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Season of the Witch

Ah, October. Fall arrives, and the lingering vestiges of summer in September give way to the undeniable in the change of weather and turning of leaves. Pumpkin spice suddenly is unavoidable, and then the pumpkins themselves.

Before long, the Halloween enthusiasts are busy in their merriment. November, past that point, really can’t get here soon enough for me.

It’s difficult to explain why I despise Halloween without sounding like a killjoy. Possibly the macabre and occult don’t register on those not given to implications, but here I am, being hit in the face by a season where all the messages of the enemy are on full display to the delight of the oblivious. All I see in the ensuing doctrinal mayhem is faith trying to pull souls out of the riptide of humanity sweeping them toward perdition.

I freaking hate Halloween.

It wasn’t always like that. I was a kid once, though I don’t remember any favorite costume … outside of those plastic face masks that impeded visibility and respiration while feeling like a clammy eggshell plastered to your face. It was always great fun to go out and extort various forms of processed sugar from willing and unwilling neighbors.

Being kind of a jerk of a kid tutored by bigger and older jerks—as I was—Halloween evolved into an excuse to commit minor vandalism for the joy of overreaction such delinquency can evoke.

I blame my upbringing, company at the time, and the sparse distribution of law enforcement in rural South Dakota communities. Doing so provides a ready excuse to ignore some of my more obviously innate tendencies to follow the lesser angels of my nature, you see. Those escapades are another story, regardless of any statutes of limitation that may or may not have been exceeded by now.

I failed to absorb a vital precept until after the process of maturing delivered me through a number of idiotic incidents, any of which might have converted me to a statistic. Death’s bait is adventure.

Flirtation with the macabre and the occult is spiritual adventurism. What for the unwary appears to be dress-up and make-believe is, in the eyes of the enemy, affiliative. Meanwhile, in the wings of this occult high holiday are those who demonstrate a total commitment to his camp in spiritually degrading and horrid acts for a variation of the same thrill I felt soaping windows and … oops, there’s that potential statute of limitations thing again.

I largely outgrew my rebellion. Some souls will not.

Over time, I grew to see faithful living as a guardrail at the edge of a steep drop-off. What Works and What Kills are staples in the storehouse of wisdom, and too often the harvest of lessons bitter enough to be remembered long after the fact.

God, The Craftsman, Yahweh, the great I Am, as He said, Is above all. So is his enemy, that poisonous fruit out of the first elements of Creation, who was given the same choices inherent in the gift of free will. For the sake of those who love, He endures the loss of those who will not. The nature of love as a choice imposes by implication its antithesis.

The same spirit of rebellion and reckless abandon is tainting society in ever more obvious ways. Every day is becoming Halloween in the form of self-indulgent personal definitions, as Those Who Will Not choose the temporary attire of a preferred costume over their natural state.

The costume wearers among us can’t opt out of their place in the natural order, nor can they wish an alternate reality into being. They can only pretend until Creation’s codex of natural law imposes itself at whatever time the divine clock strikes twelve at their own personal midnight.

Then the ball is over, and it’s time to go home … or elsewhere.

Choose to love, -DA

*****

In production news, primary editing continues on Novel12/Boone6 Ghosts of the Republic, featuring Boone, Ritter, Deb Vosse, Blade Altsoba, and others. She Who Must Be Obeyed is approximately 40% through her tasks on a schedule not allowing a projected publication date quite yet. Once we get closer, you will , of course, be some of the first to hear the Rohirrim-level trumpeting.

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Content

How did you pronounce the title of this blog post? Due to the linguistic heritage of the English language you could have thought CON·tent, as in substance, or con·TENT, to be described as residing in an essentially satisfied state.

Is it an accident the same word, with two different meanings, could have those intricately related? Our needs and wants lead us toward an imagined state of satisfaction. The search for true contentment drives all advertising, ideology, and psychology. Theological premises good, bad, and evil leverage the promise to shape and direct the human soul each to their own ends.

We want to be satisfied. But how?

One eats, and eventually is full if well fed. Problem solved. How does one salve a wounded spirit, or a guilty conscience, or a traumatic memory?

Pharmacy is willing to present its answers. Personally, I have been betrayed by too many people on meds for whom I cared and with whom I merely associated to trust a prescription with the solution to deeper issues. Drugs might calm the mind, but it seems they also mute the conscience. Sometimes, as news stories of another psychotic break too often feature, the results can be horrifying.

