Category Archives: Political Observations

Drowning in Ignorance

American thinkers (lower case) often ask, how did we manage to have the mental giants all on the same page when they wrote our founding documents, the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution?

Because whatever it was, the body politic has lost it. Soros’ money may have paid for a decade of protest, riots and looting but why are younger generations doing it at all? Don’t they know their roots? It would never occur to Boomers or their elders to wear a vagina suit in public or question their gender.

Time has come to resurrect two mid-20th century prophets, Allan Bloom (The Closing of the American Mind – How Higher Education has failed Democracy and Impoverished the Souls of Today’s Students) 1987 and E.D Hirsch, Jr. (Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know) 1988. They defined the problem.

The Impoverished Souls once in the academy are now running the public schools and the Media

Our wise forefathers had one unifying factor – their common knowledge of the King James Bible and the works of Shakespeare.  The War of the Roses demonstrated that monarchies do not work, that succession by bloodlines leads to internecine warfare, that assorted King Richards lurk in the shadows to murder their rivals, that foreign wives are anathema as God said to King Solomon, that too much power in one group, be it the barons on the plain or the rabble beyond the pale would sound a death sentence to a Republic. To guard against any concentration of power in any section of the government they included checks and balances and a bicameral system.

Ben Franklin said we’d inherited a Republic if we could keep it.  “Ben, if you are listening, these kids don’t know what a republic is.” So when Saddam Hussein was protected in the Gulf War by a Republican Guard Democrat voters thought that was our own Republican Party?

Our forefathers also knew Plato and Socrates. The notion of a moral leader taking the political high ground from Aristotle sounds quaint today. They knew bias against color and creed in Othello, the dangers of nepotism, bad judgment and the influence of emotional instability from King Lear and Hamlet and as a final warning, Shakespeare named his historical works “tragedies” so yes, it could happen to you too. Tragedies, as defined by the Greeks, were demonstrations of how a personal moral or character flaw could destroy a person in power not the modern day definition which is little more than “oh, what a pity.”

They knew that Protestant Huguenots had been slaughtered on St. Bartholomew’s Day in 1572, so religious freedom was essential. As they wrote these documents they saw the collapse of France from unchecked monetary policy and a politicized state church, and from Elizabeth the First the bedrock need for a free press as well as free assembly, the core of the 1st Amendment, not the Second or Third but the very First. And yes – if we should perchance by accident or design inherit one of these rotten leaders, we need our firearms.

The national mind during the 19th century was held together until the end of World War 2 by the glue of the widely read Harvard Classics. This Public Religion, to use George Will’s phrase, is not a collection of “good ideas” but a record of the failure of Europe to stabilize, as it has yet to do even today. And because they were all originally from immigrant stock they knew Primogeniture and Entail were legal locks on personal and corporate progress. The EPA ties up our property instead now! The glaring millennium of mistakes in Europe created our national principles.

But millions today, thanks to redacted history books and influences from Communist writers like Howard Zinn, leave us with myriads not knowing a shred about all this. We have two or three generations of classroom teachers trained without the cultural literacy of any American assumptions. As a final nail in the academic coffin, there is neither Bible reading nor prayer in schools, so any literary reference to a Prodigal Son or allusions to the Hebrew Bible fall on puzzled ears.  The national division today is not between Republican and Democrat, black and white or rich and poor, but between those who know the origins of the past and those who have a new version of history seen through the lens of moral relativism.

Lincoln quoted Psalm 19 in his Second Inaugural Address; but who knew? Last Friday I watched a few minutes of Washington Week; I started laughing and changed the channel.  We are drowning in ignorance.

(revised.)

The Borders of the Mind

For a large troop of Americans, 2009 to 2016 was a stop action movie where figures are frozen in time waiting for something to happen, for someone to flip a switch so they could return to the business of life, or for that matter any kind of business. It reminded me of the Apple advertisement of 1984 when brain-dead sycophants goose-stepped to oblivion and technology crashed through to wake them up.

And then schazam! Candidate Trump, the exact opposite of what would be chosen by Central Casting comes on the scene slaughtering sacred cows right and left, and leaving us in the valley of decision.  This is the designated time in our personal or private history where we decide which side we are on. A parade of miscreants and arrogant managers paraded across our screens, the old panegyrics about Obama were either hotly but ineffectively defended by his supporters, and the truth about almost every conceivable misdeed for decades was exposed.  And that not by President Trump, but simply by someone “being there.” Every accuser met some hide of personal ax.

