We grieve and mourn with the family, friends and colleagues of the 2018 Valentines’ Day massacre of 17 students and teachers at the Marjory Stone Douglas High School in Parkland Florida. We pray for the safe recovery of those injured in the massacre. We pray for the overarching peace that only God can provide for the millions of students, faculty, parents, families and fellow-Americans who have been traumatized by this horrific incident. We pray for the murderer who survived the incident and who, unlike his victims who were caught by surprise, still has the opportunity to consciously make things with his Maker before he dies.
That said, we do not have the power to change the past. We have the duty to determine the future. We agree with those who say “Now Is The Time” to take action. We condemn all attempts to “kick the can down the road”. But we also understand that we are in a battle for the very soul of our nation, and as such, we know that all the Spiritual Forces of evil are arrayed against us. If the victory we seek is not to elude us, we must strategically analyze the enemy and evaluate his power and resources, so that we can effectively arm ourselves to do battle. Just as it is laughable to take a sledge hammer to catch a fly, so it must be unthinkable to do even think of doing battle against the Forces of Evil, without first aligning ourselves and fully exploiting the resources of the Forces of Good. While we focus our fire on the President, Congress, State and Local Government apparatus, we must guard against allowing the cancer of hate and uncontrolled anger to infect our minds as we attach faces and names to those who have fought hard to achieve the privilege of serving us in the White House, Congress, State House, Mayoral Offices and elsewhere. But we must also be aware that evil Spiritual Forces are powerless in the absence of human operatives who make themselves available to be used by Evil Forces.
And perhaps there is no better case in point than our current situation. The Devil does not have hands and feet and the ability to pull the trigger of an assault rifle aimed at innocent victims. But Nikolas Cruz did. We know that Nikolas Cruz meticulously planned the massacre, and his escape, almost ‘perfectly’. We know that Nikolas Cruz pulled the trigger. But we also know that Nikolas Cruz said, “I’m sorry”, and, in his chains in the aftermath, looked the part. Let us be unequivocal in assigning the guilty verdict to Nikolas Cruz. But do not allow the Devil who controlled him to escape unscathed. Believe me, our nation is daily grooming thousands of replacements for Nikolas Cruz, who, wittingly or unwittingly, are in the wings waiting to be used by the Devil for evil. If the Russians can use and control Americans “unwittingly” to perpetrate evil in our nation, how much more can the Devil use Russians and Americans “unwittingly” to advance the agenda of evil. And if the Devil and the Russians can effectively use Americans “unwittingly” for evil, how much more effective and dangerous will be those who are used “wittingly”.
That said, there are both the dynamics and the mechanics of the problem. One outstanding component in the mechanics of the problem is Gun Control. This must be addressed. But it would be counter-productive to assume that there is a simple solution. That would be the case if all Americans were of one mind on the matter. For even when the overwhelming majority favor Gun Control, there is the very wealthy and powerful NRA, gun manufacturers and others who see any attempt at Gun Control as an erosion of their profit margins. We all know that they use the 2nd Amendment as a camouflage for their true motivation, but we are forced to accept that the 2nd Amendment cannot be ignored. Therefore whereas the nation says, “yes” to Gun Control, it will require skillful negotiation coupled with aggressive mobilization to achieve meaningful progress in determining the details of Gun Control. But let there be no mistake about our resolve and capacity for change. We will achieve meaningful change… and in the frequently used words of our President, “in a short period of time”.
The second of many other components of the mechanics of the problem is the acknowledgment and national response to the scourge of mental illness in America. If you want to get a grasp of how big the problem is, just consider this statement from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).
