“There is no more dangerous menace to civilization than a government of incompetent, corrupt, or vile men.”
Ludwig von Mises
One must understand that corruption is first and foremost a heart issue that no form of legislation can address. To truly combat corruption, the heart must be targeted through continual prayer, bold witnessing, and Gospel studying, all while trusting that God will ultimately carry out His plan.
As a basic definition, however, corruption can be defined as, “dishonest or illegal behavior especially by powerful people” as well as, “a departure from the original or from what is pure or correct”. Political corruption, then, is exactly that: corruption within the political sphere.
Yet what is true “corruption”? The definition is objective, as all word definitions are, yet most would agree that real, tangible corruption is a deviation from basic morality (which we would see as defined by God) for the purpose of self-gain.
This post really should be around six thousand words. I could probably write a fifteen-page essay on this topic, but, for the sake of wordcount, I shall restrain myself and discuss only what is necessary.
Yesterday, West Virginia governor Jim Justice announced that all winter sports (including my sport, basketball) are completely canceled until January 11th at the earliest. This is just another example of the American government completely failing in their duties to the American people. The decision has absolutely no logic behind it and was passed because of fear and peer pressure.
America’s problems begin from the top down, starting with Donald Trump. While I am Republican, I refuse to be one of those that ignore Trump’s faults. While Trump did a decent job in the “Covid-19 Presidency”, he failed to properly lead the American people in accountability, propriety, or responsibility. Instead of taking responsibility for his actions, he pointed fingers to the Democrat party, shifted blame, or refused to acknowledge a tangible problem.
Yet, for all his faults, he actually managed to drastically reduce the overall production time of a COVID vaccine. Through the work of American scientists and doctors, a breakthrough was found….exactly a week and a half after election day, and three days after Joe Biden’s victory was announced.
Coincidence? Absolutely not.
You see, Pfizer (the creator of this vaccine) did not release the news of the vaccine until directly after Joe Biden’s victory. While I cannot claim that Pfizer definitely withheld information for political reasons (and thus I cannot claim such information as fact), I firmly believe that this vaccine was withheld until Donald Trump had lost. If the vaccine had been announced before the election, as it should have, the numbers may have turned and Trump could have won. If these assumptions are true, then this is just another example of the disgusting combination of politics and the pandemic.
There are too many such examples to count. We, the American people, have lost all sense of decency (the Presidential debate), graciousness (the riots), servanthood (corrupt cops), leadership (Jim Justice and California’s governing body), and love. We are a selfish, self-absorbed, easily-angered and quickly-speaking country. The very principles upon which this country was built have been discarded and left to rot.
When are we going to wake up? When are our governors going to begin making decisions outside of pressure, with the best interests of their people at heart? Instead of giving into peer pressure and making decisions with no logic (canceling sports, requiring masks in your own yards, etc.), governors have to understand that their people are tired of the governmental yoke of oppression. For almost a year now, we have withstood new mandates, laws, and even arrests over refusal to exercise the right to not wear a mask.
When are we going to realize that this virus is not going to magically disappear because the American people wore their masks, social distanced, didn’t go to church, conducted school online, and stayed in their homes?
This virus is massively contagious. It spreads through human contact, a part of life absolutely necessary for maintaining the sanity of a human being (by which I mean that the majority of Covid transmissions are between family members that spent time together). While mask mandates and social distancing laws may partially slow the spread of the virus, why are we overestimating their effectiveness? Look around you. We have had over ten million cases and 238,000 deaths. This virus is bigger than anybody anticipated, and it isn’t going to be stopped by a stupid piece of cloth or paper.
Many will argue with such points, claiming these numbers would be much higher if we had not imposed nationwide mandates. To such a claim, I point to the country of Sweden. From the beginning, they have emphasized personal choice and discretion with masks/social distancing. If someone has a health issue or is at risk, they can stay at home or wear a two-way mask in public. Otherwise, the people are free to act at their discretion. Schools were not closed, and businesses remained open. Guess what? Sweden’s numbers are almost precisely the same as the neighboring country of Finland, a country that did close schools, impose mask mandates, and require business to shut down for ridiculous amounts of time.
