You’re doing fine. Great actually.
There is a lot of craziness in the world right now, with pandemics and extremists screaming at us everywhere we turn, but I am glad for your even-keeled wisdom and inner goodness. You understand because you are sensible, and you know it’s important to be patient, kind, informed.
Those of you from a christian environment are rooted in a family of people who do the hard, practical work of loving others. I’ve chatted with some of you and I’m encouraged that there are lots of reasonable, faithful people out there. Good for you.
on the other hand…
Unfortunately, here in Ontario we have a few opportunistic leaders encouraging maskless protests in towns and villages even when the residents ask them not to come. The belief of anti-maskers is that basic science and pure logic are an infringement on their freedom which is more important than the health of their communities. So they grandstand whenever possible by marching down streets, protesting in bars, parking lots, and churches.¹
The problem is, they continue their foolishness even as more people get sick, ICUs overflow, surgeries are postponed, costs and debts soar, caregivers suffer PTSD, and more patients die. The longer these people hold out, the longer our overall recovery, and the longer the innocent are victimized.²
If we could save even one life simply by wearing a mask occasionally, wouldn’t that be the mature, reasonable, human thing to do? But these are narrow-minded protesters who don’t understand that freedom comes with costly price tags like discipline and sacrifice.
Even more dangerous than Covid-19 is the the shocking number of crass people who are willing to ignore evidence, the rule of law, and even our lives, in order to feed their self-important view of the world.
bernie! bernie! bernie!
Bernie Madof died on April 14. Madof was the infamous operator of history’s largest Ponzi scheme, bilking investors out of nearly 65 billion dollars. (Many of these victims lost a lifetime of retirement savings.)
Journalist Jim Campbell had exclusive access to Madof during his last twelve years in prison and is the author of the recent book ‘Madoff Talks’. Campbell was interviewed last weekend on CBS Sunday Morning and it was fascinating. The author is convinced that Madof was a classic sociopath who never felt remorse for his manipulation of others. In fact, he was incapable of any close or loving relationships, even with his own family.
The Madof story took me immediately to a long list of scammers who continue to be protected: a certain former President; a recently deceased christian apologist; and a long list of other remorseless abusers. Always, the innocent victims are left behind to fend for themselves.
watch for them
It is common for narcissistic personalities to lie with such passion and charm that some people find their stories compelling. But all the while they are building their own egotistical kingdoms. Liars are all around us: on our phones, televisions, in our mailboxes – yelling, spewing, gaslighting – emboldened by the example of other abusers before them.³
I believe our biggest enemies are authoritarians who manipulate truth for their own purposes. Narcissists and sociopaths are everywhere but especially dangerous when they reside in politics and religion. They deceive the gullible minority, who in turn accost the rest of us, creating ever more hardship, division, evil.
Watch closely, listen carefully to the loudest, shrillest voices – more often than not they are professional manipulators; strategically naive.
The people of God need to be especially equipped to see these culprits and to call them out. But alas, I wonder if we are…
In the future I’ll write more about how these fiends manipulate and destroy.
it’s up to us
I talked to some people yesterday who surprised me. They are uncomfortably conservative (to me) and I was apprehensive about their thoughts on vaccines, masks, and restricted church services. I was pleasantly surprised to hear them confirm it was their responsibility to be careful for the sake of themselves, their family, and community.
But then I remembered that they are faithful followers of Jesus and I was gently reminded that theologies and politics don’t have to line up perfectly for people to be selfless, reasonable, kind.
As usual, our example is Jesus. To paraphrase a quote I saw awhile ago … We’re looking for thrones to rule from, while Jesus is looking for feet to wash.
So I am thankful for people like you. You’re patiently doing your part to protect others; you are being faithful and prayerful and generous and kind during a time when it’s especially needed.
I am grateful that …
“… the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.” (James 3:17-18, NIV)
You’re the best. Keep up the good work.
~ ~ ~
¹ Last weekend MP Derek Sloan and MPP Randy Hillier participated in a crowded Aylmer, ON church service. It is a church headed by an angry pastor who has made the news previously. Funny how they find each other.
² We’ve learned that a 13 year old Brampton girl just passed away from Covid-19. It’s not possible to know for sure but, theoretically, how complicit are anti-maskers/vaxxers in the final death totals?
At the same time, a friend started a GoFundMe page hoping to raise $10,000 for the grieving family. It is now at $100,000! Yes, there are still good people in the world.
³ According to Scientific American, researchers at Cambridge University have discovered that the louder a male howler monkey roars, the smaller his testicles are. Not sure it that’s helpful in understanding anti-maskers, but it’s not not helpful.