well only kinda...
What to do? I've got a problem and I need to ratchet back my work load while still being productive (because not feeling productive is the real killer). I will just have to learn to work within my limitations and cut back on a lot of stuff I like doing. It might not be much of a brain but I've found I miss it when it's gone. I don't enjoy life without it. In fact I achieve nothing without it. I'm faced with having to carefully measure where my energies are directed. It seems right now that means getting some more sunshine & fresh air and not staring into a computer screen 12 hours a day. I need some balance and I also need to be more thankful for the good times and the goodness of God, which never changes with my circumstances.
The photo above (thanks to the fabulous Melanie Smyth) is taken from one of the best times of my life a couple of weeks ago at the Burt Munro Challenge in Invercargill . This is Australasia's largest motorcycle event and I had 3 whole days of sunshine, fanging my little motorbike around the best track I've yet been on with some of the best people you could wish to meet. It was a taste of heaven. All the more enjoyable because as I was driving down I still wasn't sure I'd be fit enough to ride - putting yourself at risk is one thing, but being a menace to fellow competitors is intolerable. I am grateful I was fit enough to participate.
On the way home I dropped into Dr Jordan Peterson's Christchurch talk which was again a great encouragement. Firstly - and despite the incessant propaganda to the contrary - there was the eclectic mix of attendees, many women, various races and all had the air of intelligent people who took life seriously and wanted to take responsibility for improving it for themselves and for those around them.
Another encouragement was that my belief that Dr Peterson is one of Western Christianity's best evangelists (even if he'd never see himself as that) was borne out. He was quoting the Sermon on the Mount and musing on the teachings of the Saviour and mentioning things I'd heard in church for decades. Yet this simple instruction is no longer heard by many of us, resigned as we are to dismissing the whole Bible thing as old fashioned and irrelevant. But people looking for real-life wisdom are now actually going back to the New Testament and I am sure many of them will find its central figure - this astonishing Person crucial to the whole evolution of the West - to be as attractive, troubling and compelling as he has always been.
On the Islam front we are seeing You Tube removing videos or whole channels that do not conflict in the slightest with their guidelines simply because they don't like what they're saying. The valuable Vlad Tepes has had his channel removed apparently because his work providing simple translations of many European discussions around Islam is frowned upon by those wishing to keep the populace in the dark. David Wood has had a video removed which explained and condemned the prophet Muhammad's racism.
So highlighting from sacred Islamic scripture the very words of the prophet and holding him up to disagreeable opinions is now something You Tube will not permit. Why? What's so special about this particular person's racism that we can't condemn it?
Bill Warner has a video (I wonder how long it will be up?) explaining how a British Government all party working group has defined Islamophobia and what steps should be done to curb it. The problem is they want to make Islamophobia a crime (I'm still waiting for criticism of Christianity to be treated as a crime. No? Not a good idea for some reason eh?). Yet they ignorantly define Islam simply as whatever Muslims say it is, not as the Quran and Sunna say it is, and that "harm" caused by Islamophobia also depends entirely on the feelings of anyone who might take offence.
Can you imagine how easy it would be to silence all criticism of your religion or pet philosophy if this goes through? We've already had the Inquisition. In hindsight this was seen to have gotten out of hand and not generally been a good idea. But hey that's history which of course has nothing whatsoever to teach us so let's just give it another go. We mean well - what could possibly go wrong?
I sincerely believe in the triumph of truth IF we are allowed to communicate it. If we are allowed to debate and openly question - this method has worked for a very long time in the West. Today though we're increasingly being prohibited from discussing crucial matters. How can this suppression of truth and dialogue possibly do anything but end badly?
So the pursuit of knowledge & understanding is continuing to degenerate dear friends, while those who seek to do something about it are demonised and shut down. I have done about 1125 posts since I started this blog 3 years ago. Unfortunately I am simply going to have to pare back what I do here. My only consolation is that his may turn out for the greater good if it means that you who are reading this decide to get more involved yourself in the issues.
Sometimes we can convince ourselves that we're actually involved in the battle just because we're reading and listening to the right kind of people, such as those I hope to introduce you to through these pages. However we can't leave it up to them. Can I encourage you to keep listening to those who are talking sense but also to engage with ordinary people, just like us, who are still trying to make sense of things. So many of those in control of the media, big tech companies, the academy, politics and, alas, the church are determined not only to ignore reality but also to silence those who wish to point out reality.
Our ability to work through traditional avenues is closing just as the need to communicate is increasing. Get talking and get sharing the good stuff person to person. This includes the need to both love Muslims and ruthlessly critique the religion of Islam. People are still looking for things that make sense of the world and their place in it.
Though I can't do much, I'll do what I can if you do what you can.
How's that for a deal?