Same Road. New Vista.

What’s that you say? You’ve just arrived from Cyprus and you are new to the area? And, you’ve heard some incredible things? You want me to tell you all that’s happened? Come in for some water and …some bread.

Where should I begin, stranger? There is so much that has happened the last three days – the last three years, in fact! And long before now! Since you are a visitor from Cyprus, I will start with some necessary background so you will understand why my husband and I are so giddy.

My husband Cleopas and I – I am Mary – settled many years ago in this fertile valley below Jerusalem This area is known as Emmaus. We call this place Motza. Our village is about 30 stadia from our beloved Jerusalem.

As you have seen, it is a well-watered area with rich soil and an abundance of willow trees. During the Feast of Tabernacles celebration many come to our valley and gather willow branches. They take the willow branches and stand them up on the sides of the altar with their tops bowed over the altar.

Our valley has many springs watering it. Our people come down to one of Motza’s springs to get water for baking their matzo for the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

I’m sure you noticed the Roman Centurions stationed here. My husband says it is a strategic position for them as they can protect the ascent to Jerusalem on the road leading from Jaffa. And, it is strategic in the ways I know of. Cleopas has overheard some of them saying that they would like to retire here because of the many springs and because north of our village the valley widens offering them plenty of room for settlement and for growing food.

My husband and I are simple farmers. But life for us and our people has not been so simple. Many of us have long desired to be freed from the rule of those who do not worship the One true God. When the Babylonians overtook Jerusalem and carried our people away into exile it was the Isaiah the prophet who spoke for us …

O Lord our God,

other lords besides you have ruled over us

but we acknowledge your name alone.

Now, we are back in our land and still the pagans lord over us. So, we wondered: Would our God act again to bring us out of this exile as he took us out of Egypt? And, when will God resurrect Israel and restore her as a nation? When will the messiah, the Anointed One and Son of the Most High from the line of David, restore the house of David? When, when, when …when would God redeem his people and set up his everlasting kingdom on earth?

On many Sabbaths, as we gather in the synagogue, words from the Torah are read. And then the words of the prophets – the haftarah. We all felt the hopelessness and despair in the words of the prophet Ezekiel: “our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are cut off completely.” Our leader would then pray these words:

Vindicate me, my God,
    and plead my cause
    against an unfaithful nation.
Rescue me from those who are
    deceitful and wicked.
 You are God my stronghold.
    Why have you rejected me?
Why must I go about mourning,
    oppressed by the enemy?
 Send me your light and your faithful care,
    let them lead me;
let them bring me to your holy mountain,
    to the place where you dwell.
 Then I will go to the altar of God,
    to God, my joy and my delight.
I will praise you with the lyre,
    O God, my God.

Yes, there were times of renewing hope and rejoicing. This past fall my husband and I and pilgrims from Cyrpus and from faraway lands went up to Jerusalem for the feast of the tabernacle. We carried with us willow branches and olive branches to build to sukkah – our temporary booths. When we all gathered together, we shouted praises to God, sang the songs of Aliyah and waved our fragrant lulavs – our willow branches and palm fronds – before the Lord in a spirit of thankfulness.

After the feast, we walked home with the pilgrims on the Emmaus road, the same road that brought you here. Our hearts were burning with expectation as to what God would do. There was much animated discussion about the events of those seven days. And, it all centered on Jesus. You must know about him, don’t you? How can anyone not know?

That day as we walked along we talked about his feeding the five thousand by the shore of Galilee. We talked about our seeing him healing the blind and the lame. And, Lazarus had been raised from the dead! We marveled that demons were being cast out and at Jesus’ authority over them. And, his words! No one ever spoke like he did about the Moses and the prophets. We discussed how our religious authorities despised him and wanted to do away with him. This made us all fearful, as it would negatively affect our synagogues. Yet, they each said that many were believing in him as the one who was to come.

But Miriam told the group that that even his brothers did not believe in him. She learned this from a young doctor named Luke, whom she met at the feast. He told her that Jesus’ brothers wanted Jesus to show himself publicly so that he could become well-known. “Show yourself to the world!” they said to him. They wanted to put Jesus in a situation which would make him prove he is the Messiah. But Jesus told them “My time is not yet. The world can’t hate you, but it hates me, because I am giving evidence against it, showing that its works are evil”. He told them to go up to the feast. Miriam said that Jesus went up later in secret and now we know why. There was a considerable dispute in the crowds. Some said “He’s a good man and others “He’s deceiving the people!” There were those who hated him and wanted to do away with him.

Ruth told us about the twelve-year old Jesus. His family had gone up to Jerusalem for Passover. When they left to return to Galilee with a caravan of friends, they had traveled a day’s journey before realizing that Jesus wasn’t with the group. He had vanished! So, they went back up to Jerusalem and searched for him for three days. They couldn’t find him anywhere. When they finally did put their eyes on him, he was sitting with the teachers of the law. He was listening to them and asking questions. Those listening to him were amazed at his answers to their questions. But, Mary was neither amazed or happy. She scolded him for disappearing. “Child”, she said to him, “why have done this to your father and me? We have been frantically searching for you”. Jesus told his mother, “Why were you looking for me? Didn’t you know that I would have to be getting involved with my father’s work?” They didn’t understand a word of what he was saying. Wasn’t his father a carpenter?

Oy, there is so much to tell. I will focus on the last few days and on what happened to Cleopas and me this afternoon. What happened the last few days in Jerusalem we learned from the Jesus’ disciples as Cleopas and I were in Jerusalem for Passover. I can tell you that it was a time of weeping and anguish.

As you may have heard, on the night of Passover Jesus was captured by the authorities – ours and Roman. Though he had done nothing wrong he was sentenced to death on a Roman cross. Our authorities pushed for this, shouting “Crucify him! Crucify him!” Jesus was taken to Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Judaea and then released by Pilate to the angry crowd. Jesus was crucified like a common criminal. When we learned of this our hearts were broken, our hopes were dashed. “What good is a dead messiah we asked each other? We had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel.” God be praised! There is more to tell you!

We were in Jerusalem this morning. We heard many, many accounts and rumors of visions and of Jesus’ tomb being empty. The disciples were at a loss as what to make of it all. Peter had gone off to see for himself and confirmed that the tomb was indeed empty. But he was as perplexed as the rest of us. We waited for while longer to see what might come of it all and then we decided to head home. Now, this is the part I’ve been waiting to tell you… I can barely …

Cleopas and I headed home to our village. Along the way we discussed all that had happened that morning. We argued, too, about what it meant. As we walked a stranger approached us and began walking with us. He was not at all familiar to us but he must have overheard us. He started the conversation:

Rowan LeCompte and Irene Matz LeCompte, “Third Station of the Resurrection: The Walk to Emmaus” (detail), 1970. Mosaic, Resurrection Chapel, National Cathedral, Washington, DC. Photo: Victoria Emily Jones.

“You’re obviously having a very important discussion on your walk. What’s it all about?”

We stopped walking and turned to him. He must have seen that we were both downcast. Cleopas answered the stranger. “You must be the only person around Jerusalem who doesn’t know what’s been going on there the last few days.”

“What things?” he asked.

“To do with Jesus of Nazareth. He was a prophet. He acted with power and he spoke with power, before God and all the people. Our chief priests and rulers handed him over to be condemned to death, and they crucified him. But we were hoping that he was going to redeem Israel!

And now, what with all this, it’s the third day since it happened. But some women from our group have astonished us. They went to his tomb very early this morning, and didn’t find his body. They came back saying they’d seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. Some of the folk with us went off to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they didn’t see him.”

“You are so senseless! So slow in your hearts to believe all the things the prophets said to you! Don’t you see? This is what had to happen: the Messiah had to suffer, and then come into his glory!”

At this point, we were quite perplexed. Who is this stranger and why is taking this so personally? We were both taken aback by the zeal and authority with which the stranger spoke. We searched his face for answers to what we didn’t recognize in all of the Sabbath words. He began walking and we followed.

We listened to the stranger explain Moses and the prophets and all of Scripture in terms of the One who was to come and ransom Israel and bring her and the whole world out of exile. He told us …

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; Do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”

As he spoke, it was like we were no longer walking down the Emmaus Road.  We were on top of a mountain. Our eyes were opened to a vista that went far beyond anything we had known. Everything we had been taught, everything we had heard and seen, began to take on new meaning. He went on to talk about a kingdom on earth and about new creation. His words astonished and exhilarated us. Wonder and joy flooded our hearts.

We reached the intersection to our village. We turned down our road. The stranger kept walking down the Emmaus road. We called after him urging him to stay with us. He kept walking. Cleopas finally ran up to him and pleaded with him to stay with us. “Sir”, he said, “the day is almost over. Stay with us.” The stranger agreed to come with us.

We invited him in and gave him a bowl of water and a towel to wash his hands and feet. We gave him water to drink. We sat down to a small meal. The stranger took the bread up into his hands and prayed, giving thanks for the meal. He then broke the bread and gave it to us. It was then …it was then …it was then that we were shocked beyond belief! Our jaws dropped and we looked at each other with wide open eyes. Cleopas and I saw that the stranger was Jesus, the resurrected Jesus! And, as soon as we saw him, he vanished from our sight! Poof!

We were speechless. The Anointed One and Son of the Most High was walking with us and talking with us and sitting down to eat with us! Everything we hoped for had come true in our sight, as Anna the prophetess foretold and Simeon prophesied! … Our eyes have seen Your salvation, which You have prepared in the sight of all people!

Now, our new friend, Cleopas and I have to return to Jerusalem to tell our brothers and sisters all that has happened this afternoon. We must break bread with them. Come with us and you will see him, too!

As we walked the 30 stadia back up to Jerusalem, Cleopas and I kept pinching each other. We walked and danced and walked and ran and clapped. We kept saying “Do you remember how our hearts were burning inside us, as he talked to us on the road, as he opened up the Scriptures for us?” Cleopas, in his booming voice and with a smile on his face, kept repeating “For you will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your holy one to rot in the grave” and the words our Sabbath leader prayed:

Why are you cast down, O my soul

And why are you disquieted within me?

