+

Ruth Bader Ginsburg: A Memoriam

(Special Edition)

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg born March 15, 1933 passed away Friday, September 18, 2020. Famously known as the Notorious RBG, her career started after over several decades of personal triumphs and hardships including her mother’s passing the day before her high school graduation from New York’s, Madison High School. A Brooklyn child born Joan Ruth Bader, RBG would meet her husband Martin D. Ginsburg (1933-2010) at Cornell University while graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in government on June 23, 1954. After graduation Ruth took time to focus on her family. She would give birth to her daughter Jane C. Ginsburg on July 21, 1955. Shortly prior, Martin was drafted to serve in the U.S. Army for two years. Once “Marty” completed his service Ruth would continue her education at Harvard Law School.

Law School

Becoming a trailblazer by all accounts, Ruth quickly rose to the top despite obstacles and continual personal difficulties as cancer once again struck her family as Marty was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 1956, her first year at Harvard Law. Nevertheless she persisted. Immense discrimination would befall her as a woman despite growing female attendance in American Colleges and Universities after 1947, a number that continues to grow to this day, but at Harvard Law she would only be 1 of 9 women attending. Today 48.9% are women at Harvard Law School. Ruth was troubled by her chastisement for taking a “male position” at Harvard Law. She would never forget the pushback for being a woman in a male dominated field and, at the time, university. Serving as the first female on the Harvard Law Review while caring for her husband and family amidst personal attacks as a female on-top of her class work was all a feat that she valiantly met.

Like all things in life, this too shall pass, for her years at Harvard ended on a high note of her husbands recovery from cancer and his graduation from Harvard Law which resulted in Marty receiving a job position back in New York. Only having one more year to complete, Ruth Bader Ginsburg transferred to Columbia Law School completing at the top of her class, tying with another student, in 1959.

They Weren’t Ready

Nothing became easier for her career after graduation either. Being denied clerkship with Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter because Frankfurter was not ready for a woman yet, several avenues were blocked simply due to that biological fact. Finally, thanks to the help of a former professor, U.S. District Judge Edmund L. Palmieri hired Ginsburg as a clerk in 1959. Serving for two years, Ginsburg would then become an associate director of the Columbia Law School’s Project on International Procedure (1962-63), Rutgers School of Law as an assistant professor in 1963, and publish the book, Civil Procedure in Sweden (1965). Low pay but it was work, Ginsburg gave birth to her second child and son, James Steven Ginsburg on September 8, 1965. While celebrated by her and Marty, she felt the need to keep the pregnancy secret for fear of losing her teaching contract at Rutger by wearing oversized clothing for the duration of her pregnancy. In 1972, thirteen years after her graduation from Columbia Law School, the university offered her a teaching position where she would become the first female professor at Columbia to be tenured.

A to the C to the L U

Ginsburg co-founded the Women’s Rights Project at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in 1972. She would fight for the Equal Rights Amendment (also known as the Alice Paul Amendment after the Quaker Alice Stokes Paul), a constitutional amendment that dates back to the 1920s and continues to be argued for this day. Leading the fight for women Ginsburg would go on to argue six landmark cases before the Supreme Court of the United States:

For a decade Ruth Bader Ginsburg had the privilege to argue before the Burger Court (1969-1986) (named after Chief Justice Burger), winning five out of the six cases concerning discrimination before the all male Court. Ahead of her joining the Court she influenced legal precedent that set the inroads of progress for men and women alike. It was a highlight of her career while at the ACLU.

Moving On Up

By 1980 Ginsburg was appointed by President Carter for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia; a position she served until 1993 when President Bill Clinton offered her the position of Supreme Court Justice to which she accepted. Ruth Ginsburg would potentially replace the John F. Kennedy appointed, Byron Raymond White (1917-2002), a “nondoctrinaire pragmatist” whose voting record fell on the conservative side, now looking to retire. Senate confirmation hearings occurred from July 20-23 of 1993; a complete pdf record can be found here along with a CSPAN highlights here. After deliberations on August 3, 1993 at 10:25 AM, the Senate confirmed Ruth Bader Ginsburg as the second female Supreme Court Justice in American history by a 96 yea, 3 no, 1 not voting decision.

Once appointed Justice Ginsburg would continue her career of fighting for what she considered unlawful discrimination; in a 1996 landmark decision United States v. Virginia Ginsburg would write the 7-1 decision (Justice Thomas relinquished himself from that case due to his son’s enrollment at the Virginia Military Institute) the Court ruled that VMI’s male-only admissions policy was unconstitutional. Additionally, Justice’s Ginsburg and Scalia would build a beautiful friendship despite their constitutional and political differences for over 22 years while on the Court until Antonin Scalia’s unexpected passing on February 13, 2016.

On June 27, 2010 Martin D. Ginsburg would die after battling cancer once again. And now, after almost ten years past, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg would herself succumb to pancreatic cancer on September 18, 2020, at age 87. Her life was devoted to her husband Marty, her two children, the law and the Constitution, and fighting for women’s rights. A legacy never to be forgotten.

Why We Remember

As author of this article and founder of Truth In Focus and All Things Veritas I want to offer my personal condolences to the Ginsburg family. Yes, as a Christian and a Conservative our differences do vary when we get in the nitty gritty of political and legal issues but we also share a bond for the American people and this nation. At a time when society is so divided the relationship between Justice’s Ginsburg and Scalia serves as a reminder for us all that there can be friendships despite differences. We need that more than ever. And at a time when respect for those in place of authority, especially those of authority whom we most disagree, Ginsburg serves as a reminder that there is room for disagreement and respect for ones differences. This is something we should all take to heart.

Our prayers for the family.

Sincerely,

EKR

References

Alice Paul Institute. ERA: A History, The History of the Equal Rights Amendment. https://alicepaul.org/era/history/#:~:text=During%20the%201940s%2C%20both%20the,state%20on%20account%20of%20sex.

