The Tree of Life Envisioned

Recently I viewed Terence Malick’s The Tree of Life. It would be difficult for me to adequately describe the effect this movie had on me, the emotion and reflection evoked from me as a Christian parent who has lost a child.  This movie operates, more than any I have ever seen, on an intimate meaning-of-life level while the breadth of its vision enables us to direct our eyes away from ourselves and out into the vast cosmos. And in doing so, synchronicity with creation is summoned.

 Life’s deepest and most pressing questions, the universal “whys” behind all of life are posed using the simple narrative of the lives of the O’Brien family of five. Underlying the film’s basic premises of wonder and questioning is the ancient wisdom book of Job, for me the touchstone of the film.  I believe that each viewer’s prior contemplation of life’s deepest questions would certainly individualize the film’s impression on the viewer.  Without individuation, though, the movie is just an amalgam of exceptional pictures and music – a mood piece. I see The Tree of Life as being a spiritual movie and not a religious documentary and therefore I believe it will affect each viewer differently.

 Without going into too much of the narrative detail, detail which may deprive you of the movie’s impact, here is my initial impression of Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life:

 Though I was ready for the usual exceptional visual imagery – Stanley Kubrick’s movies come to mind – that is part and parcel of Malick’s cinematic talent (see also his Days of Heaven) I was blown away by the large scope of the movie:  creation, the meaning of life, the existence of suffering, nature and grace and the Creator. 

One of the visual and emotional pleasures of this movie is that the images are offered to us in prolonged time frames – there are no frenetic montages matched to every blink of the eye. The absence of the modern movie restlessness allows us to contemplate the force of those images. We are then able to react with deeply held authentic feelings and at the same time not feel the need to immediately dispose of those feelings so as to be ready for the next emotional roller coaster ride of images. In this way the movie parallels life:  creation and real life takes place over time.  I believe the movie honors the fact that God takes time to accomplish His purposes – in the universe and in the saga of our lives. And, as the movie depicts, we do not understand God’s ways but, as I have seen, God, who is outside of time, uses time to reveal His Nature and His Grace to us.

 Malick rolls out before us a grand sweeping chromatic scroll of the universe. The visual imagery, often shown in natural lighting is enhanced with beautifully evocative musical selections including works by Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Smetana’s The Moldau River, Preisner’s Lacrimosa, Cassidy’s The Funeral March and Górecki’s Sorrowful Songs Symphony. Such music invokes us to come present to the spiritual within our souls.

 The awe-inspiring and overwhelming dynamic universe centers around and is grounded by a tree in the backyard of a family’s home in Waco Texas, circa 1950s. Using a minimalist script this family of five provides creation’s human narrative: father (emblematic of nature), mother (emblematic of grace) and their three young sons.  The father, the mother and Jack O’brien, the eldest son and main character give us our viewpoints. Later on in the movie Jack’s character is played as an adult by Sean Penn. The adult Jack becomes an architect who creates buildings derivative of his own hard-edged “nature”.

 Within this family life narrative we see birth, growth, maturation, anger, relational distance, death, sorrow, loss, envy, survival, strife and sin. Along the way the ever pressing questions of life are whispered to our ears using voiceovers.

 As I mentioned the display of the immensity and dynamism of the created universe provides the backdrop for these most important issues of life, questions that this family of five and certainly any sane person on earth ponders at some point in their life:  Where is God?; Does God see what is happening?; Does God care? Are we left on our own? What about evil? What about the loss of a child? Why is there suffering?

 After the death of her son Mrs. O’Brien asks, “He was in God’s hands the whole time, wasn’t he?” “If God is good and cares about us, why does he make us suffer?”  Throughout the movie we are engaged to ponder these hard questions and to once again look through a glass darkly for the answers.

 Watching this film I was also reminded of Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov and the philosophical lessons Smerdyakov learned from Ivan, regarding the impossibility of evil in a world without a God.

 In depicting some of the range of God’s creation we see vast spatial distances which hold myriad galaxies and we also see, looking through other end of the telescope, intricate microcosmic details.  We are reminded that the Creator God is ever beyond our finite comprehension. For this reason I am thankful that Malick chose to countenance theism and not a Woody Allen-type nihilism that turns its back on God and mocks Him every time.

 The movie begins by referencing the oldest piece of wisdom literature in the world, the book of Job. The stage is set with God responding to Job who had cursed the day he was born after being overwhelmed with trouble, suffering and loss.  From Job 38:4, 7:

 “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation … while the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?”

 Throughout the movie there are other paraphrased Scripture references including Job 13:15, “I will be true to you whatever comes.”

 I believe I also heard a paraphrased reference to Paul’s letter to the Roman church during a scene where Jack is praying: “I know what I want to do but I can’t do it.”  Also, there is an oblique reference to Paul’s letter to the Corinthian church regarding the character of love:

  “There are two ways through life:  the way of nature and the way of grace. You have to choose which one you’ll follow. Grace doesn’t try to please itself. Accepts being slighted, forgotten, disliked. Accepts insults and injuries. Nature only wants to please itself. Get others to please it too. Likes to lord it over them. To have its own way. It finds reasons to be unhappy when all the world is shining around it. And love is smiling through all things. The nuns taught us that no one who loves the way of grace ever comes to a bad end.” Mrs. O’Brien, The Tree of Life

 Beyond the infusions of Scripture, I saw revealed man’s unconscious need to bump up against someone bigger and stronger than life itself. And though we are infinitesimally small compared to the enormous universe we matter to God.  In another wisdom book of the Bible, the Psalms, the shepherd boy David speaks in awe of God’s intimate knowledge of His creatures,

“When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?”

  The film doesn’t seek to answer the questions of life but only poses them offering up grace as the consummate reconciler. As a believer in Jesus Christ I am transformed daily by God’s grace.  Just as important, I am forgiven and reconciled with God because Jesus Christ was nailed to another tree – the cross. His resurrection now provides me access to the Tree of Eternal Life. I know the One Who is the Answer.

A tree of life was planted in the garden long ago…

  “Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. And the Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”…

 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”

 “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”

 

While we ask God “Where are You in all of this?”, God is asking us “Where are you?”

A Post as Lovely as a Tree?

Morton Arboretum 9-5-2015 SP29

Trees

By Joyce Kilmer

 

I think that I shall never see

A poem lovely as a tree.

 

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest

Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;

 

A tree that looks at God all day,

And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

 

A tree that may in Summer wear

A nest of robins in her hair;

 

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;

Who intimately lives with rain.

 

Poems are made by fools like me,

But only God can make a tree.

 

~~~

Good. I’ve brought you back in time to grade school and to poem recitals mumbled and fumbled on a small wooden stage festooned with branches, hot klieg lights, coaching teachers and anxious whispering parents ready to breastfeed sweet flowing praise into their little sapling.

Snap! Now, follow me to…

The Morton Arboretum.

Saturday, in beastly 90 degree Northern Illinois late summer heat, I decided to trek once more through my childhood and teenage and adulthood forest. I call it “my forest” because I like to think of it as “my Illinois” before “they paved paradise and put up a parking lot.”

They took all the trees

And put them in a tree museum

Then they charged the people

A dollar and a half just to see ’em

-From Joni Mitchell’s “Big Yellow Taxi

 

Start the music: As I walked through the “most ancient of conditions” those formative memories of my youth, Joni’s song resounded in some distant glen, somewhere within the silent swish of stately trees and near the stealing bases Blue jays and close to the ever-present droning life support system of the Illinois Toll Way.

A “tree museum”? Now I have to rest from my labors and ponder: after all the recitals and all of the seasons of my life, does my life’s mustard tree end up in the same place as it has for these trees-in a tree museum?

One good thing: it is clear to me that when I die I am recycled. You know, dust to dust, ashes to ashes. But this parking lot to parking lot stuff has got to stop. A bittersweet experience, this “tree museum” business is, on Labor Day weekend.

Encompassing the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois is industry and business of mankind’s doing. I expect that. I just didn’t want all that.

I want Illinois, Northern Illinois back. I want “The Prairie State” back.

So, I came. I saw trees and tall grass. I smelled musty earth and cedar mulch and the decay of rotten wood. I sweated profusely to feel alive once more within the epiphany of nature.

 

They paved paradise

And put up a parking lot

With a pink hotel, a boutique

And a swinging hot spot

Don’t it always seem to go

That you don’t know what you’ve got

Till it’s gone

They paved paradise

And put up a parking lot

 

They took all the trees

And put them in a tree museum

And they charged all the people

A dollar and a half to see ’em

Don’t it always seem to go

That you don’t know what you’ve got

Till it’s gone

They paved paradise

And they put up a parking lot

Hold on to your charm bracelets! Without further ado, here is a portion of my photographic record of The Trek (looking for Ents, basically, to resolve the pavement problem).

Here’s what a photographer might say: “These photos were taken during hazy midday. I prefer morning or late afternoon lighting because the contrast is more interesting and diffuse.”

As you will see, I’m no Ansel Adams or Elliot Porter but I am a visual learner. So…

… sweat glands and all I focused my attention on flora, glen and meadow, Ash, Maples, Oaks and, well, you go there. And, besides, interior forest pictures are well lit during midday. That’ll be my excuse. (Please forward all complaints about out-of-control pavement to your congressman.) Let’s WordPress on. (No parking lots were abused in this filming.)

The Morton Arboretum Visitor's Center

The Morton Arboretum’s Visitor’s Center

The Morton Arboretum's Visistor Center w/restaurant facing Meadow lake

The Morton Arboretum’s Visistor Center w/restaurant facing Meadow lake

A view across Meadow Lake towards the Visitor's Center

A view across Meadow Lake towards the Visitor’s Center

Interior Forest 31

Interior Forest #1

This little fellow wouldn't gie me his name. He had a mouthful of acorn.

This little fellow wouldn’t give me his name. He had a mouthful of acorn.

Woodland Trail #1

Woodland Trail #1

Acorn on the lookout for squirrels.

Acorn on the lookout for squirrels.

Berries du jour

Berries du jour

Trail #2

Trail #2

Open prairie meadow

Open prairie meadow

Meadow

Meadow

Meadow flora

Meadow flora

Illinois-Wilderness at Your Doorstep

Illinois-Wilderness at Your Doorstep

Woodland Interior #1

Woodland Interior #1

Woodland Interior #2

Woodland Interior #2

Avant garde tree

Avant garde tree

Woodland Interior #3

Woodland Interior #3

Spot the Spider?

Spot the Spider?

Mushrooms a la dead tree

Mushrooms a la dead tree

Forest glen

Forest glen #1

Forest glen 32

Forest glen #2

Morton Arboretum brochure

Morton Arboretum brochure

Fall fashion?

Fall fashion?

Forest flora

Forest flora

Wetlands

Wetlands

Homage to Eliot Porter

Homage to Eliot Porter

"No Running" Bugs have "The Right of Way"

“No Running”
Bugs have “The Right of Way”

"if a tree falls in the forest..."

“If a tree falls in the forest…”

Japanese tree? How multicultivating!

Japanese tree? How multicultivating!

Stonehenge Green?

Stonehenge Green?

Jesus: "I am the True Vine and you are the branches."

Jesus: “I am the True Vine and you are the branches.”

Tanyosho Pine-Japanese Red Fir

Tanyosho Pine-Japanese Red Fir

"A Walk In Paradise Garden"

“A Walk In Paradise Garden”

In case you missed plastic during this montage here is a Lego Bird scuplture by Sean Kenney

In case you missed plastic during this montage here is a Lego Bird scuplture by Sean Kenney.

More plastic...

More plastic…

