Considerations for The Coming ‘New Normal’

Chinese Communist Party, Coronavirus, COVID-19The White House has released its three-phase plan “Opening Up America Again,” to deal with the restarting of the economy nationwide after April 30, 2020. The plan is as detailed and precautionary as possible and commits to a very measured pace of the states coming online economically with the aid of the federal government.

The task of restarting everything that has been shutdown is perhaps the most difficult task America has ever attempted. After all, it is always much easier to destroy something than to rebuild it.

Moreover, in this instance, the nation has not simply shut down the majority of the economy. America has also created some very substantial new phenomena in the efforts to hinder the damage from the Chinese Communist Party, or CCP, coronavirus.

Therefore, those who may be longing and calling for a “return to normal” are not going to see that longing fulfilled. To be clear, it is far, far too late to return to the pre-CCP coronavirus “normal” in any real sense.

We aren’t going to get back to “normal”

coronavirus, economyDuring the state-imposed national economic cessation, there have emerged a number of changes both cultural and political that could remain in practice after the threat of this latest pandemic has passed. These factors mean that we aren’t going to get back to what was considered ‘normal’ life in the future.

The most noticeable adjustments will come from the cultural side of the societal scale. Those will imprint our national psyche toward a new kind of ‘normal’ that will have both advantages and disadvantages attached.

These variations of cultural habits could range from no longer routinely greeting each other with a handshake or a hug to routinely glancing over our shoulders to determine if we are being watched by drones. After all, such overhead surveillance has already been used in more than one location in America.

When a drone identifies a group of people collected together, such as individuals quarantined in their backyard, it says, “you should not be congregating in groups.” Consequences for refusing to abide by the drones in Elizabeth, NJ include a court summons or a $1,000 fine. In Lewes, Delaware, the police department is using drones to fly over bike trails and beaches. According to a local news station, the Lewes PD Chief said the state may use the drones in the future to enforce out-of-state quarantine protocols. Anyone with an out-of-state license plate would be subject to the drone.

Another case of some rather oppressive measures comes from the great state of Montana. One county is now requiring people to wear armbands or wristbands to be able to go shopping!

In what might be one of the most over-the-top and draconian responses to coronavirus yet seen in Montana, Valley County is mandating that people wear government-issued pink arm bands in under to purchase products inside of stores. The measure, enforced by the Valley County Health Department, insists that store-owners keep customers out unless they have the pink arm-bands, which denote the customer has been in the area more than 14 days and submitted to quarantine protocol. According to the flier produced by the Valley County Health Department, out-of-towners who lack the government-issued armbands will be prohibited from stores and residents are notified to call law enforcement if they do not comply.

It is more than a little disturbing that state and local government officials feel free to violate basic constitutionally guaranteed human rights so easily. It is frightening to see how many individual citizens are willing to assist them by ratting out their neighbors.

One police officer I spoke with told me his department has gotten multiple calls reporting couples—couples!—for walking down a sidewalk without maintaining a six-foot distance. Leave aside that these couples sit on the same couches, eat at the same tables, and sleep in the same beds, presumably within six feet of each other. Assuming one of these couples actually had the virus, the responding officer who is forced to “investigate” their afternoon constitutional is likely to have contracted the virus from them, and will pass it on to whoever he interacts with for the rest of his shift.

coronavirus, economyIt seems there are always these kinds of people lurking in society who long to serve as the ‘hall monitors’ for the rest of us. Now they have been given some hopefully temporary power to be a serious nuisance for everyone else while they happily engage in restricting liberty.

However, not all the news is bad news concerning the responses to the CCP Coronavirus pandemic, whether by the government authorities or individuals in local neighborhoods. One example is that at least six states in America, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Tennessee, and Texas are planning to begin ‘reopening’ on or before April 30, 2020.

The governors of these states realize that their citizens will act responsibly with proper precautions if they are able to go back to work and that delaying reopening any longer will cause more misery than the virus ever will. I believe the results of these actions will show that reopening the economy in all the states is essential and that it must be done very soon.

One of the more encouraging local stories comes from a small creamery  in Wisconsin.

Sassy Cow Creamery, located in Columbus, Wisconsin, and owned by brothers James Baerwolf and Robert Baerwolf, is keeping a refrigerator outside the creamery that is fully stocked with milk and other dairy products. The creamery has called this refrigerator “the kindness cooler” because it is available to anyone in need, and it is open until the end of the pandemic.

The idea of getting back to normal has a tremendous amount of appeal especially considering the condition of America before the pandemic panic. However, the ideal shouldn’t be a return to normal but a movement toward a better ‘new’ normal for the future.

