I took the above picture of Fern Springs in Yosemite 11 years ago in the course of my pilgrimage. I played around with various filters and effects and loved the way it turned out. (Yeah, I know, don’t give up my day job.) It seems incongruous to the title of this piece, but I am first going to give the proper mindset to respond to the social dysfunctions engulfing us. The image illustrates that mindset.
I have long envisioned my life as similar to a spring bursting forth from the top of a mountain. It came to me when I was a boy. I loved following streams up to their source when I was climbing hills and small mountains while visiting Alabama. When you find a spring atop a great hill it can seem almost innocuous. Yet the water that comes forth makes its way steadily and unstoppably down the mountain to form a clear pool at the bottom. It goes over a multitude of obstacles as it carves its way down. Sometimes it encounters an obstacle that would seem to stop its flow entirely. It just wells up and eventually goes around that obstacle, relentlessly forging its appointed path. The sticks and leaves and other debris it must pass through seem, at first, to taint the water on its course. You spend long enough following these streams, though, and you realize that those impurities actually purify the water on its way. I was very comfortable drinking from streams during my pilgrimage, for I had done it constantly in my explorations as a boy. I discovered that there are two places where the water is sweetest: at the source of the spring and at the pool it forms at its destination.
Like that mountain spring, I am not terribly impressive. I’m reasonably smart, not very strong, plain-looking and, in these later years, have more infirmities than I care to speak of. My best quality is that I keep going. I am utterly relentless. I am not indifferent to obstacles, including my own infirmities and faults, but I regard them with equanimity, trusting that God uses them to purify me on my way. I like sunny days but I know rainy days do more to help me along. I hope that I may refresh some along my way and many when I have finished my course. But all there is is to stay the course trusting that God will help me with my little part of this mystical stream.
It is a good way to deal with life, a way that rarely asks, “Why me?” Instead I ask, “What do you intend for me with this, Lord” with whatever is sent my way. When I coached high school boys in baseball, the boys called me ‘River,’ – for Old Man River who just keeps rolling along. Perceptive boys.
I have been wondering why the left keeps calling any dissent from their agenda “white nationalism,” a movement that, except for a few pathetic vestiges, has been dead since the 60’s. A week and a half ago, when Daniel Cameron, a black man, won the Republican nomination for governor of Kentucky, several establishment press outlets quickly dubbed him the “black face of white supremacy.” It dawned on me then. Our gangster government is gearing up to a war footing. It will be easier for them to justify a crackdown on white supremacy to the timid and lukewarm than to honestly call for a crackdown on Christians and conservatives. So they are redefining “white nationalism” in the expectation that they won’t get much pushback from the timid “good Germans” when they get their chance to crack down on conservatives, Christians, Orthodox Jews, and any other dissenters.
For a time, I had hopes that the legislature might step in to set things right. Certainly, the current House of Representatives is better than anything we have had since the mid-90’s. But it still feels like mostly talk and little action. Which of the conspirators in the many depredations visited on America these last seven years has been held to account? The provocations are getting more blatantly transparent by the day. The Biden administration has funded a university program that defines Christians and Republicans as Nazis. The Michigan man who shot an 84-year-old pro-life woman who rang his doorbell to campaign for the right to life got community service. California and Minnesota have chillingly decided that they can strip parental rights from people visiting the state – so the state can perform trans surgery and chemical castration on their children. Massachusetts is considering the same type of law. If you have young children you love, do NOT vacation in California, Minnesota, Massachusetts or Oregon. They would be safer at Disney World (and they are NOT safe there).
All of these outrages and more are intentional. The left knows it cannot win a battle of persuasion – and the massive election fraud machinery they have built may yet not be enough with the serial provocations they have launched against actual civil rights. So they are trying to provoke a backlash in order to justify a crackdown against the invisible “white supremacists” and “MAGA extremists” they keep yammering about. We are not as far from concentration camps as we think we are.
There was a time when I thought the judiciary might serve as the cavalry. Those hopes largely died on Dec. 11, 2020, when the Supreme Court refused to hear the evidence of massive election fraud in a suit brought by 18 states, dismissing it on procedural grounds. It was obviously a political decision influenced heavily by Chief Justice John Roberts, who thinks he preserves the Court’s “stature” by avoiding difficult choices. Clearly, they thought that by kicking this down the road, everything would calm down and be “normal” again. It just raised the stakes of radicalism and increased contempt for the courts altogether. To their credit, the Supreme Court did seem to realize what a can of worms they opened up last term – and started to rule on the Constitution and the law instead of Roberts’ preferred politically safe criteria, with Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito taking effectual leadership of the Court. That is why the left is so furiously trying to slime and discredit Thomas (along with their fury that a black man should not worship at their altar of Baal). Just yesterday the Justices ruled unanimously that the EPA can no longer just make up the law on navigable waterways as it goes along. Unfortunately, most leftist judges do not see their job as interpreting and applying the law objectively: they think they are to give semi-plausible explanations for why the leftist position must always prevail. Unless the Supreme Court starts reigning in the rogue judges that constitute, at least, a very large minority of the judicial system (many of whom actively defy existing Supreme Court rulings) the judiciary will be nothing but a speed bump on our road to ruin.
I had a very frustrating week last week, involving setbacks on several major areas of national policy due to Republican timidity. In one case, several of us had teed up a matter that GOP leaders had said they had been waiting on an opportunity for for almost a year. When it was served up to them on a silver platter, they nervously said they had to fully vet it with staff lawyers. They have had a year. Then they said they are going to take advantage, but are going to do it on a strategic timetable. They are worse than Bill Clinton was when, as president, he had a clean shot at Osama bin Laden and decided, rather than rile up Islamic radicals, to just wait and see what happened. His “prudent” caution resulted in 9-11. We are NOT going to be rescued by Republicans in Washington, including many of those who are eager to breathe fire in committee hearings or whenever the cameras are watching.