“How could someone do that?” people ask. “Meds,” I whisper to myself.

Dissatisfaction is the result of missing something in what we think, feel, or sense. In one way or another, one may call that CON·tent. Cultivating substance in our lives and work leads to earned satisfaction in the same way diligent effort produces the harvest of a garden. But the totality of our existence encompasses more than just the physical.

Neglected, our spirits desiccate like an untended plot of vegetables. If nothing is there, the shell of our empty core collapses in on itself. It shows in what we think, how we live, and in the results we try to impose on a world we don’t really understand. Passion is no substitute for wisdom, as one ridiculous display of futility after another proves throughout the secular world.

Recently, the Editress and I, inveterate rummagers of bargain movie bins that we are, discovered a film featuring an actress we have in the past enjoyed. Neither her name nor the title is important. Art is what it is, and I’m sure the people producing this DVD felt it said just what they wanted.

But oh, did that movie suck.

Exhibiting the current trend to exclude white males from the cast was an early-warning sign. The evident millennial angst permeating the rest of the presentation settled into a uninspiring scenario in which nothing resolved, no challenge was truly overcome, and no premise outside of existential hopelessness emerged. Hollywood today. Meh.

She wanted to donate the CD to a thrift shop. I shredded it instead so no one else would be subjected to viewing that particular copy of the thing.

Like I said, it sucked, and I am sometimes a harsh critic.

Faith is the substance of the spirit. It connects us to the essential motivation of our Creator in setting this universe in motion. Without it, we are adrift like objects in space waiting for the gravitation of some greater mass to pull us in to a destination unknown. Meanwhile, we spin in a gyroscope of dissatisfaction.

I don’t make movies. I write. Regardless that my novels would make excellent films, I doubt the spirit required exists in the Hollywood of today. The same malaise can be evident in writing also, of course. One sees it throughout a novel in which the spiritual composition of the characters is ignored. Try as the author might, lacking that essential CON·tent, the presentation falls flat. There should have been something more, but neither the character nor his author ever came to the realization. It is the vitality of language and imagination versus the flat taste of a previously carbonated beverage translated into the written word … or the dialogue in a bad movie.

Our lives are novels, written in days instead of words. As Benjamin Franklin perceived, we each have our Author and Finisher. We have a part to play in determining whether we are notes in its crescendo or elements to be weeded out of a plot hole that is going nowhere, to be crushed and discarded like a page never again seeing the light of day.

Be Real Before It Gets Real. It’s a hashtag I use on social media. Those who know me well enough have seen in it the acronym REAL: Realize your need, Explore for truth, Accept your Creator’s gift of reconciliation, and afterward Live what you believe.

Welling up inside you will be spiritual substance: CON·tent. It will make for a satisfying story. You have His promise.

Choose to love, -DA

*****

In production news, there is some! The Editress has finished her timeline and fact-checking review of Novel12/Boone6 Ghosts of the Republic, featuring, for reasons that will be evident, a heavy assist from Daniel Sean Ritter.

Moving on to the heavy lifting of production editing began this afternoon. Unlike previous outings, the predictable pace of She Who Must Be Obeyed is skewed by our present situation, and whether this results in an early or later completion and publishing depends on circumstances beyond our control. I hope to get the title out in the fourth quarter. As in all things … we’ll see, won’t we?

A Single Step

I opened the lead title of Boone’s File, Absinthe and Chocolate, with a tribute to the strong women characters from my own story. The author’s own is inscribed first, of course. Before one writes, one must live, or nothing worthwhile translates to the written word. Eventually, an augmenting Muse arrives, mine bringing with her the magic playing out through the mind of a writer; it’s a spell passing through a keyboard and various means to eventually reside within each soul of his or her audience.

The Muse. I picture mine as sort of a Goth Tinker Bell—one with substance abuse issues—her legs clad in torn black fishnet and seldom far from her Turkish cigarettes and bottle of cheap whiskey. She shows up unannounced from another trip to Amsterdam, and around the flick of a Zippo lighter, announces, “Hey. Let’s write a [censored] story.”

Once she leaves again, thankfully I’m then able to turn our work over to her polar opposite.

I’ve been blessed to be the companion of the Editress for a month shy of thirty-seven years and her husband for a third of a century. She who edits my work and my life makes out of both what always should have been, and fully half of the hours of labor producing a Dale Amidei novel are hers.

