To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.

Thomas Jefferson

By Dr. Jim Ferguson

Every year the holiday schedule sneaks up on me. I’m referring to the deadline for my holiday column. My only excuse is that The Focus is published once a week and I have to write essays a week prior to their publication and hope that my thoughts are contemporaneous with events. I hesitate to mention anything associated with Alec Baldwin, but his 2009 movie, “It’s Complicated,” aptly describes my holiday column conundrums.

I have always heard that growing older is not for sissies, and I can now attest to the veracity of that proverbial observation. The aches and pains that were once minor aggravations, now raise the specter of a Fred Sanford proclamation, “This is the big one, Elizabeth.”

Throughout my medical career I have talked many patients off the proverbial ledge. Not the suicidal ledge, but the ledge of fear. As the protagonist Paul Atredes said in Frank Herbert’s epic novel “Dune,” “Fear is the mind killer.” We all have a rational and an emotional side of our being. I am usually quite logical, but my emotions have at times gotten the best of me. My journey through The Valley of the Shadow of Death, took a toll. In some ways I’m not as strong as I once was. Fortunately, my wife remains a rock and is able to ease me back from the precipice when fear clouds the mind.

You may be surprised to learn that the most common admonition in the Bible is not to love, but “Fear not.” I suspect we are designed with the notion of fear to avoid danger and afford a survival benefit.

Ancient cultures held that communities and cultures could be built upon a set of behaviors which we now call the Cardinal Virtues. These are common sense, courage, justice and moderation. In 1st Corinthians 13, Paul outlined the Theological virtues of faith, hope and love which I believe steer the other virtues in one’s ship. Interestingly, courage is only possible if there are consequences.

How do you envision our postmodern culture? Recently, Laura Ingraham got me thinking about our civil strife and civil war. She identified four Cs of crime, Covid, CRT and cost.

Crime is rampant with Defund the Police movements and George Soros-funded Progressive socialist judges emptying jails. I would add to Ingram’s list, China’s production of Fentanyl and the drug cartels on our non-existent Southern border flooding the Country with illegal drugs which contributed to the record death of 100,000 Americans from overdose last year.

I find it deplorable that Americans are threatened with job loss and sanctions by refusing Covid vaccination. Our security is even threatened when first responders, police and military refuse “mandatory” Covid jabs and are furloughed. Why does iPOTUS not vaccinate the illegal hordes he is allowing to invade our country? Why are there no vaccination mandates for welfare or food stamp recipients, Joe?

I’ll not expound on the CRT or the 1619 Project which is under indictment by all rational beings. The abuses, for example, of the Loudoun County School Board in Virginia are legendary. Yes, America has a racist history, but it is not systemically racist like Joy Reid of MSNBC and anyone else who ascribes to her disgusting screed.

Everything is costing more. Joe tells us that the middle class won’t be hurt by his confiscatory tax schemes. But, inflation has jumped to a 30-year high with Democrat policies. Inflation is a regressive tax because everything costs more, and your dollar is worth less.

I took a quarter of economics in college as an elective. Fortunately, I was able to take the course pass-fail which still allowed me to enter medical school. I suspect my distrust of economics is related to my scientific skepticism. I respect the imminent economist Milton Friedman who noted that if you spend more than you have, you have to borrow. And if the government can’t borrow enough to cover their profligate spending, they resort to printing money. This produces more dollars chasing products, worsening supplies, leading to spiraling inflation. Unlike those of us who work for a living, big government liberals love inflation because they can borrow and spend now and repay the debt later with deflated dollars. Someone should tell Ol’ Joe about Economics 101, but he’s far beyond the learning curve.

Despite the “world of cares” I have much to be thankful for. I apologize in advance to my editress wife for the preceding sentence. She also edited my novel “MANTIS,” where I acknowledged her as the reigning “Comma Queen” who never ended a sentence in a preposition! Sometimes twisting a sentence to avoid the ending preposition is just needlessly convoluted.

As I have written, I am trinitarian, philosophically and religiously. In my daily spiritual journal I thank God for the three As, the three Fs and the three Ls in my life. I daily thank God that I am alive, aware of the Way and in awe of Creation. I am no longer conflicted as to where I came from (my origin), my purpose and where I’m going (my destiny). And especially at this Thanksgiving season I am thankful for faith, family, friends, life, love and liberty.

So, don’t let the haters of America get your down. I hesitate to quote the uber liberal Garrison Keillor, but his admonition to “Be well, do good work and keep in touch,” resonates with me. The Boy Scout pledge admonishes the scout to do his best and his duty to God and Country. I have modified these two phrases adding, “and keep looking up” because you must, and because Christmas is just around the corner.