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OPINION: Messing around with the facts

by By Robert Box, A Chaplain’s Perspective | January 18, 2023 at 4:00 a.m.

It's very hard to know what to believe these days. I know, I'm always told to look at the facts and see what they say, but people have messed around with the facts so much they really aren't saying much to me these days. It's a little like people who eschew good exegetical procedures to discover what the Bible has to say in favor of discovering what the Bible has to say about what they already believe.

I even had a youth pastor who I caught teaching a young group about how to cut out the letters of a biblical passage and to then rearrange them to say anything you wanted to read. I think he was making a point somewhere, but I missed the point and I am sure most of the kids did as well.

Because covid was so dreadful, I was told to wear a mask, wash my hands frequently, and to sterilize all my groceries and surfaces that might contain germs. Now, I'm told that covid is only spread through airborne particles. Wearing a mask and washing my hands are still good practices to control disease, but what am I going to do with all of that hand sanitizer I was finally able to purchase?

We're now in the flu season, and I am being told that the flu vaccine this year is much more effective than in years past, but our hospitals are full of people with respiratory problems related to the flu. Yes, it may be because many people did not take the flu shot this year, but it would appear that people who took it last year probably took it again this year.

To make matters worse, the flu symptoms this year look almost exactly like the current symptoms of the most prevalent covid strain. But to make matters worse, many people are now showing up positive for covid with no temperature and just a sore throat. Perhaps the most recent covid booster shot is responsible for that, but who knows for sure? It certainly is now clear that covid boosters do not prevent a person from catching the disease; they only inhibit it so that it does not send people to the hospital or confront them with the distinct possibility of dying.

But let's leave covid for a moment and focus instead upon our political world. The results of the USA House Committee looking into what occurred on Jan. 6 are revealing. Some people will say that the whole exercise was political and should be ignored, and Republican leaders have already announced that they are going to do the same to other people connected to the government. Well, of course, a lot of what the House Committee did was political; almost everything these days is political, but what about the testimony of over a thousand people about the situation? It's ludicrous to attempt to write off this thorough an investigation and look the other way. The evidence would make an ostrich pull his head out of the sand and look around. I was extremely disappointed to discover that the recent ceremony observing the second anniversary of 9/6 had only one Republican in attendance. Are we to forget 9/6?

It is extremely difficult for me to ignore the testimony against former President Trump. The evidence clearly indicates that he broke the law, that he manipulated people for his own advantage, and that he lied about anything or anybody who disagreed with him (or just got rid of them). It now is evident that as President Donald Trump attempted to take over our country, and, it may be supposed, that if he had succeeded, at the end of four more years, he would have looked for a way around the Constitution to remain in office even longer. That kind of activity is a clear and present danger to our democracy. It is my personal opinion that we do not need a king or a dictator running our country; we need a duly elected president to do that job, even if you don't happen to agree with him (or her).

And yes, history supports the fact that there has been too much graft, lies and political machinations going on in most of our government; but that does not excuse us from acting upon what we know. No one is above the law, and no one has the right to usurp our democracy.

So, what should we do? I'm not sure about others, but for me, I'm going to continue wearing a mask in a crowd, washing my hands to get rid of germs, take all of the covid boosters and flu shots available, and to take the rhetoric coming out of our government politics with a grain of salt.

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