America Civil Liberties Union. Tribute: The Legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and WRP Staff. https://www.aclu.org/other/tribute-legacy-ruth-bader-ginsburg-and-wrp-staff

Goldin, Claudia; Katz, Lawrence F.; Kuziemko, Ilyana. The Homecoming of American College
Women: The Reversal of the College Gender Gap. Journal of Economic Perspectives, Volume 20, Number 4, Fall 2006, Pages 133–156. https://scholar.harvard.edu/files/lkatz/files/gkk_jep.20.4.133.pdf

Howe, Amy. (18 September, 2020). Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, feminist pioneer and progressive icon, dies at 87. SCOTUS Blog. https://www.scotusblog.com/2020/09/justice-ruth-bader-ginsburg-feminist-pioneer-and-progressive-icon-dies-at-87/

NPR. (15 February, 2016) Ginsburg And Scalia: ‘Best Buddies’. All Things Considered. https://www.npr.org/2016/02/15/466848775/scalia-ginsburg-opera-commemorates-sparring-supreme-court-friendship

Oyez. Ruth Bader Ginsburg. https://www.oyez.org/justices/ruth_bader_ginsburg

Smentkowski, Brian P. (last updated 18 September, 2020). Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Ruth-Bader-Ginsburg

Thulin, Lila. (13 November, 2019). The 97-Year-History of the Equal Rights Amendment. Smithsonian Magazine. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/equal-rights-amendment-96-years-old-and-still-not-part-constitution-heres-why-180973548/

Washington & Lee University School of Law Library. Ruth Bader Ginsburg: A Reading List. https://libguides.wlu.edu/c.php?g=601727&p=4166850

+

Burke, Kirk, & Scruton: A Conservative Legacy for the 21st Century

(Insight)

Russell Kirk (Left) Edmund Burke (Center) Roger Scruton (Right)

Legends, a description often given to myth like characters to impart a quintessential ethos concerning their respectability; Edmund Burke, Russell Kirk, and Roger Scruton are not myths but living souls who reserve legendary status in way of their writings and actions concerning conservatism.

Edmund Burke (1729-1797) can only be regarded as the Father of Modern Conservatism; an Irishman whose testimony against the French Revolution became the standard bulwark against sudden, revolutionary rather than evolutionary change. Prior to Burke there are philosophical and political thinkers since ancient times that conservatives consider as great minds of conservatism including Plato, Cicero, and Adam Smith. Yet Burke is reasonably the source by which a clear movement out of the Enlightenment sprung forth called conservatism. Controversially Burke showed favor, at least privately, toward the American Revolution because in his mind the Americans were seeking more than “Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité” that the French Revolution squandered through means of a gut wrenching bloodbath, godless laws, and uprooting centuries of tradition without any consideration of its effects. These Americans however still had respect for the laws and traditions of Great Britain while tout à fait différent due to distance and time in a far away land. Nevertheless, Burke taught us the necessity of respecting our institutions even when those institutions may require reform. Hardly blind to injustice, Burke grasped the nature of human needs and wants including our ugly side; a side often ignored when it comes to personal desires over the common good requirements to maintaining political stability, law, and order. With that in mind Burke reminds us of the need to move steadily when making great social changes, something the French failed to do.

Burke taught us the necessity of respecting our institutions even when those institutions may require reform.

Russell Kirk (1918-1994) was a man of class. Kirk grasped the good life by eventually placing it on the rock of the Christian faith and eternal moral truths. Described as a “Stoic Pagan,” he consumed Roman and Greek philosophy to the point of taking Stoicism as a central tenet of being. Ancient thinkers had spoken, Kirk was there to listen. However, Kirk slowly converted from quasi-protestantism and unchristian spiritualism toward a christian humanism and finally Catholicism after decades of studying, pondering, and a willingness to surrender his own presuppositions. St. Augustine and Thomas Aquinas would eventually share his mind, heart, and soul as much as Irving Babbitt, Marcus Aurelius, or F.A. Hayek. Preposterous to some Kirk’s grasp of the real inheritance of conservative thought would shine brightest in his Magnum Opus, The Conservative Mind: From Burke to Santayana (1953) (by its third edition Santayana was replaced with Eliot). A book that re-sparked an intelligent, compassionate, imaginative, and moral conservatism; a true conservatism beyond the left versus right politics that presently distorts modern hearts and corrupts modern minds found deep within modern cultures. Never afraid to espouse the vitality of ideas when properly rooted in principles and in God, Kirk was a man of mystery and awe fighting tooth and nail for what was seen by many as his quirks including a distrust of technology or that conservatism was not an ideology rather its anthesis. Kirk established that history, philosophy, literature, and religion hold greater deference than mere economics and dumbed down politics that modernity has wrought. We are to be a people of sacrifice, committed to a greater good, proclaimers of faith, and protectors of private property as laid out in his Ten Principles of Conservatism. Sir Roger once described Russell Kirk as “the last word or a court of appeal against which all the quarrels of his disciples would be finally settled.” A remark that grasps Kirk’s immense influence toward the imaginative, transcendent, and romantic mind that conservatism brings to the world.

Kirk established that history, philosophy, literature, and religion hold greater deference than mere economics and dumbed down politics that modernity has wrought.

Sir Roger Scruton (1944-2020) If Burke is the Father of Conservatism; Kirk the Father of Imaginative Conservatism; Sir Roger is the Father of Living Conservatism. Scrutonian conservatism, a philosophy as a way of being, never ignored reality as it confronted society with a higher culture in mind. Roger unabashedly grounded conservative thinking. Sir Roger realized that ignorance of the present will doom the future if conservatives remain only in the clouds. Sex, law, wine, politics, food, aesthetics, religion, music, nature… all hold value for upholders of tradition. These are not simply consumer products but a prescribed essence to the good life. Life described by Scruton requires Oikophilia, a devout love and duty to the family, locality, and nation by which you are a member, a rejection to misplaced multiculturalism but hardly a disrespect to all cultures. Cultures are to be respected in their context, learning beyond our own world but still holding dear to your tribe. Combined, life is a symphony by which we find its quintessential notes to taste, pluck, and appreciate at their highest existence while humbly submitting ourselves to the good, the beautiful, and the true. Scrutonianism equips by delicately grappling issues seemingly thought far and wide yet are practical in every way. Practicality is the centrality of a Living Conservatism, it not only demands a good head but one well planted on the ground. Sir Roger never let his readers forget it. He portrayed the sacred amongst the living while carrying it to its highest experiences such as music or art or the aesthetics of a Cathedral. An Anglican who loved his England and its Church, Roger lived what he professed as a farmer who believed in environmental protections, an active dissenter of Communism in Czechoslovakia, and a housing advisor for England. To profess yet never to live out what you profess is as the Disciple James warns in the Holy Scriptures, faith without works is dead (James 2:17). A capital reminder for all conservatives.

