. Death has always been a part of life and there is nothing different about that now. Do I even care? Who is DS to question that? Who made him judge over me?
Of all the friends he has lost (and my condolences to him), how many were afflicted with comorbidities like obesity, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, poor immune systems, etc. How many were physically inactive? How many lived on junk food? He does not say. How many of his friends would have died from something else if the Corona Monster had not ripped them from this life? My guess–every single one–because when the Grim Reaper taps you on the shoulder, you go. No matter what. Attempting to blame someone else for the deaths of those you love is foolish and irresponsible, especially when it cannot be conclusively proven that anyone else caused that death. This specious argument is simply assumed to be true. DS did get one thing right, though, he CHOOSES to wear a mask for them, which is fine as long as it is his own voluntary choice. I have no problem with that, but he really ought to quit trying to make others responsible because someone dies.
Scientific studies? Do not get me started. To advance this particular narrative, science has been thrown under the bus.
How many people could have been saved? According to a saying often (probably wrongly) attributed to Mark Twain, there are lies, damned lies, and statistics. This question resonates on all three. From Wikipedia comes this comment,
“Lies, damned lies, and statistics” is a phrase describing the persuasive power of numbers, particularly the use of statistics to bolster weak arguments.
Weak arguments. I like that. Sometimes Wikipedia is very helpful.
Common sense precautions? Well, yes, that is sensible, but mandated, meaningless mask wearing, anti-social distancing, business closures, travel lockdowns, forced vaccinations of unproven materials, provoking mass hysteria and panic, throwing people out of work en masse, shuttering schools for no good reason, using faulty testing to prove a point, etc., etc., is not common sense at all. In fact, it is and was an incredibly stupid response to a virus which has been proven over and over again to be relatively normal as far as flu seasons go. The common sense precaution would have been to treat it as if it were just another flu (and been done with it). The irrational, hysterical, panic-driven approach to it would have been to throw the entire world into a tizzy, which is just exactly what happened. Common sense? I do not think so.
What would Jesus have done? Well, I am willing to bet that He would have spoken the truth about the whole matter without any equivocations as to feelings, emotional appeals, or fear. As to what He would say about bad science and damned statistics, I can only guess.
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2 Tim. 1:7, KJV)
I have to ask you. Which of these two opposing camps exhibits a spirit of fear?
“Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte (R) lifted the state’s mask mandate Friday, fulfilling a campaign pledge, after he said the state has made significant progress vaccinating the most vulnerable against COVID-19.Gianforte has been a vocal opponent to the mask mandate, which was signed into law by his predecessor, Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock, in July.The governor made the announcement Wednesday, during a signing ceremony for legislation that would shield businesses, health care providers, houses of worship and nonprofit organizations from coronavirus-related lawsuits.” — Lew Rockwell
In response to the governor’s action, State Medical Officer Dr. Greg Holzman sent in his resignation effective April 16, 2021.
“Abraham Lincoln said in a different context, ‘United we stand, divided we fall.’ However, with our communities fighting against this virus, this point still works and still stands. We can disagree on so many different things, but against a highly transmittable respiratory virus, we need to follow the science.”
Right! Follow the “science” when you can manipulate it to your advantage and most especially when you can use it to throw someone else under the bus.
Considering that I have been vociferously against the Covid restrictions from the start (scroll back through this blog’s posts to early 2020, see here and here for examples), I am elated at this news. Not only are Montanans now free from the State ordering them to cover their faces in public, but we will soon be free from paying a hefty salary to this over-paid, petulant bureaucrat, that is, until he signs on with another agency and starts sucking the taxpayer teat again. Now, if only Missoula and Silver Bow counties would get on board!
However, this is no time to let up or relent on the drive to completely eliminate the asinine rules and behaviors expected because of this virus, which has been proven by data to be no more deadly nor dangerous than any other typical flu virus. On the contrary, we should be on our guard that Gianforte and/or the medical establishment do not hit us from an unexpected direction. It is imperative that people everywhere, such as local groups Stand Up MT and Stand Together For Freedom continue to put pressure on the System which brought this “grand social experiment” to us in the first place. This episode of the good/evil battle will not end until one side or the other is completely beaten.
The action by the governor may be in good faith, but since he is a politician (need I say anything more?), it is entirely conceivable that this might simply be a feint in the drive to completely subjugate the common citizen of Montana. One step backward, two steps forward. Gianforte is, after all, a conservative Republican, which means absolutely nothing when it concerns individual rights and freedoms. Today’s reprieve can easily turn into tomorrow’s nightmare and there are no guarantees that any certain political label will safeguard against that happening. Today’s “freedom fighter” is tomorrow’s “domestic terrorist” and the only difference is whether we get to apply the label or “they” do.
¿Quien sabe? Who knows?
“The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt.” — John Philpot Curran
Stay alert. Pay attention. See what is happening behind the scenes as well as what is promoted front and center. Your liberty depends on it.
I have written before (see here, here, and here) about the economic debacle which is coming closer and closer with each passing day. I am not an economist in any form of the word, but I can look at the situation around me and see that the world as we knew it is rapidly coming unglued.
A day of reckoning is inevitable. It will happen. Exactly how and when no one knows, but that does not void the guarantee that it will come. We need to be ready and prepared as much as possible, however, there is no chance that anyone can prepare for everything. Sometimes our efforts are productive and adequate. Other times we have to trust in God. Sometimes there is nothing else we can do and my gut tells me that we are going to have ample opportunity to learn what that trust means and how to put it into action.
I should not have to convince anyone of this (your vision is good enough to see it clearly), but in the event that you want to see some “expert” opinions from men who are better educated and more experienced in the field of finance and economy than I am, these links are included: David Stockman, John Mauldin, Alasdair MacLeod, and if you want something a little simpler and easier to understand, see MN Gordon.
Continuation of the status quo will only mean more of the same, over and over. The longer that the System continues, the greater will be the breakup when it comes. Too Big to Fail (TBTF) means guaranteed widespread destruction when it does fail.
Imagine a huge tree which is rotten at its core in a forest of much smaller trees surrounding it. Eventually (no one can say when) it will succumb to the forces of nature (gravity, wind, etc.) and crash to the forest floor. Inevitably, some of the smaller trees will be crushed and broken beyond repair. Some will be damaged but will recover to a certain degree. Some, depending on the direction of the fall, will escape unscathed and flourish in the space which has been opened. Ironically, there will also be a huge birthing of new seedlings around the lifeless trunk, all of which will begin competing with each other for light, nutrients, and space. The best and strongest will thrive and prosper. The worst and weakest will be crowded out as the forest regenerates.
