To become a pilot in the US Air Force, I had to go through a process more similar to a job interview than simply “being recruited”. At one point, I had to be interviewed by a current officer—otherwise I might prove to be just a really good looking piece of paper.
I cannot recall exactly what I had been reading at the time. I know I wasn’t some well-read war or military history/philosophy guy. I would’ve been a junior or senior in college when I drove out to this man’s house. But I’m sure I was preparing mentally for all sorts of questions etc.
At one point, I remember being asked, “Why do you want to serve?” My answer went something like, “I’ve thought about war a lot. It seems that most people think that defense starts a war. As in, someone wants the land that another person is on, and if the current occupant doesn’t defend themselves and the land, then there would be no fight, no war. But,” I went on, “this type of thinking doesn’t satisfy or admit the full truth. The truth is that the aggressor starts the war. The aggressor wants the land. The occupant indicates that the land is not available and, here at this point, the aggressor can back down and keep the peace,” I opined all those years ago in some stranger’s home library.
“Well,” I concluded, “I figure that out of all my family, like my cousins and brothers and sisters, I am best suited to meet the aggressor on the field. Best suited to make sure we win the war.”
This answer (and my grades, 20/20 eyesight, physical ability, private pilot’s license and more) was good enough to get me my dream job of being a pilot in the USAF.
The current spirit in this country includes many powerfully-positioned folks telling me what I should do with my body. I hear them. Obviously. And I disagree. Period.
This vaccine battle is not an argument. This is not a debate. This is a moment where they, the “teller/aggressor”, have to decide if they’re going to start a war over controlling my body. It’s that simple. It’s not about other vaccines (consistent living). It’s not about protecting other people (sacrificial living). It’s not about “delta variant” (flexible living) and “94% of new cases being unvaccinated” (more flexible living). It’s not about “smart” (consensus living) or “stubborn” (unbalanced living). It’s only about the meaning of the word “no” (living with integrity). The only world I want to live in includes “no” meaning “no”. And, make no mistake, I will attempt to resurrect that world if necessary.
This post is simply clarifying that if they persist in their little ‘ask’, then just like in all wars, they will have started the war. Not me. Maybe it’s worth it to them.
And the only real reason for the post is that while starting this war, they persist in the belief that they want peace.
I cannot say it enough.
We are living in a time of perversion.
To a fearless hero like me, the funny part is that neither of the two patients we flew the other day made me think of my own mortality, despite their obviously traumatic injuries. One ol’ timer had a head wound that contributed more blood to the atmosphere than I can say I thought was possible while still outputting normal numbers on bp, heart rate, sats etc. The other was a person who had made an ill-timed pass and was subsequently thrown from the vehicle. (Who doesn’t wear their seatbelt in 2021? Seriously? Put it on!) A hundred yards away, at the helicopter, I could hear their cries of pain.
But I didn’t think of death.
However, upon returning home last night and laving up yours truly with some Aveeno body wash that my wife picked up for me (it just pours easier, so what?—the Suave charcoal flavored manly stuff takes the strength of Superman to be squeezed out of the bottle and this gets annoying), well upon laving up and in the midst of repositioning myself in the shower, I almost fell, slipping on the self-same lady-parts-soap that has rinsed off and coated the tub floor.
The “almost fell” really means, that while shadow-boxing the water, the next thing I know I feel the wall with my back. I can’t say for sure why I stayed upright, but my right foot dug in and the help from the wall was enough to offset whatever other project the devil had set in motion.
I immediately started laughing. “Only old people fall in the shower! I’m not old,” I chuckled. “And what would I have done if I did fall? I have no rope!” I thought. You know, those ropes on the wall to pull if you need help. “I have no rope!”
It’s true, my 40th birthday is a couple weeks away. What does that have to anything? It just means I’m halfway there. Halfway to 80. Halfway to natural death, unless I get some of them bonus years.
I’m not old. It was the soap.
You haven’t ever and won’t ever read Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan. I just read a portion of it, being guided by the VOL 2 of the Great Ideas Program, my copy being from the Great Books of the Western World set.
Having read some of it, I want to use this post to offer one way in which to respond to BLM and all the other nonsense being spouted by BIPOC disciples. There are many ways to respond, though this may be the strongest.