Sir Roger realized that ignorance of the present will doom the future if conservatives remain only in the clouds. Sex, law, wine, politics, food, aesthetics, religion, music, nature… all hold value for upholders of tradition.

Altogether the future holds bright for conservatism when linking together a respect for the past, the present, and the transcendent; a trifecta built on integrity versus a lesser sensibility. This is the conservative legacy for the 21st century.

References

About Edmund Burke. https://kirkcenter.org/edmund-burke-society/edmund-burke/

Burke and the American Revolution. https://oll.libertyfund.org/pages/burke-and-the-american-revolution

Did Edmund Burke Support the American Revolution? https://theimaginativeconservative.org/2020/03/edmund-burke-support-american-revolution-bradley-birzer.html

Edmund Burke & the American Revolution: The Whole Story. https://theimaginativeconservative.org/2016/04/edmund-burke-and-the-american-revolution-the-whole-story.html

Oikophilia. https://hac.bard.edu/amor-mundi/oikophilia-2020-01-29

Religion and the Conservative Mind. https://theimaginativeconservative.org/2016/12/religion-conservative-mind-dermot-quinn.html

Roger Scruton. A Brief History Of A Great Man. https://northamanglican.com/roger-scruton-my-encounter-with-a-great-man/

Roger Scruton’s Architectural Morality. https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/roger-scrutons-architectural-morality/

Roger Scruton – On Russel Kirk. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHTmJlRsaOY&ab_channel=ConservatismArchive

Roger Scruton Was a Giant of Conservatism. https://www.heritage.org/conservatism/commentary/roger-scruton-was-giant-conservatism?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIiO2b1szr6wIVAdvACh0RQgadEAAYASAAEgIyUvD_BwE

Roger Scruton Was a Conservative. But What Kind? https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/29/opinion/roger-scruton.html

Russell Kirk: Conservative, Convert, Catholic. https://www.catholicworldreport.com/2018/10/19/russell-kirk-conservative-convert-catholic/

Russell Kirk: Christian Humanism and Conservatism. https://theimaginativeconservative.org/2018/01/russell-kirk-christian-humanism-and-conservatism-vigen-guroian.html

Russell Kirk: Conservative, Humanist, Christian. https://blog.acton.org/archives/83039-russell-kirk-conservative-humanist-christian.html

Russell Kirk Expounds on Being Catholic. https://www.ncregister.com/features/russell-kirk-expounds-on-being-catholic

Russell Kirk on Higher Education. https://www.jamesgmartin.center/2020/01/russell-kirk-on-higher-education/

Scrutonian philosophy as a way of life. https://www.thearticle.com/scrutonian-philosophy-as-a-way-of-life

Ten Conservative Principles. https://kirkcenter.org/conservatism/ten-conservative-principles/

The Conservative Mind of Russell Kirk. https://www.heritage.org/political-process/report/the-conservative-mind-russell-kirk

The Forgotten Father of American Conservatism. https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2018/10/russell-kirk-father-american-conservatism/573433/

The ‘great adventure’ of Sir Roger Scruton, RIP. https://blog.acton.org/archives/114123-great-adventure-sir-roger-scruton-rip.html?utm_term=roger%20scruton%20philosopher&utm_campaign=5+Facts+-+Educational+Evergreen&utm_source=adwords&utm_medium=ppc&hsa_acc=9098040689&hsa_cam=6526563754&hsa_grp=91366174524&hsa_ad=411597365231&hsa_src=g&hsa_tgt=kwd-363370490599&hsa_kw=roger%20scruton%20philosopher&hsa_mt=b&hsa_net=adwords&hsa_ver=3&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIkOSum-7x6wIVzsDACh28pgL2EAAYAiAAEgL-t_D_BwE

The Moral Imagination. https://kirkcenter.org/imagination/the-moral-imagination/

The Promises and Perils of Christian Politics. https://theimaginativeconservative.org/2016/05/russell-kirk-promises-and-perils-of-christian-politics.html

The Radicalism Of Russell Kirk. https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-radicalism-of-russell-kirk/

The Six Core Beliefs of Conservatism. https://isi.org/intercollegiate-review/the-six-core-beliefs-of-conservatism/

When is a revolution not a revolution? Edmund Burke and the New America. https://blog.oup.com/2016/12/edmund-burke-new-america/

A Short Leave of Absence

To my readers,

There is a real flow to writing once a person truly begins their work; time passes by in a way that leaves realizing the beauty of work that you love. All the recent work I have been preparing has become that way for me and I look forward to presenting more of it. But events of a personal nature have required me to take a short leave of absence, specifically, travel. And this is rather sudden travel. So as I was nearing the finishing touches for Friday’s, today’s, insight concerning Edmund Burke, Russel Kirk, and Roger Scruton I was also quickly charting my travel ahead and I thought it better to wait until I have arrived at my destination. Travel shall take three days. So I hope to be back online by Tuesday, September 15. Until then enjoy this weeks works including All Things Veritas newest series, Christ and The Coffee on Youtube. Until then I bid you all a most beautiful weekend.

Sincerly,

EKR

Christ & The Coffee

(All Things Veritas Vlog Series)

Special Announcement: All Things Veritas is back up and running! See A.T.V. as a Network with multiple programs. The first program to premier is Christ & The Coffee:

A bi-weekly methodical scripture meditation series using art, phrases, key words, and analysis to learn the scriptures.

The premier is Episode 1, Series 1 over the Book Of Colossians. Ep. 1 covers Col. 1:1-2. 

Christ & The Coffee is one program part of a growing network on All Things Veritas and a subsidiary of Truth In Focus.

There will be further programs including interviews, lectures, news, and commentary in the coming months and years at All Things Veritas and in connection with Truth In Focus and also MereBeautyInTruth

Watch and Learn and Grow. – E.K.R

+

The Archives!

