We Are Responsible

 

There’s an old joke about a guy whose entire neighborhood is being inundated by flood waters. He climbs on his roof, and proclaims to all and sundry that “G-d will save me!” He repeats that line to different would-be rescuers in canoes, and even, near the end, to the crew of a helicopter looking for survivors.

When the man drowns and goes to heaven, he is outraged. “Where was my salvation?!” G-d says, “What do you want from me? I sent three canoes and a helicopter!”

When I was much younger my family was devastated by a death in the family – my older brother, killed in a freak accident at only seven years old. There were many possible explanations how this could have happened, but the way I read it is that G-d sent many warnings to my parents to change their lives (they had chosen a dangerous and ultimately unproductive way of life, living with nature in the middle of nowhere). In the end, G-d made the point in a way that changed their lives, even though it irrevocably damaged my parents and threatened to utterly destroy our family. They, too, had ignored the repeated warnings.

I understand the Holocaust in precisely the same manner: The signs were all there but were only acknowledged by too few: those who fled Europe before the war broke out. The buildup in threat was real. The declaration that “G-d will save us!” was no help: G-d gives the bad guys free will, too, and they can use it to do evil. The most G-d grants us is warning, a window of opportunity to fight or flee. If we fail to do either, then we will perish.

The tragedy this week at Mt. Meron was keenly felt. The Jewish world is small. Even though 45 people died, I knew, through one person removed, half a dozen of the dead who were crushed, trampled, or suffocated. This was personal for all of us.

And yet I reject the notion that Mt. Meron was G-d’s will. Those people did not “deserve” to die, any more than the children murdered in the Holocaust did. Yet, Meron was not an unpredictable freak accident. There were years and years of poor management, of people refusing to see the obvious problems with the event that had too many people in too small a space coupled with virtually no crowd control. The warnings were all there. But they were ignored.

For me, it is all a reminder: G-d does not save us from ourselves. That would defeat the purpose of mankind’s existence in this world. Instead, He gives us the tools and knowledge and ability to grow up and be responsible. And He commands us to be guardians for ourselves and our world, to stay aware and keep ahead of both the evil and the stupid. Remember that Adam and Eve were not expelled from the Garden after they ate the fruit: they were expelled after they denied responsibility for their own actions. The lessons we refuse to learn keep coming back to haunt us.

In our modern political world, we have this problem writ large. We cannot pretend that critical race theory does not inevitably lead to an openly racist society. We cannot pretend that our children will be OK if we allow the Left to educate them. We cannot pretend that the vacuum in our moral foundation that is the LGBTQ movement won’t lead to the complete destruction of the family and the communities that rely on families to exist. Nor can we pretend that voter fraud does not exist on a scale large enough to threaten all of the United States and its founding principles of a constitutional democracy.

G-d has given us the canoes and the helicopter. We have the tools to change the future. But we must first recognize that there is no alternative but to fight for what is good. The end of Western Civilization comes down to a choice – yours and mine. We must not abdicate responsibility: we must seize it.

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  1. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Joshua 24:15, “And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom you will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the river Euphates, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

    • #1
  2. Vince Guerra Member
    Vince Guerra
    @VinceGuerra

    All year I’ve been listening to fellow Christians with an attitude of, “Oh well. What can you do? God will protect us.” So few of them feel like confronting the pervasive evil is a part of our mission. It is, and it drives me kinda nuts. 

    “If you do not take the distinction between good and bad very seriously, then it is easy to say that anything you find in this world is a part of God… You must believe that God is separate from the world and that some of the things we see in it are contrary to His will. Confronted with a cancer or a slum the Pantheist can say, “If you could only see it from the divine point of view, you would realise that this also is God.” The Christian replies, “Don’t talk damned nonsense.” For Christianity is a fighting religion.” – C.S. Lewis Mere Christianity

    • #2
  3. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Vince Guerra (View Comment):
    “If you could only see it from the divine point of view, you would realise that this also is God.”

    Sure, and confronting evil is part of God, too.

