|“How long, halt ye between two opinions?” 1Ki.18:21|
America is in danger of trading Freedom for Free-Dumb. Freedom does not mean: Everything is free. Unfortunately, history is rife with attempts to create Utopia on earth. The hobo’s dream of the Big Rock Candy Mountain and the Life of Riley are pipe dreams. The American Dream began with a Declaration of Independence, not dependence on government and hand-outs. That all men are created equal is not an unfulfilled promise, it is the truth. Thomas Jefferson and George Washington did not and could not by act or decree make men equal. God made everyone equal. Freedom was breaking the shackles of English Colonialism and replacing a bad government with a better one. Freedom is from something; Liberty is for something. In life, there will always be inequities. Some are born taller than others and command a presence just by being present. Some are born to the landed gentry. Others are born “out of wedlock.” American History is the story of Liberty and what some men did with Freedom. Sweat-Equity is a perfect example. The great stories are not those of the Robber Barons or Bonnie and Clydes, who robbed their way through life. It’s the Rag to Riches stories of dreamers who made the effort to “get out of bed” and make that dream come true. Abraham Lincoln did not have fourteen years of free government education. He went from a Log Cabin to the White House, preserved the Union, and Emancipated 4 million slaves. Equality or inequality on earth depends on how we see each other. Life is what we make it. In life, equity is the added value that results from working with what you’ve got, and “making the most of it. – Ingimar DeRidder
Letter written to a fetus 32 years ago after attending a Pro-Life rally on the Island of Guam.
You don’t know me, but I’m your friend. There is a real storm of controversy going on, I don’t think you are aware of. Some say that a fetus is just a blob of tissue. Others say that you can hear even while you are inside your mother’s womb. I really don’t want to cause you any worry or alarm, but your mother is having trouble deciding if she wants you. There has been talk about how your coming was “inconvenient.” Under ordinary circumstances you could live safely where you are for nine months, but it seems that you have just come at a bad time.
Again, I don’t want to unnecessarily frighten you, but your Mom does not like you. I know she would if she just gave you a chance. If she could read the DNA signature in your genes she would see that you have your grandfather’s eyes and your uncle Henry’s height (even though you are now no bigger than a mouse). She would also see that you have her sister Sarah’s disposition (that might not help however since your Mom does not like her either). You certainly do not have anything like a personality at this point. I think that is why you are not considered to be a real person yet. I guess you have to have a personality, even if it’s a bad one before you can join the human race. You might not be as bright as some, but you have potential. You might have to study and apply yourself harder than most, but with the right kind of education and encouragement you could be almost anything you might want to be. In that regard, life is great and I highly recommend it.
Let’s face it, taking care of a child is a real pain at times, and it can really cramp your style; so I know how she feels in a way. But your Mom does not realize that if given a chance you would be willing to live with someone else until you grow up, and that you could promise not to bother her or approach her for money, so she could still get those nice things she wants and she could concentrate on her career.
As I said, there is a lot of confusion out here over the issue of abortion. Abortion? Ah, that is something I have not mentioned yet. It is hard to tell you this, and I don’t expect you to understand. I guess you have to have been in the world for a while to understand it. Abortion is the sort of a “final solution” for unwanted pregnancies. At least some are comparing it to the Jewish Holocaust, but believe me, you don’t want to know about that. Sometimes the world is a very mean place, but most of the time it is nice. Pregnancy? Oh, you will have to be much older before I can tell you about that. It’s kind of complicated.
Now, about these rallies: At times it is like going to a football stadium to watch the homecoming game. The Pro-Choice people are cheering on one side and the Pro-Life people are on the other side. We sings songs and hold up signs. TV cameras Zoom-in on the most creative slogans. If one is lucky they can get their picture in the paper. On one side there are usually lots of religious people. Many of them really don’t really like each other, but they usually get along during these rallies. Some say, that alone makes these events worthwhile. People get up and make speeches, and the crowd claps, applauds, and cheers as the speaker makes points for their side. People hold up pictures of dead and mutilated babies. That is very sad. But we get to meet old friends and everyone seems to have a good time. At the last rally people passed out song sheets, and there were cold sodas, and it was all great fun. The politicians come to these rallies and are challenged to take a stand. (It seems showing people where you stand is very important)- Standing, however is a very difficult thing for most of our elected officials. Part of the game is to count the numbers on each side, check which way the wind is blowing, and calculate just where they will land if overwhelmed by the opposition. In Idaho, for example, the Pro-Life movement seems to depend on just how important their famous potato is to them. Many people threatened to “spoil their spud” if the Pro-Choice side loses in the State House. So in Idaho, it seems to have come down to being either Pro-life or Pro-potato.