I wish I could tell you more of the consummately professional career that was her choice from the earliest days I knew her, but she is specialized enough that to do so would necessarily also tell you who she is. Being your intentions might be less than loving, the possibility your attitude toward my faith and my politics is held as ideologically actionable, and considering that to enable the means of your inadvertent destruction would not constitute a charitable act, I continue to maintain my own privacy and hers. Suffice it to say there are no soft targets here, and you should consider yourself warned if thinking otherwise.

Those who challenge the Editress do not know her. She possesses an ability to suffer fools gladly my own circumstances never allowed to develop. The woman hates spiders with an arachnophobic passion, yet traps them to relocate outside. She looks after the Perimeter felines with the loving-kindness of a mother and the thoroughness of a vet tech, yet I know within her velvet is enough steel to parry and riposte on demand. With skills retained as a diligent conventionalist, she has never been observed to miss a human-sized target in more than three decades of handgun practice.

Seven years ago, I endeavored to cultivate whatever result might come out of a dedicated time to write. The decision followed through on previously sufficient confirmation of a talent I suspected—all through my life—was there. I undertook The Year in the Chair, from which emerged the completion of Jon’s Trilogy, two titles in Sean’s File, and Boone’s first three. Casting about for a reentry point into the Real World (such as it is), I instead found the position that, to date, has been the pinnacle of a thirty-year career path for the woman I love.

We undertook the challenge together. In it, she accomplished her goals better than anyone else could have, and I wrote the remainder of what will be a catalog of fifteen full-length novels … more than Vince Flynn was graced to have completed or Tom Clancy managed as solo efforts. I wrote half again as many as the great Ernest Hemingway, who started me on my own journey as a young man of many years ago. All this, we feel, stands as work intended for us, she and I respectively. It was undertaken at once individually and together.

Our tasks brought us home, and eventually convinced us that now is the time to leave again. For various reasons unseemly displays of bitterness forbid explaining, we won’t be back here. In the interim, though, we have grown rather than diminished.

When she is unhappy, the situation needs to be addressed as my third order of loyalty. We’ve looked at what we have accomplished here, seen that it was good, and recognize it as standing finished. Such allows us the settled decision to leave this place.

Faith, you see, does not walk by sight. Two patron spirits continually contend for our own; one brays from darkness that the search for meaning in meaninglessness is futile, while the other whispers out of light the reminder our perspective is not yet broad enough to fully discern Divine purpose. Everyone you know chooses affiliation with one or the other.

Hope is vital. Life produces it, nourishes its fruit, and thereby uses all power to extend itself through the experience of those who hold it dear. With all wholesome things despised by the spirit of the enemy, hope is a high-value target in the war for souls relentlessly besieged.

Both sides in the battle want our hope, as it is the approach to the keep of our souls. The enemy seeks to destroy while angels whisper their advice to defend, and we ourselves are both the object of contention and the battleground. After more than half a century, I yet find the contest one hell of a thing to watch.

It’s heartening to realize she and I are not yet so old, so settled, so complacent, resigned, or beaten down that the prospect of a new beginning intimidates us into the passive acceptance of unhappiness. We pursue the goal still, out of a sense of duty to the gift of living, and with the intent of making Thomas Jefferson proud of the people to whom he dedicated his famous Declaration.

The author of Ecclesiastes noted the value of contentment, placing it higher than two hands full striving against the wind. Later in that same fourth chapter is the reminder of two being better than one, for one may lift the other up. And again, there follows the verse gracing our wedding long ago: that a cord of three strands is not easily torn apart.

So we’ll head south, to a place people call COMO. There, she promises work on Boone and Ritter’s joint adventure, Ghosts of the Republic, will resume once we establish a new Perimeter. For the first time, the property will be unlet, unmortgaged, and completely ours, as enabled by a third of a century in the mode of living she and I prefer:  well below the means of diligent effort and in mutual support.

More than once during all this time, we suffered the derision of more profligate souls. Those spent freely as money flowed out and in at the same approximate rate. They never realized we were not hoarding, merely delaying gratification. We were saving toward a goal set for us in the realm of the Spirit until, finally, we could afford what we wanted.

We will be using a cultivated reserve to buy something more precious than possessions, investments, or even a place to live. We will, in a week and with God willing, buy our freedom to set out on a new path, just as He did with us when we were first inspired to believe. Whatever follows after, hope says, finally He has taught us to embrace with joy.

