No Respect for Gravity | One –
Seizing Initiatives and Making Recruitments
Nine one one. A popular phrase that precedes a question. In use by emergency dispatchers throughout the United States, it would be punctuated as a question in the operator’s manual. It is not, however, a question when you write it out. It actually functions as a triage employed to gauge the urgency of a situation, number and type of casualties, and what treatment of responders are necessary. Those would be the questions. Eventually, those questions would lead to identifying the nature of the emergency. Multiple three-digit call centers have been established since the original hot line to help was introduced. All have been attempts at answering those questions. A natural gas leak is treated differently than, say, a homeless encampment. Both can lead to very serious problems, but have different causes, and so different solutions. At large, the question of homelessness is the more frequently asked of the two. It is so prevalent, that it has become a question that begs a question, for which there is no number yet that addresses it. Here, we will write that question out. We will look at what emerges as its cause so as to see its solution. We will not be parted with any of our money, you should be glad to know, as is usually the case in these investigations leading, almost always, to government solutions. We will, though, need to be men and women of initiative.
Before elaborating further on such figures and actions they might take, we must draw a distinction between initiative, as exercised by individuals, and initiatives, as placed on the ballot.
Here, Initiative is the quality of being able to independently assess and evaluate problems, and use such opportunities that are available, and powers that are possessed by the individual, to initiate a first action to solve those problems. The exercise of initiative may also lead to a series of actions, taken by themselves, and or others, to solve a problem. There, such as in California and twenty-five other states, Initiatives that most resemble our working definition are those of the direct initiative process. This is where laws or constitutional amendments are proposed by the citizens. That process requires a text of the law to be written, petitions to be circulated for the necessary signatures to be gathered, and verifications made and deadlines met in order to qualify for the ballot.
Because laws can benefit some while at the same time negatively impacting others, a host of other actors and actions are usually attracted to an initiative early on in the process that often succeed in changing the solution originally envisioned for a particular problem to one with drastically different, less desirable, consequences. Initiatives that have made it onto the ballot and were approved by the voters have a mixed track record. This is because they are often deceptively named and marketed. One from back in the nineteen-seventies is still protecting home owners from excessive taxation, making it possible for them to remain in their homes. One approved only a few years ago, with a related referendum that followed, were so poorly written and badly executed as to make those same home owners desire to sell their homes, and leave the state as soon as possible.
While initiatives can be the grassroots verity of democracy, initiatives are often the product of campaigns steered by special interest groups. These groups may agree with the sentiments of the foot soldiers, benefit in some way from their victory, and may have placed the armies on the battlefield themselves. Their motives may be ideological, or they may stand to profit from providing services the new law would require, or they may seek to ingratiate themselves with the public for future endeavors that would trade on any good will created. One way or another, money will be changing hands upon an initiative passing, and that money will come from the voters. It will also come from, and this is tragic, the rest of the citizens who don’t vote. This is tragic because those citizens are probably better situated to evaluate propositions and outcomes if only because they are largely unaffiliated with unions, guilds, and other activist organizations promoting identity politics and exuding political pressure on their members to conform. So, instead of ‘voters’ they may be referred to as ‘toters’ because they will nonetheless shoulder expenses arising from successful initiatives absent the prestige of being referred to as voters.
Most voters, and toters, sadly, do not know, or fully consider, this aspect of voting; that the ballot is actually a shopping list. To appeal to shoppers, items must not only not only sound good, it also helps to have them on sale. To make propositions put before voters sound good, supporters rebrand them in ad campaigns. For instance, the Reduced Penalties for Some Crimes Initiative of twenty fourteen was hailed by supporters as the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act. That re-categorizing felonies to misdemeanors would be anything but safe for neighborhoods is acknowledged by the name change.
It was also on sale, with the money saved from processing and housing criminals to be diverted to programs to assist wayward school students by preventing them from being truant, and from dropping out. To keep offenders out of jail, programs for mental health, drug abuse, and others would be included at no extra charge. To keep repeat offenders out of jail, the bars would be raised on most property crimes, and no additional penalties could be added for repeat, and repeat, offenders.
History, and very little of it was required, has shown that neighborhoods, retail outlets, convenience stores, gas stations, shopping malls, and the streets and the freeways were immediately made unsafe by the new law, and they remain so. Thousands of inmates were kept out of jail, and kept very busy, and very organized, in neighborhoods all over the state. When the price of a theft was increased to cause the volume of charges for property crimes to decrease, everything went on sale for the criminals.
