Gaga Makes Me Gaga

When Lady Gaga first emerged onto the national music scene, it was difficult to get a glimpse of her. In all of her performances, she wore costumes that hid her actual face from view. The outfits were part of the act, and she did it well. After a number of years, she began to emerge from behind the masks. Today, she appears before the public and her fans in full view. However, in some ways, she is still hiding behind a mask.

SAG-AFTRA honors Lady Gaga and Harrison Ford, Inside, Los Angeles, USA - 08 Nov 2018

What is she hiding behind? Her drug use, I believe.

In a recent 25-minute speech before the Screen Actor’s Guild, she said Hollywood needed to provide better mental health care for entertainers. And then, she went on to describe her own battle with mental health.

Excuse me, Ms. Gaga, but there are a lot of things wrong with what you just said. I say that, even though I know her many fans were listening to her and saying how wise she really is.

Here’s a business that makes a tremendous amount of money. Hollywood is filled with 1 percenters. I think they could probably fund their own mental health care. If Gaga succeeds and gets Hollywood to fund mental health care for actors, it will only drive the cost of movies and television up even more. It is reported that her own net worth is around $300 million.

LG went on:

“I began to notice that I would stare off into space and black four seconds or minutes.” Gaga recalled. “I would see flashes of things I was tormented by, experiences that were filed away in my brain with ‘I’ll deal with you later’ for many years because my brain was protecting me, as science teaches us. These were also symptoms of disassociation and PTSD…”

I’m sorry for her. It’s sad that she is going through this, but I wonder if there could be other reasons for this. Maybe drugs? . In previous years, when she was looking for that cutting edge in her music, she often turned to cocaine, LSD, and other drugs for creativity. No one pushed her into it. She did this freely. On her own. She admits to using bags of cocaine at a time.

Hmmm. Is it just possible taking bags of cocaine at a time could have had a negative effect on her brain, causing flashes and blank stares?

Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t know that Gaga is any worse or any better than anyone else. I’m sure she has good and bad aspects to her like all of us. But celebrities are easy to discuss, easy to identify their bad traits, because so much of their lives spill out into the open.

Like many of us, Gaga is a bit hypocritical about her drug use. She admits it, but she feels justified in what she did:

It was about being an artist. I wasn’t a lazy addict.

Ah! Excessive drug use is okay if you’re trying to be an artist. And if you’re not lazy. Lazy addicts are the worst. Not like those noble ones who are active while taking drugs.

Lady Gaga, in her speech, went on about the physical problems she experienced as well, which included

“physical chronic pain, fibromyalgia, panic attacks, acute trauma responses, and debilitating mental spirals…”

Again, I’m sorry that she experiences that, and it’s possible that much of that is due to her drug use. She doesn’t seem to indicate any possible connection between the two.

At one point in the speech, she almost owned up to it:

“I wish there had been a system in place to protect and guide me, a system in place to empower me to say no to things I felt I had to do, a system in place to empower me to stay away from toxic work environments or working with people who were of seriously questionable character.”

You know, many pop culture celebrities spend much of their career celebrating personal freedom, exploring any and every aspect of hedonism simply because it’s there. Gaga is no exception. Yet she is saying she wishes there had been something in place to stop her from doing those things that put her in those places.

Hah! Right! If anyone tried to do that in Hollywood today, they would be branded as Puritans and kicked out of town. There is very little stomach for trying to challenge entertainers to live chaste and morally exemplary lives. Yet that is what she is asking for.

But there was always something in place to stop her from harming herself. It’s been there since we began on this planet.

It’s called a conscience. It’s something we all are born with (except perhaps psychopaths). It generally tells us what we should or shouldn’t do. The problem is that many, if not most, of us learn to ignore our conscience. We hear it screaming at us not to do something, yet we go ahead and do it anyway. It’s the human condition. Those who are wise learn to heed that conscience. Those who are not end up denying their own predicaments in front of the Screen Actors’ Guild.

