Sunday, October 25, 2020

Two Paths to Tyranny

Election 2020 has been interesting to say the least, and as we count down to Election Day, I feel like I have both so much and so little to say. I doubt we’ll know when the election results will be clear and what they may bring. I believe it likely that some people will seize the opportunity to sow further civil discord, hoping and praying that I’m wrong. I can see so many possibilities, but only one thing is certain: God is Sovereign. His will be done!

Two extreme possibilities exist, and many things in between.

I look to the Left and see a potential victory that would immediately distribute soma to a populace tired of fighting while rapidly solidifying a power-base so secure that an anomaly like MAGA could never happen again. America would be reorganized with a new constitution, and while it may not be called “socialist” it would be indistinguishable from the “communist menace” feared by past generations. I could envision rebel pockets of resistance emerging, fighting for an ideal from a bygone era. 

I look to the Right and see the Left-leaning media again surprised by a landslide GOP victory, one that aggressively weeds out the corruption in media, education and politics, which in its zeal to drain the swam silences voices of reason and compassion. I could envision violence erupting in the streets to protest the election outcome as leftist rhetoric inundates mainstream news and social media feeds. 

And in the middle, I see a people that is so divided in what it values that whether the visions above are long-term or short-term possibilities, they will yet be inescapable… unless we come together in what we value and agree to principles that support those values.

What do we value as a nation? Are these worthy values?

The question is not how far we have strayed or where have we failed to live up to those values. It is in the foundation of what do we choose to value moving forward. Once upon a time, the motto E Pluribus Unum meant something, yet as I read posts and prayers for Unity, I question if most people understand what that means. E Pluribus Unum is a Latin phrase that means One from Many. That is a unity that brings people together under a common banner, a common set of values. However, Unity without vision is a road to tyranny, that calls everyone to tow the party line whether it is to the far left or the far right. Unity under a common set of values is what made America a nation that became One from Many. 

Yet now, we are a nation divided, where the values and principles of the Left and the Right are in such stark contrast that any call for true unity is impossible. We cannot be unified in word only; unity can only be cemented in a common set of values.

What does that mean for the future of our nation and how can we respond to this challenge?

Do we even know what we value? Do we believe what we value? Our behavior is an indicator what we believe, but our beliefs are both conscious and unconscious. Our values and will either shape our beliefs or succumb to beliefs that have yielded to mindless habits. Human beings cannot live in constant cognitive dissonance, where our behavior is inconsistent to what we believe. It’s our nature to rationalize our inappropriate behavior to be consistent with what we believe, often allowing our beliefs to change because of our misbehavior. In this downward spiral to depravity, we rationalize our errors to eventually tout them as praiseworthy. This is the path to the reprobate mind. It is the prevailing culture in America.

But there is another path, one where our values shape our beliefs and guide our behavior. Foundational to any set of values is spirituality. Spirituality is not religion, although religious structures are used to promote spirituality. Even atheists are spiritual, filled with a set of secular beliefs that drive their actions. Marx was such an atheist, and he proclaimed that religion is the opiate of the public. It’s true that religion has historically been used to enslave and oppress people. Yet this nation was founded upon a belief in the Judeo-Christian God by a people who were themselves fleeing religious tyranny. Their experience under religious oppression shaped a value for religious liberty. Do you see the difference in perception: Marx saw religion as the source of oppression, but our founding fathers rightly saw religious liberty as an empowering principle of this nation. 

The Founding Fathers valued God and His ways, and while the constitution is not the direct revelation of God, it reflects the values of Judeo-Christian scriptures and provides practical techniques to curb the corrupt nature of mankind. These practices worked for a couple hundred years, staving off tyranny’s reign and even self-correcting to recognize the rights of all people, regardless of race or gender. So where did we start to diverge on the two paths to Tyranny? When we removed the free expression of belief in God from public places!

It was only a matter a time for our nation to splinter once we no longer valued public expression of religious belief. If God is Sovereign, then man is not, and consequently a person is called to humbly play their part to reflect God’s ways with whatever power or influence they have been granted. But if the question of God’s Sovereignty is irrelevant, then the most powerful man becomes king and his will the law of the land. It is a path to tyranny, and the only way back is through a common set of values as described by the only One Who has ever been fully good and fully God, the Author and Creator of what is truly right. 