Choose to love. Show me. -DA

 

 

 

 

Remembrance

It started on Mother’s Day this year. It is always a time to miss Mom, of course, but amplified now with the seventh anniversary of her death approaching. Memorial Day only added to the emotion of the season. Always in the slow march of time there are more memories gathered of those once here who now have gone ahead, and such is the nature of mortality.

My hair is showing the split between the snow white of Mother’s side of the family and Dad’s dark coloration. According to the Editress, hair color is a personal choice, though her genetics have her locks darker now than when we met. It is difficult to keep track of time when your woman ages like one of Tolkien’s elves; I am reminded, once I’m back in front a mirror, though, that the days are passing. And I keep my hair as it is so I remember.

I’ve written here about my father, but not mentioned Mom. I assume it is because the emotions involved have kept me from doing so, in addition to being someone who values his privacy in the age of social media. What I can tell you is this: my mother did not have an easy life.

Imagine yourself in the snow-swept flatlands of the Dakotas in the 1930s. Your eighth-grade education has ended, and your own mother—my grandmother—makes the decision to walk out on four daughters and four even younger sons, leaving them with their father. Grandmother was a woman whose idea of child-rearing involved making her children sit on a pew in the entryway of their home for most of Sunday, so as not to disturb the cleanliness of a house just put in order for the Sabbath, among other stories best kept in the family.

I have encountered in the course of my life souls who gave me hope for their disposition. Suffice it to say Grandma was not one of them. Mother, regardless, kept the obligations of a child to her parent to the demonically haunted end of that woman’s life.

At sixteen, Mom left home. It was wartime, and there was work to be had in the national effort, first in Chicago and afterward in Washington, D.C. I have the ring my father took to war, engraved inside the band with a reminder that Mother was at home, waiting. She remained a virgin when they married four years later.

Dad lived until she was forty-eight. I remember forty-eight. You are neither young nor old in the years I thought then would count as my best. You are widowed. Two daughters, at times estranged and at needs reconciled, are on their own. You are raising a son who arrived late to the Greatest Generation and a niece adopted after the death of your youngest sister. Times are as difficult as you can imagine, and you cast about for connection … for a place where life can go on. I don’t remember Mother being big on movie-going, but she could quote Scarlett O’Hara: “Tomorrow is another day.”

What strength it is, I realize now, to keep going. To the limits of your strength and sanity, only to make it to another dawn where you may try again. People going through so much survive on the strength of self-preservation. There’s nothing extra for nurturing as in the luxury of better times. Pain is given and received in that place, and everyone is tested in their limits. Some of those are respected by circumstances … at other times life doesn’t care at all how difficult it is. You count victory in each sunrise.

Mother settled into another life eventually, with another soul whose memory gives me less hope than I would care to contemplate. A life followed—marginally better than her start—though through it all she found enough hope in her Catholic faith to see her win.

Mother’s life gave me more hope than I could have imagined through all our dark and painful years together. We reconciled with perhaps a decade left. Mother saw me publish my first novel and tried to read it, though her education left her unable to finish. She had the impression that Jon Anthony was a good boy, trying to better himself, and was proud of my debut title regardless. Her signed paperback was stolen by relatives from Chicago and never returned, and you may look for it on the used book market today. KMA, people.

As the saying goes, it’s not how you start, but where you finish. Mother finished in a third-rate nursing home five miles from where she was born. The Editress and I saw her there, to recover from a recent surgery in her last good days. She had her stroke about the time we walked in our own door after returning to the Perimeter in Texas.

Mother endured her last difficult days as she had all those prior in life, being too strong a woman to die quickly. She knew I had returned from Texas, and was glad, and aside from a single squeeze on my hand a couple days later, it was the last of our interaction. She managed the Lord’s Prayer with a hospice worker a short time later, ready, without a doubt in faith, to move on to the bright and better days awaiting a Christian soul. Now we miss her.

Understand this, young people: life is going to hurt. Pain is on the horizon as part and parcel of the landscape. Those difficult emotions have things to teach you concerning yourself and your place in the natural order. There is a Way Things Are, to which we’re subject and unable to escape in more convenient consensus or comforting delusional thinking. Your obligations to He who produced you are some of those Things.

Listen and learn from the perspective of valid faith gathered beforehand. Sooner is better, believe me, so you’ll end strong, like many have before you. Absent a perspective embracing clarity and appreciating your place in what God is doing, your soul doesn’t have a chance. I’ve seen it go both ways.