While the President was out glad-handing international power brokers and luring dissident employers back home, 20 plus Congresspersons left office and at least that many men who could not keep their zippers up or their mouths closed were cleaning out their desks. The Media, reading in unison from a teleprompter in LaLa land focused on Russian chicanery and found it in Hillary’s own documents, along with the supposedly squeaky clean FBI – like Squeaky Fromme?

We know What, and soon we will know much more, but Why? Because the voting public needs to have secure borders of their minds as well as the national jurisdiction. But for that they needs facts and truth; as the media grinds on, thre appears to be less and less of them.

Everything is not good and right. Everyone is not supposed to be here. Every theology, every philosophy, every governmental system and every opinion is not equal. Every decision is not right or conversely, is not wrong. The popular relativism leads nowhere and is a mental squirrel cage of circular thinking.  Cultures are not equal, and societies and governments are not morally equivalent as any even sloppy examination would demonstrate. To abdicate responsibility is still a decision.

We must know who we are and what we are supposed to do.  We have decided not to be the world’s 911 police radio.  We have decided not to let everyone immigrate here just because they want to be Americans.  We have decided that we need to handle some problems ourselves, like the opioid crisis, like the problem of nearly one half our criminals in prison being illegals, or states which show contempt for the federal government by creating statuary cities, all issues which we allegedly solved at the Battle of Gettysburg.  States rights we have yes; States wrongs, no.

The next elections are not so much about Donald Trump in spite of Media hype to that effect. It is about us.  Will we accept the truth and become free, or walk away from our own generation’s responsibility. I am staying in the fight for America.  Are you?

Why does Islam (the Muslims) think they are entitled to the land of Israel?

Israel vs. Islam

Quick answer: They think it belongs to them as their inheritance through Ishmael.

Long answer: It belongs to the real heir, Isaac.  The Bible records important dreams, including God’s promises. Abram, later named Abraham by God, got into a royal mess because he took a promise in a dream and tried to make it come true on his own. God promised Abram, then childless, that he would be the father of thousands.  The temporary and consequently disastrous solution was to have a child through his house maid.  That first son was Ishmael known today as those nations constituting the political religion of Islam.  A few years later the 2nd and promised son Isaac, is born – the real heir.

In virtually every society except the USA blessings and rewards go to the eldest son, not the younger.  You see the problem.  Modern day Islam thinks it is entitled to the entire inheritance from Abraham and willing to strap bombs on their children to force the issue.  Islam is avenging itself because of something that happened 3,500 years ago, and the likelihood these people will change their minds is Zero.

The land of Canaan (now Israel, formerly Palestine) goes to Isaac and his descendants, hence the battle over a tiny piece of land no bigger than New Jersey.  And Europe who tried to pretend for decades that it was so magnanimous and egalitarian is now on High Alert. Iran, even though it is originally Persian, is also controlled by Islamic leaders and part of the enemies of Israel and the West.

See this map online.  Tiny little Israel caught in the middle.  Only God can help.

You will more information about Islam in an e-book for sale online at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo and others.

Things You Should Never Say – and Why

We are so accustomed to hearing words like these we can forget easily that they are foolish. This is my favorite:

To be honest with you, honestly.

Now really? Are you telling people that much of the time you do not tell the truth? If you must remind people that this one sentence is truth, does that imply many other sentences are false? Well maybe so.

The Bible says your speech should be “yea” and “no” and leave it at that.  Most issues do not lend themselves to easy answers.  If you need to explain, find out if they want to listen.

I hear this on TV all the time:

It never gets any better than this.

Really? If it never gets better than this perhaps we should all kill ourselves.  Life is hopeless.  You see the nonsense in this.  If you want to praise something, praise it, but do not confine your opinion or anyone else’s either.  Let the vacation television ads say this, but not you.  Life will get better; optimists believe this and optimism keeps us going when things are bad.

This saying is common in the south:

If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.

The First Amendment to our Constitution alone, of all the nations, guarantees Americans the right to say whatever they wish.  Does that mean rude, crude people open their mouths, with vile things to say? Yes, but you can turn them off, or omit them from your company.

A guy sitting at WalMart saw me in the parking space waiting for someone to come out and advised me with f-bombs etc. to move my car.  I said simply, “Clean up your language.”  He had no authority to ask me to move. He proceeded to swear some more and sat down. We do not need to tolerate that, and in fact should speak up.