Sometimes a “game” is not a good way to explain all this. Sometimes it is more like a war. Some Pro-Lifers have been known to use bombs and are willing to kill for life. Don’t ask me to explain that. It’s just that people get very emotional. You see, fetus’ often forget what they were, and become people; and people can sometimes be very unreasonable. Some Pro-lifers will fight to make sure you are born, but after that they will not recognize you; and may sometimes treat you bad, especially if you are not their favorite color, race, or religion.
In Ireland the Catholics are killing the Protestants and the Protestants are killing the Catholics. In India the Hindus and the Muslims are killing each other. In the Middle East, the Arabs and the Jews are blowing each other up. In South Africa the Whites are fighting with the Blacks. Isn’t there some good news out here in the world? Yes, In case you have not heard, the “Cold War” is over and peace is breaking out all over the world, especially in the Soviet Union. But because of the new spirit of freedom the Azerbaijanis are killing a lot of Armenians. It seems peace is very complicated also. But even with the “Cold War” ending there is trouble in the Philippines, Korea, China, Afghanistan, Nicaragua, Iraq and Iran. Then there is Haiti, and Panama, and the Americans are trying to kill the drug lords of Columbia even though America is their best customer.
I don’t think I have time to tell you about Aids, and the homeless problem (that has to do with fetus’ who grew up, but for some reason have no place to live and are living in cardboard boxes and over subway gratings). Then there is racism. That is when one former fetus thinks he is superior to another former fetus and they do unkind things to each other.
Now, here’s the situation. It’s not all bad. Although you might think that hard to believe after this little introduction to life here in the World. There are lots of great causes you could lend yourself to. After you grow up (If you grow up), you could join the Pro-Life group or the Pro-Choice group and go to these rallies. But that is not the only thing you can do. There is a need for hospitals to be built, and schools to be established, you could become a teacher and fight the war against ignorance and stupidity. If we are all still here, you could work on saving our water supply, discover new ways to grow food, house the homeless, or stop starvation in Ethiopia where millions are dying. They say the world is running out of resources. I think we are really running out of common sense.
What most fail to recognize is that planet Earth is unique in having a resource that no other planet has in the Universe. It is not Gold. We might yet discover gold on Mars or Venus. It is not water, for we might yet discover ways to make it in a laboratory. The resources that we have which makes earth so unique is you. Today you are just a fetus, but you might have a brain that is ten times brighter that Einstein’s. Or you might be able to balance the budget or eliminate the national debt. You might have the ability to lead humanity out of the morass and mischief of political animosities. On your little hand might be the finger that can point the way.
I know your Mom has her reasons, but personally I hope she would have enough faith in you and in herself to see that as dangerous a place as the world is, giving you life gives you a chance to make things better.
PS. If you were holding out hopes for the Supreme Court, you might as well forget it. As far as they are concerned, you don’t have a prayer. The mother’s against fetuses seem to have won that battle. If you don’t “make it” or get your day in court here, I guess you’ll just have to wait to meet your mother on Judgment Day.
Sincerely, Ingimar DeRidder
Pope Francis tweeted that “inequality is the root of all social evil.” One Billion Catholics believe the Pope to be God’s divinely appointed Prime Minister. It seems people can now (if they want) follow God on Twitter. The Bible calls that (by the way) “Following from afar.” You cannot follow Christ from afar. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life and thus real faith is very intrusive, up close, and personal.
Now back to the “inequality” thing. We are not equal. We are not the same. John was faster than Peter, but Matthew calls Peter “first.” Look around; some are smarter and some are more stupid than others. The ancient Greeks told the story of Procrustes (Προκρούστης) an evil innkeeper who made everyone fit in his iron bed by either cutting off or stretching their legs. That is what public education (common core) and evil governments try to do. They either cut off initiative at the knees, beat down incentive, or place incompetence on the rack, and try to “stretch the wretch” and make the languid longer. Public education was supposed to be about giving everyone equal opportunity, but the reason it has done so poorly is that the moral nomenclature of human nature is not good. We are all sinners. We are all equal, however, at the foot of the cross. That is the only place where the low are lifted and the lofty are lowered, and the crooked are made straight.