We must learn our lessons and re-learn our liberty for a new and better ‘normal’

There are several lessons we must learn in the light of the pandemic’s damage both to life and to liberty. One of the lessons we should learn is not to place our trust in the government and global “experts.”

Perhaps the greatest example of this was the [intentional?] incompetence of the famed World Health Organization. The W.H.O. was warned as early as the end of December 2019, that the CCP Coronavirus was a serious danger, and they ignored it in favor of Chinese talking-points.

Taiwan officials say they alerted China and the WHO on Dec. 31 that suspected human-to-human transmission of the virus was taking place in China’s Hubei province, where Wuhan is located, according to NBC News. That is the same day China first officially notified the world that the virus existed.

economy, coronavirusHad the world been aware of this threat on Dec. 31, 2019, it is certain the massive destruction of life would have been largely avoided around the globe. Moreover, the economic devastation of America and many other nations need not have happened.

In fact, I believe that once this is examined reasonably, with the correct facts, the six-week shutdown of the American economy will prove to have been one of the worst policy decisions we could have made. President Trump, you may remember, was in favor of opening up after 15 days, a blow that our economy reasonably could have weathered.

Instead, because of the insistence of the public health ‘experts’ on Vice President Pence’s Coronavirus team, the President went against his own instincts and extended the lockdown to April 30th which has brought about terrible economic consequences for tens of millions of American workers and business owners. We are now in a full-fledged Depression, a self-induced economic coma, that the federal government will have to print money by the trillions to halt and reverse, the ultimate results of which nothing is known because it’s never been done before.

The public health experts within America have also been wildly inaccurate in their predictions about the spread and lethality of the virus primarily because Drs. Fauchi and Birx have been relying upon figures produced by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation [IHME] from the University of Washington. Perhaps using figures from an organization funded by China sympathizer Bill Gates was not such a wise idea.

In addition to learning important lessons from this state-imposed nightmare, we all need to re-learn our liberty as human beings. There are some indications that many Americans are realizing this and standing up against political tyrants in various states and localities around the nation.

Justin Caruso from The Daily Caller reports, Protesters gathered Thursday in front of the Virginia State Capitol in Richmond demanding that the state be reopened. Virginians protesting stay-at-home orders due to CV are following the lead of other protesters around the country. This week, protests occurred outside state capitols in Michigan, Kentucky, and North Carolina.

Citizens must re-learn and stand up for constitutional rights especially the first and second Amendment guarantees in the Bill of Rights. Some churches are realizing this and have already been fighting local and state tinpots who wish to deny the right to assemble in worship, even while taking innovative steps, such as drive-in services for their worshippers.

Coronavirus, faith, economyThus we come to the most important liberty we must re-learn, our liberty from sin and despair through Christ. It is my hope and prayer that one of the few benefits of the lockdown has been a turn, or return for some, to a serious examination of faith in the LORD.

In the midst of this pandemic panic, fear drives many toward seeking security, but we will never find real security in the arms of the government. We cannot allow this crisis to push us to invest our total trust in the state for that road leads only to slavery.

We must instead be all the more driven toward embracing our liberty and security in Christ. Faith in His provision will carry us through any hardships that may surface in the coming ‘new’ normal and keep us free in every way.

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1 [ESV]

D. T. Osborn

Sources: The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, Crossway Bibles, 2001

Featured and Top Image courtesy of Torley’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 1 courtesy of Joshua McKenty’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 2 courtesy of Morgan’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 3 courtesy of NurseTogether.com’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 4 courtesy of Sharon Tate Soberon’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License

All other sources linked or cited in the text

Originally published at TIL Journal

 

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Freedom and Faith Must Not Be Cast Aside to Fight a Viral Foe [Video]

CCP CoronavirusThere is an old curse attributed to the Chinese that states, ‘May you live in interesting times.’ It is somewhat ironic that the entire globe is going through some very dangerous ‘interesting times’ because of the Chinese Communist Party, or CCP Coronavirus.

The obvious danger is the danger of death from the disease. The less obvious danger is what is happening within the government, particularly in America, at various levels in the name of combatting this virus.

The economic dangers were referred to in the previous piece. However, there is a far more insidious process in operation by the Leftist powers-that-be in America that holds devastating consequences for both faith and freedom worldwide should it succeed.

The Threat to Religious Faith

CCP CoronavirusThe threat to the basic 1st Amendment freedom of religion has so far been confined to various individual states that have issued “stay at home” orders to the citizenry. The order has included any gatherings of more than 10 or 5 people, and some orders are aimed at eliminating any assembly of people at all.