Hope in God; for I shall again praise him.

We both shouted “Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!

The Cypriot, not sure what to make of all this, watched us from a distance. There was an amused and perplexed look on his face.

Adapted from the Gospel according to Luke (2:41-50)

The Eyes Have It

At the cross. At the burial. At the empty tomb. Three wait-and-see days. Three women.

The gospel according to Mark begins with the ushering in of “the good news of Jesus the Messiah, God’s son” (Mk. 1:1). Composed of short narratives that could be easily visualized by those who heard its reading, Mark’s terse and unembellished gospel clears a straight path so that the reader can see and perceive Jesus as the fulfillment of God’s promises (Mk. 1:3).

For example, Mark uses literary bracketing (inclusio) to focus in on that fulfillment. Two accounts of blind men receiving their sight bracket Jesus telling his disciples (three times) that he will be rejected, handed over to the authorities, killed and then rise from the dead after three days.  (Beginning Bracket: Mark 8:22-26; End Bracket:  Mark.10:46-52.)

Because of their own unwillingness to really really look at Jesus (cf. Mk.8:25) the disciples do not perceive Jesus as the fulfillment of God’s promises through death and resurrection.

At a mission critical point in the gospel account -Mark chapter 8 – Jesus reproaches his disciples for their lack of understanding. We learn from the brutally honest account that those closest to Jesus, each with two good eyes and two good ears, still did not grasp that the Messiah had to be crucified and then rise again. We hear that in Peter’s repudiation of that mission (Mk. 8:32).

Peter is Mark’s principal eyewitness source of what Jesus said and did and of the disciple’s reactions. But after the end of Mark chapter 14, where Peter’s denial is recorded, Peter and the male disciples are nowhere to be seen or heard from.

Three women are introduced into the passion narrative (Mk 15). They are the source for Mark’s passion account. They are eyewitnesses of what occurred at the cross, at the burial and at the empty tomb.

Earlier in the text, Mark wrote of the blind gaining sight, of those with two good eyes not seeing and not perceiving what was taking place. Mark now places emphasis on seeing that would lead to perceiving and, hopefully, to belief. He records the seeing of the women seven times:

Henry Ossawa Tanner

At the cross. Some of the women observed from a distance. They included Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of the younger James and of Joses, and Salome. They had followed Jesus in Galilee, and had attended to his needs. There were several other women, too, who had come up with him to Jerusalem. (Mk. 15: 40-41).

(Note that Mark added that these women had also been with Jesus for most of his ministry. He is telling us that they had observed Jesus from his early ministry to the empty tomb. These women likely heard Jesus teach his disciples new things: about him being handed over to be killed and his rising from the dead after three days. (Mk. 8:31-32; 9:31-32; 10:32-45)

At the burial. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses observed where he was buried. (Mk. 15:47)

At the empty tomb. After the Sabbath, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they could come and anoint Jesus …” who’s going to roll the stone away for us?”

Then, when they looked up, they observed that it had been rolled away. (It was extremely large.) (Mk. 16: 1-4)

So they went into the tomb, and there they saw a young man sitting on the right hand side. He was wearing white. They were totally astonished.

“Don’t be astonished,” he said to them. “You’re looking for Jesus of Nazarene, who was crucified. He has been raised! He isn’t here! Look – this is the place where they laid him.

“But go and tell his disciples – including Peter – that he is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there, just like he told you.” (Mk. 16:5-7)

The earliest manuscripts of Mark’s gospel account end at 16: 8:

They [the three women] went out, and fled from the tomb. Trembling and panic had seized them. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.

This is a curious ending for a gospel that begins with “the good news of Jesus the Messiah, God’s son”. Mark clearly wanted the readers to perceive Jesus as the Messiah, God’s son. He clearly wanted the reader to take in the crucifixion of the Messiah and his bodily resurrection. Why end good news with fear and trembling?

Mark’s gospel account may have had a longer ending. If the original manuscript was written on a scroll (likely), the edge of the scroll containing his ending may have deteriorated. This also happened to many dead sea scrolls.

Later copies of Mark contained appended text (Mk. 16: 9-20). This text may have been added by a scribe in the second century who was familiar with Luke’s gospel account. There are similarities. Mark’s promise of “the good news of Jesus the Messiah, God’s son” has been restored- fulfilled – with the added text. And so was Mark’s emphasis of those not perceiving what is taking place.

Mark’s narrative emphasis on hardness of heart leading to unbelief – rejecting what has been seen and heard by eyewitness accounts– is reinforced in the added text:

When Jesus was raised, early on the first day of the week, he appeared to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons. She went and told the people who had been with him, who were mourning and weeping. When they heard that he was alive, and that he had been seen by her, they didn’t believe it.

After this he appeared in a different guise to two of them as they were walking into the countryside. They came back and told the others, but they didn’t believe them.

Later Jesus appeared to the eleven themselves, as they were at table. He told them off for their hardness of heart, for not believing those who had seen him after he had been raised. (Mk. 16: 9-14)

At the cross. At the burial. At the empty tomb. Three wait-and-see days. Three women seeing seven times. Eleven hard-hearted disciples. And you? You still don’t get it? (cf. Mk.8:21)

All God’s promises, you see, find their yes in him: and that’s why we say the yes, the “Amen,” through him when we pray to God and give him glory (2 Cor. 1:20)

The eyes have it. Amen.

****

“Nowhere in early Christian literature do we find traditions attributed to the community as their source or transmitter, only as the recipient. Against the general form-critical image of the early Christian movement as anonymous collectivity, we must stress that the New Testament writings are full of prominent named individuals . . . Compared with the prominence of named individuals in the New Testament itself, form criticism represented a rather strange depersonalization of early Christianity that still exercised an unconscious influence on New Testament scholars.”[i]


[i] Richard Bauckham, Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony (William B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., Grand Rapids, MI), 2017), 297

Palm Sunday and the Problem of Evil

Just a few centuries before the first Palm Sunday, Greek philosopher Epicurus (341-270 B.C.) promoted to his followers the notions of another ancient Greek philosopher, Demetrius (c. 460 – c. 370 B.C.). Demetrius’ had proposed the theory of Atomism to account for nature.

The theory in brief: the universe is a material system governed by the laws of matter. The fundamental elements of matter are atoms. Random, unguided ‘atoms’ smash into each other, thereby creating the world and life as we know it. Epicurus went on to tweak Demetrius’ theory by saying that atoms do not always go in straight lines but can “swerve, avoiding atomism’s inherent determinism and allowing for free will – just like the gods.

Per Epicurus, the gods were off somewhere happily doing their thing unconcerned about anything. They existed without needs, were invulnerable to any harm, and were generally living an enviable life, not anxious about anything. As such, they exemplified what Epicurus’s followers should seek to attain in their limited human nature.

For Epicurus, the purpose of philosophy was to attain the happy, tranquil life, characterized by aponia, the absence of pain and fear, and by living a self-sufficient life surrounded by friends. He taught that pleasure and pain are the measures of what is good and bad, that death is the end of the body and the soul and should therefore not be feared, that the gods do not reward or punish humans, that the universe is infinite and eternal, and that events in the world are ultimately based on the motions and interactions of atoms moving in empty space.The Epicurus Reader

Epicurus also taught that nothing should be believed except for that which was tested through direct observation and logical deduction – believed via the sensate and reason. Based on such thinking along with having the viewpoint that the gods were distant and uninvolved and therefore unrelated to ‘thinking’ and ‘sensing’ man’s life, man had to make do with the atoms he had been dealt. Don’t look to a personal God for help.

What was most important in Epicurus’ philosophy of nature was the overall conviction that our life on this earth comes with no strings attached; that there is no Maker whose puppets we are; that there is no script for us to follow and be constrained by; that it is up to us to discover the real constraints which our own nature imposes on us.The Epicurus Reader

As Epicurus evaluated the Greek and Roman gods of his time and man’s attempt to please and cajole the gods to obtain favors, it would make sense for him and his followers to deduce that “there is no Maker whose puppets we are”. And, for Epicurus to further reason the problem of evil paradox:

“The gods can either take away evil from the world and will not, or, being willing to do so cannot; or they neither can nor will, or lastly, they are able and willing. If they have the will to remove evil and cannot, then they are not omnipotent. If they can but will not, then they are not benevolent. If they are neither able nor willing, they are neither omnipotent nor benevolent. Lastly, if they are both able and willing to annihilate evil, why does it exist?” ― Epicurus

 The Epicurean paradox was answered with another paradox: What is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? Psalm 8:4

In the fullness of time, including Epicurean times, the Lord of the universe put on human flesh – dust fashioned from the created elements including about 18% carbon – to deal with the problem of evil. There was nothing ambiguous or theoretical or abstract about the appearance of God’s own son Jesus. There was direct observation -seeing, hearing, and touching – by his followers.

Philosophers and atheists, before and after Epicurus, pronounced judgement on God for all the evil in the world.

The demand of the loveless and the self-imprisoned that they should be allowed to blackmail the universe: that till they consent to be happy (on their own terms) no one else shall taste joy: that theirs should be the final power; that Hell should be able to veto Heaven. – George MacDonald, C.S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce

To address evil, Jesus announced the kingdom of God on earth. What was begun in Genesis – the ordering of material creation to build God’s temple on earth so that God would dwell with man – was reinstated by Jesus. This blueprint or worldview was on the books long before Epicurus arrived on the scene. And so is the record of God’s faithfulness. God, as revealed in Jesus, puts things to right.

Jesus entered space and time flesh and blood to pronounce judgement on evil. He did so without equivocation. Jesus did not succumb to pleasure seeking to avoid pain. He did not succumb to Satan’s temptations to find happiness. Evil unclean spirits were cast out. Hypocrites were denounced and death itself was overturned. Jesus suffered the full force of evil on the cross – an act of redemption from evil’s ransom.

The King of Glory wept over Jerusalem and his chosen people. The Israelites had so often rejected their reveal-to-the-world-the-one-true-God vocation. They had not been faithful stewards of God’s vineyard. Did Epicurus see no difference in their God and the Greek and Roman gods?