America will no longer be beautiful if it worships any other set of values. 

When I vote this year, it will be to restore those ideals that made us into a beautiful nation. It will not be for a man or a political party. I will vote for religious liberty and for the lives of every one of our people. I will vote to cleanse our nation of its corruption and pray for greater ability in this cause. May God help us, cleanse us and heal us!




copyright ©2020 Mitchell Malloy (http://mitchellmalloyblogspot.com/)

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Flashback: You Are Why

This week, I felt like it would be better to revisit this blog post. It’s really important to remind God’s people that it really is all about you.


See my 10 year old warning and join me in confession and a change in lifestyle so that we Return to God like never before because something is happening in this nation... and God's people are the reason!

copyright ©2020 Mitchell Malloy (http://mitchellmalloyblogspot.com/


Saturday, October 10, 2020

Pro-Life Dialogue Anti-Patterns


There’s a new meme by “Progressive” thinkers that attempts to shame Pro-Life advocates into silence, calling them a hypocrite if they don’t actively campaign for the well-being of children and yet claim to be Pro-Life. This meme follows a pattern of many “Progressive” narratives that shut down any any meaningful conversation about an issue. It is what I would call an anti-pattern for effective dialogue.

What is an anti-pattern? It started off as a software engineering term, and it means something that may be commonly used but is actually ineffective or counterproductive when practiced. (see https://www.yourdictionary.com/antipattern) So a dialogue anti-pattern is one that shuts down discourse on a topic. I suppose if you want to shut down conversation, dialogue anti-patterns are an effective tool, but they are counterproductive to building healthy relationships. Some examples of these anti-patterns include: physical violence; verbal assault, attacking the character, motivation or credibility of your colleague; mocking opposing viewpoints; changing topics without resolving issues; and focusing on edge cases to divert attention from areas of agreement. Every dialogue anti-pattern impedes civil discourse and many destroy relationships.

We’ve seen the destruction of civil discourse growing in Social Media as well as mainstream news, politics and alarmingly in public. It’s unhealthy and needs to stop, and for each of us to be effective in building relationships, we need to avoid the anti-patterns. We should treat everyone with respect and consideration, seeking to focus the conversation on one topic at a time. The truth is that not everyone who embraces these memes is trying to shut down dialogue. Admittedly, some people are only interested in pushing an agenda, but most people have good intentions. Treating people with respect even as we boldly disagree is the only way to discover truth together. Some people may never embrace truth, but if it’s presented in a loving and respectful way, others may discover the truth over a period of time.

So back to the meme I mentioned: how can we respond to the claim that Pro-Lifers who don't equally advocate for the well-being of mothers and children are hypocrites? Perhaps we need to first listen and paraphrase so that they can understand we hear what they are communicating. We may acknowledge that these are important issues and ask thoughtful questions about the specific issues that need stronger advocates. We can even ask why they assumed you would disagree with them on these important issues.

If they believe we understand where they are coming from, they may be open to healthy discourse. If they aren't then the conversation may only benefit observers, but if they are willing to have a healthy conversation, we can point out that before we can even talk about the well-being of a person, they need to be alive. Life is foundational. There is a priority of the values that this nation was founded upon: the Creator endowed each of us with the right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. But how can we advocate for the happiness of an individual if they don’t first have the liberty to pursue it? How can we advocate for the liberty of an individual if they are no longer living? There is a priority in these values: Life, then Liberty, then the Pursuit of Happiness. Also, there are limits to our rights; no one should be allowed to pursue happiness at the expense of another person’s rights. 

So our conversation about "Abortion rights" shouldn't discuss edge cases until we’ve reached agreement on the majority of abortions. Is an embryo a human life? Is a newborn a human life? Is someone with profound disabilities a human life? All may be incapable of living on their own without assistance from others, yet the cells of each of these carry a code that says “human”. They are, each of them, people who need protection.

The edge cases are more difficult. When we talk about the edge cases, such as when a mother's life is in danger, it is clearly a case of life versus life, and the individual conscience of the mother needs to be respected. The edge cases of rape and incest have so many factors that could be a case of life versus life given the emotional trauma involved. Innocents have already been hurt and we need to come alongside to bring healing and restoration. If it were me, I'd have no laws in these edge cases other than to allocate resources to help women in these awful situations.