- “Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S.—43.8 million, or 18.5%—experiences mental illness in a given year.1
- Approximately 1 in 25 adults in the U.S.—9.8 million, or 4.0%—experiences a serious mental illness in a given year that substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities.2
- Approximately 1 in 5 youth aged 13–18 (21.4%) experiences a severe mental disorder at some point during their life. For children aged 8–15, the estimate is 13%.3 [https://www.nami.org/learn-more/mental-health-by-the-numbers]
This 1 in 5 statistic suggests that if you are part of a family or group of 5 people, and the other 4 are not mentally ill, then you are. Here is the problem. By just reading out my last sentence aloud, I find myself laughing, and not because it is a joke. But because very few persons can claim that their conscious experience validates these statistics. The problem is similar to that experienced by a pilot who is flying his or her plane at night and as such, cannot make use of sight. That pilot has to trust the instruments to indicate the reality. The problem is that it is frequently possible for the pilot’s feelings and suspicions and hunches to conflict with the information readout of the instruments. In those moments, the pilot must choose whether to rely on his/her feelings or on the instruments. Pilots who land safely, rely on their instruments.
It is an understatement to say that Mental Illness is a huge and complex subject. What are the different divisions and sub-divisions, and sub-sub-divisions of mental illness? Is mental health the opposite of mental illness, or is it the antidote for mental illness? How much of mental illness is hereditary, and as such, beyond our immediate control? How much of it is artificially created and/or facilitated by the Pharmaceutical Industry and their “unwitting” sponsors in the medical profession? And do not allow the obvious to escape your attention. The NRA and gun manufacturers on the one hand, and the Pharmaceutical Industry on the other hand, both worship at the altar of money… big, big, money. And everybody knows that “money makes the mare go”… and in the case of some of our Politicians, gallop! Laws that allow Politicians to mask or obscure their source of funding, and that remove limits on the amount of funding must be repealed… in a very short period of time. If not, our elected leaders, with or without the help of Russia, will be, and already in many cases, have been reduced to mascots and puppet pipers who play the tune of those who pay them.
But despite its complexity, we can, and we will break down the Mental Illness challenge into some very readily identifiable basics. And having done so, there are some very basic common-sense actions that we can take, and these we will take by force, if necessary. And again in the words of our President, “in a very short period of time”.
IGun Control and Mental Illness were the only challenges that we face, the task ahead would be daunting, but predictably addressable, at least in part, “in a short period of time”. But there is much, much more. In many life examples, our greatest strengths and our greatest weaknesses cohabit the same trait. America’s greatest strengths reside in and are fueled by our Constitution. The same is true of our greatest weaknesses. It is convenient to invoke the Constitution to reinforce the liberties and protections that make us strong. But lurking on the same pages are the provisions for spawning of our greatest pitfalls. To illustrate this, we need not look beyond our First and Second Amendments. For this reason the most lucrative profession in America is law because our Constitution provides the fodder for a feeding frenzy caused by complex, conflicting interpretations of our Constitution and related law. That is not the case in Singapore, which by the way has a GDP per Capita (PPP) of $90,500.00 compared to America’s $59,500 according to the CIA’s World FACTBOOK.
This means that consensus in America is seldom achieved by argument. Hopefully the emotional energy created by the 2018 Valentine’s Day massacre and all the other massacres that have preceded it will erode some of the national callouses that we have created, cultivated and cultured in our relatively short history as the United States of America.
NATIONAL SPIRITUAL & MORAL COMPASS
Finally, though by no means at the end of an exhaustive list of mechanics of our problem, we must review the role that our national moral and spiritual compass plays. Let me cut to the chase. America has none. The truth is that we have many-a-focus (oxymoron), but by definition, our lack of moral and spiritual focus deprives us of a focus, which by definition must be singular. I played no part in the founding of this great Nation of the USA, and I suspect, neither did you. It is therefore instructive for all of us to studiously delve into our history to learn about our origins, and in doing do, meticulously avoid the mine-fields of revisionary history that enemies of truth have planted along the way.
AMERICA’S CHRISTIAN HERITAGE
The 13 colonies that formed the United States were governed by decisively Christian Charters, Manifestos and Constitutions. The problem was, and perhaps still is, that unlike the Muslims and other Religions of significant size, Christianity has always been fractured in its external structure in main part because of the principles of freedom and absence of compulsion on which it is built by its Founder. Therefore “Denominationalism” is a word on which Christianity has a virtual monopoly. At the time of the founding of our Nation, different Colonies had majority or minority identification with the Puritan, Anglican, Roman Catholic, Protestant, Evangelists, Baptist, Episcopalian, Presbyterian, Unitarian and Congregationalist versions or denominations of Christianity. Human nature actively worked against tolerance, and awful penalties were paid by those who found themselves in a minority denomination. In fact, not only did birds of a feather flock together, but Christians of a particular denominational persuasion often sought refuge in Colonies that had a majority of persons sharing their views.