~~~

Mental Illness or Moral Illness or a Life Well-Lit

“See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness.” Jesus, from an eyewitness account recorded by Luke the physician, chapter 11, verse 35.

“The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!” Jesus as recorded in the eyewitness account of Matthew’s Gospel, chapter 6, verses 22 and 23.

~~~

I don’t have to tell you that mental health and the lack thereof has been in the news lately. Tied mainly to reports of mass killings, the national mental health issue has been spotlighted when evil rears its ugly head. This post is about perspective on the mental health industry from someone who knows and for those on the treadmill of psychoanalysis.

~~~

We learned the other day that the mass murderer Mohammad Youssuf Abdulazeez supposedly suffered from depression “…Abdulazeez’s family said he suffered from depression for years, and condemned the “heinous act of violence.””

Yet, Mohammad Youssuf Abdulazeez willfully and coherently texted “an Islamic verse: “Whosoever shows enmity to a friend of Mine, then I have declared war against him.” Then, Abdulazeez immediately acted out those words by killing four Marines and a sailor.

Mohammad Youssuf Abdulazeez

Mohammad Youssuf Abdulazeez

GIGO: Abdulazeez was not depressed. Rather, he was unhappy, bored and dissatisfied with his view of the West and probably with himself. Stoking his ego with radical Islamist mal-machismo and personal grandiosity, Abdulazeez thought he would become bigger than life itself by becoming part of something that he thought was even bigger than himself – Islam’s Grand Jihad and the Slaughter of Innocents.

Psychology would not have benefitted the mental health of Abdulazeez. Psychology does not judge right from wrong. Psychology is the multiculturalism of all values, the egalitarian leveler of all thoughts into equal subjective and even political values.

Could it be that psychology, like gun laws is ineffectual due to the depraved moral character of the persons involved? Could it be that the individual’s eye and society’s eye is NOT focused on “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”  (From the apostle Paul’s to epistle to the Philippian church, chapter 4, verse 8.)

With regard to mankind’s focus and his progress in the area of proper human self-reflection…”Psychology is not a key to self-understanding, but a cultural barrier to such understanding as we can achieve…” from the Preface of Admirable Evasions, How Psychology Undermines Morality by Theodore Dalyrymple, 2015.

Admirable Evasions

Admirable Evasions

Who is Theodore Dalyrymple? Theodore Dalyrymple is a pen name used by retired prison psychiatrist Dr. Anthony Daniels. I have written about Dalrymple in a previous post (see below).

 

Theodore Dalrymple aka Anthony Daniels, retired prison psychiatrist

Theodore Dalrymple aka Anthony Daniels, retired prison psychiatrist

“Admirable Evasions” sheds much-needed light on the mental health industry and in particular on the proactive diagnosis of depression.

Commercially advertised medications are prescribed to stave off unhappiness, dissatisfaction and ennui. Depression as a mental health state is used in courtrooms (and the media, as shown above) as a defense. Thus, responsibility for one’s felony first degree murder is not correlated to one’s accumulated misbehavior or evil compounded into utter darkness.

Dalrymple’s book, as the sub-title puts forward, exposes the absolution of patients from moral culpability. Psychology, instead, seeks to divine a secret knowledge through its Sisyphean scientism efforts in hopes of uncovering the ‘deep’ mystery of the patient’s unhappiness. We read also of the consumer’s constant demand for felicity and the bottom line commercialism behind antidepressant prescriptions. Dalrymple also provides a brief and sardonic history of psychoanalysis.

“The purpose of such all-encompassing understanding, other than moral self-aggrandizement, is the evasion of one’s own moral responsibility; for it follows that if no one is to be judged (because to judge is to judge harshly), then one is not oneself to be judged-not even by oneself. This, in effect, means carte blanche to do as you feel like, because all behavior is put on equal moral footing; it is only to be understood.” (Chapter Four)

Briefly, scientism is a coupling of the lexicon and theories of science with pop culture, anthropology, politics, popular consensus and ultimately with Neo-Darwinism. Scientism becomes a form of ‘truth’ through repetition and consensus opinion. Scientism is the appearance, the apparition, of science and not the reality of science.

Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) for example, is a frequent scientism apparition. And, just as in the opening scene of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the apparition of AGW sets a macabre and eerie tone while foreshadowing a theme of death.

Scientism, like Hamlet’s apparition’s appearance is expected by ‘those in the know’ to be feared and revered-the spirit of Mother Gaia is to be worshipped.

But scientism, uncoupled from reality and from this earth, is not subjected to honest reflection on the empirical science or the realities of cost to benefit analysis (see my previous post). Scientism seeks to generate free-floating angst meant to separate you from your money for the ‘right’ environ-mental cause and candidate.

~~~

Theodore Dalrymple has worked in the mental health industry over a course of a lifetime, mostly with prison inmates. With characteristic insight, candor, humor and background Dalrymple empowers the reader with his common sense observations about the mental health industry. He tells us that the mental health industry is NOT based on science. (This pseudo-science has to finance its own grandiosity by repeating its weekly psychic readings.)

Using his logo centric cerebral scanner Dalrymple gives us his diagnosis of mental health scientism where experimentation becomes published ‘settled science” until the next ‘sure’ thing comes along. Counseling “initiates” sooner or later are subjected to new ‘insights’ but the game is always to designate them as “victims”, victims who need to forgive themselves and/or learn to churn out positive self-esteem so as to inflate the ego and ward off scary intruders. And, remember Primal Screaming? “Shout, shout, Let it all out.”

“We [the mental health industry] need everyone who suffers to be a victim because only thus can we maintain our pretense to universal understanding and experience the warm glow of our own compassion, so akin to the warmth that a strong, stiff drink imparts in the cold.” (Chapter Four)

From Chapter One: “The first psychological scheme of the twentieth century to provide man with the illusion of much expanded, if not complete, self-understanding, together with hope of an existence free of inner and outer conflict, was psychoanalysis, then came behaviorism, after which came cybernetics, Sociobiology and evolutionary psychology were next; and now neuroscientific imaging, together with a little light neurochemistry, persuades us that we are about to pluck out the heart of our mystery. Suffice it to say, by way of deflation of exaggerated hopes and expectation, that 10 percent or more of the population now takes antidepressants, a figure is all the more remarkable as the evidence is lacking that they, the antidepressants, work except in a very small minority of cases; rather the reverse. That they are taken in such quantities is evidence more of dissatisfaction with life than of increased understanding of its causes, as well as of the spread of superstition regarding neurotransmitters and so-called “chemical imbalances.” (emphasis added)

Dalrymple goes on to talk about the absurdities of Freudianism and of Freud himself: [Freud] belonged more to the history of techniques of self-advancement and the foundation of religious sects than to that of science… He says Freud was ”a habitual liar who falsified evidence…”and “ he was a self-aggrandizing manipulator of people…”

“Admirable Evasions” delves into the mental health industry’s ‘absolution’ of a patient’s wrong doing based on as yet to be determined psychological mysteries locked in the patient’s brain. Hence the undermining and “Evasion” of morality as the book’s title posits. Hence, morally deficit people are left to roam our streets and at times kill others. Garbage in, garbage out (GIGO) is not a defense in court or a comfort to those who have lost a loved one to amoral psychoanalysis with its lawless diagnosis.

“Men can change; this is their glory and their burden, for it is precisely the capacity to change that renders them responsible for their actions; but what they do may be irreparable.”

The above quote from Admirable Evasions is found within the article “The Multiple Lives of Mehdi Nemmouche” . There Dalrymple talks about the “doctrine of the Real Me”.   

Mehdi Nemmouche

Mehdi Nemmouche

~~~

Everyone wants an out…

Remember CPL Max Klinger of the MASH unit who feigned mental illness (in women’s clothes) so as to be discharged as unfit?