This is the natural process of things and we should not be surprised nor afraid when it happens in the affairs of men. To be sure, the System we have today is immense and continually growing larger, but it is also corrupt and rotten to the core. Sooner or later, it will topple and crash to the floor, destroying an uncountable number of lives, crippling many more, and creating havoc and destruction on a vast scale. When this happens, there will be opportunity, freedom, and room to grow for those who were fortunate enough to avoid being crushed.
Unlike trees which cannot move defensively, people can. We can see what is coming. We cannot determine the exact timing and direction of the collapse, but we can take evasive action to protect ourselves against it when the event occurs. We may get lucky and find ourselves situated out of harm’s way, ready and able to spring up anew as a “green shoot” to start the process all over again. However, it should be stressed that the only guarantee in this is that the “Mother of all Sequoias” is going to fall. No one should expect to escape unscathed, although it is likely that some will. We can hope for that and make preparations as if it were going to happen, but we should also be prepared for the worst–which may come regardless of our wishes, hopes, and readiness.
What to do in the meantime? I can think of three things which are critically important.
Build your faith in God. That will carry you through the tough times. Abandon any faith you have in the State. That will destroy you.
Be ready mentally for anything. Get to the point where you are not afraid to lose it all, including your life and liberty. It might happen.
Get out of debt if possible. Learn to live with what you have. Downsize if necessary, but escape the debt trap. This action alone will give you a sense of freedom which much of the modern world simply does not understand. Let the Joneses go down with the ship. You need to be in the lifeboat.
“You shall know the Truth and the Truth will set you free.” — Jesus Christ (John 8:32)
It has been nearly three months since the presidential election of 2020 and almost two weeks since Joe Biden was ensconced in the White House, yet I still hear people say that they are hoping a miracle will happen and Donald Trump will pull it out of the bag to regain his proper place. In some unknown, divinely inspired fashion, he will snatch victory out of the jaws of defeat. Truth will prevail, right?
Well, yes, it will, but quite often does not work out the way we want it to or think it should.
Hope springs eternal for those who have placed their faith in a mirage and Trump fit that description for more than four years. Full of bluster, bravado, and braggadocio, he has talked the talk, but done very little to back up the promises he made to the multitudes of “true believers” who flocked to his banner.
Drain the Swamp. Done.
Build the Wall. Done.
Make Mexico pay for it. Done.
Bring the troops home. Done.
Take Syria’s oil. Well, one promise kept is better than none, except that this has not made America greater or better, but has made the situation worse instead.
How much does it take to realize that the man was nothing more than an empty suit full of hot air? How long until even the most diehard believer must admit that Trump simply was not up to the task? How much more time and energy will be spent trying to reform the System from within the System? How many more “disappointing” election cycles must we go through before the average person abandons the belief that their “vote” means something or will change anything for the better? Will the lesser of two evils ever be seen for what it truly is—evil?
“…we are reaching a stage in the conflict between freedom advocates and collectivist tyrants when many illusions are going to melt away, and all we will be left with is cold hard reality. Now is the time when we find out who is going to stand their ground and fight for what they believe in, and who is going to cower and submit just to save their own skin.” — Brandon Smith
Nothing positive can be gained by repeating the process.
“As Christians, we must lose the belief that our problems can be solved by politics. It is no good to put our faith in the system, hoping and believing that those we elect or the laws they enact will make everything (anything?) right. Thinking that America can be “restored” by reverting to a more conservative or Constitutional approach to government is foolish, naïve, and willfully blind. America has gone too far, there is no going back.” — Poor Roger’s Almanac
It would be wise to consider where we stand, what we believe, and what we must do to make our way forward without trying to look backward through the fog of false hope and the words of false messiahs. It is foolish to continue to put trust into one mortally flawed human being to solve our problems. It is time to remove the blinders and see the truth in the full light of day.
The past is gone. It cannot be recovered. Let it go and move on.There is work to do.
[Editor’s Note: I wrote the article below in 2013 and posted it on a blog which is no longer in existence and cannot be recovered. It has been slightly revised to improve the grammar, but otherwise has not been changed. The message is as relevant now as it was then.]
If you have never seen Niagara Falls in person, then you should try to work that experience into your busy life. It’s an awesome sight, exhilarating, humbling, hypnotic. To see all that water plunging over the precipice into the depths below is something that can’t be understood fully until you’ve been there.
There is a certain point upriver which boaters have to be very aware of. It’s the location where the pull of the current will override the power of the boat engine. From there on, it’s all downhill until the boat goes over the falls and smashes into bits at the bottom. Depending on the boat and the size of the engine, it may be closer or farther away from the edge, but every single boat is subject to that “point of no return”.
There are warning signs. There are patrols which will go out into the river and caution boaters not to go any farther. They may forcibly prohibit someone from continuing downstream simply to stop them from destroying themselves. Water is a powerful force. There is an expression—-caught in the millrace–describing an out-of-control event which is happening and which cannot be avoided or escaped from.
America is caught in that current, has passed the point of no return, and is inexorably being swept toward the edge. No matter what we try, there is no escape. We are going to go over the precipice. Of this, I am certain. It’s not going to be pretty.
[Update: The last paragraph is out of date. We are not going to go over the precipice, we have already done so and are rapidly descending into a catastrophic smashup. Nothing to do now except to trust in God, pick up the pieces, and start over, hopefully a little wiser.]
“I could not be more demoralized or disillusioned. Trump’s four years were almost entirely bereft of the “winning” he promised. “Trust the plan” seems like the most bitter joke imaginable now. The only arrests were of Trump’s associates, who were prosecuted by his Justice Department. The same Justice Department that declined to prosecute Hillary Clinton. Or look at Hunter Biden’s laptop. Or investigate vote fraud.”