On the bright side, it seems like it’s a good thing that Gaga regrets her bad personal decisions that have contributed to her dark place. Many times, we have to experience things ourselves so we will truly know how bad they really were. If only we could get the entire entertainment industry to reflect on their own personal behavior.

I Predict

Karnak the magnificent

After the tumultuous campaign to put Brett Kavanaugh on the U.S. Supreme Court, I was walking around my house, when I suddenly found myself in a haze. It wasn’t a hallucination. It was mystical. I felt that I was peering into the future. It was a prophetic vision of sorts.

As difficult as this may be, I will describe to you this prophecy.

What I saw was a new crisis emerging for the White House. In my vision, I couldn’t see exactly what was going on, but it was clear that Trump will do something that will upset Democrats – tremendously so. This will cause Democratic leaders across the board to condemn the President and everyone in his party. From what I can tell, it will be as if the world is literally coming to an end.

For the next number of months, this will be in all of the headlines. Every media outlet will make this the top news. Columnists, commentators, celebrities, and athletes will all talk about it. This will not be good for the President, because it will almost all be negative. A small number of prominent people, and a small number of media outlets will support Trump.

As strange as this may seem, President Trump will make some public statement about the issue. I can’t seem to determine if it’s a Tweet or a speech, but he communicates it so everyone picks it up.

International conflicts, natural disasters, major financial events, and other significant news occurs, but all of this becomes secondary news. The only thing people seem to talk about is Trump’s issue.

Months later, everything changes. A new incident occurs involving Trump. During the next 24 hours, the first issue is forgotten, being replaced by the new issue. Months later, most people will forget that the first issue even occurred.

I know this is a very wild and difficult to believe prophecy, and I know I’m going out on a limb with my credibility to post this blog. However, I believe this prophecy will come to pass.

(Note to self: Re-post this every few months.)

Re-Upholstered Memories


Recovered memories

There’s a guy I know who fell into an upholstery machine. He’s fully recovered now.

I know, I know. It’s a stupid joke. But I’ll do anything to get a laugh.

The only tie-in with my theme here is that it’s about “recovering”.

It wasn’t until a few days ago that I discovered that Christine Ford’s accusations against Brett Kavanaugh are based on “recovered memories”. Not a lot has been written about this part of the story. Most of us focus on the fact that it happened so long ago, that there isn’t much evidence that it happened, but she seems so sure that it happened.

That’s where the recovered memories come into play. Recovered memories are sometimes a tool used by psychotherapists and other counselors. The idea is that, if you are having a psychological problem, then it may well be your brain’s response to a traumatic memory it is trying to repress. Through interviews, recounting personal history, and possibly hypnosis, the psychotherapist tries to bring those traumatic memories into the light where the patient can discuss them. By successfully dealing with these recovered memories, so the story goes, the patient is eventually freed and healed.

That’s the theory.

I remember being part of a church in the late 80’s and early 90’s where a counsellor held group sessions to heal people with psychological problems. This counsellor focused on recovering memories of practically everyone in the group. Everyone had traumatic childhood sexual abuse. Everyone.

And there was a twist, though. The childhood sexual abuse caused each patient to develop multiple separate personalities. It was basically like the movie Sybil or the Three Faces of Eve, old movies that dealt with the topic of multiple personalities in a person.

Getting back to the experience, I was an elder in the church, and I was concerned about what was going on. I started reading about Multiple Personality Disorder (or MPD), and it seemed like a lot of superstition based on very scant evidence. I began to hear about bizarre therapy sessions going on. The counsellor acted like a hammer in search of a nail. Everyone had the same condition.

In the half dozen years since that period, I read stories about how this was going on in other churches and counseling practices. Patients “recovered” memories of childhood sexual abuse, sometimes at the hands of parents or pastors. The place of abuse was said to have taken place in a church basement, even if the church didn’t have a basement. These patients often confronted their supposed abusers. In almost all instances that I heard about, the abuse never occurred. Tempers flared between the accusers and the accused. Families were torn apart.