God values His creation and has made mankind in His image to love God and love each other. Male and female God created us, and God values the innocent, especially those who cannot care for themselves. Throughout the Old and New Testament, He demonstrates His desire for us to protect those who cannot protect themselves, to provide for those who have severe limitations. And when we murder the innocent or allow the murder of innocents, He tells us that there will eventually be a judgement. 

Who is more in need of protection than a baby? 

Since 1973 ~60 million lives have been lost to abortion. In a country with ~300 million people, we have lost 1 in 6 of the population He envisioned for America. What countless opportunities to love and be loved have been lost? What grand innovations were never instantiated? How many women have struggled with depression over the loss of a child they were convinced would ruin their life rather than help complete it? How many men have chosen to live as grown-up boys because they never manned-up to a life of responsibility? 

It’s not that I don’t care about the well-being of anyone. It’s that life is foundational to the well-being of everyone! 

It seems so obvious to me: how can anyone claim to support the well-being of anyone if they first don’t value human life? 

Father forgive me and my countrymen for what we have allowed and show us how to respond in love and truth and strength!

copyright ©2020 Mitchell Malloy (http://mitchellmalloyblogspot.com/

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Chip and Mark

“Hey Babe, you’re back! So was it as bad as you thought?” 

“Look, I wasn’t nervous about a shot! I was just mad that they want to force me to get it… and no, I didn’t… I mean, I haven’t…”

“What? You backed out? Seriously! Did you even go!? Where have you been all this time!”

“Look honey… Umm. Sit down with me, will you? I’m still processing this thing. It was… different. I wasn’t expecting... I… give me a minute to collect my thoughts, okay?”

Mark sat down on the couch and patted the place next to him, imploring with his eyes for Sophia to join him. He was gone for so long, she had just assumed he needed time to build up the nerve to get the shot, but now she realized he must have been working up how to talk with her about this… whatever this was.

“What’s wrong?” she asked, much more calmly than she felt. She snuggled next to him, wrapped his arm across her torso and leaned in with her back towards him. He sighed. It have might have been with whatever he was going to tell her, but she suspected it was just the relief that he didn’t need to look her in the eyes while he talked.

“I drove straight there, every bit as worked up as when I left here… maybe more so. But I had resigned myself to the fact that I won’t be able to get through the door to work next Monday without a certification that I got the vaccine. I expected a line, but there were even more people there than just ACME, Inc. I mean, I saw a lot of people I work with there, but the crowd had to be more than just our organization. Of course they wanted us to social distance, but when I saw Joe, we decided to just in stand in line together, complaining about having to get this thing. 

“Joe was going on about how the flu shot has been around for decades and how it’s only effective about 40% of the time, and how some percentage of people have a negative reaction to the shot and how some percentage of those people actually have long-tern issues, and how this was developed so quickly that they don’t even know the long-term effects of this, and… well, you know Joe. I only remember the ‘40%’ because I was amazed it didn’t even work the majority of the time.”

Sophia almost interrupted him but thought better of it and just pulled his arm around her tighter. Mark obviously was concerned about something and hadn’t worked it all out in his head yet.

“So anyways… we get up there and they give us some paperwork, and Joe points out everything in the liability waiver that he was explaining to me in line about the risks of any vaccine and the added risk from how this was developed through accelerated clinical trials and unknown possible long-term effects and all that stuff when I get to the last form acknowledging my assent to be certified as vaccinated and some verbiage about taking control of my own identity and all the benefits of the certification. 

“Meanwhile, I’m talking to Joe, who had already handed in his paperwork and sat down in the chair to get his shot, when I notice two shot guns. One goes into his shoulder and the other into his forearm… or maybe it was his hand. I’m not really sure exactly.”

Mark continued, “I was confused so I asked the nurse: ’Why two shots? I thought we were only getting one vaccine.’ I was wondering if they were experimenting on us like they did when I was in the Army. Everyone got the flu shot and half of us got sick with the flu right after getting the shot. But that’s when the nurse smiles at me and says: ‘That’s right, only one shot per customer! This is the Certification Mark that verifies you’re contributing to a disease-free society.’

