Courage in the face of Corona

“What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?”–(Mark 8:36, NIV)

Generally, this verse in the New Testament book of Mark is interpreted as a person so focused on gaining wealth that he (or she) loses sight of what is really important—their relationship to God and other people. What benefit is there really in being like Silas Marner, Ebenezer Scrooge, or Uncle Scrooge McDuck? Or, as the pop band ABBA puts it, “…money, money, money…”

In the context of the time we are now living, however, there is at least one other way in which we can lose our soul while attempting to become rich. Consider the corona virus pandemic which is sweeping the world and our insane reaction to it. It (the reaction, not the virus) has caused unbelievable chaos and havoc in our modern, ordinary, everyday life. In order to save the lives of a few people, we have managed to destroy our economies, our freedoms, and our social connections. We have, in short, become afraid—a world of wimps.

Why? Disease and epidemics used to be a regular part of life, ushering countless millions into the arms of the Grim Reaper. Death used to be understood as part of life. We are born, we live, we die used to be a concept which everyone knew and accepted as normal. Today, however, we are obsessed with the idea that life must be prolonged as long as absolutely possible, even using extraordinary measures to keep someone “alive.” We refuse to allow someone to simply die, even though everyone will go through the experience. We are, in short, afraid of death. We are afraid to die and anything which comes along to remind us of that certainty, such as a corona virus, just throws us into a fit of madness, denial, and hysteria.

The world has become accustomed to getting richer. The good life has become an end in itself. People seek out and live for prosperity, comfort, and ease, but cannot handle the current situation in which we find ourselves. What good, indeed, does it do a world of men if we all become rich, but lose our courage, strength, and common sense in the process? What benefit is there in becoming wealthy if we lose our freedoms in a mindless fantasy that we must be “safe” at all times from one of the vagaries of life?

Tough times make tough men. What we are just starting to go through will do one of two things:

1. It will cause us to be fearful and cowardly, amplifying the message that the sky is falling and that we are all going to die.

2. It will cause us to be strong and unafraid of what life can throw at us, knowing that we are here for only a short while, but able to live life to the fullest, no matter what.

Our focus needs to be, not on what might kill us, but on how we can survive AND prosper in spite of it. US President Franklin D. Roosevelt said that “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Those words have never been more true and appropriate than right now. We do not have to give in to the panic and hysteria, neither do we have to be stupid and blind. With our eyes wide open, we should recognize that this situation IS serious, but there is no good reason to be so afraid of it that we rush blindly into the soul-crushing embrace of absolute safety, which is promised to us by those whose only desire is to control us completely.

“For God has not given us a spirit of cowardice, but of power, and of love, and of self-control.”–(2 Timothy 1:7, Berean Literal Bible)


Yeah, I like it.

Trying to make Sense of it all.

I had my truck radio tuned into my local rock station this afternoon on the drive home from work. During a commercial break, an announcement was made concerning the latest statistics in the US about the corona virus outbreak. I’m not sure how accurate these numbers are. This is only what I heard in the report.

In the US, as of today, there are over 347, 000 persons who have been confirmed to be infected with the virus. Also, as of today, more than 10, 000 of those persons have died. Of course, the announcement stated quite emphatically that these people died from the corona virus, but then this can be taken with a grain of salt, since many people who have died may have had the disease, but didn’t necessarily die from it.

Regardless, whether they died from corona or only were infected but died from another cause doesn’t really matter here. What I want to bring out is that there are 340 million people in the US, while only 347, 000 of those are infected. To anyone who can do basic math, this means that only one person in a thousand has been confirmed to be infected. Get that! One person in a thousand is known to be infected and out of that number, only one in 34 (10, 000 out of 347, 000) is likely to die after confirmation. Combine these two statistics and you get the startling conclusion that in the US, only 1 out of 34, 000 persons has died after infection.

There is also the near certainty that many, many other people contracted the disease and either showed no symptoms or developed what can only be described as a minor cold. The chances are quite good that I have been infected or that you have, perhaps without even knowing it. These have never been counted nor included in the official statistics. If they had been, the percentages associated with the virus would have dropped significantly.

To be sure, there are a lot of others who have been very sick and many of those might have died if prompt medical attention hadn’t been given to them, but the above numbers do not justify shutting down the entire economy. Neither do they give credence to the ‘official’ narrative about constant hand-washing, staying indoors in close quarters (probably the worst place to be if others around you are sick), face masks, 6 foot distancing, restricted shopping, and all the other ‘safety precautions’ foisted on and readily accepted by a gullible public.