It was in this context that a part of the challenge that faced the Framers of the National Constitution was to decide which of the Denominations of Christianity would be the official, or even dominant Religion in the United States of America. In their wisdom, the Framers finally decided that in the administration and operation of the Federal Government, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” This right already resided with the States and was intended to remain there. And so it did, until one by one, individual States voluntarily abolished Religious Tests for holding office at the State level. History Revisionists in quoting the First Amendment, have consistently sought to undermine the historical reality of America’s Christian heritage. And after the Civil War Amendments effectively eroded many of the rights of the States and irretrievably assigned them to the Federal Government, the Christian character of both the Federal Government and the States was dealt an almost fatal blow.
Fast-forward to the 21st Century and the United States of America has sacrificed its founding Christian identity on the altar of religious tolerance resulting in our having no dominant moral, spiritual compass by which we are guided. The remnants of our Christian heritage are still all around us. The Ten Commandments and Prayer have been removed from all but some of our Private Schools, although the House and the Senate still subject themselves to the formality. And I guess, the Supreme Court, having removed the 10 Commandments from display on public buildings, cannot yet afford to remove it from their own building. And it is paradoxical that a country that is ruled by, and worships the “almighty” dollar, still permits the inscription, “In God We Trust” on our currency.
VACUUMS MUST BE FILLED
So here is the problem. When as a nation, we remove the Judeo-Christian Foundations that provided our moral, spiritual compass, and replace them with nothing, we embark on a collision course with nature itself, which abhors a vacuum. In our ill-conceived attempt to accommodate and tolerate all Religions, we have sacrificed our own. But because nature abhors a vacuum, our voluntary removal of our Bible-based Christian values from the Public Sphere has resulted in the involuntary intrusion of alternatives that we otherwise would not have countenanced. There is absolutely no contradiction in a Muslim country like Saudi Arabia, or a Jewish country like Israel, tolerating the free exercise of Christianity, without Saudi Arabia and Israel losing their respective Muslim and Jewish identities. The United States of America commendably accommodates every Religion on earth as well as Atheism and Satanism, but now has no religious identity of its own. We have no single, indisputable moral and spiritual compass by which our Nation is guided.
Make no mistake, it is very easy to prove that we are spiritual beings in a changing physical body. As spiritual beings we will be controlled by spiritual authority. But we have a choice. We can choose to allow ourselves to be controlled by the Spiritual forces of good or evil. But rest assured, as we daily make that choice, the evidence of our choice will be clear for all to see. In ditching our Spiritual, moral compass we have reneged on our God-given imperative to train up our children in the way they should go, so that they will not depart from it when they grow older. We have tampered with the moral absolutes of right and wrong in the name of humanistic expression of individuality and replaced them with the illusion of moral relativity. We have challenged the ultimate authority of God and entered into bargains with the Devil. Then we pretend to be surprised when the Devil reveals and delivers his end of the bargain.
But our failure does not have to be final. As a Nation, and as individuals, we still have choices. Like the Children of Israel, we are still being presented with the ultimate universal choice between good and evil, God and the Devil. Let us make this “Never Again” movement be the fulcrum on which our Nation’s future will pivot. Let us not relegate it to a mere removal of legal guns and replacement with illegal guns; removal of long guns and replacement with short guns; replacement of White Supremacy and replacement with Black Supremacy; removal of overt racism and replacement with covert racism. Let us remember and reinforce the strengths of our heritage, and repeal and never repeat the low tides in our journey. As a Nation we know better. Let us do better.
Now let the discussion begin. Let the decisions follow. Let us fast-forward actions and implement decisions. Let us build on the strengths of this magnificent country and make America greater than she has ever been!