Smoke Screens

Distractions. Create a diversion to take attention off the real issue. Webster says a smoke screen is “something designed to obscure, confuse or mislead.” In 2018 the Associated Press reported that Nevada ranchers, whose livestock compete with wild horses for grazing land, used draught conditions as a smoke screen to pressure the government to reduce wild horse populations. I thought it striking that in their “examples” Webster connected smoke screens to “campaign promises.”

Recently I read an article titled Former Republican National Security Officials for Biden. It’s a pretty thorough bashing of Donald Trump, and much of the criticism is true. Time and again I have been personally embarrassed and felt shame by Mr. Trump’s brashness and rashness; however, within the first few lines of this article the smoke screen approach glared. Smoke screens in politics is about as common as oxygen is in air, and that’s especially true in a presidential election year. On both sides of the aisle! There are about as many articles out there bashing Joe Biden as there are bashing Donald Trump. I must say that a few sour grapes as in the case of those who wrote the aforementioned article seem to enrich a bashing session. That became obvious when they wrote, “While some of us hold policy positions that differ from those of Joe Biden and his party, the time to debate those policy differences will come later.” It seems that thinking people would make decisions on “policy positions;” not personalities. Before buying a house it would be wise to inspect it: see its condition and features, check the neighborhood and age of the house, see if the taxes are paid or there’s a lean and find out whether or not it’s in a flood zone. I want more than the word of the realtor who obviously has a vested interest in the deal.

Furthermore a bashing smoke screen seems a bit more lofty and credible when it’s by intellectuals, authorities and people in the know. I have a high respect for truly intelligent people; but I have observed that many people with high IQs and some in lofty positions have very little common sense, wisdom or touch with reality, particularly with what it comes to right and wrong. It’s shocking to read some of the books written by “our best, leading professors” and other intellectuals. When they start talking about the need to eliminate the non-contributing mouths within society and argue that a service animal is more valuable to society than a mentally handicapped or elderly person, I am not awed by their education or high rank. When they make the claim that educated, academic and “successful” people should be the ones who decide who lives and who dies, I’m thinking about Adolph Hitler, Pol Pot and Joseph Stalin. Every time I watch or read the news, bias glares. Censorship and twisting is obvious and disregard for truth and honesty astound me. Everywhere I look I see the elevation of agendas over truth and righteousness.

I am not a Republican or a Democrat; neither am I against Republicans or Democrats. I’m a Christian, and I am on the side of what the Bible teaches. I stand against all who defy God and with all who stand with Him on the issues. Furthermore, my focus is on the issues, not the personalities; and I refuse to let a smoke screen make me forget or lose sight of what really matters. The closer we get to Election Day, the more smoke and mirrors I see: name calling, highlighting the bad baggage, horror predictions, defamation of character and plain ole lying.

What about the issues? Tell me where a candidate stands on the sanctity of life, especially the lives of innocent babies. I’ve read the Bible, and I know that few things are more important to God than life. He hates murder. Don’t give me a smoke screen called women’s rights or health care for women. Don’t try to make “murder” look better by calling it an abortion. Tell me where you stand on the life of that little human being.

I’m looking at the issue of sexuality. God is not the least ambivalent on the fact that He created males and females, and that sex is to be between married males and females only after they are married, and never outside that relationship. I can’t stand a rash mouth, in myself or my president or congressman; but don’t try to distract me with a mouth issue or whether or not he’s popular with the presidents of Europe or South America. I’d like to know what he thinks about a person who says today that he’s a boy, but who decides tomorrow that he’s a girl. I’d like to know if he plans to push for laws that will put me in prison for taking God’s position on this and other issues. This week one of my doctors lamented to me that he’s no longer permitted to comment on a patient who says he’s of the opposite sex.

I’m focused like a laser on the issue of religious liberty. I wrote a book on religious intolerance. (A History of Churches: the Survival of First Century Christianity against Overwhelming Odds.) I know something about what it’s like to be persecuted, horribly abused and killed by the millions for preaching and practicing the Bible, and for advocating stances which are out of sync with the people in charge of the religious system and government in power. I see what’s going on this day in Muslim countries around the world. I don’t want this country to go there; and I don’t want my grandchildren to live in a country where freedom of religion, speech, the press, assembly and the redress of grievances is not tolerated. I’d like to have a president that is kind, respectful, humble and in charge of his mouth; but first tell me what he believes about the 1st Amendment.

I’d also like to know what he believes about the 2nd Amendment. Does he think taking firearms away from the populace will solve the crime problem in this country? Will it prevent another mass shooting? If a law is passed requiring all citizens to turn in their firearms, will the criminals all do it? What are his plans for sportsmen and law officers? Does he really believe that the elimination of firearms would have kept Cain from killing Abel?

There are other “issues” like civil rights, police reform, the military, foreign policy, health care, socialism and more. I hope I am intelligent enough to not be distracted by smoke screens. I am a free American. In the history of mankind, freedom has been a very rare thing. Many people paid a high price for us to be where we are in this country. I don’t plan to be distracted enough by smoke screens to let this rare thing called freedom which we have to slip away, especially when it is within my power to help preserve it.