When this is all over and some semblance of sanity returns to us, we are going to have to face the facts: Corona, while coming out of nowhere and extremely infectious, is not and never will be the existential enemy it has been promoted to be. We have been lied to, repeatedly and often, not only be politicians and health ‘experts’, but also by the media, which has done more to whip up 24/7 hysteria and panic than any other institution. Sensation sells and they have sold every bit of it they could for as long as they could. Maybe that will be some consolation to them when the general public wakes up, realizes that it has been greatly deceived, and demands that things be made right.

Or maybe this is all wishful thinking on my part.

Corona, churches, and Easter

April 12th, 2020 is Easter Sunday. It is considered the most important date in history by the Christian religion. It is universally celebrated as the day on which Jesus Christ rose up out of the grave in which he had been placed after his death the Friday before by crucifixion. He had been declared dead, was entombed, and came back to life immortal. This is the message that has been proclaimed for 2000 years.

Today, in America, that message will be muted considerably because churches have been ordered by the State to close their doors because of the Corona virus panic, er, I mean, pandemic.

If the State can tell churches to shut down over a ‘bug’, then this can happen for any reason at all. In fact, history shows that the more totalitarian a State becomes, the more prone it is to shut church doors. America is not immune.

In defiance of this order, churches everywhere ought to throw open their doors, welcome everyone in, and get on with the joyful worship of the One Who was dead, but now lives. Pastors and church boards ought to ‘gird up their loins’ and tell the State where to get off. After all, as the Apostle Peter said so eloquently when called up before the Jewish Court, “We ought to obey God, rather than men.”

Will this happen? Not likely. Today, in America, worship of the State has trumped worship of the King. God help us!


Note: The above was submitted as a Letter to the Editor to the Ravalli Republic, in Hamilton, MT on April 4, 2020 and printed April 5.


I fully expect to receive blowback because of this, but it makes me angry that the US government, our government, can simply issue a ‘guideline’ (thinly veiled threat is more like it) to churches and other places of worship, which is then taken as law by those same assemblies. It is not my intention to disparage or minimize the danger posed by Coronavirus, but I will not be quiet when a governing official (whoever that might be—elected or bureaucratic) orders a church to close its doors. No government should be able to dictate which church can practice its faith, when it can be open, when it must close, how many people can attend, who can attend, how much distance there must be between attendees, etc., ad infinitum.

Most churches today are more concerned with maintaining their 501(c)(3) tax exempt status than with proclaiming the truth. Threaten the run-of-the-mill pastor of today with ‘sanctions’ for disobedience of State rules and he will probably cave, thus watering down the message of the Good News. More than likely, he will trot out the argument that, according to Romans 13, we are supposed to obey the civil authority in everything we do, without ever considering that Christians in Nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia were under the same mandate and subject to the same standard.

Where will we draw the line against the encroachment of the State? If the various churches refuse to stand up to its edicts and dictates, what chance do any of us have?

We must not be quiet or we will be silenced.

Coronavirus and Accumulated Wisdom

Today is Sunday, March 29, 2020. I have this premonition that I will go to work tomorrow morning and be greeted with the order to put on a face mask, ostensibly to limit the spread of Coronavirus (Covid-19).

Being that I am a rebellious, independent sort of person, my initial reaction will be that I am not sick, that there is no reason to wear a mask, that I will not be bullied into wearing a mask, that I do not care one fig about another person’s opinion of me, etc., and will culminate in the declaration that I am not going to wear a mask. Period. No matter the consequences.

In that case, this is how it will play out. My boss, a no-nonsense type of person, will give me a choice: either wear the mask or go home without pay and the potential loss of my employment. Since I am hard-headed, stubborn, and independent, I will choose to go home and take my chances with my job. After all, there are other employers.

When I get home…oooh, Momma! The shit will hit the fan. My wife, never known for mincing words, will tell me in no uncertain terms, what her opinion of my decision is. Being the stubborn, hard-headed, argumentative type of person I am, I will try to convince her that my actions are appropriate and that she should appreciate the fact that I stand up for my convictions. She will tell proceed to tell me her opinion of that! Tempers will flare and words spoken which will have to be corrected later on. At the end of it all, I will reluctantly admit that it would have been better to simply put on the face mask and shut my mouth. In addition, I will have to crawl back to my boss, admit my sin, and beg for my job back.

This is stupidity! Stupidity!! There is no other way to describe it.

Sixty plus years of life and its attendant experiences have taught me a few things, perhaps more than I realize.

1. It is futile and detrimental to argue with my wife.

2. It is not beneficial to argue with my boss about something which is not important.

3. Five of the most important words I’ve had to learn the hard way are these: It is what it is. It is useless, as Jesus Christ said (Acts 26:14) to kick against the pricks (goads). In other words, there are some things about which your effort is in vain, so you might as well simply shrug your shoulders and live with it. In fact, the more strenuously you oppose them (the goads), the more it’s going to hurt you. There are times when a person has to recognize this, shut his mouth, and go with the flow, regardless of his stubbornness, hard-headedness, and rebellious, independent nature.