Remember “The devil made me do it.”?

On the couch, morality is posited as just a scary apparition, an angry “Epicurean” god, a figment of a tormented mental condition, an unwarranted guilt complex, genes gone awry, synapses misfiring or firing at the wrong time due to over-stimulation. One Nudge too far!

To neo-Darwinists, morality is considered a Darwinian materialist’s adaption to one’s societal surroundings. Neo-Darwinists do not want to go where morality dwells because that would entail submitting to a Moral Absolute. It is much easier for their pride to accept a humanist’s scientism solution every time. It is easier for them to dabble in the mystical arts of new age scientism.

Dalrymple, in a footnote, admits that he (an atheist) has no moral high ground of his own:  “The fact that I do not have any watertight metaphysic of morals does not mean that psychology can just rush in to fill the gap.”

…but fools rush into the utter darkness anyway.

“…Emerson said in one of his brief excursions into comprehensibility, foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.” (Chapter Four)

The default diagnosis of mental illness proffered by the media and by the waiting in the wings defense psychologists is most likely evil and its focus on fatalism.

“But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!”

~~~

Theodore Dalrymple’s answer to the mental health industry’s inability to improve one’s healthy self-awareness is straightforward-read good literature. Read and become self-aware after reflecting on the characters and the situations they encounter in the book. I agree. Psychoanalysis tends to be a masturbation of the ego.

I also agree, as Dalrymple asserts, there is some good in the mental health industry. There are those who are dealing with incurable psychosis. These need help working with reality. But, most people do not need the packaged nonsense. They do need good books, good friends, exercise and to be held accountable for their actions by their friends and society before the point of no return.

As a Christian, I would strongly suggest that if you are desirous of a healthy mind that you also turn your eyes upon Jesus. Cable TV and today’s media have nothing healthy to offer you. You won’t find moral absolutes on TV.

Consider the following offering to evil:

“Lady Gaga’s Bisexual ‘American Horror Story: Hotel’ Character Revealed in Sexiest Season Yet”

[Ryan] “Murphy tells ET that he plans to initiate Gaga with a particularly “disturbing and awful” murder scene with her co-star Bomer, when the show begins filming next week.”

~~~

“Diversion is the only thing that consoles us in our wretchedness, and yet diversion is itself the greatest of our miseries. For it is diversion above all that keeps us from seriously taking stock of ourselves and so leads us imperceptibly to perdition.”

—Pascal, Pensées

From the Evil One’s point of view, the liturgy of psycho-babble is meant to replace the Lord ’s Prayer.

In Jesus you learn to forgive others and no longer hold grudges or unresolved anger. Any root of bitterness is soon uprooted and you are free to plant a plush garden in its place. That garden will be where Jesus comes to visit-as he did with St. Teresa of Avila and where He also visits me.

~~~

“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” Isaiah 5:20

~~~

I have written about Dalrymple in a previous post: “Three Atheists I Listen To”

~~~

A second opinion:  “The Moral Limits of Psychology”

~~~

Added 8/6/2015: 

Bryant Brewer

Bryant Brewer

Judge rejects insanity defense, convicts man in Chicago cop’s murder:

“Following more than 2 1/2 hours of closing arguments, Judge Timothy Joyce concluded that Bryant Brewer wasn’t mentally ill but simply chose “not to be bound by society’s norms.”

“The only completely truthful thing I heard from (Brewer) is that he’s a cop killer,” the judge said as Soderberg’s widow, Jennifer Loudon, clutched a tissue in her right hand. “He brutally, callously, viciously and without compunction murdered Officer Thor Soderberg.””

Officer Thor Soderberg

Officer Thor Soderberg

“Joyce delivered a lengthy verdict, finally announcing the guilty decision after 8 p.m. He found Brewer guilty on all counts — including the attempted murder of three other officers in addition to Soderberg’s first-degree murder.

The judge concluded that the defense presented no admissible evidence that Brewer had schizophrenia.”

 

 

 

~~~

Added 8-7-2015, from NBC News:

“…the same jury that convicted Holmes of 24 counts of first-degree murder and 140 counts of attempted murder last month in the July 20, 2012, massacre at a midnight screening of “The Dark Knight Rises” in Aurora. The jury deliberated less than 13 hours before reaching that decision.”

“Defense attorneys argued that [James] Holmes suffered from schizophrenia and he was legally insane when he carried out the attack. The jury rejected that defense in finding Holmes guilty.”

~~~

Added: 10-4-2015

This astounding finding should be an integral part of the mental health debate:

Robert Whitaker author of Anatomy of an Epidemic asks the question, here paraphrased…

Is there a correlation between the increase of prescribed psychotropic medications over the past twenty-five years and the current epidemic of disabling mental illness? He notes that the disabled mentally ill place a significant burden on society.

The Life of the Party

Mary wrapped her blue cotton shawl over her shoulders. She knew the night air would later become chilly. She called to her son hammering on something in the workshop and set out for the synagogue, nestled down at the end of the ox cart-burrowed street. Jesus, hearing the invitation from his mother, quickly brushed off the sawdust from his tunic, grabbed his mantle and threw it over his head. He cinched a leather belt in place, quickly washed his face and hands and ran off to catch up to his mother who was halfway to the synagogue and the wedding celebration.

“Jesus, would you bring the fish that I bought from Peter?”

“Yes mother. Is there anything else?

“No, son.”

“I will return to the house and bring the fish. Go ahead with out me.”

“I’ll wait. With such a son, I will walk with you to greet our neighbors on this festive day.”

“Yes, mother, I’ll hurry.”

Jesus returned minutes later, running down the slope with three fish in his hand, the translucent fish tails flapping.

When he had caught up to Mary he said, “Father loved to go to weddings and to listen to the music.  He loved to be with his friends. Father was a quiet man until he came to a wedding. Then he would smile from ear to ear and sing all of the wedding songs. I remember his unstoppable smile. I could see that weddings had a special place in his heart.”

“Yes, I wish he were here.” Mary answered. “At the weddings he would look into my eyes and tell me that the twinkle in my eyes had reminded him of the stars on the night when you were born. Come let’s go in before I start crying and the stars begin flowing.”

Jesus and his mother entered the large thatched-roofed synagogue after removing their shoes. Inside they greeted their neighbors.  Dusty feet were washed and dried by the bride’s father, the host. Blessings were bestowed on the household and then Mary asked to see the newly weds.

The bride and groom sat outside in the middle of an expansive garden. They were seated at the center of a low cypress wood table near a Sycamore fig tree.  A large canopy shielded them from the hot afternoon sun. Jesus recognized the table as one of his workshop creations. Many of the guests had seated themselves around the table for the start of the wedding feast. Children scurried around the tables, giggling their pleasure at finding so many of their friends. The whole town had come to celebrate.

Their town, Khirbet Kana, was located nine miles northeast of Nazareth and about nine miles east of the Sea of Galilee. It was nestled against the southern hills of Upper Galilee. The Bet Netofa Valley, which lay between Cana and Nazareth, was situated about half way between the Mediterranean Sea and the Sea of Galilee.

As Mary began talking with the exuberant couple, Jesus walked over and sat down with the men discussing Cana’s political landscape within the Roman Empire. From their heated discussion he could hear that they were unwilling subjects of Rome. The local authority was King Herod and King Herod reported to the Roman Emperor Tiberius. They decried the fact that Roman rule limited the power of the Sanhedrin, the Jewish court with its own legislative and judicial authority. They earnestly looked for the deliverer of their own people.  Jesus listened while stoking the fire with a branch.

The men sat around the glowing coals of a fire pit used for cooking. The three fish that Jesus had brought were placed on the fire pit’s heated stones. In the middle of the pit, a large pot held boiling lamb stew seasoned with salt, onions, garlic, cumin coriander, mint, dill and mustard. Dates and grapes, cheese, wine, vegetables, fruit and eggs were in plentiful supply. Common serving bowls were set on the feast table along with wild honey to sweeten the meal.

A little boy came over and stood next to Jesus. He watched his father talking from across from the fire pit.  His father, face snarled and shoulders slumped, talked angrily about the Roman taxes being placed on their town. The boy knew that his father became especially enraged when talking about King Herod. It was Herod who had placed Roman idols in the Holy Temple of Jehovah.  Today his father spoke in a hushed voice to those seated around the fire. He did not want to spoil the celebration.

Off to the side, several little girls, unaware of such important discussions whirled in their tunics to the rhythm of a tambourine, pretending that they, too, had just been married.  The sound of lyres, lutes, castanets, and cymbals permeated the multitude of voices.  The garden was lush with a wonderful sense of joy.

Wine poured freely. The bride’s mother made sure of it. But it wasn’t long before Mary noticed a worried look on Anna’s face. Mary pulled Anna into corner of the garden. She quietly spoke with Anna.

“Anna, my friend, what’s the matter?”

“Oh Mary, the wine is gone! I didn’t think that this would happen.  Unexpected guests have come from nearby towns. Your son’s followers have come too. What shall I do? We haven’t even toasted my daughter and her husband!”

Mary turned and looked for Jesus. Her eyes found his.  He was seated among the men where her husband Joseph usually sat when he was alive. She quickly came over to him and quietly put her hand on his shoulder. Jesus got up and followed her to the front of the synagogue.

“Son, there is no more wine.  What is left is old and almost undrinkable.”

