Dear Lord and Father of mankind,
Forgive our foolish ways.
Reclothe us in our rightful mind.... – John Greenleaf Whittier
I speak today for the possible comfort of others who are starting to believe that they're the last sane people on earth. I'll address several of the more startling manifestations of the current madness.
Police, or soldiers? Pick one
Those who want to abolish or defund police departments don't seem to realize what they're asking for. Mournfully acknowledging the occasional tragedy caused by a bad cop or a bad call, police save infinitely more black lives than they end. Anyone who cares about "black lives" would never remove their protectors.
If there were no police, the rich could hire security guards and the poor could not. The "middle-class" would arm themselves to an extent that the NRA could never dream of. The gap between rich and poor grows greater, and there are guns everywhere. These are things leftists say they don't want. And yet they are provoking them.
There are only a couple of choices, folks. You can have police, or you can have soldiers. Professional police forces accountable to the public are a relatively new invention in human history (about 400 years old, I think). Who kept order before that? The king's soldiers. You can get a feel for what this arrangement was like by reading the Gospels. No lives mattered to Roman soldiers in Judea except those who had some political clout, and those rich enough to bribe them.
Vigilantism or anarchy, our other theoretical options, would not last very long in our era, it seems to me. There are too many foreign kings with soldiers who would love to come in and take over.
It's no coincidence that when the police were pulled from Portland, Oregon, what happened next was the arrival of soldiers. It's the regression that "progressivism" always brings. These barbarians hate blacks so much they want more of them dead, and they love President Trump so much they want to give him the powers of a king. Either that, or they are just really, really stupid.
Feeling vs. Thinking
Why are they so stupid? Because they haven't been trained to think.
We're born feeling. It's simple response to a stimulus. But it takes years of effort and discipline to subjugate our emotions to our reason, to be more than a dog salivating at the sound of a bell, to become worthy of the tag homo sapiens.
Some of this training used to happen in schools.
Our battle today is between the thinkers and the feelers. The common thread that connects the calamities of 2020 (so far) is emotional manipulation.
Stimulus: the prospect of an agonizing death from COVID-19. Narrative: "This is out of control! Unprecedented! You must obey us, or die!" Response: Fear (and obedience).
Stimulus: the video of a black man being killed by a white officer. Narrative: "Black people are being hunted and slaughtered by the police!" Response: Anger (fueled by fear).
The thinker's response to the coronavirus narrative is: Who are you? Why are you trying to frighten me? And why do you have to lie if you have my best interests at heart? (A small sample of the lies would be: "Unprecedented," "quarantine," masks bad/masks good, cases = infections, and inflating the death count.)
The thoughtful response to the "racist police" narrative is to look at the statistics.
But emotions short-circuit the brain – especially the primal emotions of fear and anger. It's very hard to make yourself do the rational thing when your bloodstream is full of adrenaline. That's where that training would have come in handy.
Public police vs. public schools
What we're seeing in the streets of certain American cities is the abysmal failure of a certain arm of government, and it is not the police. It is the public skools. This won't surprise Christians because the Bible tells us that government's job is to govern. It is to "keep the peace," as we used to say; to provide good, old-fashioned law-and-order. As Daniel Webster put it, The proper function of a government is to make it easy for the people to do good, and difficult for them to do evil.
It is not to indoctrinate children.
I don't think I'll convince anyone to abolish the failed public school system, even though there is no way to redeem it. We've become accustomed to several unbiblical institutions in this country. That's the result of another form of fear: fear of losing something if we stop an activity that our conscience tells us is wrong and our rational mind tells us is destroying us.
Kneeling to the god of ignorance
The deity of stupidity is Duh, also sometimes spelled "D'oh!" He is now worshiped in temples that used to be gathering places for huge, paying crowds. Now the only people inside are those who are paid to come.
Professional athletes gain attention due to their skill at playing a sport. They use that attention as a platform to express their views – or their feels, as the case may be. Now they're polluting their sports with their politics, demanding that fans embrace their mindless virtue signaling as the price of watching them play. They're burning down their own platform. They kneel (a gesture of submission) to oppose oppression. Too stupid to believe? Not for a worshiper of Duh.
The cause of the insanity
If it seems like this is all just too crazy – that there must be a method to the madness of these mad scientists, power-drunk officials, berserk anarchists, racist anti-racists, fascist anti-fascists, and poor oppressed millionaires – I don't think so. When a society ejects God from the throne, its collective rational mind goes out the window, too.
"For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened." (Romans 1:21)
As Whittier prayed,Drop Thy still dews of quietness,
Till all our strivings cease;
Take from our souls the strain and stress,
And let our ordered lives confess
The beauty of Thy peace.
Breathe through the heats of our desire
Thy coolness and Thy balm;
Let sense be dumb, let flesh retire;
Speak through the earthquake, wind and fire,
O still, small Voice of calm.
© Dan Popp
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