“Trump was the commander-in-chief for four years. He could have brought all the troops home, as he often threatened to do. He could have closed the border, as he often threatened to do. He could have written those Executive Orders he promised, to ban DACA, ban birth-right citizenship, close sanctuary cities, and end the foreign VISA worker programs. Instead, while he undeniably was preoccupied with fending off attacks for his entire time in office, including a laughably partisan impeachment effort, he spent most of his time in office tweeting. And engaging in childish food fights with state-controlled journalists and clueless celebrities. The level of discourse is now less civil than it has ever been.” — Donald Jeffries
Joe Biden has been sworn in and is now president of the United States of America. Donald Trump has been thrown out unceremoniously on his ear. It remains to be seen, though, whether he will be dragged through the meat grinder one more time (impeachment) to make sure that he will never again attain the office of the presidency or wield the power he once had. They (the powers-that-be) must be terrified. No one would take such extreme measures if they were not. Which brings up the question– “What the heck are they scared of?” Answer that and you will know how to act.
In my opinion, Trump ought to threaten them with flat-out blackmail: “If you prosecute me any further, I will release the information I have on your sordid dealings. It will be like the floodgates of Hell were opened. We are ready to rumble. Your move.”
What the heck? If Trump was half the man he promoted himself to be, he would simply release all the dirt he possessed and let the chips fall where they would. Will that happen? Probably not. Any president who pardons Blackwater thugs, but refuses to do the same for Edward Snowden or Julian Assange is not worthy of serious respect or consideration.
But, enough of the politics. Let’s move on to more important questions which we need to answer. What is going to happen now and where do we go from here?
In answer to the first question—Who knows? That is beyond our knowledge and control. There is no sense at all in wasting time, energy, and resources trying to figure it out. All we need to know is that it is going to be chaotic and we need to be aware that massive changes are coming to the American Dream, R.I.P. The fact is that the way we experienced life is over and done. It is the End of the World, as we knew it. Big changes are coming and we will have to adapt to them—for better or for worse.
In answer to the second question—That depends on us. We can wallow in the depths of despair and misery because Trump did not prevail. We can look at the future with an eye of doom and gloom because Biden did. We can be certain that our world has gone to Hell in a hand basket and there is nothing we can do about it.
Conversely, we can be confident that Biden’s victory is going to accelerate the demise of the System as we knew it and celebrate that the old, corrupt way of doing things has crossed the Rubicon. We can be sure that the State which has wielded so much power and influence over our daily lives has reached its zenith and is rapidly disintegrating before our very eyes. We can be hopeful that our children and grandchildren will experience a better life than we had, not necessarily richer materialistically, but more at liberty to determine the way they live within their own personal lives.
To be honest, I am glad that Donald Trump lost his bid for a second term. There have been far too many people in this country who thought that he was the equivalent of the second coming of Christ, who believed that he was going to Make America Good Again! Many of them Solid Republican Christians, and now the mask has been ripped off. “Ouch! That hurts!” Far too many people put their faith and trust in the System (voting), expecting the System (Establishment) to respond positively to their preference and liking. Well, the blinders are coming off and multitudes are going to have to admit they were hoodwinked and that they will have to change course. No more faith in politics nor a political figurehead. Faith only in the One Who has the ability and power to save us regardless of the circumstances.
Perhaps more appropriate than trying to predict the future is to answer this question. “How should we then live?” As far as I am concerned, there is only one answer:
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 John 1:9 (New International Version)
Back to Donald Jeffries again for a brief moment.
In this fantastically divided country, after the brief age of Trump, we remain locked down, wearing masks, socially distancing, listless and rudderless. Like Orwell’s Winston Smith, we have learned to love Big Brother
Yes, we have learned to love Big Brother who promises a false liberty and we have forgotten what it means to love the One Who gives us true liberty. Both demand total submission, unconditional surrender, but only One produces the real deal. It is time we abandoned man-made solutions and saviors and put our hope in the Gospel, Spirit, and Person of Jesus Christ.
Time may be linear, but life is not. Like the ocean tides, life is constantly changing, always moving in different directions. There are high point and low points. There are good times and bad. There are euphoria and depression. Rich and poor. Pleasant and uncomfortable. Joy and sorrow. Et cetera. This list could go on forever.
If there is one constant in life, it is that it is always in flux, never the same from one moment to the next. Perhaps it would be more appropriate right now to say that life is never the same from one presidential election to another, but I do not have to tell you that. It is painfully evident today.
Unless a miracle happens and he pulls an ace or two out of his sleeve, Donald Trump will be out in just a few days. (The last four years remind me of Lady MacBeth’s tirade, “Out, damned spot. Out, I say!”) Unless something drastic happens, in just a few days, Joe Biden will be sworn in as President of the USA. To say that things will be different is to only state the obvious. Trying to guess how they will be different is a little more problematic, although we can look at the sorry state of affairs we are currently living in and conclude that we are experiencing the end of the American Experiment, a.k.a, End of the World–as we knew it.
Yes, life is going to be different. For most of us, probably harder, more difficult, more complex. This is not necessarily a bad thing, because if tough times make tough people, then a lot of us are going to become much tougher in the years ahead. The manner with which we respond to the changes and the way we allow our circumstances to mold and shape us will determine what we become. There really are only two options. We will become stronger and better persons, driving our world forward toward a better future, or we will become weaker and less effective in producing anything of lasting value and meaning.
This is not difficult to understand. You can either swim or you can drift. It is not a matter of sinking, since even drowning persons make the effort to save themselves. Swimmers, even drowning ones, work to affect their world in a personally beneficial way. Drifters simply float, going wherever the current takes them. All other things being equal, activity will conquer passivity every single time. Even if it is dead wrong and criminal, a deliberate action will overcome a passive response to it. Drifting, without any attempt to better yourself, will produce exactly what you put into it–nothing.
In an article recently posted on Lew Rockwell, Allan Stevo wrote this.
“It is with great truth that people say faith can move mountains. It need not be a religious conviction. To tell yourself something is possible and to commit yourself to doing that thing makes that thing possible and far more likely to occur than before the person of faith conceived it. The person of faith is required to act in order for creation to occur. If you don’t act, creation cannot occur. If you don’t fight, you can’t win.”
“He with no faith, moves no mountains.”
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Make the step. And then another, and another, until they become a habit. One step is an anomaly, two steps a coincidence, three steps a pattern. It is impossible to climb a mountain without starting, but if you decide that you cannot climb that mountain, you will never start. You will only stay at home, sitting in your easy chair, consoling yourself with the rationalization that you really did not want to climb it anyway.
My father used to quote this saying. I do not know where it came from. “They said it couldn’t be done, but with vim and vigor, he pitched right in AND couldn’t do it.” Understanding him the way I did (and do), I would read that as saying that he thought there are some things in life which cannot be accomplished, no matter how much time, effort, and resources are poured into it, therefore there is no sense in trying. The important thing here, though, is not the failure to succeed, but the fact that there is a concerted attempt made to reach a goal. Discouragement from others should not prevent you from taking a chance and working to make your dreams come true. You may fail if you try. You will always fail if you do not.