Just a quick update. The new Archives page is up. Take a look and enjoy finding articles, news, and more at your convenience. – E.K.R

Thy Week, Thus Far

Wednesday September 9, 2020

A Weekly Wednesday Dose of Truth

Zeno of Elea by Carducci or Tibaldi

Articles, Podcasts, and Videos

The State of Theology (bi-annual Report). Ligonier Ministries special report is published concerning the beliefs of adult American Evangelicals and non-evangelical citizens alike concerning theological beliefs, views on God, politics, and more. One question asks if religious beliefs are subjective rather than objective finding that 54% of U.S. Adults believe that to be true, a number down from two years ago at 60% in 2018. In asking evangelicals the question if Jesus was simply a teacher but not God findings showed 30% of American evangelicals agreed, a stunning number considering that the Divinity of Jesus Christ is the most central doctrine to the Christian faith besides the Trinity. Why they claim to be evangelical in the first place highlights an important issue which is the likely political in nature concerning American evangelicalism rather than any kind of actual religious belief.

The Briefing (Podcast). President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Boyce College, Al Mohler covered yesterday (Tuesday Sept 8, 2020) the NPR interview with the radical Marxist transgender Vicky Osterweil over Osterweil’s new book, In Defense of Looting: A Riotous History of Uncivil Action (2020). As Dr. Mohler points out, a greater irony of the left-leaning publicly funded NPR to even consider the interview which now has apologized for showcasing what can only be described as foolish and indefensible behavior. Looting businesses and homes, ruining innocent lives over political differences is not an acceptable action. And dare I say it, that includes the December 16, 1773 Boston Tea Party which resulted in violence that George Washington himself disapproved. As Christians and Conservatives we must uphold truth without violence at all means possible. We must disapprove of such action even if that “hurts” our “causes” in the short-term.

The North American Anglican (Blog). Part of the Anglican Church in North America, a denomination I greatly support speaking as a LEPO (Liturgical, Evangelical, Protestant, and Orthodox Christian), I wanted to highlight a poem titled, Dead Water by Fr. Jonathan Kanary. Father Kanary serves as Assisting Priest for Spiritual Direction at Christ Church Anglican in Waco, Texas. The North American Anglican offers enlightening articles, poetry, and christian encouragement that all believers should enjoy. It had the most beautiful tribute to Sir Roger titled, Roger Scruton: A Brief Personal History to a Great Man, that all conservatives ought to read.

MONDAY ANNOUNCEMENTS

(September 7, 2020)

Upcoming

Monday, Sept 7 – Visual Philosophy

Type: Aesthetic/Art/Philosophy

Description: A monthly series of aesthetic outlook on art, photography, architecture, and other mediums through my theory of the aesthetic, MereBeautyInTruth. This month: The Oath of the Horatii

Wed, Sept 9 – Thy Week, Thus Far

Type: News

Description: A shortlist of the weeks articles, podcasts, or videos that readers and listeners should pay attention to along with a small analysis of the listed newsworthy mentions.

Thur, Sept 10 – A Special Announcement for a new series from a new medium starting on Sept 10, 2020.

Fri, Sept 11 – Burke, Kirk, & Scruton: A Conservative Legacy for the Future

Type: Insight

Description: A look at Edmund Burke, Russell Kirk, and Roger Scruton influence on Conservatism and why they are the leading voices for the future of this philosophical movement.

Join

Facebook : Truth In Focus

(Looking forward to having more interaction and special sessions on Facebook! Please join us!)

Instagram: MereBeautyInTruth

(This week, in preparation for the next Visual Philosophy, photos will be posted but only one will be analyzed each month.)

Youtube: AllThingsVeritas

(After much delay I am happy to announce the return of AllThingsVeritas on Youtube! A Biblical Vlog series will be starting in September. Be on the lookout for a special announcement. Please join and like and be ready to learn and grow.)

Highlight

Edward Kyle Richey

See: A Visual Philosophy Series for the Month of September 2020. MereBeautyInTruth.

Want to know more about me? See About Section

+

Visual Philosophy

(Month of September, Series 2020)

Mere Beauty In Truth

Mere Beauty In Truth (click link for Instagram) is my theory of the Aesthetic. Influenced by the late Sir Roger Scruton I aim to use art, nature, architecture, and other mediums to witness a higher form, reality and truth about life through perception. 

Beauty requires us to recognize the ugly, the profane, and the false through a keen sense of what is true beauty i.e. that which strikes a profoundness inside us all putting us at its mercy. We do so by training our heart on the full range of emotions experienced in our lives. Fear, anger, happiness, and anxiety all mean something deeper within us. A friend once explained that to recognize a forgery one must study the real thing in complete and absolute detail. Mere Beauty In Truth is the study of the real thing we call beauty.

My ultimate hope it to show the Transcendence and the Immense of God through beauty and design, the ugly and the broken, so as to help us grasp truth and ultimate reality to the best of our limited ability. 

Aesthetic value is not merely art. Art is simply one principled medium of interpretation. We would not necessarily call a person or nature art but each can serve as an expression through a medium. Aesthetics targets the full range of expression through taste, smell, sound, sight, and intuition. 

Please enjoy.

The Oath of the Horatii by Jacques-Louis David

Overview: Prior to the Roman Republic, Rome was founded by Romulus (753-715 B.C.) Rome’s first King as myth would have it and of which there would be Seven Kings total. Of the Seven Kings the third, King Tullus Hostilius (673-641 B.C.), would commission the three Horatii sons (triplets) to save Rome from a costly war the king commanded them to fight another group of brothers, the Curiatii Alban. Rather having war after war, per their agreement, whomever wins the battle between the brothers settles the dispute. Out of love for their country, the three Horatii brothers swear an oath before their father to save Rome or die.

Patriotism is the central theme of this work of art.

There are three central themes within this piece: The Three Brothers, The Women and Children, and The Father.

At First Glance: The Three Brothers. Nothing about war is beautiful; war is rift with bloodshed and gore, screams and fear, chaos and uncertainty. War eventually exhausts the soul of a people. Even the best of men comprehend its deepest and darkest repercussions. What the three Horatii brothers submit themselves before is not merely heroic, courageous, and dutiful but sacrificial and righteous and just as they symbolically represent Rome yet literally put forth their lives. The tension of the moment is expressively seen in the gripping hands between two of the brothers:

The arm wrapped around the waist of one brother, his hand hardly relaxed rather tense and prepared with a hint of healthy fear as they prepare themselves for battle. And the hand of the brother at the foreground, gripping his pilum, knowing full well his life is dependent upon its durability and the dexterity of his brothers.

