Monday, October 20, 2014

Ebola lesson

The American people have gotten very excited about Ebola lately.

The objective threat is real, but for Americans not so dangerous at this point.  Ebola is not all that contagious, much less so than tuberculosis, which is also quite serious.  Ebola does not appear to be contagious until people actually begin to get sick.  We don't have to believe the authorities for this; if Ebola were contagious before symptoms, it would have been completely out of hand already.

Accordingly, Senegal and Nigeria both have had a few cases, but both nations seem to have completely stopped their outbreaks.  If Senegal and Nigeria can do it, the United States can probably manage.

But people have been inventing wild threats.  I see them saying that Hizbullah and ISIS is sending Ebola-infected people here to cause an epidemic.  Never mind that there is no Ebola in Lebanon, Syria or Iraq, and that a disease that is contagious only when you're sick is a poor choice of epidemic agents.  And other details, such as Hizbullah never having shown any interest in terrorist acts in the US.

In all of this, two things stand out.

One is that people simply don't trust the Centers for Disease Control and other government agencies to level with us.  This is the main reason for panic and for the failure of facts and reason to sober people up.  The reason for this is simple: our governments lie to us all the time about everything, and for all sorts of stupid reasons.  To get us into stupid wars.  To win the upcoming election.  To keep officials from being embarrassed.  When it comes to covering up and lying about it, the Obama regime has been worse than all before it.

Another is the cynical use of the epidemic to manipulate people's fears for short-term political gain.  In particular, the Republican Party sees nothing more important here than an opportunity to find fault with Obama, as though substantive complaints can't be found!  That's not taking things seriously. 

When people see that our rulers aren't taking serious things seriously, we don't feel safe.  We may differ on which party is worse on what issue.  But we all sense that we are ruled by evil clowns, even if we dispute  which ones are more clownish and evil.

All of this brings to mind the true proverb: "Excellent speech is not fitting for a fool; much less are lying lips to a prince."  And again: "Loyalty and truth preserve the king, and he upholds his throne by righteousness."

Our rulers in every sphere despise this counsel, not only in government but in our churches, in our educational institutions, in our medical system that runs on pharma company propaganda and bribes, in our food industry oriented to ruining our health to make more money, and so much more.

Ebola is not a big deal in the US, and almost certainly never will be.  But it shows how untrusted and illegitimate our governing institutions are, since the things by which they are preserved - loyalty, truth, and righteousness - are heartily despised. 

How does each of us feel about the importance of these qualities in our own lives?

Sunday, October 12, 2014

White and black

I've been away too long, involved in other things.  Some pleasant news: settled a case that looked like it was going to hearing, and with a full-court press: two different hearings, flyering the schools, the whole thing.  Nice when all that work can be avoided.

Of course there are two or three others shaping up to take its place, but we'll see.

As some of you know, we're getting it together to move out of here, although where is still unclear.  And we're making progress.  Gayle took a ride to her storage bin and hauled a third of it back here, and we processed a good bit of it.  Today, she put on a yard sale, and we got rid of serious crap, including a huge television we never actually watched.  We now have a patch of original carpet where it sat in its stand, and the color is dramatically different from everywhere else in the house.

The stand needed cleaning, and the water came out truly black.  This got me to thinking about blackness, which in this case is clearly associated with filth.

Filth is often dark, and the color of things often gets lighter when they're cleaned.  I'm convinced that this basic fact of the universe is in the foundations of racism, and the Bible addresses this.

There is a "blackness of darkness" (Jude 13).  But not all blackness is of darkness.  For instance the names of the sons of Israel are to be engraved on two onyx stones on the high priest's breastplate.  Onyx is black.

Then, too, purity from sin is white.  But so is leprosy.  This led in the wilderness to a little lesson on racism (Numbers 12).

Moses had married a Cushite woman, yes, a schwarze.  Aaron and older sister Miriam didn't like it and grumbled about it, so God summoned all three to the tent of meeting.  God appeared in the cloud and told them that Moses had exceptional favor with God, who spoke to him face to face, and that they needed to shut up about this.  The cloud lifted, and Miriam was a leper, white as snow.  Once they got that worked out, we may be sure that white didn't seem quite so right to Aaron and Miriam anymore.

Then, too, the sign that leprosy is healed when black hair grows in the lesion (Leviticus 13:37).

So then, black and white is not the whole story.  What kind of white, or what kind of black?  In particular, if you have a problem with somebody's tan - remember Miriam.