    • #3
  4. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    iWe:

    Nor can we pretend that voter fraud does not exist on a scale large enough to threaten all of the United States and its founding principles of a constitutional democracy.

    About that.

    • #4
  5. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    That is a powerful and very timely message on so many levels.  I hope this makes the Main Feed with bull horns attached.  Thank you for writing it.

    • #5
  6. philo Member
    philo
    @philo

    iWe: We have the tools to change the future. But we must first recognize that there is no alternative but to fight for what is good.

    And we enter the battle with the “tools” we have…this includes but is not limited to: General Romney, General Collins, General Murkowski, General Cheney, …  …  …

    It looks to be a bloody couple of years before we weed out all the “tools” and get to tools worthy of the fight.

    • #6
  7. EHerring Coolidge
    EHerring
    @EHerring

    The Bible teaches many wise lessons for people and societies. When people ignore 7,000 years of recorded history and prefer the wisdom of their own few years on earth, they are operating at a great disadvantage. It doesn’t matter if there really were an Eve, an apple, and a snake or whether they represent temptation. There is a lesson learned. The lesson was repeated in The Devil’s Pleasure Palace. It was repeated again in Michael Walsh’s book of the same name about temptation as he applied it to the cult of critical theory. People believe the system is the cause of their failures and they must destroy the system to succeed. The left is giving them every tool to do so. We were warned over and over. Sodom and Gomorrah, Babel, Jerusalem, Rome …. 

    • #7
  8. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    This is a very timely post. Tyranny has come to America. There has always been places where injustice existed in our country, but it was not national in scope or embraced by entire swathes of our various industries. Today our liberties are truly under threat and if we simply stand on our roof-tops and pray for G-d to save us, we will be taken by the deluge.

    Americans must assert their liberties publicly and other Americans must support them in doing so and build a back fire against this conflagration. It starts with speech and assembly. There is no national emergency that can be permitted to separate us from each other. Those that would collectivize us know the power of numbers and fear it.

    • #8
  9. philo Member
    philo
    @philo

    Rodin (View Comment):

    This is a very timely post. Tyranny has come to America. There has always been places where injustice existed in our country, but it was not national in scope or embraced by entire swathes of our various industries. Today our liberties are truly under threat and if we simply stand on our roof-tops and pray for G-d to save us, we will be taken by the deluge.

    Americans must assert their liberties publicly and other Americans must support them in doing so and build a back fire against this conflagration. It starts with speech and assembly. There is no national emergency that can be permitted to separate us from each other. Those that would collective us know the power of numbers and fear it.

    Cue Havel’s dissident movements and parallel structures.

    • #9
  10. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    We must keep banging this drum incessantly. We are past the time of excuses. We have too much to lose.

    • #10
  11. Weeping Member
    Weeping
    @Weeping

    iWe: Remember that Adam and Eve were not expelled from the Garden after they ate the fruit: they were expelled after they denied responsibility for their own actions. The lessons we refuse to learn keep coming back to haunt us.

    This is an interesting thought. I’d never really focused on the story that way. Thank you for giving me something to think about.

     

    • #11
  12. Caryn Thatcher
    Caryn
    @Caryn

    Hishtadlus.

    • #12
  13. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Caryn (View Comment):

    Hishtadlus.

    Gesundheit!

    • #13
  14. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    From your ears back to G-d’s mouth. 

    • #14
  15. Ansonia Member
    Ansonia
    @Ansonia

    iWe,

    This is such an arresting, amazing post. I have no words.

    • #15
  16. Ansonia Member
    Ansonia
    @Ansonia

    Weeping (View Comment):

    iWe: Remember that Adam and Eve were not expelled from the Garden after they ate the fruit: they were expelled after they denied responsibility for their own actions. The lessons we refuse to learn keep coming back to haunt us.

    This is an interesting thought. I’d never really focused on the story that way. Thank you for giving me something to think about.

     

    What startles me is that I never noticed this. I mean, I did read the story carefully. It really is like those hiding-in-plain-sight figures in a kid’s picture book that you don’t see. Then, when you either see one or someone points one out to you, you see the rest and can’t unsee them.

