April 9, 2010

One Last Rant…

Category: News — Ira @ 6:15 pm

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All you zombies hide your faces.
All you people in the street,
All you sittin’ in high places.
The rain’s gonna’ fall on you.

Hooters, lyrics: “All you Zombies…”
____________________________

They do it every year, like clockwork. Always just before Easter. Always so utterly predictable, always in the most serious scholarly manner, and always, despite a great charade of earnestly searching for objective truth, always the same tired preordained conclusions. I don’t know why they even bother anymore.

Always, in some major magazine, the cover story. “Was Jesus real?” or some such mindless question. Or “Did Jesus really exist?” The long vacuous interviews with Rev. Dr. So-and-So, who of course graduated with honors from the Princeton Divinity School, or some similar high falutin’ place. And the good Rev. Doctor always spouts the same muddled psychobabble that passes for knowledge these days in the esteemed institutions of higher learning. The bemused expression, the ever so slightly lifted eyebrow, that one could be so obtuse as to believe that anyone, ever, had risen from the dead. Of course, he generously concedes, one can always admire the life of Jesus (while not admitting that he for sure existed) and the beautiful lessons He taught. One can glean some comfort from that. And, of course, the untaught, the unwashed, must always cling to their old outdated fables.

But what with science and all, we can now measure the age of skeletal remains right down to within half a million years. Anyone, even a pea-brain, can rest assured that no one has ever risen from the dead.

They’ve got it down to a formula. That they can harvest again and again, every year. But this year, it was different. This year, they didn’t serve up the mindless Rev. Doctors, at least, not so one would notice. This year, they went right for the jugular. Right for the perceived evil, at its source. But they weren’t concerned about the real evil. They were only concerned about tearing down an ancient enemy, an enemy that has been badly bloodied of late.

This year, they went after the Pope. In one of the most vicious coordinated secular attacks against established religion that I have ever witnessed. Day after day, for more than a week, leading up to Easter. Calls for the Pope to resign. Accusations that he had known of and covered up the terrible priest/child sex abuse scandals for decades.

The New York Times led the attack. Joined by many malcontents, including some ex-Catholics. And the entire world, it seemed, hammered savagely and relentlessly at the foundation of a venerable institution almost two thousand years old.

I’m not Catholic. Not particularly a fan of the current Pope, either. The Church has endured its scandals over the decades, centuries, and millennia. And I have issues with some of its foundational doctrines.

But I respect the institution (If any of my Bob Jones professors are reading this, just pick yourselves up off the floor). I respect the Catholic Church because it has stood like a bulwark against the shifting tides of political correctness. It has stridently called abortion what it is, murder. It has insisted on the traditional concept of marriage. And it has respect for all human life, even the lives of murderers. Although misguided in its economic philosophy, it has spoken out for the poor and the oppressed world wide.

On these issues, and others, the Church has not budged. And has made itself the target and bitter enemy of modern utopians. Secularists who are succeeding in forging the world to conform to their bleak visions. Forces that hate and despise the Church and all it for which it stands.

And this latest coordinated attack was preplanned. Long ago. To unfold during Christianity’s holiest week. To embarrass and hound, to accuse the Pope of the vilest of acts, that of covering up the abuse of innocent children.

From what I’ve read, and I have no reason to disbelieve it, the Pope, back when he was a Cardinal, worked tirelessly to bring to justice the abusive priests. And to cleanse the Church of this evil. The accusers knew this. Deliberately ignored it. And bayed for his blood.

The Church is damaged. Peggy Noonan (a practicing Catholic), in her chatty, oh so reasoned and sweet Washington Beltway narrative, thinks it will take a least a generation for the damage to be healed. I was quite irritated at Ms. Noonan a year or so ago, when she lauded Mr. Obama and criticized Sarah Palin. Quit reading her stuff for awhile. How obtuse can she get? But on this point, I think she’s right.

But the Church will endure. It has survived political intrigue and scandals off and on for almost its entire existence. We always think our current times are worse than any others, ever before. But they usually aren’t.

The Pope has not stepped down. He won’t. Viva Pope!

About the same time the Pope was viscously attacked from all sides, a poor little ragtag militia group in Michigan was surrounded and arrested by federal thugs. Eight befuddled hillbillies, staring in bewilderment at the camera.

They are being charged with seditious acts. Whatever that means. Planning to kill cops, or some such thing. Words, mostly. Which ain’t a whole lot.

It’s a farce. And it’s a sham. The little group was infiltrated by some nutcase lowlife criminal informant who was pressed into service. An agent provocateur who rabble- roused them to say and do things they would not have otherwise said or done. It was entrapment. The Feds sent in dozens of agents and spent probably a million bucks to nab them. The idea that this bedraggled little “militia” was even a remote threat to the federal government is not only ludicrous; it’s sad. And scary for all of us.

Now a federal judge has denied bail. These poor hicks are in serious trouble. They will be railroaded into plea bargains and will likely spend decades, if not the rest of their lives, in prison.