Voters are often too easily persuaded to ‘purchase’ an initiative by believing claims that costs are negligible, or even transitory. The host of, seemingly, unforeseen or unintended consequences of these bargains often prove very expensive. Expensive at a personal level, where, for example, becoming unexpectedly transitory without a catalytic converter can mean thousands of dollars.
Whatever the problem that is pitched to be solved by a new law, there are usually tactics resorted to in these campaigns that leave the voters who were coaxed along tarnished by the experience. While there will be activists who stand to bask in golden rays of success, like a sunset to a victorious end of rigorous campaigning, most will not have the luxury of being so blinded. Even those activists, after all, who were pressed into recruitment may eventually struggle with the knowledge that they were more culpable in the crime than the rest.
In part, it will be the realization that the problems that were identified for ballot solutions are not the core problems at all, they are only the effects of the actual problems. This is not because no one knows what they are. It is because the coalition must play ball with, or in some like-manner rub shoulders with, the ones who actually caused the problems, and who have no intention of ever solving them.
So, the additional harm to citizens is that the real problems with real solutions are further removed from the light of discovery by another crest in the prevailing narrative, and the problem continues to sink to a depth where solutions cannot be fathomed.
Take, for example, the problem of homelessness to see how your character is compromised, your finances are fleeced, and your actual problem is only perpetuated, and then held against you in this process.
The manipulation of your good character will begin with a campaign of divisiveness. If you’re on the sidelines, it’s somebody against somebody else. If you are nearer to either of their epicenters, you are pitted against your fellow citizens. In this example, you are pitted against one of the few minorities you can still be politically correct for attacking. If you happen to be in that minority, charges will be leveled towards you loud enough for the others to hear. For convenience, we’ll call this a minority of successful over-achievers.
Here is a tact it might take: If you’ve worked hard, been successful, and prospered, you will be charged with having done so at the expense of inflicting deprivation on others in your community. The city, the state, and yea, even in the whole wide world, would never have allowed you to accomplish that feat; if only the right laws had been in place. Now, we have the opportunity to remedy the situation.
We should never let the state get any further without being honest with our selves about state remedies. If the two of you are in line for a cheeseburger, you will pay the price on the menu, but because the state has to power to look into his bank account, inventory his private and personal property, and check his glove compartment, the guy behind you will pay fifty times the cost of the meal you both receive in order to pay his ‘fair share.’ There is absolutely nothing fair about that, but because it’s not happening to you, silence. When that’s the state’s ‘remedy,’ affluence must be a horrible disease.
Yet, their straw man is given legs. He is regularly employed for this purpose because the tactic is often successful. In a different costume, it can be played from both sides; with the minority as the ‘good’ guys, and the majority responsible for incalculable wrongs. It could be the indigenous encroached on by the drifters; with the resulting detriment to the culture, the land, and the deep blue sea.
If the problem is infamous enough, other activists will see their opportunity and climb on board with their own self-serving initiatives. They will also promise to shed some of their resulting resources from their victory onto to your solution. Their advertisements, scripted for them by campaign specialists, and filmed by experienced production companies, will begin appearing and clamoring with the others prior to election day. They will appear in ads telling you that, while in referring to the state you were born and raised in, ‘you call it California’, they call it something else. It’s classic divisiveness, inclusive of ‘guilt tripping’; you don’t really have a right to be here, you’re on their land, and you children are illegitimate (alright, they didn’t actually include that last insinuation, but national statistics could have borne them out; almost fifty-percent of children are born out of wedlock, and so they would have been safe in playing those odds, and, after all, it was an ad for a casino). The message in the ad was clear: You should be majority-shamed into doing what they ask of you to make things right for them, the aggrieved minority. Brilliant marketing campaign, I’m on board.
Seriously though, the brainstormers behind the campaign were not far off the mark, which has become nearly a stigmata on the conscious of employees in almost the national workforce. Whether in government or private employment, workers are increasingly forced to attend crucifixion meetings. There, they are led silently before their accusers, trained facilitators, and verbally maneuvered to accept their own guilty verdict for a host of ‘social crimes’ without their accusers having to show any proof or provide any evidence to support their accusations against any one individual, and where cross examination is prohibited. The pressure, under implied threat of severance, and potential ostracizing from those one must work with, has gone a long way in creating a nation of animated pin cushions.