“Good woman, what does that have to do with me? My time hasn’t come yet.”

Now, Mary knew in her heart that Jesus was sent from God. She felt that He had to do something in this family crisis. Mary invoked her pregnant hope. She looked over at the servants and said, “Do whatever he tells you.”

The servants gathered up six large clay jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, and took them to the cistern in the town’s courtyard. They filled the jars, each holding 30 gallons, with cistern water and then carted them back to the party.  Jesus had ordered the servants to fill the empty clay jars with water. When they had done so, Jesus told them to draw out some of it and take it to the head waiter. After tasting the wine from the jar,  not knowing what Jesus had done (though the servants who drew the water knew), the head waiter took the bridegroom aside and told the bridegroom that he had departed from the usual custom of serving the best wine first by serving it last. The bridegroom responded with open-mouthed amazement. He then proclaimed loudly, “Thanks be to Jehovah for this wonderful gift.”

When everyone had a cup of new wine before them, Jesus raised his cup in the direction of the bride and groom. Everyone quickly raised their cups as well. Seven blessings were recited before the bride and groom.  The final blessing:  Blessed art Thou LORD our God, king of the universe, Creator of the fruit of the vine.  The joyful couple was toasted.  New wine again filled the cups and music returned to the garden. 

As the evening wore on Mary got up from her place at the table.   With the fire dying away the cool night air now chilled her. She pulled the cotton shawl snug over her shoulders and went to look for Jesus.  She found him at the edge of the garden looking towards the night sky.  The scene reminded her of God’s vision given to Abram:  “Look up at the heavens and count the stars-if indeed you can count them. So shall your offspring be.”  Without saying a word, Mary stood looking at Jesus from across the garden.  In the expanse of the indigo-black night infinite points of starlight blazed creating a sparkling diadem for her son.

(And so it was that Jesus’ first sign, recorded by me, was the changing of water into wine at a wedding feast in Cana of Galilee. I was with his mother and several of his disciples who saw this miracle. We began, that day, to believe in a Deliverer.)

-John, the beloved disciple of Jesus

***

© Sally Paradise, 2010, All Rights Reserved

The Letters

 

September, 2019

My Dear Agnus,

I may be among the last of those who write letters. Handwriting is personal and so I hope my words will be received not as the words of a deacon, but as your brother.

The last time I saw you Agnus, at the funeral for Nicholas, I perceived bitterness behind your grief as we spoke that day. You asked “Where is God in all of this?”

The tragedy that took your son was compounded by his claiming to be an atheist before his death. Together, these events must have caused you considerable anguish.

What succor can any observer give to the one who has suffered such a loss and heartbreak? What comparison of those who have also suffered loss can one make to lessen your grief when your sorrow and pain are profoundly yours, and yours alone? And, imagine, what support a spouse gives to her husband who has suffered profound losses when she says to him that he is better off dead?

Job’s wife, knowing where God ‘was’ in all that had happened, ‘comforted’ her boil-encrusted ash heap-seated husband with “Curse God and die!” In effect she said “Why maintain your notions of God and your devotion to Him when He does this to you?”

Job, also knowing where God ‘was’ in all that he suffered, responded to the “foolish” words with his own reckoning of the situation: “Should we accept from God only good and not adversity?” I wonder at the reckoning of Job, after suffering devasting losses: “the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” Job wasn’t putting a positive spin on his situation. Rather, he was letting God be God.

And what of value are clichés like “time heals all wounds”? The wounds may heal, but the scars remain, as they do for our Lord and Savior. Pain, loss and suffering make their marks, as you well know.

As I write this I have before me the photograph of you and Nicholas at his fourteenth birthday. What joy and promise I see in both of your eyes. How will you remember him on his eighteenth birthday this Saturday?

Do you blame yourself for Nicholas saying he became an atheist? Don’t. I have mentored many such young men. Approaching adulthood, they are dynamic. They believe they know all they need to know and what they don’t know you can’t tell them. They begin to reject familial authority and the fixed rules and identity imposed on them. They will chose a path opposite of what they know. When they receive a driver’s license or go off to college, they believe they can drive off without limits.

Your Nicholas didn’t have time to harden his heart against God. Had he gone on to the university he may have begun to harden his heart, as immature Christian faith is often weaned on the religion of ideology.

The picture I have in my mind as I mentor these young men: they are like the lost wandering sheep that the Shepherd goes looking for. You committed Nicholas to the Good Shepherd as an infant. When he declared himself to be an atheist, the Good Shepherd went looking for him asking “Where are you Nicholas?” The Good Shepherd did not give up on him.

Most likely Nicholas, not yet understanding the nature of God, saw something in the nature of life. The world offers many shiny objects to lure a young man away from the fold.

Be assured, Agnus, that you are continually in my thoughts and prayers. Help me to see through your eyes.

Love,

Tom

 

September 2019

Dear Tom,

Forgive my email reply. My stationery, which I used to thank those who gave flowers in remembrance of Nicholas, has run out except for a mismatched envelope.

Thank you for writing. This past year have been a blur. The loss of my only child and the loss of my marriage the year before has drained life out of me and filled me with wormwood and gall. That is what my new friend Ann calls it.

I saw Nicholas change after the divorce. He became moody and distant. It didn’t help that Bill and I often fought the months before we separated. I was crushed when Nicholas asked both of us “Where is God in all of this?”

I will remember Nick’s birthday with a few friends. They are folk from the church I now attend. They are giving me a memorial tree to plant in my yard.

Agnus

 

October, 2019

Dear Agnus,

A memorial tree is a symbolic and an enduring way to remember Nicholas. What kind of tree did you plant?

You mentioned in your last email that Nicholas was affected by what was going on in his homelife. Changing aspects at home would intensify the growing dynamics in his young life. It would spur him to look elsewhere for greener pastures. But the Good Shepherd knows his sheep and cares for them wherever they run off to.

All that has happened has changed you, as well. Our sister tells me that you are now attending a Universalist Church. This concerns me, as I know of their pluralist beliefs.

How is your health? I worry about you.

Love,

Tom

 

October, 2019

Dear Tom,

I planted a redbud tree in my front yard. I can see it from my chair by the window. My friends from church helped me plant it. They say it will produce rose-colored flowers.

You mentioned the church I now attend. At the church I attended for many years, the one where Nicholas was baptized as an infant, after the divorce no ever one ever invited Nicholas and me over for a meal. I felt judged, unclean and worthless because of a failed marriage. I felt isolated, like I didn’t exist. I felt like a leper.

There was one old woman at that church, I won’t mention her name, who rankled me. She had the gall to imply that what happened to Nicholas was a judgment for my divorce. “These things happen for a reason” is what she said. Why on God’s green earth would someone say this? At that point I had had enough of that can of wormwood. I wasn’t about to lose my sanity and so I looked elsewhere.

Nicholas refused to go to church. He was spending time with his father who also didn’t attend church. Bill said that he has more fellowship on a golf course on Sunday mornings than in church. I don’t even know what fellowship means at this point. My old church had become a valued-members only country club of sorts.

I met the folks from the new church at a rummage sale. They invited me over for coffee. So, I took my baggage and started going to their church.

My health? I don’t sleep. I wake up from dreams so real I begin to cry. I see the old woman and Nicholas standing at the end of my bed. They are turned away and Bill is walking away.

Food and a glass of wine and a few new friends are my only comforts.

Agnus

 

November, 2019

Dear Agnus,

I understand your reaction and your desire to walk away. That woman had no business saying those things. The church, where the lost and lonely and broken should find hope and fellowship and healing, is often the place where the most rejection and hurt is incurred. There are, as you may have encountered, broken people who believe they know the mind of God and can diagnose other’s lives through their own distorted lens. I am reminded of Job’s friends and their counsel.

Now, it may be that this woman had also experienced loss or hardship or heartache and assumed that God was chastening her and that became her frame of reference to project onto others. It may be that, like many in the church, she gets involved with people only viscerally and never enters into a deeper relationship with them. There are those who are not solicitous about a person’s spiritual and emotional well-being as it would involve having to get involved. I don’t want to project any of this onto her or impugn her character, as I only know of her. I don’t know her. One cannot know the mind or intentions of another or the mind of Christ, for that matter, unless they are intimately acquainted with the person. Still, that woman had no business saying those things.

I think many see the church not as a Mash unit where the wounded are cared for and nursed back to wholeness. Rather, they see it as a soapbox for their views. Years ago I left a church where the congregation voted on church matters. That was a nightmare. Many who voted had already converted their political commitments into moral principles. As such, they had become conduits of the world and not of the Holy Spirit.

My main concern is you. How are you holding up? I am glad you found some folks who invited you in. I hope this letter finds you well and in better spirits.

Love,

Tom

 

November 2019

Tom,

I received your letter. The church isn’t all it’s cracked up to be and neither am I for that matter. Maybe the old woman just woke up on the wrong side of the bed that day. I know I did.

These days all my focus has narrowed to getting by day to day. I try to make sense of it all. It seems life is one of those patternless crossword puzzles in the newspaper. There are clues and no structure or a place to start. There are answers that connect at one point but after I work on it the puzzle ends up being a disconnected mismatched jumble. And the solution is a Want Ad.

Now that Christmas is approaching and I will be without Nick, I have a question for you Deacon. Why would God send his son into the world when he knew that his son would brutally die? That is a world of hurt that I know all too well. Why all the suffering? What does it accomplish?

I may get around to buying stationery someday. Right now, email is what I can handle.

Agnus

 

November 2019

Dear Agnus,

I can relate to the crossword puzzle example you gave. More than once I have a puzzle almost completed but there are a few clues that confound me. I have to search to find the word suggested.

