The Dignity of a Christian Warrior

compassion-soldier-looking-out-for-children

By Charlie Johnston

A few days ago I wrote, “We must not behave as savagely embittered victims, but as what we really are: soldiers of the soon to be victorious Army of Christ. So we must behave with the dignity of that calling even now, in anticipation of the certain victory ahead. We must behave in a way that all those uncertain souls, trembling, will look to us in hope rather than in fear that they are just trading one cruel ideology for another.”

Sunday I wrote a deliberately provocative column. I expected a huge backlash. Actually, I only got a mild one. A few people threatened – but only one actually demanded – I cancel his subscription. I was reminded the story of when an angry reader told William F. Buckley, founder of National Review, to cancel his subscription and Buckley growled back, “Cancel your own dam subscription!” In my case, that is the only way it can be done. I can neither subscribe you or unsubscribe you. You have to do it yourself.

In modern times, debate is seldom a search for truth, but simply mindless advocacy. People reach their conclusions and then seek reasons to back up the decisions they have already made – and are often uninterested in any evidence that might suggest they are not quite right. Even worse, people often glom onto any smear, no matter how ridiculous, if they think it supportive of the conclusion they have already reached.

Christians and Jews are under siege today, constantly threatened with fines, the loss of their business or jail time if they live their faith seriously. We well know that it does not matter what good we do; the statist left simply wants to destroy us. So we are well aware we are not going to get a fair shake from them. I have got to believe the most noble employees of, say, Monsanto and the CDC, feel the same way about Christians. No matter what they achieve, they are going to be villainized by a lot of Christians. In fact, I know this about Monsanto employees. When I worked in public affairs, I always had great relations with the Farm Bureau. The fellow who was the Midwest Regional Director of the Dept. of Agriculture in the Bush years was a friend before he got that appointment and since he left. Illinois is home to one of Monsanto’s experimental farms. I have done inspection/tours of it at least three, maybe five, times. It is amazing…they are constantly testing soils, various climates. I remember one particular section where, for the same vegetable, they were testing 32 different soils, various lighting conditions for each, along with various temperatures and humidity…they had several hundred pots of the same plant, rigorously finding which combination of conditions would produce the best results. The woman in charge of that project, a researcher maybe in her mid-30’s got very enthusiastic about showing me how they assess it all. She was beaming as she told me the dramatic increases in yields these painstaking, mundane efforts had accomplished. I was pretty amazed and enthused, too, and talked how her family and friends must be so impressed with what she was accomplishing. Her face fell. She said she doesn’t talk about what she does or where she works. I asked why. She replied with some surprise, “We’re Monsanto, evil villains, and everybody hates us.”

Over the last few years as I have listened to many Christians talk about Monsanto, I see no reason to believe that woman would ever get a fair hearing from us for what she actually does. When it comes to Monsanto and other agribusinesses, the mentality is just burn the witches and let God sort them out. I know very well that that is not all Monsanto does…but I know listening to many Christians speak about it, you would think all Monsanto does is plot and scheme how to take over and poison the world.

Our reader, Bob from St. Louis, yesterday touched on some serious and genuine concerns about genetically modified organisms (GMO). He spoke primarily of potential unintended consequences of creating more pesticide-resistant weeds and dangers of more resistant pests developing in response to some of these things, as well as the economic uncertainty GMO seeds place developing world farmers in – who cannot store seed, but must buy it fresh every year. A major crop failure could be ruinous.

Our reader, Ed Allison, will discuss Wednesday some of the genuine ethical questions we have not fully addressed. That we can do some things begs the question of whether we should – and what potential long-term consequences we might be missing. Truly ethical and moral consideration has been largely missing in our technological explosion. But while industry does not consider these issues seriously, rarely do its critics, either. Every major world scientific organization – including the European ones – have declared that there have been no safety issues found in 40 years of GMO production. There is some evidence that dissident scientists are being suppressed and trashed when they speak up. It is not as monolithic as the censure the global warmist community metes out to dissident scientists, but it is disturbing. It is disturbing that Monsanto and other major agribusinesses seem to have made a concerted effort to place their people on boards assessing them. The will to win seems to contest with the will to get it right. But that works both ways. In Africa, many are dying of malnutrition because of a lack of vitamin A. The agribusinesses created what is called “Golden Rice,” an easily produced foodstuff that is loaded with the essential nutrients, including vitamin A, that would prevent that. But because of the hysteria European farmers have created around GMOs in order to protect their agriculture markets, most African nations will not approve Golden Rice, even though denial of it is a death sentence for many people. And many, including Christians, consider it victory that their “side” has prevailed on this, even though many will die because of it.

The discussion of the effect of agribusiness must consider evidence of cronyism and unintended consequences or silencing of internal critics. But we are not telling the truth if we do not recognize that it was agribusiness and GMOs that, in the late 70s and early 80s, eliminated scarcity as a cause of starvation. Distribution, which is a political issue, is now the primary cause of starvation. Scarcity had held that title all the way back into antiquity. I have an affection for small farmers – and we are going to need a lot more of them in the next few years. Many in my family have been small farmers. But the fact is, it was not small farmers who solved scarcity and developed the effective means to feed the world. It was large agribusiness, such as Monsanto. That does not give them a free pass to do whatever they want, but it ought to protect them from being caricatured as mere evil schemers and obtain for them a just and fair hearing.

On vaccines, our reader Francine, hit it out of the park. It is simply a fact that the vaccination regimen, largely begun en masse in the 60s, wiped out measles and most other childhood diseases as a serious threat. Francine questioned whether vaccines are the same today as they were then. I was desperately hoping someone would raise that issue. By 1980, the incidence of measles had dropped to 13,000 in the U.S. But over the next decade it was making a comeback, nearly tripling to 37,000 cases by 1990. Since 1992, we have never had as many as a thousand cases in a year again. I really do not know what they did to stop the rise in its tracks in 1993, but I find it interesting that autism cases began to spike upward roughly around that time. It is not evidence, just suggestive that a line of inquiry ought to be made. More troublesome are statements from people like Bill Gates that vaccines would be a great way to control population growth. That is indicative of the mentality of modern leftist statists who constantly want to hijack widely accepted credible programs to secretly do things “for our own good.” They pervert everything they touch. Shoot, they even do it for TV programs. I enjoy certain detective shows. For some years, NCIS was one of my favorites – and one of televisions top-rated shows. I dropped it last year. CBS decided since it had such a big audience, it would be a great vehicle for left-wing propaganda. After a show explaining to us that the NSA was our friend and we should not worry our little heads about them spying on everything we do, I sent CBS a note telling them if this was going to become “Occupy NCIS” I was out of here. Then they had a show where gun groups were conspiring to sell defective vests to our troops while crusading leftists saved them. I sent another letter. Finally, there was an episode about a high-level crook who was really scummy – and the way they demonstrated how scummy he was was to have a picture of him and George W. Bush together framed in his office . They are relentless and pervert everything, focusing particularly on widely accepted vehicles to deliver their propaganda and achieve their agenda without the consent of the governed. Look at what they have done to our schools.

We know that Merck deliberately made all rubella vaccines in a culture of aborted fetuses, while relying on mandates from the government that children must be vaccinated. That was one of the many deliberate assaults on conscience. So truth be told, I do not trust government not to lie to us about the basic things any more – nor to restrain itself to what it actually has consent for. I am almost reflexive now about resisting any program the government tries to impose mandatorily and with fines. They lie. In fact, I would not get my children vaccinated today. But that does not cause me to deny that the vaccination program, as originally set up, was one of the most brilliant successes and blessings in medical history.

When I was 19 I went to a presentation by our county sheriff on the drug traffic. He said that marijuana was a gateway drug; that over 90 percent of heroin users started with marijuana. Agitated, I told him that was a useless and irrelevant statistic. He made a mocking remark to me…and I said then he better go after milk drinkers…because 100 percent of heroin users started with milk. I told him the important statistic was not how many heroin users used pot, but how many pot users later used heroin. I was a kid, so he irritably shut me down. But after the meeting, I took no little smug satisfaction that people were telling him, “What that kid says makes sense,” and asking him to elaborate. I was an arrogant little snot.

The problem is, I hear all sorts of sloppy logical fallacies applied in these cases. I also see many assertions made with no citations – or with no credible attribution. You cannot just use anything you find online as proof for your point – you must use some credible authority that has no major and obvious conflicts. In your logic, you must use reasoning that is relevant and sound – based from the solid data you can glean. You won’t always be right, but you will almost always be fair.

If you are going to talk about something technical publicly, get yourself up to snuff on the fundamental principles involved. You do not have to become an expert to recognize poppycock from serious material IF you take the time to learn and understand the fundamental principles. Consider this website. My readers have a lot of specific expertise in a lot of areas. I have serious historians, scientists, medical professionals, theologians, financial analysts and others who read this fairly regularly. In many of those areas, I am not expert…but before I write about them I take the time to get up to snuff on the general principles involved and how they work. Some people suggested to me yesterday that I was losing credibility with them because of my stance. Well, if your standard for credibility is whether someone agrees with you or not, that is your problem, not mine. The proper response is to show me where I am wrong – where I have gotten my facts wrong, where my reasoning is deficient, or why the sources I used as a basis are not sound. Otherwise, we are just venting competing prejudices. It can be daunting writing this with the readership which has developed. I know if I err, there are regulars who are experts who will notice and correct me. Some have – usually on fairly minor points. They keep reading because they have developed real expertise and know that I have shown them the respect to get to know the basics of their field – and not caricature them in my arguments. And they know I will be grateful for the benefit of their superior expertise in their field. I think one of the privately proudest moments I ever had was when the prominently published microbiologist I used to vet this memo nine years ago on stem cells simply would not believe I had no background in microbiology. She corrected two words…and told me if I was telling the truth that I had no background in her field, I ought to consider getting into it, because I had a sounder grasp of the fundamental principles than many of her grad students. You CAN get the basic principles down – and you have a duty to if you are going to weigh in in a public way on such matters.

Some have said, both in the Joseph Cronin matter and in response to yesterday’s column, that I should leave that stuff to the experts. That is nonsense. Part of the reason we are in such a mess is because we have ceded too many of our decisions mindlessly to the credentialed, many of whom have not honored our trust. We should have been asking reasonable  and pointed questions and following rigorous logic all along. No one can supplant our responsibility for the decisions we make. You do not have to be a master chef to know whether a dish is well or poorly prepared. If I had followed the dictates of such critics in the Cronin case, the plug might have been pulled before Joseph started showing unmistakable signs of life that Friday. Technological elites are not our masters. Like all of us, they are servants to each of us…and must be accountable. We are obliged to learn enough to be able to hold such servants accountable even though we do not have to know enough to do their jobs and have the humility to live accountability to those we serve in our own fields of expertise.

We will discuss these things. But when we do, we will do it as people of faith and good will, not as partisans ready to seize whatever accusation can be made, no matter how flimsy or false. Some may wonder why I discuss it at all when events are soon going to make many such matters moot. I discuss it because we must act as Christians. Fight hard and with resolve when it is needed, but fight justly. The employee at Monsanto who is trying to do a job nobly needs to believe that when Christians prevail, it is not going to mean she just has a new power to oppress her, villainize and caricature her. We do not do what we do just for people like us, but for all people, that they may once again live in a just world. Jesus did not say love your friends and hate your enemies. He said we should judge righteous judgment. We will be held to account for everyone we dismiss with a cheap smear…and for every aggressor we do not defend the faithful from. It is a task that can only be done by holding fast to God, taking the next right step, and being a sign of hope.

It has already gotten very serious in the world. It is going to get much more serious. Act as the victors we know we will be, right now, with justice, charity and firm resolve. If we do less, we will be held to account – and risk having the Lord tell us, “depart from Me. I never knew you.” That is what I am getting at. Onward CHRISTIAN soldiers.