Sometime after Mother’s funeral I was in the Big Red Chair G. Gordon Kitty and I often shared. He was gone ahead as well, and I was dreaming. Mother was behind me, with her arms around my shoulders, younger than I had known her in life. I asked her if she still loved me. She answered, “I love you so much.” So hope goes that one day my hair will no longer be gray, that pain will be only a memory of lessons learned, and in the fruition of our Creator’s long work of life, things will be just as He meant for us.

If so blessed, don’t wait for the onset of poignant memories. Appreciate your loved ones now. Start from the top, where love unimagined in its intensity awaits with He who set you on this path of days, and work your way down in faith to the remainder of those who may be waiting. You and they have things to do … and we are all in this together.

Choose to love, -DA

The White Nationalist Bogeyman

Politics, as reflected in narratives thus advanced, represent the emphasis on character or the disregard thereof inherent in a given camp. Reliable people do not traffic in lies, nor do evil folk endure the examination of their values, intent, or world view generally. So far as the political Left is concerned, criticism of unsound behavior has evolved into the only real sin worthy of opposition.

Leftward-leaning premises contribute nothing to the general condition, and in fact degrade the human experience past the point where a moral being may ignore their effects. Nothingness comprising the essence to which they consign themselves—in self-focus and faithlessness—consistently manifests in the poor quality of their propositions and unsustainable supporting arguments. Lowering the standard of rhetoric as they do, typical weapons Leftists most often employ are equally dishonorable to the remainder of their creed. Scare tactics, insubstantial claims, and accusations designed to leverage emotion rather than survive critical examination are chief among those.

Distraction is another strategy to avoid the death knell of leftist ideas, only nominally deserving to be labeled thought. Likewise, redirection is another common avoidance of defending, much less conceding, fatally flawed premises. Combining these rancid techniques, to heat and stir in the cauldron of the political Left, is the foul recipe that produced today’s Democratic Party.

Dems, particularly when exploiting racial issues, need to rewrite the history of their own party and offload the righteous indignation aroused by their residually spectral aura of slave ownership. Their offenses against humanity continued even after the institution was ended, such as the atrocities perpetrated by the Ku Klux Klan—an organization founded by Southern Democrats to suppress black voting, by the way—acculturated racism and resultant segregation in the Democrat South, and their party’s consistent opposition of 1960s civil rights legislation advanced by Republicans.

Racism endured, though, and sought new advantage and embodiment in targeting the integrity of urban black families via the dependency enabled by politically-motivated social welfare spending … initiated by another Democrat, Lyndon Baines Johnson. Over generations of engineered tragedy ironically termed The Great Society, Democrats leading and feeding their dependent voters cultivated the impression that somehow the political spectrum had reversed, and the Democratic Party now holds more concern for Americans of African descent than conservatives, or particularly the GOP.

Nothing can be farther from the truth. But as we’ve seen already, the farther from the truth one deviates, the more dearly held the narratives of the left wing.

The slave-holding mentality of the twenty-first century resides in three places: the doctrines of Islam, Marxist ideology, and the modern-day Democratic Party. All three degrade the humanity of those they presume to manage out of a self-defined sense of superiority. Inflated ego arises from psychological wounds festering in compensation; the condition produces perceived privilege to direct the lives of others like an untended laceration seeps pus.

The compulsion to direct, to run the show, to make things happen is insatiable. History is replete with unfortunate examples of the affliction. The assumed divine right of kings led to colonial imperialism in prior centuries, culminating with the onset of transportation and military technologies in nineteenth-century nationalism. In the next, two great wars followed as extensions of ideology promoting national interest to the exclusion of noble considerations governing civil international behavior. The many millions who died left their survivors determined to rebuild the world in an entirely different paradigm.

So it was we arrived to the era of international cooperation, as expressed first in the failed League of Nations and afterward in the United Nations. The compulsion to direct the lives of others, always present in the shadows of human nature, assured the adoption of good ideas would afterward be run into the ground in the name of progress.

The current trend of political elites toward favoring global government is the unfortunate result. Elitism metastasized is what produces this ideological tumor.

The primary obstacle to globalized government is the strength of the social fabric expressed in a strong national culture and identity. Ideas expressed by our founding documents—of just powers derived from the consent of the governed, government as a necessary danger liable to attract those who prefer directing to serving, and promoting a shared consensus regarding moral judgments whose fruit is healthy living and an improved general condition—are anathema to globalized socialists. They’d rather stand in the ranks of like ilk currently threatening to undo the character of our stable and prosperous society.