You ask a deep theological question that is much like the patternless puzzle. Both begin on a template as a mystery that bids the partaker to search for answers, as you are doing. Mysteries cannot and should not be assessed on their face and be rejected outright as too difficult or pointless.

I have long wondered why Jesus didn’t just come down to earth and feed everyone and heal everyone and keep people from suffering and death. Why did he have to suffer to make things right for the world and then allow suffering to continue?

I have been reading Russian authors for a while now – Chekov, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy and Solzhenitsyn. What I like about these Russian authors is that they were not afraid to pose deep questions in their works. The things of the spirit were of great importance to them. Their writings depict the torment of the Russian soul especially as it is affected by suffering and loss and evil.

My favorite is Chekov. His writings depict the prosaic side of Russian life and the hopelessness pervasive in the lives of his characters. His stories are not of the Hallmark/Disney sentimentalist twaddle so popular today. He writes the about the way life is without moralizing.

Here, as an example of their writings, I will quote Ivan, one of the brothers in Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov:

“And if the suffering of children goes to make up the sum of suffering needed to buy truth, then I assert beforehand that the whole of truth is not worth such a price.” (5.4.21)

Ivan Karamazov, a deep thinker, poses suffering as a theological problem: if sweet innocent children suffer, how can there be a just God? With this conundrum he reveals what is behind Russian nihilism and atheism he sees all around him – sentimentality and a false sense of sympathy for mankind.

The Russian nihilists and atheists he speaks of see children suffering, so they assume that if there is a God that he is unjust and not worth their time. They walk away from God bearing a hatred towards Him and his divine purpose for life. They take on a false moralism which denies all values including the sacred. They will hold an abstracted God accountable but not themselves. They will not stomach the tears of children nor will they stomach the sacrifice required of them to alleviate the tears in this world. In fact, as history shows, they go on to sanction Progressivist revolutions that create untold sufferings and tears.

Have I answered your questions? No. Not yet. I am relating that the patternless puzzle, the mystery, has troubled mankind since the days of Job. The Psalmists and the wisdom literature authors in Scripture reflect on the meaning of life amidst suffering and hardship and loss. These writings offer clues that suffering can be redemptive as they turn to God for healing and justice instead of indicting him. Maybe the old woman spoke from this perspective.

Each individual puzzle, yours included, can be redemptive as one seeks the Source for answers. The church should be a resource of redemption, of grace and a healing balm. But it is often the resource of sentimentality and a false sense of sympathy for mankind as I mentioned above. There are those in the church who see themselves as prophets, as arbiters of who is right and who is wrong and of the mind of God, like Job’s friends. They think they have the answers to the patternless puzzle.

I’ll briefly mention that along with the problem of suffering there is also the problem of evil. Of the Christian view you are already aware. Jesus suffered death on the cross to defeat evil. His resurrection means new creation. That sin and evil continue is a matter of human’s free will. That suffering continues, Jesus’ resurrection tells us that things are not as they seem – that suffering can be redemptive and that death can be overturned so that new creation can take place. The return of Jesus is when he will put things to right.

I’ll just mention a non-Christian view.

An atheist will revere cause and effect science as the tree of life, as the impersonal source of life. This ‘relieves’ them of accountability. Yet, as mentioned above, the atheist will not see human agency as the mechanism behind the cause and effects of evil. Rather they see themselves as the tormented and not as the tormentors. This is more to say on this subject but would be of no comfort for you now.

How are you spending Christmas? Will you be alone? If so, I will come out. Let me know right away so that I can book a flight. I should have asked sooner.

For your sleep I recommend exercise. It will alleviate your mood and help you sleep at night.

Love,

Tom

 

December 2019

Tom,

I received your letter and your Christmas card. The card is beautiful. Thank you.

Of the things you wrote, that whole ball of wax, I can barely take it in. The church has been both a blessing and a bane to me. Now I see myself as part of the bane. My focus has been on myself and words spoken and not spoken to me.

You and I were raised in a church with petty rules. No dancing, no movies, no talking in church. Remember the sign that hung over the choir loft? Be still and know that I am God. How can anyone be still when so much suffering is going on?

Later I attended a free church where I thought I would be free from judgment. I think it is called grace. No way. I traded the Be Still church for the Shut Up about your problems put on a smiley face and carry on church. I came home depressed and crying so I went elsewhere. I told you about my last church. My last straw is the church I attend now. They accept anyone and anything. They teach universal reconciliation – that all humans will eventually be saved. I want to believe this for Nicholas’ sake but I can’t. Why wasn’t everyone saved and suffering stopped right after Jesus died on the cross? Why is there still evil and trouble in the world. It seems that people must still make a choice to be saved or not. You mentioned free will. It seems that universal salvation would mean that there is no difference between good and evil. Alls well that ends well, I guess is what they think.

They also teach about finding yourself within yourself. I found enough in myself I don’t like. If God thinks like me and the rest of these people, we’re all in trouble. Your letters got me thinking about all this.

Anyway, I sit by the window looking at the memorial tree covered in snow and wonder when the redemption part kicks in. I sit here with this feeling of something gushing up inside me like a flare was set off inside me and I can’t contain it. What could this be?

The church does give me the chance to work at a local homeless shelter. I brought in some of Nicholas’ clothes. I was so happy when I saw a boy wearing the shirt I bought for Nicholas.

Rose said that she is coming out for Christmas. She is bringing her kids. That will be a blessing. There will be noise and life in my home again. I will have to clean the house. This is no vale of roses.

How are you spending Christmas?

Agnus

 

December 2019

Dear Agnus.

Your email was a great encouragement to me. My concerns for you have greatly diminished. I don’t see you being taken in by your church’s pluralism. As you have stated, the church accepts anyone and everything. It teaches all religions as emanating from a divine origin and therefore all religions are true and therefore worthy of toleration and respect and considered on equal footing. As such, the church synthesizes universal principles of many religions to form a universal truth. The church wants to be known for being inclusive. You will encounter all manner of false teaching to make inclusion and toleration possible.

The Universalist church will teach about God and Jesus and immortality and, as you mentioned, that things will work out at the end, that no one will suffer eternal torment. The church implies with their teaching that evil and sin make people victims and therefore no one should have to suffer eternal punishment. Their teaching questions how the redeemed can enjoy heaven while even one soul suffers in hell. The sympathy card is played.

The Universalists are like the prodigal son’s older brother. He deems himself on higher moral ground than his father as he witnesses his brother repenting and returning to their father of his own volition. He believes he deserves the sympathy of his father for just being himself.

Like the atheists I have mentioned in a previous letter, the Universalists have taken on sentimentality and a false sense of sympathy for mankind and imbue it with false moralism and cheap grace. They do not let God be God. Rather, they let a god of their own making, as synthesized from the world’s religions, be their graven image.

But there will be no synthesis of good and evil. There will be no marriage of heaven and hell. In fact, there will be The Great Divorce. If you get a chance, read C. S. Lewis’ book by the same name. As Lewis depicts, the choices we make take us down divergent pathways.  We either choose a path of good that becomes an even greater good as we continue to make good choices and stay on its narrow way or we choose a broad path that leads towards ever greater evil.

In the story you will read of the proud, the stubborn, the willful and the angry.  There are those who demand their rights.  There will be those whose feet hurt them as they walk on solid ground for the first time and there will also be the “bright solid people” who move about the “High Country” without effort.  And finally, there will be those who reject Joy and solid Reality to return to “grey town” on the same bus.

Universal salvation teaching reckons the ‘victim’, the ‘tormented’, as having power over God, as being able to hold God hostage and being able to force God’s hand to enact salvation from eternal punishment regardless of the choices made. This implication is mere sentimentality and nothing more. God gives each what they have desired with their free-will. I’ll quote Lewis from that same book:

“There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, in the end, “Thy will be done.” All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek find. Those who knock it is opened.”

 

Now, enough of this talk. My pipe just went out.

It appears that redemption is already “kicking in”. The shirt you provided that boy is an act of redemption and re-creation. You gave new life to the shirt and to the boy, so it is also an act of resurrection. Resurrection is the hope of Christians. You will see Nicholas again. In the meantime, keep doing what you are doing.

What you are experiencing as you sit in that chair by window is what Paul wrote about in Romans. The entire creation, not just you and I and the Russians I mentioned, but “the entire of creation is groaning together and going through labor pains together, with groaning too deep for words. The Searcher of Hearts knows what the spirit is thinking, because the spirits pleads for God’s people according to God’s will.” God knows what is going on inside you by his spirit which indwells you. The spirit is pleading on your behalf so that God will work all things together for good. The Comforter is with you.

Rose will bring the gift I have for you. I hope you receive this letter before Christmas. I am spending Christmas Eve and Christmas day at church to receive the Eucharist. After church on Christmas Day I will be having dinner with a couple my age. Then I will go home and watch Alistair Sim in A Christmas Carol with my parrolet Henry. He’s good company.

Love,

Tom

 

Christmas Eve 2019

Tom,

I received your letter just today. Thank you! Still smoking that old pipe?

And thank you for the wonderful gift. It gave me a spark of joy. Rose says it is a copy of the Return of the Prodigal Son by Rembrandt. Isn’t this the same painting that hangs behind your desk?

I am sorry this will be a short email. I have a houseful right now. We’ll talk soon. Maybe you should stop smoking that pipe. You’re 82.

Merry Christmas Tom.

Love,

Agnus

 

January 2020

Dear Agnus,

I see in that painting Father Christmas and the greatest gifts being reconciliation and redemption.