Notice the brother’s forearms. Strong, resilient, determined; those are the arms of real men; men set on saving a kingdom and her people from despair. The gradual rising of each arm, one, two, three as each hand slightly rises above another, one, two, three in oath but equal in cause, purpose, and rank. Three marks the divine, the triunity of brothers whose willpower can overcome even the gods in this glorious moment. Divine! Nothing can lay asunder a brotherhood founded on ideals above themselves. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done! It is patriotism personified. Not a brainwashing or a corrupt cause this is courage on a canvas.

Feet of fortitude, aligned nearly perfectly as they unify with the foot of their father. Their shadows even marking the moment as if it were transposing on sacred ground before the feet of hero’s. Those are feet that march and run toward their enemy never turning their backs for defeat. And the foot of a father who bestows his sons as worthy. Standing alone, simply studying the feet of these men, tells the story of a sacrum testimonium; a testimony of an oath that all hero’s must give.

Two of three brothers would die, however, the third would be triumphant and bringing a long line of glory for Rome.

Key Point: Patriotic duty can be a sacred cause but it must be a worthy and just cause. And duty requires an oath of commitment by righteous men who know the difference between right and wrong; good and evil.

At First Glance: The Women and the Children. Woe and sorrow befall on the family; the brothers cannot show their tears; the father must not weep so as to keep their spirits soaring; and so the women take on the brave cause of shedding what is felt by all in the room. Hardly weak, it should be said that the woman and children are the strongest as their emotions rightly rise to the occasion. Perhaps even demanding before slumping into a tearful surrender that they can go fight for them! No, that would not be honorable to the men who desire to fight. Our modern distaste for good men revolts at the idea that women were not allowed to fight in war. But we fail to consider the preciousness of this act and that no Roman nor Greek nor Jew nor American would simply say that all women are incapable of fighting; no they knew better, they each understood the strength of one woman, a woman who bears life itself, can kill a thousand men if they had to in the name of their family and countrymen. Vessels meaning worthy of protecting not objects nor property to be abused, these women had real men who respected womanhood and the power of the feminine. Make no mistake about it.

Together they share grief. Perhaps these are wives of two brothers, now sisters, sharing in their pain. If a feminine epistemology exists, this exemplifies it because only women can share such eternal bonds of birth and deep love and a heavy sorrow for their men. The woman in white, her arms dangling lifelessly to her side, faint and unnerved, her white stola represents purity, loyalty, and chastity. She wears her feelings on her sleeve.

The woman in red, symbolic of war and battle, her body drained by the event as her arms also lay lifeless, she weeps with her sister-in-law. Nothing more to do but pray and shed tears that will water the grounds of the land and people they love.

Alas a different strength appears. A grandmother of comfort, a dutiful wife, and a mother who loves her sons. Draped in purple, an aristocrat, she has seen much and done even more for her family. Now as her daughters cry over their men, she comforts their children. She knows this pain all too well.

Innocence, the eyes of a boy whose father must go into battle; the eyes of a child who has seen nothing that life offers him either good or bad; that is a terrified boy who dare not cry for the sake of his baby brother. That boy will one day be a man, a man of honor who cares for his younger brother, his mother, and his grandparents.

Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church blindfolds a child each time they choose their pope during the final selection, that child then picks a name from a bag; an act representing a child’s innocence and goodness from God. Indeed, this boy carries that innocence; an unknowing goodness that loves his mother, his father, his grandmother, his grandfather, his uncles, and his aunts. However, the striking look of the older boys face pierces the soul of all who dare peer into his eyes. Perhaps an innocence too holy for us all?

Key Point: The Women and Children are examples of real and justifiable emotions. They are not in the background hiding away from the men and their oath; they are part of the sacred oath to protect and serve their nation in need.

At First Glance: The Father. Likely in his sixties, wearing a red cloak as a means of bonding with his sons in preparation for war, the father bestows upon them three swords; a Triumvirate whose power is to decide the fate of Rome through a single battle. This Triumvirate would be prophetic yet very different from those of Julius Caesar, Pompey, and Crassus (60 B.C.) and Antony, Lepidus, and Octavian (43 B.C.). Nothing political was being held that day, no rhetoric, no false appearances. Simply a proud father speaking boastfully with clarity so his sons knew what awaited them. An oath he had likely said generations ago, words even today that hold a sacred tone; “I do solemnly swear before God and before Man…” words that have meaning and purpose, words that reign true for all eternity. Nothing could make a father more proud than to see his sons fighting for a just cause. Notice no helmet is to be found, those days are gone for an old man but his spirit remains. He fought and lived. Now he sends forth the next generation.

Though two of his sons would never return the man knew a greater good would be accomplished should they succeed. Like the waiting of the prodigal son this father was waiting for their return in preparation to celebrate. He had faith in his sons.

Key Point: Fatherhood is a servants role in raising children, caring for your wife, and in service to your country.

Thy Week, Thus Far

Wednesday September 1, 2020

A Weekly Wednesday Dose of Truth

Zeno of Elea by Carducci or Tibaldi

Articles, Podcasts, and Videos

Ricochet (Podcast) an audio network of leading conservative podcasts has several excellent conversations going this week. From The Radio Free Hillsdale Hour (One of two Hillsdale College’s podcasts that I am aware of) had an interview this week with Adam Carrington, Roger Kimball, and Kathleen O’Toole. Adam Carrington is assistant professor of politics at Hillsdale College and discusses the history of political conventions. Roger Kimball, editor and publisher of The New Criterion and president and publisher of Encounter Books, discusses his recent essays on the rule of law amid protests and riots in America. And Kathleen O’Toole, assistant provost for K-12 education at Hillsdale, talks on Covid-19 and the coming school year. First Things from First Things Magazine (which I subscribe to and suggest everyone should) produced an interview with Dr. Lawrence M. Mead III a professor at New York University and a leading thinker on welfare and poverty who now faces the wrath of cancel culture for producing a paper titled, Poverty and Culture, where Mead suggests that racism alone does not explain poverty in black and hispanic communities but rather an adopted non-western, un-individualistic norm may be their root cause for poverty. Mead’s views are accused as racist and unscholarly in nature as his paper faces retraction, for additional insight see a report by Retraction Watch. While I do not necessarily agree with Mead’s assessment I do support his right as a scholar to produce work that can be either proven or disproven in the open without retraction or threats. Finally, The Roth Effect with Carol Roth interviews model Danisha Carter on “Connecting with Gen Z on Capitalism” over the rise of Socialism taking place.