This means that gatherings for church services in a single building are basically forbidden by government authorities. This has come to a head especially in a couple of spots within America in the last few days.

The most publicized of these threats has come from the mayor of the most affected city in America, New York City. Mayor Bill DeBlasio directly threatened to close down places of worship, i.e. church buildings and synagogues, if they violated his orders.

…de Blasio singled out synagogues and churches saying he would shut them down if they continued to meet during the coronavirus outbreak. “[Law enforcement] will inform them they need to stop the services and disperse,” de Blasio, a Democrat, said at his March 27 press briefing. “If that does not happen, they will take additional action up to the point of fines and potentially closing the building permanently.”

It is the final word in the mayor’s statement that is tantamount to a direct violation of at least two parts of the 1st Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the freedom to worship as one sees fit, and the right to peaceably assemble. Temporary closure for a determined amount of time is acceptable, but a permanent closure is not acceptable and no one has the authority to circumvent the Constitution least of all a local mayor.

Lest you believe that this is an empty threat, take note of the arrest of one pastor who was determined to hold services despite orders such as these in other places. Moreover, this happened while such orders allow other businesses to remain open, as was seen last week in Florida.

Florida megachurch pastor Rodney Howard-Browne is defending himself after he was arrested for holding services Sunday in defiance of government orders aimed at curbing coronavirus. Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister charged him with “unlawful assembly” and “violation of public health emergency order,” but Howard-Browne’s conservative legal team, Liberty Counsel, …argued in a press release that Hillsborough County’s orders issued March 20 and 27 included exemptions and exceptions used by businesses that also should apply to the church. Staver said Howard-Browne and his Tampa church took “extra precautions” and went “above and beyond” to be in “full compliance with the administrative order which allows any business to operate under the 6-foot restriction,” [Liberty Counsel Presiedent] Staver argues. …In addition to following the 6-foot rule, the church staff wore gloves, gave every person hand sanitizer as they entered, and spent $100,000 on a hospital-grade system that provides “continuous infectious microbial reduction (CIMR) that is rated to kill microbes, including those in the coronavirus family.”

I would contend that this particular church assembly far exceeded the health requirements of Hillsborough County’s order and further I doubt any of the other businesses exempt from it could match those same precautions provided by the church. In reality, the church was in full compliance with the law except where the law forbade the assembly altogether.

Moreover, the church was also in compliance with biblical requirements. They were in submission to man’s law [Romans 13] except where that law violated the Word of God for His church.

Heb 10:23  Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. [ESV]

Threats to Second Amendment Rights

CCP CoronavirusIn various locales, the Leftist opponents of the right to keep and bear arms are using the CCP Coronavirus to justify incursions upon the Second Amendment. The two most populous states in America are in the midst of lawsuits for their attempts to close down all gun stores in California and New York.

The Trump administration recently designated gun stores as ‘essential businesses’ that should be allowed to remain open during our ‘National Emergency’ because of the CCP Coronavirus. However, both the governors of California and New York are ignoring this designation using their authority to continue to keep gun stores shuttered.

Other states such as Maine, New Jersey, and Connecticut initially tried to close gun stores, however, they realized this was unwise and have backed off of those demands. The governors in those states either have received much better legal advice than the Chief Executives of California and New York or Govs Newsom and Cuomo believe their assessments and proclamations should overrule the U.S. Constitution.

There is a natural question that surfaces from those not familiar with the importance of gun stores to 2nd Amendment rights. Gun stores are not the same as any other retail business.

A firearms purchase of almost any kind must be accompanied by a background check of the individual making the purchase. Assuming there are no problems with the check, the purchaser must go to a Federal Firearms Licensed dealer, i.e. a gun store, to pick up his merchandise.

As writer Cam Edwards explains,

Once gun stores in a state are shut down, residents of those states lose the ability to acquire arms, and in some states, they may not have the ability to purchase ammunition either. You can’t ship a gun to your home, and you can’t download a gun to your e-reader. In states that require background checks on all firearms transfers, there’s simply no legal way to acquire a firearm without going to a gun store.

During these trying times, some places are letting some criminals out of prison and allowing even some violent crimes to be committed. It is reprehensible and dangerous to use this crisis for removing an individual’s right to defend himself and his family especially with the elevated risks of the situation today.

The Threat of Government Tracking

Perhaps the most insidious threat to liberty has come in the form of a portion of a strategy proposed to combat the CCP Coronavirus in America. The following video contains a lot that has already been covered in this article.

However, the potential for widespread government surveillance as a “phase” of the battle against CCP Coronavirus, and even worse, is revealed toward the conclusion of the video.

