Rhetoric

By Dr. Jim Ferguson

Christmas has come to the Ferguson home in June. We’ve begun to move into our new house, but we’re still living out of boxes, and each one we open is like a surprise on Christmas morning. I’m still looking for the box that contains my underwear. The one labeled “Jim’s clothing” contained socks, shirts and a ratchet tool set. Apparently, my “professional” packing job was anything but.

Like most of us, I have too much stuff, even though in preparation for the move to our retirement home, Becky and I donated truckloads of stuff to KARM (Knox Area Rescue Ministries) and Angelic Ministries. These are worthy organizations, and they were kind to thank us for our “treasures,” collected over thirty-seven years which could not fit into a house half the size of our previous home. The premise of Jared Diamond’s  book, “Guns, Germs and Steel” was that westerners have “too much cargo,” the observation of an aboriginal man whose tribe Diamond was studying. I have a friend who has moved many times due to job changes, and she advises moving every eight years and taking nothing with you.

I saw on the news that President Trump had a birthday last week. Birthdays are special for my grandkids, but far less so for me. In antiquity, birthdays were never a focus, perhaps because the person had yet to do anything to be honored. More importantly was honoring a person’s life and accomplishments after death. Obviously, the honoree would not hear the eulogy, but as a Christian I hope that by then I have moved on to a bigger and better reality. Furthermore, Christianity holds that for some inexplicable reason the Creator and Sustainer of the universe thinks that each of us is special. So, birthdays are special after all.

When I published my novel, “Epiphany”, several years ago, we had a book signing event at my church. I thought a few parishioners, friends and patients might attend and purchase an autographed book. I was dumbfounded or as the British say, “gobsmacked” to see hundreds of people come to support me more than my prose. As I looked out at the throng, I had the surrealistic vision that this might be reflective of my own future funeral. It was a blessing, though admittedly an odd one.

As I write this essay from my new porch it is quiet and peaceful looking out into the green forest, while a romantic train whistles in the distance. This place seems light years from the hatred inspired vitriol which provoked the attack on Republicans in Washington D. C. The violence has even shocked Bernie Sanders and Nancy Pelosi. Yes, North Korea threatens the world, ISIS murders across the Middle East, Iran nukes up, but now the hatred for views oppositional to liberal progressives who masquerade as Democrats has brought homegrown terrorism to America.

As we all listened to reports of the attack by the former Bernie Sanders supporter and left wing activist, James Hodgkinson, I was thinking the same words “political rhetorical terrorism” voiced by Representative Rodney Davis after his friend and colleague Steve Scalise was shot. Hodgkinson was undoubtedly imbalanced, though this was disputed by his friends. He had been living in a van since coming to Washington two months ago. His alt-left rants on social media and in his hometown Illinois newspaper suggest a policy wonk radicalized by the mainstream media, academia, Hollywood and Democrats like Maxine Waters. Apparently these uber-left “citizens” don’t understand the consequences of Shakespeare in the Park depicting President Trump’s murder, a pseudo-comedic stage prop with President Trump’s severed head or a professor who says Republicans should be lined up and shot. Yes, we have free speech in America, but we are not free to shout “Fire” in a theatre. Rhetoric has consequences, and the attack in Washington is a result of political and rhetorical terrorism working on a sick mind.

Many in Congress are now saying they should have security guards when they leave the protective enclave of Capitol Hill. But what about We The People? I’ve said for years that the police are unable to immediately protect us and the judicial system refuses to do so. A sheriff in Florida is now advising citizens to get a carry permit and function as the first line of defence in the event of an attack. Terrorists expect people to run and hide and don’t expect citizens to return fire. Liberals will whine that we should throw out the 2nd Amendment and remove guns from everyone but the government. But then we would also have to remove knives, hatchets and trucks from all would be nut-jobs and terrorists. And political correctness and judicial activism would soon intervene and oppose any profiling, border security and instead promote sanctuary cities.

Our country is under attack from outside and from within. Similarly, Christianity is under attack all over the world and even in the United States Senate. Bernie Sanders recently interrogated a Trump budget nominee about the man’s Christianity. Sanders finally concluded that “this nominee is really not someone who is what this country is supposed to be about.” Apparently, Bernie doesn’t know that the Constitution states “no religious test shall be required as a qualification to any office.”

So what should we do in this era of enmity, fake news and hatred? There’s little Americans can do about the overt enmity the United Nations and many other countries have for the US except defund enemies of America. Appeasement and bribery didn’t stop the Barbary Pirates, and Obama’s apology tours bred even more contempt and danger.

We should be aware that there is a concerted effort to overturn the election of November 8, 2016. Prior to Hillary Clinton’s unexpected defeat, Obama repeatedly said there was no evidence of election collusion between the Russians and Trump or his staff. Despite these assertions, one day after the election the Russians were all of a sudden everywhere and in everything. And now, since no collusion can be found after almost a year of investigation by the media and Democrats, we move into charges of obstruction of the investigation. Folks, it’s all politically motivated fake news. What is documented is the DNC (Democratic National Committee) and CNN’s collusion to defeat Bernie Sanders, and Obama’s Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, obstruction of Comey’s investigation of Hillary Clinton.

Wisdom writings teach us that hatred is unhealthy and often deadly. You need look no further than 9/11, Fort Hood, San Bernardino, Orlando, Chattanooga, Paris, London or Washington D. C. Where will hatred strike next?

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