THE VIRTUE OF COURAGE
In a Fear-Mongering Society
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
A decline in courage may be the most striking feature that an outside observer notices in the West in our days…Should one point out that from ancient times declining courage has been considered the beginning of the end?
“The power of the one needs the stupidity of the other.”
This article is not my “typical, good news” story—it is a bit of “Granite-Fact.” I am a man of sorrow, for the times require some hard-edged truth. This document is about all of us, Liberals, Conservatives, Democrats, Republicans, Elites, Homeless, Drug addicts, and every country and color. A higher power, our creator, calls us to stand firm against the fearmonger and live in faith. I will include some pictures of creation to remind everyone that good wins in the end. As I write this article the trees are heavy with frost I thought these images may make this lesson palatable.
The authoritarian narcissist keeps a big thumb on the people by crushing all hope using overwhelming fear to induce blind obedience. This fear tactic has been used since the fall of man when knowledge of evil brought it to the forefront. Comfort and security have become the god of western culture. Living in fear we hide in the closet to avoid adversity and suffering, then as false victims rail at the government to make it go away. We have become weak and fearful. Americans have not witnessed crushing adversity—only a few have had to stand firm when called to courage. I am not talking about the Congressional Medal of Honor type courage; I am talking about daily selfless courage, always doing the right things, and living a selfless life. God demands us to be strong and courageous during adversity and affliction.
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the presence of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you must go with this people into the land that the LORD swore to their ancestors to give them, and you must divide it among them as their inheritance. The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” ~ Deuteronomy 31:6-8
We love the hero’s courage and crave it in every movie we see or book we read. Everyone imagines themselves as a hero. Boys fly through the neighborhood with a cape wrapped around their shoulders, capable of bending steel and possessing X-ray vision. Marvel comics and now the studio, Marvel Cinematic Universe, MCU has earned more than $25 billion worldwide, making it the biggest movie franchise ever. Stories are the same, all superheroes, each with a different cape, searching for a battle to fight and a beauty to rescue. We conceive the hero as the man who ran into the fire, but the hero is a father who gives up his dreams and comfort for his sons and daughters.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer possessed courage and conviction at the Medal of Honor level. Dietrich stood firm against the Nazi regime; his faith gave him strength and comfort, knowing he would die for his convictions. Dietrich, while imprisoned, penned many letters from his incarceration. One addressed stupidity as the most dangerous social ailment of humankind. Bonhoeffer quipped, “The power of the one needs the stupidity of the other.” Populists, political entrepreneurs, and bullshitters take advantage of this mental state of the masses. Stupidity is not a woke word, and many will rail at my use of it. But as Forest Gump said, “Stupid is as stupid does,” Gump was a discerning character.
“Against stupidity, we have no defense. Neither protests nor force can touch it. The reasoning is of no use. Facts that contradict personal prejudices can be disbelieved. Indeed, the fool can counter by criticizing them; if they are undeniable, they can be pushed aside as trivial exceptions. So the fool, as distinct from the scoundrel, is completely self-satisfied. They can easily become dangerous, as it does not take much to make them aggressive. For that reason, greater caution is called for than with a malicious one. Never again will we try to persuade the stupid person with reasons, for it is senseless and dangerous.” — Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
“The power of the one needs the stupidity of the other.” The process at work here is not that individual human capacities, for instance, the intellect, suddenly atrophy or fail. Instead, it seems that under the overwhelming impact of rising power, humans are deprived of their inner independence and, more or less consciously, give up establishing an autonomous position toward emerging circumstances. The fact that the stupid person is often stubborn must not blind us to the fact that he is not independent. — Dietrich Bonhoeffer
An article entitled “The 5 Basic Laws Of Human Stupidity, According To Cipolla,” Published on November 2, 2021, and written by psychology-spot.com, is based on a paper written in the early seventies by Cipolla. I searched Google and YouTube on stupidity, and the amount of data and reports amazed me. The word grinds me; it feels complex and rough-edged. The fact that extreme intelligence cannot save people from stupidity began to make sense. Again people with low I.Q. scores can never suffer from idiocy. I have always believed that God gifts wisdom and Discernment to people. I also believe God grants Discernment to non-believers of Christ’s redemption or God’s Kingdom.