But when people say we should not speak anything but good, they forget that we have a public responsibility to tell the truth. That means not repeating rumors or information we cannot verify.  That is called gossip. Keep in mind that people who do evil do not want it mentioned, in public or private. Your silence about good versus evil only empowers evil to increase.

The culture will continue to deteriorate if we fail to push back against bad language and false ideas.  It is our homeland too.

 

Ben Ghazi? Who is He?

It’s been a long slide down to this standoff between the two political parties. Time was when they actually worked together, but no more. It is not because people actively wish conflict; they really need to have common ground but the extremes of position are intractable.

On the Left is humanism, a widely held Worldview which starts and ends with the natural or materialistic world. Man is primarily an animal; he is born, lives and dies within the confines of this world, dominated by his physical needs and desires. God, if there is one at all, is far, far away and disinterested or un-involved.

Mankind is perceived to start out as a blank sheet on which culture writes and creates the citizen. Mankind is not good or bad, just perfectible by a healthy culture. Laws and the government must be constructed to manage the culture so that no one is hurt or corrupted. There is no real moral law which defines right and wrong but there is the concept of ethics, which requires individuals to live together in as much harmony as possible so that others are not damaged by the choices others make.

Since there is no afterlife (or possibly the idea that everyone goes to an undefined heaven, whatever that is) there is no God to whom we are accountable. We are under this system accountable only to each other. In order to manage and maintain such as society almost everything is done by a strong government and a group of bureaucrats or elites who control people, projects, the media and finances.

This rigidity results in determinism, because it is a closed system. There are many nations today who practice this; some are quite successful at it, but it does not allow for much movement forward; it promotes a status quo.  One such nation is Norway which is socialist, requiring one language (which is a good idea), and high taxes.  Norway is able to adhere to this political philosophy because it is largely a homogeneous society. Nations with diverse populations, the United States being the most diverse of all, cannot maintain a one size for all administration.

On the opposite side are the conservatives who believe, as did the authors of the US Constitution, that man is flawed, that He has passions and issues that must be controlled by accountability to not just God but also to one’s fellow man. Conservatives do not accept either the perfectibility of man or his complete depravity; mankind can move forward, both as individuals and as nations if it adheres to an agreed-upon moral law and a governing document, in our case the US Constitution.

Religious life is free largely because Man is perceived as a spiritual being; when the body dies there is another world; we are permanent members of eternity. Out of control passions cannot be allowed to flourish because that will eventually lead to the deterioration of the individual and the society or family around him.  Individuals must assume responsibility for their own actions, and groups assume responsibility for the actions of their government as well.

You cannot find more opposite positions and they can’t come together.  For example, a Liberal believes that he or she can, because it is legal, kill a child in the womb and have someone else pay for it through taxes; the Conservative believes that an individual’s actions are handled by that individual and no person should be required to pay for the murder of another person’s child.

We use to call these two groups Democrats and Republicans, terms we can’t use anymore because definitions are fluid and people can change sides so quickly. In addition, large groups of voters are uninformed about a host of issues relying instead on simple sentences to define their position while forgetting that all  important issues are complex.

In all this we find the voter does not have a clue what he/she is ding.  Like the girl who was asked her opinion on Benghazi? Who is he, she wanted to know? When a great body of voters are ignorant the entire process is damaged.

Today we have stalemate at the federal level. The conservatives have not conserved anything they value for 50 years other than their on sinecure while progressives have changed large swathes of social law and practice without zero progress in any area.

The tension between Right and Left is supposed to work, but only on the condition that the country is more important than party. It reminds me of the first World War when opposing armies hid behind trenches to spare themselves and lobbed armaments at the opposing trenches. They called it the Great War but in the end it was not great at all. And neither is this one.

2018 In the Valley of Decision

There are not two valleys of decision, but one and we are in it now in 2018. Everywhere there is conflict and people taking positions for and against. The decision is about standards, moral, political, social, and cultural. So we have standards of behavior or not, and what will happen if we continue to see decline in public and private morals and behavior?

A TV pundit says the Vice President is nuts for thinking he hears from God. Moses heard from God, Mary, Jesus’ mother, heard from God and Paul and many others we read about.  Why can’t our Vice President?

Millions watch this program (millions refuse to watch as well) but God does not step in; millions are also being asked to take sides. Will you go with your faith and claim to be a Christian who speaks to God or will you lose your nerve and agree with the TV personality who says that it’s nuts?  That is one valley of decision.  Where you go from here depends on your response. Your future is in your mouth.