    • #16
  17. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Ansonia (View Comment):

    Weeping (View Comment):

    iWe: Remember that Adam and Eve were not expelled from the Garden after they ate the fruit: they were expelled after they denied responsibility for their own actions. The lessons we refuse to learn keep coming back to haunt us.

    This is an interesting thought. I’d never really focused on the story that way. Thank you for giving me something to think about.

     

    What startles me is that I never noticed this. I mean, I did read the story carefully. It really is like those hiding-in-plain-sight figures in a kid’s picture book that you don’t see. Then, when you either see one or someone points one out to you, you see the rest and can’t unsee them.

    It’s the difference between Finarfin and Galadriel, I reckon.

    • #17
  18. Ansonia Member
    Ansonia
    @Ansonia

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Ansonia (View Comment):

    Weeping (View Comment):

    iWe: Remember that Adam and Eve were not expelled from the Garden after they ate the fruit: they were expelled after they denied responsibility for their own actions. The lessons we refuse to learn keep coming back to haunt us.

    This is an interesting thought. I’d never really focused on the story that way. Thank you for giving me something to think about.

     

    What startles me is that I never noticed this. I mean, I did read the story carefully. It really is like those hiding-in-plain-sight figures in a kid’s picture book that you don’t see. Then, when you either see one or someone points one out to you, you see the rest and can’t unsee them.

    It’s the difference between Finarfin and Galadriel, I reckon.

    ??? 

    • #18
  19. Ansonia Member
    Ansonia
    @Ansonia

    Ansonia (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Ansonia (View Comment):

    Weeping (View Comment):

    iWe: Remember that Adam and Eve were not expelled from the Garden after they ate the fruit: they were expelled after they denied responsibility for their own actions. The lessons we refuse to learn keep coming back to haunt us.

    This is an interesting thought. I’d never really focused on the story that way. Thank you for giving me something to think about.

     

    What startles me is that I never noticed this. I mean, I did read the story carefully. It really is like those hiding-in-plain-sight figures in a kid’s picture book that you don’t see. Then, when you either see one or someone points one out to you, you see the rest and can’t unsee them.

    It’s the difference between Finarfin and Galadriel, I reckon.

    ???

    O.k., so I quickly looked it up. It’s the Lord of the Rings books. Yes I did read them with my 12 year old son 27 years ago. But I don’t remember these names. (I could barely focus at the time, due to a divorce I didn’t want.) If you can make time, would you please compare Finarfin and Galadriel ?

    • #19
  20. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Ansonia (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Ansonia (View Comment):

    Weeping (View Comment):

    iWe: Remember that Adam and Eve were not expelled from the Garden after they ate the fruit: they were expelled after they denied responsibility for their own actions. The lessons we refuse to learn keep coming back to haunt us.

    This is an interesting thought. I’d never really focused on the story that way. Thank you for giving me something to think about.

    What startles me is that I never noticed this. I mean, I did read the story carefully. It really is like those hiding-in-plain-sight figures in a kid’s picture book that you don’t see. Then, when you either see one or someone points one out to you, you see the rest and can’t unsee them.

    It’s the difference between Finarfin and Galadriel, I reckon.

    ???

    In Silmarillion, the Noldor (High Elves) follow Feanor (Elf prince guy) in a rebellion against the Valar (gods/angels/rightful rulers on earth appointed by G-d/Eru/Iluvatar/The One).

    The rebellion involves pursuing Morgoth (Satan character, the original boss of Sauron) from Valinor (where the Valar live, and Elves are supposed to live) to Middle-Earth, and some Noldor as part of the rebellion murder some innocent Elves who wouldn’t give them their ships.

    Galadriel follows the rebellion as far as Middle-Earth. She takes millennia to fully repent, demonstrate her good character (by refusing the Ring when Frodo offered it), and be allowed back to Valinor.