About charliej373

Charlie Johnston is a former newspaper editor, radio talk show host and political consultant. From Feb. 11, 2011 to Aug. 21, 2012, he walked 3,200 miles across the country, sleeping in the woods, meeting people and praying as he went. He has received prophetic visitation all his life, which he has vetted through a trio of priests over the last 20 years, and now speaks publicly about on this site. Yet he emphasizes that we find God most surely through the ordinary, doing the little things we should with faith and fidelity. Hence the name, The Next Right Step. The visitations inform his work, but are not the focus of it. He lives in the Archdiocese of Denver in the United States.
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143 Responses to The Dignity of a Christian Warrior

  1. Barbara Dore says:

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    Liked by 1 person

  2. MMBev says:

    I just LOVE this column. After 2017, a new Christian civilization must be built. How far from ground zero, I don’t know. But we cannot begin that process unless we can use reason, logic, and be able to determine the true from the false. Competently. Thanks for the lessons, Charlie. (If you don’t know how to play the piano, should you decide to learn, you are awarded the privilege of not having pennies on the back of your hands.)
    It’s been a long, long time since reason and logic and truth were part of any curriculum pretty much anywhere.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vladimir says:

      Dear Bev, thank you for the book I have received from you. It is very, very interesting. God bless you for your generosity.
      Vladimir

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    • Kati says:

      MMBev,

      I also love this piece by Charlie. It is well thought out and definitely makes the case for the use of logic and truth…carefully examining the issue from all perspectives. You are so right that logic and the search for truth are soooo lacking in curriculum almost everywhere today. THAT is something that must be considered when we begin to rebuild in the manner that God desires. THAT is what generates *authentic* inclusion…rather than the type of progressive (oxymoron) inclusion of today, which accepts/includes all the counterfeits of God’s designs and omits anything to do with His truth.

      PS I will soon finish the book you recommended, Fatima, Russia & John Paul II.
      I LOVE this book! 😉

      Like

  3. Mary says:

    If only Catholics ran the world….. I’m only half joking. I guess the Monsanto question comes down to, is it Godly? The vaccine question, is it Godly? I have a tendency to not trust scientists who are not Godly, but athiests. They often act like leftists who are sincere in their desire but quite wrong about what is Godly. I am quite sure, if a true statement, Bill Gates does believe that population control is in the best interest of everyone, for their own good. Monsanto believes that ending starvation might give them the right to do whatever, as long as their intent is noble, it still does not make it Godly. If the GMO’s and chemicals in the end cause more failure in the end, crops unable to survive without the aid of man, crops literally needing fungicides, chemicals, the resulting pollution from ag run off, mistreatment of animals that leads to them needing constant antibiotics and various interventions so the cow will be fatter but not healthier, the chemical affect on bees, bats, the various food chains from all of this intervention. There is nothing without consequence no matter how noble the intent so it seems we are living in a world where some noble intent led to a lot of unGodliness in the end but the train won’t turn around because the train is too big. I can still appreciate Monsanto’s nobility but only to the extent I now see the full fruit of that tree, 80 years later or 200 hundred years later in the case of vaccines and stop pretending it’s still 1945 or 1700 and it’s all we’ve got because there is no point in technology if you don’t learn from it, mistakes and all and be willing to turn around when it crosses a tipping point into the unGodly and disaster instead of digging in your heels and resting on your noble intent.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Vladimir says:

      I agree with you, also with the Charlie´s balance regarding Monsanto. How does God see all of this? What would Jesus do and support, bless? We cannot judge it and we do not know what would He do or bless. (Where is the equation?) That is a pitty, right? But that is the part of our walking this earth, our life… Or the valley of tears as some (mystics?, pesimists?) would say.
      Vladimir

      Liked by 1 person

    • Becky-TN says:

      I, too, look at GMO’s, organics, etc.. this way. Is this the way God wanted it…pesticides, etc…

      I have gone back and forth, FOR YEARS, over vaccines. With family in the medical community, they are very pro-vaccine. With a little one having a lot of vaccines lately, I have come to pray and ask the Lord for His Most Precious Blood to purify the vaccines and protect my child from any harm they might do. I know of a family who can’t afford organics (but does garden) all the time. At the time of praying the blessing bfore meals, they ask God to purify the food they are about to eat.

      With my mom, dad (now gone), my baby sister (now gone) and my brother all having rheumatoid arthritis, I do wonder about GMOs and the petro-chemical plants we grew up with. Makes me wonder.

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      • Lily says:

        I did this too, with my first baby’s first few rounds of vaccines. I felt between a rock and a hard place, and prayed for it to be ok because I was making the best decision i could. And it was ok for her. But I could not get past the potential danger of the MMR and didn’t agree that a vaccine for chicken pox was necessary. After more research and prayer, I felt warned not to vaccinate my next babies at all – and before the LORD, I dared not disobey. I’m not saying this is for everyone, only for me and my family.

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        • Rita Warfel says:

          My story is much the same Lilly. Those that do not vaccinate for the most part, have done their homework. I have nearly finished reading Dissolving Illusions, by Suzanne Humphries, MD and have Plague co-authored by Judy Mikovits, PHD and Vaccine Epidemic by Bernadine Healy, MD former director, NIH and former health editor of U.S. News & World Report, are on the shelf to be read next. I chose not to vaccinate for religious reasons. My daughter had measles as a infant and it was nothing to get excited about. 2 day minor rash, slight fevor. As a mother now, her beautiful son has her natural immunities. Our God created beautiful bodies. We don’t need to be at war with them.

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    • Judy says:

      Monsanto is trying to have a monopoly. If their seeds somehow are blown into a family farm which planted heirloom seeds, then they sue the family farm until the farm says ‘uncle’. It is possible that they are doing some good things, but lots of African farmers are afraid to buy Monsanto seeds. They know that there will be no seed reproduced by a Monstanto GMO seed. And Monsanto can do anything once they have a monopoly. I have met other mystics whom I am certain speak to angels, the Blessed Mother and Jesus. They all say to start a garden and buy heirloom seeds only. I do not think Jesus or God the Father would approve if a monopoly on farms and food. There is too much power being amassed by one single company.

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      • Judy says:

        I already know that you are going to tell me to do more research on the matter. I do not need research to know that so much power amassed by a single company or companies is very bad news. The coming storm is all about control. I have spoken African farmers on line about GMO foods. They are very concerned that they will not be able to get more seeds for the next planting season. This is a sensible concern.

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        • charliej373 says:

          Whoa…I guess I better go back and take back what I actually said since you already knew what I was going to say. Ha, take care in assuming you know what I – or anyone else – will say, Judy. People are full of surprises.

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          • Judy says:

            I just re-read what you said. It seems to me that you were defending the company and individuals within the company. If I was mistaken,I apologize. As I said, there have to be some fine people working for Monsanto and they are probably doing good things, but I still think the company has amassed a awful lot of power which can easily be used against someone who is not of the right political persuasion or accepted faith.
            I would add that I think individuals within the company can act in a moral way for the good of man, but the company will always seek the greatest profit, and that is not always based on moral principle and for the good of mankind. If I misunderstood, I apologize.

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          • charliej373 says:

            Ah, Judy, I wasn’t so much offended as I was amused. I am defending the company from being caricaturized as a cartoon style villain. But I don’t like the way it has thrown its weight around to get its way on some of these things. But it is not about Monsanto for me. It is about the damage we do to ourselves when we demonize something or someone without any balance. A company does indeed, exist, to maximize profits. It owes that as a fiduciary duty to its shareholders. It accomplishes that by providing goods that people are willing to buy…at least that is how it does it in a free market. But we have bowdlerized the free market with crony captitalism, gov’t officials getting in bed with corporate leaders to scratch each others’ backs. That is a perversion of the market – and has grown as the authority of gov’t. over every aspect of our life has grown. Change the incentives and you change the culture – but you can’t change the incentive if you impute one-dimensional motives to people assigned the role of villain.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Charlie, you wrote: “A company does indeed, exist, to maximize profits. It owes that as a fiduciary duty to its shareholders. It accomplishes that by providing goods that people are willing to buy…at least that is how it does it in a free market.”

            Well, it’s actually the other way around: a company indeed exists to provide goods (or services) to people. It accomplishes that, among other things, thanks to its shareholders that are willing to finance it.

            In 2010, Business Decisions Professor Miguel Angel Ariño at IESE Business School commented this pretty well in two blog posts in Spanish. I love his comparison with breathing.

            1. https://miguelarino.com/2010/06/23/bill-gates-jack-welch-y-la-maximizacion-de-beneficios/

            For many years, everyone had argued that the purpose of a company was to maximize profits, or maximize shareholder value. This was the idol that was worshiped. I shouted at the sky, at the skeptical look of my students, and said that a company has to dedicate itself to offer a product or service that best meets a need of someone (a need, not an apparent need), and the better it satisfies that need, the better the company is fulfilling its purpose. Profits would come as a result. At that time of economic joy, my students listened to me incredulous believing to be hearing the preaches of an extraterrestrial. Time is proving me right… but of this and its connection with the declarations of Bill Gates I will speak next week, to contain the length of the post. Suffice it to say now that even Jack Welch, the historic CEO of General Electric and the ultimate driver of profit maximization, has acknowledged that this is a mistake. Also 10 days ago Michael Porter said similar things in Expomanagement.

            2. https://miguelarino.com/2010/07/01/470/

            I wrote last week that I have always maintained that it is stupid to think that the purpose of a company is to maximize its profits, in any of the versions in which this can be understood. I also said that time is proving me to be right. Today everyone is joining the opinion that the cause of the current economic situation was an exaggerated desire for profit. In many fields, business schools also hear voices calling for a new approach to economic activity. The maximization of company profits is a contradictory objective, because with the attempt to achieve it, the conditions that maximize these profits are destroyed. If you want to maximize profits, you’ll probably want to fire people. If you dismiss people, just because you obtain more profits (or at least that’s what you believe) surely those who remain will start distrusting you and… this just points out to some idea of ​​the many that could be mentioned. To say that the purpose of a company is to maximize profits is to say that the purpose of a person is to breathe. It is one thing that a person can not live without breathing and another that this is his purpose. It is one thing that a company can not survive without generating profits and another to say that profits are the reason for the company to exist. Bill Gates: “Donating money is more enriching than keeping it.” Meeting a customer need should be the objective of a company. The better you satisfy this need, the better you will be fulfilling the company’s purpose. And, by doing this well, the more money you will make.

            (IESE Business School has campuses in Barcelona, Madrid, Munich and New York and is one of the world’s top leading business schools, and perhaps the only one having been founded by a canonised saint, as it is part of the Opus Dei University of Navarra.)

            Just a month ago, Pope Francis, said something pretty similar: “Businesses should not exist to make money, even if money serves to mediate its functioning. Businesses exist to serve.”

            http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2016/11/17/pope_to_uniapac_business_execs_‘money_for_service/1272894

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      • charliej373 says:

        Yeah, Judy, on that I wholeheartedly agree. Allies at the state Farm Bureau sometimes tried to persuade me that that is necessary but I would never buy it. I do NOT like the inability to naturally replenish seed and I am appalled at Monsanto’s often punitive measures to go after farmers for casual windblown seeds. My sister and I talked about this several years ago and agreed she should get NOTHING but heirloom seeds.

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        • Judy says:

          It is true that we should not pigeonhole people because of their line of work and which organizations they work for. If there is one errant cop, that does mean every cop is of the same mold. If there is a teacher, nurse, doctor or blue collar worker who engages in a horrible or errant act, this does not mean that all are of the same vein. Each individual must be judged regarding how they choose to behave.

