In 1517 John Tetzel was selling Indulgences, promising investors Heaven for pennies on the dollar. Everyone was going along with a scam until Martin Luther cried foul and started the Reformation. Seems people are still suckers for Popes and Ponzi Schemes. A bushy-haired Millennial named Sam Bankman-Fried (you can’t make this stuff up) fried a billion dollars invested by people hoping for heaven on earth. Unfortunately, it turns out that their idea of heaven on earth involved a weird faith in Harry Potter, Harems, and hallucinations. The grown-ups in the room (from Bill Clinton to Tom Blair) gladly drank the Kool-Aid and were apparently not parents but were all as high as a kite. And they call Christians crazy. The collapse of FTX and Alameda Research is just another example of a godless world which has exchanged the Truth of God for a lie. Those who reject the Bible will continue to follow the False Profits of this world in building these Towers of Babel like Enron, Theranos, and FTX, only to find out too late they are worthless. Indulgent parents have been selling their children worthless Indulgences and a bill of goods ever since they replaced Jesus Christ with Santa Claus. “What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed” for the end of those things is death…but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Rom. 6:21-23). -id
While the statue’s creator was Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi, the catalyst for the idea of the copper colossus was Édouard de Laboulaye and the Liberation of Slaves after the Civil War, not immigration. While it is important to note that there would be no United States of America without immigration, it was the success of Civil War and the freeing of the slaves that moved the hearts of Frenchmen. Viva la France, and God Bless America. America is not large enough to absorb all the world’s “tired and poor” to say nothing of the “wretched refuse,” but she could hold the torch beside a golden door and set the example for the whole world, declaring that all men are created equal. The statue is a work of Art, so is America. As beautiful as it is, the copper lady is not a depiction of the U.S.A, but rather the Roman goddess of Liberty. What she offers the world is Freedom, and bids all its peoples to follow America’s example. Her lamp was a symbol of hope, and her crown depicted the seven continents upon which (at the time), many were still in chains. The golden door is actually a portal to a brilliant idea and ideal: Freedom. Offering immigrants food vouchers and bus rides is not freedom, nor is anarchy and lawlessness. Freedom of speech, Freedom of the press, and Freedom of religion are ingredients of an alchemy that turns lead to gold. It is not the land that made America great, but the light. -id
The Cross exposed human nature with all its ugliness. It also put God’s Goodness on display. Moses once asked to see God’s Glory, and God said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass before thee,” Ex.33:19. At Calvary, we see the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.
From the betrayal of Judas, who was the keeper of the purse, to Peter’s denial, ”I don’t know the man.” We see greed, fraud, injustice, avarice, duplicity (in a word, we see politics). In politics, it is not uncommon to see someone go from Messiah to Pariah in a single day. Jesus had seen it all before. The MAGA crowds that followed him in the beginning abandoned him in the end. From the excitement at the Jordan to the feeding of the thousands, the multitudes turned on a dime when Christ spoke of Calvary instead of the cavalry. In politics, we should not marvel at the Machiavellian mendicants and quick-change artists, who, like the strumpets that followed Napoleon’s trumpets of war, seek to pick the pockets of opportunity and strip the battlefield dead of their belt buckles and buttons.
American’s own Revolution also spawned her share of profiteers, gun-runners, fortune hunters and sunshine patriots. The fingerprints of politics are all over history. Whether it’s the idealists marching into the Khyber Pass or the Grande Armée on its way to Waterloo, it’s the elites and aristocrats who strategize in boardrooms sending the poor into the fray. It’s the Lords who send the Commons out as pawns and cannon fodder. They move mock battleships on large table maps in smoke-filled back rooms as instruments of the Prince of the Power of the Air.
Speaking of Christ, the religious elites said, “it is expedient that one man should die for the people.” From Caesar’s Ides of March to the Charge of the Light Brigade or the Maid of Orleans being burned at the stake, the passion and poison of politics litter the earth with the carnage of fallen hopes and dreams of men. The Crucifixion of Christ was humanity at its worst. However, the Cross also displayed the Goodness of God’s Grace at its best. The “Snap” election and release of a murderer seemed “rigged,” but providence unfolded just as the Savior predicted and the Prophets promised.