I want to start with Paul. Concurrent to my reading of Leviathan, I had been reading Ephesians, and was shocked, like jaw-on-the-floor shocked, at what Paul said to the slaves he addressed. If you haven’t read it in a while, here’s the relevant part:
“Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ; not by way of eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart.”
By relevant, I mean related to the question that I’ve heard for years now, “Why didn’t Jesus end slavery?”
As I read this part of Ephesians, I thought, “This is horrible. It’s way worse than just not ending slavery, it’s actually, in a weird way, defining slavery and basically validating it.”
At the seminary, professors and their unthinking adherents repeated something like, “We need to look at the biblical trajectory…” when discussing slavery and women preachers etc. That rings clear initially, but upon examination is just meaningless, multi-syllabic euphemism. Jesus didn’t end slavery. Fact. And here, in this passage, Paul addresses slaves directly, gives them a very real instruction, and, oh by the way, defines what a slave is–in case there was any doubt who he had in mind when he used the word.
Working backwards, according to Paul, slavery is forsaking your own will for another’s will. It’s not suicide. It’s living according to the will of another. And in this case, Paul teaches those whose will has been replaced (slaves) by another human’s will (the slave master), to get through their situation/life by treating the situation as if they were simply following the will of god, or the will of Christ. His reasoning? God/Christ is impartial. The slave-master who abuses this teaching will get his in the end. (Hell.)
On the off chance that there is any muddiness to this point, Paul also juxtaposes superficial obedience against true obedience, by the use of the wonderfully concrete language: “eyeservice”. All of us know the difference between looking like we’re working and working. And so did Paul. And, apparently, Paul thought the slaves did too. Why say it if slaves are just stupid, biologically determined humanoids of some kind? No, Paul spoke to the slaves in a dignified manner. No kid gloves here.
Main point for today’s post: Paul defines slavery as having to do with a replacement of will. This is to be regarded as an understanding without value-judgement on the situation. Is slavery wrong? Paul might answer, “It depends. Slavery to Christ is absolutely right. Slavery to some human may be right, but it may not be right.” But that’s just my speculation that helps make my bigger point.
Thomas Hobbes picks up this definition of slavery as he explains the origins of government. To begin, he says that there are two ways men end up being under a government: choice and conquest. One, men can either choose to place themselves under the leadership of one or a few other men. Or two, men can be conquered and be compelled to live under that government. Hobbes says that both ways are based on fear. In the choice way, men would choose government because men are afraid of each other and mutually want the security this outside agent would provide. In the conquest way, men end up under a government because they fear the government that conquered them.
Here’s where Hobbes really says something. Hobbes says that the captives, or conquered people, are captives so long as they are chained and in prison or under guard. And while in the status of “captives” the people are justified in returning violence to their captors, ie killing the guards and running away. But, but! Hobbes continues to describe that once the captives agree to not run away, to not attack the captors, they have now consented to slavery, defined as Paul does. The will of the government that conquered them replaces their will, just like the will of Christ, god, or the master of Paul’s letter might. Hobbes goes further and explicitly states that the conquering government has ultimate power over the slaves property, possessions, and children. Hear me, though. Hobbes says this all happens under the “fear of government” (conquered) reason for being ruled. Hobbes says, if you want to free yourself, you can try, but you’ll probably die. If you want to at least walk around and work etc, then you can live a life that is not your own. But at no point, Hobbes says, does the captive-turned-slave have the option of choice-based government.
I constantly tell one of my good friends, “Man, there is no way you or I would ever have allowed ourselves to become a slave. No way. It just wouldn’t happen. You couldn’t convince me it is even possible. No way. We’d fight. We’d die, rather than be a slave.”
And I mean it. Every time.
But I’m not the only human on the earth. And many other men and women have chosen to be slaves rather than fight and die.
Here’s the crux of the post: There is no systematic racism in America. America wasn’t founded on slavery. Whether within the jungles of Africa, or just on the coast, some people were conquered. Whether they knew they were conquered, whether there was an outright war that was lost, or whether they were just kidnapped, they were conquered. Beginning at that precise moment, the conquered people had a choice: fight/die or live for another’s will. Some chose to fight and die. However, it would seem that most chose to live according to another’s will, or what is the same, become slaves.
Two concluding thoughts then:
Jesus couldn’t have ended “slavery” anymore than he could’ve ended “hunger pangs” or “thirst”. Or “satiation” or “quench”, for that matter.
