And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?... The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin's thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If… if…We didn't love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation…We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward. —Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago: Volume 1
What is Solzhenitsyn's choice? It is a personal decision to either go unresistingly when arrested by a tyrannical government or violently resist, probably at the risk of your life. In other words, do you love freedom so much that you are willing to die rather than surrender it?
The chapter that the quote comes from explains that people did not resist, detailing their psychology behind compliance. The initial reaction was one of disbelief. “Me? What for?...It’s a mistake! They’ll set things right!” Emotions on arrest were mainly were confusion, fear, and denial assuming there had been some mistake or failed to grasp the gravity of the situation. Others were asked to simply turn themselves in and many obediently did so.
Having the benefit of hindsight, the reader can’t understand why compliance was so widespread. This behavior is not limited to Soviet dissidents. Countless criminals have condemned themselves because they thought they could talk their way out of trouble. The innocent or those undeserving of harsh punishments often shoot themselves in the foot by assuming they can just “clear things up” by talking. The stupid and naïve having faith in the system is not a new phenomenon.
Compounding this is the sincere belief by the arrestee that they have done nothing wrong.
"But as for you, you are obviously innocent! You still believe that the Organs are humanly logical institutions: they will set things straight and let you out. Why, then, should you run away? And how can you resist right then? After all, you'll only make your situation worse; you'll make it more difficult for them to sort out the mistake."
In ordinary circumstances, this is typically correct. Shut your mouth and get a good lawyer. Criminals choose to shoot it out with the police and die. That those who do this are almost universally scumbags who are guilty, we don’t see this as a viable response to the criminal justice system. Good men either do their time or are vindicated, or so goes the theory.
Yet for those who are of marginal guilt, perhaps by the State’s interpretation and selective enforcement, trusting that the system will be faithful is increasingly proving not to the be case. In high-profile cases involving leftist prosecutors and the political/social unrest of 2020, arguably innocent citizens from police officers to a 17-year old boy were prosecuted on the basis of outrage, not the law. Even those who have been vindicated did not receive fully fair trials.
We are seeing this now with the January 6th defendants being hunted, treated, and sentenced with grossly disproportionately to Antifa rioters. An Internet troll was just found guilty of an election-related civil rights violation posting a meme. President Trump himself has been indicted and arrested for dubious crimes. Surely we are through the looking glass.
Lawlessness is beginning to prevail in the United States. While we are not in a widespread without-the-rule-of-law (WROL) situation, we are in the starting phases of the gray zone that is anarcho-tyranny. Anarcho-tyranny is where the state has the power and desire to persecute dissidents but does not equally enforce the law. “Justice for me, but not for thee.”
If you will be politically prosecuted—persecuted that is—and certainly convicted, why would you subject yourself to a process that is so prejudiced against you it would take a miracle to succeed? A time will come when gambling on the chance that the trial will be fair, the jury unbiased, or that the appeals process will work out is non-viable. This isn’t to say that every arrest or punishment will justify making such a decision; ordinary criminals do it all the time, however.
What I am asking is that if the conditions are such that good men, who have been wickedly accused in order to make an example out of, stand little to no chance of being exonerated, or if they do, they do it at the cost of being emotionally, reputationally, and financially broken, why would they willing submit to the process?
But when to act and what to do becomes the dilemma when the average dissident no longer trusts the system. “At what exact point, then, should one resist?” Solzhenitsyn asked. It is a two-part question. The first is more of a political one and speaks to self-awareness of both the individual and political bands as a whole.
The debate rages endlessly online on the right. Conservatives insist that the high ground must always be taken, even if that means losing battles to the left. The left has already begun to resist, but they and their cronies hold the reigns of power, so they can engage in the notorious acts of rioting, vandalism, terrorism, and intimidation we have seen. The right can’t have a rally without being attacked, infiltrated, or subject to partisan in-fight playing a game of “who’s the fed?”
Even so, as much as men might chafe under “absolute Despotism,” they do not act. Self-preservation is a powerful instinct so it is natural to put aside these uncomfortable thoughts and make excuses. “Every man always has handy a dozen glib little reasons why he is right not to sacrifice himself.” Objectively, there are good reasons not to become a one-man revolutionary but individually, it is dishonest to the self to make up lies rather than admit you are too scared to resist. On the contrary, it is foolish to look for excuses to engage in violence.
To the second half of the question of “when,” Solzhenitsyn asks about the point where resistance should begin: "When one's belt is taken away? When one is ordered to face into a corner? When one crosses the threshold of one's home?" There are no clear markers or indicators for the last chance to take action. Usually resistance to arrest has been someone acting impulsively in the moment; that’s usually how criminals act. The dissident citizen probably has never seriously considered that they may be targeted by the State for political persecution, so the thought of what will they do and when never crosses their mind.