I think stupidity is void of Discernment, or what I call “Common Sense.” Then I consider stupidity as a person void of common sense. It takes common sense to be courageous. We see it daily; some people look to counter the mass’s beliefs and then stand firm against overwhelming odds in hopes of changing the stupidity (No common sense). The problem with this courage is that it cannot overcome stupidity; it is the central theme in all the studies on stupidity.
Scripture points to this in 2 Corinthians 4:2-4, “On the contrary, by setting forth the truth we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 The God of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”
I have often stated, “Are you blind?” It turns out stupidity is entirely blind and absent of any common sense. Now, it seems a bit “high and mighty” to assume I have the truth and am full of common sense, but I have spent many years blind and “common-senseless,” so I know what it is. Since being reborn, I pray for Discernment daily. The blind man who was healed by Christ when confronted by the Jewish faith leaders hungry to be rid of Christ asked how this happened, and he stated, “All I know, I was blind, and now I see.”
I was living my life and did not see all the Corruption, Greed, and Stupidity of global leaders. I assumed someone had a plan. It is the first rule of stupidity:
1. Always and inevitably, each of us underestimates the number of stupid individuals in the world.
I had yet to learn how stupidity rules in global leadership. The remaining rules of stupidity, as stated in the Psychology-Spot article, are:
2. The probability that a particular person is stupid is independent of any other characteristic of the same person
Cipolla was convinced that stupidity was another characteristic, like blond hair or black eyes. Therefore, it’s distributed in all circles of society in a similar proportion. He cites a study on the level of stupidity in the four large strata that make up universities: beadles, employees, students, and teachers. This analysis found that the distribution of stupidity was uniform, no matter how much we ascended in the educational level.
“Whether you practice elegant circles or you take refuge among the Polynesian head cutters, you lock yourself in a monastery or decide to spend the rest of your life in the company of beautiful women, the fact remains that you must always face the same percentage of stupid people,” he concluded.
3. A stupid person causes harm to another person or group without at the same time obtaining a benefit for himself or even damaging himself.
Cipolla didn’t consider stupidity a matter of intellectual quotient but rather a lack of relational intelligence. He started from the idea that by relating to each other, we can obtain benefits for ourselves and others or, on the contrary, cause harm to ourselves and others. A stupid person harms others and also himself.
His behavior is irrational and difficult to understand. Still, you likely remember more than one person who blocked your way, generating difficulties, frustrations, and prejudices, even if they didn’t gain anything. According to his theory of human stupidity, “There are people who, with their unlikely actions, cause harm to not only other people but also themselves. These people belong to the super stupid genre”.
4. Non-stupid people always underestimate the harmful potential of stupid people
According to Cipolla, we continually forget the danger that stupid people represent. He says, “Stupid people are dangerous and unfortunate because reasonable people find it difficult to imagine and understand stupid behavior.”
Generally, their attack takes us by surprise, and even when we suffer it, we find it challenging to organize a rational defense because the attack lacks rationality. By underestimating their power, we remain vulnerable and, therefore, at the mercy of their unpredictability.
We can also fall into the error of thinking that a stupid person can only hurt himself and that we’re immune to his actions. Still, by thinking this way, we confuse naivety with stupidity and lower our defenses, believing ourselves invulnerable.
5. The stupid person is the most dangerous person that exists
“All human beings are included in four fundamental categories: the naive, the intelligent, the evil and the stupid […] The intelligent person knows that he’s intelligent. The evil one is aware of being evil. The naive is painfully imbued with the sense of his honesty. Unlike all these characters, the stupid don’t know to be stupid. This unawareness of their stupidity gives greater strength, incidence, and effectiveness to his devastating action. The stupid uninhibited by self-consciousness”, wrote Cipolla to outline the last fundamental law of human stupidity.
In 2019 “Stupidity” reigned again, and the COVID “plan demic” Proved to be the most recent perfect conduit for fear of infecting the stupid. Global populations flew as murmuring birds in mass hypnosis to untested drugs that proved ineffective and loaded with dangerous side effects. We hid behind masks, closed international commerce, and isolated ourselves hoping the tiny virus would disappear. It amazed me how easy it was to convince the world the draconian policies to battle a virus made sense and gained the trust of the majority. Anyone questioning the plan became ostracized as an enemy of the state, a clear and present danger. Stupid people following stupid practices and policies led by a few elites hungry for power as lambs to the slaughter.