On that first Palm Sunday, just a few centuries after Epicurus taught that there was no personally involved God, the King of Glory, emptied of his glory, rides a donkey into Jerusalem to meet evil head on and to put the world right. The “Epicurean Paradox” would be addressed and soundly answered.

What will you do with the knowledge that the infinite-personal God, embodied in human form, speaks to the very human concerns behind Epicurean philosophy?

Half Life

From the beginning, Peter had the determination of three boys his age. Out of earshot, some called him “stubborn” and “bull headed”. Others called him “a little terror”. And others, teachers mostly, said he needed medication just to be around. His parents, a minister and his wife, called their gift from God “Mr. Resolute”.

When little Peter decided something, he would plead endlessly with “Now!” He wouldn’t take “No” or “Not now” for an answer. The first of five children, Peter often wore his parents down with the strength of his will. And though Peter could badger them non-stop, Peter kept on himself even more to complete a task.

When focused on an activity – his parents came up with problem solving activities – Peter found it hard to give it up or move away until he accomplished the objective. His parents saw potential in Peter’s persistent ways – he could become a high achiever who followed his passions.

So, they chastened and channeled the stubborn streak. With sternness and loving care, Peter’s parents applied the proverb The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.

They responded to Peter’s repeated demands with “I hear you. Can you come up with a solution?” When Peter became frustrated, they urged him on saying “You can do hard things” and “Sometimes we make mistakes, and that is how we learn.” When Peter worked through his frustration and completed a hard task, they recognized the effort with “How’d you do that?” and “You have what it takes. You have grit.”

The only time his parents saw five-year-old Peter temper his assertiveness was when folks from the church watched Peter on a date night. Peter played doctor with their daughter who was two years older than Peter. Her self-assuredness captured Peter’s attention. “This is what a doctor would do” she would tell Peter.

One Sunday, years later, Peter’s father preached a sermon titled Making the most of your time, because the days are evil. Peter decided to make a decision to follow Jesus that day. Almost immediately impure thoughts and desires became glaringly obvious at this new intersection. There were two directions he faced: towards Laurie, a high school junior, who had been flirting with him non-stop and who was “easy” according to his friends and toward Jesus who wasn’t defined as “easy”.

The summer before his freshmen year, the high school’s track coach saw the tall gaunt Peter running along a road. The coach pulled his car up, opened the window and talked with Peter as he ran. He said that Peter should give cross-country a try and then drove off.

Peter joined the team and began running 5K races. What Peter soon realized was that the long-distance running – the regular practices and the meets – were a means to direct the fire within him. His daily pattern of run-eat-school-run-eat-study- sleep kept him burning the fuel that would otherwise consume him. He told himself that the only lines he would cross were the starting line and the finish line of a race worthy to run.

During high school Peter mastered his school work and was selected to become a member of the National Honor Society. And during those four years he had several part-time jobs and summer jobs that kept him focused.

After high school graduation, Peter looked for ways to channel his stick-to-itiveness. His minister father suggested that his never-back-down attitude would serve him in the army. Peter could sign up and get up to full college tuition, as well as money for housing and books through the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

The minister knew that Peter’s resolve and wisdom would be tested in the army. Would he hold up, his mother feared. She prayed that Peter would return sound in mind and body. On his eighteenth birthday Peter entered the army. He went through rigorous training and learned to obey orders.

Then one day, three years later, the staff sergeant told his squad “Vaccine – get ‘er done!” Peter didn’t submit to the order. Though he was twenty-one and felt indestructible, his gut – or was it the Holy Spirit? – told him to stay away. The sacred space and spiritual fortitude which steeled him would not be gutted by an experimental vaccine.

His parents had raised him on reason and revelation. The mandated vaccine didn’t fall into either category. Wasn’t he training to go into battle to defend and secure freedom and democracy? “Uncle Jab wants you,” is the vacant stare that came down from the top.

Like many soldiers, Peter submitted a religious exemption. Aborted fetal cells, used in the production of the vaccine, precluded taking the vaccine. Others submitted medical exemptions. All of the vaccine detractors, talking amongst themselves, became aware of the mounting adverse effects and casualties caused by the vaccine.

But the military hierarchy ignored medical and religious exemptions. The military demanded unquestioning obedience to the COVID vaccine and to the new Critical race Theory and Diversity Equity and Inclusion programs. Those programs never included religious convictions, as Peter witnessed firsthand.

Some in his squad were saying “The army has become a clown show” and “The army cares more about superficiality than substance, culture than character”. The army discharged Peter and over 3000 other soldiers for not taking the unholy clot shot.

When he returned home, Peter’s father said “You were right to reject the military on those terms. You signed up to serve your country and see the world. Now go see the heartland on your own terms.”

*****

From the beginning, Lena had a knack for nurturing. She played veterinarian with her dog and neighborhood pets. She played house and doctor with the young boy living next door. During high school she helped care for her grandmother who suffered from dementia and spent a couple of hours each weekend at a hospital.

Her Swedish parents, both medical professionals, were hospitable people. They encouraged Lena to interact with their many guests – medical staff of Doctors Without Borders. Lena kept a diary of who she met and what was talked about. They each encouraged her to go into medicine. She made an entry after talking to one nurse:

You can’t buy time. Choose wisely.

After high school Lena set out on a course in nursing. When she stepped into those shoes, she took an oath to practice and uphold the standards of her profession faithfully. Nursing was a perfect match for Lena’s desire to provide care for others.

Six years into working as an ICU nurse, though, Lena left her job at a hospital in Indiana. She told her parents that “policies were being rolled out at the hospital that would ultimately initiate the segregation of its staff on who was vaccinated versus who was unvaccinated.

I was uncomfortable with that and unwilling to cooperate with that kind of treatment. I had seen this treatment play out on my patients as well where doctors and some nurses that I worked with were bullying and harassing my patients for making a medical decision on their own. They were treating people like dementia patients – like they were unable to think for themselves.

Hospitals began mandating vaccinations. I knew I wouldn’t take the COVID vaccine. I pushed back because hospitals have an absolute commitment to follow the data. Ignoring natural immunity in a vaccine discussion is just criminal. 

Over a hundred of us resigned from the hospital due to the vaccine requirement. We can’t tell the patients what risks or adverse effects could occur with the vaccine. It’s criminal. This kind of health care is against everything I stand for. Dementia patients are running the public health programs.”

****

Peter turned on the radio.

All in for the Win, Illinois. Getting vaccinated protects you from catching or spreading COVID-19 — and it’s our best shot at beating this pandemic and getting back to living our full lives. And now, getting the vaccine gives you a shot at winning up to $1 million. As an Illinois resident, if you’ve been vaccinated or are about to get vaccinated, you’re automatically entered in for a chance at part of our $10 million vaccine sweepstakes. Let’s go all in for the win Illinois.

Peter turned the radio dial.

. . . I tried a laxative that is both fast and effective . . .

Peter turned the radio dial.

What’s Your Warrior? Travel, Career Opportunities, Education. . . find your inner warrior . . . Army . . .”

“Yeah, I found my inner warrior. I’ll travel and educate myself.” Peter turned the radio dial.

In 2019 Illinois Democrats elected a fat-cat governor to represent their lottery dreams and Chicago Democrats elected a Woke NFT – a bug-eyed gay black female to represent the law and order of intersectionality.

In 2020 and 2021, the obese governor locked down and masked any opposition to his mandates. State licensing was the gun to the head.

In 2022, “well-meaning” Democrat state representatives decided a medical apartheid in Illinois was necessary. So, they created a vaccine registry and a quarantine town. The southern Illinois quarantine town is called New COVID.

While unvaccinated illegal aliens cross the southern border by the thousands, Illinois citizens are being herded into New COVID because of their vax resistance and claim of natural immunity.

As mRNA COVID vaccines fenagle the operating system of Americans, so illegal immigrants fenagle America’s operating system. Both experiments disregard the integrity of the host’s system . . .

Peter turned off the radio. He had reached the US 65 Whitesville exit. He took the exit and after two right turns he reached the fulfillment center. From the cab he called the traffic manager’s office to let them know he had arrived. He was told to wait in line. Ten trucks were ahead of him.

With the rig idling, Peter walked over to the dock door and went in. The bathroom and the vending machines were to the right. Truckers were coming in and out. Peter headed into the vending machine room and dropped some coins for some black brew. He sat down and waited for his phone to ring.

Outside the vending room, forklifts zipped back and forth with pallets. The drivers were loading and unloading the trailers. Peter had seen this a thousand times before. What he hadn’t seen before was a blonde pony-tailed-hard-hat wearing woman with a yellow and blue plaid shirt zipping by on a forklift. When the yellow and blue plaid spun by again, Peter was able to catch a glimpse of the driver’s kind smiling eyes.

****

After leaving the ICU nursing position, Lena found work at a distribution center in Whitestown, Indiana. She had a student loan to repay. And though for the moment it didn’t look promising, Lena hoped that when the courts ended the COVID mandate madness, she would be back nursing again. She put her resume online. In the meantime, Lena earned eighteen bucks an hour over a 36-hour pay period. She loaded and unloaded semi-trailers.

It was during one shift that she caught a glimpse of a tall scrawny guy with steel-blue eyes. He was talking on the phone in the vending room. On her return trip past the vending room, he was gone.

A trailer backed into bay 7. Before reaching the bay’s bumpers, the driver jumped out of the cab and opened the trailer doors. The driver then backed the truck up to the bumpers up and set the brake. Lena pulled the loading dock release chain and the loading dock came up and unfolded. Then she put her weight on it to have it come down on the bed of the trailer. It came down with a loud “clunk”.

A trucker driver came through the dock door and was heading over to Bay 7. Lena, driving up in a forklift, noticed him walking and looking at his watch. She pulled the forklift up next to him and told him “I’ll get ‘er done!” Peter raised his eyes and said “Yes, ma’am. You will. I am five hours behind schedule.”

Peter handed her the shipment receipt. “I’m Bill . . . Bill Lading.”