Since the left is obviously spoiling for a fight to secure an oligarchic dictatorship there are, realistically, two options left: civil war or a division into free and captive states. The left desperately wants civil war because they believe that, holding almost all the levers of power by virtue of the public offices they have occupied, they can prevail and put an end to our constitutional republic that operates by the consent of the governed. They prefer power by the whim of the bureaucrat, preferably armed. Frankly, the system of federalism remains our last, best hope to weather this storm long enough to resurrect a Constitutional system that puts a priority on civil rights (and by civil rights I mean those enunciated in natural law and enumerated in the Bill of Rights – not the tawdry leftist wish list of preferences the activist orcs like to call “rights.”)
Fortunately, some recent incidents give hope that ordinary people are finding their voice – and when ordinary people stand together, the inaction of their representatives in government fade into insignificance.
Already several states have taken action to defy and nullify federal dictates. Florida has outlawed any form of federal digital currency in its borders. Texas has started putting up razor wire barriers along the border that Biden has insisted be so porous. A few states are quietly considering legislation to refuse cooperation with federal law enforcement and bureaucratic enforcement agents. These are dress rehearsals for nullification and, possibly, actual secession. The leftists who have occupied the halls of power are hoping to provoke a violent crisis before enough state leaders and legislatures firm up their resolve to defend the historical God-given rights of their citizens against a federal government gone malignantly rogue.
However this all comes down, the mutual self-help and collaboration we have developed across the country and in hot spots around the globe through CORAC are vital. Many, even now, try to keep their heads down hoping that all will smooth out. It will not. I believe we have entered into the great, decisive conflict between good and evil that St. John Paul declared while visiting Philadelphia before he became Pope. There is no place of safety or neutrality. You must declare yourself and take your stand. CORAC is the place where you can make your stand peacefully and effectively, where you get all the tools you need to work together and make the depredations of the gangster government irrelevant. Do not misunderstand: CORAC does not eschew forceful defense of rights and lives, but we work hard to make it a last – rather than early – resort. If enough people band together to help encourage free states and to resist official depredations we may, with the help of God, secure our liberty under Him without recourse to open warfare. But time is running out. All must choose God or perish, for our government has already declared war on us. It just has not yet issued the formal proclamation.
Several years ago I made a stop near the end of a talking tour that has turned out to be, in retrospect, one of the most fruitful stops of my life. Two sisters, Cathy and Sheryl, had talked to my then scheduler, Mary Lapchak, about a piece of property they had and invited me to stop by if ever I was passing through. The property was an old stone edifice that they had rehabbed, originally as a hedge against any disruptions from Y2K. Since then, it had been used for retreats and some gatherings. It sounded intriguing – and was about halfway between where I was and home, so I came to stay a few days. To get there, you had to go 10 miles on a very rural road, turn left for five miles onto a dirt road, which would take you to the beginning of a three-and-a-half-mile driveway. This put you precisely 2.1 miles directly northwest of the middle of nowhere. (I may be exaggerating – but not by much). The property was magnificent. It was like staying a few days in a comfortably rehabbed old stone castle. But it was not the property that was the gem: it was that one of the sisters was Sheryl Collmer, one of the most accomplished, gifted, and modest people I have ever known.
Sheryl is our Chief Financial Officer for CORAC. She is the managing editor of the CORAC newsletter. She has written articles for the American Thinker and has become a semi-regular contributor to Crisis Magazine. She helps a few other faith-based organizations but, due to her commitment to CORAC, always checks with me before signing on. An accomplished accountant with a southeast firm, she is entirely focused on the work before her. Most of us knew that rare very pretty girl in high school or college who was not even aware she was pretty and so, was both a delight to the eyes and balm for the soul. Sheryl is that type of soul. She does all things well that she puts her hand to and seems almost unaware that she is anything special. She just does what she believes in. I would wish I had a measure of her modest competence, except that a little bluff and bluster can go a long way to rallying the troops behind a great cause. God knows exactly how to deploy us if we focus on serving Him through serving our neighbors.
Sheryl’s latest article in Crisis Magazine clearly enunciates the lurking danger from a federal digital currency. She will probably be agitated at me for singing her praises so publicly – so read the article and focus your compliments on that. She likes compliments focused on the work, so if you do that, it will take a little of the heat off of me.
Next week we will tape another “7 Questions” Podcast, so get your questions and concerns into email@example.com by the end of this weekend. Come on…hit me with your best shot.
I appreciate so many of you sending in donations to help us keep the light on. CORAC is, I believe, the best insurance policy against the hard times the left is determined to foist on us. For the last 120 years, different areas of the world could make huge mistakes and depredations and work through it because America was always there as the backup plan. Now that the depraved secular leftists are determined to destroy the country that has done the most good of any nation in history for the world and its people, there is no backup plan except what we make together. You are the backup plan. Help us make sure that our children and grandchildren live in freedom under God rather than chains under woke tyrants. Donate generously to CORAC…and if you have some like-minded friends, get the word to them, too.
If communication goes out for any length of time, meet outside your local Church at 9 a.m. on Saturday mornings. Tell friends at Church now in case you can’t then. CORAC teams will be out looking for people to gather in and work with.
Find me on Twitter at @JohnstonPilgrim