Tomorrow morning, if I am directed to put on a face mask at work, I may voice my opinion, but I will follow orders. After all, it’s not really that bad and I have worn them before, especially in very dusty conditions. Besides, if my co-workers are nervous and afraid about the potential transmission of the virus, then what better way to show them my love than to subdue my own selfishness for their health and well-being—physical, emotional, and spiritual–even if they are being irrational.

I will not shave my beard, though. Final answer! That is a line in the sand which no one dare cross.

The End of the World. I Feel Fine.

“Bad news on the doorstep, I couldn’t take one more step.” That line from Don McLean’s 1972 smash hit, American Pie, sums up the current world condition quite well.

Today, there is such an abundance of bad news—corona virus, stock market meltdown, layoffs, quarantines, lockdowns, threats of martial law, etc., that anyone could be forgiven if it seemed that another step was impossible. Yet, life goes on, in spite of everything which appears to be destroying our accustomed and familiar way of life.

How do we go on, then? What changes will we need to make or be made for us? How will we adapt to those changes? What will be different in the future? These are all valid questions for which answers are needed and which everyone must seriously consider. There are a lot of things which we don’t know and can not answer, but there are some which require nothing more than common sense to understand.

1. You are in control of yourself and the way you respond to the situation around you. Maintain that.

2. Don’t panic or give into the palpable fear. Keep a level head about you. Stay calm. This alone will allow you to maintain some semblance of normality in your day-to-day living.

3. Don’t believe everything you read or hear, especially about the corona virus. There are so many conflicting stories, reports, “expert” opinions, and official declarations readily available that it is difficult to determine what is true and what is false. Use your own good judgment about what is best for you. Corona may be an existential threat. It may be much ado about nothing. Or somewhere in between, which I suspect, but I do not know where to draw a conclusion.

4. It is not the end of the world, especially as concerns the stock market and the economy. Humanity has experienced financial collapses like this before and survived. Somehow, someway, we will work our way through the current one as well and another generation will be born to carry on.

5. Keep a positive attitude. While the situation may seem disastrous (and disaster is likely to happen), it is important that we maintain a positive outlook about the future. Depression, anxiety, and fear will drag you down. Don’t allow your circumstances to get the best of you. Remember, you are in control of yourself and the way you respond to your situation.

With all that said, it is important that we face some truth honestly. Our world has drastically changed within the last few months and, in spite of all the talk about a return to “normalcy” once the Covid-19 pandemic subsides, it is quite sure that many things we took for granted yesterday will not be in place tomorrow. Things will be different, some dramatically, some less so, but the equation has had another factor introduced into it and the implications of that are still to be seen and worked out.

Get used to the idea that the old system we are familiar with is being dismantled and another one will be erected in its place. There will be major changes along the way, both positive and negative. One positive change we can look forward to is the willingness to rely more on ourselves and our families, neighbors, friends, our faith, and our local community. If this actually happens (I believe it will), we will learn to depend less on distant, authoritarian governments, large faceless corporations, and bureaucratic institutions to provide for what we need in our daily lives. We will also learn what is really important and what is not.

All of us are going to participate in this, whether we like it or not. We have the opportunity to assist in shaping the economy and society which will rise out of the carnage and destruction happening around us. Everyone can participate in bringing this about, wherever we are, by changing our attitude from “Somebody ought to do something!” to one of “What can I do to help?” Look around you. There is plenty to do. Find a place where you can make a difference and get to it. Start close to home, branch out from there.

A better world awaits.

The End is in Sight–Four Years Later

I wrote the following article almost exactly four years ago in March 2016. I may have submitted it to a local paper as a Letter to the Editor, but am not sure of that. Nevertheless, while browsing my computer, I came across it and decided that, due to today’s circumstances, it needed to see the light of day. I have not changed my mind about what I wrote then and, if anything, am more convinced that this is going to happen.


My wife and I moved to the Bitterroot Valley in western Montana from Jacksonville, FL, in the fall of 2010 and have learned to love this area and its people. It is so much better than NE Florida, or anywhere else in Florida, for that matter. We lived in Jacksonville for almost ten years and experienced both the boom of the early 2000’s and the bust of 2008, which saw the demise of Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns, the collapse of the real estate market, and TARP, which bailed out the large financial firms against the express wishes of 90-95% of the population. At that time, I took a 10% pay cut in my salary and my job was looking increasingly shaky when we took a “leap of faith” and moved 2500 miles to this location. It was a good decision.