Let’s return to our first example of examining the majority being pitted against the wealthy minority. The problem of homelessness; the blight, the unsightly inconvenience, the unpleasant reality of people suffering through horrible circumstances, is the result of those evil ‘rich people’ that we should hate and punish for their inequitable lifestyles. We don’t call it envy any more, but stroking the coals of envy is exactly what it is. When it has been accomplished, when the state and the activists are successful, you are the ones that have been morally turned into the evil persons you were licensed by the state to despise.
We sometimes wonder if the state had ever thought of taking a different tact, and instead of appealing to the sin of covetousness, pondered appealing, instead, to pride. The wealthy, they might contend, are in a unique position of not only enjoying the fruits of their labor in unimaginable splendor, but are also strategically poised to be the only ones capable of financing the solution to homelessness. After all, it sometimes works. Think of the lavish galas attended by the heroes, the red carpeted entries where splashy photo ops beckon the well dressed and scantily dressed alike, before taking their seats to be playfully insulted by a popular comedian prior to receiving their awards.
Ah, but the problems. While imaginations would undoubtedly produce vapor containing the image of a bronze statuette depicting a disheveled street urchin holding a syringe to his arm, huge marketing and branding efforts, and outright propaganda campaigns would also contain a materialized thud of an idealized domicile just weighty enough to impress the bearer, and more than fit to be displayed. Yes, the state is remarkable in its ability to deceive, and more than equal to the task in its resources for the deception, but the bite of the con stings most those who are actually bitten by it. Quite the sting it would be. For example, five percent of a hundred dollars is only five dollars, whereas five percent of a million dollars is fifty thousand dollars.
There is nothing like localized, sharp pain to bring about mental acuity. The rich cannot be so easily manipulated. They must have required some degree of good sense to acquire their wealth, and will use it see through this scam. Conversely, it may be too soon to go back to the general population with more taxes. Insulated by their collective, and partially sheltered by their comparably smaller finances, they may nevertheless have been too recently bled for this con to ignore dismal results still evident by strain on their neighborhoods.
In light, the state will insulate their own hands for carrying the coals of envy, and planting their embers of guilt in the hearts of the collective. They will villainize the wealthy, and empower the collective with symbolic torches and pitchforks.
The nightly ruckus, with romps of towns people from the villages storming the castles above, will be played in their imaginations through the state’s ‘re-envisioning’ campaigns. In all, a seed of gilt will be subliminally embedded somewhere deep in their conscious. It could be something like claiming ‘it’s for all our good’ with everyone knowing full well the wealthy are not impacted by the problem in the first place. Guilt is an integral part of this campaign. It will be necessary to water it, and germinate it, when the state’s argument is turned back on the collective.
It will get to that apex point when the rich have sufficiently covered their tracks and stopped the hemorrhaging—employed the skill of accountants, unleashed the tactical use of financial instruments, and, where expedient, made use of the transports and carriers necessary to extricate themselves from the persecution. It will get to that point when the fresh blood of the kill dries up—absorbed by the growth of the bureaucracy that was created to manage the solution to the problem the state promised you they would be solving.
Then, the state will turn to you again. A few successes will be exaggerated, and nearly glamorized. Accolades will also be showered on you, and all of them tied to reminders of your ownership. The great program you envisioned is in peril. You need only provide, collectively, a little support of your own to continue to see yourself praised as a stakeholder. While the bathwater was initially carried by others, the baby is still yours. And so, as was planned in the beginning, you are made accomplices in your own robbery.
It is similar to a method once used by organized crime syndicates for recruiting new members to do their bidding. At the outset, unsuspecting persons who, like all of us, where going about life with their typical allotment of life’s problems to solve seemed to encounter an unexpected benefactor. A phone call was placed, an email sent, and an easement materialized for your special circumstance, or permit was approved allowing you to move forward in a step that was important in your project; all after having met that person who was so helpful. You might meet that person again with similar increments of productivity and accomplishment resulting from the encounter.