According to an article in the Huffington Post, the practice and phenomenon actually in vogue about 130 years ago, then died down. It appeared again after The Three Faces of Eve came out in 1957, then died down. It reappeared after Sybil came out as a TV miniseries in 1976, then died down again. And the latest outbreak was in the late 80’s and early 90’s. It is now in a quiet phase.

Professional psychiatrists looked into the matter and saw a gaping chasm of scientific evidence. In most instances, any instances of multiple personalities were really borne out of “suggestible and gullible therapists” guiding “suggestible and gullible patients” into discovering recovered memories and multiple personalities. The therapists were not so much helping the patients to recover their memories as they were actually training them to come up with memories.

It is still controversial, with some people saying they were helped by the approach. I think it’s bottled snake oil.

Studies have been conducted into how easy it is to implant false memories into a willing subject. The researchers told their subjects that specific things happened when they were younger, such as getting lost at a mall. As the researchers told more details about the false story, the subjects began to envision the story as if it were true. Eventually, the subjects adopted the false stories as true stories.

The therapy of recovering lost memories should have been totally debunked by now. There may be a small number of patients for whom it is true, but it seems to be primarily just a lot of bunkum. Yet, there was at least one therapist who still practices it, and that therapist used it to treat Christine Ford.

And here we are, decades after it was largely discredited in the psychiatry profession, with a woman claiming to have recovered memories of being raped by a man who many years later is a nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court.

In my opinion, it may very well be that Christine Ford actually thinks she was assaulted by Kavanaugh many years ago. It is possible that she was coached into searching her mind for some event in her distant past – an event that was somehow assumed to include a sexual assault. I can’t imagine why she picked Kavanaugh, but it may have been that he stuck out in her mind for some reason. Nevertheless, it could be that Ford actually believes it happened, primarily due to the particular brand of psychotherapy she was subjected to.

This is why both Kavanaugh and Ford may be telling the truth. The former actually didn’t do anything, and the latter is recounting something from an implanted false memory. I can’t say the same of Ford’s Democratic handlers. Those handlers just seem to be doing anything they can with Ford for political purposes. And it’s still possible that Ford made all of this up. But there’s also the possibility that she’s just talking about false memories she was guided into.

Regardless of how this turns out in the battle for the Supreme Court, I hope the practice of recovering memories gets pushed way into the back of the therapists tools and only used for rare, extreme cases where it may be needed.

snake oil


Galileo, the Rainbow, and Guido

Researchers at Brown University recently came up with some surprising research results. So, of course, the Ivy League School did what any institution committed to science and free speech would do.

They quashed the results.

That’s because the findings upset the Perpetually Offended in the LGBT community. It didn’t please them, so Brown University knew they had to remove the results from their web site, even though it appeared in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, PLOS One.

We know that’s the right thing to do, because that’s exactly  what happened to Galileo:

“Hi, Gal! What’s up? Anything new on that telescope?”

“Oh, hello Cardinal Snooticus. I just discovered that the sun does not revolve around the earth. It’s the other way around.”

“Oh, that can’t be right, Gal! You need to look again. Maybe you’ve got a smudge on your telescope. Yeah, that’s right. It’s a smudge.”

“Well, I don’t know about that. I can only report what I observe, Cardinal.”

“Gal, or perhaps I should say Mister Galileo. I don’t think you are getting the picture. Your scientific results do not sit well with the Church. “

“But that doesn’t matter to me. It’s science.”

“Maybe you should talk to Bishop Guido here. He’s from the Inquisition.”

“Actually, uh, Cardinal, I do think I may have a smudge after all. Never mind. It never happened.”