I’ve thought about it. Who would make the best next door neighbors? The “dangerous” militia guys? Or the jack booted federal thugs who arrested them? It’s not even close.

Welcome to Amerika. This is not justice. This is tyranny. It’s intimidation. A warning for all the rest of us out there. We’d better cower and keep our mouths shut. Not complain too much about government. Or they’ll come after us.

It just ain’t right. But it’s the world we live in. An increasingly dark and frightening world.

And that, my friends, is probably the last rant you’ll see from me for awhile. It was on my mind this week, during the tension of the approaching Tyndale trip. I had to write something.

On Thursday morning, after an extremely restless night, I got up at around three o’clock. Showered, dressed, threw a duffle bag and my briefcase into Big Blue and headed for the PHI airport. I hate cities and I hate airports. But for this trip, and at that hour, it was no problem.

I passed through the gauntlet of TSA thugs, er, workers, with minimal hassles. What a colossal waste of resources, our airport security apparatus. My flight took off on time, and by shortly after nine, we touched down in Chicago.

There, I was met by Susan Taylor, the editor assigned to my book. Less than forty minutes later, we arrived at Tyndale House in Carol Stream. A huge office complex, with an attached warehouse.

Susan led me to the third floor office of Carol Traver, Tyndale’s senior non fiction acquisition editor. And there she was. The lady who had made it all possible for me. It seemed like we already knew each other, having chatted on the phone numerous times. Carol then gave me an extensive tour of the Tyndale complex.

I don’t remember all their names, but I met a lot of very friendly people. All were most gracious and seemed genuinely pleased to meet me. Some few even mentioned that they read my blog. I absorbed it all. Not many get a guided tour like I was getting.

And then it was time to get to work. Carol, Susan and I set up in a conference room. For the next five hours, we worked our way through my life. From birth. They were experts at extracting memories, incidents, scenes. Carol mapped it all out on large easel paper. Picture boarding.


Outside Tyndale’s main entrance.


With Carol Traver. Whether I succeed or fail, this is the lady
who made it all possible.


With Susan Taylor, the editor who will be working with me.

It was intense. Draining. And a lot of fun. By 4:30 or so, we wrapped it up. The all important easel paper picture board was carefully folded and placed in my briefcase.

Later, they took me out to eat at a lovely little Irish pub. And then to my room at the Hampton. This morning a stretch limo, driven by a Ukrainian with a heavy accent, took me back to O’Hare and my flight out. Only the second limo ride of my life.

My flight back went right on time. Three hours ago, I walked into my home. Back again. After a whirlwind trip.

I’m exhausted. It seems surreal, everything that just came down. But it was good. I think I’m as ready as I’ll ever be.

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(13 Comments) »

  1. Glad to hear your trip went well and you are home safe and sound. Your Davis County Fan Club can’t wait to read the fruits of your labor.

    Comment by DJ — April 9, 2010 @ 7:12 pm

  2. …and the Fan Club of Central Illinois!

    Comment by Ed Yoder — April 9, 2010 @ 8:00 pm

  3. Glad to hear things went well in Chicago!

    Leon

    Comment by Leon — April 9, 2010 @ 9:36 pm

  4. You got me when you mentioned the Ukr’n! I don’t suppose you found out where he’s from…

    oh- and glad it went well in Chicago… Ukrainian limo driver and all. :)

    Comment by ann — April 10, 2010 @ 4:42 pm

  5. How exciting to hear of your interview at Tyndale publishers. This book will no doubt bring you into the national spotlight – not that you are not already there.

    Concerning our current Pope Benedict – or Benediction. Many believe, including the Pope himself, him to be the last pope, hence his name. I seen an authentic documentary where he declared himself to be god on earth. Our current president has been secretly prepared and groomed by him before his election.

    The godly remnant throughout history including the reformers, Anabaptists with many other authentic men of God, have traditionally contended popish Rome to be the antichrist system.

    Do not panic, I am not fanatic concerning the end time scenario, but as you said, wrong statements from the wrong people can get one behind bars very quickly, as you have so aptly expressed concerning the Michigan militia.

    Keep writing,

    Ben

    Comment by Ben Girod — April 10, 2010 @ 6:54 pm

  6. Viva Ira, Ira that is a very unique name.

    I only know a few Iras, two farmers, one plumber, a drunken marine who went to war, and an accomplished author. Strange thing, with only three letters ,Ira can somehow be pronounced at least four different ways. Thanks to german dialect without a wrong way or right way to say anything. Good luck with the book, don’t write it for us, write it for yourself, Ira.

    Thanks for all the posts.

    Paul

    Comment by Paul — April 11, 2010 @ 2:06 am

  7. I think your good writer, love to read stories about things you know of, but your strong views on subjects you do not understand hurts your credibility.

    I think you honestly feel the way you do, I honestly feel you feel your voicing what you think needs to be said, but I think you not given enough consideration of the other side of the argument.

    Would you say, only punish the perpetrators, or you include the people over them that knew let it go on, because it was more important to represent a clean flawless image of the church?