Then, one day, a small trifle of a favor was asked of you. Nothing, really. You happened, after all, to be going that way. You would be happy to drop-off the package on your way—oh, and yes, you could pick the other up and bring it with you on your way back. As doors continue to ‘open’ for you, you begin to wonder what is in the packages. Time passes, and the shadow of tall favors falls sufficiently over what your heat has categorized as ‘questionable’ errands before you brain could intervene to do its gymnastics again. One day, however, your hands finally divorce you. It is a surreal occurrence, and perhaps all too rare, when, in an almost out of body experience, your central nervous system is overpowered by that muscle in your chest sending life’s blood to the muscles in your arms that cause the hands to grip and tear open your curiosity. Your eyes grow wide, and the shock is complete as you fathom what you’ve become. Quickly, your brain regains control. It begins pulling from recesses the fig leaves you unconsciously lay in store there in your moments of honest suspicion, and for which your heart had previously denied thread for fashioning them together to cover your guilt. But the heart is weak now, and it is a cold witness.
The smiles between you are all perfunctory now. The eyes don’t meet except in crowd glances where enthusiasm is still worked up in the adherents, the sparkles to be found only in the eyes of the new initiates, and some have noticed you don’t wear your t-shirt to the rallies any more.
The sail boat leaves the marina, the waters are smoothed, but the glow of the voyage that surrounded it is gone. Your errands are more frequent and varied. The packages are larger, and the stops more numerous. Your successes have become more depended on by your family and appreciated by your friends, but the gaiety of gatherings celebrating your good fortune carries with them no residual warmth for your heart into the dark nights that welcome you like an inmate.
But there is that tickle in every heart of the honest person’s conscious which questions whether the state really knows what they are doing, and intends to do it. Could they really? As we plan for Thanksgiving dinners across the nation this November the thought of a large, satiating meal with all the trimmings has less the effect on us that it did on new arrivals here hundreds of years ago who started by foraging in the woods for food. Nearly everyone in a developed landscape today is only a few hundred yards away from a hot meal cooked to order in an instant, and where slighted patrons may burst into the dining area, mount the counter top, kick condiments and napkin holders in the air, and twerk, or worse, the server is shot; all for the affront of mistakenly being given a large portion of fried potatoes instead of a medium order. Yes, the state knows what it is doing.
This is a parenting problem, are the protests. When an octogenarian, who by virtue of his temporary address in Washington, DC, and not by his track record of rearing his own children, can issue an order regulating what a parent can and cannot do with their own children, rest assured state agencies have been dabbling in diapers for decades.
But they are necessary. Again, a problem the state created. Where are the parents with safety pins? They are gone with Velcro marriages made easy to tear apart by the state. The homeless person didn’t drop from the womb to the sidewalk. The child that hung himself on the closet door didn’t arrive swaddled in a noose. They were made to know early that there was no permanence in anything to be sought. Ask the children what is their biggest betrayal? Put them on medication to calm them down first, if you must, and have those conversations that will ultimately devolve into the abstract boundaries that will either rest on terra firma or shifting sands, and learn why they can have no respect for gravity.
When the nuclear family is destroyed, the damage is nuclear, but it is also collateral. Without strong families that create and under gird strong communities, there are no extra strong shoulders for the wayward and castaways to lean on in their formative years. This also leads to fewer examples of appropriate child rearing. The man arrested for brandishing a firearm at fast food employees over an incorrect order only to have his four-year old son draw a gun and fire on the arresting officers is its generational outcome.
We see that parenting is not the problem, it is the solution. The problem is the state’s war against marriage that destroys parenting. The state has redefined marriage until it has legalized it out of existence. The state will not solve that problem, because the state cannot admit it is wrong. It will not be done morally, and it cannot be done practically. One reason is there is no way for the state to replace the revenue streams from an industry specializing in separating fathers from mothers and children from parents. Furthermore, there is no way the state voluntarily gives up the sort of power, and power where it can do almost anything mentally and physically to you children without your knowledge, and absent your consent. It has the power to take you children away from you if you neglect to enthusiastically affirm their unalterable chemo therapies and surgeries administered to them behind your back. So, how do we fix the problem of the state?
‘We, the people’ is how it was solved the problem of the state over two centuries ago. It would have to be solved in a similar, albeit not exactly the same, way. We must take back our responsibility first. Responsibility is the charge and duty possessed by a free people to chart courses, safe guard journeys, and protect the citizens invested with that authority. Responsibility is the blood of liberty, and with the state’s national exsanguination of it, we were promised the lessor of the two, which is freedom, but obtained only license. This third condition is one of timid existence where lives are lived under the authority of state’s permissive allowance for your every move, and it was never envisioned for free Americans by the founding fathers, and as articulated in our founding documents. Of course, as the visionaries they were, they did caution future generations of the risk of being divorced from the actual guarantor of our rights, and so becoming unfit to remain their custodians.