Roger Scruton Legacy Foundation It is with great honor to introduce the late Sir Roger’s Foundation that will serve future generations of conservative thinkers like myself. Please apply to their emails and be on the look out for their upcoming events, seminars, and initiatives. As part of a tribute there a two articles that caught my eye: 1) Chaos Creates Conservatives and 2) Live Notes on the Roger Scruton Legacy Foundation Webinar both by Timon Cline.

First Things (Web/Magazine) has a web exclusive section that includes an article by Iranian columnist Sohrab Ahmari, The Books Behind The Rage. Ahmari argues that leftist academia whose works include On Tyranny by Timothy Snyder has produced a false, antifascist narrative as he describes, “If someone sincerely believes that Trumpism, and analogue movements across the developed world, aren’t just conservative-nationalist or populist but fascist or Nazi-ish, then he has a right and even the duty to oppose the elected government of the United States militantly, to help strangle in the cradle the 21st century’s equivalent of the most odious tendencies of the last century. While I understand the sentiment the issue goes both ways concerning extremism and the rise of threats. Radicals of the left are being accused of being Neo-Marxist for example. President Trump is not a fascist yet several cabinet members were connected to the alt-right movement. Ultimately people must be able to make decisions freely or they face being wrought by propaganda and control though anti-conspiracy, fact checkers, and bans that claim to “know better.” Granted conspiracies arise regardless of restriction. I believe it is a deeper problem than Admari suggests but a short read worthy of consideration.

Welcome to the Party: America’s Established Political Parties By Race

(Historical/Analysis)

The year is 1976, an election year in the United States between Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter, an America with an African-American population around 11.1% and Caucasian at 83% while other minority groups are in the single digits. Of that percentage, as a group 9% of the black American population voted, 83% for Carter (D) and 17% for Ford (R) while 89%* of whites voted with 48% for Carter (D) and 52% for Ford (R). Total voting age population (VAP) was approximately 152,309,190 versus those registered to vote (REG) at 105,024,916 or 68.96%. However, only 53.55% or 81,555,789 of the voting population turned out to vote in the 1976 primary election (see chart 1 and link below). Carter won in 1976 with an electoral college vote of 297 and a popular vote of 40,825,839. Southern states including Texas all went with Carter along with most east and mideastern states while the entire western half of the nation (From California to North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, and Oklahoma) voted for Ford along with a few eastern and mideastern states. Ford has an electoral vote of 240 and a popular vote of 39,147,770. According to a study by the U.S. Census, Voting and Registration in the Election of November 1976, it was reported:

Although more people voted than ever before, the actual voting rate in the 1976 Presidential election was lower than in any Presidential election since 1948. The ratio of official votes cast for President to the voting age population was 54 percent, down from 55 percent in 1972 and a high of 63 percent in 1960.

Below are the years 1960 to 2016 election percentages of VAP, REG, and Turnout (Chart 1):

YearTotal V.A.P.Total REG*% REG of V.A.P *Turnout% TO of V.A.P.
1960109,672,00063,854,789 *58.22%68,838,20462.77%
1964114,090,00073,715,818 *64.61%70,644,59261.92%
1968120,328,18681,658,180 *67.86%73,211,87560.84%
1972140,776,00097,283,541 *69.11%77,718,55455.21%
1976152,309,190105,024,916 *68.96%81,555,78953.55%
1980164,597,000113,036,958 *68.67%86,515,22152.56%
1984173,936,000124,184,647 *71.18%92,652,84253.27%
1988182,628,000126,381,202 *69.20%91,594,80950.15%
1992189,044,000133,821,178 *70.79%104,426,65955.24%
1996196,498,000146,211,960 *74.40%96,277,63449.00%
2000205,815,000156,421,311 *76.00%105,405,10051.21%
2004215,694,000174,800,000 *79.00%122,295,34556.70%
2008225,499,000TBDTBD131,313,82058.23%
2012235,248,000TBDTBD129,085,40354.87%
2016245,502,000TBDTBD136,669,27655.67%
Chart 1 Voter Turnout in Presidential Elections

By 2016 according to reported exit polls, the African-American group percentage was at 12% with 89% for Hillary Clinton (D) and 9% for Donald Trump (R). The White group percentage was at 70% with 37% for Hillary (D) and 57% for Trump (R). And additionally:

2016 electionRaceGroupClintonTrump
 Hispanic116628
 Asian46527
 Other35636
Chart 2 2016 Exit Polls
2016 ElectionCandidatePartyElectoral VotesPopular Votes
Donald J. TrumpRepublican30462,980,160
Hillary R. ClintonDemocratic22765,845,063
Gary JohnsonLibertarian04,488,931
Jill SteinGreen01,457,050
Evan McMullinIndependent0728,830
Chart 3 2016 Presidential Election

Compared internationally by members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) the United States has a low voter turnout rate at 26 out of the 32 member states; a phenomena that appears to be the new normal for the U.S. since 1972 at a consistent range of 50-58% of VAP except in 1996 when that percentage dipped below to 49%.

Reviewing the U.S. population today by 2019 Census data, Black/African-American’s population has reached 13.4% while a census dilemma concerning what constitutes white and whiteness continues. At present, hispanics can either file as hispanic or hispanic white along with groups of European, Middle Eastern, and North Africa descent. Yet, Arabic groups along with other decedents dispute the association. The “white alone” population increased to 76.3% yet “white alone, not latino or hispanic” is at 60.1%. Part of the problem relates to who is counted as white and specific groups that choose to call themselves white.

Accounting for the voting percentages by either the DNC or RNC, African-American turnout is consist and driven by successful turnout rates averaging 11% (2004 election), 13% (2008 election), 13% (2012 election), and as previously mentioned 12% (2016 election). Since 1948, black turnout has been majoritively democratic:

In the decade before 1948, black Americans identified as Democrats about as often as they did Republicans. In 1948, as Real Clear Politics’ Jay Cost wrote a few years ago, Democrat Harry Truman made an explicit appeal for new civil rights measures from Congress, including voter protections, a federal ban on lynching and bolstering existing civil rights laws. That year, the number of blacks identifying as Democrats increased.

The second big jump is the one that you likely thought of first: The Civil Rights Act of 1964. Its passage in July of that year was the culmination of a long political struggle that played out on Capitol Hill. When he signed the bill, President Lyndon Johnson reportedly said that Democrats would, as a result, lose the South for a generation. It’s been longer than that.