Lena laughed. If you’re “Bill Lading, I’m Kari Awai. Go have some coffee and I’ll get this done fer you.”

Peter watched her unload the first pallet. She maneuvered the forklift in, picked the load, and then backed out across the diamond plate. Then she headed off to some aisle in the warehouse. The blonde ponytail, the sky-blue eyes, the pixie smile – What maneuvers do I have? Peter asked himself as he headed back to the vending room. “I’m not much to look at. I’m so skinny I don’t even have a shadow.”

In the vending room Peter called his next stop to tell them that he was behind schedule. There weren’t enough people to unload trucks, he told them. “I’ll be there sometime after eight-o’clock.”

Forty-five minuets later, Lena came into the vending room. She handed Peter the signed bill of lading and a tin foil-wrapped package.

“What’s this”, Peter asked.

“It’s your bill, Bill, and some banana bread I made last night.”

“Well, that just dills my pickle”

“You from the south?”

“No ma’am. I just end up talking to southerners at the truck stops.”

“I see. Should I go on pretending your name is Bill Lading? My name is Lena.”

“No ma’am. Name’s Peter. And thanks for the banana bread. I need something beside this varnish remover I’ve been drinking.” Peter pushed aside the paper cup of vending machine coffee.

“Are you back this way again?” Lena raised her eyebrows.

“Yes ma’am. I’ll be here next Tuesday. I drive a circuit: Whitestown to Edwardsville, Illinois to Nashville and then back here. How about you? You work on Tuesday’s?”

“I do. My circuit is this warehouse 36 hours a week.”

“Well ma’am. I hope our paths cross again. I look forward to that. I gotta get back on the road.” Peter tipped his hat. “Miss Lena, thanks for unloading and loading me up. You are the bee’s knees.”

“See you, Peter. Safe travels” Lena responded and then watched him walk out to his rig.

****

Week after week Peter and Lena crossed paths at the warehouse. Their conversations, though constrained by work, offered more and more insight into each other’s life.  From the beginning there seemed to be a purpose for their relationship. Then, one Tuesday, Peter didn’t show up.

Then another week went by and then another. Six weeks passed and no Peter. Though nothing had been formalized between them, the loss of a friend had Lena beside herself.”

Week seven and Peter’s rig appeared in the driveway. Lena met him at the dock door.

“What happened to you?” Lena asked wide-eyed.

“I was put in COVID jail. I drove into Illinois a few weeks ago. The State police stopped me at a weigh station at Marshall. They said I wasn’t in the vaccine registry. So, they hauled me off to the quarantine townNew COVID. That’s where I have been this whole time. I had heard about New COVID on the radio but I thought that was all just talk – nothing like that could happen in the U.S. But I was wrong.”

“Jeepers. Are you OK?”

“Yeah, I had COVID a long while back. I have immunity. But that wasn’t good enough for those COVID crusaders. What is not OK is my route. I asked to change my route. I will not go back into Illinois. I will not download their COVID tracking app. I will not deliver to any Blue state. Enough is enough. I will only drive through free states. I dunno what will happen. I may not have a job soon.”

Listen, I came straight here from New COVID to see you. I have nothing to unload. When your shift is done, do you want have dinner in town? We can talk.”

“OK, Peter. Let’s have dinner and talk. I clock out at 4:30. Leave your rig in the back lot and I’ll drive us over to the café in town.”

“Sounds good, Lena. Right now, I’m gonna head over to Love’s Travel Stop across the way and see if I can find me a clean shirt.”

****

At the Most Café, Peter and Lena each ordered a bowl of soup and a half sandwich. Lena started the conversation by asking Peter what got him into trucking. Peter was ready to talk.

“After being discharged from the service for not getting vaxxed, I was depressed. I had enlisted ready to give my life for my country. After giving up almost two years of my life to the Army, the first skirmish I got into was over the experimental vaccine. I didn’t enlist to be experimented on.

“Lena, I gave almost two years of my life to the Army and you need at least two years of active duty to qualify for the education benefits. The whole situation made me angry and depressed.

“I came home, went into my bedroom, and shut the door. My father knocked on the door after I hadn’t come out for a while. I think I told you my dad’s a minster.”

Lena nodded. Peter asked the waitress for more water and then continued.

“My dad knew that I was miserable. He must have figured out that I was dealing with my depression and anger by looking at stuff online. My room was dark except for the computer screen. Anyway, he came in and told me that I had to get my act together. “You can handle the hard stuff”, he said. Then he told me that a friend was out front asking for me.

“That was Rick, a high school buddy of mine. He told me about trucking. He helped me get my CDL and I began long hauling. So, instead of seeing the world with the Army, I began seeing the countryside. My father gave me his blessing and a flip phone to use if I was in trouble. He told me “Best stay away from those porn shops along the highway exits. You weren’t compromised by the unholy vaccine. Don’t become compromised with pornography.”

“Lena, Wow! Just wow! I never said that to anyone before. I . . . wow! . . . I talk about this stuff because . . . well, you . . . you are not like anyone I know. I feel safe with you. “

Lena grabbed Peter’s hand. “I love it that you are being so open with me, Peter. Please go on.”

Peter took a bite of his sandwich and put it down.

“The commanding officers wanted us grunts to compromise our bodies with an experimental unholy vaccine. They wanted to compromise our reason by telling us that being white is being racist and the country we serve is racist.

“The base was made to watch a video portraying American history as racist since 1619. I am a de facto white supremacist per a Critical Race Theory video. It’s crazy! I was bunking with a black guy. I am best buddies with him and with Jose the Hispanic guy in the next bunk.  

“You know, I enlisted voluntarily. I didn’t enlist to become a showcase for an unholy vaccine. I didn’t enlist to give up my mind and soul – my inner warriors. I volunteered my time in return for an education. I didn’t sign up to be converted from alpha male into a check-your-privilege-soyboy-beta-bot . . . there’s another word for that on the base.

“I enlisted into the army and not a culture club. With the Army’s diversity, equity, and inclusion program we’d end up equally dead — but safely ‘vaxxed’. No wonder recruitment and retention are down.

“So, here I am – driving a rig, making good money and saving to go to school. How about you, Lena?” Peter gulped down some water.

“Well, I’m driving a forklift,” Lena began, “because I left an ICU nursing position. I worked so hard last year. I mean, I was there through thick and thin when we had no help… it was horrible. The people that put forth the rules and kicked one-hundred and twenty of us to the curb, they weren’t there. They weren’t even in the building to be seen for months. They were staying at home while we were doing all the work.

“Before the mandates had been rolled out, the hospital wasn’t forcing us to take the vaccine or be fired, but they were rolling out policies that gave different treatment to vaccinated people versus unvaccinated people. I couldn’t believe it. I was there to treat patients, not just the chosen patients. When did healthcare become choosing winners and losers? The Nursing Code of Ethics that I’m supposed to adhere to includes a patient’s autonomy and right to self- determination.

“The hospital then rolled out a mandatory vaccination program with products marked for “emergency use”. We were told to treat the EUA product as fully authorized.

“I chose to forego the emergency use authorization vaccine because I possessed natural immunity after contracting the coronavirus. “I had COVID last summer, I don’t need that vaccine,” I told the hospital but natural immunity was not an option at all. I was escorted out the door by security.

“I’m driving a forklift because I have a school loan to repay. I won’t take that experimental vaccine, I won’t abide medical apartheid, and I won’t take government money to make the loan go away.

“So, here I am – driving a forklift, making OK money and sending my resume out.”

“Wow,” Peter wiped his mouth, “This world has gone mad. I’ve got friends in Illinois who have a gun to their head. Three of them had their business license taken away for violating Covid emergency public health mandates that seem to come out of someone’s ass – Oops, sorry for the language.”

“Peter, I work around truckers all day,” Lena replied.

“It’s getting late. I guess we better head out.” Peter paid the check and left a tip.

Lena drove Peter over to his rig, where he’d spend the night. Before getting out he asked Lena for her phone number. She gave it to him and a kiss on the cheek. Peter’s smile bunched his bushy mustache.

“You know, us truckers have to hurry up and wait. We have to get to our destination on time and then wait to be unloaded. When I saw you that first time on your forklift waiting became a lovely day. That day went down in my log book and tonight will too. I’ll be calling you Lena. Count on it.”

Peter got out and Lena drove home.

The next morning, Peter bought some jumpy juice at Love’s and headed to Tennessee. He was looking to buy a truck route that would keep him out of COVID jail and for a place to settle down.

****

Five months passed. The evening phone conversations between Lena and Peter turned toward the future. They talked of children and adopting. They talked logistics.

Peter told Lena that he’d gotten a route that kept him in Tennessee. “I’m living in a townhome not far from a hospital and the truck’s terminal,” her told her. He also mentioned that he was going to school on the weekend taking EMT classes. He invited Lena down to take a look.

Using a one-week vacation, Lena came down to Tennessee with her mother Alma. Lena wanted her parent’s blessing on marriage to Peter. Lena also wanted to get back to nursing.

Lena submitted her resume to a clinic outside Nashville. The clinic assisted women and couples facing unexpected pregnancies, offering them life- affirming, free, and confidential medical services including pregnancy testing and ultrasounds. The OB/GYN who ran the clinic hired Lena. She was told that she could start in six weeks to allow for the move to Tennessee. Lena broke the news to her mother and to Peter. That same day and with Alma’s blessing, Peter proposed to Lena. The trio went out to celebrate.

A month later Peter left Chattanooga, drove north to Nashville, and parked his rig. He then drove his car north to Carmel Indiana for the six-o’clock wedding rehearsal. Peter, his eyes burning from driving his rig from Chattanooga to Nashville and then up north through constant sleet in southern Indiana, closed his eyes for a moment.  

Peter’s father received a call at seven-thirty. Peter hit an overpass and died on the scene.

©Jennifer Ann Johnson, Kingdom Venturers, 2022, All Rights Reserved

****

(While a student at Moody Bible Institute, I had a close friend named Denny. Denny had a Culbertson Hall roommate named Steve. The three of us were in the concert band. During out-of-state concert tours we spent a lot of time together.