    Meanwhile, Finarfin (Elf prince guy, half-brother of Feanor) turned back from the rebellion before even getting on the ships.  The Valar forgive him because he takes responsibility for his mistakes; he is made High King over the remaining Noldor in Valinor.  For the rest of the (very big and lovely) book, Finarfin plays the role of a perfectly good, unfallen Elf.

    Using the conventional (sometimes misleading) Christian terminology of “the Fall” to refer to the exile from Eden, we could say that Finarfin is like someone who sinned but never actually fell because he promptly repented and took some responsibility for his actions–what Adam and Eve could have been (maybe, according to speculation).  Galadriel is like someone who sinned and did not take responsibility, was exiled, and only reached a state of repentance and restoration later with much suffering–what Adam and Eve were.

    (Not that Tolkien was writing a biblical allegory. It’s just good Christian worldview fantasy that operates on biblical and Christian principles.)

    • #20
  21. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Ansonia (View Comment):

    O.k., so I quickly looked it up. It’s the Lord of the Rings books. Yes I did read them with my 12 year old son 27 years ago. But I don’t remember these names. (I could barely focus at the time, due to a divorce I didn’t want.) If you can make time, would you please compare Finarfin and Galadriel ?

    Done.

    (LOTR prequel, the Silmarillion.  It’s the mythical backstory. The Hobbit is fantasy adventure, LOTR is fantasy epic, and Silmarillion is fantasy myth.  Myth in literary terms, but entirely historical within the fictional world Tolkien crafted.)

    • #21
  22. Ansonia Member
    Ansonia
    @Ansonia

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Ansonia (View Comment):

    O.k., so I quickly looked it up. It’s the Lord of the Rings books. Yes I did read them with my 12 year old son 27 years ago. But I don’t remember these names. (I could barely focus at the time, due to a divorce I didn’t want.) If you can make time, would you please compare Finarfin and Galadriel ?

    Done.

    (LOTR prequel, the Silmarillion. It’s the mythical backstory. The Hobbit is fantasy adventure, LOTR is fantasy epic, and Silmarillion is fantasy myth. Myth in literary terms, but entirely historical within the fictional world Tolkien crafted.)

    Thank you. Now I want to read the book.

    • #22
  23. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Ansonia (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Ansonia (View Comment):

    O.k., so I quickly looked it up. It’s the Lord of the Rings books. Yes I did read them with my 12 year old son 27 years ago. But I don’t remember these names. (I could barely focus at the time, due to a divorce I didn’t want.) If you can make time, would you please compare Finarfin and Galadriel ?

    Done.

    (LOTR prequel, the Silmarillion. It’s the mythical backstory. The Hobbit is fantasy adventure, LOTR is fantasy epic, and Silmarillion is fantasy myth. Myth in literary terms, but entirely historical within the fictional world Tolkien crafted.)

    Thank you. Now I want to read the book.

    Silmarillion is magnificent.  But, like LOTR, it’s not for everyone. Some people want psychological and relationship drama, maybe some conversation about teenage crushes.

    I like trees.  I like a book that does world-building well enough to tell me about the trees.  Trees are part of the world, and a wonderful part.

    (This is probably not at all fair to people who like Harry Potter better than Tolkien! And HP books really are very good books.)

    • #23
  24. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Ansonia (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Ansonia (View Comment):

    O.k., so I quickly looked it up. It’s the Lord of the Rings books. Yes I did read them with my 12 year old son 27 years ago. But I don’t remember these names. (I could barely focus at the time, due to a divorce I didn’t want.) If you can make time, would you please compare Finarfin and Galadriel ?

    Done.

    (LOTR prequel, the Silmarillion. It’s the mythical backstory. The Hobbit is fantasy adventure, LOTR is fantasy epic, and Silmarillion is fantasy myth. Myth in literary terms, but entirely historical within the fictional world Tolkien crafted.)

    Thank you. Now I want to read the book.

    The audiobook is available for free on YouTube.

    • #24
  25. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    Ansonia (View Comment):

    Weeping (View Comment):

    iWe: Remember that Adam and Eve were not expelled from the Garden after they ate the fruit: they were expelled after they denied responsibility for their own actions. The lessons we refuse to learn keep coming back to haunt us.