As a society, we are responsible holding marriages intact so that parenting can take place. If you are hard to be encouraged to do your part, consider what our society looks like without you. What is this epidemic of bullying if it is not the absence of the watchful eyes of two parents and their combined resolve in preventing the older brother from pummeling the younger brother, and thus promoting the passage through those adolescent years civilly? What is this rampant explosions of merchandise grabbing if it is not the absence of mothers first catching the hands of would-be smashers in the cookie jars, and correcting them? (It follows, you have no respect for the person, you have no respect for the property.) You are persuaded, but what can you do?
Act in honesty. This is the single most important thing you can do. Everything else will flow from this one resolve. So powerful is honesty that it is the number one threat to the state, and it is why they are quick to make liars of us all. It will, by onerous regulations, suborn cheating and perjury to retain a fraction of what is rightfully yours. It will even encourage an innocent man to plead guilty to a lesser charge by promising not to spank as harshly; something you, as parents, are no longer allowed to do. This, also, being primarily why the state has so many in line for the paddle (and we see the results of relinquishing to the state our parental rights, and responsibilities, spilling over into the streets in parades of rudderless men who lacked guidance in their youth).
This sort of honesty is built on small steps, but the first is actually the tallest. While inwardly honesty starts with yourself, outwardly is begins with your spouse—if you still have one. Fifty percent of marriages now end in divorce. Now recognizing your responsibility and the impact you can have on society, you let honesty dictate your own behavior. The wedding invitation comes in the mail. The calendar is consulted, and logistics are identified. Preparations then are considered, and here is where you make you turn, and seize the initiative. Before securing lodgings, making travel arrangements, scheduling time for attendance, and renting your trousers, you dig in your heels (noting you will also need to upgrade those, as well). The wedding invitation must be rewritten.
Of course, no one would take you serious at first. When presented with something seemingly wholly incredulous, humor is the conditioned response of those who are sure you must be joking. But when you begin revealing your conditions the smile of the one entertaining you will become somewhat more taunt, being held in awkward suspense to reignite in laughter at the delivery of the punch line. The line punches, but its delivery is flat. You are serious. The terms to be appended are these: In the event of a petition of divorce resulting from this marriage all persons still living and who attended this wedding must likewise appear, in similar attire, and in all solemnity, to the divorce proceedings which will include testimony of the couple setting forth the grounds for divorce being the only resolutions to problems they have incurred. An oath will be taken by each that they will not seek remedies from the state for any financial hardships they incur as a result of their divorce, and that they acknowledge that the proceedings will require the unanimous consent of the witnesses to each stipulation contained herein in order for the couple to obtain a decree of divorce.
More conditions, which may be delivered in small print, or referred to as a formal filling with the marriage license. They could include, for instance, stipulations that an amount equal to the value of wedding gifts first given by the witnesses, as verified through gift registries, be collected from the witnesses to underwrite the costs of the divorce proceedings. Also, stipulations that the witnesses are recognized by the court as an empaneled and fully empowered jury. Their responsibilities would include adjudicating and approving not only the divorce petition, but also other things, such as any and all financial settlements of the estate, and any future claims on income or wages of divorcee and divorce.
Men, being the slightly more practical breed, will be easiest to persuade of such a tact, if not the first group to at least read through these conditions calmly; they will appreciate its working components. The women, the true visionaries of the race, will dismiss immediately this abrasion and return smoothly to their mind’s eye of preparations. Yet woman, according to the statistics, are the ones who most need to take this seriously. Seventy percent of divorces are initiated by women. You may argue your ensuring reasons, but statistics have no ears.
Honesty recognizes consequences, and it makes for protective lenses if donned only before you spend time basking in the shiny part of new relationships. Severe, impending consequences, shouldered broadly enough, should keep those lenses handy, and clear. Clear enough to reasonably see questionable problems that lie in the future of a prospective union is the clarity we’re going for.
Granted, matrimonial restrictions of substance that give pause to tying the knot would be hard to be entertained. Once a man named Jacob agreed to labor seven years for Laban, the father of his beloved Rachel, only to have the terms for obtaining her hand changed afterwards. Nevertheless, similar, and even more cautious conditions, were the staple for cultures in antiquity. The homeless persons of note back then were large companies like Bedouins; self-sufficient families that were nomadic. These would be similar to our independent RVers of today, and if, in passing, it be noted that too many of these are not ‘passing’ but staying in cul-de-sacs, it should also be noted, in passing, that divorce causes housing prices to increase. Each divorce doubles the demand for affordable housing.