I see myself, as I was a prodigal who returned to the father. The suffering caused by my waywardness to myself and to others, including a loss of dignity and relationship, was redemptive in that I saw myself as I was and in need of the father and his love to put things to rights. My Father in heaven suffered being un-fathered by me for a time but he never changed Who He was in my absence. He never said to me “do this and be that” and then I will accept you back. He did not become like the older brother with his strict moral order as the parable relates. Our relationship, not rules, was his priority.

I see Nicholas being comforted and back home. I see you beholding that scene and being filled with joy.

I will come out to see you in February. At 82 this will be my last trip. My age ‘kicked in’ a while ago, so my travel days will be over after this trip

If you’ll be asking me questions, I will have to bring my pipe.

Love,

Tom

 

 

 

 

 

© Jennifer A. Johnson, 2019, All Rights Reserved

“It depends” – The New/Old ‘Truth’

Remember the serpent? You know, the thing that questioned what God had said about not eating from the Tree of Life?  The snake in the grass… in the Garden…”Did God really say…?”

Consider the relativism of our postmodern culture, a culture born out of the fact/value split I touched upon in my post Saving Leonardo and Modern Man From Himself.

The article below will give you some well-known real-life examples:

Politics, Postmodern Lying And Our Poisoned Culture By Victor Davis Hanson of , Investor’s Business Daily

Love – Backlit, Natural and Nearly Impossible- To The Wonder

Terrence Malick’s To The Wonder  

Using Scripture references, natural backlighting and encompassing music,  (and yes there are characters) Terrence Malick once again, as in The Tree of Life, helps us to reflect on life and especially now on love: 

Taking Inventory: 2011

2011, the Chinese Year of the Rabbit, had me hopping from book to book and from topic to topic.  The subjects ranged from political to spiritual to mathematics to history. The genres ranged from non-fiction books, essays and articles to short story fiction and novels.

 These are some of the books and writings that I have read and studied this past year.  They are now taking up residence in my cluttered mind and by extension, my over-crowded book shelves:

 The Thomas Sowell Reader, a compilation of articles and essays written by Thomas Sowell, economist:

 “From an early age, I have been convinced with trying to understand the social problems that abound in any society.  First and foremost, this was an attempt to try to grasp some explanation of the puzzling and disturbing things going on around me.  This was all for my own personal clarification, since I neither had political ambitions nor the political talents required for either elective or appointed office.  But, one having achieved some sense of understanding of particular issues – a process that sometimes took years – I w anted to share that understanding with others.  That is the reason for the things that appear in this book.”

 A Conflict of Visions, also written by Thomas Sowell:

 “What are the underlying assumptions behind the very different ideological visions of the world being contested in modern times?  The purpose here will not be to determine which of these visions is more valid but rather to reveal the inherent logic behind each of these sets of views and the ramifications of the assumptions which lead not only to different conclusions on particular issues but also to wholly different meanings to such fundamental words as “justice,” “equality,” and “power.”

 The New Road to Serfdom:  A letter of Warning to America, Daniel Hannan, British MEP:

 “This book is not aimed at the convinced anti-Americans.  It is aimed, rather, at those within the United States who have become blasé about their transcendent political inheritance.” 

 The Conservative Foundations of a Liberal Order:  Defending Democracy Against Its Modern Enemies and Immoderate Friends, Daniel J. Mahoney:

 “My book aims to contribute to the revitalization of a tradition of political and spiritual reflection that will allow democratic man to navigate the dangerous waters of postmodern, relativistic democracy.”

The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of the American Culture, David Mamet:

 “The struggle of the Left to rationalize its positions is an intolerable Sisyphean burden. I speak as a reformed liberal.”

Evil and the Justice of God, N.T. Wright, bishop of Dunham:

 “”After working for some years on a major book on the resurrection, I resolved at the start of 2003 that I would turn my attention to the meaning of Jesus’ crucifixion.  But as soon as I began to think how I might approach the subject, I realized that there was something else I had to do first.  When Christians talk about what Jesus accomplished in his death, they usually say something about his cross as the answer to, or the result of, evil. But what is evil?…

I turned my reflections into five lectures which I delivered at Westminster Abbey, where I was then working, the first half of 2003.”

 Exclusion & Embrace:  A Theological Exploration of Identity, Otherness, and Reconcilliation, Miroslav Volf

 “Nothing in God is specifically feminine; nothing in God is specifically masculine; therefore nothing in our notions of God entails duties or prerogatives specific to one gender; all duties and prerogatives entailed in our notions of God are duties and prerogatives of both genders…”
Men and women share maleness and femaleness not with God but with animals. They image God in their common humanity. Hence we ought to resist every construction of the relation between God and femininity or masculinity that privileges one gender, say by claiming that men on account of their maleness represent God more adequately than women or by insisting that women, being by nature more relational, are closer to the divine as the power of connectedness and love.”

 The list continues:

 Saving Leonardo:  A Call to Resist the Secular Assault on Mind, Morals & Meaning, Nancy Pearcey

 The Four Cardinal Virtues, Josef Pieper

 Josef Pieper:  An Anthology, Ignatius Press

 Fidelity, Wendell Berry

 Selected Stories, Andre Dubus

 The Greater Journey, David McCullough

 Three Novels:  Molloy, Malone Dies, The Unnamable, Samuel Beckett

 King Lear, Shakespeare

 Death in the Andes: A novel, Mario Vargas Llosa

 The Waste Land and Other Poems, T.S. Eliot

 New Stories from the South, 2009:  The Years Best, edited by Madison Smartt Bell

 The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and Philosophy:  Everything is Fire, edited by Eric Bronson

 Arguably, Essays by Christopher Hitchens

 Is God A Mathematician?  Mario Livio

 The Golden Ration, Mario Livio

 Cosmicomics, Italo Calvino

 Just Kids, Pattie Smith

 Mystery and Manners:  Occasional Prose, Flannery O’Connor

 Numerous Oxford American Magazine editions

 Numerous Vanity Fair Magazine editions

 My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers,

 The Bible

  ****

2011,  movies enjoyed and remembered number two:

 The Remains of the Day, James Ivory (& Ismail Merchant)

 The Tree of Life, Terence Malick

 ****

 TV doesn’t hold much interest for me. I am not married so I don’t feel the intractable need to sit in front of a TV screen in order to spend time with a mate.  Because of this, my viewing is attenuated to news, intellectual conversations and a baseline of view-worthy movies. Programs/channels watched:

 FOX News

 Turner Classic Movies (TCM)

 Various speakers/writers on CSPN Book-TV

 ****

(Note:  In reflection, this inventory list is of importance only to me.  I have found that this blog is a good place for me to store information that I will later need to queue up.  This in turn was due to my finding out that age dissolves memory in its bitter cup of sorrows.)

2012, is the Chinese year of the dragon.  I was born in the year of the dragon X years ago.  Now, the denatured beast is tamer but there is still fire in her belly.

Happy New Year!  Let’s get on with it.

No Cause for Alarm

The account of my neighbor Mr. Jones . . .

Just yesterday I saw a van pull into our apartment building parking lot. The van was white with big block letters on the side: COMMUNITY CARE. And beneath, Wellness Starts and Ends with You! Above the van was a swarm of police helicopters.

Five figures got out of the van. They were covered head to toe in chemical hazard PPE. Each carried a canister with a hose and nozzle attached. I thought What the heck is this? Are these guys the new pest control? There must be some huge cockroaches! I watched as they entered my building.

Through my door’s peephole I could see them knocking on the door of my neighbor’s first-floor apartment. The door opened and a hand came out. A bony finger pointed at my door. What is going on?

Then I heard a knock. I opened slightly and said “Can I help you?” The hazmat suit answered, “I am Inspector Lazarus, head of COMMUNITY CARE. I want to talk to you.” Hazmat guy then stuck his cannister into the door opening.

“What do you want?” I asked trying to push the cannister out the door with my foot.

“Didn’t you see the notice posted in the lobby?”

“What notice?”

One of the hazmat suits ripped a yellow paper from the bulletin board and handed it to Inspector Lazarus.

“The rule is simple”, Lazarus read, “get vaccinated or wear a mask until you do.” He handed me the paper. “You sir, are out of compliance according to your neighbor! Step aside!”

Hazmat pushed the door open and sprayed me with some acrid smelling mist. Four hazmat suits followed him in.

I yelled “Stop!” but the four hazmat suits began spraying down my apartment. One in my bedroom, one in my bathroom, one in my kitchen and one in my living room. I headed toward the bedroom.

“Back off!” Inspector Lazarus grabbed my arm. “Let them do their job!”

“The job of what, may I ask?”

“Community care and wellness,” Inspector Lazarus replied. “Our records show that you have not been vaccinated.”

“There’s no law that says I have to.”

“Ah, but there are regulations. Public health must be regulated. And what will your neighbors think if you do not obey the simple rule, Mr. Jones?”

“My neighbors can think what they like.”

“Ah, but that’s where you are wrong, Mr. Jones. Community wellness includes peace of mind.”

“Then tell them that I . . . Look! I’m healthy! . . . I just had my yearly physical. I’m in perfect health! My blood pressure is low, my cholesterol is low, my . . .my doctor will prescribe Ivermectin if I have symptoms.”

“Is your doctor a Wellness doctor, Mr. Jones?” Lazarus tightened his grip on my arm.

“A what?” “What is that horrible stuff they’re spraying?