The Left needed a bogeyman to distract, to redirect, to project as a danger in order to advance their narrative solutions. They constructed the image of the White Nationalist to fulfill all those deplorable requirements, leveraging righteous indignation felt toward unrelated and hateful ideologies such as white supremacy and white separatism.

National interest, as opposed to globalized socialism, roots in self interest. Whether one expounds the subject to the extent found in Ayn Rand’s literature is a matter of philosophy. Ms. Rand’s essential point, however, that self interest does not morally equate to selfishness, endures critical and historical examination to a greater extent than louder voices who decry the same in the name of collectivism.

National culture in the United States is a sense of integrity making borders a necessity. Bolstered by ideological Americanism into an enduring moral fabric, it’s now portrayed by those advancing the narrative of White Nationalism to be the modern equivalent of the very ideologies our opposing strengths defeated in two World Wars.

My annoyance with the political Left throwing the Nazi label at ideological Americans tests my wordsmith’s capacity to express. Nazism—a contraction of national socialism, by the way—reflects the same fascist tendencies of their camp, not mine. My father was written up for the Bronze Star after being shot at by real Nazis, not upright folk who accept the reality of adult life in which one’s behavior is subject to rational criticism. The narrative specter of White Nationalism is nothing more than a shield against being required to defend indefensible premises and mask globalizing collectivist tendencies.

Regardless, closely resembling Hitler’s ideology—now consigned to the dustbin of history—doesn’t make the political Left Nazis either, relentless as they are in assuming to occupy unearned moral high ground. They are merely whiny pursuers of lame advantage, such as is found in attempting the assignment of unwarranted guilt.

There is nothing inherently noble or suspicious in skin color, and anyone asserting otherwise is a racist regardless of their own extraction. The depths of depravity in setting aside the benefits of morality, altruism and other attributes of humanity are plumbed in exploiting divisive identity politics. Ideological Americanism was formulated to negate those dangers.

Americanism is the embrace of beneficial identity politics, incorporating and promoting virtues the political Left reject as excessively judgmental of their behavior. Like the remainder of their platform, it stems from having little idea of what works or what kills.

America descended from the valid faith of the Judeo-Christian experience, that storehouse of Things that Are Real and treasury of long-held guidelines preserved so we should have life, and live it more abundantly. The vacuous faithlessness of secularism driving globalized socialism will never satisfy the human spirit to the same extent.

Under the banner of our tribe, it’s okay to be white, or black, brown, red, or Asian. Patriotism is a virtue. Humanity should preside over one’s ideology, doctrine, or politics. Sound and thriving souls know such things a priori, without needing to be instructed.

History, not to mention natural law, harshly judges the insubstantial. Screeching demonization of the sort currently driving the political Left is propelling their camp toward a steep drop-off, and it seems little can be done to convince those deaf to the Spirit otherwise. Were it so, they wouldn’t have occupied the vehicle of their destruction in the first place … and those mandated shoulder belts and airbags won’t help much once their deficient ideology hits rock bottom.

Choose to love, -DA

Christchurch: A Crisis of Governance

This week, a twenty-something man in Christchurch, New Zealand chose to commit mass murder. He was radicalized by his embraced choice of hate in the essential tripartite including love and indifference; in his case, this metastasized into an ideology of white supremacy. True to form, he then targeted The Other as scapegoats for his dissatisfaction. A hundred Muslims in two separate mosques paid the price of his homicidal rage, half of those with their lives.

That something like this should occur in New Zealand is an anomaly, for the country in a given year usually sees a like number of homicides as a total. Times are changing, and we can only trace back through the foibles of human nature in an attempt to determine why.

To have such an event occur in a place called Christchurch is a mocking irony of the spirit who commands such things, as he is the enemy of Christ, the Father, and all the mission of heaven. The enemy is he who opposes a portfolio of life with inspirations of his own. Those manifest in works of death instead.

Multiculturalism is the rebellion against natural law now ravaging national identities across Europe. It purports to enhance the social fabric in places such as New Zealand through magical thinking invoked via its goddess Diversity … but diversity in itself is not a bad thing. Diversity of experience lends strength to a commonality of purpose. Diversity of perspective can enhance clarity, and through the gift of foresight produce wisdom in the ability to anticipate consequences. What diversity cannot do is promote harmony between incontrovertible world views. This, unfortunately, is the place where New Zealand arrived by importing Islam into the West under the auspices of charity.