Steve was the nicest guy in the world. You could tell that he loved Jesus. He liked working with kids during his PCW assignments.

During a winter break Steve left Chicago and drove back to Kansas for his wedding.

We learned later that Steve, back in Kansas, drove to his wedding rehearsal in blinding snow. High winds whipped the snow across the open highway. The family said that after the long drive from Chicago, Steve may have closed his eyes for a second. He hit an overpass and died that night on a Kansas road.)

*****

“Episode_1611 We discuss the Olympics, Soros, the military, and take a deep dive with Dr. Robert Malone.”.

*****

*****

Informed Dissent:

Dissident Covid Report #3: Why are Myocarditis Rates Surging in Europe? (substack.com)

The US Public Health Response has been a Colossal Failure (substack.com)

“Statutory rights have attempted to be bypassed through the issuance of Executive Orders and Emergency Rules … This type of evil is exactly what the law was intended to constrain.”

Judge blocks schools from enforcing Pritzker’s mask, vaccine mandates, refers to policies as ‘type of evil’ | Illinois | thecentersquare.com

Hospital Director in Israel Says 80% of Serious COVID-19 Cases Had Received at Least Three Shots of COVID Vaccines (VIDEO) (thegatewaypundit.com)

CDC Makes Major Admission About Rushed Vaccine Timeline and Heart Inflammation (townhall.com)

Tragic: 6-Year-Old Child Develops Myocarditis Two Days After Receiving COVID-19

Devastating Presentation “Exposing Military Corruption During COVID-19” Sent to Members of Congress (thegatewaypundit.com)

EU Investigates Reports of Menstrual Disorders Following Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 Vaccinations — As We First Reported Last Year (thegatewaypundit.com)

Steve Kirsch Blockbuster — Embalmer Richard Hirschman finds ‘novel, bizarre clotting’ in 65% of deaths… – CITIZEN FREE PRESS

O Canada:

Must See Video: Justin Trudeau Gets Outed by His Own Brother Kyle as Pawn of New World Order Taking Orders from Bilderberg and the Council on Foreign Relations (thegatewaypundit.com)

Judge orders Ottawa police to return all fuel they seized from Truckers… – CITIZEN FREE PRESS

Calgary Pastor Artur Pawlowski Arrested Again at His Home by Armed Police on Alleged “Mischief” Offense (thegatewaypundit.com)

Mask Not What Your Country Can Do for You:

‘Free’ and contaminated: Look what happened to Biden’s taxpayer-funded N95 shipment (substack.com)

Democrats are Obsessed with power and control (as of 4-7-2022):

As of February 1st, only nine states, California, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, and Washington, require residents to wear masks indoors regardless of whether or not they’ve been vaccinated.

Some states are removing mask mandates. Illinois is removing masks but not from children. Gov. Pritzker wants to please the teacher’s union for their support in the upcoming election. It was never about science.

Illinois High School Students Told to Put on Masks or Leave — So They Walked Out (VIDEO) (thegatewaypundit.com)

Taking It to the Streets:

SCOTTSDALE SCHOOL BOARD | YOU’VE BEEN SERVED – CITIZEN FREE PRESS

How is this NOT Evil?

“This Is Us” Actress Milana Vayntrub Calls Killing Her Baby in an Abortion a “Beautiful” Experience – LifeNews.com

SUNY Professor advocates for sex between children and adults… – CITIZEN FREE PRESS

School Tells Kids to Stop Sending Valentines Featuring White or ‘Gender Normative’ People. (thenationalpulse.com)

Book banning in Texas schools: Titles are pulled off library shelves in record numbers (msn.com)

Illinois HB4244 Mandatory Vaccine Registry is Now in Subcommittee – Lawmaker Proposes HB4640 to Quarantine Exposed to Infectious Disease (thegatewaypundit.com)

Disney teaches kids about Microaggression… – CITIZEN FREE PRESS

Exclusive: Dr. Li-Meng Yan Reveals CCP Plans to Spread Hemorrhagic Fever Bioweapon Via Olympics, and She Shares the Cure (substack.com)

A direct attack on the First Amendment – You are a Domestic Terrorist if You Question the State:

If you have an opinion and/or fact that counters the government narrative about the election fraud and COVID-19 you are now considered a domestic terrorist. Who determines what is “unsubstantiated”, a “conspiracy theory” or a “misleading narrative”?

DHS: Here is a list of top COVID misinformation spreaders you should investigate ASAP (substack.com)

Illinois Expressway shootings:

Illinois Reported Expressway Shootings (arcgis.com)

The Left – Democrats, Progressives and the like – destroy everything they touch. Soon, “the end of days”:

“Year Zero” – Thread by @pmarca on Thread Reader App – Thread Reader App

COVID Relief Spending Your hard-earned money:

Is This How Walmart Works?

1) They contact city/county governments of potential store sites to make nearby localities compete with one another by offering Walmart free infrastructure (roads, sewage, drainage) and tax rebates (typical store gets $10M in tax rebates for their first few years)

2) They build a store using their national contractors, depriving most of the local tradesmen of any of the work to build the store

3) They offer wages above the prevailing market wage to lure employees away from other employers (don’t worry, these go back down later.)

4) They scout locally owned competitors for pricing, and undercut them

5) Let’s say that your town happened to have a Carhartt factory, Walmart Corporate starts demanding lower and lower wholesale prices. Because Walmart represents 50% of Carhartt’s sales, they can’t afford to say no. So they start making cheaper products. Then they start manufacturing overseas. Soon the plant closes. You’re still paying the same price for a Carhartt jacket, but now it’s poorly made, and your neighbor Jim, who worked at the plant, is out of a job.

6) Your local mom & pop retailer, having lost some of their employees and still having to pay normal Carhartt wholesale prices, can’t compete with Walmart. They go out of business. So now your neighbor Barbara is out of a job.

7) Your town is now devastated, with no manufacturing and no retail other than Walmart. As employees are treated poorly and quit, new employees, having nowhere else to turn, are forced to accept lower wages and part-time positions. They are forced to rely on welfare to feed their kids. Every year, everyone gets a little bit poorer as Walmart’s corporate profits & stock price go up, and the last bits of wealth are extracted from your town and sent to Chinese manufacturers and Wall Street Shareholders. Many people now leave your town to look for better opportunities, splitting up families. Young adults go off to the big city and lose touch with their roots. Others turn to drugs out of despair, fueling an overdose epidemic. All the while, they have no choice but to shop at Walmart, due to a lack of options or due to the financial blight that the Walmart itself has brought to them and their family.

Now repeat this story 3,000 times across the country. So no, I don’t care if people shoplift from Walmart. Walmart made the calculation that the cost of security plus the risk of a lawsuit wasn’t worth stopping shoplifters when they can just let them take whatever they want and charge you, the consumer, for it.

Walmart sold out Americans for profit.

Thanksfornothing

How’s your Thanksfornothing Holiday shaping up? Did you check The Fauci’s Almanac for your T-day forecast? Do you know when to wear a mask and when to hold ‘em? Will you only invite the vaxxed? The Fauci’s Almanac says “If you get vaccinated and your family’s vaccinated, you can feel good about enjoying a typical Thanksgiving, Christmas with your family and close friends.” And, if you are in a public setting such as a store or church “go the extra mile, be safe, wear a mask.”

If you are traveling, remember to avoid using “racist roads and bridges” to go “over the river and through the woods” to grandmother’s house.

Check in with your DEI training before making your list of invitees. At the very least invite a black gay woman and a pregnant man for diversity-equity-inclusion’s sake.

Also invite a minor-attracted Jesuit to give the blessing on the food, the 1619 Project, CRT, DEI, ESG, the World Economic Forum, The Great Reset, the LGBTQRSTUV, the CDC, the NIH, the administrative state, Vaxx passports, Saint Fauci, Pope Francis, and the house of Biden.

Before your guests arrive put on your CHOOSE WOKELY apron. Have your husband put on a clean #NO JUSTICE NO POLICE tee shirt. When your guests arrive show them the safe space area with Play-Doh. You want to make sure that the easily triggered and those suffering from unexpected malaise will have a place to untrigger and demalaise.

Will you be serving the House Build Back Better turkey? If so, you will need your Emergency Use funds to buy your inflation-mandated turkey and fixins. Please don’t forget to inject your turkey with the Moderna vaccine and to PCR test it before serving. And, please wear a mask when carving the turkey. The vaccines are totally effective but not completely effective.

Stuff your conversation with the bread of life – Wokeianity. Dish out a cornucopia of social justice platitudes – like how the world should be a more just and equitable place, a place where, in your parable teaching, dark meat is prepared and served in greater portions than white meat. You should discuss white meat privilege.

When your kids ask “Why?” tell them that “blackness” is oppressed and “whiteness” is the oppressor; that “blackness” must replace “whiteness” in those roles. Having your children seeing in this color-coded way is essential to a discriminating social justice. We are to be defined by our race and not as individuals.

Remind your aunt Myrtle to mind her white privilege P’s and Q’s when you ask her to pass the peas and carrots to your black tranny guest. And remember to use the baby talk-like pronouns for your diverse guests as required by Woke decorum.

The adults should remind the children at the table that voter IDs are racist, men always oppress women, whites always oppress blacks, socialism is better than capitalism, that materialism is all you need, that the planet will cease to exist unless we address climate change, that the 1st and 2nd Amendments are serious threats to democracy, that Black Lives Matter, that abortions but not vaccines are a My Body My Choice matter, and that science like roads and bridges is racist and must be socially reengineered.

Make sure your kids understand that those who don’t agree with your Wokeianity are Islamophobic, homophobic, xenophobic, dupes, and deplorable.

Let your table conversation include the efficacy and wonders of both the vaccines and open borders. Tell your guests about your EVs and then encourage them to discuss the absolute horror of the world ending in the next five years if we don’t do something about climate change right now. Let them know that the grapevines growing the Napa wine you are serving are in danger.

Serve your kids Woka-Cola so they feel at perfect harmony with the world.