Of course, we all know that’s not what happened. Western society for centuries has put science in a high position in our culture. Christians of all stripes have learned to consider science as another important source of truth, but not the most important source. (And my apologies to my Catholic friends. This was just a silly story.)

But for people who have abandoned Christianity, there is nothing else that’s authoritative to turn to other than science. Secularists like to say that they count on science, and science alone, as the source of truth. We are constantly reminded of that by celebrities and luminaries, lecturing Conservatives about how we need to just focus on science, not opinion. One of the most recent examples of this was Harrison Ford, who spoke out against the anti-science leaders who are skeptical of climate change.

This is thrown at us all of the time. The Perpetually Offended accuse us of being anti-science. But, at the same time, those same accusers only accept the science they like.

And that’s where the research at Brown University comes back in. It was entitled “Rapid-onset gender dysphoria in adolescents and young adults: A study of parental reports”.  The study had a number of interesting findings:

  • The parents of many female adolescents reported “outbreaks” of gender dysphoria that were statistically unlikely. These girls never reported any instances of gender confusion until they began to hang out with other girls who engaged in heavy Internet use and binge-watching of videos of transgenders.
  • There is a high probability that the outbreaks of gender dysphoria were due to social and peer influence and pressure
  • Peer influence in adolescent girls is typically linked with depression, eating disorders, and drug use

These findings do not fit the template put forward by the LGBT community. Their story is that transgender people are “born that way”, and that it’s not a trend you can just try out and adopt because your friends are doing it.

So the Perpetually Offended were offended again. Adopting the same bully tactics they use with practically anything else they object to, they raised a ruckus with Brown University and demanded that the paper be deleted. Brown University complied. These days, it doesn’t take actual death threats to bring universities into compliance with the Perpetually Offended. It only requires the possibility of death threats. Or perhaps a visit from Guido.

Past studies have shown that the vast majority of adolescents who identified as homosexual or transgender as a minor no longer do so as an adult. I think it’s fair to say that it probably would happen to the children in the Brown University study as well.

The earliest American attempt to determine the percentage of adults who are homosexual was a 1948 book by 1948 book by Alfred Kinsey called Sexual Behavior in the Human Male. That study claimed that 10% of the male population was homosexual, but it was based on a count of incarcerated men. It is well understood how “group pressure” in prison often makes those men homosexual, at least while they are in prison. (It should be noted that the 10% figure has been discredited, although it is still repeated throughout the culture. Subsequent studies have shown homosexuals at somewhere between 1.5% to 2.4%.)

Interestingly, a recent survey of Americans showed that most Americans believe the rate of homosexuals in our population is about 21%, which is much, much higher than the actual population. Much of that is probably attributed to the fact that the lifestyle is pushed and promoted throughout the media. That media gives the general impression that homosexuality is more prevalent than it really is.

In addition, there have been a number of recent studies that focused on “sexual fluidity”, or the concept that at least some people can flow between heterosexual and homosexual behavior easily. There certainly are a number of celebrities who appear to have done so, including Drew Barrymore, Elton John, and Anne Heche. But the other studies cited earlier show that the vast majority of people who have ever engaged in homosexual acts will not continue to do so throughout their life.

We are beginning to get a better picture of how homosexuality has become such a “big thing” in our culture. It is a cultural phenomenon that is primarily spread by group pressure. After that pressure is lifted, there is only a very small fraction that remains attracted to the same sex. The homosexual lifestyle has an influence that reaches far beyond the actual population, primarily due to their allies. However, it appears that the vast majority of those who have tried that lifestyle did so because of pressure. It was tried by them and rejected. Let us help those who want to leave that lifestyle. Let us also continue to allow academic freedom to pursue science wherever it leads us. And let us resist the Guidos of this world that pressure us.

Do Super-Women Really Exist?


There are many times when we are discussing difficult issues and the issue is staring us right in the face. But the reason we don’t go there is because we think it’s not permissible in the current culture. There was an article recently on that is a great example.