The discussion is open, and better minds are to be employed for refinement of betrothal details, but one thing is for sure: What we popularly dispense now is not working to hold marriages together; or preventing them from falling apart. And judging by the apparent use of the experience gained from the existing formalities, they are poor teachers. While fifty-percent of first marriages will end in divorce, sixty-percent of second marriages will end in divorce, and over seventy-percent of third marriages will end in divorce.
This has been a look at what taking our responsibility back looks like. Whatever its morphing forms may take before it becomes adequately functional, we may be sure it will be met by well-meaning foes. Those businesses in the Velcro marriage industry, including in the divorce, and the wedding businesses, will not necessarily be encouraging over the admonishments for pressing the pause button. The postponements would be staving off some seventeen-thousand dollars per divorce to be tapped into, and some twenty-eight thousand dollars in individual wedding costs to be siphoned from. The knowledge, however, of the sheer multitude of divorces already in the marriage-pipeline might help to temper the former class. In the past, the nation has averaged over two million marriages annually. With most divorces taking place in either the first four years, or the last two in their eight-year stretch, there will be millions of divorces to pick over for a while to come. Others in wedding businesses such as the wedding photographers may need to increase their exposure to more family photography, before they do the splits.
Jewelry profits, such as those from engagement rings and wedding rings, are, undoubtedly, another large slice of the overall wedding cake. Yet, they more pressingly depend on the future viability of jewelry stores themselves. In today’s smash and grab society they will need to be at least relocated, perhaps repurposed, and possibly even re-imagined all together. Hologram rentals may be on our horizon.
That brings us back to where we were originally examining the state’s cure for homelessness. It doesn’t have one. And we see that problem, necessarily, brings us to look for states cure for the skyrocketing crime rates. It doesn’t have one for that either.
Now I am going to do what writers of advice columns rarely can do. I am going to be so honest as to relegate this advice to the lowest of priorities, and nearly the least of your concerns. This must be done because we are at that scene in the movie where a select few are protected deep underground in an impenetrable command center with live feeds from all over the globe, and out into space. It is a classic, cataclysmic disaster film, where the lead actors relinquish their hopeless positions of averting catastrophe for the masses and have accepted the inevitable. Their struggle now is over their responsibility with the knowledge they possess for these final hours that is, as yet, unknown to the world at large. But this is a secular film where there is no sequel in the afterlife, and if its existence is admitted into the script at all, it is treated as an uncertain, unknowable mystery.
The preeminent concern is only for the last hours of earth’s population. What, if anything, should they be told? In the film, the ethical dilemma is weather to be honest, or to lie by omission. The story presents only the last hours of the people as their sacred processions, and the control and command center occupants possess that knowledge as bitter pills which, if they were dispensed, would turn those precious last hours of life into a large scale, unimaginable chaotic panic. The millions of blissful moments certainly taking place in ignorance would be turned into dread, fear, and adrenalin fueled rioting where their last moments would resemble a roller coaster plummeting into an the fiery abyss, and with many outstretched hands of the doomed clutching for their last fruits of temporal enjoyments in scenes of debauchery unparalleled except for Biblical depictions, where at least one of the world’s populations met the same end in the past, and wherein we are slated for a final one in the future.
But why so serious, if it weren’t for the observable fact that the world is falling apart around us today.
In the movie, a few obligatory, and touching, scenes of long overdue reconciliations taking place, and with brave resignations, would need to be included. The sentimental and hopeful in the audience must be allowed their moments to compose their fortitude and package their dignity for final delivery.
In real life, the intergalactic space rock hurling towards our planet is the fait accompli of the state’s successful war on the institution of marriage. What they have identified as unrelated problems for obtaining revenue to combat are only the harmful effects of their success. At writing, marriage has been so devalued that over forty-percent of children are born out of wed-lock. Most of those births are deliveries paid for by Medicare, a partnership between states and the federal government supported by your taxes. A disproportionate amount of aid would go towards the prenatal, birth, and pediatric care for of out-of-wedlock births. Because even the costs from the destruction of marriage can’t be sustained, neither can an orderly society be long sustained.