While it may be true that great gestures were made by the DNC, a party the prides itself on being the party of minorities, it would be untrue to say that the RNC has entirely ignored or lacked in its attempt to reach minorities including their support of The Civil Rights Act of 1964:

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 passed the Senate on a 73-to-27 vote. The Democratic supermajority in the Senate split their vote 46 (69%) for and 21 (31%) against. The Republicans, on the other hand, split their vote 27 for (82%) and 6 against (18%). Thus, the no vote consisted of 78% Democrats. Further, the infamous 74-day filibuster was led by the Southern Democrats, who overwhelmingly voted against the act.

An examination of the House vote shows a similar pattern. The House voted 290 to 130 in favor. Democrats split their vote 152 (61%) to 96 (39%) while Republicans split theirs 138 (80%) to 34 (20%). The no vote consisted of 74% Democrats. Clearly, the 1964 Civil Rights Act could not have been passed without the leadership of Republicans such as Everett Dirksen and the votes of Republicans.

Like all matters of history can become the details are complicated. Same principle applies to U.S. voters. Steven Phelps from the American Center for Progress noted during the 2016 election:The majority of whites have voted Republican in every election over the past 50 years, but a meaningful minority of whites support the Democratic nominee every election. The latter fact raises yet another question: Just how many—or how few—Democratic white voters are there? The answer has implications not just for 2044 but also for the outcome of the 2016 election. The historic evidence suggests that Democratic whites comprised 34 percent to 48 percent of all white voters—and that 34 percent number is a floor.” Phelps is correct, the Democratic vote remains reliant on white voters, but Hillary lost because of the electoral votes taken by Trump in states like Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin whose populations are all overwhelmingly white but also under economic and social distress.

Equally important is the clear, distinct connection and even ownership African-Americans have with the Democratic Party, though clearly not entirely as there are black republican voters. What that may indicate and how it impacts Identity Politics at large between minority groups (not just racial but also women or LGBTQ) and older social identities (not just whites but the religious and more traditionally minded) could explain the growing political tensions seen in present American politics and the rise of mob mentality seen in all identity-based groups. While demographics have a role in their connection to each political party due to historical events, it is also geographical (See: Brookings Six Maps of Racial Diversity for example) and ideological (See: 5 facts about black Democrats for example). Ignoring those two factors are detrimental to the truth as well.

While this analysis is not exhaustive there are indicators suggesting that the GOP is shrinking, but it is also very likely the United States is moving politically left and/or a greater pendulum swing of attitudes in relation to the uneasiness of social, economic, and political shifts of the last twenty years that pushes ideological leanings further from one group or another. Studying the long-term moral and normative practices of citizens along with their beliefs concerning healthcare, jobs, immigration, and religion are all helpful indicators as to what the future holds for America and American political parties.

Additional Information:

When Did African Americans Actually Get the Right to Vote?

“All Blacks Vote the Same?”: Assessing Predictors of Black American Political Participation and Partisanship

How Americans Lost Their National Identity

The uneasy history of socialism and race explains why Sanders appeals to so few minority voters

‘Please Don’t Convert to Whiteness’

Who Votes in America?

Voting and Voter Registration as a Share of the Voter Population, by Race/Ethnicity

National Turnout Rates, 1787-2018

State of American Political Ideology, 2009

Monday Announcements

(August 31, 2020)

Today marks the last Monday of August 2020, only three months until the November elections and four months until the year of Covid-19, Black Lives Matter, and double hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico comes to an end. What awaits next year will be a continuation of present distress. New Years Eve will not be a time of celebration but angst as millions of Americans ponder their future and the future of the nation. But take heed.

Here at Truth In Focus we strive for open and honest content without fear and anger driving the information provided. Being a Christian and Primitive Conservative, I seek to provide content beyond the political divides into points of principle which must begin and end with the Truth as best as possible. It benefits no one if the truth goes ignored or is distorted. I hope you will find the content here informative, helpful, enlightening, inspiring, and considerate.

For this week the content will be light as finishing preparations are underway for projects soon to be announced. So though the content will be limited this week, the upcoming content for months and years to come are going to be rich in more articles along with lectures, interviews, and analysis in a spectrum of areas.

May God Bless You. Stay Safe. And Keep Striving To Do Good.

Upcoming

Tue, Sept 1 – Welcome to The Party: Political Parties By Race

Type: Historical/Analysis

Description: Minorities are on the rise but the division by race is a telling tale about the future of the DNC and RNC.

Wed, Sept 2 – Thy Week, Thus Far

Type: News

Description: A shortlist of the weeks articles, podcasts, or videos that readers and listeners should pay attention to along with a small analysis of the listed newsworthy mentions.

Monday, Sept 7 – Visual Philosophy (September 2020)

Type: Aesthetic/Art Series

Description: Analysis of beauty found in art, architecture, photography, and other mediums through my Philosophy of the Aesthetic: MereBeautyInTruth.

Join

Facebook : Truth In Focus

(Looking forward to having more interaction and special sessions on Facebook! Please join us!)

Instagram: MereBeautyInTruth

(This week, in preparation for the next Visual Philosophy, photos will be posted but only one will be analyzed.)

Youtube: AllThingsVeritas

(After much delay I am happy to announce the return of AllThingsVeritas on Youtube! A Biblical Vlog series will be starting in September. Be on the lookout for a special announcement. Please join and like and be ready to learn and grow.)

Highlight

Katherine Holmes

Occupation: Artist/Painter

Site: https://www.katherineholmesart.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/katherineholmesart/?tn-str=k*F

Special Note: Her work is brilliant as it is transcendent. Holmes art is an aesthetic expression of MereBeautyInTruth. Using largely Christian imagery including an entire series on her interpretation of the Lectio Divina, an ancient traditional christian practice of prayerful scriptural study, Katherine transforms scripture into beautiful translations of artistic expression. Please consider supporting this artist by commissioning her work. – Edward Kyle Richey

About: Katherine Holmes grew up in Ft Worth, Texas and graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University in 2014 with a Bachelor’s of Fine Art degree.

A passionate painter, she interned in Cardiff, Wales using art workshops as a way to connect with the homeless and socially isolated. After two years of working alongside this people group, she returned to Corpus Christi, Texas and became an artist with K Space Studios. She worked as a fine artist and mural assistant with the gallery before returning to Cardiff to begin a Masters in Art Psychotherapy in 2017.

