By Dr. Jim Ferguson

A friend recently said she was disengaging from social media because of the political battles that rage there like everywhere else in these troubled times. I too have debated “tuning out” and proverbially running away to a monastery as people have done throughout history. Maybe I should claim a “safe zone” like the PC crowd demands.

My Dad fought in WW II as did many others of the Greatest Generation. What if he had run away from Tojo or Hitler? He didn’t and neither did Navy Seal, Marcus Luttrell, the Lone Survivor who recently challenged me to, “fight for this country. Your war is here,” not overseas. I’m convinced our freedom and the fate of our country rides on this November’s election. I cannot play it safe or shirk my duty when others have given their all.

We Americans are at war with each other, Islamic terrorists and foreign powers like Iran, Russia and China. It amazes me that some PollyAnnas don’t see terrorists walking among us, dysfunctional government, godlessness and civil strife as problems. A fellow parishioner told me he thought Obama was doing a great job and everything was just fine in America and the world. How can two people with such similar backgrounds see things so differently? Perhaps one of us is disengaged from reality.

Sometimes I worry about being behind the news cycle with a weekly column. And yet, it is a tragedy that my essay The Blue Line of July 18, 2016 still remains contemporaneous as police officers are pilloried and assassinated by anarchists who justify themselves by masquerading as victims. The real victims are innocent bystanders slaughtered by thugs in Chicago and on Main Street, not by police. Mr. President, Reverend Sharpton, where is your outrage for the nightly carnage in Chicago? The disconnect is as staggering and disingenuous as is Hillary’s reluctance to speak the truth and name radical Islam as the source of worldwide terrorism.

I have to admit that Trump was not first, second or perhaps even my third choice for President. However, he is now the best hope for our country and the world. We need a strong leader, not a career politician. We’ve seen what career politicians  bring. We need a wartime President, just as England needed Churchill in 1940. I was put off by Trump’s brash style and verbiage. But I got over it; apparently Ted Cruz could not. Words don’t destroy; actions do. And when I consider Hillary Clinton (HRC) as the alternative to Trump, there is no contest. Only a fool would not vote or throw their vote away on the Libertarian or Green Party candidate.

No honest person can dispute that Hillary Clinton lied to the American people and Congress. Her record of ineptness and dishonesty disqualifies her from even a low level security clearance, let alone Presidential responsibility and the keys to America’s nuclear weapons. Her incompetence as Secretary of State with the Russian “reset,” the engineered fall of Gaddafi and the resulting Libyan civil war with Benghazi should disqualify her from Presidential consideration. But there are true American zombies who are willfully uninformed and will vote for HRC and their continued enslavement. Do you realize that it was Lincoln’s Republican party that freed the slaves, fought against the Jim Crow laws of Southern Democrats, and championed the civil rights movement of the 1960s? Civility prevents me from quoting the racist and guttural remarks of LBJ, the architect of The War on Poverty, which produced governmental enslavement of black Americans.

Carl Bernstein, of Woodward and Bernstein fame, recently spoke of America’s “culture war” and how the November Presidential election will bring more than just a winner. It will determine the “irreversible” direction of our country. I believe Bernstein, the darling of the the leftist media, academia and Democrats everywhere, is right. America is at a crossroad. If HRC is elected president the America we have known will be gone forever. Oh, and don’t forget, Clinton’s Foundation is still under investigation by the FBI. However, I have no misconceptions that Comey and “company” would ever indict the Democrat Presidential nominee. As Trump said, “The fix is in.”

One of my friends often says she’s “Claiming peace” in the midst of turmoil. I like that perspective. Soldiers need time away from battle and are periodically sent away for R&R (rest and relaxation). Amidst the chaos, I’ve been meditating on Psalm 121:1. I have a Bible app on my iPhone and I also use the powerful e-Sword tool on my laptop. Both afford me different translations and perspectives of scripture. I like the NIV best, but the poetry of the King James’ translation is unequalled.

The Psalmist said, “I lift up mine eyes to the hills, from whence cometh my help.” In the King James version there is no question mark after verse one as in the NIV translation. I like that perspective. In antiquity holy places were associated with heights like Mount Sinai.

We have a cabin in Townsend. As I looked out this morning over the Townsend Valley and the encircling mountains, I thought “Surely, the presence of the Lord is in this place.”

As I said last week, I’m drawn to moving water and especially cascading mountain streams. There is a risk living so close to God’s Smoky Mountains. We too often take for granted what is familiar and don’t seek wisdom and solace in these high places with life-giving water. As I hiked one of my favorite trails along a tributary of Little River, I sought renewal amidst God’s creation. And I was healed by mountains and cataracts which tumble into deep pools, metaphors for turbulence within God’s creation and His presence in the deep pool of my soul.

The battle is now rejoined as I, like so many others, struggle against the “rulers and powers and forces of darkness.” I’d rather think and write about anything but the sickness of our country. However, I don’t have that luxury. As Lincoln said in his Gettysburg Address, “We are engaged in a great war” testing whether our nation will survive. The Big Lie is championed by the acolytes of evil and party apparatchiks who still seek to manipulate zombies and enslave free men. It is our time to hold the line and push back the darkness.