When I was first made aware of the COVID-19 virus, everything about it didn’t seem very sensible. God has blessed me with the spiritual gift of Discernment; my Discernment has been on high alert since the covid story broke. The word discerns, and its derivatives are translations of the Greek phrase anakrino in the New Testament. It means “to distinguish, to separate by diligent search, to examine.” Discernment is the ability to discriminate or make determinations adequately. It is related to wisdom. The Word of God itself is said to discern the thoughts and intentions of one’s heart (Hebrews 4:12).
We decided to wait in faith, watch the developing events, and analyze the facts as presented. We also sensed there is more to the pandemic tale; a story of power and influence, a spiritual battle between Good and evil. God beckons us to have courage in Him, and with Him, who can be against us? So we suited up in the armor of God and lived as if nothing had changed.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and his mighty power. Put on God’s full armor so you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. ~ Ephesians 6:10-18
Friends and family questioned our choice to be maskless and rely on the natural immune system God designed in all of us. Even our friends and family looked upon us as lepers traveling about spreading death. We elected to seek the truth by reading and listening to the scientists and physicians that our Discernment connected as accurate. These unsung heroes’ primary directive was healing, not the norm of “Standards of Care”—they lost their employment and licenses. The nurses and healthcare providers who followed the treatment protocols set by feckless leaders based on cash flow instead of healing still risked infection and are also heroes.
The past two years have taught us that a hollow fear can be sustained with misdirection and misinformation of those who control the narrative and the media outlets. These sinister power elites are self-serving and greedy. It is deceit, carefully crafting a story meant to mislead people into poor decisions. The tragic ending to this hysterical madness is more vaccinated people are dying than the unvaccinated. The side effects of vaccines are growing and forcing the affected to ask questions seeking the truth. Economies are needlessly ruined, and the little people are paying the price of hunger and cold.
The world needs to awaken to the realization we are, for the most part, leaderless. Elite, “Stupid” individuals who pretend to have our best interests at heart have a black heart of greed. We must find our strength and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and follow God’s word. We need men and women of conviction and courage. The silver lining to the Covid conspiracy was the awakening of the masses to global deceptions. The great reset is the great Oz behind the curtain; all smoke and mirrors, nothing accurate or truthful. The grand ideas of the green movement are implausible and unrealistic. Europe and Great Britain are freezing because wind and solar alone do not make the world go around or make it a better place. Countries are restarting coal and nuclear plants. The dollars invested in wind, solar, and renewables would be better appropriated to research in clean coal, natural gas, oil, and cleaner emissions. Maybe, just maybe, these elitist snobs who are driving the hysteria of global warming may start flying commercial airlines and living in houses appropriate for small families.
We need courage individually and in leadership. The earth needs people who seek the truth, not follow the powerful who have no interest in a better place and better men. Their claim is anchored in the bottom line profit, not Christ. Throughout Holy Scripture—God’s Word calls us to stand firm, have courage, and rely on the Discernment made available if we seek God with all our heart and mind. Our calling to persevere through these tribulations is always seeking the truth instead of simple, quick fixes or perceived quick fixes. God also calls us to stewardship of his blessings; this includes the planet and our body’s natural immune design.
What are the answers? Seek the kingdom of God and the wisdom He gives. Allow the Holy Spirit to indwell in us and be the fruits of it: Love, Goodness, Kindness, Self Control, Gentleness, Joy, and Fortitude; yes, fortitude. Fortitude is the strength of mind that enables a person to encounter danger or bear pain or adversity with courage.
We need fortitude more than ever before because things are about to get worse but fear not. Stand up to our Goliaths, tear down the walls of deception, challenge leadership, and always ask why? Pray for Discernment, and it will always lead to the truth. It is time for everyone to stiffen their backbone and stand firm against the evil forces of this world. Remember, this battle is fought where we cannot see; it is a spiritual battle.
Lord Jesus, fill us with Your Holy Spirit, give us Discernment to see deceit, and fill us with Joy and fortitude to stand firm against all evil intentions!