The danger of this effort to track citizens’ movements by whatever means should be apparent. The Orwellian implications of such measures pose a grave threat to both life and liberty in the not-so-distant future.

Understand that this tracking is to be accomplished without the permission of the individuals being tracked. As Laura alluded to in the video, this smacks of ‘big brother teaming up with big business,’ and poses some frightening scenarios if we continue in the current direction.

Moreover, if the state can monitor all your movements, they can also control your movements to a level and with a preciseness that would rival the current situation in China itself, via the efforts of the CCP.

CCP CoronavirusThis cannot abide. It will indeed turn us into a “nation of snitches” as the power of the state is employed to coerce people to turn others into the government. How long before that progresses and friends turn in other friends, and perhaps family members turn against each other?

It is one thing to speak of battling against this microscopic enemy with all our resources and determination, however, any liberty-denying measures must be used only with a guarantee that they are limited and very temporary.

The trials faced by the entire globe because of the CCP Coronavirus are monumental. America must not allow her heritage of liberty to be forfeited in the war against this pandemic, or the hopes for liberty everywhere will be dashed as well.

We must instead unite as one nation under God and call upon His grace and wisdom in this hour of need. Faith and hope in Him will bring us through stronger than ever before.

Through Him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.      Romans 5:2-5 [ESV]

D.T. Osborn

Sources: The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, Crossway Bibles, 2001

Featured and Top Image courtesy of Brian Westcott’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 1 courtesy of Charles Fettinger’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 2 courtesy of Anthony Crider’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 3 courtesy of Charles Hutchins’ Flickr page – Creative Commons License

All other sources linked or cited in the text

Originally published in TIL Journal

Tehran and Havana, Models of Tyranny, Destruction, and Revolution

The current conflict between America and Iran is the rightful spotlight and concern in global news. The hope and prayers of the sensible among us are that this can be resolved peacefully, though the methods recommended by the Left and conservatives to accomplish peace are polar opposites.

While pondering what the future might hold, it occurred to me that I was aged enough to remember when America was an ally of Iran. I can recall a time when Iran was a modern western nation and former Presidents JFK, Nixon and even Jimmy Carter met with the Shah of Iran regularly.

It also occurred to me that Iran’s transition from western to a tyrannical Islamic theocracy was reminiscent of the earlier transition of Cuba from a Capitalist ally to its current Communist wasteland. For the curious, I was alive when that happened as well, but have no memory of those years concerning Cuba except the Cuban missile crisis, which captured even my childhood attention, and was all the adults around me talked about for weeks.

Havana and Tehran Before the ‘Revolutions’

Before Communism captured Cuba and prior to Islamofascism conquering Iran, Havana and Tehran were remarkably similar. Both were the leading cities of countries that flourished with free trade and generally Capitalist economies.

Both cities enjoyed an international reputation as glamorous travel destinations of the ‘rich and famous’ for exotic vacations. The hotels and other amenities were ranked as among the best in the world in their day.

One of the more fascinating ways to compare life in Havana and Tehran before their respective ‘revolutions’ comes via old photographs of people and events of those eras. Both are examples of western cultural influence within each country at the time.

Here is a photograph that was taken at a casino in Havana circa 1958. One could scarcely tell the difference between Havana and Las Vegas here.

A Havana casino. 1958.

About 20 years later, here is a photo of a group of students outside of Tehran University. If one didn’t know better, this could easily depict students at most American colleges in the 1970s.

Sporting mullet haircuts and flares, a group of friends at Tehran university pose together in the 1970s

The natural question that arises here is, “If things were so good in Cuba and Iran, why did the people revolt and overthrow their governments?” The numerous reasons one could cite can effectively be reduced to three.

One: Things were not so good for everyone during those times. There were some serious economic and social inequities between rich and poor people in both Cuba and Iran.

Two: The leadership of both nations was corrupt and had too much authority. For example, in Cuba when Fulgencio Batista, who had gained control of the Cuban Army in the 1930s, organized a military takeover in 1934 and installed Col. Carlos Mendieta as president with Batista as his chief of staff.

Batista effectively operated a military dictatorship behind the scenes for the next twenty years, and while trying to line his own pockets, also manipulated the government to check his opposition through such things as suspending constitutions and shutting down the National Congress.

The same corruption and repression were evident in the later years of the reign of the Shah of Iran.

In addition to mounting economic difficulties, sociopolitical repression by the shah’s regime increased in the 1970s… Social and political protest was often met with censorship, surveillance, or harassment, and illegal detention and torture were common.

The third main reason for both revolutions was the influence of a third party, the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, or USSR. That nation is now known as Russia.