Today, I have a feeling of déjà vu, like I’ve been here before. I can’t shake the sense that the current financial climate we’re in is reminiscent of 2007. I believe that we (and the rest of the world) are right on the edge of a cataclysmic disaster, the likes of which the world has never before seen. There is no turning back. The forces built up by 100 + years of fiscal mismanagement and the widespread, deeply-held belief that we can borrow our way out of trouble are, quite simply, too great to overcome any longer. Peak debt is here, both for the individual and the conglomerate. We have sown the wind. We are going to reap the whirlwind.

If I am right, we will see the end of many, if not most (or all) of the huge multi-national banks, the disappearance of debt-ridden corporations (large and small), the popping of financial bubbles all over the landscape (including sub-prime auto loans, college tuition, and real estate again), the sheer inability of the Federal government to pay its bills or finance its operations in the manner we are accustomed to, and many other unmentioned or unforeseen changes in the way we live. The stock market will shrink dramatically, hedge funds will disappear overnight, derivatives and other fiscally unsound scams (Social Security?) will completely collapse. The casino known as Wall Street will be seen for what it really is and the Federal Reserve, which is the main driver of current monetary stupidity will be called on the carpet and, hopefully, put out of business forever. And there will be wars, wars, and more wars, up to and possibly including nuclear war(s), because when societies and governments become desperate they lash out at anyone deemed to be a threat.

If I am wrong, then no one has anything to be afraid of and I will be made to look like a fool.

Which is it? The next few years will tell the tale and everything will be different. Of that, I am certain.


To Comply with the Law–or not!

There is a small shop alongside Hwy. 93 in Lolo, MT, which has a sign posted with this message. “Slow cars to the right. It’s the law!” It has not changed in a long time. Evidently someone has a problem with vehicles in the left lane which might slow him down a little. Considering the traffic accidents which occur in that area, slowing down a little wouldn’t be such a bad idea.

Daisy Luther has recently posted an article on her website, The Organic Prepper, which claims that the state of Virginia is considering passing comprehensive “gun control” bills and entertaining the possibility of calling out the National Guard to force local communities to cooperate with the state in enforcing them. The result of this is that a vast majority of counties in the state have either declared themselves “gun sanctuaries” or are leaning toward that status. Democratic Virginia Rep. Gerry Connolly told the Washington Examiner [concerning] local county police who may refuse to enforce future gun control measures. “The law is the law. If that becomes the law, you don’t have a choice, not if you’re a sworn officer of the law.”

Apparently, the potential of such blatant disregard of the LAW is not to be tolerated.

In Nazi Germany, citizens were ordered to report and identify any persons they knew to be Jewish. It didn’t matter that they also knew what would happen to such people. It was the LAW!

In 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued an executive order declaring that every person in America who physically held gold currency or gold bullion had to relinquish it to the federal government. This action was expressly unconstitutional, but it didn’t matter—it was the LAW and thousands, perhaps millions of law-abiding citizens promptly broke their piggy banks in order to follow the law.

These instances could be multiplied many times over. The point I am trying to make is that once something has been legally codified into law, an extreme psychological, social pressure is placed on everyone to comply with it. Whether the law is morally right or not doesn’t matter, it is the law and, as a consequence everyone must submit to it—even if they get hurt in the process.

We should also consider one other situation which would have had world-wide implications if the LAW had actually succeeded in accomplishing its goal.

“Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men.”–Matthew 2:16, NKJV

Over 2000 years ago, in order to eradicate any possible threat to his rule, Herod, the ruler of the province of Judea in the Roman Empire, ordered that all, that is ALL, male children under the age of two years in the city of Bethlehem and its suburbs, were to be immediately killed. This directive was carried out without mercy, causing untold anguish among the civilian population. However, due to a dream, Joseph, the father of Jesus, had earlier taken his wife and newborn baby out of the area and moved to Egypt, thus avoiding the slaughter.

Where would Christmas (or Christianity) be today if Joseph had not preemptively taken action to ‘disobey’ the law? What would have been the result if he had the idea that “the law is the law, therefore I must obey it?” What if he had given up his son to be destroyed simply because it was the LAW?

The answer, for anyone who wishes to see it, is obvious. What should be just as plain to see is that if a law, any law, is unjust it should be held in contempt. Or, as Martin Luther King put it,

“”One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.”

In all the above examples, only the first one has any sense of morality to it and that is because there is nothing right or wrong about driving in the left or right lane. It is just a rule of the road. All the other laws can be seen as morally wrong and hurtful to innocent persons. Whether it is the State breaking your door down to take your guns or breaking your door down to kill your newborn son is irrelevant—it is wrong and because of this, it needs to be resisted.

Ultimately, everyone must determine for himself which laws can be followed and which ones must be rejected. There is no hard and fast method for making this decision. It must come from what you know, what you believe to be true and right, and how far you will go to hold to your beliefs.

Choose wisely.