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        • Pete says:

          Is there a good place (website) someone could recommend where I could purchase heirloom seeds?
          On another note: I happened to catch the O’Rielly Factor tonight where Bill got pretty heated and said that “the Holy War has begun…” He called on all clergy, Catholic and Protestant, to speak out about this reality this weekend during Masses and services and demand that Washington lead. I’m not advocating Bill and the Factor, (take him or leave him), but what he said tonight perhaps will begin to wake up “comfortable” Christians (Clergy and laity) around the world to come to the aid of our brothers and sisters who are being brutalized, tortured and slaughtered.
          The winds of the storm are intensifying, it seems, each day now. Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday. Jesus leads us into the desert to be purified. It gives me comfort to know that I walk with Him and with you all, our small little family here on this blog…this “ridiculous army”…love that!
          Peace

          Like

      • ralph says:

        sorry, monsanto seeds do reproduce. but you still owe license fees.

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        • charliej373 says:

          Ralph, has something changed? When I was working with the farm bureau, the seeds were useless unless you had something I think was called an activator. Maybe I misunderstood that and they just meant you had to have the license to use them.

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          • CrewDog says:

            I find all this talk of Seeds, Monsanto, Vaccines, County Agents all very interesting-n-amusing … Ah … but … As they used to say in the Old South: “Ya’ll stompin’ on Pissants when the Devil’s Herd be fixin’ to trample Ya!” … Ya Hear!? … Christian Soldiers … & Airmen 😉
            GOD SAVE & KEEP US ON “TARGET” … AMEN!!

            Liked by 1 person

          • Fred says:

            The sterile seed trait you refer to is know as terminator seeds, terminator technology, or terminator gene technology. Ralph is correct, all seeds grown by farmers from Monsanto commercial seed stocks will produce viable plants. To date, propagation of Monsanto seed technology is controled only by an end user license.

            Terminator techonology has never been commercialized by Monsanto. However, it is true that Monsanto has inserted and demonstrated the functionality of terminator technology successfully in several crop species. That fact alone is enough to give one pause when you consider the amount of commercial crop germplasm under the direct control of just 3 global corporations; Monsanto, DuPont, and Syngenta. Estimates are that these 3 companies control in excess of 50% of the global commercial seed market. Control the food supply and you can… well, you fill in the blank.

            FYI, the following statement was taken directly from monsanto.com: “Monsanto has never commercialized a biotech trait that resulted in sterile – or “Terminator” – seeds. We made a commitment in 1999 not to commercialize technologies that result in sterile seeds in food crops, and we have no plans or research that would violate this commitment.”

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          • charliej373 says:

            Thanks, Fred. That illuminates the issue nicely.

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  4. Dorothy Scott says:

    Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Gary says:

    Your recent columns should spark introspection to your readers. I agree that we need to behave with dignity. While we need to behave with dignity and treat everyone with respect that is deserving of respect, we need to continually question the motives of large corporations including Monsanto & Merck. I have been a business person all my life, owning my own business and having to deal with large corporations from time to time. But when you see things that make you pause, and as you put it, “they have made a concerted effort to load boards up with their own people when studies are done”, then how is the average person to ascertain what is right? We have come in our society, from trusting those in power and they have taken advantage of it. The vaccines are one example. The program, as you put it was good when it started, but now look where it is at. The powers to be (Large drug companies with a lot of money) have abused it and now have lost our trust. Have you ever tried to call and talk to anyone there about your concern. Your lucky if you can get an email address today. Most don’t list where there headquarters is and/or a mailing address. They will not deal with the “common person”. If they want me to use their product, treat us with respect and answer our questions honestly. When my mother-in-law got the pneumonia shot, 2 weeks later she was in the hospital with pneumonia. She was hospitalized a year later again with pneumonia. This is just one of many examples I have seen with vaccinations and I have seen many. You have got to go with your gut instinct. No doctor is responsible for your health, every individual is. That doesn’t mean with don’t use doctors, but I will question everything. In my career I’ve used attorneys and accountants. I pay them for advice, but I have not always taken it.

    Matthew Kelley has stated often, “People Yearn for the Authentic”. They do, I do. But those people are becoming increasingly rare. If they were not, we wouldn’t be into the “Storm”.

    Last regarding GMO—-I am certainly no expert and have not read much on it. I listen to other people who are “in the know” in my circles (I live in a heavily agricultural belt) and what I hear from them is not good. i don’t have gobs of time to research everything so I will place my trust in people who i have a good “gut instinct” for. But does God want us to genetically modify our food? Does he want us to genetically modify humans?…..I think not. That’s good enough for me for now. As you put it Charlie…..most of this will be a moot in the near future, so I will tend to prepare for the “Storm” and keep focused on that.

    Liked by 7 people

    • Not sure about the last bit, Gary…

      GMOs may wind up being unsafe; I await the verdict. I have no opinion. I am fine with people disagreeing with the current state of that technology on prudential grounds. But when we say things like “God doesn’t want us to genetically modify food,” we are basically disagreeing with the Magisterium, which already specifically teaches that the study of genetics should and must be applied to agriculture in order to produce new and more vigorous strains of plants.

      Like

  6. anthonymullendivineantidote says:

    In the midst of this interesting analysis by all, there is a reminder of the critical call and benchmark. Since God causes or permits all things, we must admit our nothingness and do all for His Glory and with His Will. It is a great reminder that in all decisions, we must first open our hearts and sincerely pray: Lord, what is your Will? If we are in a state of Grace, He will give us His Gifts to discern His choice, despite whatever evil or unintended human elements have been set before us that will impact the decision. Sadly, most of us, especially me, do not pause nearly enough before decisions, and we rely exclusively on ourselves.

    There is an Extraordinary book, “Life of Union with Mary” by Fr. Emile Neubert that I would gladly recommend to all that addresses this precise issue of decision making, especially under uncertainty or where many consequences can occur. It also addresses many other topics on daily living that are simply extraordinarily blessed. It is a true gift from the Holy Spirit.

    There are specific chapters on moment to moment union as well as consulting our Lord and our Mother in all decisions. You will be amazed at the detail that you have never read or heard anywhere else. It is one of the greatest, unknown works in the history of the Church. It should be required reading for all who are seeking to love God with all their heart, mind and soul.

    Thank you to all who are striving to take the next right step so we help each other rely on The Lord and then each other in unity. Fiat!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Kati says:

      Thank you Anthony.

      I just bought this book and downloaded it to my Kindle. I look forward to reading it today as we are sort of iced-in here in TN. 😉

      Another good option for learning how to discern and to make decisions in the Divine Will might be to take a course from the Avila Institute (like the class on Discernment of Spirits). Here is a little information here: http://spiritualdirection.com/2015/02/17/avila-institute-exactly-what-i-was-looking-for

      Like

      • Becky-TN says:

        Iced in, too Kati-outside of Knoxville. Homeschooled gang upset they don’t get a “snow day” like their big sister.

        Stay warm and safe,

        Becky

        Like

        • charliej373 says:

          Ooo…I loved school…but even to me it would have felt like a gyp to have to go to school on a snow day!

          Like

          • Becky-TN says:

            Well Charlie, if it were actually snow then I’d probably say ok. But….it’s ice. I’ve gotten lots of “it’s not fair” and “mean mommy” looks. Oh well :).

            Like

          • charliej373 says:

            Ah, but Becky, back in my old Chicago days, we would get one comprehensive ice storm about every two years. Dangerous…but one of nature’s most beautiful productions. But I have an aunt who lives in Nashville – and y’all don’t get the delicate beauty of a Chicago ice storm there, just the dangerous, mundane kind, from my experience. One of the things I hated about Tennessee in the summer…in Chicago, if it was really hot, a nice rain would cool things off deliciously. IN Nashville if it was hot, rain made it far worse…it was like pouring water over the hot rocks in a steam bath.

            Like

          • MMBev says:

            At one point while working, I had one student who required catheterization every four hours. The only other activity involved PE as she was in a wheel chair. Now, as we all know, there is hardly any student who has not “skipped” at least one class during their high school years. So one day, when she was supposed to go to Math class, I said it was PE that she was wrong. And off we went into the sunshine. As incentive to exercise, I would push her a block, and then she had to push herself a block, continuing until we got to where the horses were, and out would come the carrots and apples.

            After a fabulous afternoon, we got back just in time to end the school day. And, of course, discovered that, gasp, she had missed her Math class. I’d set it up with permission discretely, so that she could always say that she had skipped the odd class too.

            We don’t have “snow days”, but that afternoon was a lot of fun for both of us, and sunshine is a lot nicer.

            Like

    • Sr M Lorraine says:

      Sounds like a beautiful book! Last week at Mass we had the reading from Genesis about the original sin. It struck me that when the serpent approached Eve, she jumped right in and started to talk to him, apparently without reflecting. Then I read the Annunciation account and something hit me I had never thought of before. Even though Gabriel was an angel sent by the Lord, before responding, Luke says that Mary discerned in her heart what the greeting could mean. That is why she is so good at guiding us in our decisions.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Mick says:

      Thanks for the recommendation, Anthony. I have a friend who deals in Catholic books published before 1970; I’ve e-mailed him to ask if he has a copy for sale.

      Like

  7. Dick Smith says:

    THANK YOU FOR YOUR LUCIDITY. DICK SMITH

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Michael says:

    Our world seems to have more of a food waste issue than shortage issue. The amount of food that is wasted by each household, combined with the amount of food that never reaches the supermarket based on lack of cosmetic appeal is staggering.

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/jan/10/half-world-food-waste

    I have done some research on the GMO issue and have concluded that the risks outweigh the benefits for my family. Most of the vegetables and grains are modified to accept poison (Round Up) or excrete poison to ward off insects. Either way, we are consuming those poisons. I am also concerned about the stomach issues and infertility these products have caused in long term animal studies.

    There is an amazing, God made, non GMO plant called moringa that is such a powerhouse, that it alone can cure malnutrition. I have heard of several agencies introducing this amazing plant into African culture with great success, but it seems progress may be slow..

    With respect to vaccines, it seems that whether parents vaccinate or not, they are trying to do what is best for their children. Just as in Africa, when the HCG hormone was added to vaccines, causing rejection of pregnancy, many children in the US are not able to consume eggs because the vaccines are cultured in them. This may seem like a small issue, but it’s not. Food sensitivities are exploding. From personal experience, these cause stomach and digestive issues, and even behavioral problems. I don’t think that all vaccines are bad. I think our society does tend to over vaccinate though. By age 5, my children had over 30 vaccines listed on their immunization record for school. I think that vaccine safety does need to be looked into.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Bob says:

      an issue here is the adjudivants, other chemicals used in vaccines. In some cases the human immune system can react to the other substances combined with the deactivated viruses, etc and develop a reaction to them too. And some persons may have these reactions and others have no problems.

      Like

    • Bob says:

      Several links on substances in vaccines the body may react to:
      http://www.drpalevsky.com/articles_pages/346_Peanut_Oil_in_Vaccines_Since%20the_1960s.asp
      and on the possible role of peanut oil in vaccines

      http://www.naturalnews.com/039192_peanut_oil_vaccines_allergies.html

      (note – the natural news link was a freestanding link that Bob sent. It has value, but as you know, I have a rule here against freestanding links. Since it was obviously related to this comment, I deleted the freestanding link and reposted it here – CJ)

      Like

      • SteveBC says:

        Bob, I am extremely allergic to peanuts, peanut oil, and arrachis oil which appears to be another name for peanut oil. I always have to warn docs about this. A vaccine with peanut oil might very well kill me. I also have a strong tendency to collect large amounts of mercury in my body (verified by numerous tests and experiences) and so must avoid vaccines with mercury in them. I have a strong tendency to develop allergic sensitivities to chemicals and foods. Vaccines have numerous chemicals in them, and I have no idea if I would react to them or not.

        I am extremely careful about vaccines and have generally avoided them for years, due to my individual capacities and weaknesses. I’m almost 64 now and in better health than 20 years ago. I am of the opinion that if I were to have been born in 2001 instead of 1951, I would by now be yet another statistic in the VAERS database after receiving the enormous number of vaccines now called for or required.