After all, if you are innocent, and in America no one would ever be prosecuted for freedom of speech issues or subjected to unfair treatment because of political persuasion, why would you consider such things? Contemplating resistance is like thinking about robbing a bank; good people don’t do it. In any case, resistance is felonious, is murder, or is treasonous. Probably from 1865 to very recently nearly all Americans would laugh at the thought of not allowing the judicial process to play out.
Criminals engage in high-risk behavior because they think they will never be caught. Guileless dissidents think that It’ll never come to that or It won’t happen to me. Denial and normalcy bias has so warped the dissident’s perception that they do not see the signs all around them. A crook knows the game and either has decided what he’ll do (I’m not back to prison) or he knows it at an impulsive level.
Solzhenitsyn tells us “A person who is not inwardly prepared for the use of violence against him is always weaker than the person committing the violence.” The dissidents were not mentally prepared for the possibility of being arrested, let alone fighting back! The NKVD took advantage of this by seizing people in the middle of night when they were tired, confused, and unprepared to resist. There would be no time to think, to summon up courage, or to seek help. The whole thing would be over before the individual fully understood what is happening to them.
By contrast, many criminals have no such debate but start shooting the moment they think they may be apprehended, even if their crime is trivial. A violent criminal doesn’t even have the moral high ground!
Solzhenitsyn’s choice, therefore, is a decision that must be made ahead of time. How will you react when you are arrested for badthink? Will you run? Will you fight? Will you comply? Even understanding your own reluctance to resist ahead of time is better than regretting bewilderment and inaction later. If you do believe that you will resist, it is better to determine your feelings and commitment now. The consequences of resistance will be damn ugly. Decide now, because you will not have a chance to think or plan when the moment comes.
Poor Man's Air Force: A guide to how small drones might be used in domestic unrest or low intensity conflicts
Now available on Amazon!
Drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), are changing the tactical landscape of warfare. The use of drones in conflicts has the potential to alter centuries of ground warfare in the same way as disruptive technologies like smokeless powder, the repeating firearm, tanks, and radios did in the past. Not just a rhetorical discussion of drone warfare, this book looks at practical usage by the prepared citizen, partisan, and soldier.
In 2022, Ukrainian use of modified consumer-grade drones for attack surprised the world who had only really seen them used in intelligence, reconnaissance, and surveillance roles. Lurid videos of grenades being dropped on unaware troops heralds a terrifying new reality in warfare: the poor man’s air force. Unmanned aerial systems (UAS) are bringing an aerial observation and attack capacity to forces, large and small, that have never had such an advantage before. From warfare, to terrorism, and even self-defense, we have only seen the cusp of what drones can do.
Quadcopters have taken aerial hunting and attacks out of the domain of scout helicopters and delivered it to the squad and individual level. In future conflicts, be they full-scale international wars, civil wars, or domestic unrest, use of drones will be commonplace. Their ease of use will make killing easier, enabling those who cannot or would not be soldiers or insurgents to participate in violence. Drones are a new threat as IEDs were and will be used in similar ways to both sniper attacks and bombings against civilian, military, and government targets.
Thanks to their inherent intelligence gathering nature and developing attack capabilities, drones have the ability to level the playing field or dramatically tilt in favor of the side with aerial assets. In a civil conflict or during the aftermath of a major destabilizing event, drones will play a huge part in both self-defense and any violence. Proliferation of small unmanned aerial systems will occur rapidly, so their potential impact and use in small paramilitary, irregular, and civilian hands deserves examination.
Part I: Small Unmanned Aerial Systems
Note: This is an adapted excerpt from my book Suburban Warfare: A cop's guide to surviving a civil war, SHTF, or modern urban combat.
Earlier, we looked at what effect the Christopher Dorner (the ex-LAPD officer who went on an anti-law enforcement rampage) manhunt had on Southern California police. The conclusion I made there is that targeted killing of police, even on a small scale, will have a huge effect on how police operate from day to day. In a SHTF-future, citizens assassinating police will have deep repercussions.
In the assassination scenario, cops de-police and don't show up for work. Disasters can have the same effect. During Hurricane Katrina, pretty much all of New Orleans PD deserted or was non-mission capable and looked what happened. "Inner city" Chicago is another live example.
However it does shake out, the future is one without police. You will be on your own and you and your neighbors will have to figure out how the peace was kept ages ago. For those unable or unwilling to defend themselves, things will be very bad as they are at the mercy of the bad guys. Prepare for an interim period of street terrorism, rampant crime, and just enough police to catch you.
Police officers can go to work in jurisdictions distant from their homes because those officers know that their local cops will be watching over their families. Not personally, of course, but cops just as dedicated will be proactively patrolling and responding to calls. That’s how a cop living in Staten Island can police the Bronx. If local law enforcement is not present at the officer’s home, the odds are greatly reduced that he will be willing to leave his family to give his protection to strangers.