What does this say to you? These procedures do not slow the virus as much as we thought. Yet the American government insists on abiding by them, even going so far as to ask citizens to call the police on non-mask-wearing people (Jim Justice said this yesterday). This is absolute and utter madness! In fact, the only explanation that makes even the most remote sense is found in a single word: politics.
Sadly, the coronavirus pandemic coincided with the election year. While we quarantined in our homes, Donald Trump and Joe Biden dueled in commercials, advertisements, radio discussions, and debates. State governors, knowing their time was almost at an end, fought to buy the most voters instead of actually trying to restore some semblance of real life. Most governors have long since proven their disinterest in the mind of the people (as proven by anti-lockdown riots and demonstrations across the USA), exchanging interest in the people for interest in their jobs.
It is only by the grace of God that the end is within sight. The vaccine, despite its apparently-delayed appearance, is beginning production. By January, most of America should be vaccinated. I only hope that the American governors are smart enough to realize that vaccinated people cannot get the disease and will thus return us to completely normal life.
Christians: we are not excused from our duty to prayer. While my frustration in the American government is valid, as asserted by many around me, this does not give me an excuse to stop praying. Despite my absolute disliking for Joe Biden, I will pray for him every time I hear his name. He needs Jesus, just like the rest of us. Please don’t forget that you do, too.
On January 2nd, 2020, I published the most ironic blog post of my life. Titled “Why 2020 Will Be the Best Year of My Life“, the post outlined my plans for the year and detailed how I thought the year would go.
Hope. The defining factor between Christianity and Secularism. As I wrote about in my previous post, defining hope within Christ, we understand hope as being grounded on the death and the resurrection of Jesus Christ and truth of the Gospel, complete contentment within Christ and His plan, having released our sorrows and stress to Him, which allows us to look forward to the future “with eager expectation.”
In times like this, it can be difficult to have hope. Terror, with its contagious cold, takes ahold of even the bravest of men. Despair, with its fingers of dread, creeps in like a thief at night. One by one, we succumb to terror, and in our terror, we are moved to despair.
And yet God is a God of hope! These words seem to be the most difficult to utter, but they remain true. In the middle of the storm, God is there. He has all power, He has a plan, and it is good. And, through this plan, we have received faith and rejoice in our hope. He sent His son into a world far worse then one inhabited with the coronavirus, malaria, or even ebola. He sent his son into a world inhabited with sin, with the purpose of defeating that sin and ultimately eradicating it from humanity.
Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Today, one word dominates the news- Coronavirus. As I write this, my little brother and best friend Noah is on a plane back to the USA for a family wedding. Already, he has told me that over 70% of all passengers, workers, pilots, stewardesses, and all other people found in an airport are wearing masks to prevent the spread of the virus. Racism, in ways we could never have foreseen, is on the rise. Asians are commonly being prejudiced against simply because of their race, along with the fact that the virus originated in (and has stayed focused on) China.
The Coronavirus has brought more than a deadly disease- it has brought fear. From Buddhists to Atheists, Christians to Mormons, every single religion has harbingers and doomsdayers writing dozens of posts or articles declaring the end of time. Fear has entered the heart of almost every person within a four-hundred mile radius of the disease and its carriers.
People are terrified of this virus. In some ways, the terror has spread even further than the horror inspired by Ebola. Ebola, at least, was curable (and would eventually receive a cure). Being a virus, the coronavirus can’t be cured. . . it can only be immunized against. At this point, the only thing that can cure it would be to constantly quarantine those hit and hope that a vaccine is developed soon.