The African tribes who were conquered were conquered. It’s a tragedy. But afterwards, they chose to be slaves.
And now you know one response to all the race-related nonsense that has been leading headlines for our entire lives.
The African tribes who were conquered were conquered. It’s a tragedy. But afterwards, they chose to be slaves.
PS – I can feel my dad asking, “I don’t get how this response works?” Maybe you’re like him. Here goes, get ready to experience the inner-workings of my mind: The “they” are not alive anymore. Boo-ya! BLMers and BIPOC disciples can be mad as hell that “they chose to be slaves”. But they can’t deny the fact that they haven’t chosen to be slaves. What have they chosen then?
“They chose to be slaves.”
What do you choose?
So we’re moving the aircraft around the taxiway via a tractor/towbar setup on the nosewheel. It’s three of us management-type pilots. To have three of us at a base is abnormal. This is very rare. Having three managers do the work of one man, well, that is not very rare. That’s just comedy. As such, the mood is elevated and jocular, and each of us kind of basque in the radiance of the other two.
The pilot on the tractor is acting like an eighty-year old farmer who has “been there, brother” as he hunched over and keeps the tractor to a crawl.
The other pilot, by virtue of growing up in America, is compelled to say, (join with me), “It’s like he’s ‘Driving Miss Daisy’!”
The pilot on the tractor doesn’t seem to hear the quip over the engine. So the typical conversation ensues.
“DO YOU KNOW THAT MOVIE?”
Farmer man kinda indicated, “Yeah, but it’s too loud to talk.”
Then the funny man turns to me.
I say, “I know OF that movie, but I can’t say I ever saw it.”
Here’s the climax: this pilot now says, “I don’t know how that movie ever got made. It’s about a racist woman talking rudely to her driver” etc etc.
Dear Reader: Please don’t disrespect me, steal my humanity, or whatever, by proceeding to tell me that you know the name for what he just did.
Instead, just read and consider.
Even among the brave, the pilots, this particular evil infects. This is very, very wrong.
For my part, I could only say, “I believe in freedom. People can write whatever they want, make whatever movies they want.”
Fellow parents are likely aware of the advice, “Don’t worry about reading your child the perfect books; the fact that you’re reading is enough. The data between children who weren’t read to and the children who were is clear. But beyond that, no sub-category yet exists. Just read to them.”
While dark, my last post was essentially in the same vein. The reason motivational speakers “motivate” is because the person “needing motivation” sought them out. Action began the process, not speech. Motivational speakers don’t work because the cheerleading and encouragement and advice is actually necessary and effective. Again, let’s keep things in order. First, the person decides to act. Then, and only then, the motivational speaker/writer sees an opportunity to monetize or simply seek glory.
You may ask, “If you believe you lost, what, then, is your ‘action’, Pete, if not to ingest motivation to persevere? You’re not saying that it’s hopeless. You’re saying something worse, that the fight is over. What, then, do you do with your time?”
If you’re of a mind to think thoughts in any direction besides Left, you have to admit that the end of all scrolling is motivational circle-jerks. The last two articles I’ve read, one sent by a close friend, were of this sort. The singular theme running through all of them, whether in words like “Remnant” or “Silent Supporter,” is “Keep at it!” and “Persevere!”
I’m tired of them.
Since when did motivational speaking and writing eclipse all other forms?
What exactly caused this shift of the West’s ideal archetype from “mentally strong” to “emotionally inspired”? Wealth? Abundance? Ignorance? Leisure? Nature? Nurture?
No different than how it is a lie that systemic racism exists in America, it is a lie that individual motivation results from exhortation and admonishment.
You are weak and will fail if you need outside sources motivating you in order to act. Individual action is not the result or effect of cheerleading, it is the cause of cheerleading. In life, you, capital Y, have to want it. No one else can tell you to want it. As we’re observing moment to moment, the opposition is counterfeit opposition. We’re placing our hope in confidence men.
Here’s the problem: the Left daily, definitively, boundlessly, and successfully employs the power of shame to achieve its desires. Put another way, the problem is “shamelessness” is more powerful than “truth.”
And no matter how many pep rally’s those outside the Left conjure in response, this problem is simply and unavoidably depressing.
The truth is we just lose. Someone’s got to.