Both the Pope and the President believe that “inequality is the root of all social evil.” Using the President’s own word, I would say he might need to change his “calculus.” Or better yet, read the Bible. Envy is evil and envy was the real reason the establishment put Christ on the Cross. The Bible says that it is the “love of money” that is the root of all evil. No one loves money more than the government. Only a love for God will balance the equation (or calculus). Jesus said “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these [other] things will be added unto you.” Now all things being equal, nothing is equal. We can spread money all over the place and it will not change a thing. Cain will still kill Abel. Esau will still sell his birthright; and we sinners will (except for the Grace of God) still sell our souls for naught. Jesus said, “The poor you will always have with you.” That is both pathetic and prophetic. The Rich Young Ruler failed to give his all (put all in heaven’s stocks and bonds), and went away sorrowful. Taxing him, or making him tithe, or seizing his property in the name of social justice was not the way of Jesus. He was the fish that got away. Charity is not charity unless it comes of free will from the heart, and no iron bed or torturous rack of taxation can balance the books of the needy, whose greatest need is to be Born Again. -id
Evanston, Illinois, has voted for Reparations to Blacks for slavery and wants to pay for it by taxing the sale of marijuana. It’s an idea that might go up in smoke. Today’s problems are rooted in the past.
The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 prohibited slavery in the Northwest (today, Central)Territory, but residents were allowed to retain all property, and slaves were considered property. Illinois entered the Union in 1818 as a “Free State,” but slavery continued. There were what was known as “Black Laws.” Blacks were by law, not permitted to vote, testify or bring suit against a white person, gather in groups of three or more, and they certainly were not permitted to own a firearm. The census of 1820 showed that there were 239 slaves working the Salt Mines of Equality, Illinois. Only a spiritually blind man would miss the irony of being a Slave in a place called “Equality.” God Bless America!
The Bible says, “Be sure your sins will find you out.” Sin is like a boomerang; it will come back to hit or haunt you. Cows come home and chickens to roost. I don’t know if a company or country can sin, for it does not have a soul. But if America is a family among nations, with sons and daughters of freedom, an equitable solution to a grave error must be found. I have never been a slave, nor owned a slave. I can’t imagine being treated like someone’s personal property. But if statues can be raised, they can also be razed. Early America set aside days of Thanksgiving and Feasting, but she also set aside days of Fasting. Perhaps a National Day of Fasting should follow the Macy’s Day Parade. Only a Solomon could sort out this tangle, yet I believe Jesus is greater than Solomon. I don’t know if it is possible for an entire nation to repent, but I do know that unless America can somehow temper its pride with humility, she is ruined. -id
On November 9, 1938 an orchestrated wave of hatred was poured out on the Jews in Germany and Poland, infamously known as Kristallnacht, the night of the broken glass. Shattered plate glass from storefronts rained down like crystal as Jewish shops were broken into, and destroyed. Hatred, if left to fester, can create Hell on earth. From Cain who killed Abel, to Haman who hung on his own gallows, from the order of the KKK, to the odor of the filthy rags of self-righteousness, to unfurled flags of extremism, national and religious pride can stink to high heaven. Faith is a relationship not a religion. Religion never saved anyone. But if we must use the word “religion,” The real thing is not proud but humble. How faith in Christ evolved into Gothic Cathedrals with flying buttresses, red Cardinal caps and satin slippers is the kind of thing that would have made Jeremiah weep. Tall steeples that were supposed to say Look at Him, eventual said “look at us”, and that is pride. “Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”
American History is Plymouth Rock, Valley Forge, Gettysburg. However, it is also the Salem Witch Trials, Trail of Tears, and Tammany Hall. It is Buffalo Bill and Bill the Butcher. While a balanced and accurate study of American History should not stumble us, it should humble us. Evidence of God’s hand can be seen from the crossing of the Mayflower to the crossing of the Delaware, but national pride should be tempered with the truth that nations rise and fall, come and go, and only God’s word is final and forever. To think that the Constitution of the United States is divine is dangerous. America is not mentioned in the Bible. Gibbons describes both the rise and fall of the Roman Empire. The declaration of love for “God and Country” in the same sentence may sound good, but is spiritually unsound.
There is nothing wrong with asking God to bless America, and there is a lot of evidence that He has. She was one of the first nations in history to be based on the idea of Freedom and the ideal of justice; and those elements were spawned from the head waters of the Holy Scriptures, by men drawing water from the wells of Israel’s witness and the example of the Exodus.