The fear caused by this virus has taken ahold of the United States. People are buying food in bulk, the Chinese stock market is crashing, airline prices are dirt cheap, flights are being canceled altogether, and face masks to guard against germs have long since been bought from Amazon.
We, as Christians, are called to be peacemakers in a time of crisis. While others hide in their homes, we are called to be brave and fearless, protected by the Lord and thus spreading His name. Believers, let’s rise and be strong witnesses in this time of darkness. There’s no need to be afraid! Christ is in control (see Romans 8:28), He has a plan, and it is good.
Christ is in control (see Romans 8:28), He has a plan, and it is good.
Finally, we are also called to pray. Pray for Asia, that the terrible virus rampaging through it would be destroyed. Pray for the United States, that they will have wisdom in dealing with the recent outbreaks. And pray for the rest of the world, that God’s hand of protection will be on His people, and that this disease would be vanquished at least. God bless you.
Alright, that’s all for today. This was a (rare) short post, but I hope you enjoyed it, and I thank you for reading it. If you did enjoy it, be sure to click that Follow button below (or to the side). That way, when I release a new post, you’ll get notified. Thanks again, and I hope you have a fantastic day!
Shoutout to Brianna Clay for requesting this post. Bri, you’re an awesome friend and a better reader. Thanks a ton.
Kobe Bryant has been dead for almost exactly a month. With his death came some of the greatest gatherings of celebrities the world has ever seen, the largest of which took place three days ago at the Staples Center, where fans, celebrities, basketball players, rappers, and even a former president gathered to honor the legend named Kobe Bryant.
Well, the 2019-2020 NFL season is over. And if you, like me, are a fan of the National Football League, you probably had some expectations when the season began. You thought the Patriots were unbeatable, the Bears would make the Super Bowl, and the Browns would destroy everyone in their division.
Little did we know, this season was more unpredictable than any other before it.
The discussion of Kobe Bryant’s death has now reached epic proportions. Every single news channel, website, blog, or business is now discussing it or giving opinions. In discussions ranging from his daughter to the FBI’s investigations, Kobe is at the center of every dinner conversation. Ironically, even as the third-greatest basketball player of all time, it took him dying to reach this level of fame.
Interestingly, a large debate topic has been the idea of Kobe’s fate. I recently witnessed a large debate revolving around the idea of Kobe’s beliefs. Some said that, due to his sexual abuse allegations, he was not a Christian. Others disagreed, citing Kobe as a Christian.
At first, I entered the debate as a mediator, trying to ensure that no one side became too forceful. I reminded both sides that, although this was an interesting discussion, the fact that Kobe sinned hardly disqualifies him from Christianity. We are all sinners and all deserve Hell. However, I also reminded the other side that, in the same way, just although Kobe claimed Christianity, we’ll never truly know whether a person was saved or not, regardless of denomination. The only thing we can do is trust in God and hope that those who die suddenly were already believers.
Then, I realized something. Oftentimes, people will say that someone isn’t a Christian simply because of their profession or mannerisms, and yet they refuse to actually research the subject and find out what this person has to say. As it turns out, that is exactly what happened two days ago. The friends of mine taking the side of Kobe’s ignorance said this because of his actions, not his words. And although the saying, “actions speak louder than words” is true, we should never discount someone simply because of a first impression.
And so, having realized that there may be more to this situation then one may believe, I set out to answer my own question: was Kobe Bryant a Christian? The answer is far more surprising than I could have dreamed.
Kobe Bryant, one of the greatest men to ever touch a basketball, died yesterday when his helicopter crashed at around 9:40 A.M (Pacific Standard Time). With him in the helicopter were nine people, including his daughter, Gianna, and Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli.
Only hours before his death, Lebron James, small forward for the Los Angeles Lakers, had passed Kobe for third place in the all-time NBA scoring record. Kobe had tweeted out a congratulatory message to his “brother”, welcoming him to the new spot. This would be the last tweet he would make.