A digital producer, Alexandra King, recently wrote about an interview that the Harvard Gazette gave to Lauren Groff, a novelist. During the interview, Groff was asked how she achieves a balance between work and family. King was really interested in what she would have to say. Most women struggle to balance the two, so King was hoping to get some insight into how to juggle both work and family. Instead, Groff said:

Until I see a male writer asked this question, I’m going to respectfully decline to answer it.

Social media picked this up, and many women heartily agreed with her answer. But King was disappointed.

King does not have children. She must be thinking about it, although I have no idea what her marital status is. But Groff did not answer the question for King. All she did was have a snappy comeback.

King is struggling here. She’s wondering if super women really exist. In her view, work/family balance for most women is achieved:


King was searching for some help, some advice, but she received none. Most women in today’s society, bombarded by the feminist message, don’t see why women should be hindered in their careers by their family. They want to be unhindered, just like men appear to be. King feels the same way, yet, she says:

But more broadly, I’d argue, whether we like it or not… current circumstances do make this a woman’s question. It’s an undisputable fact that it’s the ladies, not the gents, who have to endure the physical onslaught that is pregnancy, birth and postpartum recovery.

And later, she says:

It’s safe to say that American mothers live in crisis. Yet your average working mother is rarely asked how she balanced work and family. She just has to figure it out.

The problem, says King, is that successful women such as Groff never really say how to achieve work/family balance. They never answer the question. And most women in our society are simply struggling. They believe everyone else is doing it except them. Most women believe the successful women have actually figured it out. However:

The sort of women who are publicly asked about what it’s like to be a working mother in the United States are almost always the ones more likely to have more resources to address the myriad challenges every working woman in America faces.

Exactly, celebrities and top business women seem to have it all together, but that’s because they’ve got money to hire “resources” to take care of their children. They may have nannies, tutors, or well-paid babysitters. Or they send the kids to top boarding schools where they don’t have to worry about them. Or they can take off a year or two from work without seriously damaging their family’s finances. Meanwhile, most women today aren’t at a financial level to have those “resources”.

So what is the answer?

In her article, King seems to believe the answer is for the U.S. government to give women more paid maternity leave. She misses the point that it’s not the government who has the answer. Even if a woman were to get 3 years of paid maternity leave, she might not be present for her child. The answer is for the parents to allow the mother to take time away from her career in the early years to be present for her children.

But what if King could actually question whether her premises about feminism are true?

  • Why do women struggle so much with this?
  • If women are liberated, why is childcare still a burden for them?
  • Why does the daily burden of caring for children still mostly fall to the mother, while men still feel most comfortable with being the primary provider for the family?
  • If nature or God equipped women with the means for giving birth, for nourishing them when they are infants, and with empathizing with their children more than men, then is feminist ideology really true?

I’m sure some of you reading this are wondering what cave I crawled out of. Where have I been for the past 50 years?

I get it. I’m not trying to say that women are not equal with men, nor am I trying to say that women are the only ones who should be raising children. Women are just as smart and capable as men. Women should be allowed to have the same careers as men, where physical strength is not an issue.

But why not look at whether mothers should look be spending more time with their children and less time at work? Perhaps suspend their career, especially when the children are very young. Perhaps super women don’t really exist.

This is the recommendation of Erica Komisar, a psychoanalyst who wrote Being There: Why Prioritizing Motherhood in the First Three Years Matters. She writes about many studies that show how children do much better physically and psychologically when their mothers – yes, their mothers – stay home and take care of their children. This I not a religious belief. It’s something she discovered through her own work. She herself worked part time in the early years. She writes:

From my firsthand professional observations, I have come to understand the connections between these symptoms and disorders and the emotional and physical absence of young children’s mothers in their day-to-day lives. An increasing number of parents come to see me because their child is suffering from a variety of social, behavioral, or developmental disorders. It’s clear to me that these symptoms are often related to the premature separation of children from their mothers.