From the “City on a Hill, to the Battle Hymn of the Republic, that dream of Freedom in God and good, runs through American History as a thin crimson thread. Peter on the Mount of Transfiguration got blown off course with the God and Country theme when he suggested they build three tabernacles on the summit, one for Him, one for Moses and one for Elijah. Careful! Kristallnachts (the night of the broken glass) can began with a misplaced love which can degenerate into a hatred for others. Cruel, unkind, and nasty words led to War, the Holocaust, and for millions, to Hell on Earth. So, with all the Flag waving and Flag burning, I wave a red flag of warning. What we need to see is sinners waving a white flag of surrender before God, and kneeling before Jesus who is the only hope of the world. –Ingimar DeRidder
Peace on Earth, Good Will toward Men
So, where’s the peace? The angels proclaimed, “Peace on Earth, goodwill toward men.” It sounded like wonderful news. Yet two centuries of Christmas’ have come and gone, and this world’s children have settled for choo-choo trains, basketballs, and play stations. Was that an empty promise given on that natal night when Christ was born? This world is still at war, and man’s inhumanity to man has only gotten worse. Truth is, it never was the presents, but the presence. Today, there is still no room at the Inn. Jesus was never in the “Inn Crowd.” But Christmas was a miraculous birth, and anyone who opens their heart to him can experience the miracle of new birth and God’s presence. His prophetic natal name was Immanuel, “God with us.” While Jesus was God in the flesh, born to take our place as a sacrifice and the Savior, He is our Sovereign bringing his power and reign of Peace (God’s will and goodwill) with him. The truth is that wherever the Christmas message has been proclaimed, the power of Christ has pierced the darkness bringing light, hope, and grace into someone’s heart. Christmas is God’s son landing behind enemy lines and is more significant than the 156,000 allied troops landing on the beaches of Normandy. All the troubles and problems of the world are directly related to the fact that the world is at war with God. Jesus came to Sue for Peace, to die for peace, to bring peace. Merriam-Webster says to sue of peace is to “Officially ask for an end to fighting.” Usually, it is the losing side that takes that initiative, but with Christmas, it is God who humbles himself. The Bible says that King Herod was “troubled and all Jerusalem with him.” Every sinner is at war with God. That is a war you cannot win. Fighting against God is a fool’s error and a fool’s errand. Fighting against the Creator is crazy, like banging your head against the wall. With Christmas, God came without his angelic armies, weapons, rights, or wrath. The Almighty, who is a flaming fire, and unapproachable light, was an awesome sight as he took upon himself not only the form of a servant, but lie naked, helpless, and harmless in a manger. As a babe, he was greeted by the least of men, shepherds, in an animal’s stall illuminated by a Star over Bethlehem. He, who was rich, for our sakes, became poor, that through His poverty we might become rich. He came weak that he might make us strong. His virgin birth was the beginning of miracles and invites us to a life in him, where “nothing is impossible.” He is the portal for every mortal looking for a way back home to the Father’s house. He is the perfect gift that keeps on giving and brings the peace of God and a new joy to living. He is Immanuel, “God with us,” born of a virgin, “God of us,” made under the law “God for us,” that we might receive the adoption of sons. Jesus, desires to dwell in temples not made with hands, but in the human heart, which is “God in us.” He is the Prince of Peace, our refuge, our fortress, and our strength. Christmas is God come down, God over us, beneath us, and all around us, before and behind us. Christmas is God’s forever gift. On Christmas, Christ was born, the Savior of the world who died on the cross in our place, in order to take us to our final and forever home, where we will be forevermore. If you have not already done so, receive Him now. What are you waiting for? -id
The LORD defend and protect you. The number one job and purpose of government is to protect the peace and its people. Its purpose is to secure a common defense and insure domestic tranquility. The enemy and author of chaos is always trying to breech the walls of law and order. It is the government’s job to be vigilant and valiant in the defense of life and limb. It is to keep the peace. It is not to provide work, or eliminate the need for work, to make you work against your will, but to watch your back so you are free; free to work, to pray, to plow, to plant, to produce, in peace. It is not to provide everyone with a $5,000 Louis Vuitton handbag, or free Air-Jordan’s for the feet of social justice Jihadis. Neither is it to give everyone food stamps or guarantee everyone an income. It is to protect you so you can live in peace and security without fear. There is no excuse for what happened to George Floyd. It was un-American and immoral, but the enemy merely used that match of malfeasance to start an inferno. Looting, destroying, killing and maiming is not about justice, but rather an unholy Jihad. What is happening is not what most people think it is. It is part of an Anti-Christian and anti-Semitic movement. It is preparing the way for the Antichrist. It is part of a plan to usher in a new world order, and only America and Israel stand in the way. While there are economic disparities, (Jesus said, “the poor you will always have with you”) and injustice and racism are real, the main problem, however, is spiritual. The real problem is sin. Sin has infected the heart of every man. The Bible says, “Out of the heart are the issues of life”. We are witnessing a Revolution, well planned and carefully executed, which began in the Garden of Eden.
