Don’t Drink the Kool-Aid!

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Photo by Jose Lorenzo on Pexels.com

Most of us recognize that saying as a reference to Jonestown and what happened to the people who lived there. For those of you who are not familiar with this incident, there was a man named Jim Jones who was head of the People’s Temple. He was a charismatic leader and  several thousand people followed him. His services were known for faith healing and mind reading. Although the People’s Temple was involved in outreach activities in their communites, Jim Jones did not treat his own followers so well. They were humiliated and beaten and were told that if they left the People’s Temple, they would be put in government-run concentration camps. When the press began to look into his activities, he moved several hundred people to Guyana and they lived on an agricultural commune there. Eventually the relatives of some of the people who lived there were concerned about their welfare, and they contacted their representatives in Congress to look into what was happening in Guyana. A group of people went there, including a Congressional representative, and some of them were shot and killed. Fearing government retaliation, Jim Jones instructed his followers to drink a fruit juice laced with cyanide and about 900 people drank it. When the authorities came in response to the murder of the Congressional delegation, they found most all of the followers of the People’s Temple dead.

The lesson for all of us is not to blindly follow those that lead us. No matter who the person is that we are following, we must always evaluate what they are telling us. If what they are saying sounds a little off, we must take a step back and take a good hard look at what they are teaching us. Do they have an agenda and are they trying to shape our thinking according to that agenda? Are they living what they are teaching or are they exempt from what they are espousing? Are they fomenting racial hatred and fear? Are they treating those that don’t agree with them fairly or are they demonizing them?

I look around and I see many people doing just those things. They have an agenda and are trying to influence the people who follow them. They don’t really care about the facts or the truth, they want to demonize those that do not agree with them and stifle honest conversation. Their agenda, their party line, etc. is what’s important, not the truth.

It doesn’t matter if it is a politician, news anchor, pastor, teacher, or other spiritual guru, we must not follow what they say without running it through a truth grid. If we don’t take a step back and honestly evaluate what they are telling us, we will buy into their agenda and make choices that will eventually be harmful to us. We must seek out the truth and be willing to listen to those of a different persuasion in order to evaluate whatever situation is going on.

We don’t want to be drinking their Kool-Aid. It may not be laced with cyanide, but hatred, false information and bigotry are just as deadly if it gets into our minds and hearts. Let’s do the hard work and seek to find out the truth in whatever situation they are telling us about, then we won’t be like sheep blindly following our leaders. 

The Service for FREE SPEECH Will be Held this Friday at 11:00.

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The service for FREE SPEECH will be held this Friday at 11:00 at the Chapel on campus. Although the Chapel is a building held in disdain by many professors and students, it was the only place that would allow her service to be held. 

FREE SPEECH was born several millennia ago in Athens, Greece at the Socratic School. There she was taught about forming cohesive and logical arguments and debating them with others. She spent her early years on Mars Hill where for centuries men with different philosophical ideas shared their thoughts. Even the Apostle Paul went to Mars Hill to share his beliefs on the invisible God whom the Athenians worshipped. 

After several centuries FREE SPEECH decided she wanted to travel the world. She tried to be admitted to many different countries but she was not allowed in because of the danger she posed to the minds of their citizens. Almost all of the countries that allowed her in eventually treated her badly. She was imprisoned from time to time because various emperors, kings and dictators hated her ideas and wanted to silence her.

She found a friend in the United States in the 1700’s and came to spend much of her time here. She was healthy and strong until the late 1980’s when she contracted the virus Unpopularity. She thought this virus was benign but it actually opened her immune system up to another more virulent virus called Political Correctness. That virus turned out to be malignant and though it didn’t kill her immediately, she was in ill health after contracting it.

Due to her illness, she was rarely seen on campus after the turn of the 21st Century and few professors or students knew she actually existed. She lived in a back room at the library where she had been exiled by those in Academia. Because so few people came in to read and study, she was seen only rarely by a handful of students. Those that did know of her existence were afraid to talk about her for fear of reprisals.

She died quietly on campus one day when Political Correctness placed a small amount Group Think in her water. No one noticed she had expired as she had not been seen out of the library for well over a decade. When we heard of her demise we sent in a Pathologist to confirm our suspicions. He was able to make a positive ID on her and so we have decided to hold a memorial in her honor.

She is survived by her first cousins: INDEPENDENT THOUGHT and  CRITICAL THINKING. Other close relatives include: ROBUST DEBATE AND INTELLECTUAL INQUIRY. Her best friend LADY LIBERTY will conduct the service and her husband COURAGE will speak on her behalf.

In lieu of flowers, those who knew FREE SPEECH believe her preference would be for each of you to go to a library and read the book of your choice (yes, even a Bible if you want to) and share the ideas you’ve learned with someone.

There will be plenty of parking behind the Chapel as only a few on campus knew she existed at all and will be attending. She will not be missed by many at the college as she was always a thorn in the sides of her professors and most students were afraid to associate with her. 

Hope to see you this Friday at 11:00!

 

 

First there were The Thought Police, then the Political Correctness Police and now The Cultural Police….What’s Next?

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Many of us went to colleges and universities and took classes from certain professors that insisted we think the way they do. They had a prescribed philosophy and gave us books that agreed with their train of thought. If you didn’t agree with the professor when you turned in your papers, you were downgraded to a low C, D or F.  These professors were part of “The Thought Police” and they were sanctioned by the university to penalize you if you didn’t fall into line with them. 

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We got out of school, and we thought, “Great, I don’t have to be subjected to that kind of thought control anymore.” But no, that didn’t happen. We got out in society and we found out there was a different kind of police, “The Political Correctness Police,” and they were very real. If you got close to anyone on either end of the political spectrum, be it on the right or left, you could be arrested by one of “The Political Correctness Police” because you didn’t actually believe exactly the way they did. What a shock it was to find out there were people outside of academia who were trying to control what we thought politically.

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Now, there is a new kind of policemen in our midst. They are known as “The Cultural Police.” Step out of line and you will be shamed for improper cultural appropriation. The fact that this is all subjective, depending on the policeman who arrests you, is immaterial. You break the law, boom! You are arrested and shamed on facebook, twitter or other social media.

So what kind of policeman is next on the horizon? Who knows and what can we do about it? How can we stay ahead of whatever will be the next kind of thought control that will be thrown our way?

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If we want to stay ahead of the next kind of policeman, we must begin to think critically. Ask questions, do research and don’t fall into a hive mentality where we go along with the crowd just because it is the easiest thing to do. It will take guts to think outside the box and take a chance on not agreeing with whoever is trying to force us to think the way they do. Remember as my father used to say, “God gave you a good brain, use it!”