We are at that point in our civilization often referred to by physicists, and others, as reaching ‘critical mass.’ We have achieved the minimum amount of destruction necessary to the building blocks of society to ensure a chain reaction that will destroy that society. Those building blocks are families held intact by marriages valued by a society that recognizes their irreplaceable and essential role in creating those societies.
The tsunamis are taking shape, the land-locked tensions of tectonic plates are gradually slipping and are set to fully release. Volcanoes will erupt.
What to do, what to do, what to do – is; live your lives in light of these considerations, with effort extended to employ these safe guards, and to do so to the very best of your ability. If, however, you be the parents of the love-struck, or the smitten themselves, carefully consider what the architect of marriage originally designed for those he originally created for it first:
Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed (Gen 2:24-25).
These verses are borrowed here to emphasize that flesh is more difficult to separate than it is to tear apart the state’s Velcro, and Velcro is all that remains for the state to dispense because, in part, it no longer recognizes the architect of marriage. There is something also here to be gleaned about being naked. It was not for a segue for expedient intimacy; naked implies original innocence, but also full disclosure. It implies unabashed honesty. There must be a permanence in marriage that surpasses anything you may have experienced in your life before, and it will be impossible without honesty. More honesty is to be dispensed here henceforth, but house cleaning duties have arrived.
I understand that the two categories of readers here consist of those who assent to guidance, on this topic and on others, from the Bible, and those who, for the time being, do not. Over the years, you in the latter group have witnessed the positive influence of those who hold them closer to their breasts, and the shame of those who declared them only at arm’s length. You are respected here.
In passing, and in lieu of the requisite plea you are probably accustom to by now from those who broach such subjects as those herein with any appeal to divine guidance, I make, instead, an unorthodox request. Add to your reading list a short book, of only ten chapters. It makes no mention of God, of Jesus, or the Holy Spirit. It does not confront you as a sinner, nor plead for you soul’s deliverance. It is, nonetheless, a book accepted into the cannon of the holy scriptures. If God cannot work to begin performing conversion surgery on you heart through such a seemingly benign, little book as this, then wouldn’t you feel more justified in your doubts and righteous in your unbelief? Honestly, isn’t there an inkling of desire in your heart that pines for a miracle for proof? It will take little effort on your part to see if such a miracle awaits you. Only you will know for sure when an all-powerful God of majesty has entered into the caverns of your troubled mind, and the hidden chambers of your worried heart. Only that miracle will be irrefutable by you, where you are actually the miracle God has held in store for you. Read the book of Esther.
But you are not afraid of this God, and you are just indignant enough to demand a face-off, should you take pains to entertain him. A look behind the veil of powers and of destinies, that lay claims on your flesh which are immune to the best of dyes, fillers, powders, and polishes, and lifting, and toning, and trimming; that is what you will settle for. And nothing less. The book of Job, then, is your adventure.
You may choose, falter, and reaffirm; eventually even settling down with some few pages from the whole book that happened on you by intrigue, but settle down you must, for never in the history of the world has the term ‘limited time offer’ been more apropos.
There is, of course, a third part of this reading audience, but they have gone now. They are also a part of the growing audience of those too easily offended, and with little patience for the work of discovery. It wasn’t always the case. As there was a time when marriage was permanent, there was also a time when its architect was more widely entertained with civility in the consciousness of prior civilizations, and with far less animosity. His presence was so well acknowledged, by believers and nonbelievers alike, that it even inhabited what today are become trivialities. The fond farewell phrase for parting company still being used, unbeknownst to most giving it utterance, is actually a long-ago contraction of ‘God be with ye.’ So, in the spirit of not knowing the future, in every case, to the third part of this audience who are recently departed, hopefully until next time, I sincerely say ‘good bye.’
We, who are intellectually alive, and remain, must turn our attentions to what lays before us. The room temperature has been adjusted to sixty-eight degrees, our instruments are sharp, and our lights are focused on the cadaver. There is reason to believe a murder has taken place, and the victim is marriage. That victim was such an integral and important member of our society that, along with its demise, we are all soon to crumble in its waste. This sheer magnitude of results from the act demand we establish a cause of death. So, in what time remains we will perform the obvious in search for entry and exit wounds, gunshot residue, traces of poisons, and check for blunt force trauma. We will even rule out, where possible, radioactivity. While there may be no time, or means now, to punish the perpetrator, infamy will not be denied its opportunity to record the guilty.