With three crosses and a crowd we see the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Once every year at Easter, the citizens of the World (who crucified Christ) get another chance to ponder the paradox of the cross and to cast their ballot for the Good, the Bad, or the Ugly. -id
Although raised by the daughter of Pharaoh, his real mother, Jochebed, had the greater influence on him. “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” From the Egyptians, Moses learned his hieroglyphics of humanism and hedonism. He learned to read and write, to cypher, count and calculate. He heard of Ra, the Sun god riding his chariot across the sky, and the blasphemous claims of dynastic deity. He may have read the Book of the Dead and learned about the worship of the dung beetle and the river Nile. He walked on marble floors and ate delicacies off alabaster plates The world was his oyster. He was a Prince of Egypt.
Originally a child of slaves, he was drawn up from the marshes as a baby, delivered from the furnace of oppression like a brand from burning and dropped into the lap of luxury. Sweet! Everyman’s dream.
The Devil told Jesus in the wilderness, “all these things will I give you, if you bow down and worship me.” Jesus brushed aside the bribe with a Bible verse. “It is written, thou shalt worship the Lord thy God and Him only shalt thou serve.”
When Moses came of age he came to a crossroad, as does everyone. We have to choose between the Magic Kingdom or the Kingdom of God. He chose God. Turning from the temporal, enticing, and temporary “pleasures of sin,” along with the treasures of Egypt, Moses chose rather to suffer affliction with the people of God over the pleasures of sin for a season. He chose the riches of God’s Grace which are in Christ Jesus to be a greater reward.
Later, Moses was called of God to confront Pharaoh with a message from Heaven, “Thus saith the Lord, Let my people go that they may hold a feast unto me [worship] in the wilderness.” And then Pharoah said, “who is the Lord that I should obey him [his voice]?
What many people are calling the “Culture Wars” are in fact a continuation of the War of Words found in Exodus 5. We are witnessing a spiritual conflict between what God says and what the World says. In Exodus 7:11 Pharaoh calls his “sorcerers” and “magicians” who attempt to imitate and reverse engineer God’s miracles through showmanship and trickery. In the end, God has the final word and now the Magic Kingdom is scattered in museums and the crumbling Pyramids are monuments to mendacity, and the audacity of all those who reject the Truth for lies. -id
There are no Yellow Brick Roads in real life, but there are Lions and Tigers and Bears. It was David’s duty to keep, watch, and defend the sheep. As a shepherd boy David was not looking for trouble, but woe to the Lion and the Bear that would try to devour the innocent lambs he was charged to keep. Keeping the peace is the first order of Government. Police are, first of all, and foremost, Peace Officers; and the Bible says that they do not bear the sword in vain. The Idea to “Defund the Police,” came right out of some lion’s den. Jesus said that those who do not come in properly, through the front door, are thieves and robbers. They are come to “steal, to kill, and to destroy.”
Likewise, good neighbors are governed by the Golden Rule. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Good neighbors do not look for trouble. They believe in “live and let live.” However, should a neighbor suddenly turn into a Lion, a Tiger, or a Bear and try to devour the sheep you have promised to protect (remember your marriage vows?) your children, the elderly, the women or the weak, the helpless “so to speak,” the shepherds of the sheepfold (the family, home, or village) will defend the flock. Jesus said a hireling will flee because he is a hireling. Jesus was no hireling. Jesus is the Good Shepherd and the Good Shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. In Afghanistan we witnessed the “so-called” shepherds “take the money and run.” Then we watched as the wolves took Kabul.
The National symbol of Ukraine is not the Eagle but the Nightingale. In Ukraine, after a Bear invaded the sheepfold, we saw something rare in this wretched world. We saw Character and Courage. A young shepherd refused to run and stood between the Bear and the people he promised to protect, defend, and keep. The world turned away after Germany invaded Poland in 1939. They pretended not to see or smell the smoke rising from Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen, and Buchenwald for years. Today, modern technology live-streams the sorrow of war, and the world takes sides and watches. God is also watching, and after some six thousand years of mankind choosing sides in the war of Good and Evil, the Good Shepherd may be about to enter the sheepfold, slay the wolf and separate the sheep from the goats. We will not have to answer to the warlords or the wizards. We will have to answer to the Word who became flesh, and who will come again and make all things right. -id
|“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