Perhaps rolling out the tanks is not the best strategy. On the other hand, how can burning Police Stations help? Once again, the mob stands before Pilate. Whipped into a frenzy, there are shouts of “crucify.” Truth stands in the docket. And in so crucifying truth and the Bible, America and the world is poised to choose Barabbas once again. I pray for America, the lost, the lonely, the livid. I pray for the looters and the losers who have lost their way. May they choose Jesus over Gucci bags, and God’s word over governments. May they choose real Peace over broken pieces, for “what is a man profited if he gain the whole world and lose his soul?” -id
When we were children we used to play “Red Light, Green Light 1,2,3” and “Mother, May I?” Even as children we knew there were rules to every game. Three strikes and you’re out. You could not “rough the kicker.” No cheating. A game without rules is no fun at all. One of the rules we learned was, when our parents said “stop that,” they meant it. We tested that rule and sometimes pushed to the limit, we learned it was in our best interest to listen. Back in the day, disobedience could be painful. They were the Authority, the Heads of State, the Supreme Court in our home. By the way, that’s the difference between a house and a home (Rules, yes lots of love as well, but there were laws). A life without rules is chaotic. What we are now witnessing in America is chaos. Thanks to videos of everything today, we are witnessing what seems like police brutality, incompetence, or just plain stupidity. The video of an unarmed man (black or white) being shot is very troubling, and what seems outrageous has led to outrage. If I had the megaphone and the opportunity to offer one suggestion to the conundrum we find ourselves in, it would be this: “STOP.”
Every citizen should be required to take a refresher course on the rules of the game. They should study responsibility as well as rights. They should refuse to be color blind. Like anyone who wants a driver’s license, they should be able to see and understand the difference between a Red Light and a Green Light. They should fail the test if they fail to STOP at the STOP sign. Someone might get hurt or killed. They should understand how chaotic traffic would be if half the people ignored the rules of the road. While Police Departments are re-examining their training procedures, everyone else should remember this simple rule, STOP. When a law enforcement official says “STOP,” it is not a suggestion. He may be a racist or just an idiot. If he is either, all the more reason to stop. In this world we need police as much as parents. The Fifth Commandment is “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long….” Blowing off your parents is bad in many respects. First, they are the Authority in your life (at least for the time being) then one day, you will be the Authority in your home. What goes around comes around. Second, If our children disrespect the Authority of the parent, next it will be the teacher, then the boss, then the policeman, then disaster. The Officials and the Players need to get together and agree on the rules. Break, some rules and there is a red flag. Break other rules and you’re out of the game. The place to fight the police is in the court or law; but if we are all lawless we don’t have a leg to stand on. -id
“I can’t breathe.”
If we can’t see that there is something wrong with this picture, then we are more blind than Bartimaeus. He could not see Jesus passing by on the Jericho Road, but he was not deaf and dumb. He heard him and he cried out for mercy. George Floyd also cried out for mercy in Minneapolis. No one was listening. This should be a “Come to Jesus” moment for America. Poor George Floyd pleaded for his life for seven awful minutes. This photo (and video) not only breaks my heart, it takes my breath away. The “thin blue line” too often has been used as a hangman’s rope. In 2014 Eric Garner died when Police tried to forcefully subdue and arrest him by putting him in a choke hold for a petty crime. Sadly his last words were uttered eleven times and ignored, “I can’t breathe.” Most of those who have died during the COVID-19 pandemic had underlying medical conditions. They also could not breathe so the government rushed to find and make ventilators. America has some serious underlying conditions of morbidity, and is morally gasping for air. Her survival may require an aspirator to drain the edema of indifference and a ventilator to fill her damaged lungs with virtue. Seeing the knee on the neck of another African American should bring us all to our knees. Adrenaline and fear have replaced respect and fairness. America became lawless when she turned her back on the law of God. The First Commandment is the locomotive that pulls the other nine. The first is reverence for God. The other nine cars carry “respect,” for life, property, for people, and so on. We can’t blame riots in our cities on the Russians or the Chinese. There is no vaccine for sin or the underlying condition of a unbelieving heart. America can choose revival or riots. Only repentance and faith in Christ can solve America’s sin problem. Some things are not “left” or “right,” some things are just wrong. -id