“Mr. Jones, this is a public health matter. Not just any doctor . . . It’s what you don’t know that will hurt you, Mr. Jones! That’s why the National Public Health Recovery & Rebuild Administration was created and given plenary power of public health. You must choose a doctor on their list. It’s that simple.”

“What’s simple is that I have a doctor. I’ve known him for years.”

“If your doctor passes the NPHRRA certification program then he can put a Wellness sign on his door and web page. If not, you will have to choose from the list. Here’s doctor Smoltz. See him this afternoon. I made an appointment for you.” Inspector Lazarus held up his phone and showed me the screen.

Right then a hazmat suit walked up with my laptop, phone and my handguns. Through the window I saw my car being towed away.

“Hey, you have no right!”

No cause for alarm, Mr. Jones. We are taking precautions as part of the NPHRRA proactive initiatives. We remove anything that may cause future harm. We are to Build Back Better, as they say.””

“You have no right! I’ll take you to court!”

“What are you going to do, Mr. Jones? Go all Supreme Court on me? Listen! The courts are comprised of cooperating judges. They are accountable to NPHRRA and not to the law and certainly not to that thing called The Constitution. What does it say about public health science? Nothing!”

“Get the hell out of my apartment!”

“Calm down Mr. Jones. There’s no cause for alarm. You’ll get your things back when you comply with the simple rule. Oh, and we have detained your sister until you do.”

“What the hell?! You can’t do that!”

“Public health is a matter of national security, Mr. Jones. How can your neighbor Mrs. Niblock feel secure if you are not complying with a simple rule?”

“She can mind her own business to feel secure!”

 Now, here’s what’s in store for you Mr. Jones. You are to be confined to your home until further notice. I will come back tomorrow. If you have not visited Dr. Smoltz and haven’t worn your mask you will be publicly censored by the community. Your name will appear in the press.”

“I don’t have a car now. How could I even get to this Dr. Smoltz?”

“Use this NPHRRA approved phone to call the NPHRRA approved Uber to get you to the appointment. Oh, and another thing. If you do not comply with the simple rule, your rent will increase and you will be forced to pay state and federal VAX taxes.”

“This is insane! This Is not fair!”

“Mr. Jones, please! The NPHRRA operates under the direction of the Center for Progress Control. NPHRRA’s mission is to enforce health equity —embed equity in practice, process, action, innovation, and organizational performance and outcomes; build alliances and share power via meaningful engagement; ensure equity in innovation for marginalized and minoritized people and communities; push upstream to address all determinants of health; and foster truth, reconciliation, racial healing, and transformation.

When you are vaccinated, Mr. Jones, you will be given a CPC ID card. The card will provide access to all benefits and functions approved by the NPHRRA. The card will remain valid as long as you follow CPC/NPHRRA guidelines. See. There is no cause for alarm. It’s that simple, Mr. Jones.”

With that, the hazmat suits left. I opened my windows. The sharp-tasting air made me sick. The whole business made me furious.

I had no way to contact anyone. When I finally decided to leave the apartment, I saw Mrs. Niblock wagging her finger at me through from her apartment window. I wanted to give her the finger but I thought better of myself. I walked over to my neighbor Jennifer and told her what had happened. We came up with a plan.

When COMMUNITY CARE came back the next day – hazmat suits and helicopters, I told Inspector Lazarus that I would see Dr. Smoltz that afternoon. I had made a new appointment. I told Lazarus that I was afraid the day before but now I was willing to comply with the simple rule. I even put a mask on to take out the garbage that morning so that Mrs. Niblock would see and report it to Lazarus.

Then, I pulled Lazarus aside and offered him $5000.00 dollars to have my sister released immediately. I showed him the money. He took it and called to have her released.

“Mr. Jones, I am happy to hear that you are willing to comply. As our motto states Wellness Starts and Ends with You! I didn’t want wellness to be the end of you.

Anyway, Mr. Jones, this isn’t about you or me. This is about salvation itself. Dr. Smoltz will report back to me. So, there should be no further cause for alarm.”

When the helicopters and the COMMUNITY CARE van left, that was the signal for Jennifer. She drove to a side street a block away from the apartment building. That morning she had packed up her things and put them in the car. I carried all the things I could and snuck out the patio door so as to be out of Mrs. Niblock’s sight. I placed my things in Jennifer’s car.

We left town that morning. On the way out we bought some burner phones. We drove by my sister’s house and gave one to her. We told her to leave town. Then we drove all day and night to a remote location. We joined the others, The Remnant, who had fled “community care”.

That location shall remain unnamed. Who knows who may be reading this?

©Jennifer Ann Johnson, Kingdom Venturers, 2021, All Rights Reserved

*****

Episode 993 – The Clever Lies of Covid-19 … Dr. Michael Yeadon Exposes Why

*****

Fauci Court:

Dr. Ezekial Emanuel tells Fauci — Covid seems ‘less harmful’ than the Flu… – CITIZEN FREE PRESS

SMOKING GUN: FAUCI LIED, MILLIONS DIED — Fauci Was Informed of Hydroxychloroquine Success in Early 2020 But Lied to Public Instead Despite the Science #FauciEmails (thegatewaypundit.com)

Fauci Privately Advised Obama Staffers to NOT Wear Masks: ‘Not Effective’. – The National Pulse

Critics slam Fauci after book announcement on ‘truth’ and ‘service,’ claiming he’s profiting off pandemic | Washington Examiner

Fauci Turns American Dating Apps Into Vaccine Tracking Devices – Revolver

ICAN Fauci Emails_2021_06_03 (mediafire.com)

COVID Court:

Israel reports link between rare cases of heart inflammation and COVID-19 vaccination in young men | Science | AAAS (sciencemag.org)

Vaccine researcher admits ‘big mistake,’ says spike protein is dangerous ‘toxin’ | News | LifeSite (lifesitenews.com)

COVID infection elicits long-lasting immunity, nullifying worldwide vaccine push: study | News | LifeSite (lifesitenews.com)

Fully vaccinated people who catch Covid variants may pass virus on, study finds (telegraph.co.uk)

Massive Undercounting of Potential Side Effects

Revolver Series, Part One: Exposing the Media’s Plot to Hide Record Vaccine Deaths and Deceive Americans – Revolver

FORMER VP OF PFIZER DR. MIKE YEADON SAYS VACCINES “FRIGHTENING” DON’T TAKE! COVID IS ABOUT CONTROL

As the World Turns

The made-for-TV melodrama General Fauci has aired for a year and a half. Its storyline of a global pandemic, mimicking the fantasy narratives of the “We’re-all-gonna-die-unless-somebody-from-science-saves us” pandemic movies of recent years, has a twist. Instead of the pandemic creating zombies, the pandemic mitigation methods – masks and vaccines – creates zombies.

The main character of General Fauci is scripted as the main character of pandemic policy for the nation. His background in funding gain-of-function research and of telling people what to do is the basis for his moral high ground authority. Entire episodes are viewed through the eyes of the main character.

The doctor believes that he can bring about a Great Reset of humanity if only people would do what he says. The supporting cast, media and other hand-wringing types, is an approving Greek chorus. But the audience is kept guessing as to what the doctor is saying, as noble lies come out of both sides of his mouth.

Each daily soap episode presents the same cast of grim-Woke actors and the same set and props. Each daily soap episode is designed to play on emotions to gain viewership. Each episode is a storyline to be continued to gain repeat viewers.

A subplot of the General Fauci soap was added last November: insurrectionists install a feeble-minded puppet dictator in the White House. The Great Reset of humanity is placed in his hands.

Before General Fauci aired, a Washington-based Dark Shadows style soap production aired for over a year. All My Collusions depicted the creepy, campy, and cultish world of psychotic Democrats.

Now, after a year and a half airing of the tedious General Fauci, viewer’s questions arise: “When does it end?” and “Is there more to life than meets the media eye?”

In answer to viewer’s first question, the word on the street is that a new soap opera is in the offing. As the General Fauci series winds down, another melodrama will replace it: a climate justice series called “The Days of Our Earth”

The new soap will present the daily ordeals and hardships of Mother Earth as she deals with the effects of climate change. Fearing the immediate end of the earth, Dark Green religionists join the Build Back Better Brotherhood to save Mother Earth by ridding her of excess carbon-based humans. Script writers have been working on the soap for several years.

*****

Fluff. Ubiquitous fluff. Cheerios for breakfast. Disneyland for vacation and TV productions for 24 hour-a-day viewing. Fabrications of fluff abound in art, architecture, and cinema. Because of fluff’s pervasive immediacy, you may not have noticed that it is a replacement of what is real. Fantasy objects are the substitute. These offer a quick detachment from reality and immediate gratification as real emotions become involved.

As people subject their healthy truth-seeking imaginations to today’s pandemic of fantasy, more and more fluff is required to be injected into their minds. This past year we’ve seen that political correctness and scientism abhor a vacuum. Both have gone wherever people let it in. And, so has Marxism.

Now under the cover of the “Build Back Better” (BBB) promotion, Marxism proposes, using historical materialism as its determinant, salvation via a collective will.  We are to believe that through BBB, man will have the ability to perfect himself. And, that BBB will overcome the world’s ills: pain, suffering, poverty, conflict and sadness. And that the earth will be saved from mankind. And through BBB, technology will produce a transhuman man who will be immortal – basically, a nihilist who’s all fluff for all time.

Despite its almost universal marketing by college and university professors and by the “Build Back Better” political harpies, Marxism is a dangerous fantasy drug. Those who take Marxism into their lives will feel a sense of security and power at first. But they will soon come to feel great loss and emptiness. For, the Marxism addicted are injecting the fluff of nihilism into their system.

