By RALPH DOTTERER JR.
For the last two years, I’ve dedicated some of my time to help renovate our son’s residence in Los Angeles County.
Our efforts have already been highlighted with a renovation award for homeowners who incorporate recycled materials into both the residence and the landscaping.
Extremes seem to define the Southern California lifestyle.
In both September and December, the town of Sunland, where he lives, was threatened by wildfires. Each time he was put on standby to evacuate.
For a culture that prides itself on environmental awareness, it consumes massive amounts of fuel, water and power.
All this to maintain a sometimes over the top lifestyle.
Then there is the glaring disparity between homes costing tens of millions of dollars, near homes for some, that’s nothing more than a tarp draped over a pole.
For those of you who think Americans should read and speak English. Some of the voting ballots are printed in over 40 different languages! All to accommodate those individuals, who want to maintain their own cultural identity.
On our coinage is the phrase, “E Pluribus Unum,” which means, from many comes one. In our current culture, I believe diversity is becoming more of a barrier than a strength. Because people’s hearts have become hardened, to those whom they don’t agree.
Amid all this, I’m always on the lookout for something new and unusual in my travels.
A year ago, my son and I saw a billboard along a freeway that advertises a large church.
On a light blue background, were written the words “How majestic is your name in all the earth.”
Under those words someone had pasted a large image of Donald Trump’s head!
This prank was to coincide with President Trump’s inauguration, but was soon taken down by the billboard’s owner. The implication of what I saw, has lingered on in my mind.
Was this a cynical act, done as a prank, by someone on the left? Or, was it done by someone on the religious right, thumbing their nose at a liberal culture?
Most of us think of California as being a liberal Blue State. But on closer examination, we find that Red dominates the political map of California. It is the voters living in the cities, which actually have the most power.
Now almost a year later, there is growing drumbeat among President Trump’s political enemies. They are desperately trying to pin an impeachable offense on his back.
For the moment, I want readers to consider this thought: Is President Trump really a gift from God to the American people?
In the Bible’s Book of Romans, the Apostle Paul writes this, “Everyone must submit themselves to the governing authorities for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.”
Before some of you get to upset with my thoughts, consider this aspect. This scripture would also define President Barack Obama as a gift from God to the American people, as well!
So what’s up with God?
Is he playing a practical joke on the American people? Is he taking us from one extreme to another … with our cultural divisions clashing together in the middle?
If God ordains our leaders, is it God’s fault for the mess we’re in?
What about all those individuals who choose to have little or no faith in the Bible and what it tells us?
For those individuals, we have “Moralized Politics,” where candidates can assume God-like status. They are worshiped by the masses, and are seen as a “savior” who will rectify the ills of our culture.
This scenario can bring about “Politicized Morality,” which is the logic used to justify their cause. The benefit of this morality is its malleability, without restrictions of any absolutes.
Or, is God in his infinite wisdom, teaching a stiff-necked people a lesson.
That within his universe, there is unity in all diversity!
Now that I have your blood pressure up, let me say this: Nowhere in the four Gospel’s account of Jesus’ life, teachings, death, and resurrection does the Bible tell us that, Jesus came to make bad people good. It does tell us, that Jesus came so that dead people might live!
The death that I’m speaking of is primarily a spiritual death but sometimes it can be physical as well. Ten months ago, emergency room staff in a very large hospital, sent word to my wife and son in the waiting room.
They felt I probably would not survive an episode of severe anaphylactic shock. There is no doubt in my mind, whose hand pulled me back from that edge.
Remember this, God has always given people a choice, it’s called free will. Without something solid to rally the majority of citizens around and make a unified commitment, our nation will continue to slip deeper into dysfunction, and as I said in my last article, spin out of control.
If you don’t believe me. the next time you stand in front of your bathroom mirror, ask this question: Mirror, mirror on the wall, whose responsible most of all for the mess we’re in?
Which makes me think of Humphrey Bogart’s famous line from the movie Casablanca, “Here’s looking at you, kid.”
Ralph Dotterer Jr. is a hayseed philosopher, barnyard artist and a lifelong Nittany Valley farmer whose roots in the same soil go back almost 200 years.