What is the primary problem?

Too often, mothers are putting their work and their own needs ahead of their children’s. I know this issue is a very controversial one – so controversial, in fact, that few dare to address it.

There it is again. No one wants to talk about it. Young children need their parents’ time, especially their mother’s time.

The obvious answer for King’s question of work/family balance seems to be to put career on pause, at least for awhile. Stop struggling and searching for an answer that doesn’t seem to exist. Instead of stretching both you and your child, give yourself time to be with your child by taking time away from your career.

But the feminist leanings in King don’t seem to allow her to go there. I suspect it’s hard for most women to consider that. Most probably still think there’s a way to do both excellently.

It has only been since the 1970’s he women have entered into the workforce in large numbers. It remains to be seen whether the social experiment of feminism actually works. We have already seen that no-fault divorce, which was a well-meaning approach to helping couples get out of a failed marriage, has been a disaster. It may be that we will see that with feminism as well.


Our Imaginary God

I never had a clue. Earlier in our marriage, I was driving on a long trip in our car, and Nancy was sitting in the passenger seat. We went down some very curvy roads in the Appalachian Mountains. Nancy gripped the door handle very firmly. We went around another curve in the road, and I saw her gripping the handle again. “Huh!”, I thought to myself. I don’t remember seeing her do that before. This continued throughout our journey that day. The next day, we were driving at much slower speeds along some city streets. As I made a right hand turn, she gripped the handle again. “Really?”, I thought. The next time I turned, I slowed down much more, so that there was barely any feeling of centrifugal force at all as we turned. Again, she still reached for the handle.

Later that day, I asked her how long she had been doing that.

“For several years”, she said.

And am I driving in a careless way?

“No, not at all”, she said.

So why are you white knuckling the door handle?

She explained that it was just ‘in case something happened’. She didn’t want to be spilled across the front of the car.

Wow! I didn’t realize she did it all the time. I remember seeing her do that a little over the years, but not that much. It was mildly irritating, making me seem like I’m some reckless race car driver. And all during our years of dating and being engaged, I don’t think I ever saw it.

I’m sure there are things Nancy didn’t notice that I did during our dating and engagement. One of them was probably that she didn’t realize how much I love stupid practical jokes. She knew I liked humor, but I don’t think she knew how much of a kick I get out of stupid pranks.

For instance, I had a very phoney looking rubber finger that fit over my pinky finger, with a very large, bloody gash in it. I would sometimes be in another room, scream bloody murder, see Nancy come running over, and I’d show her my terrible – but fake – wound. She would look at me with piercing eyes that said, “An I almost dropped a cake because of this?” Then, she would retreat until the next time I brought out the peanuts that jump out of a can or huge phony sunglasses.

When we were younger, just starting to get to know each other, we had imaginary versions of each other in our heads. To Nancy, I was the suave, debonair man who would sweet talk and charm her every time I came into the room. She probably had no clue that I might have a fake pinky wound on my hand.

Similarly, I saw Nancy as someone who enjoyed every minute of her time with me and was confident of my skills in everything I did. I didn’t realize she was concerned that my driving might cause her to end up going through the windshield.

We each had our imaginary views of what the other person was like. We had our dreamy-eyed thoughts about the one we were in love with.

And then reality hit. We realized that the other person sometimes did things we didn’t understand. Or didn’t agree with. But that was okay. I was still her husband, and she was still my wife. We weren’t perfect, but we still loved and admired each other.

Recently, I saw a movie where a mother was crying. She told her little boy that she didn’t think she was a good mother. (She actually was.) The boy said, “That’s okay. You’re Mom.” His Mom was being Mom, and that was okay, even if she wasn’t perfect, and he loved her.

That applies as well to our view about God.