Billy Graham dies and some of the vituperative remarks about him rocked me back on my heels.  No one talks about the dead like that no matter how much they dislike him.  It is not good manners, but they called him evil names.  I was slightly amused – as several said he was a money grubber but of all the evangelists on  TV his personal finances were more wisely managed by others.  He lived well, but he also spent corporate money on the ministry itself in great detail. Newspapers tried to string him up – and lost.

The same fate has dogged critics of President Donald Trump. Of all men he is most despised by news organizations. But we notice that his critics also seem to disappear like a mist into some backwater never to be heard from again. They talk about the “Trump curse” whereby friends and supporters of Trump are ostracized by their friends, including one outspoken Jewish lawyer, Alan Dershowitz.  In the midst of all this suddenly some of the very loudest voices find themselves fired from major posts as sexual harassers.  Clearly there was no connection between Trump and the harassment charges but you could virtually line up the critics like ten pins and watch them go down.

Fake news, fake accounts, fake advertising from Russians forever after our election to produce fake polls asking for rebellion against the new president.  It goes on and on.  We learn that young people have no clue about true American history; they cannot name parts of the US Constitution which is the governing document by which we agree to live together.

The valley of decision requires us to be cautious about every single word we hear. The moment we start to mature as adults is the very moment we realize we have been lied to. For the rest of us this is a valley of decision.  The common man is being asked to take sides.  For God it is always, will you be on God’s side. That is on the side of personal morals and accountability.

The arrogant and contemptuous way they often speak about celebrities who out shine them in every way are also the people who themselves who have few credentials.  I should keep a list and see how long they last.

Cable subscribers are leaving by the thousands; I believe the figure today is 1.5 million.  So the companies raise their prices? Does this make sense? And another thousand or two decide why be harangued at so they cut the cord.  Perhaps if news organization would start reporting the news instead of trying to make the news they’d have more viewers.  Meanwhile subscribers to private TV, such as CRTV and numerous evangelists, are on the rise. If you are not paying for cable you do have some money for someone else’s broadcast.

Some Christians believe that war is optional.  It is not.  Wars are started by people who think they can win them, and of course, they can if the opposition does not fight back. Americans have a fight on their hands to get their country back to the point where a 25 year old man at the grocery store does not f-bomb everyone in line for being slow. The war is at our very door.

Ad Hominum Ad Nauseum

Hatred is exhausting.  I don’t have any hatred heaped upon me personally, but if I read the mainstream media that is about all I get. Hatred, failure, revenge, hopelessness.  I thought my life was great, until I saw the news.  If it drains the life out of me and I avoid the news, what is happening to the people who bathe in these putrid waters every day, 24/7 online, on the TV, wherever you go?
God doesn’t have a one sided view of humankind, or our problems, or even our solutions. Jesus makes it clear that we are sinners needing help, but then he also gives us a solution and says, “Atta boy, you can do it.” There is no continuing heaping of guilt and shame on us for our failings, as though we would never get our heads up, fearing we’ll be shot down once again.
Negative emotions take a terrible toll on one’s health.  Jealousy, says the Bible is the rage of a man.  Can you imagine spending all your days being jealous, and enraged? Who would want to live in your house? The children would scatter if they saw you coming; your wife would join a canasta club and stay away. Your boss would dread your showing up at work to have you spread gloom and doom.
“The heart if man is evil above all things and desperately wicked,” said God in Jeremiah.  But it also says in Ezekiel, “A new heart and a new spirit will I put in you.” God wants us to recognize our frailties but also the cure through His provision.
The Media has placed itself under a curse by encouraging violence which keeps their 24/7 news cycle greased with pictures of evil doers, angry mobs, protests, vandalism, looting and well-financed marches. Rational leaders and citizens have little chance of being heard. Being good is not news to the news people who are competing for bloody video and advertising dollars.

 

God has a long list of the things He hates which modern Media feast upon, Such as  “Hate stirs up fights. But love erases all sins by forgiving them.”
Proverbs 10:12. Here is a short list of the things God calls an abomination: verse 17  haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18  a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, 19  a false witness who breathes out lies.
You always have the option to not watch.
Recently Bill O’Reilly, a famous political observer, said simply – Journalism is dead.  But good writing is not, and if the negativity of the press puts you off, there are many online sources which calmly seek to inform.