How are we going to handle the challenges ahead of us? This is the question each of us must answer in our own way. I cannot answer for you. You cannot answer for me. Each version will be unique. I can, however, offer you this scriptural advice from which I draw inspiration in my own life.
“…faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead…Show me your faith without works and I will show you my faith by my works.” (James 2:17, 18)
“Whatever you do [whatever your task may be], work from the soul [that is, put in your very best effort], as [something done] for the Lord and not for men,” (Colossians 3:23, Amplified Bible)
But Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.” — Matthew 12:25
Joe Biden has won. Donald Trump has lost. There were only two possible outcomes of this “election” and this is the one which has played out. What do I think? I am not greatly concerned about it and it will not cause me to lose any sleep or give in to the fear which so many have already succumbed to. Neither will it cause me to go out and riot in the streets.
Some will be exhilarated by the news. They will rejoice that their dreams have come true. They will celebrate the “fact” that lying, cheating, and stealing will produce the results they hope for. They will anticipate that “glorious day” when Utopia comes to Earth and they will be disappointed when they receive an “F” on their report card–at some undefined point in the future.
Some will be devastated by the news. They will express sorrow that their dreams have not manifested. They will rue the “fact” that Donald Trump has not proven to be the savior they desired and that he was not able to produce the world they thought was possible. As the societal situation deteriorates, they will continually say, “If you had only listened to me.”
Salvation does not come from a forced conformity to the prevailing attitude. It does not come from a societal pressure to be like everyone else. It does not come from a statist attitude that we are free to do as we are told, but only as we are told. It does not come from the idea that we must be made to be good. In this belief, Democrats, socialists, and progressives are all wrong.
Neither does salvation come in the form of a man who embodies the belief that we can simply shape society to our liking by writing our Code of Conduct down on a scrap of parchment. It does not come from the belief that returning to the Constitution of the United States is going to correct all the wrongs in society. Heck, we never abandoned the Constitution. It has been with us…forever. In this, Republicans, conservatives, and (some) morally upright people are all wrong.
Politics. Everything I have written above is politics, except the first paragraph. What is politics? It is the art and practice of getting what you want at the expense of everyone else. This is as simple an explanation as I can come up with and it has been proven to be true, over and over, throughout history.
[Editor’s Note: I saw Fiddler on the Roof live in Jacksonville, FL, on Topol’s farewell tour, the last year he would ever perform this play. He was showing his age. It was one of the highlights of my life. I will never forget it.]
[Disclaimer: Fiddler on the Roof is, in my opinion, the supreme show. If I wake up in the middle of the night and cannot go back to sleep, I pop it onto the big screen and watch it–until I fall asleep, which may take a few minutes, only to wake up three hours later to turn it off. My wife hates it, but she tolerates it. God bless her.]
Reality is that man individually cannot save himself. Reality is that man cannot save himself collectively either. Individually or collectively, we cannot save ourselves and so we resort to politics, which is based on force. You will be saved, doggone it, even if you do not want to be. Politics is a desire to save mankind from himself (personally benefiting from the process) and, practiced as such, is doomed to failure. The sooner we learn that the better off we will be. Politics is not going to save us because politics does not and cannot change human nature. It can only exacerbate the negative aspects of it.
Reality is that we must reach outside of ourselves to find the answers to the problems which plague us. Man, as a species, is flawed and imperfect, therefore, Man as a species, cannot rely on Man to solve our problems. We can only find the answers when we search from a higher knowledge and understanding. This, inevitably, means coming to grips with the idea that we are not self-sufficient in ourselves. We cannot solve our own problems. We need help–badly, big time! This is the hardest thing we will ever encounter.
“Help? I need help? I cannot do this on my own? WTF?”
Well, yes, we do because the world which we have devised and created is coming apart at the seams.
There is only one response to this. We have been wrong. We need to change. We, meaning I. I have been wrong. I need to change. I am responsible for the shape and condition of my world. I, not you. Let me repeat that because it may not have sunk in the first time–I, not you.
Looking in the mirror at my own face and considering my own spiritual condition is not easy, but it is necessary. Nothing in my life will change until I change. I cannot change unless I am willing to give up control of my life, admit that I cannot handle it by myself, and ask for help–from the One Who can give me what I need to make those changes. This is reality, spiritual reality, and it will manifest itself first in my own life personally. From there, it will spread to my world and begin to influence the worlds of those who are in contact with me.
Jesus also used this illustration: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like the yeast a woman used in making bread. Even though she put only a little yeast in three measures of flour, it permeated every part of the dough.” — Matthew 13:33
What is the solution to our problems in today’s society? Easy answer: Elect the right President. Pass the right laws. Enact the right policies. Enforce the right behavior. Hard answer: I am. You are. We are.
Playing politics and putting our faith in the System will not carry the day. Putting our faith in Jesus the Christ and relying on His Spirit to regenerate ourselves will. This is the only solution.
In 2020, I wrote and published forty-nine articles on this blog, all but a few of them concerning the madness and panic we have experienced due to the Corona Monster outbreak. Some of these were informative, some an attempt to be humorous, others opinionated, even a few which employed some degree of sarcasm and ridicule. I appreciate your patience and long-suffering.
However, just as we have left 2020 behind and begun a new year, turning a corner, so to speak, I am also going to be charting a new course and heading into the unknown future, hoping to shine a light in the darkness by which I can see my way clearly and which others, who wish to journey with me, will be attracted to.
There is more than enough data available and so much noise made about this aberration that no one needs to be persuaded any longer. Everyone has made up his/her mind about the corona virus and nothing remains to be said which is going to convince anyone to change their opinion about it, except politicians, of course, who are attentive to every little flicker of the change in the wind. I have come to the conclusion that I am only preaching to the choir of those who hold the same attitude I do. Those who do not are not going to pay any attention to what I say. I am wasting my breath. My time. I am tired of it. Because of this, I am going to shift my focus to something which I consider to be far more important: the way we live and die (because die we will) in a dark and uncertain future. Whether we live or die as a result of the Corona Monster rearing its ugly head should not be our consuming fire. How we respond to the situation is.