        One of my nephews was given no vaccines until he was 12, when he was given two. He is one of the most relaxed and healthy humans I know, is now earning a masters degree in materials engineering, and a very happy, robust guy. Human variability is larger than the System allows for, and the belief that vaccines are necessary for creating healthy adults is just a belief, given how poorly the System tracks the negatives.

        For something to be proven in a scientific manner requires that the hypothesis be “falsifiable”, which requires both a proper formulation of the hypothesis (and its underlying paradigm) and also the willingness and capacity to track the data which might provide the falsification. My opinion is that neither is true for vaccination as a healthful protocol these days. Note that this does not mean that vaccination has no benefits, or that its benefits do not outweigh the negatives. It simply says that that has not actually been proven yet.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. diane says:

    Thank you Charlie – you did take to a different level and we are grateful. Christ came to thie world so we could live with dignity – He lived with dignity and we are to imitate Him. Humility is the virtue He revealed to us that we might want to consider as bieng the bulwark of dignity. Look at how He lived and look at how we live – My Lord what has happened to us. This morning at mass and later in adoration all I could do was fight the tears that kept wallowing up and pray,pray, pray. What have we become. How very sad my soul is right now. But one would never see it, because I live my life in hope. I think each day I awake is a day closer to the Glory that is promised us, a new revitalized world in one that will be rich with the virtues Christ gave us. Kindness, Peace,Joy, Patience, Faithfulness, Perseverence,Love, Gentleness and Generosity – all the ways He showed us to live will be imbued in our souls and we will live with the dignity Christ showed us. Yes, I ache with pain and sadness all the time,but I allow Jesus to carry that cross and I disappear into Him and Live with Hope. Hope for that which will be Good. I don’t concern over the chaos of the Storm because of that Hope. God Bless you all. Love.I do.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Mary Ann says:

    “I would not get my children vaccinated today. But that does not cause me to deny that the vaccination program, as originally set up, was one of the most brilliant successes and blessings in medical history.”

    Charlie, this is precisely the tragedy of so many things in the United States. And the younger generation neither has a knowledge of the blessings of the way things were, nor a critical sense of the present state.

    Like

    • Lily says:

      I think it works both ways, Mary Ann, at least on the vaccine issue. Because they were so successful in the past, it seems like vaccines get a free pass by the older generation. I have only looked into it because of information that came my way via the internet. I acknowledge the uncertain credibility of internet information, but it raises a lot of concern in addition to what is directly stated on the official CDC and vaccine manufacturers pages about vaccine cautions and side effects.

      I do agree with you though – I am sad to not know the blessings of the past (aside from my parents and grandparents stories), and I am often convicted of a numbness or apathy towards the present state of things. So much seems wrong on such a grand scale.

      Liked by 1 person

      • charliej373 says:

        That is very true, Lily. When radicals can hijack an old and trusted institution, they can do more damage because they disarm the people who trusted it when it was worthy of trust, not realizing it has been transmogrified into something very different.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Mary Ann says:

          That’s what I meant – they think the present is like the past, and think those who critique the present are critiquing the good rather than the changes.

          Like

          • MMBev says:

            There is one more component that I think is worth consideration. I will use an example without using names. There is a senator who to all appearances that I can discern seems to be a very likely good candidate for a future president. He is also eloquent, intelligent, and seems to have a good handle on the state of the country. (Yes, I know, no election in 2016, but most people don’t realize what is coming.) Then I found out his wife is a CEO of Goldman Sacs. There would appear to be some dichotomy there. Because I don’t have to ever make a decision because I am a Canadian, it still makes me realize that those immediately around us or “linked” to us can have a profound influence on our choices That means that vetting beyond the candidate or company executives etc themselves, there has to be a reaching much further to discover all of the truth. Another example would be Bill and Hilary Clinton. Even if one seemed (I said “seemed”) solid and a good candidate, there are choices that each have made that bring a lot of questions to mind. And while it is my personal opinion, I believe a person’s behavior in all aspects of their life have an influence on the decisions they make. When one area is completely wrong and contrary to the law of God, can we trust decisions they make in other areas? I am of the opinion that we are a “whole”, not fragmented pieces. That is not to say a person cannot make mistakes and reach for goodness beyond an initial flub. But that must be clearly seen, and admitted to and then proven as true over a period of time to be validated when a vital position is involved.

            Like

  11. vicardwm says:

    The vaccination program was successful, although if you look at the numbers, the diseases were already on a precipitous decline (at least as far as serious complications/mortality) even before the vaccines were introduced. The question is what other effects have they had? Even in early polio vaccines, there was known contamination from a monkey virus, and scientists are now studying whether this monkey virus might be responsible for increases in cancer:

    http://www.nature.com/onc/journal/v23/n38/full/1207877a.html

    Liked by 1 person

  12. vicardwm says:

    Great post! One sign of the loss of civility (and civilization) is the lack of formal or reasoned debate. It’s basically folks picking a fortress and slinging rocks back and forth now. Christians have to be different.

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      There used to be a newspaper cartoon called “Hagar the Horrible.” It was about a Viking warrior (though he was a comical warrior). In one of my favorite cartoons of all time, the first panel showed Hagar loudly cussing someone out of sight to the right. The next panel showed some barbarian loudly cussing Hagar, who was out of sight. The final panel showed Hagar charging with his sword raised and saying, “So much for diplomacy.” Kind of prophetic in its way, eh?

      Like

  13. Kate Levin says:

    Dear Charlie, You simply MUST educate yourself on these two issues: vaccines and GMO food production. Your glossy approach could mislead those who place their confidence in you. thanks.

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      I have Kate…and if you have a specific issue, it would best for you to raise it specifically rather than a general insult. If you have been reading this site for a while you know that I appreciate when someone corrects a real error…and I routinely publish almost all comments, critical or complimentary. The generalized insult like you have made is something usually used by someone who is ill-informed who has had their worldview challenged and does not want to do the hard work of research to determine what is accurate and then honestly defend their point. If that is not you, be specific. But such straw man generalized insults are not welcome here.

      Like

    • vicardwm says:

      It is our job to educate him then, Kate, not simply call him uneducated. Charlie, I would read the Weston Price Foundation materials. When you are researching an issue, go to their website (http://www.westonaprice.org/) and type in the search subject. You may not agree with everything, but in general, they are good about being scientifically rigorous and providing footnotes/references/etc. for their claims.

      Liked by 1 person

      • charliej373 says:

        And you will only “educate” me, Vicar by evidence and fact-based assertions that are logically sound and coherent – not just stronger assertions of your opinion. The Price organization you cite does have a slant, but it accepts neither government nor industry funding, so it truly is independent and worthy of consideration. The principles it espouses of non-processed foods is fairly widely accepted. I don’t worry about processed foods and they don’t bother me…but I do suspect they have a more intense effect on some rather than others. There are some people here who have “educated” me on specific points…Ellen has given some tweaks on medieval history, Daniel O’Connor on theology, and Steve BC on several technical issues. But they did it by citing verifiable facts and explaining them coherently. On matters of opinion, honorable people can honorably disagree.

        Alas, Vicar, my experience has been that most people who generally (and condescendingly) urge me to educate myself use that statement to cover the weakness of their own position and their unwillingness to educate themselves. Facts, evidence and coherent logic…it has worked every time here. If you don’t use it, it is usually because you don’t have it on your side.

        Like

        • vicardwm says:

          “Facts, evidence and coherent logic…it has worked every time here. If you don’t use it, it is usually because you don’t have it on your side.” Perhaps usually. But there are always those on any side of an argument who are simply too lazy or short on time to make a structured, compelling argument. As far as being biased (or having a slant), yes, the WAPF is biased. Everyone is biased. Those spreading the Gospel are biased, because they have encountered Someone who changed their life. It’s not bad to be biased, but it’s bad to be unaware of how one’s own bias affects their views, and it’s bad to delude ones self into thinking that they are not biased.

          By the way, the WAPF principles go well beyond avoiding processed foods, though that is certainly one basic principle.

          Like

          • charliej373 says:

            Oh gosh, Vicar, I hope I did not misstate in this case. I did not mean the WAPF is biased, which I always interpret to mean taking an irrational stance. Having a slant is just taking a position – and everything I have seen from this organization tells me they have come up with a particular interpretation and worldview, but pretty firmly ground it in fact and evidence. If I gave the impression that I regard it as less than a reputable and honorable organization, I apologize. I expect to use it in researching some topics in the future.

            Like

  14. Kati says:

    I DO like what you have posted today, Charlie. It fit so perfectly with the refrain from the prayers and Intercessions of this morning’s Liturgy of Hours:
    Deepen in us our love for you today,
    so that in all things we may find our good, and the good of others.
    – Lord, lead us to the truth.

    And this is to double-thank you: http://hagarthehorrible.com
    😉

    Like

    • Mick says:

      HAGAR!!! I loved Hagar the Horrible! Kati, this brought back great memories of reading the Sunday Funnies at home with my family as a kid. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

      Like

  15. Bob says:

    One thing I wanted to add on judging issues where even scientists disagree. Many want to wait for the scientific studies to be done, as for example on drugs, problems with GMO foods, etc. and as formal studies are costly and take a long time there is another scientific approach we can take. I once took a course in the study of the individual subject. And in that approach we use the individual as the study. And if a certain drug causes me a bad reaction or a GMO food, for example causes me an allergy I must be responsible to God on what I learn about myself and act accordingly. And over time a large number of individual problems can lead to studies being done if there is time. Also, these days I don’t believe any of us can be the “good” patient who says Yes Doc and doesn’t learn something of what the Dr wants to prescribe, etc unless we are unconscious. that is. Docs work with many patients with many different problems and with some issues there are differing opinions and as our issues are our issues we have more time to learn about the issues which concern us. We must be involved in making the best choices we can for ourselves and our families.
    I must admit I once overly reacted to Monsanto but as my sister in Law works for them I held my fire and made only a few comments about some problems with GMOs and did not create a relationship problem about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • charliej373 says:

      Interesting, Bob. Your sister’s employment probably played a role in your measured and persuasive grasp of the topic. You are the more persuasive because your approach has pretty carefully avoided polemics.

      Like

    • vicardwm says:

      Bob, that is certainly sound advice. One problem the mainstream medical profession has is that they don’t generally take individuality into account. Vaccines and GMO’s may be good for some, even many, but they are certainly not good for all. Then again, those who have visible reactions to GMO’s or vaccines may be the “canaries in the coal mine” who warn the rest of us who might be harmed in less visible ways. The only way to find out for sure is by careful long-term research.

      Here is one article I found on GMO’s at the Weston A Price foundation website:
      http://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/genetically-engineered-foods-may-be-far-more-harmful-than-we-thought/

      Like

      • charliej373 says:

        Yes, Vicar, the same doctor I occasionally mention once told me the reality is that anatomy is like a blueprint of a generic house. People’s systems can differ so dramatically that diagnosis must always take into account trying to figure out how the patient’s particular system differs from the generic blueprint – so diagnosis is often as much art as science.

        Like

  16. waitingNwondering says:

    Thanks, Charlie, for your insightful musings.

    I have a question related to the possibility of economic collapse;
    Have you seen the following article? Just wondering what you think of the points he raises. (Apologies in advance for the Website name. I couldn’t find this article anywhere else.)
    http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/the-case-against-imminent-economic-collapse-they-can-keep-bailing-things-out-for-several-more-years-without-fear-of-collapse_02162015

    Liked by 1 person

    • charliej373 says:

      I looked through it….I would disagree with a few of his points (such as that for hyper-inflation you must start from a small base of currency that can expand dramatically. He is basically right there, but I think misses a few points). He does strike me as a fellow who knows his stuff pretty well on a wide range of such topics and should be listened to as a credible analyst.

      Like

      • Mack says:

        Charlie, sounds like he’s been reading your blog! He said, “But it’s not the Muslim threat nor a war in the Middle East that is the big threat—it’s the inevitable war with Russia and China that is coming in the next decade that you need to factor into your preparations.”