Socrates via Plato used a lot of ink when writing about the meaning of what translators call “justice”. It’s fun to read. And it might actually take that much ink to make the point. But this post will take a stab at summarizing him.
In short, the whole “social justice”, “racial justice”, “economic justice” scene could be silenced by swapping out the word “justice” for a word which means what Socrates and Plato were talking about. To be clear, “justice” is a fairly empty word. I agree that something needs attention right now, but the word “justice” is impotent and distracting.
Q: What word would help our current political dialogue resolve itself and captures the content Socrates and Plato provided?
Change “we need social justice” to “we need social alignment” and now the conversation moves places.
Change “there needs to be racial justice” to “there needs to be racial alignment” and now the discussion gets interesting.
Change “don’t stop until we get economic justice” to “don’t stop until we get economic alignment” and now the debate is over.
As it stands, you (even me) are being baited by calls for justice. That is all. Until we get specific with the language, the powerful speakers are laughing at their easy use of the non-specific language of “justice” (itself deriving its supposed moral power from the Bible’s sometimes use) to cause confusion and grab more power, all while we’re debating the volume of emptiness.
You say you want justice. How about alignment? Do you want social alignment, racial alignment, and economic alignment?
I’m not asking you to decide if my understanding of Socrates is correct. I’m asking you to clarify for me what you mean. Can you? Do you even know what you mean?
“Black Lives Matter!”
“No. Paul wrote, ‘There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.’”
“But you don’t understand. Black and brown people have been unduly oppressed for far too long. Now is the time for justice. Black Lives Matter!”
“Nope. Paul wrote, ‘There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.’”
“We’re not at church, man. This isn’t some ideal world. This is the real world. You’re either with us in our long overdue support of Black and Brown people, or you’re a white supremacist. Black Lives Matter!”
“Not true. Paul wrote, ‘There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.’”
“Is that all you know? One verse? Do you think it is working on me? The Bible is about justice, man. You can’t take one verse and throw it around and think you’re going to change minds. I’m not saying that Paul’s wrong. It’s a nice thought. But we’ve got to help the Black and Brown people right now. They have been oppressed for far too long. It’s the system that needs to change. Black Lives Matter!”
“‘A nice thought?’ Interesting. If you liked that one, how about this thought? The Bible says George Floyd deserved to die-”
“-I’m not finished. You asked for more than a verse right? I’d ask you to let me finish. The Bible also says that Derek Chauvin is currently receiving patience and grace. I believe that with all my heart. But I also believe those two points are fairly irrelevant. More relevant is the next one. The Bible says you and me are receiving grace and patience from the only god, the one true god, the god before whom every knee will bow, before whom every man will confess that Jesus Christ is lord of all. What do you think about that? Do you think the Bible is right? Are you receiving patience and grace? Or no?”
People. As stated in earlier posts, I am doing my best to avoid reading the political commentary, especially the left’s marketing team known as “conservative political commentary.” But no matter how hard I try, I can’t kill the hope that there is hope. So I watch. I watch the conservatives. And they always lose. I never see a “leftist” give an inch. Instead, I see the Left continually gaining inroads. And I see the Truth preaching to the choir.
Read your Bibles. The Truth, Victory itself, is not found by “reasoning”. It is not in “logic” or “good points”.
The “Left”, the “collectivists”, the “racists”, the “communists”, the whole lot of them, will never be defeated by an argument.
The battle is not one of ideas. It is not “logical idea” vs. “illogical idea.”
The battle is not between “cultures”. It is not “inclusive culture” vs. “exclusive culture”.
The battle is Truth vs. Lie.
Tell the Truth.
Admit the Left isn’t budging. Admit the argument for “individualism” isn’t growing. And, finally, admit that the battle is the LORD’s. Fight with the Gospel. The Gospel is not that black and brown people were saved by Jesus’ blood sacrifice and all-powerful resurrection. The Gospel is that Jesus died for you. Just you. The end state of the conversation is your opponent saying this exact same thing.
Why is BLM a lie? See the Gospel via Paul.
Why is communism a lie? See the Gospel via Moses.
Why is racism a lie? See the Gospel via David.
Christians: we are the only people who can possibly make a dent, and we’re the only people who also know that God may not want the judgement to be delayed. We’re to offer our lives as examples of hope for the unseen. We must not fall prey to the appeal of using worldly tactics. We’re not unique because we’re mathletes. Life isn’t last Saturday’s high school debate tournament in overtime.