I keep an eye on the statistics which WordPress provides to me and have noticed a pattern recently. Out of all the articles I have published in the last year, the ones which drew the most attention by far (see here and here for example) have not been focused directly on the Covid issue or the state of our world. Instead, they have been those in which I offered an affirming message of encouragement, hope, and courage with the intention of building up the moral strength and spiritual fortitude of my readers. (And that of myself, because I need to hear these things just as much as anyone else does.)
These are dark days and appear to be getting more so. If you only focus on the bad news, you will be discouraged, lose hope, and suffer defeat in your own personal spiritual life. It doesn’t have to be that way, though, because we do not have to give in to the negative feeling of despair. We can be hopeful, we can be encouraged, we can be strong and victorious over the vicissitudes of life which seek to destroy us. No matter which way the world turns, our attitude can be positive and vibrant with the joy of life which is within us. We have the choice before us: to live well, proactively and positively, OR to only live, reactively and resignedly, which is not really living at all.
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” —Viktor Frankl, from Man’s Search for Meaning
OK, let’s cut to the chase. From here on out, increasingly, spiritual inspiration is going to be the main driver of my message. This does not mean that I am going to disregard the chaos and flux which is happening around us. Pollyanna is not going to be my model. Don’t worry about that. My articles are still going to be as pointed and hard-hitting as ever, but even though I might write about some particular issue, the underlying message will be one of hope and encouragement so that others can find their way through the fog and emerge stronger than ever when it dissipates. There is a silver lining behind every cloud and I am determined to find it.
My mother always wanted me to be a preacher. My father’s opinion was that I should have been a lawyer. I’ve spent a good portion of my life trying to be a philosopher. Probably, all three of these have coalesced into who I am right now.
Hang on. Life is a wild, exhilarating, beautiful ride and then we die, only to hear those words,
“Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.” — Matthew 25:23
“As 2021 begins, let us make the decision to live fearlessly in the middle of our own personal storm.”
Fearlessly! At first glance, this sounds good. In order to live a life in which we do not give in to our fear, we have to live fearlessly. Right? It would seem so, but ever since I wrote that and published it, something has been gnawing at me that this is off kilter just a little.
I found the answer in a book which I purchased recently: Live Not By Lies, A Manual for Christian Dissidents, by Rod Dreher. He discusses the difference between “hard” totalitarianism of the Communist regimes of the Soviet Union and its Eastern European satellites and the “soft” totalitarianism we are beginning to experience in the West. In the “hard” system, everyone was forced to conform to the ideological line and punished severely, often brutally and violently, sometimes killed or imprisoned for long periods of time. In the “soft” system, we are seeing the rise of a society which is demanding conformity to the ideological line and punishment is visited on those who refuse to do so or who may have inadvertently broken the “rules”. The practices of cancel culture, career terminations, digital censorship, mandatory training courses in diversity and tolerance, etc., are becoming just as totalitarian as what we remember the Soviet Bloc to be. Dreher also gives some advice on how to withstand and resist the approaching juggernaut, but I’m not going to give it to you. Buy the book and read it for yourself.
One paragraph stuck out at me, though, and gave me what I needed to answer the question above. Toward the end of the book is a quote by one of Dreher’s contacts, a Slovak who was part of the underground resistance toward the Czechoslovakian State.
Dreher writes that,
“Simulcik tells me that he and his cell of several other young Catholic men were all afraid. You would have been crazy not to have fear.”
then goes on to quote him directly.
“The question is, which is going to win: fear, or courage?…In the beginning, it was mostly a matter of fear. But once you started experiencing freedom–and you felt freedom through the things you did–your courage grew. We experienced all this together. We helped one another to gradually build up the courage to do bigger things, like join the Candle Demonstration. With this courage also developed our sense of duty, and our need to be of service to other people…We could see the products of our work.”
Courage, as any John Wayne fan knows, is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway. Saddle up enough times and you will lose the fear. When that happens, freedom comes–the freedom to get on a horse and ride fearlessly–because you know that you have conquered what held you back before.
None of us are able to live without fear all the time. There are times when we would be crazy not to be afraid, but that should not stop us from living courageously. We can face the storm around us with courage, going through our daily lives understanding that we do run the risk of potential harm, especially when we start doing something we are not accustomed to. Saddle up, anyway, and ride!
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” –2 Timothy 1:7, NKJV
Less than five minutes after I had posted the article mentioned above, I opened up my e-mail and found a short note sent to me a few hours before from one of my contacts. Her name is Julie. Other than that, she will remain anonymous until further notice.
Julie has some skill at writing articulately and I had asked her previously to contribute to this blog. I was pleasantly surprised to find that this note (she called it a “blurb”) tied in so well to what I had just posted that I asked her for permission to reproduce it, to which she agreed wholeheartedly. God really does work in mysterious ways. She had no idea that I would post the article. I had no idea that she would send me this. Coincidence? I rather doubt it.
“Before they (you) call, I will answer.” –Isaiah 65:24
Only very slightly edited and condensed, here is her comment.
“Some time ago…I wrote [a note of encouragement] in response to someone who seemed disheartened about a seeming state of stagnation on the mask issue, despite their work to advance progress.”
“One thing at a time. Take a stand one conversation at a time, show a full, smiling face to one person at a time, and reassure one scared person or business at a time. Each small victory chisels another piece out of the darkness that is fear, and brightens the rays of hope.”
I love it! She has encapsulated my general message and brought it down to the individual level. One person at a time. One scared person at a time. One small victory at a time. Every person who overcomes the fear, every action which chisels a piece out of the darkness is a victory which brightens the hope which is ours.
Thank you, Julie. This was a beautiful comment, a fitting afterword. Now, can I persuade you to ramp up to 500 word essays?
All right, it is time. Time to put 2020 behind us forever! I have been waiting eagerly for this moment. If there was ever a year which we should leave in the dust and never look back, it would be the one we just left. There are enough bad memories to go around…and then some. All of us ought to be glad to see it fade away in the rearview mirror.
Question is, though, what is ahead of us? What will 2021 bring or look like? Are we ready for it or will it catch us unawares? Who knows? I sure do not and am not going to make any predictions, although some do in great detail. (Warning: foul language. Worth it, though, if you can get past that.)
One thing I am certain of, however, is that it will not be the time when we “revert” back to normal, a.k.a., pre-2020. We are not going back to the good old days of 2005, 1980, or 1954. Forget that. Those days are gone and will not be repeated. Looking back and wishing for a return to more halcyon, happier days is an exercise in futility. Instead, we have to face an uncertain, risky future about which we know nothing and can only make vague predictions about based on what we have and see around us at the present moment.
