Do or Die

The world is too much with us.

Walt Whitman

By Dr. Jim Ferguson

Punxsutawney Phil “said” to expect an early spring. He may be correct, but the Pennsylvania groundhog is only right ~50% of the time.

My Lenten roses and daffodils are blooming and March seems to be coming in like a lion. Time to prune my vineyard and orchard, but that will have to wait after the gully washer we had last Wednesday. My West Coast SIL was visiting some years ago and was amazed by Southern storms which sometimes literally clear our gullies.

The poet Walt Whitman could never have imagined a world connected as we are today by the internet, etc. And I never imagined I would end up as a writer. My education was in science. I never wrote anything, except as a school assignment, until beginning spiritual journaling in 2001. Apparently, this awakened a dormant talent that science might explain as the activation of a quiescent gene.

I grew up with two brothers who, like me, were science guys rather than men of letters. So where did our love of classical music and my appreciation of poetry come from? My father was a mechanical engineer. Maybe the genetic proclivity came from my mother who was an English major who used to yell at us to turn down the Bach blasting from the stereo.

I wonder if liberalism is genetic. The old conundrum of nurture versus nature is challenging, but I suspect the answer is more environmental than genetic. You’ve heard it said that if you aren’t a liberal at 20, you have no heart, and if not a conservative by 30, you have no brains. I was more liberal when I was in college, but like Jesus, I “grew in wisdom” (Luke 2:52).

My appreciation for non-science disciplines like history, philosophy, literature and the Bible grew as I aged and through independent study after medical training. Abraham Lincoln was largely self-taught. He especially loved philosophy, the Bible and Shakespeare. I do not share his passion for the Bard.

A country is often judged by the actions and character of its king, leader, etc. This was certainly true in Biblical times. Hezekiah and David were men of God, whereas Ahab and Jezebel were not. Ancient people had no choice in their leaders, yet they either prospered or suffered because of leadership. Arguably, the laws and regulations in the Torah were directed toward the ancient Hebrew nation rather than the individual. Old Testament laws have less import for modern day Christians. We are people of a new covenant, the New Testament.

Americans are blessed because we are able to choose our leaders. But this brings individual responsibility for the disasters we elect. The ancient Hebrews in Jerusalem never thought that the Lord would allow the Babylonians to destroy Jerusalem and desecrate the Temple. They were wrong. Will God allow us to destroy ourselves? History teaches that He will. Americans must realize the danger we are facing: the end of a once proud and prosperous nation or revival. Many are participating in the destruction by voting for disastrous liberal progressive politicians and their policies. Many are planning to vote for Biden despite his abject failures and divisive leadership. As a result, our country is in a death spiral.

America was founded on Western Judeo-Christian perspectives. I realize some “choke” to hear this truth. My research reveals that Christianity is unique among world religions. No other perspective holds that each of us is loved unconditionally by the Creator of the universe. And since Martin Luther’s time, we understand a personal relationship with God, which is not dependent on a human intermediary, a king or a leader. But this relationship also brings responsibility. We are to love others and be just because each of us will be judged by our conduct and our response to God.

Through the ancient prophet Micah (6:8) God said we are to, “Act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God.” But can we extend mercy before justice is done?

We live in an imperfect world and I am far from perfect. But we are challenged to not be of the world. Ashamedly, I focus more on the world than I do on Jesus. However, running away to a monastery is not an option for me. Neither can I ignore my conscience and surrender my principles to go along to get along. Jesus gave his life for humanity, but that is not an option for a mortal. As a result, I try to speak the truth with love and reason and fight on against evil and its calling card, hatred.

In eight months we will vote in the most important election of our lifetime. Every election cycle we hear this, but this election is, to use the overused term, existential. It is far more than between Republicans and Democrats. To paraphrase Yoda, the Jedi Master in Star Wars,“Do or die. There is no try.” The old coot in the White House has got to go. We cannot stand the destructive policies of the liberal-progressive cabal that manages Biden and the White House, walks the corridors of Congress and legislates from the judicial bench. They must be removed from power and the capacity to hurt others. Democrats own illegal immigration, enable criminals to attack police and citizens, and are complicit in the murder of the nursing student in Georgia and elsewhere.

But all is not lost. More than 50% of Americans are not in thrall to evil and have not lost their minds. We must stand up and vote to save the country. Understandably, we often focus on what is wrong and lose sight of what is working.

Barry Neal is running for Knox County Commission and he facilitated the critical repair of Woodson Drive in the UT Hospital area. A private company, Intuitive Machines, just landed the first American spacecraft on the moon in 50 years. Russia, India and Israel recently failed to do so. NASA defers to the brilliance of Elon Musk’s SpaceX. And true servant hearts can be found with Clint Robinson and Deah Hatmaker, co-managers at Pure Magic Car Wash on Alcoa Highway, who went the extra mile to help my wife recently.

November will decide whether we still deserve the freedoms won by our ancestors. If liberal progressive Democrats prevail, a once proud and prosperous nation will go onto the ash heap of history.