        His analysis seems basically good. But these things are so unpredictable, and if the Storm is to proceed as you’ve said I don’t think he can be right about the timing. After the 2008 crisis I read several books about what happened. I don’t pretend to understand it all, but I realized that the financial people behind the scenes are on some tricky ground. Things could easily go wrong and spiral out of control.

        Like

  17. jmst says:

    vaccine
    The 21 curious questions we’re never allowed to ask about vaccines.Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/048467_vaccine_industry_intelligent_questions_scientific_principles.html#ixzz3S1mkVmZE

    Like

  18. Lin says:

    Interesting discussion with some very cogent points.

    Like

  19. malachi99 says:

    A few verbal crowbars, brickbats, and hammers coming down on a few heads today. Great stuff and thoroughly entertaining. I love it when people prove the point by their reactions (i’m kinda sick that way but we all have our foibles 🙂 )

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Ha Malachi…from the time I was a teen, my Dad and I loved to engage in verbal combat. He loves it even more than me. My poor mother would sometimes cry, thinking we hated each other in the midst of one of our battles…then we would have to stop and soothe her…then go somewhere else and gleefully resume the battle. Once, when I came to visit, I determined I was not going to argue with Dad. He started throwing out provocative statements. Every time I gave a gentle answer, his face fell a little further. Finally, he tripped my trigger on something and I tore into him. I don’t remember what the argument was about, but I do remember very well the jubilant grin on his face once the games began.

      My paternal grandmother used to tell my Mother that if she and Dad were to get in a fight, Mom should just call Grandma and leave the phone off the hook so she could hear and savor it.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Bob says:

        I used to argue some but when I learned that most folks don’t change their minds that way I did it less. Talking to a brick wall is not much fun but I still have a friend I get into some verbal dialogues with otherwise I mostly shut up and pray.

        Like

        • charliej373 says:

          Dad was funny about that. On the rare occasions when I did change his mind about something, he would NEVER admit it. Rather, a week or so later he would take up the conversation anew and act as if his new position had always been his position. We were all once watching an episode of Happy Days…and the Fonz had been wrong about something. He tried to say it, but just could not get, “I was wrong” out of his throat. My Mom started giggling and looked over at Dad and said, “That’s you Charles…he even looks kind of like you did back in the day.” Dad just grinned his completely disarming boyish grin.

          Like

  20. narnialion54 says:

    Charlie,
    I am blown away by your tactical training in wisdom, knowledge, understanding and counsel as part of being a Christian Warrior. i KNEW you were doing something out of the ordinary with your last post. I told my husband, this last piece Charlie wrote, there is something funny about it. The tone is strange, He’s making generalizations. it’s not the Charlie I know.
    I once had a history professor as a new Freshman (MANY years ago) at the University of Vermont who, on the first day of class stated authoritatively that the native American peoples had nothing to offer, when the white man came. The class sat in stunned silence for a couple of minutes, as he ranted on. Then one brave soul timidly raised her hand and challenged him, angrily.. He gave a good fight. The class woke up as from a spell and joined in vigorously protesting, debating, challenging. After 20 minutes, his demeanor changed and he smiled broadly. You’re all going to take a lot of training, he said, but not too bad to start with! It was the most exciting class I have ever attended.

    Thanks for being our sherpa, dear Charlie. I am SO grateful for you. BRILLIANT!!

    Also, I am quite impressed with the knowledge and expertise of commenters on this blog. I also wince for students of today (my own college sons included), who are spoon fed much nonsense. Fortunately, one son has begun challenging his professors and the other has begun thinking more critically. I appreciate your comment about reason, logic and truth above, MM Bev.

    Like

  21. A quick qualification: I don’t merely mean we should roll over to each and every dictate of the CDC, FDA, WHO, etc., so long as it isn’t a blatant and obvious intrinsic grave evil by the infallible Magisterium. I just mean let’s not be obsessive about health; it’s among the easiest things to idolize. “Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God.” Rom. 14:20. I don’t assume that everything Ford tells me about how to care for my Focus is some diabolical conspiracy just because they are a company that lauds gay marriage. Granted — our bodies are holy, our cars are not… but they still each have the same destination in a very short number of years, a destination each of us will hear tomorrow as we receive our ashes: “dust.”

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      You touch on a very significant point, Daniel. As I have said repeatedly, we must trust God entirely while acting with ordinary prudence. If we begin to trust in our income, or our reputation, or our dietary regimen to get us through we are going to be disappointed. It is good to be concerned about all of these things, but dicey to get overly concerned.

      And I knew you did not mean we should roll over for every dictate. It is difficult to be completely precise in these things – and it is a natural reaction to overstate the defense of an institution when other are overstating the case against it. Our duty is to “judge righteous judgment.” That’s not easy even without our stumbling ways.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Kathleen from NJ says:

    I have to admit to being quite like Schultzy from Hogan’s Heroes, who constantly exclaimed “I know nothing. I know nothing!”.

    However, I must post today’s (2/17/15) gospel reading for everyone’s personal discernment for I feel it speaks volumes to the topic of food.

    Gospel
    Mark 8:14-21 ©

    The disciples had forgotten to take any food and they had only one loaf with them in the boat. Then he gave them this warning, ‘Keep your eyes open; be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod.’ And they said to one another, ‘It is because we have no bread.’ And Jesus knew it, and he said to them, ‘Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you not yet understand? Have you no perception? Are your minds closed? Have you eyes that do not see, ears that do not hear? Or do you not remember? When I broke the five loaves among the five thousand, how many baskets full of scraps did you collect?’ They answered, ‘Twelve.’ And when I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many baskets full of scraps did you collect?’ And they answered, ‘Seven.’ Then he said to them, ‘Are you still without perception?’

    Liked by 1 person

    • charliej373 says:

      You have hit precisely on what my fundamental subtheme is here, Kathleen.

      Like

      • Kathleen from NJ says:

        Praise God and His Holy Spirit!!

        Like

        • MMBev says:

          Twice in my son’s life when he was in primary grades, I had to take him to emergency because his doctor was away for the weekend. I had tried everything I knew to do, and was still very concerned. Both times, I went home taking the prescription, and sometimes even medication given to me to administer. Both times, I just held him first and did quite a bit of praying and trying to listen. My “antenna” just didn’t feel quite right. And both times, I did not follow the doctor’s instructions, didn’t administer the medication, and prayed the night out with him until I saw his regular pediatrician the next day. I believe that God wants us to always turn to Him in all situations, but most especially in some. And I believe that He gives us a way of determining that if we are being faithful to Him. His “contact” will be different for each person.

          In both cases, his doctor told me that had I followed instructions I would have killed my son.

          We have to research, discuss, ponder, and work hard to learn all we can about things that are going to affect our lives or the lives of others, especially family. And when we have done the absolute best we can, then we have to lay it all out before God, and listen.

          Like

  23. Donette says:

    Charlie, Please take nothing I say as criticism. I am simply reading, listening and studying you and what you post. I feel an interior call to respond to your posts. Not because I want to counter or confirm what you write, but to discern and learn.

    I was through half of your post when that mysterious interior sense that seems to happen to me at times said, “You are looking at Charlie’s mission through a glass darkly.” That did not mean I was judging you or what you had written wrongly. It meant that I was on the right track of understanding and discerning what you, Charlie, are called to do, but I had not gotten the clear picture as yet.

    The second part of your post, I saw me (mankind) on the edge of a great abyss and I was being given a choice. “Charlie”, I said to myself, “is presenting us with the eternal conundrum for mankind: the good vs. the bad, the Holy vs. evil; the two edge sword, the curse or the blessing.

    By shedding light on the subjects that Charlie covers, he is assisting/aiding people to free themselves from the confusion…the smoke and mirrors of the Intellect who is our enemy… to turn to God and look for His Will. It is then the time to merge our will with His and take the next right decision.

    Thanks, Charlie, for agreeing to do this, no matter how reluctant you seemed to have been in the beginning, to take up the battle. God alone knows how difficult it is to put oneself out there in the public’s eye and take the slings and arrows, praises or complements of your surrounding fellow beings.

    Oh, Please thank your angel. They are wonderfully persistent when about their missions.

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Well thanks, Donette, but have no fear of criticizing me. I may bark back occasionally, but some of the best corrections I get are from people who care about me and argue with me. One of my priests, Fr. Peter, I laugh with at times because he is such a scrapper…and he will scrap with me at the drop of a hat if he thinks I need it. Sometimes I do…every once in while he does…but we grow together because we care enough to be candid with each other. (Of course, he’s originally from New Jersey – and I think scrapping is as firmly fixed in their DNA as it is in old hillbillies like me).

      Like

  24. carmelite says:

    Ach, so many knowledgeable people here!! Most likely, I should just keep silent, but couldn’t after looking at the photo in the link at the end of this.
    I don’t vaccinate my pets (my dear canine friend died after I decided he would make a good therapy dog and had to have it done). One daughter doesn’t vaccinate her children, the other one does. GMO food might make sense to some, but not to me. Not all science is for good, as I tried to explain to my Dad about contraceptives. And bottom line, there are just too many things that I MUST trust to the professionals. BTW, great link, jmst!
    Gary said “.most of this will be a moot in the near future, so I will tend to prepare for the “Storm” and keep focused on that.” I agree.
    Anyway, here is the link that really makes me think there is a lot of conversation about ‘stuff’, while the crazy world goes on. Yes, it’s important to know what is going on, what the gov’t. is doing. Your posts, Charlie, on that matter, on the internet and finance are what we need to hear. I am just having a problem equating this particular conversation to those.
    Anyway, my feeling is pray, people, like never before … like today is your last day! How soon before this reaches us!!! …….
    http://vultuschristi.org/index.php/2015/02/their-only-words-jesus-help-me/

    Like

  25. Julia says:

    Another great article with much to chew over Charlie. Thank you.

    I would like to share what I have understood about the problem which has arisen over vaccination for children. I believe parents became concerned over the triple whammy for measles, mumps and rubella. It made sense to me that a small child who was given a shot of three diseases at the same time could have had their systems overloaded for want of a better description.

    I was and still remain puzzled at why medicine and government at least in the UK dug their heels in and refused to offer these immunisations in separate doses. Many parents would have been happy to get the immunisations done, if the powers that be, respected their feelings and concerns. I wonder if this is the root cause of the numbers in USA who have avoided these particular immunisations, maybe for the same reasons. Why won’t the powers that be listen to parents and allow the vaccines in separate doses. Feels awful like nanny state mentality me to. Just my humble opinion.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Irish7 says:

    Maybe your picture of the soldier says it all. We are to defend against evil to liberate ALL…but we are to be scrupulously judicious in our definition of evil…individual soul by soul…and not by people group or association…without excusing or placating the errors of those groups and ideologies. We look for and value the image of God in all and recognize that the Samaritan was pleasing to God despite the preconceptions of His people. Sigh. Am I getting this at all??

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Mary Ann says:

    You know, there is the eternal temptation to have certainty, to have control, to be safe. For certainty, people will seek out gurus, magic, new age, occult knowledge, hidden information, someone or some group to blame, techniques to assure mastery or health or whatever one wants. It is the old gnostic temptation: divide the universe into equal good and bad, eat special foods, do special exercises, be among the elite knowers with the keys of power, even if it is only power over self. The extremes look for groups to blame and instant saviors. Religious people can seek special knowledge in the new age or in the latest locution, or they can seek assurance of salvation in verbal forms or manipulations of sacramentals, both approaching a form of magic. Whichever form it takes, it is an attempt to have salvation under our control, our efforts, our good, our ladder to God. The temptation to have control peaks in times of uncertainty, of course. We are in a big time of uncertainty. This phenomenon has interpersonal effects: people are easily threatened, protective of their”precious”, hypersensitive, suspicious, irritable, clannish. All of this is natural, and we should make some allowance for others – our very patience will help them! i I was watching Veggie Tales’ take Abraham today: “It’s not easy to trust! It’s HARD to have patience! It’s not easy to wait for God to keep his promise!” says Abraham. Amen.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Mick says:

    Thank you for this excellent article, Charlie. I’m not a Monsanto fan, as you could probably guess; but your story about the Monsanto lady really hit home. Well done.