Scary thought, huh? You bet it is and many people are so terrified of the prospect that they are afraid to live and be free.
What is the worst that could happen?
A Real Killer Plague which we have no defense against?
Catastrophic earthquakes around the Pacific Rim, including the US west coast?
A super-volcanic eruption from Yellowstone?
Financial implosion and devastating depression?
A hot war with China which might lead to nuclear weapons unleashed?
An EMP bomb exploded over the continental US which destroys every transistor circuit in the country?
Civil war in America?
Martial law and totalitarian crackdowns on our freedom?
Widespread famine and starvation of millions?
Gulags? Concentration camps? Mass murder of disenfranchised individuals?
Donald Trump retaining the President’s chair? Joe Biden taking it away from him?
All of these are possible, but none of them have the power in and of themselves to cause us to be afraid of the future. Our security is built on a promise of hope, not one of fear. As Christians, believers in the finished work of Jesus Christ at Calvary and His ongoing work in our world, we can trust in the belief that He has His hand on the steering wheel of history and is navigating us to a better place. The fact that we are in a storm does not (should not) diminish that hope. He can still calm the wind and the waves by simply speaking to them as He did over 2000 years ago. Sometimes He does, but even if not, we do not have to be afraid of our circumstances or what might arise out of them. Instead, our faith should grow as we progress from one situation to another, building, ever building, always building on the Solid Foundation, which is Jesus the Christ.
We are children of the Most High God, disciples of the Teacher, servants of the King. This is sure. This is confident. This is fear-destroying. We can live this way. We can…if we choose to.
As 2021 begins, let us make the decision to live fearlessly in the middle of our own personal storm. After all, as Christians, the worst thing that can happen to us is only what is allowed to happen to us. If He is the Master, then everything that happens to us is at His prerogative and His desire is that we live, survive, and thrive within His Kingdom–even if we die in the process and spend the rest of eternity in His presence.
If He is the Master, what have we got to lose except our fear?
Merry Christmas, everyone, and a Happy and Blessed New Year to you!
If you recall, there were pronouncements everywhere (see here and here for examples) that Christmas, like Thanksgiving, should be abandoned this year due to the deadly existential threat of the world’s newest four-letter word: Covd, or, more appropriately, “Covid!!” Many of those dire utterings came from the man who many consider to be the Mouth of the Beast, Anthony “The Grinch” Fauci. If you paid attention to his words and acted accordingly, you would have been terrified to even leave your house to put the wrapping paper into the garbage can.
Good news, though. Apparently Fauci realized that he had made a mistake and backtracked on his advice. [Editor’s Note: More than likely this happened because of the extreme amount of backlash, resistance, and ridicule he received, but that is just my opinion.] In addition, he salvaged the matter by travelling to the North Pole and giving Santa Claus an injection of The Vaccine. Extraordinary times require extraordinary measures! Which of the many competing versions of the cocktail Santa received was not mentioned. We should all be grateful that Fauci, the Official Purveyor of Truth, rose to the challenge of deliberately lying to little children in a desperate attempt to keep up the Facade, which is crumbling by the day.
What is truly remarkable, though, is that Christmas came after all. Like the Grinch, Fauci did his best to bamboozle all the good citizens of Whoville, USA, tried to steal their joy, and ruin their celebration of the most festive day of the year, yet wound up with nothing for his efforts. Christmas came anyway and many, many people simply ignored him as if he was only a buzzing mosquito to be swatted away. (BTW, ignoring a politician is quite possibly the best thing we can do. It makes them irrelevant and unnecessary.)
This really is Good News, but it gets better. It is now only six days until New Years Day, January 01, 2021 and the whole world will be celebrating the beginning of a new year, to which I say, “Have at it! Enjoy yourself! Enjoy the company of family, friends, neighbors, and acquaintances around you! Enjoy the festivities, fireworks, and food! Don’t allow anyone to rain on your parade!”
As far as Fauci goes, I encourage him to follow the example of the Grinch who actually realized his error and repented of his sins. If he is not willing to do that, then I encourage him to follow the example of his co-worker of evil, Dr. Deborah Birx, who just recently resigned and went into obscurity because she was caught in a scandal of hypocrisy and couldn’t handle the criticism which erupted out of it. Yes, Mr. Grinch Fauci, either change your course diametrically or go home, lock the door behind you, and shut up.
The world, our world, will be better off if you do.
This article will be anecdotal and stems from a few observations I have made within the last week as concerns the wearing of face masks. It is not meant to be a medical recommendation, which means that I cannot be prosecuted for practicing medicine without a license. Note: I do not wear a face mask anywhere, except for the rare occasions when I am required to in order to purchase materials during the course of my employment. At those times, I put it on to get what I need and immediately take it off as soon as (or even before) I leave the store premises. There are times when we have to act as if we are spies in the enemy camp. Wisdom is knowing the difference.
I had to walk the streets of Missoula the other day for a few blocks–maskless, of course, even though most of the other people on the sidewalks had their “face diapers” on. In every instance, when I met someone and deliberately tried to make eye contact with them, they invariably looked somewhere else, refusing to meet my glance. I got the distinct impression that these people were sad, deeply sad, about their plight, yet they would not do what was necessary to alleviate the situation. It was almost as if they had become resigned to it. Be safe, be sad! It would be easy to sneer at these people or to be contemptuous of them, but I feel compassion for them because they are enslaved to an attitude and cannot break free from it. In this respect, I hope that I am following the example (Matthew 9:36) set by Jesus, Who felt compassion for the masses because He saw their condition.
I was in a local grocery store, Super 1 in Stevensville, this morning. The requisite signs are posted on the doors which state that face masks are required for entry. Just a few days ago, I noticed the store had put up a large sign which read, “Please wear a face mask while shopping”. This sounds to me like desperation. The managers of this store know that they cannot antagonize its customers by refusing service to anyone who doesn’t wear a mask, so they resort to begging. Poor fellows! They are caught between a rock and a hard place. I have compassion for them, but also know that, sooner or later, they will have to make a decision–either go all in on the mask mandate or scrap it completely. My advice to them: Screw up your courage and tell the county Health (?) Dept. where to go.