Islam, properly considered a seventh-century warlord’s ideology of conquest and subjugation, seeks to control every aspect of its adherent’s life. This includes its founder’s twisted Muhammadan theology and proscribed system of worship, with doctrines in which one’s sense of humanity must be overridden in deference to decrees of its prophet. Shedding blood from the infidel and embracing zeal to the point of martyrdom in holy war are fixtures there, making the creed wholly incompatible with tolerance and self-determination comprising staples of Occidental philosophies of governance. Muslims may often be insular, arrogant, and supremacist themselves; their influx being targeted by a similarly afflicted personality is unsurprising, perhaps even predictable.

Secular governance, though, considering all religion as mindless superstition, failed to consider the cultural ramifications of allowing large-scale Islamic migration into the West. Faithlessness not only forgoes the wisdom available to a reverent perspective but fails to grasp, through an inattentiveness of understanding, the depth of the conflict its policies engender.

Attempts to navigate the resulting and ideologically inescapable series of conceptual traps follow, and run to an inevitable end of systemic collapse in the harsh reset of natural law. At best, the consequences of mixing Islam and western culture is friction between their divergent answers to essential questions. Friction produces heat, and as humankind has known since Paleolithic times, such builds into flame from tinder.

Multicultural emphasis is the tinder of authoritarianism. The ensuing cultural conflict is its spark, and incidents such as Christchurch comprise flame. Once a fire is burning out of control, opportunists acquire momentum they leverage to affect change.

Centralizing power requires its subject to cede self-governance to the authority of the state, and personalities who crave to be at the top of an organizational chart for just such an arrangement have few qualms over exploiting incidents such as the carnage of Christchurch. Opportunities, in their secular, inhumane, and pragmatic outlook, evoke opportunism. Already, the Prime Minister of New Zealand is assuming that further restrictions on civilian firearms ownership are a forgone conclusion.

Firearms ownership did not produce the massacres of Christchurch. Those were committed by an unhinged individual overstepping his authority, much in the same way freedoms in New Zealand could now be restricted through more refined parliamentary procedures. In both examples, we see transgressions conducted by those who presume they have the right to do such things.

The former act of tyranny was perpetrated in a homicidal outburst, while the latter would come about following a long, slow aggregation of centralized authority already presumed to be soon abandoned by a submissive citizenry. Those are differences in optics only, stemming from the same assumptive mindset. Should good people in New Zealand afterward insist on owning effective means of protecting themselves against illegitimate, large-scale, and emergent threats to life and liberty, they would then be dutifully shot down by responding units of heavily armed delegates. Iron-handed governance relishes nothing more than exemplary enforcement of its policies.

Secular government, unbound by a vigilant citizenry, excels at creating problems it then proposes to solve by granting itself more authority. Power accumulating in that construct attracts personalities more given to ruling than serving, and there is nothing in observations of human nature or the study of history to suggest otherwise. Modern implementations of the democratic process are a relative footnote in the history of governance, much of which was written in bloodier fonts set by the stained and callused hands of authoritarianism.

Those dark days of history may well recur, of course. The fallen nature of human beings, elevated in their own sight by the deceiving voice of God’s enemy, assures such times are always attempting to stage a comeback. The scale of past state-sponsored depredations makes the toll out of tragedies such as Christchurch pale in comparison.

Hopefully enough ears still listen to encouraging voices—such as mine—touting the benefits of courage, faith, and virtue over the embrace of degrading philosophies. Hysterical promotion of the theory that human beings really shouldn’t be allowed to run around unmanaged, unmonitored, and unsupervised is an attribute no rational person should seek to empower.

Lit by the lamp of valid faith, we can see ourselves cast in a more noble light:  servants of a higher authority than any state: as messengers responsible for something more than ourselves and the state of our own souls. Every faithful person is a minister bound over to the edification of others not so far along.

Whether the inclination of those is to accept any lesser status promoted by secular perspectives of statists and collectivists, or submit to the assumptive dictates of theocrats, the exit strategies for avoiding servitude are the same. Question everything. Deconstruct the false premise. Dedicate intellect to determine the actual state of affairs, and nurture cultivated awareness, whose gift is the clear vision that results.

Most of all, hold to account those whom you elevate into positions of authority to operate within the bounds originally established. Insist your voice be given equal access to the public square in unrestricted speech, free of prejudicial, ideologically motivated deplatforming. Your individual autonomy, as well as the collective influence of the morally upright, will be preserved in no other way.

