Apathy in the face of tyranny turns out not to be a German or Russian characteristic. I just never thought it could happen in America.Denis Prager
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the memorials of the righteous, and you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have joined them in shedding the prophets’ blood.’
Thus you bear witness against yourselves that you are the children of those who murdered the prophets;Jesus Christ, Matthew 23:29-31
In the sermon on the Mount one of the hardest but most important charges Christ give is this:
Stop judging, that you may not be judged. For as you judge, so will you be judged, and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you.
Now this command refers to the state of one’s soul and in accompanied by the injunction in the Our Father (also known as the Lord’s Prayer) to forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.
Or to put it simply, if you want to be forgiven, forgive.
This came to mind as I finished my piece on courage and freedom being the exception and not the norm and it got me thinking about something.
There was a time I had thoughts of being able to earn a living as a blogger commentator perhaps even breaking into media. I had one local Fox appearance, a NY Post Op Ed. Had been credentialed press for several events, the tip jar was rocking and things were on the rise.
All of it seemed to crash and at once, it took years to get me back to where I am today and I recognized that I’d likely never be able to much more than I am today. That’s fine, I’ve done things and seen things that most people in their lifetime have not and it’s been a great thing to share my thoughts with you who have kept the bills paid around here with perhaps a little extra to spare each year.
But what if I had made it, broken into media with a good paying gig or as I considered back in my twenties, gotten into government and perhaps even as far as congress. What if I was in the place those in the state legislagtures, or the courts or the congress or the media are today when the axe is falling down and the choice is being made?
Robert Ingersoll once said of Abe Lincoln:
“If you want to find out what a man is to the bottom, give him power. Any man can stand adversity — only a great man can stand prosperity. It is the glory of Abraham Lincoln that he never abused power only on the side of mercy.”
There are a lot of folks in media who are making six figures or more, who have comfortable lives, who have children who have a chance to live in comfort because of their jobs.
There are a lot of folks in politics who are making good money, who have the potential to make a lot more when they leave, who have the chance to see that they and theirs are comfortable for the rest of their days.
There are a lot of folks in entertainment and academia who are in the same boat. They are comfortable, they are honored, they are given deference.
And for every one of those people who have made it there are hundreds perhaps thousands of those who are striving for that brass ring.
Now comes the day of testing. They are being told that unless they play ball, unless they tow the line giving exactly the message that is desired by the deep state all of those things are going to be taken from them, and any secrets they have will be exposed. They will go from having the potential for anything they want at any time to being at best a regular nobody or at worst a criminal to be punished.
Cue Henry Hill
It’s the last line in that speech that says it all.
I’d like to think that given the choice of doing the right thing or protecting my prerogatives and my family’s prerogatives I like to think that the way I was raised and the way I raised my children and that I could do this and my family would be willing to endure the loss of income, of position, prestige and the scorn of those around me, but thanks to a merciful God to whom I daily ask “Lead me not into temptation” I don’t have that choice, or to put it another way, all I’m risking by speaking the truth is to remain the average working still that I am while being online by people who don’t know me and will never meet me and perhaps treated in a condescending way by some folks I know.
I’m likely old enough and grounded enough to handle that.
But would I with money in the bank, a bigger mortgage than I have now, with kids going to expensive schools and a chance for them to be set for life, would I have the courage and character to risk all that for the truth to face the fate of Henry Hill who ended his speech saying:
Henry Hill: I’m an average nobody. I get to live the rest of my live like a snook.Good Fellas 1993
Would my faith and trust in God be enough if I had that much to lose? Remember there’s a reason why Christ said how hard it was for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.
That’s why I’m going to do my best not to judge those who did not come through on any level. I suspect many of them in their own minds and hearts are already judging themselves because cowardice is as C. S. Lewis said:
Cowardice, alone of all the vices, is purely painful – horrible to anticipate, horrible to feel, horrible to remember
So instead I will try to take to heart these words from Our Lord:
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall be shown mercyMatthew 5:7
As a person who needs God’s mercy may I take that command to heart