While shopping in Super 1, I saw that most people were wearing the mask, but there were a large number who were not. One of these “rebels”, a young woman with two children blocked my path for a moment and apologized. I replied that it was nice to see a smiling, friendly face for a change, at which she smiled broadly, agreed with me, and wished me a “Merry Christmas.” A few minutes later, I passed another young woman, a casual acquaintance who was not wearing a mask. We smiled and waved at each other and went on our merry way. Both these instances left me with a feeling of pleasure and good will.
I also had a little interaction with an infant who could sit in the cart without help, probably around a year old. She was a pretty little girl who did not wear the mask even though both her parents present did. They would not look at me or acknowledge my presence, but she did. In fact, this girl locked onto my eyes and would not look away. This happened on two different occasions and each time, I met her gaze directly, wrinkling my nose, batting my eyes, and smiling at her. She needed it. Chances are that most of the adults she knows do not allow her to see their faces, depriving her of necessary education at reading emotions and expressions of other people. What indeed are we teaching our children? Too many of them have spent the last year in “school” without the opportunity to learn what they need to know to be successful in life. This is shameful on the part of the parents and will come back to bite society in a few years.
On the side of the road north of Florence is a flashing digital sign which was placed there under the auspices of Ravalli County Health Dept. Originally it had the message that read, “Wear a Mask. Face Masks Save Lives!” Someone unknown vandalized it with spray paint. (I must admit. The thought crossed my mind, but somebody beat me to it. I would have just “masked” it with a sheet.) Recently, the message has been changed so that it now reads, “Be Safe. Be Kind.” Such a sappy, sentimental, unthinking, progressive type of mantra. Unfortunately for the authors, they do not realize that what they are trying to convey is actually Christian in nature. Kindness is a Christian attribute and is given to others freely in a spirit of love. It cannot be forced. If it is, then it is no longer kindness, but obedience to the rule. Very unChristian, in other words. This is really nothing more than a repeating of Frederich Neitschze, who said that, “When one gives up the Christian faith, one pulls the right to Christian morality out from under one’s feet.” Who are these people who are ordering us to be kind by exhorting and requiring us to cover our faces with a bit of cloth or paper which has absolutely no effect on the transmission of a virus? Christian? I strongly doubt that. More likely, an appeal to the power-hungry among us.
This, too, shall pass. God, please give me the strength and courage I need to live and breathe free until it does. Amen and Amen!
Postscript: There is nothing more beautiful in this world than a woman smiling at those around her. There is nothing more ugly than putting a mask on it.
“You cannot hope to build a better world without improving the individuals.”–Marie Curie
Moral character cannot be legislated. This is not understood by those who believe that politics is the answer to every social problem. For them, it is a lesson in perpetual disappointment. History repeats the lesson for those who refuse to learn from previous ones. Today, America is making many of the same mistakes which other civilizations have made before. Will we experience the same results or are we different? Are we exceptional, as then-President Obama declared in his inaugural address in 2013? Will America survive and prosper in the manner we have become accustomed to or will drastic changes be the order of the day?
The quote below is from a documentary by Mystic Films, Intl. on ancient Persia–Iran: The Forgotten Glory. This is an excellent film and well worth the time spent watching it. The conditions described happened during the reign of Xerxes. He was the last king of Persia, just before Alexander the Great toppled the empire. If you believe that history repeats itself, let this be a warning.
“Prolonged wars with Greece and increased taxes imposed on the subject nations created debilitating corruption in the empire, weakening the central government. Satraps, rulers of the provinces, became careless of the needs of the people, opting instead to amass wealth and luxury for themselves.”
Allow me to paraphrase these words slightly and bring them up to date.
“Prolonged wars in Afghanistan, Syria, and Iraq, and increased taxes imposed on American citizens created debilitating corruption in the government, weakening the nation. Politicians, lobbyists, major corporations, and bureaucrats became careless of the freedoms of the people, opting instead to amass wealth and luxury for themselves.”
Throughout history, societies and civilizations have risen and fallen. Over and over again, they have followed a consistent pattern. In 1994, Jim Nelson Black wrote in When Nations Die, that among the factors leading to the collapse of every major civilization which ever existed were these:
Devaluation of human life
Compromise of religious beliefs
Celebration of sexual immorality
These examples are pervasive throughout America today. There are many others, too many to mention, which exemplify the lack of good moral character in our country.
Societies are not faceless, amorphous organizations which just appear out of nowhere. They are built out of individuals, each one trying to make a better life for himself. Each individual acts out of a moral character according to the way he believes. The society reflects that moral character. Society is what its individual members are. There is no other way to look at it. Society does not create nor determine what its members are. Instead, together the individual members define what that society becomes.
A society’s moral character cannot be dictated or imposed from the top. Electing a specific person to the office of President will not change the moral character of any other person. Putting a Republican into power as opposed to a Democrat (or vice versa) will not make any difference in the moral make-up of society. Enacting regulations and issuing ordinances will not compel any person to change his morality. Passing laws to make people “good” simply will not work.
A very large percentage of America’s citizens have lost sight of what it means to have good moral character. Morality originates from the Word of God and is planted within the heart of each person. When we suppress that moral instinct, ignore it, or actively rebel against it, we create problems. At a personal level, this may be minor and of limited scope. Over the whole of society, however, these are multiplied and the consequences can be devastating and catastrophic. As a nation, we have spent decades, even centuries, gradually uncoupling ourselves from the moral truths of the Word of God. The evidence is plain to see for anyone who wants to.
There is hope for the future. This not the end of the world, but we should not pull any punches. We have work to do. There are painful times ahead. America is going to go through the wringer. As a nation, we are going to experience substantial course corrections which will cause extreme hardships in much of the country. It is not going to be easy. It will be ugly. It will hurt. In the end, it will be worth it.
“No discipline seems to be joyful for the present, but painful. Nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness (godly, moral character) to those who have been trained by it. Therefore, strengthen the hands which hang down and the feeble knees, and make straight paths for your feet…” (Hebrews 12:11-13a)
As Christians, we must lose the belief that our problems can be solved by politics. It is no good to put our faith in the system, hoping and believing that those we elect or the laws they enact will make everything (anything?) right. Thinking that America can be “restored” by reverting back to a more conservative or Constitutional approach to government is foolish, naïve, and willfully blind. America has gone too far, there is no going back. (See Geezer Conservatism for another view on the same subject.)
Instead, we must put our faith in Jesus Christ the King. He rules the United States. We must acknowledge His Word as sovereign in every area of our lives. We must work to bring ourselves and our sphere of influence (including politics) into alignment with His Law. We must work to bring every part of our world into His Kingdom. Individual believers who surrender and submit to His Authority improve the moral character of the country–one person at a time, one day at a time.
