Finally, the storm of 2020 is past. But after the storm we can never just take a big sigh of relief and get on with life. There is always clean up. After a blizzard we have to be concerned about drifting, and parts of the 2020 storm will be drifting into 2021. With high winds some things are moved away from where we left them. During floods some things just get washed away never to be seen again. There is much that needs to be cleaned up, restored and replaced following the storm of 2020. These are some of my thoughts.
In 2020 we got a real good like at how damaged media has become. It has been deteriorating for some time but the stresses and strains of storm 2020 showed a lot of cracks and weaknesses. Now my personal mind set is to look mainstream, lame street media, but I believe it is all corrupted. News and opinion are not the same thing and yet networks, publications, cable shows present the two as though they are interchangeable. Steps have been taken on all sides to move from reporting the news to how we should receive the news; from telling the story to interpreting the story. And Big Tech has gone way beyond that by censoring thoughts, opinions, and ideas that they do not agree with. This is an attack on freedom of speech, and they need to be held accountable.
A remedy might be to send all reporters and talking heads back to the libraries to learn what journalism is supposed to be rather than what it has become. But that is probably not going to happen. So, it is incumbent on the general public to seek out information from a variety of sources, to consider that information for oneself, and to draw one’s own conclusions.
In the storm of 2020 science became politicized. Not that this was a new reality, but the politicization went to new heights. A key phrase through the year was “follow the science” as though science is an end game. It is not. Science is observation, the recording of data, and developing conclusions about what that data tells us. But those conclusions are being debated all the time. Except in 2020, it could not be debated. Only one set of conclusions could be acceptable and so “following the science” came to mean, “Believe what we tell you to believe.” That is not following science. It is following tyranny and oppression.
Case in point – in the spring of 2020 there were doctors lifting up the successes they had in treating Covid patients with hydroxychloroquine. A major paper was lifted up saying how deadly that treatment could be. But after the November election with paper was withdrawn citing inaccuracies of the data. And the writers apologized for an embarrassment they caused. How about an apology for the deaths the occurred because this treatment was not available, nor could it be discussed or debated.
We need to get back to honest and open debate in this country. That is true in the medical and scientific communities, and it needs to happen in our educational communities as well. Respectfully disagreeing with another is not a sign of hate. More so, it is a sign of respect and honor; it is a sign of seeking truth and enlightenment. When we shut down debate, when we eliminate difference of opinion, we diminish intellectual pursuit and the possibilities of improving oneself and the society around us.
The storm of 2020 did a major number on our political process. Again, not a new process. It has been going that way for a long time. I have always thought of the Greek term, politika, which referred to the affairs of the cities, or the way people got along with one another. But in recent times, we haven’t gotten along with one another. We have forgotten not only that original meaning of politics, but we have forgotten, neglected or ignored the founding principles of this country. Sone say that we have never truly achieved those principles, and I would agree. But that does not mean that we stop striving for the ideals we want in our personal and corporate lives.
The Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, including the Bill of Rights, did not come to us without vigorous discussion and debate. There were angry words and flaring tempers. And out of the fires of intellect and emotion came some documents that spoke of the liberty of the individual with respect and concern for the community around us. It had been said that to keep the republic we had been given, an active and involved constituency grounded in morality and common good would be necessary. It is important for us to get back to those ideals so that we can respect one another enough to discuss and debate without allowing anger and violence to get out of hand.
One other casualty of the storm of 2020 has been our religious institutions, and I speak particularly about Christianity since that is my heart. The church has been torn between desires to come together in corporate worship and remaining apart to protect the health of one another. We find positives and negatives in both desires. But beyond the desires to meet together or not needs to be the passion to come closer to Jesus, our Lord. We need to be move involved in learning the scriptures and to be more deeply committed to prayer. And we need to live with an attitude that says, “not my will, but thine.” It is what we need to strengthen our churches and all the folks that are a part of them.
I know this is a long blog, but there is a lot of clean up to do following the storm of 2020. I hope this touches some hearts and minds to get the cleanup started. And may your journey in life and faith be blessed by the hand of God.
Chuck Sprenkle, January 01, 2021 – FB