Signs of the Time

“It’s good to go, but it’s great to come home.”


By Dr. Jim Ferguson
I hope everyone read my June 10, 2024 essay, “Gotham.” Actually, I hope my essays are read every week. But more importantly, I wanted you to consider implementing the action points I listed at the end of that column. It’s not just soldiers and first responders who have civic duties. This is our tour of duty: we have a country to save.

My parents taught me the value of travel. Aside from experiencing new vistas, travel exposes you to different cultures and perspectives. Last week Becky and I traveled with our Knoxville granddaughter to the West Coast – some call it the left coast – to visit our Oregon daughter and her family who now live on the Pacific Coast. Our Oregon daughter has two little girls and it was a reunion of the girl cousins, aka cute ones.

We had a great visit (I have vacation pictures I’d love to show you). But it was finally time to go because, as Dorothy said, “There’s no place like home.”

I wore my Tennessee baseball cap all week and got thumbs up in airports and the grocery. Apparently, there are Vol fans all over the country. But after our guys won the baseball College World Series over the Aggies, there is now an ear-to-ear grin under the brim. And on the same night, the Florida Panthers won the Stanley Cup by beating the Canadian (aka canuck) Edmonton Oilers. It was a great sports day for a former catcher and little pucker (hockey player).

I’ll offer just one picture of the Oregon coast. The beach is much the same as in Florida, but the Pacific Ocean is 47 degrees and consequently, the coastal daytime highs were in the 60s, whereas inland Portland temperatures and weather are remarkably similar to Knoxville. Supposedly, Mark Twain once quipped, “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.”

I could make this a travel essay, waxing quixotic on Andorian vistas, the Acropolis heights or Antiguan volcanos. But instead, I’ll describe a more mundane aspect of travel and diverse cultures.

A loo in Istanbul comes to mind. The facility sported a foot outline on the floor that helped position you over the hole in the floor which hopefully led to a sewer system. This arrangement encourages the user to focus on the job at hand to avoid burning thighs of muscle strain. And I was intrigued by a restroom in Prague where I discovered that flushing activated a rotating, sanitizing toilet seat! German efficiency on display.

Admittedly, I am a seasoned traveler and observer of diverse social mores. And I am not a prudish man, but it was at a nice beach restaurant on the Pacific Coast where I almost breached restroom etiquette.

We don’t have designated restrooms at our home, but public facilities are another matter. Absent-mindedly, I turned the corner into what I later discovered was the “gender-neutral restroom” and beheld a gaggle of women washing their hands. I froze. Fortunately, a kind lady recognized my restroom confusion and said, “Don’t worry, we’re all trying to get used to this.”

But should we try to accommodate progressive idiocy that denies the science of genetics and demands we accept the tyranny of their delusional thinking? It is time we stand up and say, “No, I do not accept your ridiculous premise.” I don’t want my nine-year-old granddaughter sharing a public restroom with men. I can accept restrooms without urinals as long as there are secure private stalls as at Buc-ee’s. But I will never accept biological men in women’s sports. (Incidentally, I’ve never read of women trying to participate against men in sports.)

It may be wishful thinking, but I believe I’m seeing changing signs of the time. A neighbor just removed the virtue-signaling yard sign from their lawn. You know, the ones that proclaim they love everyone, all humans are welcome (everywhere but here) and encourage you to “vote woke.” I saw a similar yard sign in North Knoxville alongside another that read “F*** Trump.” That didn’t seem loving, welcoming or rational to me.

I ran into a couple of women friends who know I’m a supporter of President Trump. Somewhat sheepishly they said, “Biden is impaired, too old and has made a mess of everything. We’re voting for Trump!” And lastly, a liberal friend on the West Coast sent me a note after reading about how the Democrats and both social and so-called news media suppressed the Hunter Biden laptop story in the fall before the 2020 election. My friend was apparently one of the 17% of Democrats who said they would have voted differently if they had been informed of the laptop and the Biden family enterprise.

Every week a new revelation bubbles to the surface. Last week the so-called fact-checking organization, Snopes, admitted that President Trump did not praise white supremacists or neo-Nazis in Charlottesville. I’m aware of this truth because I listened to President Trump’s remarks. But the lie that continues to be repeated by Biden lives on because honest journalists are rare. Most are just operatives who “tell you A story rather than THE story.” The truth is “Snopes is for dopes,” but unfortunately, like most fact-checkers and media types, they manipulate “useful idiots” (Joseph Stalin).

I once read a quote attributed to President Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War: “Many times I have been driven upon my knees by the conviction that all my faculties are insufficient for the troubles of the day.” You may find it surprising that I pray for the profoundly dysfunctional Biden and family. And since this essay will go to the publisher before the presidential debate, I pray that Biden will not do badly because this will lead to his replacement by the Democrats. I want President Trump to run against Biden’s failed policies and the shadow Obama presidency trying to “transform America.”

Lastly, I pray daily for President Trump who battles the rulers and forces of darkness (Ephesians 6:12). And for those souls twisted by hatred to also be driven upon their knees, their only hope of redemption and salvation of our country.