 

To Move Forward, Leave the Past Behind

Sometimes we forget that the Bible is a book for all aspects of life, not just those associated with spiritual living. 90 percent of our life is lived outside church. But the rules of success in God are identical to those for success in life, all 70 to 80 years of it.

Philippians 3:14 says this in the Phillips edition. The J. B. Phillips’ version is always very practical about daily living.

Quoting Paul. “…I do concentrate on this: I leave the past behind and with hands outstretched to whatever lies ahead I go straight for the goal…”

Note first there is a goal.  We all have them, but before we can realize a future goal we must release the past.  In fact the Past isn’t the Past until it is dealt with; and not someone else’s past, but ours. Constant focus on the past causes a person to atrophy, to become bitter and isolated.  Misery finds comfort with other miserable people.

There is no sadder example of this than the 18 month barrage against President Donald Trump by the media and people who are not happy with him as president. If they want real change there is always the next election but instead millions of tax dollars are spent dredging up his past; nothing seems to make any difference to the public, so the public vitriol goes no where.  One group wants me to pay “reparations” for some evils of previous generations.  I can’t pay them; I have to pay my light bill.  I am living in today not yesterday.

Living in the past of hatred, blame, accusation,  ascribing guilt, all laced with 4 letter cursing (cover the children’s ears) has an exhausted American TV viewer cutting the cable and turning on the radio.

One of the first rules of life is that you can’t make anyone do anything.  We have laws which require lawbreakers to be charged in court with crimes based on past behavior, but we have no way to make other people do right in the future –  no drug, no food, no law can force another person to act in any particular better way. All the charges, allegations, denunciations and invective have not changed the President one bit.  And it won’t affect change on your spouse, your children, or the co-workers on the job.

Expecting others to change simply won’t work.  If you want change, you start by changing yourself. And if we do not change, our lives become increasingly ineffective. How we spend our money, how we spend our time will determine whether we are living in the past or “pressing on to that high calling in Christ” that Paul refers to, a goal that is beyond ourselves and beyond the touch of others’ and their malaise.

European Stupidity Created America

Americans are so separate from the rest of the world and so absorbed with our own problems we cannot imagine the world of 1700 out of which our little nation grew. While Europeans were wearing powdered wigs and overindulging getting richer as the poor got poorer the  American colonists they called hicks, were educating themselves in the classics, learning Latin, Greek and common law, studying Shakespeare’s plays, and speaking French.

Here are the lessons those farmers, soldiers and merchants were learning. First, you do not want a leader from one family. There was intermarriage in European families which resulted in medical problems like King George 3rd who probably suffered from a blood disease known as porphyria, or one we know so well -Toulouse Lautrec who suffered the stunted growth of the marriage of first cousins. Many middle eastern nations today can point to 1500 years of intermarriage. Insanity is only one of the possible outcomes of this. We can be glad King George was ill as a more vigorous English King might have won the revolutionary war.

Second, the Americans learned that no group of powerful people should select the nation’s leader.  Oligarchies provided the unfortunate Italians with Nero and Diocletian who left their nation in moral and economic shambles.

Third, they knew their Shakespearean plays, which the 15th century Brits were ribald soap operas based on English history. When Will wrote the tragedies of various Kings, Richard, and a group of Henrys, British play goers saw the history of their nation through these plays and 200 years of Royals murdering each other’s children or other rivals. Richard had 2 young cousins murdered in their beds.

Other rivals found themselves in the Tower of London, last stop before a beheading. The result was years of unrest and the constant threat of war with European nations, especially France. Blood and gore makes for good theater but not for daily life. This issue is one of succession – who will take over after the current leader dies or leaves office? The US Constitution mandates a smooth transfer of power. Of all the unique factors about the Constitutions the peaceful succession is uncommon in other parts of the world

Fourth, a state-mandated religion caused conflict. Henry the 8th we’ve all heard about – he rid himself of 6 wives all because the Roman Catholic church’s Pope said he could not divorce a wife.  But Henry wanted a male heir.

After all these years and wives, God had the last laugh.  A daughter survived and Queen Elizabeth the First managed to give some stability to her nation.  But the conflict between religions continued.  The only cure would be freedom of religion for all, which the wise Americans made not the 2nd or the 3rd amendment to the Constitution, but the first!