Choose to love, -DA

Transgender This

South Dakota. I was born and raised here, and (*cynicism warning) that’s probably the reason the Editress has designated me the least sentimental person she knows.

There are a number of reasons to hoist the Meh Flag over this place. For instance, our politicos—aside from a new governor who is showing some promise—largely are sheep in wolves’ clothing. We have a repulsively significant supply of Democrats and slightly larger contingent of the same who call themselves Republicans, all mixed together in what P.J. O’Rourke called A Parliament of Whores. We call the place Pierre, our state capital.

Yes, they are the folks whose twisted thinking, willingness to move beyond the concept of jurisdiction, and basic grasping covetousness brought you nationwide Internet sales tax. That’s a travesty less current, though, than their latest.

Our legislature’s most recent non-achievement is tanking a bill that would have required high school students to compete fairly against their own sex during intramural athletics. As of now, it is a matter of policy that students may adopt their own reality in regards to gender identity, and our public education system must tacitly approve their delusion. The fix failed to be reported out of the state House of Representatives on a 34-34 vote.

Those students are in school to learn about the world, not project their misconceptions onto it. Enabling transgender kink to the point of allowing biological males unfair advantage over the excellence of true female athletes comprises a fundamental failing of those to whom they have been entrusted. It is just another reason the home schooled will one day rule the world.

Someone once observed that individuals should be allowed their own opinion, but none are entitled to their own reality. The problem with those thinking otherwise is that The Way Things Are is a fixed and unalterable state. Those working the fringes according to strategies designed to move the Overton Window (look it up when you finish here) do so to advance a self-centered agenda. Those of us operating within the bounds of sanity are becoming increasingly at risk of bumping into them with virtually the same results as on a bidirectional road lacking a center divider. It’s why they are called radicals.

Society consists of people doing stuff, whose business moves most smoothly when they are in agreement on certain basic tenets. Valid premises descend from long-tested conclusions, themselves based on observation, again of The Way Things Are.

There is no such state as The Way Things Are Now. Everything sinful, virtuous, right, wrong, wholesome, and undoing exists in the same moral plane it always did. We do well or poorly generally and collectively based on how well we understand reality’s rules of cause and effect.

So, should a biological male—one meant to develop into the state of achievement called manhood—decide instead to adopt another gender identity, that does not nor will it ever make him a woman. The closest he can approach his desired state is to exist as a surgically mutilated and hormonally infused eunuch, while The Way Things Are gives not a damn about his feelings on the matter.

Consequently, neither should anyone oriented to a practical worldview. We pity the psychologically challenged, but understand that enabling delusion does not equate to love. The sin of indifference is the weakest, least enduring, and second most destructive choice in the moral tripartite it shares with love and hate. Taking the path of least resistance into passivity—or worse, becoming an enabler—violates the moral duty of testimony in love that keeps sinners away from the precipice of their folly.

The world is set as an arena of faithfulness and faithlessness. One believes in the will of its Creator to have established matters as they should be, or one does not. Scripture condemns adopting dress of the opposite gland with identical language as is used for same-sex fornication. Both violate the nature of oneself and Nature generally, and constitute another strategy the enemy uses to turn us from our intended path home.

One believes that or one does not. There is no middle ground. No The Way Things Are Now. The stances we adopt in such tests stand as our testimony as to or in denial of the intent of the Living God. Each soul believes or does not. Every one gets through the path of one life successfully or otherwise, and we are told the consequences of failure to recognize our place in the natural order are eternal. Its standards are governed by divine logic and the Craftsman’s load-balancing solution to the equation that allows Him and us to coexist in the same spiritual plane.

Excuses do not exist there. If we are wise, we should avoid them here; we need all the time granted to navigate the fog as it is. Matters made better instead of worse are the harvest of discernment. Where does a society stand once it becomes incapable of making a definitive call so evident as considering a biological male a boy, and then a man? Where does it go once a concept so vital as womanhood is diluted into merely being considered by the majority to be a self-defined perspective?

Prophesies of divine judgment notwithstanding, I for one don’t want to find out in this life, and I’m sure as hell not going to help row in that direction. Anyone may take what offense they will. All things outside their ideological bubble—in the sunshine bathing healthy minds—remain the same as they ever were, and always shall.

Choose to love, -DA