By Dr. Jim Ferguson
Have you noticed that the COVID-19 pandemic has virtually disappeared from America? Even the Weather Channel app has removed CCOVID-19 tallies. The new crisis is the protest over the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis policeman. As tragic as this man’s death is, the riots and looting which erupted have overshadowed Mr. Floyd’s death.
During the London plague of 1624, English poet John Donne poignantly wrote, “For Whom the Bell Tolls.” Hearing a tolling church bell from what he thought was his deathbed, Donne wondered whether the next bell would announce his own demise. Perhaps the original diagnosis was imprecise because Donne survived and his immortal words are still relevant. He wrote, “Each man’s death diminishes me, for I am involved in mankind.” And as the rioting continues in America unchecked, largely in cities run by Democrats, one wonders if Donne’s words may portend the death of big cities. “Therefore, send not to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee.”
Can New York recover from COVID-19 and now riotous destruction of private and public property? People can now work online without coming into the city. Companies need not pay for expensive office space and workers no longer have to commute long distances. You certainly have to wonder about safety when police are stabbed, Macy’s department store is looted and Saks Fifth Avenue is wrapped in barbed wire to prevent pillage.
I’ve been a tourist in New York many times, but I would never live there. I can’t imagine living in cubicles stacked upon each other, riding pestilent subways, defenseless against vagrants, druggies and thugs. I remember riding the A Train to upper Manhattan Island some years ago to visit the Cloisters Museum. A disturbed person boarded the train in Harlem. He stumbled and swayed from side to side in the moving train muttering to apprehensive passengers, “I ain’t gonna kill nobody.”
Some good may come from the Wuhan pandemic. Reasonable people will pay more attention to hygiene, though protestors and rioters seem to gather in large crowds with impunity. NY Mayor Bill De Blasio forbids gathering in churches, but allows protest marches without social distancing. Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer decrees it unlawful to buy paint or carpet, but it is OK to buy pot and alcohol.
People with common sense should be more skeptical of “experts” and models which have been proven wrong over and over. You should likewise be skeptical of Al Gore’s “hockey stick” and computer models of global warming. Perhaps you’ve heard one definition of an expert as someone fifty miles from home with a PowerPoint presentation. In the future Trump should consider models and listen to experts like Fauci, Birx and the CDC, but never again shut down our country, which now reels from unforeseen consequences even acknowledged by ABC and CNN.
Lastly, we should understand that the Chinese Communists are bad actors and not to be trusted. And by now we should know that these days “news” is just politicized commentary of events meant to shape opinion rather than report facts. Similarly, polls are done to shape opinion and are useless until a week prior to an election. Only then will pollsters accurately report results to enable them to appear correct and get the next polling gig. If early polls were accurate Hilary Clinton would be President.
Is it right to go along with something you think is wrong? Are we accepting violence and lawlessness in the name of social justice? Are we witnessing the equivalent of the Chinese cultural revolution where only “correct” thought and actions are allowed? The highly regarded quarterback of the New Orleans Saints, Drew Brees, was recently savaged for showing respect for the flag and the national anthem. Others have been fired for daring to say “all lives matter.” Comments are surfacing that white people should get on their knees to show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.
Protests are Constitutional. Riots, looting and politically correct thought are not. Trump has been accused of being divisive. Actually, he was elected to oppose the ruling class of Washington DC and eight years of Obama’s progressive destruction. Look at where we were three months ago with the unprecedented Trump economic boom which was then destroyed by the shutdown. Have we traded peace and prosperity for riots? And now comes the “defund the police movement.” Perhaps it is the end-time.
The Christian observance of Pentecost has just passed. The celebration heralds the moment early believers were imbued with the Holy Spirit. In Acts chapter 2, Peter, the leader of the Jesus’ Disciples, gave a sermon quoting the ancient prophet Joel describing “the last days.” I am not a prophet nor do I ordinarily ascribe to apocalyptic philosophy. However, as I watch the mayhem in America it causes me to reflect on scripture where God says, “In the last days I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and daughters will prophesy and your young men shall see visions and your old men shall dream dreams.” As an older man, I dream of a colorless society, but this cannot occur until bidirectional racism is renounced and filthy politics fanning the flames of hatred is repudiated.
Someday I hope to meet Peter, the Apostle Paul and see my Dad and grandparents, all long since passed on to the promised land.
Like many of us, Paul suffered injustice, but as a young Pharisee zealot who once persecuted Christians before his conversion, he renounced hatred and became arguably the greatest apologist for Jesus’ message.
As part of his ministry, Paul wrote many letters to churches he founded. In a letter to the Galatians (current day eastern Turkey) he listed the fruits of the Holy Spirit’s transformation of followers of Jesus Christ. In Galatians 5:22-23 the fruits are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
The only road to salvation for humanity and America is “taking a knee” for God, not political correctness, political ideology or BLM.