Well guys, we’ve hit the next minor milestone. Two days ago, Africa Boy reached 300 followers, 30% of the way to our next major milestone. I can’t even tell you guys how excited I am.
Africa Boy was created in early March. I reached 100 followers in mid-July, showing that it took over four months to compile my first 100 followers. Then, I reached 200 at the very beginning of December, which meant that it only took 3 and a half months to add another 100. Now, I hit 300 on the 5th of January, which meant it took just under two months to add another 100. The speed is picking up, and I can’t wait to see where it goes.
Change. It’s what defines us, is it not? At some points in our daily lives, we resist change in its various forms. Changes in relationship, physical location, and mood are all common things that we, as humans, deal with on a daily basis. However, some forms of change can be beneficial to us, some more obvious than others. While a job change that increases your salary by 40% is an obviously good change, a death in the family would likely be considered the opposite. Despite this quick classification, you may not realize at the time that the death of that loved one will actually shape you and your relationship with God in the future.
This is where Romans 8:28 comes into play. It says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” The verse is very clear- God works all things for good, including change. Should change be resisted? Maybe, maybe not. It depends on the situation. However, one thing is for certain- God works all change for his good, and in some way, change will be good for you or someone around you.
In Uganda, the year 2020 has started off with a bang. Literally. For the first time ever, fireworks were seen all across the country to bring in the New Year. If I had somehow been awake at 11:59 PM on December 31st, 2019, I would have heard the familiar bang of fireworks. Unfortunately, I had something better to do-sleep.
For the first time in my life, I was not at my house during New Year’s Eve. I wasn’t even at a family member’s house. I was at a hotel in Entebbe. My family had been taking a much-needed vacation, owing to the absence from my house during this time. I was disappointed to not be here, but then I realized: I could still ring in the New Year in a hotel.
However, much to my dismay, the night of December 30th turned out to be abysmal, and I was unable to take a long nap the following day. By the time New Year’s Eve rolled around, I was exhausted and probably looked like something out of The Walking Dead. I barely made it to 11:00, keeping myself awake by watching Marvel’s Agents of Shield. I somehow managed to stay awake until 11:50, ten minutes until the New Year, before falling asleep in my hotel room. What a disappointment.
Oh well. Anyway, Happy New Year! It is now 2020 and, for the first time in 101 years, the first two numbers of the year mirror the second two numbers. The last time this happened was in 1919, when women’s rights were being explored, Babe Ruth transferred to the New York Yankees for a record sum, Teddy Roosevelt died in his sleep, World War I ended, and Louie Zamperini, Olympic athlete and famously converted Christian, was born. Truly, a remarkable year. And now, with 2020 just beginning, here are four things to be ready for the new year, mirroring what happened in 1919.
Just yesterday, Donald Trump became only the third president in United States history to be impeached. Joining Andrew Johnson (1868) and Bill Clinton (1998-1999), Trump is now part of an elite class of presidents, those believed to have broken the law or abused their power. But, in all honesty, why is Donald Trump being impeached? Did he abuse his power? And if so, what does this mean for America?
I didn’t know what AIDS was until I was thirteen. During that time, Uganda had been having an epidemic in the north, and so awareness was at an all-time high. It was on the walls of our announcement boards, the emails of our newsletters, and the tongues of our school kids.
Eventually, I learned what this deadly disease was. In fact, I even learned who had it. It turns out, there’s plenty of people I knew that had contracted the disease from one way or the other. Suddenly, AIDS was everywhere. Fear began to captivate me as I became paranoid about my water, my dishes, my silverware- anything that could put me into contact with it. At the time, I didn’t realize that AIDS wasn’t transmitted through touch, but I didn’t care; I was too paranoid about receiving it.
After a few weeks of this, I realized how silly I was being. Nobody in my family had it, and my chances of getting it were higher than my chances of a girl liking me- basically none. I had to release that fear to the Lord, as I had done with so many other fears.