Make sure to spoon out lots of righteous indignation and shame onto the heads of the uninvited unvaxxed. That will make your guests feel special. And let them use their smartphones while eating. That is how activism happens. And please leave the TV on during the meal so that your guests will be reminded during commercial breaks that booster shots are available to Build you Back Better.

When coffee and dessert are served, have your university graduate son speak to the issue of how giving thanks is a practice that came down from the racist Puritans and must be denounced as oppressive to blacks. And, to how that every good and perfect gift comes down from the government. Then you will have a Happy Thanksfornothing!

*****

“These are the days when the Christian is expected to praise every creed except his own.” – GK Chesterton

*****

“Episode 1,414 – The Left‘s Back Door Deals With China & the plummeting of the Biden regime poll and Covid”.

“Episode 1428 – DoJ & FBI Against Moms Of America”

*****

Informed dissent:

COVID-19 outpatients: early risk-stratified treatment with zinc plus low-dose hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin: a retrospective case series study (nih.gov)

Dr. Peter McCullough Issues Emergency Warning: Vaccine Created Spike Protein is Deadly in the Human Body (banned.video)

EXCLUSIVE: Archbishop Vigano Shares Letter with TGP Directed Towards Tomorrow’s Protesters Against Health Tyranny in Switzerland (thegatewaypundit.com)

“The bottom line is Fauci was sort of right when he was originally asked about masks and he replied they are “useless, but if it makes you feel better, you can wear them.”

They are actually detrimental, especially for kids, because they trap bacteria and you then breath in that bacteria resulting in an increase in respiratory infections.”

Do masks work? – by Steve Kirsch – Steve Kirsch’s newsletter (substack.com)

CDC Admits It Has No Record of an Unvaccinated Person Spreading Covid After Recovering From Covid (thegatewaypundit.com)

FAUCI’S 5 FELONIES EXPOSED: Congress Must Act: End EUA & Pharma Immunity (redvoicemedia.com)

Top Scientist: Getting A Covid Vaccine Can Be More Damaging Than a Heart Attack (freeworldnews.tv)

CDC busted on Natural Immunity… – CITIZEN FREE PRESS

A message from Michael – by Steve Kirsch – Steve Kirsch’s newsletter (substack.com)

Dr. Scott Atlas unloads on Fauci, Birx, Redfield in forthcoming memoir: ‘I was disgusted’ | Fox News

The CDC Finally Reveals Its Estimate for How Many Americans Have ‘Natural Immunity’: 146.6 Million People – Becker News

Scientific Study — Covid Spike Protein DRAMATICALLY Impairs Cell DNA Damage Repair… – CITIZEN FREE PRESS

Booster Doses are Extremely Dangerous and They Will Make Everything Worse – by eugyppius – eugyppius: a plague chronicle (substack.com)

Did a German doctor commit suicide rather than give vaccines? – by Steve Kirsch – Steve Kirsch’s newsletter (substack.com)

Dissent leads to disassociation:

US Army Surgeon Taken Off Her Job After Reporting Pilot Vaccine Injuries – News Punch

Resist:

26 Christian Navy SEALs Make Final Stand Against Biden’s Vaccine Mandate (resistthemainstream.org)

JUST IN: Appeals Court Re-Affirms Halt on Biden’s Covid Vaccine Mandate for Private Businesses – Cites ‘Severe’ Risks (thegatewaypundit.com)

Florida Legislature To Decide On Withdrawing State From OSHA’s Oversight and Allowing Employees to Sue Over Biden’s Authoritarian Vaccine Mandates In Emergency Special Session Next Week (thegatewaypundit.com)

Oklahoma Doctors Have Tremendous Success in Treating Nursing Home COVID Patients with Ivermectin (thegatewaypundit.com)

The whole pandemic issue is instrumental to the Great Reset, and it is the latter that we must fight. I think that, at this moment, it is most appropriate to create a movement of the people that calls together, in an Anti-globalist Alliance, Catholics, Christians, and people of goodwill.  This is the first appeal I make to that effect.

…If the attack is global.  The defense must also be global.

Archbishop Viganò

HUGE EXCLUSIVE: Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò Calls on People of Faith to Unite in a Worldwide Anti-Globalist Alliance to Free Humanity from the Totalitarian Regime (VIDEO) (thegatewaypundit.com)

https://rumble.com/vpelhb-breaking-exclusive-archbishop-vigano-appeals-for-a-worldwide-anti-globalist.html

Vaxx Shaming of our children:

shame the children until they comply – by el gato malo – bad cattitude (substack.com)

COVID Treatment – Telehealth:

Get Ivermectin Online Prescription. Request Ivermectin Prescription Online And Get Oral Ivermectin Tablets For Humans For Sale Near You. (pushhealth.com)

Dr. Syed Haider (drsyedhaider.com)

MyFreeDoctor.com’s Free Doctor consults all 50 states!

Where to find Ivermectin for Covid-19 or LongCovid – Covid.us.org

HOME | The James Clinic (ivermectincan.com)

FRONTLINE MDs with Dr. Stella Immanuel

Courage, not COVID cowardice:

MUST WATCH: 2nd Grader Suspended 38 Times for Not Wearing Masks Tells School Board That She Hopes They Go to Jail (thegatewaypundit.com)