Revolution and Russians in Cuba and Iran

USSR, Tehran, HavanaBoth Cuba and Iran gained the favor of the USSR along the way to their revolutions. For Cuba, the alliance began during World War II when Batista brought the nation into the war on the side of the Allied forces.

In 1940, Batista, then a colonel, undertook his own candidacy and defeated Grau San Martín. During his presidential term, 1940–44, Cuba entered World War II on the side of the Allies and established diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union.

The establishment of relations with the Soviets by Batista was, ironically, used to help orchestrate his removal as head of the government. When Fidel Castro and his compatriot Ernesto “Che” Guevara overthrew the Batista government in 1959, they had already acquired the aid of Communist groups that would later prove a bridge to an alliance with the Soviet Union.

Upon the ascension of Castro as the new despot,

Indiscriminate arrests, acts of torture, and executions began almost at once throughout Cuba. By May 15, 1959, some 600 people linked to the Batista government had been put to death by revolutionary courts. …Guevara would spend the following months presiding over military prisons, directing courts-martial, and making extensive tours of AsiaNorth Africa, and the Soviet Union.

In Cuba, the revolution ended up replacing a corrupt ruler who had extensive ties to organized crime in America, with an even worse Communist despot. A similar revolution took place in Iran 20 years later.

Iran’s government under the Shah was also repressive and corrupt to a large degree throughout the 1970s.

Outlets for political participation were minimal, and opposition parties such as the National Front (a loose coalition of nationalists, clerics, and noncommunist left-wing parties) and the pro-Soviet Tūdeh (“Masses”) Party were marginalized or outlawed.

That repression fueled opposition to the Shah who favored a secular western-style government, just under his own corrupt rules. As a result, some who opposed the Shah but also had favored a secular government were exiled.

Ayatollah Khomeini, IranAs the Shah’s behavior became more severe toward his opponents, the various opposition groups began to unite under the increasingly popular Ayatollah Khomeini who favored the idea of an Islamic theocracy. Among that group were the pro-Soviets of the aforementioned Tudeh Party.

Once the Ayatollah and his allies overthrew the Shah, the new Islamic Republic began to exercise harsh methods to stamp out any remaining opposition, just as Castro had done before in Cuba.

Elements within the clergy promptly moved to exclude their former left-wing, nationalist, and intellectual allies from any positions of power in the new regime, and a return to conservative social values was enforced. The Family Protection Act… which provided further guarantees and rights to women in marriage, was declared void, and mosque-based revolutionary bands known as komītehs (Persian: “committees”) patrolled the streets enforcing Islamic codes of dress and behavior and dispatching impromptu justice to perceived enemies of the revolution. …The violence and brutality often exceeded that which had taken place under the shah.

The USSR had been involved with Iran since before World War II and during that war along with England and the U.S., occupied Iran to keep the Germans at bay, even though officially Iran was a neutral nation at the time. The Brits and Americans withdrew from Iran in 1945, per agreement with Iran.

The Soviets were supposed to leave but decided to stay a few more years in order to get political guarantees for the exploitation of oil in northern Iran. The relationship between the two nations was rocky, especially during the 1950s when the Shah was courting closer relations with America as well as the USSR.

When the Shah was forced into exile and ended up in America in 1979, this led the Khomeini government to capture and hold American hostages in the embassy in Tehran. It also led to a new era of cooperation with the Soviets, who took full advantage of their prior connections with Iran as well as the pro-Soviet revolutionary groups in Iran.

The plenary session of the Tudeh Party’s (or PPI, People’s Party of Iran) Central Committee, which took place in East Berlin in late February 1979, declared its full support for the idea of creating an Islamic Republic in Iran. The Soviet leadership was likewise attracted by the anti-American mood of the new authorities… it was the USSR ambassador who was the first foreign envoy to be received by Ayatollah Khomeini (Ḵomeyni) after the Islamic Revolution.

Cuba and Iran Today

1971: Cuban prime minister Fidel Castro speaking at a press conference. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

Things in both Cuba and Iran have gone from bad to worse in the years since their revolutions. Both nations have grown less free, poorer, and now suffer under new generations of the Castros and the Ayatollahs.

Both nations are also still close and connected with Russia, and receive support from them including military support. Most are well aware by now that a Russian-made missile recently shot down a Ukrainian airliner over Iran, however, the military support for Cuba by Russia is ongoing if less publicized.

One example comes from an announcement made in 2017.