Polish philosopher and historian Leszek Kolakowski, called a “thinker for our time” by philosopher Roger Scruton, was exiled from Poland in 1968 for his criticism of Marxism and Communism. He had firsthand knowledge of the fantastical machinations of Marxist ideology. Consider the following passage from his 1976 essay On the So-Called Crisis of Christianity:

Christianity is thus the awareness of our weakness and misery, and it useless to argue that there exists or could exist a “Promethean Christianity,” that is, that Christian faith could be reconciled with hope for self-salvation. Two great ideas of the nineteenth century which, despite all that separates them, perfectly embodied this Promethean expectation –those of Marx and of Nietzsche – were anti-Christian in their roots, and not as a result of accidental historical circumstances.  Nietzsche’s’ hatred of Christianity and of Jesus was a natural consequence of his belief in the unlimited possibility of mankind’s self-creation. Nietzsche knew that Christianity is the awareness of our weakness., and he was right. Marx knew this too, and from the young Hegelians, he took over and transformed the philosophy (more Fichtean than Hegelian) of self-creation and futuristic orientation. He came to believe that the collective Prometheus of the future would reach a state in which his thought and action would be indistinguishable and in which even “atheism” would lose its reason for existence, since people’s self-affirmation would be entirely “positive”, not negatively dependent on the negation of God.

*****

To answer the soap viewer’s second question “Is there more to life than meets the media eye?” we must look elsewhere. . .

Have a good look at the birds in the sky. They don’t plant seeds, they don’t bring in the harvest, they don’t store things in barns – and your father in heaven feeds them! Think how different you are from them! Can any of you add fifteen inches to your height just by worrying about it?

And why worry about what to wear? Take a tip from the lilies in the countryside. They don’t work; they don’t weave; but let me tell you, not even Solomon in all his finery was dressed as well as one of these. So if God gives that sort of clothing even to the grass in the field, which is here today and on the bonfire tomorrow, isn’t he more likely to clothe you too, you little-faith lot?

So don’t worry away with your ‘What’ll we eat?’ and ‘What’ll we drink?’ and ‘What’ll we wear?’ Those are all the things the Gentiles fuss about, and your heavenly father knows you need them all. Instead, make your top priority God’s kingdom and his way of life, and all these things will be given to you as well.

So don’t worry about tomorrow. Tomorrow can worry about itself. One days’ trouble at a time is quite enough. (Matt. 6:26-34)

Long before the melodrama of General Fauci, long before “emergency use” vaccines, and long before historical materialism’s death toll of millions, the Son of Man walked 30-some years in an unsanitary disease-filled world. All manner of health threats – smallpox, parasitic infections, malaria, anthrax, pneumonia, tuberculosis, polio, skin diseases including leprosy, head lice, scabies and more – existed in the first century.

Jesus was fully aware of the pain, suffering and groaning of his creation. He was fully aware of the reality that people were dealing with. He knew that many people of that time had only the bare necessities. Many lived hand-to-mouth. What did Jesus offer when he saw the growing crowds and went up the hillside, sat down, took a deep breath and began to teach them? (Matt. 5:1-2)

Jesus did not offer vain words and soap operas to play on emotions. He didn’t paint people as victims. He didn’t peddle ideology. He didn’t offer the Power of Positive Thinking. He didn’t offer critical theory. He didn’t offer diversity, equity and inclusion training. He didn’t pander for their attention with talk about skin color or gender or sexual preference. He didn’t offer collective Promethean self-salvation.

Jesus didn’t tell the crowds to rise up as one collective will to revolt and destroy what is and build a socio-economic system to produce the outcomes they desired. No.

What did Jesus offer? Jesus offered the kingdom of God – a physical-spiritual reality that Marxism denies. He offered a new Torah that fulfilled the old Torah. He offered a change of focus. Outsiders are now insiders. The first will be last. Washing feet, and not stepping on feet to get ahead, is the kingdom way.

Jesus spoke in terms of individual human agency. He said that his followers would be blessed if they acted in the ways he described. They would know the happiness and joy of life in the kingdom of God (not available under Marxism (cf. Psalm 4: 7)).

He offered awareness of reality from the perspective of a shepherd caring for his sheep. Jesus’ hillside discourse is found in the gospel according to Matthew (Matt. 5, 6 & 7). The first verse of Matthew’s gospel records that Jesus is a descendent of David, a shepherd who became king.

As we read in the Matthew passage above, Jesus offered the world as it turns – a cosmology of Creator love and care. He pointed to aesthetic flora and forage-to-mouth fauna as empirical evidence of his Father’s love and care for the evolutionary creation he put in motion some 13.8 billion years before.

“When does the melodrama end?” It’s up to you. People believe what they want to the believe. Psalm 1 tells us that there are two paths that one could follow.

“Is there more to life than meets the media eye?” It’s depends on where you look. Psalm 103 relates a worldview of good – blessing and benefit, compassion and concern, and righteousness and redemption – as man relates to God.

As the world turns you may feel like you are in a dryer drum on an Air Fluff cycle. In such a state you easily become discombobulated and distressed. You will want to take to heart Psalm 4 – David’s plea for deliverance from fluff – vain words and lies – that disturbs his sleep.

Turn off the Air Fluff cycle and remove the lint from your life. Have a good look at the birds in the sky. Take a tip from the lilies in the countryside. The unchanging One who put the universe in motion, feeds the birds, and dresses lilies in lavish beauty will look after you as the world turns.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. James 1:17

*****

*****

“Episode_983 Lock Step of Tyrants … Dr. Naomi Wolf on Vaccine Passports and Nigel Farage”. Released: 2021.
“Episode_986 The American Generals Speak Part III”. Released: 2021.

*****

The following is not a soap opera. Pastor Artur Pawlowski was recently arrested by the Canadian Stasi for his staunch defiance of the pandemic lockdowns. Pastor Pawlowski conveys the reality of the self-salvation ideology of Marx, Nietzsche, and the collective Prometheus. He speaks of God’s salvation.

FROM COMMUNISM TO GOD

Pastor Art Pawlowski Tells His Life Story: From Communism to Man of God – Rebel News

*****

Keep these people and their needles away from your kids:

Day 110: The Same People Who Lied to You Over the Wuhan Lab Now Want You to Vaccinate Your Kids. (thenationalpulse.com)

Number of COVID Cases in Delhi Crashes After Mass Distribution of Ivermectin (humansarefree.com)

Keep these people and their pornography away from your kids:

Earth to Loudoun County — We have a problem… – CITIZEN FREE PRESS

*****

Call to action:

Actress Samaire Armstrong: “What’s coming down the road is so much bigger than this moment.”

Actress Armstrong Gives Powerful Call for Moms to Fight Back Against Filthy Disgusting Masks on Kids (rumble.com)

America’s Frontline Doctors Sue the Federal Government to Prevent Forcing Experimental COVID Vaccines on US Children (thegatewaypundit.com)

“Understand, you are agreeing to be in a medical study when you take any of the COVID-19 vaccines.”

PDF >>TEN MEDICAL FACTS REGARDING THE COVID-19 EXPERIMENTAL VACCINES

“{The AFLDS is] seeking temporary injunctive relief against any existing or further authorization for use in children under the age of 16, of any of the COVID-19 “vaccines”1 that have been approved under the Emergency Use Authorization (“EUA”) . . .”

*****

COVID Court:

Dr. Peter McCullough is an internist, cardiologist, epidemiologist, and Professor of Medicine at Texas A&M College of Medicine and he is warning against the Vaccine.

Facebook exposed in global effort to silence dangers about Vaccine.

Facebook Whistleblowers LEAK DOCS Detailing Effort to Secretly Censor Vax Concerns on Global Scale – YouTube

Mask Psychosis: NYT Confirms The Liberal Mask Cult Is Here to Stay – Revolver

commie lee jones on Twitter: “MIT researchers ‘infiltrated’ a Covid skeptics community a few months ago and found that skeptics place a high premium on data analysis and empiricism. “Most fundamentally, the groups we studied believe that science is a process, and not an institution.” https://t.co/jsoAG8G2VT https://t.co/CpEvCKz2HK” / Twitter

Model Stephanie Dubois Suffers Blood Clot, Dies Days After Getting COVID Shot (newsweek.com)

[Michigan] is working through a process to make permanent its workplace COVID-19 rules, enforced through the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Michigan’s push for permanent COVID-19 rules sparks battle with business leaders – mlive.com

Will the legal dept. save us from some COVID totalitarianism?

“The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has put employers on notice that should they attempt to require employees to receive injections of experimental COVID-19 gene-therapy vaccine a resulting adverse reaction will be considered “work-related” for which the employer may be held liable.”

Employers may be liable for ‘any adverse reaction’ from mandated coronavirus shots: OSHA | News | LifeSite (lifesitenews.com)

40 Million Fake Masks, 200,000 Counterfeit COVID Tests Seized. – The National Pulse

*****

A Story of Survival

Like humans, flowers inherit their appearance from genes. Pigments are “born” into these plants, producing a range of colors across the spectrum. The same chemical, carotenoid, that produces pigment in tomatoes and carrots, also produces yellow, red, or orange color in certain flowers. Another chemical, anthocyanin, is responsible for producing red, pink, blue, and purple-colored flower petals. While many people see these plants as purely decorative, flowers aren’t colorful just to be pretty – they need their color for survival.

Why Flowers Have Color (konicaminolta.us)

*****

The Manufacturing of a Mass Psychosis

*****

U.S. Army’s 1st Infantry Division Museum, Cantigny, Wheaton, IL

Image © Jennifer A. Johnson, 2021