    I do, however, have a quibble (I know, I know–I’m an annoying gadfly): US government statistics show that, with the possible exception of diptheria, it cannot be accurately claimed that vaccines wiped out several of the diseases which used to plague the population. Please view the graph at the link below:

    This graph makes clear that the death numbers for measles, typhoid, scarlet fever, diptheria, and whooping cough had all cratered by the mid-1940s. Typhoid and scarlet fever disappeared without the introduction of vaccines, the whooping cough vaccine wasn’t in widespread use until the late 1940s, and the measles vaccine wasn’t introduced until 1963. By the time the diptheria vaccine was introduced in 1920, death numbers for diptheria were already plummeting. Given what happened with the other diseases (perhaps because of better sanitation, better standard of living for most Americans, or what have you), it’s possible that the diptheria might have burned itself out on pace with the other diseases even without the introduction of the vaccine. Also, cholera, which in the 19th and early 20th centuries was quite a problem in the States, disappeared without a vaccine.

    I’m not saying that no vaccine has ever done any good. I’m simply saying that we should be accurate in our claims about what they have and have not done.

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Well, Mick, it is not terribly surprising that death rates declined post WWII. It was a period of startling medical advances and of more widespread nutritional health. Despite this, the incidence of measles jumped dramatically in the 50s. Probably because of better nutritional health and sanitation, even so, the death rate was not as high as it had been in the 40s. Almost immediately when the 60s began, the incidence dropped back to where it had been in the 40s. But once the vaccine was introduced, it dropped off the table – and by 1970 was a mere tenth of what it had been. To say it would have disappeared on its own may be – but if it had, that would have been one of the great miracle mysteries of all time. Since the precipitous dropoff precisely declined with the introduction of the vaccine, that supposition seems to me a disingenuous effort to rob one of the great medical achievements of its lustre. Understand that virulence and incidence are two different problems. We have long developed techniques that have reduced many diseases of their deadly virulence. It’s possible, but extremely unlikely.

      Like

      • Bob says:

        And I remember reading the history of the polio vaccine and hearing my parents fears and how people were afraid to go out in public for fear that they would become cripples, live their lives in iron lungs or die from polio and after a successful vaccine was developed those fears were a thing of history.

        Like

        • SteveBC says:

          Bob, I’ve heard similar stories. I grew up in the 1950s and 1960s, among the first generation to get vaccinated. It was a big change for everyone and appears to be one of the great applications of vaccination.

          I find that looking for outliers can be fruitful. In the 1940s through 1980, Frederick Klenner MD used IV, injection and oral administration of Vitamin C (among a few other items) to treat dozens and dozens of people with polio, some with very advanced symptoms. He reported a 100% success rate, I kid you not (I can provide a link to a summary of his work by Lendon Smith, but this is searchable on the web). Apparently, none of his patients had any long-term handicaps or effects. Imagine what our world today would be like if this information had been taken up by the medical community, but instead they denigrate it. An example of what Charlie is pointing out to us. If you are really being a scientist, you have to follow *all* the data, *especially* the data that falls outside the box of current theory and practice.

          Vitamin C is *the* substance for treating viruses, including polio virus. When administered in a way outlined by Klenner, it can tamp down symptoms while enabling the development of life-long immunity using the body’s natural immune mechanisms.

          Humans are one of only three animal species which do not make their own Vitamin C (from glucose). I often wonder if the physical manifestation of the loss of the Garden of Eden was the loss of the body’s ability to make Vitamin C internally, making us far more susceptible to disease.

          If a researcher out there can figure out how to cause our bodies to produce Vitamin C internally on demand, it would have an enormously positive impact on us all. I am amazed that there is not a Manhattan Project to figure that out, given the magnitude of the likely benefit. We have all the biological mechanisms needed, I gather, but they just don’t work.

          Like

      • Mick says:

        Charlie, please forgive my blockheadedness (or pigheadedness, as the case may be), but the assertions that I made in my above post have been made by many doctors throughout the world: MDs, DOs, NDs, PhDs. Here are some links to a few such doctors:

        http://blog.drbrownstein.com/should-mickey-and-minnie-mouse-be-vaccinated/
        http://drtenpenny.com/what-opened-my-eyes-to-the-problems-vaccines-cause/
        http://www.whale.to/vaccine/ImmunizationGraphs-RO2009.pdf

        Of course, having advanced degrees doesn’t make somebody right. But these individuals are practitioners and/or researchers, so I believe that their arguments and conclusions bear serious consideration.

        Please take, for instance, Isaac Golden (N.D., D.Hom., Ph.D.), and Australian doctor who has been in practice for over 30 years. He has written a 400+ page book entitled “Vaccinations & Homoeoprophylaxis? A Review of Risk and Alternatives,” the seventh edition of which was published in 2010. In the section entitled “Actual disease trends–a diagrammatic summary,” he gives diagrams based on statistics that were provided to him by the Department of Health and Human Services in the US, the Department of Health and Social Security in the UK, and the Commonwealth Department of Health in Australia. The charts give death numbers (and in most instances, the number of disease notifications) for whooping cough, measles, polio, tetanus, and diptheria. His charts cover the US, England and Wales, and Australia. After discussion of the diagrams, this is what Dr. Golden states in the section entitled “Conclusions regarding historical impact of vaccination”:

        “As the figures clearly indicate, vaccination programs have had mixed successes in lowering deaths and/or notifications for these infections diseases. Although some programs clearly lowered the incidence (notification) of a particular disease, others obviously did not. Most programs had only a marginal impact on death rates for each of the diseases. [new paragraph] Certainly, IT CANNOT BE GENERALLY CLAIMED THAT VACCINATION HAS BEEN RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ELIMINATION OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES [sorry about the all-capitalizations; the author had boldface in the original, but I don’t know how to do boldface unless I’m typing a Microsoft Word document], the credit for which must be largely attributed to improved sanitation and waste disposal, personal hygiene and nursing care, and the reduction of severe nutritional deficiencies in the countries considered. These improvements are what are still needed in third world countries, rather than vaccines which can and do produce terrible side effects in malnourished children [citation omitted].”

        It is also relevant to note that widespread killer diseases such as scarlet fever, typhoid, cholera, and TB virtually disappeared without vaccines. This is no insignificant point.

        Here are two links to articles found on the Weston A. Price Foundation’s website. They make the same assertions (among others) as the ones I made in my previous post. The authors are not doctors; but the articles appear well researched and are definitely well footnoted:

        http://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/vaccinations-parents-informed-choice/
        http://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/vaccinations/

        Now, if I’m wrong in the assertions and suppositions that I made in my previous post, then I believe I’m in pretty good company. And I’m OK with your thinking that my suppositions may be incorrect, wrongheaded, or ill-considered. But as hard as I have tried to be reasonable, honest, and fair-handed, I believe that it is inaccurate and unfair of you to assert that my supposition “seems to [you] a disingenuous effort to rob one of the great medical achievements of its lustre.” Perhaps I misunderstood you, but your assertion appears to call my character and my motivations into question. Did I misunderstand you? If so, I apologize and ask your forgiveness; if not, please explain.

        Like

        • charliej373 says:

          No Mick…I tried to make clear that virulence and incidence are different aspects of the same problem. It is certain that better sanitation and techniques had already reduced the virulence of measles before the vaccine was introduced on a wide scale. Health authorities introduced the vaccine asserting that it would dramatically reduce the incidence of measles. Within seven years of its introduction, it had been reduced to a tenth of what it had been at introduction. You won’t die from something you don’t even get, so the reduction of the incidence was a fantastic accomplishment. If someone tells me they are going to do something, how they are going to do it, and what the result will be on something that has NOT been accomplished before, and it works out as they said it would, I give them credit for it. That does not mean that there are not later distortions of what the program is meant to be, nor to deny that advances in reducing virulence had not been made already. But it does seem to me you are so vested in denying any good having ever come from vaccines that you argue with compelling evidence to the contrary.

          One does not need to deny there ever having been any good at all from something to successfully argue that there are serious apparent problems with the way it has gone forward.

          Like

          • Mick says:

            Charlie, now it seems like you’re contending against a strawman. I did not “den[y] any good having ever come from vaccines”; in fact, to quote from my previous post, “I’m not saying that no vaccine has ever done any good. I’m simply saying that we should be accurate in our claims about what they have and have not done.” I believe some vaccines have done some good. I just maintain that the historical record does not demonstrate that vaccines can generally be held responsible for the elimination of certain diseases. That’s all.

            It’s OK by me if you come to a different conclusion from mine, based on your own research. But, as you said, I found the evidence that I discovered to be quite “compelling.” If the evidence that you have found compels you to reach a different conclusion, well and good. But my honest presentation of my evidence ought not have led you to charge me with being disingenuous; and that’s what I’m really struggling with. I might have been mistaken in my arguments, muddled in my reasoning, and errant in my conclusions; but what I was not is “not truly honest or sincere” ( please see Merriam Webster). As you said to Irish7 in a recent post, “It is when we impute evil motives when someone may well have just miscalculated or screwed up that we get onto dangerous ground.”

            Like

          • charliej373 says:

            Mick, you are a valued commenter here. Perhaps I have misunderstood you. I do not think are not truly honest or sincere. But if my understanding is that you do not believe the dramatic reduction of the incidence of measles was not due to the vaccine and that those who developed it made no significant accomplishment, then yes, I do believe you do them an injustice that is contrary to the evidence. If that is not what you meant, then I have misunderstood you and I apologize. In any case, I am going to let this go.

            Like

    • Alphonsus says:

      Mick, much of those pre-vaccine declines can be attributed to increased understanding of the modes of transmission of the etiologic agents. Interruption of transmission can significantly reduce the prevalence of disease in a population. Take for example yellow fever. Once Walter Reed was able to identify the mosquito vector-borne nature of transmission (v. direct contact), the infection became controllable by controlling the mosquito population. Cholera is another example. John Snow figured out it is water borne and thus epidemics afterwards could be prevented or controlled by water and wastewater treatment. This is why it disappeared from the US.

      In the history of disease control often you see, appearing long before vaccines and treatments, methods for preventing infection and spread. During the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, as a reminder that influenza was transmitted through the air, little girls used to sing this rhyme while skipping rope.

      I had a bird
      Its name was Enza
      I opened the window
      And influenza

      Like

  29. Alphonsus says:

    Charlie, to address your question about how the rising incidence of measles was defeated in the late 80s, the CDC article “Measles History” states:

    ” In 1978, CDC set a goal to eliminate measles from the United States by 1982. Although this goal was not met, widespread use of measles vaccine drastically reduced the disease rates. By 1981, the number of reported measles cases was 80% less compared with the previous year.

    “However, a 1989 measles outbreaks [sic] among vaccinated school-aged children prompted the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) to recommend a second dose of MMR vaccine for all children. Following widespread implementation of this recommendation and improvements in first-dose MMR vaccine coverage, reported measles cases declined even more.”

    http://www.cdc.gov/measles/about/history.html

    I do not and have never understood the fear of vaccines, especially the modern fear, in the face such a documented glorious history of vaccine success. Immunizations are disease prevention & control wonders on a par with antibiotics for disease treatment. The average American lifespan increased by ~30 years during the 20th century. The lion’s share of that is attributable to two things: vaccination and sanitary water/wastewater treatment – both public health initiatives.