Recently, authors of “How to Be a Perfect Christian” sarcastically quipped, “The God of the Bible would never do anything you would personally disagree with.” That is a modern-day motto of many people concerning how they think God is. They believe He will only do things they think make sense. He would never do something that challenges their preconceived notions of Him.

Many atheists, agnostics, and unbelievers see God as someone who only does things THEY believe are proper. He must be anti-war. He must be pro-choice. He must think it’s okay to live in sexual immorality. After all, he is all-loving. He doesn’t have any objections to anything, because objections would mean he doesn’t love.

So when they read the Bible, they see only what they want to see. They step over the verses they don’t believe. Because God couldn’t possibly be like that.

Or they just give up on God. If God is like THAT, I just won’t be a Christian.

But if we believe God exists, we will not start with the notions in our mind about who God is and how he behaves. We will let him reveal himself.

He famously told Moses, “I Am that I Am.” There is a lot in that sentence, but one aspect is that God will be who He will be. God said that when he was a burning bush that did not burn up in the fire. No one had ever seen God in that way. Could that really be God? It didn’t fit how Moses understood God to be. But it was God.

Many today who don’t – or won’t – believe in God are really just dealing with their belief in an imaginary God. They start out with who they think God must be. When they find out that He is different, many don’t know what to do. They don’t know how to deal with a real God who acts in ways that run counter to our cardboard cutout of God.

If you truly want to seek God and consider whether the Christian God is true, you need to discard your notions of what you think God is and make Him match up to your expectations. Instead, you need to let him reveal himself to you through God’s Word and allow him to be formed in your mind as He really is.

To Spite Their Face

I remember a very sad story from when I was a 5-year-old. It was Halloween, and I was wearing my new, but beloved, Superman costume. This is very long ago when every kid’s costume was extremely thin material. I fell on the street and went down on my knees. It ended up tearing my costume. I felt humilitated. Here was the Man Of Steel with torn, bloody knees. It betrayed everything I aspired to in that costume. I could not be consoled, and instead just got angry. I would yell and tease the other kids in my group. This only made things worse, since the adults wouldn’t let me go to the doorsteps to collect my goodies as we went down the block. Instead of simply accepting the fact that my costume was a little damaged and going ahead with Halloween, I just made things worse. I never did get any additional candy that night.

That was a childhood error that fixed itself as I grew. Each time I got angry, I realized I could make my situation worse very easily by just giving into my anger. Although I’m definitely not perfect, I’ve learned how to respond with grace when things don’t go my way. My Christianity has taught me that. Jesus responded with grace when he was surrounded with those who wanted to take his life.

But not all actually accept this as part of their worldview. There are worldviews that simply pile anger upon anger. There is never any peace, but just retribution. There is never forgiveness, but just old, crusty bitterness. That was evidence recently in Hamas-dominated Gaza Strip.

Several weeks ago, Hamas began a protest against Israel, telling thousands of Gazans that they needed to try to breach the border with Israel and occupy parts of the country. They described this as a peaceful march, as if no one had ever read about Hamas protests of the past. Israel held them in check, killing and wounding many of the protesters.

As with many of prior protests, Hamas had two directions they could go in. They could simply stop, realize nothing would come of such violence, live at peace with Israel, and build up their culture and economy. Or they could just double down on their anger and keep protesting. As is typical of their worldview, they chose the latter.

But they did so in a way that just made things even worse for themselves. First, they declined Israel’s offer of humanitarian medical aid for the protesters. This was greatly needed, since many protesters had been wounded.

And second, they started firing rockets into southern Israel, but they did so recklessly. When I say “recklessly”, I mean “stupidly”, because they damaged the electrical infrastructure that brought electricity into Gaza. This means much of Gaza ended up without electricity.

I wonder when the inhabitants of Gaza, or the leadership for that matter, will begin to realize that cutting your nose off to spite your face is not a good national policy. But this would require a change in worldview, from unrelenting anger to a worldview where true forgiveness is possible, or even loving one’s enemies.

What a novel idea.