The fifth issue involved money. Monopolies lead to unchecked power so leaders with unlimited authority take as much money as they can, (these days they just print it) impoverish the nation, and finance wars, always fought by other people, that is, the people who are not national leaders. To mitigate this the Constitution divides authority into three sections, administration, judicial and legislative.

Then the Legislature is also divided into two parts in most states. This arrangement forces officials on both sides to compromise and if everyone wants the best for the country the result is fairly good law and management. This works so well other nations have copied it.

Seventh, people as individuals must be free to speak, assemble to form clubs and organizations, and to read newspapers and other media without government inference, and be free to move from one state to another.  Only during wartime are their any constraints on the media. There are many “democracies” in the world today but most of them have a controlled press (Russia, China, North Korea), no secret ballot and no ability to move to the city to take a job.

Germany had a state financed Lutheran church until after World War 2. Great Britain still has no “bill of rights” as we do. Many nations are strictly Muslim – Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Pakistan, and many more. Only state-sanctioned Christian churches are permitted in China and certain doctrinal requirements demanded.  For example, Christian Pastors must teach that all people go to heaven which is absolutely not part of the Holy Bible. No Christian material can be printed in China and the rules against Christians are becoming more onerous, even to the burning down of churches.

We are right to conclude that the world wants to flee their home country for America when you consider how peaceful it is in comparison to other nations but it only works if they leave their failing systems behind and accept and adjust to a new way of viewing government.

Three is a good bit of activity these days to change the Constitution without realizing that every change brings back a problem that was originally recognized and addressed by the Congress that wrote it. Socialism, for example, does not work because it allows a reward for indolence. If our forefathers can learn from others’ mistakes, so should we.

 

 

 

 

Government Health Care – the High Priest of Secular Religion

About 100 years ago Progressive politics started its long climb up as the secular way to replace a morally based government with one founded on the fashionable new Darwinian, evolutionary view of man as strictly an animal with “needs.”  Those needs did not include faith in God if one could replace a morally demanding deity in public life through governmental provision and intervention.

Out of this idea came the socialist then the communist state. In spite of obvious failures in every communist system right up to the 21st century and the fall of Venezuela, and weakness in socialist governments worldwide, devotees to this godless-religious view of life continue undeterred. The coup de grace came 100 years later in 2009 when on Christmas Eve one political party and only one voted to provide government health care.  Only it wasn’t medical care; it was an insurance tax which drained money into the government without allowing anyone but the well-off citizen to pay the ensuing doctor bill.

When only one group supports something you can be sure it won’t fly – and it didn’t. Eventually the high cost sank the project and it was finally eliminated by a new president through management decisions.

But why it represents the crown on the socialist system is our reason to write this. Throughout history every society has placed the highest honor to that person or group which could heal disease or at least ameliorate its effects.  The priests were also expected to turn base metal into gold, and perform essentially magic tricks.  And they could do it – up to a point. Moses’ confrontation with the Pharaoh in Egypt demonstrated that the priests of Ra (and other Egyptian gods) could copy many of God’s demonstrations of power.

Other societies went to witch doctors or cargo cult religious teachings as a substitute for the Great Healer. Jesus  Himself received the most criticism from the Jewish priests for healing – and that on a Saturday!  And that in spite of the fact that they could not copy His successes.

Satan blamed God for treating wealthy, righteous Job with kid gloves, and asked that he (Satan) prove whether Job was a summer soldier. (from The Message.)

Job 1:6-7 One day when the angels came to report to God, Satan, who was the Designated Accuser, came along with them. God singled out Satan and said, “What have you been up to?”

Satan answered God, “Going here and there, checking things out on earth.”

God said to Satan, “Have you noticed my friend Job? There’s no one quite like him—honest and true to his word, totally devoted to God and hating evil.”

9-10 Satan retorted, “So do you think Job does all that out of the sheer goodness of his heart? Why, no one ever had it so good! You pamper him like a pet, make sure nothing bad ever happens to him or his family or his possessions, bless everything he does—he can’t lose!

11 “But what do you think would happen if you reached down and took away everything that is his? He’d curse you right to your face, that’s what.”

12 God replied, “We’ll see. Go ahead—do what you want with all that is his. Just don’t hurt him.” Then Satan left the presence of God.

Satan lost that bet, but Job also lost nearly everything in the process.  His test of faith in the end, however, was rewarded by a restoration of much, and a remarkable increase in wealth as well. In addition Job proved to himself his faith. Self-knowledge is also a valuable commodity.

Have the American voters learned anything? We can certainly hope so.