    I’m not attempting to address the enormous moral issues of vaccines made from the tissue of aborted fetuses. That is a separate yet very serious issue in itself. The efficacy and overwhelming value of vaccines is all that’s on my mind. To that end, here is a poignant (though staged) photo that illustrates the point, particularly for those of us who grew up in the pre polio vaccine era and who actually had friends who had been devastated by that infection. There but for the grace of God…

    http://www.healthheritageresearch.com/Polio-Vaccine/gallery/pages/OMD-poliovaccinepaper.html

    Like

  30. Jacquie says:

    There are two issues that have not been approached regarding gmo seeds. One is the lack of genetic diversity and the danger that exists to the world food supply. Monoculture is not the way to preserve food for ourselves of others. One nasty fungus, bacteria, or virus will wipe out at least 70% of the gmo food supply. Or more. That is a very large % of total food supply.

    http://gmo-journal.com/2011/06/17/loss-of-biodiversity-and-genetically-modified-crops/

    http://foodsecurity.uchicago.edu/research/preserving-seed-diversity/

    The other thing is common sense. Whoever controls the seed supply also controls the food supply. If Monsanto or whoever is in control of seed production and supply they also control a vast amount of the food supply of the world.
    Also think of their mafioso tactic to control that seed once it is purchased by the farmer.

    Just some additional facts.

    Jacquie

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Yeah, Jacquie, the danger of cutting back on genetic diversity is, in my mind a very serious potential problem – akin to what happens when close relatives mate. And of course, the lack of an ability to produce and stockpile your own seed is my biggest worry about the whole matter.

      Like

      • MMBev says:

        Since the inception of modified seeds that do not reproduce, I have had two huge fears.

        First, mankind loses the diversity of plants that grow naturally in the area of a country over centuries, and which have developed immunity among the different kinds to resist drought, and disease specific to that local.

        Secondly, the local farmer is totally dependent on the “seed” company for being able to purchase seed each year for his family’s needs and retail surplus. Nature has developed a variety of plants that have faced the adverse conditions that happen in that area from time to time. GMO seeds have not. Local seeds also have adapted to the fertilizer requirements needed and available, while the local farmer must now purchase fertilizer from the company selling him non-reproducing seeds.

        I think we all know the end result of a monopoly. We have to face the consequences of original sin that lurks in the heart of every man. And we all know the result of farmers not having seed to plant, as in Stalin and the Ukraine.

        These two facts alone, make me question the wisdom of man saying I know better than God. My idea is beyond any wisdom you will find there (if there exists). I recognize that the original intention is said to be the increase of production to help mankind. Right now, the main goal of those who intend to control the world is not the increase of population, but it’s massive decrease.

        Even with the Triumph, my understanding is that God does not intend to erase the lasting fractures we each must battle lifelong against that result from original sin.

        I would feel much more comfortable and at ease if the seeds purchased were reproducing, and did not eradicate the native plants in a region. (And a farmer didn’t face the potential of a law suit against a monolithic company because the wind blew across his field and fertilized his plants with his neighbour’s GMO plant’s pollen.)

        Like

      • Jacquie says:

        Yep, been saving seeds for years. Buy heirlooms then save from best plants. I really don’t need to save seeds. But something I felt strongly about. Odd. Perhaps, a piece of discernment for myself for what the future holds for me.
        I learned a great deal about myself from this latest round of comments.

        Liked by 1 person

  31. All the information presented made me think of the words of Our Lord: “And except those days should be shortened, no flesh would be saved.” Here in Buenos Aires we are having strange windy nights with pitch black clouds. Eerie indeed when we have a storm the city appears to be surrounded by clouds looking like black columns. Many have mentioned them, it is a scary sight. On an unrelated matter: apparently a supernatural event happened in a local church. An image of Our Lady was removed for maintenance and lo and behold the empty space on the pedestal has been filled by a non-corporeal image of Our Lady, totally white. One cannot see it up close but it can be seen clearly from the entrance and the nave up to a point when one gets too close it can’t be seen. The poor priest that saw it for the first time must have thought he was dreaming. It looks like a hologram, I have been told. Reserve has been asked as to which parish is this, they don’t want the placed mobbed. Besides we are experiencing some political problems and who knows what the reds will do should a popular miracle happened in our midst. Pray for us.

    Like

  32. Stephen says:

    Hi Charlie and company,
    Thank you for the reminder that we must continue to be charitable Christians ,not demonizing any individuals least they have no safe haven when things get real bad.
    I am responding to something you mentioned earlier. It was that agribusiness and Gmo crops ended food scarcity in the 60s and 70s , but Gmo crops were not planted commercially until 1996. They started slowly gaining popularity with huge monoculture farms. By 2010 about 10 percent of the worlds crops were gmo. Today in countries that haven’t outlawed them ,gmo crops dominate the farm fields.
    Agribusiness has given the ability for one man to farm over 500 acres nearly by himself ,10 times what he used to, but this has dawned the age of huge monoculture farms and the end of the diversified small family farm.
    Why is this a problem? For many reasons, if I just stick to food security and soil fertility it would fit better in our discussion, but not whats nearest-dearest to my heart. The loss of the agrarian life style with mom and dad present in the home working and teaching life skills together ,before the industrial revolution ripped fathers from the home 40 plus hours a week and in the last generation ripping mothers away from the home as well , that’s unnatural.I know there has always been exceptions to that which couldn’t be helped ,but those children had the advantage of a society mostly raised in a natural setting ( mom, dad, faith ,hard work, charity, extended family =great rewards) .
    Realizing that this is a comment section and not my blog I’m going to run the risk of not being understood and shorten my points.
    Remember history, one seed variety, one blight ,caused millions to starve. It’s happened more than once in history and will happen again. Meanwhile agribusiness and huge monoculture farms unwittingly have caused the soil to be nothing more than the medium for hydroponic growth. Petroleum based fertilizers must be applied for the nutrients of the plant for the life cycle of the plant. The soil has nothing left and the practices of the small diversified farms with proper rotations and manures , with age old soil building techniques are near extinct. Not to mention seed saving techniques. These techniques are needed again for the healing of the farm fields and for our future food security as times get tougher. It has been proven that smaller farm operations can grow far more products with intense farming techniques per acre than agribusiness and the huge monoculture farms can dream of producing.
    The answer to food scarcity is not one man farming 500 acres with agribusiness and monoculture practices , it’s 100 people farming 5 acres with intense farming practices using age old techniques to build soil fertility and propagating plants and animals independently.
    Who knows maybe we will begin to heal our families while we move back into an agrarian life style.

    Liked by 1 person

    • charliej373 says:

      Thanks Stephen, and you are, of course, correct that GMOs did not start being commercially grown in large scale until later, though they were in development for much longer and with some limited distribution. What I meant to say – but completely bungled – was that Monsanto, the primary producer of GMOs, was at the forefront of the agriculture technology that did end scarcity in the late 70s and early 80s. I was wrong in what I actually did say.

      Like

    • Stephen says:

      The answer to food scarcity is not 1 man farming 500 acres with agribusiness and monoculture practices, but 100 families EACH farming 5 acres with intense farming practices using age old techniques to build soil fertility and propagating plants and animals independently. This is what I meant to say in my earlier comment. Thank you and God bless

      Liked by 2 people

      • Mick says:

        Stephen, do you have a blog? If so, I’d love to read it because you’ve pretty much described my family’s lifestyle (except that we have 15 acres rather than 5).

        Liked by 1 person

        • Stephen says:

          Hi Mick, I don’t have a blog, it would be less intimidating for me to be asked to build a bridge across the Mississippi river. All I have is a passion I hope is divinely inspired. I do believe I will feed people and teach them to feed themselves . Maybe I misinterpreted and am already feeding a city with my family size. I often tease my wife telling her she serves more meals a day than some restaurants. Minimally 33 meals a day unless someone stops by near meal time, which my father has figured out quite regularly. We love it, beware though , a large family with no TV or electronic devices, guests are entertainment. They do get out , they just love to laugh with people of all ages.
          Steve BC I can picture what you’re described in your dream. I have hope that it will come true for our children and their children.
          God bless, keep hope alive and fight the good fight.

          Like

          • charliej373 says:

            Haha, Stephen…if someone comes to the two of us and says one of us is going to have to do a blog and one will have to build a bridge across the Mississippi River in order for all of us to survive, you better get out your waders!

            Like

    • SteveBC says:

      Charlie, Stephen, and Mick, in late 2013 and well before I came across Charlie’s website, I had a lucid dream vision of the Earth about 300 years from now (whether true or not, it was breathtaking). Today, cities have been built in the lowlands, covering huge amounts of fertile land. In that vision I saw that the people in the valley I was looking at had all just gotten together and decided to remove the city, moving the urban areas to the forested side of a low mountain, and had then filled the valley with family farms. The family farm I was standing in had a lovely Victorian-style farmhouse, three kids playing and laughing in the front yard, and at least several acres of vineyard. I later thought the fact that my vision involved a vineyard was quite appropriate, given my increasing interest in Catholic/Christian sites on the internet at the time. One thing I noticed was that the air was absolutely crystalline it was so clear. Another was that I got to this area by going through a metaphorical Underworld that looked like an old mine, had several inches of dust and cold ash on the floors and was entirely untenanted – all the demons were gone.

      So if this vision is correct, what you are looking for in your comments here is what you will find to be there if you could take a time machine for a visit. Though this be just a vision in a lucid dream, I find solace in it as we go into the Storm and all its troubles, that those who come after us would do such wonderful things and be so happy and relaxed. Mick, take away most of the negatives of your life, the difficulties imposed from worldly organizations and events far away, set your farm in that valley, and you will feel at home like never before.

      Like

    • Fran says:

      I not only understand what you are saying. I have been thinking about a lot of this, and what our society is missing for a long time.

      Like

  33. Irish7 says:

    One minor point…and I feel a bit like one of those yappy ankle biting dogs for mentioning it, but alas an earnest and loyal little yapper). I can’t find it now, but you mentioned your concern about over prescription of psychotropic drugs. I think this is another topic warranting investigation, but not demonization. In the case of SSRIs, there is growing evidence-based speculation (in reputable medical journals) that most, if not all, of the population is serotonin deficient. To me, this suggests lots of questions worth pursuing (what in our environment, food, lifestyles may be affecting these levels, has there been a shift and when did it occur, how do levels vary by cultural and geographic regions, etc. ) — none of which involve maligning the competence or intentions of patients, doctors and parents. Many have grappled honestly and heroicly with these issues and the prevalent assumption/stereotype that they are lazy wimps medicating the normal ups and downs of life adds (quite unfairly and uncharitably) to their to their burden.

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Oh gosh, Irish, describing a problem, even anecdotally, is not demonizing anyone. Most problems are caused by unintended consequences. It is when we impute evil motives when someone may well have just miscalculated or screwed up that we get onto dangerous ground. We have an obligation to question these things…our over-reliance on credentials without questioning has led to a lot of problems. We can question – and question vigorously – whether something has actually worked without bringing into question whether they intended it to work right. I think our dependence on a lot of these drugs has been vastly overdone and has had some serious consequences. I suspect that our therapeutic culture has done some unintended damage…we spend a lot of time picking at old scabs, as it were, and never letting them heal. I have spent time when I was younger with survivors of the concentration camps, the terror in Hungary as the communists overtook it and slaughtered many in their wake. A woman worked for me once who saw her husband and children butchered in front of her. What really strikes me is that most of these people I have known are better adjusted than the pampered suburbanite who goes to a therapist once a month or more. Something does not compute about that. The doctor I speak of here sometimes told me the last time we were visiting that a growing concern among researchers is that we have made a serious mistake in over sanitizing all aspects of our lives. He said some have started developing evidence that that has not made us healthier, but has crippled healthy development and maintenance of our immune systems.

      But in none of these things do I think that doctors, or psychiatrists, or nutritionists or other professionals meant to do harm. If we deal with these sorts of things as problems to be considered and dealt with rather than evils to be conquered, we do well, I think – and we have been almost as derelict in our duty if we do not seriously examine these issues as if we behave like cheap demonization of motives will actually solve anything.