https://www.zerohedge.com/political/brief-history-west-african-slavery-woke

Fourth of July Americana Without a Fifth of Jackboot Alchemy

Empty the bottled witches’ brews – the potent eye-of-newt-baboon-blood admixture of COVID scientism and the wool-of-bat-tongue-of-dog-nihilism-cultured Marxism – down the toilet. Turn off the media cauldron . . .

~~~~~

There. Now, pour yourself a tall cool glass of Simply Lemonade. Cut yourself a piece of apple pie. Kick back and enjoy some Americana. Reanimate your imagination.

You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus. – Mark Twain

Samuel Clemens, using the pen name Mark Twain, gave America two major classics of American literature: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

The lives and values of people living in the American South during the middle of the nineteenth century are conveyed through Twain’s choice of imagery, vernacular, relaxed diction and characters. Twain’s small-town realism: what is seen through the eyes and imaginations of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn.

A Stamp printed in USA shows the painting “Tom Sawyer”, by Norman Rockwell (1894-1978), American Folklore Issue, circa 1972

If you were ever a kid, and I suspect that most of you have been so inclined, you will connect with the antics of Tom Sawyer. You’ll relate to Tom’s larger-than-life imaginings and his dashed realizations. Like Tom, you may have acquired experienced-based knowledge and also consequences with each twist and turn of an adventure.

You’ll remember being bored during summer vacation and being both bored and lonely during a bout of the measles. And you’ll recollect more, as you listen to and read . . .

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain, Chapter 22

TOM joined the new order of Cadets of Temperance, being attracted by the showy character of their “regalia.” He promised to abstain from smoking, chewing, and profanity as long as he remained a member. Now he found out a new thing—namely, that to promise not to do a thing is the surest way in the world to make a body want to go and do that very thing. Tom soon found himself tormented with a desire to drink and swear; the desire grew to be so intense that nothing but the hope of a chance to display himself in his red sash kept him from withdrawing from the order. Fourth of July was coming; but he soon gave that up —gave it up before he had worn his shackles over forty–eight hours—and fixed his hopes upon old Judge Frazer, justice of the peace, who was apparently on his deathbed and would have a big public funeral, since he was so high an official. During three days Tom was deeply concerned about the Judge’s condition and hungry for news of it. Sometimes his hopes ran high—so high that he would venture to get out his regalia and practise before the looking–glass. But the Judge had a most discouraging way of fluctuating. At last he was pronounced upon the mend—and then convalescent. Tom was disgusted; and felt a sense of injury, too. He handed in his resignation at once—and that night the Judge suffered a relapse and died. Tom resolved that he would never trust a man like that again.

The funeral was a fine thing. The Cadets paraded in a style calculated to kill the late member with envy. Tom was a free boy again, however —there was something in that. He could drink and swear, now—but found to his surprise that he did not want to. The simple fact that he could, took the desire away, and the charm of it.

Tom presently wondered to find that his coveted vacation was beginning to hang a little heavily on his hands.

He attempted a diary—but nothing happened during three days, and so he abandoned it.

The first of all the negro minstrel shows came to town, and made a sensation. Tom and Joe Harper got up a band of performers and were happy for two days.

Even the Glorious Fourth was in some sense a failure, for it rained hard, there was no procession in consequence, and the greatest man in the world (as Tom supposed), Mr. Benton, an actual United States Senator, proved an overwhelming disappointment—for he was not twenty–five feet high, nor even anywhere in the neighborhood of it.

A circus came. The boys played circus for three days afterward in tents made of rag carpeting—admission, three pins for boys, two for girls—and then circusing was abandoned.

A phrenologist and a mesmerizer came—and went again and left the village duller and drearier than ever.

There were some boys–and–girls’ parties, but they were so few and so delightful that they only made the aching voids between ache the harder.

Becky Thatcher was gone to her Constantinople home to stay with her parents during vacation—so there was no bright side to life anywhere.

The dreadful secret of the murder was a chronic misery. It was a very cancer for permanency and pain.

Then came the measles.

During two long weeks Tom lay a prisoner, dead to the world and its happenings. He was very ill, he was interested in nothing. When he got upon his feet at last and moved feebly down–town, a melancholy change had come over everything and every creature. There had been a “revival,” and everybody had “got religion,” not only the adults, but even the boys and girls. Tom went about, hoping against hope for the sight of one blessed sinful face, but disappointment crossed him everywhere. He found Joe Harper studying a Testament, and turned sadly away from the depressing spectacle. He sought Ben Rogers, and found him visiting the poor with a basket of tracts. He hunted up Jim Hollis, who called his attention to the precious blessing of his late measles as a warning. Every boy he encountered added another ton to his depression; and when, in desperation, he flew for refuge at last to the bosom of Huckleberry Finn and was received with a Scriptural quotation, his heart broke and he crept home and to bed realizing that he alone of all the town was lost, forever and forever.

And that night there came on a terrific storm, with driving rain, awful claps of thunder and blinding sheets of lightning. He covered his head with the bedclothes and waited in a horror of suspense for his doom; for he had not the shadow of a doubt that all this hubbub was about him. He believed he had taxed the forbearance of the powers above to the extremity of endurance and that this was the result. It might have seemed to him a waste of pomp and ammunition to kill a bug with a battery of artillery, but there seemed nothing incongruous about the getting up such an expensive thunderstorm as this to knock the turf from under an insect like himself.

By and by the tempest spent itself and died without accomplishing its object. The boy’s first impulse was to be grateful, and reform. His second was to wait—for there might not be any more storms.

The next day the doctors were back; Tom had relapsed. The three weeks he spent on his back this time seemed an entire age. When he got abroad at last he was hardly grateful that he had been spared, remembering how lonely was his estate, how companionless and forlorn he was. He drifted listlessly down the street and found Jim Hollis acting as judge in a juvenile court that was trying a cat for murder, in the presence of her victim, a bird. He found Joe Harper and Huck Finn up an alley eating a stolen melon. Poor lads! they—like Tom—had suffered a relapse.

  • Source: Twain, M. (1876). The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Hartford, CT: American Publishing Co.

Chapter 22 | The Adventures of Tom Sawyer | Mark Twain | Lit2Go ETC (usf.edu)

*****

America has been undergoing a hostile takeover by the Wicked WOKE. Since the ‘60s this red army has infiltrated our education systems. From elementary through graduate school, it has promoted an infighting America. Using Marxism’s class warfare, identity politics and now Critical Race Theory, one is taught to hate America, hate Capitalism and even your own white skin color. What is the Wicked Woke’s motivation?

 . . . if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. Mk. 3:25

The military is being subjected to Marxism and CRT. To get first-hand insight, read Lt. Colonel Matthew Lohmeier’s book Irresistible Revolution; Marxism’s goal of Conquest & the Unmaking of the American Military. Lt. Colonel Lohmeier was sacked from his command following this book. This man has courage that many in leadership lack!

Businesses are now submitting to cultural Marxism. The over a century old engineering company I work for is now celebrating the division of the company into identity groups via the tokenism of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiatives (DEI). Apparently, the adult owners and managers are being led by the nose by the new recruits once matriculated in indoctrination classes.

American history is tortured into saying America is a racist country (vide anti-American Communist sympathizer Hannah Jones’ 1619 Project).

People are waterboarded by the media into feelings of panic and terror with a constant deluge of “pandemic” counts, deaths and variants, mask wearing mandates, lockdown mandates, vaccination as salvation, a Jan. 6th narrative, racism behind every bush, and an impending climate change apocalypse.

Just the other day the Biden regime’s Energy Sect. Jennifer Granholm was on CNN. When asked a leading question, Granholm suggested that the building in Florida may have collapsed because of climate change. Why instill fear in people? Why provoke anyone to think that their building may collapse at any moment due to climate change? Why? Fear is used for political ends.

Through relabeling and redefinition of terms, the NSA and FBI pronounce white Americans who love their country “White supremacists”. This now ‘allows’ them to spy on American citizens with impunity.

We will soon be made to lease our homes. The global elites (Warren Buffett’s Berkshire-Hathaway Real Estate included?) are buying up housing and real estate. You will be forced to rent and accept their lease terms, including their progressive Marxist agenda. Private property will be taken away.

The Biden regime and Democrats in Congress aim to spend enormous amounts of taxpayer money. In doing so, our country will be headed for financial ruin – hyperinflation, market collapse and the dollar will lose its standing as the global reserve currency. Our children, grandchildren and their children will suffer great hardship because of their out-of-control spending.

Our constitutional republic is being destroyed by those who cry “Our Democracy is under attack!” while increasing their censorship of what Americans can and cannot say.

When the Biden regime took over the White House in Jan. of 2021, our constitutional republic was subjected to malicious attacks. One of the puppet dictator’s first acts was to abolish what he called the ‘offensive’ 1776 Commission. He also restarted the racial sensitivity reprogramming of American citizens.

Below is a copy of what the Biden regime abolished and what militant ideologues continue to pillory as being “lies” and “propaganda”.

Turn off the media cauldron. Download and read the 1776 Report to your family.

From the 1776 Report Conclusion:

Identity politics is fundamentally incompatible with the principle of equality enshrined in the Declaration of Independence.

Of note, Dr. Carol M. Swain was the Vice chair of the President’s 1776 Commission. You will want to go to her website to watch the video From GED to PH.D: the Carol Swain Story. (I doubt that she is “black enough” per the racist standard set by Joe Biden and the rest of the race hustlers.)

Here is a website to promote American History: 1776 Project Pac.

“What to the slave is the Fourth of July?’ This Frederick Douglass quote is from his oration on July 5th, 1852 – 76 years after the founding of the country.

*****

Unlike President Wilson (see “The Meaning of Liberty”) who progressively sought to bring the Declaration up to date, President Coolidge affirms the enduring veracity of human equality, inalienable rights, and the consent of the governed—“those old theories and principles which time and the unerring logic of events have demonstrated to be sound.” 

Calvin Coolidge’s Speech on the Occasion of the 150th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence

*****

Welcome to all of the countries accessing my blog:

Father or Facile

Father and son, Cantigny Park, Fourth of July

The current administration – the Biden regime and legacy media – want to feminize America.

They prefer America without masculinity, without guns, submissive, without opposition, and to be like those they have already corralled: black women with children who are totally dependent on government for food, housing, parenting and life itself. They prefer the soy-boy types.

“It takes a village ….” is Hillary Clinton’s exactly that.

Episode 1,036 – Masculinity in America: A Fathers Day Special 

Mother’s Day Interlude

The regular Sunday afternoon phone calls to my mother ended just over a year ago. Mom passed last March.

Years before, my parents retired and moved a thousand miles away from Chicago. I called on Father’s Day and Mother’s Day. These phone conversations and the many others had an endearing sameness to them

When I called, Dad would pick up. He would ask “How’s things going? How’s work?” and then “Here’s mum”. Mom was the conversational one. She would ask “What’s up? Are you seeing anyone right now?” After I gave her the details – “Nothing new” – we talked about the weather. This went on until dad passed.

After dad’s passing, seven years before last March, my phone calls to mom began.

Mom, waiting anxiously, questioned me during the weekly “Mother’s Day” afternoon phone calls. “What are you doing with yourself? Are you behaving yourself? Are you following the Lord?”  She had concerns about me since my earliest days. As the oldest, mom had to endure the unorthodox me the longest. She did so with steadfast love and unwavering prayer.

As mom neared the age of 91, our phone conversations lasted only a minute or two. I would ask her, as I did many times before, “How are you?” She’d reply, “Hanging in there.” On the Sunday afternoon of the day she passed, I called and asked again “How are you?” Mom, barely audible, answered “Hanging in there.” She then dropped the phone in her weakness. She would go to the Lord that evening.

With the passing of dad and then mom, I told my sister that I felt I had lost a fixed reference point in the universe – true north.

*****

Each day, as the sun begins its daily round over the Chicago area, I take my long walk. The mix of Chicago weather keeps me guessing as to what to wear. The mix of exercise and endorphin release helps me deal with the stress created by the over 400 days of Illinois’ unconscionable mandates, restrictions and EOs.

I greet the people walking their dogs or jogging by. I say “Good morning” to the lady crossing guard who stops traffic to allow me to cross. But kids crossing the street or getting onto a school bus and going to school is rare these days. The tree-lined suburban neighborhoods I walk through are uncommonly quiet.