“Joe hopped out the chair and said: ‘You’re next, Mark!’ then he looked at me and rubbing his hand lightly, he commented, ‘You know, I was wondering how that chip would feel, but with the gun it went in pretty smoothly. I was talking with some folks in IT Security and they were saying how this was going to change the way we log in and even get rid of the security badges whenever we finally do get back to meeting face-to-face.’”

Sophia sat up and turned to look at Mark.

“Wait a second. The vaccine is for security badges? That just doesn’t make sense!” Sophia looked quizzically at Mark.

“No, honey. The vaccine was the first shot. The second shot in the forearm is what Joe was talking about. It’s some ID that is embedded underneath the skin, and this is how they certify you’ve been vaccinated. Joe was going on and on about all the practical ways that this would make our lives more convenient: no more memorizing passwords, no more security badges, keyless ID for cars, no more identity theft, no more carrying multiple credit cards… and that’s when I stopped him. I had started thinking that maybe this wasn’t so bad after all and it would be pretty convenient even if it did cost me a little more privacy, but he said credit cards, and I asked him: ‘So is this chip used for making purchases?’

“The nurse jumped in at that point and said, ‘Sir, we have had some people express concerns about that and in our training they told us to let you know this is simply being administered to certify vaccination records. It may be extended for all your electronic medical records, but that depends upon your physician’s ERMS record keeping capabilities. We are only certifying vaccination records at this time.’

“’Of course it can be used for buying things, Mark!’ Joe piped in, ‘Didn’t you hear what I just said? This ID is going to change everything. Maam, now that I’m vaccinated, can I take my mask off?’ 

“’Not for another 24 hours, sir. If you have further questions, there’s a number on the bottom of… Let’s see… yes, here it is. Just call that toll-free number here or use the online chat here. Anymore, I prefer the chat. Those voicemail systems can be so slow!’ Joe was agreeing with her, and as they both started complaining about automated voice systems, I picked up my paperwork and walked out! You understand why, right?”

“I’m not sure, but… well, I know what you think this is, but it can’t be, Mark! That happens after the Rapture!” 

“That’s what is bothering me.” Said Mark “I mean we’re not supposed to be here… for this… you know, the Mark of the Beast! This is all so surreal, and I’m wondering if… well, I was wondering. I didn’t come home right away…”

“I understand that now. Are you okay, honey?” Sophia wanted to snuggle back into Mark’s body, but she needed to see him as he spoke.

“I’m… I’m working through this. So, I’m not saying that I don’t believe in the Rapture. Scripture is pretty clear about that. But I found some blogs that talk about the Rapture happening somewhere in the middle of the Tribulation and others saying it happens at the end. I also found some that say it is a myth, but I know otherwise. I don’t know what to believe, honey, and right now I want to NOT believe any of this. Do you remember that Sunday School class we had? I don’t remember what the Greek word was for the Mark of the Beast was, but I do remember what it meant: ‘an etching or piearcing’. That’s what this chip thing is. It pierces the skin and embeds it under the surface.”

“Mark, what are we going to do?” She said, sliding back into him. “I think you’re right, but what does that mean? You can’t go into work next Monday without that, can you?”

“No, honey, I can’t. But I can’t face God if I accept it, and it’s what we think it is.”

They both sat there in silence for a few minutes before Mark asked, “Should we reach out to people in our Life Group? Maybe Pastor Mike? Am I over-thinking this?”

“Maybe, baby. But do you think we should pray first?”

Mark smiled and drew his wife in closer, tighter than maybe ever before, tears welling up in his eyes. “Good idea.” He replied and started praying: “Jesus you tell us in James to pray for wisdom and not to doubt that You will give it. Well, we’re praying for wisdom now. We need You, Lord, like never before! Give us wisdom…” And the prayer continued, both of them praying together, knowing that when they finished, they’d start sending some texts and making some calls.

If any of you needs wisdom to know what you should do, you should ask God, and he will give it to you. God is generous to everyone and doesn’t find fault with them. When you ask for something, don’t have any doubts. A person who has doubts is like a wave that is blown by the wind and tossed by the sea.
James 1:5-6




copyright ©2020 Mitchell Malloy (http://mitchellmalloyblogspot.com/)