Anatoly Punchuk, deputy director of the Federal Technical Cooperation Service of Russia, announced that Russia is aiding its longtime ally with the “modernization of the defense industry of Cuba.” …According to the information offered by Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian-Cuban military cooperation program, Dmitri Rogozin, the agreement runs the gamut “from civilian technologies to military, from high technologies to simple things.”

Russia is still heavily invested in Cuba for many reasons and still views American proximity to the island as a hostile presence. Moreover, in that same year of 2017, high-level Russian officials were advocating reopening a Russian military and spy facility in Havana that has been converted into part of a college campus.

“Our base on Cuba, naval and aviation, should exist. It’s a key issue,” demanded Frants Klintsevich, deputy head of the Russian senate’s defence and security committee, according to Interfax news agency. Russia should decisively react to the placing of US missile defence systems around its borders, he claimed.

Russia’s ties with Iran continue to grow closer, especially since President Trump took the U.S. out of the so-called ‘Iran Nuclear Deal’ brokered by the Obama administration. As noted in the New Yorker online in 2018,

The Trump Administration’s decision to challenge the 2015 Iran nuclear deal now carries a broad geostrategic price. The relationship between Moscow and Tehran—once tactical militarily, coldly calculating diplomatically, and practical economically—has been converted into a growing strategic partnership. Vladimir Putin’s relentless quest to make Russia a superpower again is part of it; Iran’s goal is just to be a player again. Since President Trump took office, in 2017, Moscow and Tehran have shared increasingly common bonds: growing tensions with Washington and a quest to expand spheres of influence in the Middle East.

This brief survey of the historical similarities between the situations in Cuba and Iran is meant to hopefully teach us some lessons about the fate of nations. For, as has been famously noted, “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

What Is to Be Learned?

Inset.4.1.13.2020History can be either a kind or cruel teacher. The fortunes of the people in Cuba and Iran today are a result of many factors, but perhaps the most important is the failure to learn from the mistakes of their own history.

Neither nation has yet learned a way to escape the cycle of tyranny breeding revolution that results in even more tyranny and will inevitably foster more revolution. Why not? Because after each revolution virtually unchecked power is given to a handful of leaders while the population remains essentially powerless against their whims.

In every historical case of this in Cuba and Iran, their leaders never give up their power voluntarily even if the overwhelming majority of the masses are suffering and pleading and even demanding that they step down. Moreover, real opposition to tyrannical leaders is met with violent and bloody measures against which the populace is helpless.

A more specific lesson to be learned is simple; don’t let the Russians get involved! As has been noted, Russia has been instrumental in both nations’ revolutions as well as aiding in crushing the opposition to either the Castros or the Ayatollahs.

Moreover, as an aside, particularly in the case of these particular countries, the actions of President Trump, especially in recent days but actually throughout his term of office so far should forever put to rest the ludicrous claim that he is ‘Putin’s puppet.’ Every diplomatic and military move by this president has been detrimental to the aims of Vladimir Putin and Russia.

These last several days have seen some rather remarkable historical events take place in Iran. The latest of these is the enormous protests renewed in Iran against their supreme leader and the Islamofascistic government in response to the missile strike on the civilian Ukrainian airliner.

The courage of the protesters in Iran is astounding in the wake of 1500 protesters who were slaughtered by the IRGC just two months ago. As has been the case recently in Hong Kong, these ordinary Iranian people are risking life and limb for a chance at liberty and a slice of self-determination.

Inset.5.1.13.2020Thus in both Hong Kong and Iran, protesters are symbolically embracing symbols of freedom such as the American flag in their quests. The same thing is true in a different manner with the resistance movement in Cuba, which has resurfaced during the era of President Trump.

Cubans who have rejected Castro’s dictatorship have coalesced their efforts as exiles from the island who reside primarily in Florida. Their determination for freedom was well expressed last September in an article by a spokesman for the Cuban Democratic Directorate.

The rejection of the Castro regime is deep and resolute for a majority of the Cuban population inside and outside the island. Above all, it is a serious political error to underestimate the level of conviction of the Cuban diaspora. It constitutes an intergenerational commitment imbricated with the community’s very identity. It will neither wither nor dilute while the repressive conditions that caused the separation of thousands of Cuban families from their homeland remain.

Indeed, the longing for freedom is embedded within the human soul. Humanity was created in God’s image by God who cherishes the value of liberty and grants free will to us as a result.

Thus the question is how can the struggle for such freedom achieve lasting success in these and other repressive nations around the world. The solutions are straightforward but hardly easy because they involve a wholesale change in the approach of those who struggle against tyranny after they have won.

For one thing, the pre-revolution despots cannot be replaced by despots who happen to also be part of the revolt. This just starts the destructive cycle all over again.

