Disaster Overload

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been feeling more than a little overwhelmed lately by all of the bad news in the world. The Biden administration has been nothing but a dumpster fire, and Biden shows no signs of slowing down his destructive policies. I’m often confused by Biden’s policies. It seems that he wants to do exactly the opposite of what is best for the country. I can’t figure it out.

When Biden took office, the average price of gas was $2.58. Now, it’s $4.28. The average price of white bread was $1.35, now it’s $1.58. Milk was $3.32 and is now $3.96. Mark Zandi, the chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, says that the current inflation rate is forcing families to spend $175 more on food, gas and housing each month. That’s just over $2000 a year more. Not much for people in Joe Biden’s income level, but a lot for regular folks. The pandemic and supply chain crisis, along with other measures, contributed to inflation. But despite Biden’s best efforts at deception, and the media elites running cover for him, the record-breaking inflation is at least partly rooted in Biden and the Democrats trillion-dollar spending and his policy of restricting U. S. energy production. When Biden took office, the U. S. was energy independent, or nearly so. Then he waged an all-out war against energy production, and now he’s begging foreign dictators for oil rather than opening up U. S. energy production.

When Biden took office, illegal immigration at the southern border was relatively controlled. Now, record numbers of illegal immigrants are rushing into the country at the southern border, a 400% increase from March 2020 to March 2022, and Biden seems to want even more, announcing he is rescinding Title 42, which allowed border agents to expel illegals who showed signs of illness in order to combat COVID. Not only that, but Biden has arranged to bus or fly thousands of illegals to various communities across the country in the dark of night and without consideration of whether these communities are prepared to absorb such an influx of people who don’t speak English and are in great need. All this on top of concerns that drug and human trafficking cartels are exploiting the open border.

Biden is utterly inconsiderate of the concerns of parents regarding what is being taught in their schools, or of the lack of evidence to support any benefit to transitioning gender dysphoric youth by means of hormone and surgical therapy. Biden is far more interested in satisfying the few, though very loud, voices who demand acquiescence to a radical LGBTQ+ agenda that has little interest in science or the well-being of children. The same is true on abortion. The majority of Americans agree that there should be at least some restrictions on abortion, especially after the first trimester, and that tax money should not be used to pay for abortions. Biden doesn’t care. His radical agenda demands that all Americans pay for abortions, as well as sex-change operations, and demands also that healthcare workers participate, regardless of conscience or religious objections.

I don’t have time here to carry this litany of darkness farther, or to include Biden’s foreign policy. Suffice it to say that there’s little in the way of good news to report or discuss. The war in Ukraine dominates the headlines and, while the resistance the Ukrainians have been able to muster so far is cause for celebration, few doubt that Putin has any interest in reversing course. The great fear is that the failure of his army to achieve his goals will tempt Putin to take his war nuclear.

What of the future? What disasters yet await us with Biden at the helm for another more than two years? I can barely force myself to think of it. And should his obvious mental decline force him from office prior to the end of his elected term, we have Kamala Harris to look forward to. Harris has proved little else other than her inability to put together a coherent statement. Oh, and then there is 2024, where most prognosticators see a repeat of the 2020 campaign between Biden and Trump. Trump! Lord, spare us! Even if, in comparison, his policies were better than Biden’s, we simply cannot go through that again. If Trump wins the Republican nomination, and there is nothing to suggest he won’t, and wins the White House again, we can count on two things with certainty: the Democrats will wage yet another war against his presidency, and Trump will do all he can to give his critics and enemies fodder to wage that war. Should we be spared the spectacle of a Trump Republican nomination, his outsized ego will require that he run third party, which will split the Republican vote and ensure a Democrat victory – and still four more years of dumpster fire disasters.

Brad Littlejohn, founder of the Davenant Institute, whose mission is to “retrieve the riches of classical Protestantism in order to renew and build up the contemporary church,” has written a fine article for World, entitled “Disaster Overload.” Littlejohn writes of the despair so many feel about the multiple disasters facing the world today and the desire that things return to “normal.” Littlejohn isn’t optimistic. Instead, he suggests that the new normal we are experiencing now, the one of multiple disasters, is really the old normal, the world the way it was prior to the previous three decades, “the historically anomalous period of global peace and stability following the fall of the Berlin Wall.”

But it hasn’t felt like a period of global peace and stability, has it? Why? Littlejohn’s answer is the creation of technology and a news culture that allowed us, or even forced us, to know every disaster, great or small, all over the country and the world. Before the advent of the 24/7/365 news cycle, a cycle that required every minute of every hour be filled with content about something from somewhere, no one outside of Las Vegas would have known about the police officer injured in a hit and run during a traffic stop. Today, it’s national news. No one in the U. S., except those in foreign service, would have known of the riots in Sweden. Today, it’s international news. Every possible tragedy, heartache, injury, shooting, murder, robbery, stabbing, natural disaster, etc., no matter where in the country or in the world it takes place, is quickly reported on every screen everywhere. That’s a lot of bad news on a lot of screens. People spend a lot of time on their phones, a lot of time on the internet, and the news spreads fast and furious to every set of eyeballs that care to see what’s going on in Somalia, Kyrgyzstan, or Des Moines. You barely even have to care. It will be thrust before you.

What’s Littlejohn’s answer to disaster overload? Much the same as I’ve offered in these pages. It is to do what one can with what one has to make the world around one a little better. In Peter Maurin’s famous phrasing, “To make the world a place where it is easier to be good.” Only, we don’t have to worry about making the whole world a place where it is easier to be good. We can put our energies into the place where we are in the time we live. Littlejohn quotes Gandalf from The Lord of the Rings: “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” I have often said that the world for the atheist and the world for the believer is not much different. For both, the world is often a long, dark tunnel through which one must trip and crawl to reach his or her destination. The difference? There is a light at the end of the believer’s tunnel, a light representing an opening created by the promises of Jesus. That light makes all the difference.

Be Christ for all. Bring Christ to all. See Christ to all.

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