Alongside her masters, she is currently an artist with the Share a Life project, spending the last two years leading art workshops in homeless hostels, interviewing clients, and painting their portraits. These paintings have become a travelling exhibition that is constantly evolving as new portraits are produced. This project is set to finalize in spring 2021.

Katherine is currently a member of The Sustainable Studios in Cardiff, and uses the studios to develop her own art as well as creating custom portraits for a variety of clients.

+

A Word To The Wise

(Theology/Scripture)

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight (Proverbs 9:10, ESV).

Ancient Greece had a maxim, “Know Thyself” most famously attributed to the philosopher Socrates. This aphorism serves a great and worthy purpose of encouraging self-examination. How often do we stop and reflect on our own nature? Not just asking, who and what we are, but truly trying to know ones personal faults and then seeking to improve, learn, and grow. Philosophy, philo meaning love and sophos meaning wisdom, is the love of wisdom and the seeking of truth. I attribute a great deal to philosophy and would defend her ideals as much as liberty and freedom, but I submit to you that as Christians we are called to first submit to God and His wisdom.

More Than Self-Care

Fearing the Lord in an age of fear and distrust of authority is not an easy sale for Millennials (my generation), Gen Z, and Gen Alpha who are sincerely seeking to make a difference; “our” maxim being “Change the World.” Our youthfulness and wishful thinking is far too often excused as merely laziness, naiveness, and narcissism; a fair criticism but hardly the whole picture of several generations being swept under a complex globalized world that has rapidly materialized more wealth, more goods, and more services than all of human history combined while simultaneously fragmenting “old” methods, standards, traditions, and opportunities. But let’s step away from the cultural and the political towards the Scriptural and Christ Centeredness.

Within the context of fearing the Lord, yir’ah, is a form of piety, respect, or reverence for God. John Gill’s, English pastor and theologian, explains that the converted state is a state of wisdom, a place of recognition of the Most High God and the active working of grace. Christ says, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.  I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:4-5). Abiding, menō , a place in which the person is to be kept or to remain. That place is a place of salvation by which only though faith and grace can one be saved (Ephesians 2:8-9), but also that place is a place of wisdom that arises from that saving grace and faith. A working grace, a working faith that continues past the state of salvation. Our works matter in the eyes of God, for faith is active (James 2:14-26). Grace never ceases once salvation is accomplished (Romans 5:20-21) meaning a true believer seeks God and seeks to obey His command over their lives even when the Christian will falter, run, and even fall away for a time. Yet those of the vine will remain on the vine and Christ the Shepherd always brings His sheep back to the flock.

Today the term “self care” i.e. a place of spiritual, mental, and physical health focused entirely on ones well-being, is a central tenet of the age. Granted a great deal of narcissism can quickly overtake a person who focuses so much on themselves and never others; a place of complete aversion to hardship or sacrifice or pain is the roots of hedonism. However, ignoring your wellbeing is equally problematic when taken to the extreme of Asceticism which is also unbiblical. God cares about all of His creation. He desires goodness and wellness over them. Christianity needs to refrain from going to extremes when God condones a time for work and a time for rest. One of my favorite examples comes from the Prophet Elijah in Chapter 19 of 1 Kings verses 1-8:

Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So may the gods do to me and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by this time tomorrow.” Then he was afraid, and he arose and ran for his life and came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there.  But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he asked that he might die, saying, “It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers.” And he lay down and slept under a broom tree. And behold, an angel touched him and said to him, “Arise and eat.”  And he looked, and behold, there was at his head a cake baked on hot stones and a jar of water. And he ate and drank and lay down again. And the angel of the Lord came again a second time and touched him and said, “Arise and eat, for the journey is too great for you.” And he arose and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mount of God.

Over and over again in the Bible the people of the Lord in the Old and New Testament are sinners and saints who fail completely on their own, yet find success in their complete reliance on God. Saint Paul states clearly concerning “a thorn in his flesh” that:

Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong (2 Corinthians 12:8-10).

Do not ever feel “bad” when you need to rest and to take some time to “decompress” from the world and life’s situations. Know the difference between laziness and weakness, purposely forgoing for selfish reasons and a needed time to sleep or focus in preparation. Death is always with us from the moment of conception til the moment we die. The human body is eventually weakened to the point of death. There is no escaping our weakened estate. While the world ignores reality, Christians must learn to find joy in their weakness and eventual death.

Everything I have explained to you is a place of God’s wisdom, not my own. God’s word is a place of refuge, of hope, and of ultimate good. It is the responsibility of the Church to help all “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness” (Matthew 6: 33) or to say it differently, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever” which the Church is equipped to do. All of which is not “up to us” that is to say Christian’s are not capable of doing the work without the grace of God by which wisdom is birthed.

If Christ is not seeking sinners, humanity is doomed. And if the Church is not speaking to sinners then it has failed the Great Commission. There will always be issues that the Church must uphold and push back against, but no person is without sin nor should go without the hope of Christ and that means having a church full of saints and sinners. And having them over for dinner or going to them whenever and wherever in need. Love, Christ said, love God and love your neighbor as yourself are the two greatest commandments (Matthew 22:36-40).

Knowing thy self will never be accomplished to its fullest extent without first knowing God. He will take you to the deepest and hardest of places but for your good and for His glory.

To my generation and the generations after me, if you want to change the world, then seek after God, His wisdom, and His kingdom first and foremost. Never allow differences to get in between you and that person at the sake of forgoing the Gospel which includes loving your neighbor. Christ died so that we may live! Do not mistake His sacrifice for a life without a true cause. Seek Him, Fear Him, and See Him work in your life and the lives of others. But also know, the God loves you and takes you wherever you are at in life. No person in all of human history has ever been “too dirty” or “too unclean” to be made anew. To be forgiven. To be loved. To be recognized as worthy. Christ can redeem all souls. Lastly, you can go forth in life sick and tired and broken and even get lost on your way, but like Elijah, Christ will find you and feed you and care for you without chastisement. Never fear your weakness. Know that your weakness was never the problem. All are weak, none are strong. The problem was and remains the placement of our weakness in relation to our reliance for the strength we seek. Placed properly in God first and you will be in the highest of strong towers. Seek His refuge, Know His Wisdom, and have His love pour over you like the finest oils and perfumes.

May God Bless You and Keep You Now and Forever. Amen.