Secondly, the formation of a new government must put the law above the whims of any official, even the darlings of the revolution. The key is to give that idea some teeth by giving the common people the equivalent of the Second Amendment guaranteeing the right of the people to bear arms, as America’s founders realized in the wake of the Revolutionary War.

Finally, the people of those nations must acknowledge the presence and power of God Almighty and undergird every effort by calling upon Him in prayer. Acquiring physical liberty will never satisfy unless liberty for the soul is also present, and that only comes through embracing Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and placing Him in charge of the heart.

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, Luke 4:18 [ESV]

D.T. Osborn

Sources: The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, Crossway Bibles, 2001

Featured and Top Image courtesy of Jonas Forth’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 1 courtesy of Alexsey Fyodoroff’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 2 courtesy of babeltravel’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 3 courtesy of Periodico ahora!’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 4 courtesy of Charles Fettinger’sFlickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 5 courtesy of Scio Central School Website’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License

All other sources linked or cited in the text

Originally published in TIL Journal

 

The Evil Insanity of Gender Identity, Part Three: Legitimizing Lunacy and Dissolving Sexuality

LGBT, Gender Identity

In part one of this series, we explored how the children who are pushed into ‘transitioning’ from one sex to another are exploited and victimized. Part two was a glimpse at the damage done to society overall by the ‘trans-rights’ movement.

As this aberrant movement has grown in influence in society, the push to legitimize ‘trans-rights’ has rapidly moved beyond cultural acceptance and now reaches to acquire the federal status of law. As noted in this journal, the first stage of the process is already finished with the passage of HR-5 in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The bill was sent on to the Senate in May of this year, where it now sits in the Judiciary Committee and no further action has been taken. No hearings or debates or votes have yet taken place.

Making Lunacy a Legitimate “Right”

Inset.1.11.17.2019The goal of the ‘trans-rights’ community is not the social acceptance of their cause. As important as this is, it is merely one step toward the goal.

The real goal is to make the cause socially ascendant so that ‘transgenderism’s’  claim as some sort of ‘civil right’ is both culturally and legally established. For the Left, whether that conforms to scientific or moral norms is irrelevant to accomplishing that end.

In the previous parts of this series, we have observed how ‘trans-rights’ advocacy and claims have asserted themselves in the areas of family court, women’s sports, and public education. Regulations and the law have been used to promote ‘transgenderism’ as a civil right in each of these areas.

However, since this movement isn’t scientifically or morally correct, the Left’s favorite new social activists, ‘trans-rights’ proponents, began their legal maneuvering by taking aim at the language. Thus was born the epic redefinition of gender as expressed in pronouns.

The Left decided that no longer should anyone be allowed to use the designation “he” or “she” to speak to or about someone who claimed they were ‘transitioning’ from one sex to another. This materialized at a national level in Canada in 2016.

One of the most infamous defiers of this Canadian law is Dr. Jordan Peterson. He has decided that he will not comply with a law that requires him to state what is untrue as if it were true.

In an article about Canada’s Federal Bill C16, Peterson writes that as a part of a video series,

I also indicated my refusal to apply what are now known as “preferred” pronouns to people who do not fit easily into traditional gender categories (although I am willing to call someone “he” or “she” in accordance with their manner of self-presentation).

Inset.2.11.17.2019He also goes on to point out in 2016, that such legal lunacy was already beginning a legislative creep into America.

If you are wondering, reasonably, why any of this might be relevant to Americans, you might note that legislation very similar to Bill C-16 has already been passed in New York City.  Authorities there now fine citizens up to $250,000 for the novel crime of “mis-gendering” — referring to people by any words other than their pronouns of choice (including newly constructed words such as zie/hir, ey/em/eir and co).

Other cities and states have been following suit with enacting ‘misgendering’ legislation. In one example from October of 2017, the California legislature passed, and the Governor signed into law,

SB 219 …was introduced by state senator Scott Weiner (D-San Francisco) and sponsored by Equality California. It penalizes senior healthcare workers who “misgender” any patients identifying as transgender by failing to address the patient by their preferred gender pronouns. Any employees who “willfully or repeatedly violate” SB 219 could be charged with a misdemeanor and subject to punishment of a $1000 fine, or even up to one year in jail.

The battlefront of labor law has not been neglected by ‘trans-rights’ advocates in America. Recently, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission decided to embrace the ‘gender identity’ movement.

the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) interpreted Title VII Sex Discrimination to include the transgender population, and this radically changes employment. …the EEOC believes that a transgender woman should be allowed to use the common women’s restroom, and when not allowed, this is considered disparate treatment. Intentional misgendering or misuse of a transgender employee’s new pronoun or name could also be considered sex discrimination.