In life, our weapon is Truth—specifically scripture. Read it. Study it. Repeat it. If you offer it, like in the above example, and the opposition won’t have it, that’s on them. But once you test what I’m saying, you’ll see with your own eyes that the Left will engage it. This is because they are working for the devil. And he is a liar. He actually thinks he wins. The Gospel is that he already lost. Your job is to let the supernatural, unseen spiritual realm go to work. Use the Gospel against what you perceive are lies.
Lastly, watch out. It’s a two way street. You (we) may find some uncomfortable truths in this process too.
My daughter’s school district sent out the anonymous “don’t be ashamed” but “your child has to go into quarantine” email yesterday. This is the second time. Education should erase fear, not promote it. Public Schools must be abolished.
I have officially passed the tipping point. I do not think earthly happiness can be achieved without owning a Rodecaster Pro podcast production studio.
I usually feel pretty smart. Okay, I usually feel very smart. But these days I think I feel how geniuses must feel. You see my oldest daughter is 3/4 round-eye, the other 1/4 being Asian. And my youngest daughter is 1/2 DFPWHTSSTACSO (Descended From People Who Have The Same Skin Tone As Colonial Slave Owners) and the other 1/2 Habesha or never conquered or—to your eyes—black (which is the same). So I think I’m one of the good guys—just like my ancestors used to be.
As far as Megan Rapinoe, I only want to share what a stripper told me one night as we critically, but casually, surveyed the other Independent Professional Entertainers on the floor. (Don’t ask me. Something to do with taxes.) She said, “The hair color we were born with adorns our body as beautifully as possible. It matches our face and skin and complexion perfectly.”
Lastly, some hope. I overheard an elderly patient on one of my flights this week lament upon hearing that she still had to put on a mask when we landed at the gaining hospital. “But I’ve had both of my vaccinations,” she declared irritated. In this case, like most, the customer is always right. As the hospitals return to normalcy, the public will too. And hopefully we’ve learned to never again trust health experts while we have our health. Or Democrats.
My title comes from the fact that I’m an Eagle Scout. I was in the Boy Scouts of America since 4th grade, and I was awarded the highest rank shortly before my 18th birthday.
This achievement is probably the biggest reason I was accepted into USAF pilot training—plenty of fellas have good grades and a pilot license. Nowadays, if I’m at work and in front of a television set I can’t help but be struck by the amount of commercials having to do with how the Boy Scouts were apparently the second worst organization in human history as measured by how many little boys the adult men in charge molested.
I was never molested. None of my friends were molested.
Also all over the news right now is the Oprah interview. Hopefully it’s Oprah’s last. I refuse to watch it, but am confident the folks at Charlie Hebdo have summed it up quaintly.
We live in the time of perversion.
Meghan and Harry are not royalty any more than LeBron is king.
Oprah didn’t “conduct an interview with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex”, anymore than Trump “incited the January 6th insurrection.”
America is not a democracy—nor an oligarchy—anymore than Somalia is under rule of law.
When my friend and I had cars and driver’s licenses, we were sure to enjoy the newfound and rare freedom to linger whimsically after Monday night Scout meetings ended. The rest of the boys were picked up by their parents in timely fashion with little say about the matter. Most leaders were themselves parents, but there often would be one thirty year old single dude who just liked camping and giving back to the organization that formed him so strongly.
One night, this thirty year old and my friend and I were chatting in the parking lot. The Scoutmaster came over and stood for a bit—almost seeming impatient. Finally he did seem impatient and I said, “We’re okay. You don’t have to stay.”
I’ll never forget the feeling in my gut when the Scoutmaster gave me a look that said, “How stupid can you be?”
As we turned to get in our respective vehicles, in an attempt to save face with my friend, I think I overcompensated and actually said, “I still don’t understand why we have to have two adults,” even though I knew darn well that child molestation was a thing.
For this post, the aspect I’m drawing attention to is the silent shame that I was made to feel for being stupid, for ignoring reality, for trying to pretend there are no patterns in life.
My life is overflowing with men and women who made me feel shame for being stupid.
And my-unmolested-self couldn’t be more grateful.
How about you? Feel like you learned anything here today?