    I know the Catholic church put your forefathers in jail for nothing, for worshiping another way different than theirs, that is why the Amish came to America and you defend them?

    Comment by Lee Nelson Hall, Jr. — April 11, 2010 @ 5:20 pm

  8. If the group in Michigan had called themselves Islamic rather than Christian, Would you feel the same way? You really should do better research before making such harsh judgments.

    Ira’s response: What part of “I don’t trust the Feds” don’t you understand? Maybe you should do better research before assuming my reaction would be any different if the group were Muslim. http://www.lewrockwell.com/grigg/grigg-w138.html

    Comment by Mike Fisher — April 13, 2010 @ 10:46 am

  9. So busy I couldn’t even look up your blog til today.

    Ira, I appreciate your views. And, being your very own blog, you do not need to be a forum looking at all sides, but can just say it right out! Amazing how civic freedom and personal will work together like that.

    Blessings on your writing. I won’t look for more until your book comes out.

    Dawson Trotman had a great quote (which I can’t remember) like: A leader is like a mountain; there are always mists of criticism about it. (It’s in his autobio, The Navigator.)

    Comment by LeRoy — April 14, 2010 @ 8:49 pm

  10. I wrote a comment a few days ago, “a mist of criticism” for you dear friend, but the captcha thing ate it. A gentle screed (if there is such a thing) about the RC, just like the Amish church does, turning its back on victims and defending the perps.

    I was on another forum today and came across a post that I will cross-post here. Peter Dewberry states it much more eloquently that I ever could….

    “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.” Mt.5: 11.

    It is always satisfying to read that Christopher Hitchens and his ilk are put in their place in a secular newspaper like the NY Times. It has never surprised me that the Christian faith gets denigrated by the world. Jesus gave us a clear warning that this would happen and attached an encouraging beatitude to the warning.

    However, I think that we ought also to take note of the qualifier at the end Mt. 5:11 “because of me.”

    We all know that there is more than enough evidence of widespread clergy sexual abuse of minors in the RC church. Widespread in that it has been uncovered in the North America and so far in numerous European countries. These criminal acts of abuse have been compounded by the shameful cover-ups of the hierarchy. In most cases getting the hierarchy to come clean has been like pulling teeth, slowly and painfully.

    The secular media and the likes of Christopher Hitchens have been handed a very big stick by the church itself, is it any wonder that they have grabbed it eagerly and beaten the church with it? Furthermore, I’m not surprised that they have fashioned their own sticks of misinformation and falsehood to continue their anti-Christian attacks.

    Church leaders, Catholic and Protestant, need to remember the qualification given to Timothy that we in leadership in God’s church, “must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap. 1Tim. 3:7.

    In order to lay this whole matter to rest it is my belief that the Pope, with all the authority he has in his hands, ought to call the Catholic church into a period of public penitence.

    ”…let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”

    Comment by pilgrimhen — April 20, 2010 @ 3:10 pm

  11. If you (all of you) want to keep your Superfood, supplements, and natural treatments, McCain is at it still, this time with Specter’s help (sneaking it in S. 510). See this page, and use the link at the bottom to express your view:
    http://jbs.org/health-care-freedom-blog/6233-update-mccains-dietary-supplement-has-new-life

    Ira, we trust your writing is going forward.

    Comment by LeRoy — April 29, 2010 @ 8:25 pm

  12. I have no sympathy for the Pope or the priests that so heartlessly and cruelly molested or covered up molestation of so many innocent children. I attended a Catholic school for twelve years. Though there was never an issue with priests abusing children (just drinking enough beer to kill a horse) I’m convinced there was a cover-up for a coach that molested at least one boy that I know of. That my whole class knew of! So why, I ask, did the nuns and priests not know about it? Somebody besides we kids knew about it. They had to have known. That poor, sweet, shy boy. No father around to protect him.
    My stomach churns. And for the life of me, I don’t know why I didn’t tell my mother! Dumb!
    I was watching a DVD of a priest who molested many, many children. This guy was off his rocker. Just looking at him gave me the creeps. Near the end of the DVD the priest said he had been molested by a priest as a boy. When the interviewer asked him how he felt about that his entire demeanor changed. It was creepy. The smirk he wore throughout the show disappeared with that one question. Freaky!
    I didn’t realize Tyndale is in Carol Stream. That’s not too far from me. Very nice pictures of you and the ladies. It must have been quite an experience.

    Comment by Francine — January 16, 2013 @ 1:46 am

  13. There’s nothing quite like being able to tour a publishing house/office, especially if you love books and writing :) I was able to tour a few in my time at the bookstore but never Tyndale. Wondering if your editor is part of the founding family of Tyndale? I had the priviledge of metting Kenneth Taylor at convention one year where he shared how and why he did the living bible. It must have been the year Tyndale released the NLT. He was a wizened old man with a gentle spirit and a shock of white hair. That he loved The Lord and Tyndale was obvious. You are with a great publisher! (but you already know that) :)

    Comment by Eileen — February 18, 2013 @ 9:06 am

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