I walk primarily to think and pray. I never take a phone with me. I’d rather listen for the Lord. It was during a recent walk that I understood the Lord directing me to memorize Scripture once again.

During 5th and 6th grade I had memorized lots of Scripture. The Sunday School I was attending had a Scripture memory contest once a year. Students were given two pages of Scripture verses to memorize. On the day of the contest, we were to recite the text along with chapter and verse.

I don’t remember what I won but I do remember the scripture I memorized. Portions of it float to the top when I wade into praying and writing.

In the past two weeks I memorized Psalm 103. I printed the psalm and carried it with me on my walks. I rehearse the words two or three times during my walks.

Psalm 103 gives us Gods’ perspective:

For he knows how we were made;
    he remembers that we are dust.

Psalm 103 tells us how God deals with us:

As a father has compassion for his children,
    so the Lord has compassion for those who fear him

Psalm 103 adjures us . . .

do not forget all his benefits—

who forgives all your iniquity,
    who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the Pit,
    who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good as long as you live
    so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s

Did you know that God’s “steadfast love” is mentioned four times in Psalm 103?

If you want to detoxify your mind of Progressivism’s profanations (e.g., “birthing parent”), then I recommend that you begin to take the word of God into the core of your being.

*****

Episode 923 – Big Tech’s Peon Cyborgs … Big Tech Bans Trump, Transhumanism, Masks

*****

This Mother’s Day . . .

Let’s admit it. COVID is not a “public health” crisis. Over 99% of people recover from the COVID virus and do so with or without proven prophylactics/protocols such as Hydroxychloroquine and Ivermectin. An unproven “emergency use” vaccine is certainly not to be taken. It should never be given to our children, as Dr. Fauci, the man behind the Wuhan virus, and Big Pharma want to have happen.

The “public health” issue is the fascist governance that makes us lab rats in a controlled social engineering experiment. See links below for more information.

COVID Court:

Healthy 17 year-old Utah high school athlete develops 3 blood clots in his brain immediately after Covid Vaccine… – CITIZEN FREE PRESS

Healthy 17 year-old Utah high school athlete develops 3 blood clots in his brain immediately after Covid Vaccine… – CITIZEN FREE PRESS

Immediate Use of Ivermectin Medicine Globally Can End COVID-19 Pandemic: Scientists | The Weather Channel – Articles from The Weather Channel | weather.com

No Jab For Me

Dr. Zelenko — I have many patients suffering from ‘Vaccine Regret’… – CITIZEN FREE PRESS

Moderna reports $1.7 billion in COVID-19 vaccine sales, posts first profit ever – MarketWatch

Tennessee Woman Left Paralyzed And Unable To Walk After Taking Pfizer Vaccine – National File

19,916 ‘eye disorders’ including blindness following COVID vaccine reported in Europe | News | LifeSite (lifesitenews.com)

Professor Didier Raoult: “There are 70% side effects with the Pfizer vaccine . . .

Vaccine Shedding Causing Miscarriages and Blood Clots in Unvaccinated Females (banned.video)

Evidence mounts that Covid Vaccine causes spontaneous mental illness… – CITIZEN FREE PRESS

35-year-old woman dies of brain hemorrhage 11 days after receiving J&J vaccine | News | LifeSite (lifesitenews.com)

Tucker Asks How Many Died From Covid Vaccine and Exposes the Cover-Up (Banned From YouTube?) (rumble.com)

Home Depot goes full mask Nazi… – CITIZEN FREE PRESS

Cult Of The Mask: List Of Documented Mask Side Effects; Vexed; More! — Coronavirus Update LXIX

From the attached Mask PDF:

Here’s the list of negative effects, documented across many papers (from their Figure 2, which I wish was a Table): lowered O2, uppered CO2, increased humidity and temp, increased breathing resistance, increased respiratory rate, increased blood pressure, cerebral vasodilation, increased heart rate, respiratory impairment, exhaustion and fatigue, drowsiness, dizziness, headache, psycho-vegetative effect (my favorite), decrease in empathy (brother!), itch, skin irritation, acne, rhinitis, voice disorder, false sense of security (ahem), bacterial contamination, fungal contamination, and, the best for last, viral contamination.

May 1st Anti-Lockdown Protests in Ireland | Dave Cullen (gab.com)

Sharyl Attkisson digs into Covid origins… Fauci looks guilty… – CITIZEN FREE PRESS

‘The Walls Will Close In’: Kassam Says Great Reckoning Coming for Fauci (rumble.com)

Atomic Scientist Mag: Left Media Failed to Ask Questions Over Wuhan Lab… Trump Derangement Syndrome Let China Off The Hook. (thenationalpulse.com)

The Nazis are coming for you based on COVID hysteria (aka “public health concerns”):

Calgary Church hero Artur Pawlowski arrested by Canadian SWAT Team in the middle of busy highway… – CITIZEN FREE PRESS

POLICE STATE: Watch the moment a SWAT team arrests a Canadian pastor – Rebel News

Playing the “Ice-game of Reason”?

Years ago, now, I read the folk stories of Hans Christian Anderson to my two youngest. Storytime included The Ugly Duckling, Thumbelina, The Little Match Girl, The Princess and the Pea, The Steadfast Tin Soldier and… The Snow Queen.

First published in 1845, The Snow Queen centers on the struggle between good and evil as taken on by a little boy and girl, Kay and Gerda.

Below are the seven stories of the Snow Queen (audio and pdf).

First Story: Which Treats of a Mirror and of the Splinters

Second Story: A little Boy and a Little Girl

Third Story: Of the Flower-Garden at the Old Woman’s Who Knew the Art of Sorcery

Fourth Story: The Prince and Princess

Fifth Story: The Little Robber Maiden

Sixth Story: The Lapland Woman and the Finland Woman

Seventh Story” What Took Place in the Palace of the Snow Queen, and What Happened Afterward

Let’s Talk Turkey

Let’s Talk Turkey

But first, a word from our sponsors ….

Map of the New World 1600s
Sam Adams

“If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace….We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.” ― Samuel Adams

“Democracy extends the sphere of individual freedom, socialism restricts it. Democracy attaches all possible value to each man; socialism makes each man a mere agent, a mere number. Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word: equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.”
― Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Alexis de Tocqueville

“The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” ― Alexis de Tocqueville

While I was on Twitter, a few years ago, I would jump in on threads where socialism and capitalism were discussed (Better, the terms were tossed about.). The anti-capitalists would denounce capitalism as “unfair” and the rich as “greedy” while insinuating “equality” and “fairness” occurred naturally within the materialist realm of socialism. As an example, they pointed to Scandinavian countries (where, amazingly, none of them had the gumption to take up residence. That would take initiative and responsibility and money on their part.)

The anti-capitalists, assuming a superior moral position, never talked in-depth about the mechanics of socialism other than it being a redistribution of wealth from “rich” to “poor” via confiscatory taxation. And, whether they were oblivious to or welcoming of the growing soft despotism in America that gives people the illusion that they are in control, I could not determine.

On Twitter there were also those who proclaimed Jesus to be a “Progressive”. They offered a litany of “Progressive” attributes assigned to Jesus, among them “anti-rich”, their presumed antithesis to “Blessed are the poor” [“…in spirit”]. There were those, too, who said that the early church was an example of socialism because the early Christian shared everything in common. Apparently, these folks had never read that Jesus warned about the dangers of the love of riches and not that someone who was rich shouldn’t be. Did these folks also not comprehend that the early church did what they did out of love and not out of coercion?

In the current hopped-up milieu of socialism as social justice*, what is the mystique and lure of socialism, central planning, and top-down government when …

Above this race of men stands an immense and tutelary power, which takes upon itself alone to secure their gratifications, and to watch over their fate. That power is absolute, minute, regular, provident, and mild. It would be like the authority of a parent, if, like that authority, its object was to prepare men for manhood; but it seeks on the contrary to keep them in perpetual childhood: it is well content that the people should rejoice, provided they think of nothing but rejoicing.

For their happiness such a government willingly labors, but it chooses to be the sole agent and the only arbiter of that happiness: it provides for their security, foresees and supplies their necessities, facilitates their pleasures, manages their principal concerns, directs their industry, regulates the descent of property, and subdivides their inheritances – what remains, but to spare them all the care of thinking and all the trouble of living? Thus it every day renders the exercise of the free agency of man less useful and less frequent; it circumscribes the will within a narrower range, and gradually robs a man of all the uses of himself.

-from “Democracy In America” by Alexis De Tocqueville, Chapter VI: “What Sort Of Despotism Democratic Nations Have To Fear

Long before social media came around fostering populist socialism, I inured myself against the idea of a free lunch. In the 80s I watched Milton and Rose Friedman’s Free to Choose Series on TV. The following video is part of that series.

Plain-spoken Milton Friedman, economist of the Chicago School of Economics, addresses the issue of social responsibility that seems to be the motivation behind a rejection of capitalism and the attraction of socialism. He also presents the fundamental difference between capitalism and socialism: capitalism – an economic market operating under the incentive of profit; socialism – the government market under the incentive of power. Included are his thoughts on collectivism, social justice, moral values, individual responsibility, the doctrine of social responsibility, and philanthropy.

For the many of you around the world who live in disparate circumstances and who read my blog, I pray that you will benefit greatly from this video.

A final word from our sponsors ….

It’s not an endlessly expanding list of rights — the ‘right’ to education, the ‘right’ to health care, the ‘right’ to food and housing. That’s not freedom, that’s dependency. Those aren’t rights, those are the rations of slavery — hay and a barn for human cattle.
― Alexis de Tocqueville

What good does it do me, after all, if an ever-watchful authority keeps an eye out to ensure that my pleasures will be tranquil and races ahead of me to ward off all danger, sparing me the need even to think about such things, if that authority, even as it removes the smallest thorns from my path, is also absolute master of my liberty and my life; if it monopolizes vitality and existence to such a degree that when it languishes, everything around it must also languish; when it sleeps, everything must also sleep; and when it dies, everything must also perish? ― Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

When I refuse to obey an unjust law, I do not contest the right of the majority to command, but I simply appeal from the sovereignty of the people to the sovereignty of mankind.
― Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

The liberties of our country, the freedoms of our civil Constitution are worth defending at all hazards; it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors. They purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood. It will bring a mark of everlasting infamy on the present generation – enlightened as it is – if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle, or to be cheated out of them by the artifices of designing men. ― Samuel Adams

Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote…that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country. ― Samuel Adams

The utopian schemes of leveling and a community of goods, are as visionary and impractical as those which vest all property in the crown. These ideas are arbitrary, despotic, and, in our government unconstitutional. ― Samuel Adams

* Pope Francis is Envisaging and Engendering an Open World:

“On the other hand, if we accept the great principle that there are rights born of our inalienable human dignity, we can rise to the challenge of envisaging a new humanity,” he proposes. “We can aspire to a world that provides land, housing and work for all.”

As one can surmise, Francis welcomes the populism of socialism and “for the good of all” envisages a communist version of Catholicism. For example, if you are a Catholic in China, (or the world for that matter) in his vision you’ll be provided land, housing and work provided that you are the Chinese Communist Party’s version of a “good citizen”.

The above helps explain why Pope Francis deplores the populism that elected Trump. A movement of “free people” is hostile to coercive top down rule and to non-democratic central planning and to the liberty-annihilating communism the Pope dreams of and so desires so as to reshape the world into his Let Us Dream image. The Pope/CCP desires the Ring of Power to conform all men to its will.

The Trump movement seeks to take back life, liberty, and country –identity – from the Ruling Class Obama-Clinton-Biden-Cuomo types who talk down to Americans, considering them “bitter clingers” and “deplorables” and rubes. The Trump movement detests the privileged elites (including Francis), and the unelected bureaucrats, and, essentially, those who are “more equal than others” and deign to tell them who they are and what they are to think and what they are to do. The Trump movement fights to keep America from becoming a third world country, as Democrat mayors prove it is possible with their “Open World” policies.

The Trump movement deplores the overreach and suffocating control of globalism. The movement seeks to remove the tentacles of the “Open World” beast that wants to devour the U.S. – our individual rights, our liberty, our Constitution and our identity  – to feed its One World Fratelli tutti chimera. “We the people” reject the Great Reset.

  The One World forces and the purple and scarlet dressed Whore of Babylon are gathering to fight against the Lord, as foretold.

“The board is set, the pieces are moving. We come to it at last…
The great battle of our time.”

Gandalf, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Added 11-26-2020:

Podcast:

Totalitarian Democracy Roger Kimball in conversation with Mark Bauerlein

Roger Kimball is Editor and Publisher of The New Criterion

Mark Bauerlein is a professor of English at Emory University.