      Like

      • vicardwm says:

        Psychotropic drugs definitely cause a lot of harm. I’d read the book “Anatomy of an Epidemic” by Robert Whitaker, which won a prestigious award for investigative journalism. That book really presents a devastating scientific critique against the overuse of these drugs, and convincingly argues that most of the drugs, if used long-term, actually CREATE a life-long mental illness where it often would have been just a singular episode before.

        Like

      • Irish7 says:

        Thanks for expounding Charlie. I have some faithful friends who (to their own horror) need SSRIs to function. I have observed very rigid and uncharitable views (along the lines of those needing the medication are seeking an opium for life’s natural challenges) of some pious Catholics. This judgement piles onto the burden of others rather than lifting it. Mental illness seems poorly understood or supported in some conservative Catholic circles. I maintain there is a physical malady causing mental symptoms in many cases (we know this for a fact with hormone imbalance in women), but I suspect more and varied causes. I am really interested in discovering and healing the root causes of serotonin deficiency instead of piling on those who are suffering. No one I know celebrates needing these drugs, but rearguard them as a lesser of two evils. To make them feel inadequate because they couldn’t find a way to heal themselves by more natural means, prayer, herbs, diet, exercise etc seems a bit condescending. All in my circle that have needed these meds have done so as a last and desperate resort. But I think I mistook your original comment and we are singing from a similar hymnal. Thanks again.

        Like

        • Irish7 says:

          *regard

          Like

        • charliej373 says:

          “Let us care for him who shall have borne the battle…”

          My sister, a few years ago, was considering getting off her medications…in part inspired by my situation. I very firmly told her not to do that. It would terrify her husband and two sons…and me, for that matter. My situation is consonant with my work, part of which is to assure people that God will not leave them without recourse to Him even if normal medications are not available. She does not have that work – and we all have the duty to demonstrate that all things provided by God are good in their nature, if not always how we use them, and that we should first seek the normal means He provides us. It is an act of humility and trust to do so – and with gratitude for the gifts He gave those to form them.

          I know both my sister and I need naps a lot. We both know that people who have no experience with neurological problems think we are dogging it…shoot, she confessed that before her MS manifested itself, she sometimes thought I was dogging it…but function can decline suddenly and precipitously if you don’t. So you just live with it…but no one likes the condescension of people looking down on what they don’t suffer. The thing is, if at 35 I had been taking a nap about four out of five days, I would have been dogging it. We have to accept that our condition is not others condition – and never begrudge them what they need to make their condition bearable. God bless you for building these people up rather than tearing them down.

          Like

        • vicardwm says:

          Yes, the book “Anatomy of an Epidemic” shows that the SSRI’s CHANGE the brain composition/receptors/etc., and once you have been on them for a certain amount of time, it is extremely difficult to ever get off of them again. If one tapers slowly with nutrititonal support, it is possible for about half of long term users to get off of them.

          Like

      • jeanO says:

        Dear Charlie, been thinking about culture wars. Searched your site for the term and this was the first hit. AND although I read it and appreciated it when you told it true back then, it just astounded me afresh. The photo speaks eloquently to me about our Pope Francis holding his little ones hands during this World War. He said we were in World War Three, a long while back. You said a Civil War, all over the world. You said abortion would be the crucial issue. I am seeing this with that ….hashtag shout out your abortion ….thing. Spewing demons in the year 2015 indeed. In response, reflexively ..what I do is ….love. A lot. The people I am with in a day, I hold their hand in my heart. Being part of this Charlie group sure does help.

        Liked by 1 person

  34. Irish7 says:

    In the interest of avoiding false witness, to clarify, Charlie did not malign doctors, patients and parents prescribing/using psychotropic drugs. My point was just that questioning their exponentially increasing use can IMPLY incompetence and worse and should be done sensitively, charitably and scientifically.

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Oh yeah, the professionals should be our allies in solving our problems…and when we encounter particular professionals who are too arrogant to examine their own pre-suppositions, we should get new allies. I like to assume that someone means well, regardless of what I have heard, until they clearly demonstrate otherwise to me.

      Like

  35. Lily says:

    Charlie, how does this all relate to what a person is held to account for? You have mentioned idle words spoken, and things that are done or not done according to our purpose. Surely some people should be held to account for some of these great problems? Accidentally causing famines or poisoning the land and it’s people for lack of thought or caution or sufficient long term study seem too serious for ‘oops, sorry’. Likeswise, even for abortion and euthanasia, I’m sure there are a lot of good intentions in the people who advocate for these. I think you have mentioned the evils that are done behind a guise of compassion and good intentions.

    I’m reminded of the man on the cross next to Jesus, the woman who was forgiven much, and of course Paul. I hope in God’s mercy for myself and people I know.

    Anyway, my kids are calling me, but do you understand my question, in spite of my clumsy writing?

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      I do understand your question, Lily. When I was in radio, a woman who worked for Planned Parenthood called to tell me she had quit, she had been converted by investigating a specific assertion I had made which she found to be true. What she had participated in was actually intrinsically evil. Should I have ridiculed her conversion, insisting on her absolute destruction in my righteous wrath? Of course not.

      Even more so, in matters that are not intrinsically evil, we depend on people trying things, taking risks to make our life better. How would we ever get anyone to do such a thing if they knew that a) mistakes WILL be made along the way and b) once they make a mistake we will hound and vilify them as monsters? You would never get much of anyone to risk anything under such circumstances.

      You should go after the error while assuming the good will of the one who makes it until demonstrated otherwise. If you immediately attack the character of he who tries, however valiantly and errs and assume his bad will, you damage him but you damage yourself more. If a man kills an associate with deliberate intent and malice, he deserves a different judgment than one who accidentally kills someone while reasonably trying to protect others. It is up to us to make distinctions, to judge righteous judgment.

      Like

  36. NancyA says:

    Charlie, do you know if you have Muslim readers of your blog?

    Something that comes to my mind frequently and your photo chosen for this article reminds me of it… that poignant and powerful poem by Martin Niemöller (first they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out because I was not socialist….etc), the hiding of Jews during the horrors of the holocaust, the bravery of those who risked their lives to help. I like to think that I would be the sort that would have harbored a Jewish person, or family in those days.

    However… I try to imagine what it might be like NOW. I imagine two different scenarios. First, the Muslim who might be harboring, for example, Coptic Christians in the areas where ISIS is active… but a more personal musing… would I be ready to find a place in my small, cramped home to hide a family that my community considered to be ‘dirty’ or undesirable or dangerous? What if my Christian community considered Muslims to be dangerous, just in their ethnicity and religious practices, and they were being expelled or chased out? Would I take in a Muslim family? Hmm…

    The love which we are expected to live, charity is all that is necessary, really. But not so easy, in some cases. Heck, I’m expected to live charity in my home and that is very hard just with the residents who live here, as a family!

    At Mass, we were asked to pray for those Libyans who lost their lives to the ISIS savages, but I could only think to pray TO them; to ask them for their prayers for us, that we might have the same courage of conviction, and the same love. As you say, Mick, may we have the same!

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      I don’t know, Nancy. I have a surprising cohort of regular readers in some Muslim countries…Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Malaysia, primarily…but I don’t know if they are oppressed Christians or Muslims.

      Like

      • CrewDog says:

        We have to be very careful here Gang about labeling! The vast majority of Muslims are not terrorists … but an Evil 15%? or so are inclined to radicalism and have managed to cow/silence most of the rest … (15% = Lots of Nasty Folks) … just like in any Revolution or Movement through History …. including the American Revolution where only about a third were for Independence. In Gulf War I there was only one case where I remember “feeling” hostility and that was from some Gate Guard. My unit arrived in Saudi Arabia only a couple of weeks after the invasion of Kuwait and our job was to fly the Air Tasking Order (ATO) around to all the other air bases during the night .. like mini-Fed Ex. I remember being met with reserved friendliness .. we were Americans … and didn’t quite match the Hollywood image thereof. We must acknowledge/confess that the USA Hollywood Image is not a good one. Even 25+ years ago, Sex, Violence, Gangsters and godlessness was what Hollywood was pouring out … much worse now with abortion, perversion and dope … On Parade! …………. could Radical Islam be God’s Scourge … I don’t want to think about it … time for bed!!
        GOD FORGIVE & SAVE US!!

        Like

        • Noah603 says:

          A couple of pithy sayings I’ve heard come to mind:

          “All muslims are not terrorists…but almost all terrorists do seem to be muslims…”

          and:

          “You know that trendy ‘Coexist’ bumper sticker with the different religious symbols? Well, if it wasn’t for the (muslim) crescent, we wouldn’t need the bumper sticker….”

          Liked by 1 person

  37. Julia says:

    I believe we have a duty in the sight of God to pray for the conversion of those who commit homicide and genocide, along with abortion and euthanasia as well all those who break any of the 10 Commandments of God.

    I would like to share a true story passed on to me from the last generation, which is the way I view the worst scenario that could come upon us. ie death at the hands of those possessed by deamons.

    Back in the 20s and 30s; in Ireland, there was the problem between Catholic and Protestant. My uncle RIP a Catholic, had a very good and trusted friend who was a Protestant. One day my uncle RIP asked him what would he do if his Protestant peers told him to kill my uncle. And his friend said I have to be honest with you. If I was told to take your life, I would have to do it, otherwise my own life would be in danger.

    We have to love and respect our Muslim brothers and sisters; but remember Mostar and what happened once again to the Catholic community who welcomed the Muslim refugees during the war in that country.

    Remember what happened in Rwanda. There are accounts on Internet of people who are shocked at how they were drawn into the slaughter, as if by a force that entered them and they killed their fellow man. They felt they must have been possessed. This is what we have to pray against for ourselves and our Muslim brothers and sisters.

    We are dealing with Principalities and Powers, as the Apostles warned us. We have to attend to the business of keeping ourselves in a state of Grace, while protecting our hearts and souls from hatred, anger, revenge. Our Lady in Medjugorje says first love your neighbour, then pray for him.

    I have tried to express my feelings honestly without upsetting anyone of any race, colour or religion.

    And never forget. Jesus has promised to give us the Grace to endure what we are required to endure. The Grace will not arrive today for what we need tomorrow. Never forget this, and learn to Trust God Who will provide if and when we need His assistance. God save all here, as we used to say in Ireland long ago.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. Jobe Hill says:

    You’re ALL Nuts. My imaginary friend is better than yours.

    Enough already.

    Religion = Hate

    Stop using yours to discriminate against another’s.

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Funny thing, Jobe. Back in the 1800’s and before, there were atheists who could make some tough arguments. I know – I have read some. Since then, they are all pretty much like you: snots who substitute condescension for an actual argument or study. You undoubtedly feel very proud and superior that you told us real good.

      Why not address the fact that the atheist “isms” of just the last century have murdered more people – and more innocents – than died in all the religious wars in history combined. Oops…that would mean acknowledging the reality that Atheism = Hate. How about dealing with the reality that Christianity made bestowed on us modern hospitals, libraries, and universities. Meh…you probably don’t know the history…that would take too much work when all you’re going for is a sneer. How about you explain to us how much more brilliant you are than St. Thomas Aquinas, St. John Paul, and Pope Emeritus Benedict for starters…you can explain what you must see as the obvious flaws in their work.

      Don’t take this as an actual invitation to spew your mindless venom. I only respond because I am weary of being condescended to by my intellectual inferiors.

      Liked by 7 people

    • Mick says:

      Jobe, please don’t take this the wrong way; but… my three-year-old has better manners than you do, and she certainly has a better understanding of God and truth. Here’s hoping and praying that you seek and find the Truth that will set you free, and that you’ll grow up some along the way. 🙂

      (As per usual, Charlie, please don’t print this if you think the wording or tone inappropriate.)

      Liked by 2 people

    • Sean Sullivan says:

      “Religion = Hate”
      “Stop using yours to discriminate against another’s.”

      Stop hating the haters… good logic.

      Liked by 1 person

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