Since the language has to change on the pronoun level, it follows that public facilities must also change their designations, i.e. ‘men’s’ or ‘women’s’ restrooms or locker rooms, to reflect the official policy of lunacy in action. It is ironic that should these efforts prove successful, the end result will be the insane dissolution of human sexual nature forever.

Human Sexual Identity Is Dissolved by Gender ‘Fluidity’

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Gender Identity Map with over 100 different divisions

The main premise of the Left’s ‘trans-rights’ crowd is the notion that gender is twofold. First, gender is not a biological designation, it is merely a “social construct” that can and should be ignored.

Second is the belief that gender is somehow ‘fluid’ in nature. That is, gender is not simply male or female but rather exists in a range between these two and can move like a fluid from one pole to another, or settle anywhere in between.

Therefore, when a person is born, their sexual identity is not identified, it is “assigned” and need not be that person’s ‘actual’ identity. In fact, that is what motivates other legislation such as Oregon’s law that one’s designation on a driver’s license or state identification or birth certificate can be marked “x” in place of “m” or “f”.

This legal option is not limited to Oregon alone. Other states with similar laws include California, Washington, Maine, Minnesota, Arkansas, Colorado, Maryland, and Massachusetts, with New Hampshire, Hawaii and, Pennsylvania set to enact such measures in 2020.

What seems to go unrecognized is the logical implication of accepting the ‘trans-rights’ claim upon the people that designate themselves as LGBT rights proponents. For if the ‘gender is fluid’ thesis is accepted, all of human sexuality is called into question.

The ‘binary’ nature of human sexual identity is antithetical to transgenderism, as has already been noted. That being so, any claim that only males are gay, or that only a female could be a lesbian, or even that anyone could be bisexual is rendered null and void.

The claim of the ‘transgendered’ person that gender is fluid means that one might claim they are a gay man today, but tomorrow claim that they are instead a “male lesbian.” In other words, if gender fluidity is real it must always be fluid which means that gender identity can never be settled.

Inset.4.11.17.2019Incidentally, the concept of someone being a “male lesbian” is a real thing and was written about a long time ago in psychology circles. A Montana State University professor who is now retired defined a “male lesbian” in 1987 as,

a heterosexual man who wishes that he had been born a woman, but who (even if he had been a woman) could only make love to another woman and never to a man. Unlike the transsexual, the “male lesbian” does not feel himself to be “a woman trapped inside the body of a man”.

It cannot be that gender fluidity is a temporary reality for anyone if the ‘trans-rights’ advocates are correct. That would mean that ‘gender identity’ is a choice, or a preference, rather than a fact of existence.

This also contradicts the long-held claim by gay-rights activists that homosexuality is not a preference but an inherent condition and thus not able to be changed. If transgender ideas are accepted, one could be a lesbian, a gay male, and perhaps even bisexual within mere moments depending on one’s mindset at the time.

The absurdity of this concept should be apparent but is it less absurd than the idea that “male lesbians” are a real thing? The evil of the ‘gender identity’ offensive is the attempt to force insanity upon everyone who doesn’t believe the lunacy.

‘Gender fluidity’ only dissolves all other categories of gender to create a chaotic mass of madness. That is the logical result of allowing disturbed and irrational minds to determine truth and reality, and it must be shown for the danger that it poses to our children, our society, and to our freedom to speak out and oppose its destructive delusion.

You felt secure in your wickedness; you said, “No one sees me”; your wisdom and your knowledge led you astray, and you said in your heart, “I am, and there is no one besides me.” But evil shall come upon you, which you will not know how to charm away; disaster shall fall upon you, for which you will not be able to atone; and ruin shall come upon you suddenly, of which you know nothing. Isaiah 47:10-11 [ESV]

D.T. Osborn

Sources: The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, Crossway Bibles, 2001

Featured and Top Image courtesy of Mike’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 1 courtesy of Christopher Sessums’ Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 2 courtesy of Gage Skidmore’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 3 courtesy of Ant Smith’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 4 courtesy of Heather’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

All other sources linked or cited in the text

Originally published in TIL Journal

Quote (Human rights)

“The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is one of our present world’s greatest blessings. It has drastically reduced the practice of impunity which had been the order of the day for many centuries, whereby the strong exploited and trampled on the weak with impunity. But while we celebrate this milestone achievement, the international community has to watch out lest in trying to solve one problem, this momentous instrument may create another one. Many people may be tempted to take the cover of fighting for their rights to violate the rights of others.” (Romilia quotes)