“What you dislike in another, take care to correct in yourself.” — Thomas Sprat
“You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” — Jesus Christ, from the Sermon on the Mount, (Matthew 7:5)
“We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do.” –- Mahatma Gandhi
If you don’t like the moral character of America, change yourself. To improve America’s moral character, improve your own. It is that simple.
Arnold J. Toynbee began this conversation. He will have the last word.
“We are not doomed to make history repeat itself; it is open to us, through our own efforts, to give history, in our case, some new and unprecedented turn. As human beings, we are endowed with this freedom of choice, and we cannot shuffle off our responsibility upon the shoulders of God or nature. We must shoulder it ourselves. It is up to us, it is up to us to respond creatively to the challenges of our time.”
On contentious issues within society, people generally line up in one of three groups: those extremely in favor, those extremely opposed, and a vast majority of non-committed in the middle. Out of these groups, the ones who drive the discussion and action are those who are seen as extremists, whether for or against. Those who comprise the middle-of-the-road (moderates) usually do not become heavily engaged, but simply “go with the flow”. The moderates may lean in either direction and lend support in various ways or express sympathy with the viewpoint, but do not generally make waves to any great degree.
This can be seen quite clearly in one instance recorded in the Old Testament of the Holy Bible–1 Kings 18 and 19, the story of the prophet Elijah and his contest with the prophets of the pagan gods Baal and Asherah. Read it for yourself. I do not have the time or space to tell it to you.
Human nature does not change. The group distinction I have laid out above is not unique to our time. It has been the norm for a long, long time, probably since the beginning of people grouping together and, certainly so since the dispersion into different languages at the Tower of Babel (see Genesis 11).
Elijah, working through King Ahab, brought the people of Israel together on Mount Carmel, asked them a simple question, and offered them a direct challenge. (Chapter 18, verse 21–New King James Version)
“How long will you falter between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him: but if Baal, follow him.”
Seems pretty simple, doesn’t it? Here are two antagonistic viewpoints which are competing for your attention and support. Why do you dither between them? Why do you refuse to make a choice and set your course? Note that Elijah did not condemn them for their idolatrous practice of Baal worship. Neither did he laud them for their worship of Yahweh, the God of Israel. What he took them to task for was their refusal to make a decision. They tried to play both sides of the issue without any commitment to either.
There are three groups here. Elijah, an extremist on one side. The pagan prophets, extremists opposed to him. The people in the middle, unwilling to commit one way or the other.
We can see that today within the corona virus issue.
There are those who are pushing the narrative that it is a potentially existential threat to humankind. Everyone must wear a mask, submit to a lockdown, and give up their civil rights to destroy the pandemic. They are extremists. They are working hard to make their viewpoint dominant over and against all others.
Opposed to them is another set of extremists, those who refuse to accept this as true and see the virus as nothing more than a seasonal illness. They view face masks as ineffective and lockdowns as disastrous to society and the economy and will not accept that their civil rights must be abrogated for the salvation and security of society. They are extremists. They are working hard to ensure that the “official” viewpoint does NOT become the law of the land.
Between them is a very large group which takes the easy road of compliance: wearing of a face mask, social (anti-social) distancing, compliance with every rule the local Health(?) Board dictates that all should (must) obey. Follow the science. Trust the experts. Be kind, don’t be selfish. And on and on and on and on… Meaningless stuff. Worthless in the pursuit of truth. Devastating to the pursuit of liberty.
These people, the vast majority of society, will do whatever they are told. They may approve or disapprove, but it does not matter greatly to them. In order to avoid rocking the boat and cause trouble for themselves, they will comply. The term, “Go along to get along”, describes this group to a T and they will go to Hell if everyone else does. If it means that they have to go against the flow and stand out in the crowd, they will not do it.
“…broad is the way that leads to destruction and there are many who go in by it.” (Matthew 7:13)
Back to Elijah. It is revealing of human nature that when the question was put to the people, they did not respond. Nothing. Not a word. This shows that, even though they were aware of the struggle between the opposing forces, they did not want to commit to either side, probably out of fear that they might choose the wrong one and be punished for it. They were waiting to see which side was going to win and then, only then, when it was evident who the victor was would they proclaim their fealty. Only after the prophets of Baal had failed miserably in a very public way, only after Elijah had called down the fire of God which burned up everything in its path, also in a very public way, did the people swing decidedly to his camp, ready to do whatever he ordered them to.
“Now when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, ‘The LORD, He is God! The LORD, He is God!'” And Elijah said to them, “Seize the prophets of Baal! Do not let one of them escape!” So they seized them; and Elijah brought them down to the Brook Kishon and executed them there.”
In this story, the prophets of Baal went to extremes to make their case and emerge triumphant. They knew what was at stake and it is certain that if they had won, Elijah’s head would have been on the chopping block. Today, the Corona Masters are frantically doing everything they can to invoke the blessing of their god–absolute power–because they know that if the public opinion ever swings against them, they are finished. I have no doubt that these people are losing sleep out of the inner fear that comes from the knowledge that they might not succeed. The main problem for them is that they have committed themselves completely and there is no going back to start over. This is a do or die situation for them.
We do not have to travel that road. While it may seem that the battle is going against us, we can be confident that our God, the Lord Jesus Christ, will come through for us, eventually gaining the upper hand and the victory. Eventually, truth always triumphs over evil. Our faith and trust in Him is the first line of defense and the main weapon of offense we have at our disposal and we need to exercise it to the fullest. This does not mean that we can simply sit back and allow the action to develop. We have to put our faith to work because if we do not, we are going to be slaughtered, figuratively at least, perhaps literally.
“…faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” (James 2:17)
Elijah won his battle in one fell swoop. His miracle happened on a single moment. Ours will take time and we should understand that there will be times when we will wonder about the outcome. Charles Mackay put it quite emphatically and it rings as true today as the day he first spoke these words.
“Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.”
If there is one thing which is true about the current mess we are in, it is that society has gone insane in a massive, world-wide herd, but there are signs that we are starting to regain our senses. Slowly, one person at a time. Sooner or later, it will become evident to the masses that the power brokers, like the prophets of Baal, have shot their wad and the pendulum will swing.
No lockdowns! No mask mandates! No more! This is the stuff of decision. Make it.