    This is an interesting thought. I’d never really focused on the story that way. Thank you for giving me something to think about.

     

    What startles me is that I never noticed this. I mean, I did read the story carefully. It really is like those hiding-in-plain-sight figures in a kid’s picture book that you don’t see. Then, when you either see one or someone points one out to you, you see the rest and can’t unsee them.

    It’s always the cover-up. 

    • #25
  26. Brian Clendinen Member
    Brian Clendinen
    @BrianClendinen

    Yay but the Republican Party is not going to pass the radical accountable laws for public servants, to save us.  They have not been with giving themselves less power, for a long time now.  When we elect people based on their Rhetoric not on actions we are screwed.

    • #26
  27. EHerring Coolidge
    EHerring
    @EHerring

    Brian Clendinen (View Comment):

    Yay but the Republican Party is not going to pass the radical accountable laws for public servants, to save us. They have not been with giving themselves less power, for a long time now. When we elect people based on their Rhetoric not on actions we are screwed.

    Current Rs think you elect someone based on style.

    • #27
  28. Postmodern Hoplite Coolidge
    Postmodern Hoplite
    @PostmodernHoplite

    iWe: In our modern political world, we have this problem writ large. We cannot pretend that critical race theory does not inevitably lead to an openly racist society. We cannot pretend that our children will be OK if we allow the Left to educate them. We cannot pretend that the vacuum in our moral foundation that is the LGBTQ movement won’t lead to the complete destruction of the family and the communities that rely on families to exist. Nor can we pretend that voter fraud does not exist on a scale large enough to threaten all of the United States and its founding principles of a constitutional democracy.

    Hear, hear! Well said, @iwe, and THANK YOU for saying it. I particularly appreciate where you refer to the existence of voter fraud at levels significant to poison the confidence of free and fair national elections. (I’m just about at the point of finally breaking with all National Review media products, if I have to hear one more writer or editor repeat the canard of “no evidence of fraud in 2020”.)

    • #28
  29. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    Postmodern Hoplite (View Comment):

    iWe: In our modern political world, we have this problem writ large. We cannot pretend that critical race theory does not inevitably lead to an openly racist society. We cannot pretend that our children will be OK if we allow the Left to educate them. We cannot pretend that the vacuum in our moral foundation that is the LGBTQ movement won’t lead to the complete destruction of the family and the communities that rely on families to exist. Nor can we pretend that voter fraud does not exist on a scale large enough to threaten all of the United States and its founding principles of a constitutional democracy.

    Hear, hear! Well said, @ iwe, and THANK YOU for saying it. I particularly appreciate where you refer to the existence of voter fraud at levels significant to poison the confidence of free and fair national elections. (I’m just about at the point of finally breaking with all National Review media products, if I have to hear one more writer or editor repeat the canard of “no evidence of fraud in 2020”.)

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

    Voting is how this consent manifests. A stolen election means that the government cannot have legitimate powers. 

    • #29
  30. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    TBA (View Comment):

    Postmodern Hoplite (View Comment):

    iWe: In our modern political world, we have this problem writ large. We cannot pretend that critical race theory does not inevitably lead to an openly racist society. We cannot pretend that our children will be OK if we allow the Left to educate them. We cannot pretend that the vacuum in our moral foundation that is the LGBTQ movement won’t lead to the complete destruction of the family and the communities that rely on families to exist. Nor can we pretend that voter fraud does not exist on a scale large enough to threaten all of the United States and its founding principles of a constitutional democracy.

    Hear, hear! Well said, @ iwe, and THANK YOU for saying it. I particularly appreciate where you refer to the existence of voter fraud at levels significant to poison the confidence of free and fair national elections. (I’m just about at the point of finally breaking with all National Review media products, if I have to hear one more writer or editor repeat the canard of “no evidence of fraud in 2020”.)

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

    Voting is how this consent manifests. A stolen election means that the government cannot have legitimate powers.

    And no corrupt court or corrupt federal agency can make it legitimate. Our rights are never “moot”. 

    • #30