This system of trust is what makes modern policing work. Even officers who work for an agency that has within its jurisdiction the officer’s home might not be assigned so as to watch over their own neighborhood. Even then the officer might be too busy to protect his family. So all cops rely on other cops to provide that coverage for their neighborhood.
In an emergency that’s so bad that officers cannot trust their local cops to police their neighborhood, officers will not come in to work. Why should a guy from the suburbs commute an hour to risk his life protecting the ghetto while no one from the suburban PD is on the street or answering 9-1-1?
Most cops don’t want to live in bad neighborhoods or big cities where they work. They can afford to live in the suburbs or nicer neighborhoods and often do. The areas that are impoverished, have a lot of violence, are outright ghettos, etc. will probably have no policing. If its that bad, no cop is going to risk his life for low-class people in an area infested with gangs, drugs, and crime. Inner cities will become war zones and that disorder will spill over into the lower-middle class and middle-class bordering areas.
High-income residential areas will likely be able to purchase police or other protection, whether that is a straight monetary transaction or involves politics. Officers might no-show in a violent precinct but show up for work in a wealthy area.
So what does this mean for the average citizen? Areas home to a lot of cops will have a lot of off-duty cops available for neighborhood defense. Their participation will vary. Off-duty officers who don’t work for the local agency will probably not be acting in a public capacity. My suggestion to agencies would be to re-deploy staff to patrol the areas where they live and absorb any non-local officers into the agency structure.
If you don’t have a lot of cops where you live, you will need to handle the policing, if your officers are staying home. Here is one example close to me. LAPD officers living in Simi Valley can go to work protecting Los Angeles because they know Simi PD and Ventura deputies will (figuratively) watch over their homes and families when they are gone.
This is hugely important because safety in many communities relies on officers that don’t necessarily live there. In large cities or counties, officers who live within their agency’s jurisdiction might not live on the beat they patrol. I’ve been assigned to the beat with my home in it and also worked in an entirely different patrol division across the county. But I knew that if there was a big earthquake or some other Really Bad Thing, even if I was across the county, dudes I could count on were keeping the streets safe at home.
Going back to 1992, when the Rodney King riots erupted, this trust in the cops back at home was a big deal. Simi Valley was where the LAPD officers were tried due to a change-in-venue from LA County. I worked with deputies who were present at the courthouse when the acquittal came down and the situation was tense. There were scuffles and a lot of angry people who had to be dealt with, but being 1992 and not 2020, no one burned down the courthouse.
Today, Simi Valley would have been ground zero for the riots. Major disruptive protests probably would have already been happening. As it was, Simi Valley and the Ventura County residents that acquitted the officers were accused of being racists. A real worry was that rioters would come up the freeways into Ventura County and cause problems there. LA basin cops had their concerns, but for us in Ventura, no one worried about rioting at home.
Rioting began in South Central LA and was generally confined to that area (for various reasons). We did not see opportunistic looting in upscale areas across the LA basin or into other cities as we did in 2020. While there was sympathetic rioting and unrest in other cities across the nation, none of it was to the scale of the George Floyd riots. The relatively confined nature of 1992 meant that local law enforcement could be concentrated on the riots and mutual aid requests could be fulfilled from other California agencies.
In 2020, while the rioting went national, mutual aid was still able to be utilized. Most residential areas were safe, as were the suburbs. So while society hadn’t totally collapsed, we did see bad actors exploiting the unrest to loot malls and stores with relative impunity as many major police agencies effectively “stood down.” Using Ventura County again, the Oaks Mall in Thousand Oaks and the Camarillo Outlet Mall (both 40-60 miles west of Downtown LA on US 101) were closed and guarded by deputies. Nothing happened at either, but most cities in Ventura County during that period experienced some form of protest.
What I’m getting at is that police resources were not totally strained to the point that areas went without police coverage. A lot of cops in Southern California personally increased their own personal readiness posture at home just in case, but no one called in sick to guard their families. Law enforcement across the country was strained but did not collapse. Officers had trust in their brothers and sisters.
In a breakdown of law enforcement this trust goes away. Individual officers are too fearful for their families to leave them undefended. If the world ends, no way is an LAPD cop going to leave his family if he doesn’t absolutely know that a Simi PD black and white will be there for his loved ones.
Our own families and our tribe—be that our neighbors, friends, or just our small part of the world—are more important than strangers. Asking a cop to prioritize strangers all the way across town to the actual or potential detriment of his family and tribe is a losing proposition. Without someone keeping the peace in his neighborhood, an officer will struggle to remain attentive and effective at his duties on his beat. Put another way, why does an LAPD officer care about stopping a riot in the ghetto when rioters are driving up to Simi Valley and invading homes without police intervention?
Again, a collapse of policing hasn’t really been seen in America. During the George Floyd riots, police, usually for political means, didn’t intervene to stop the thefts and vandalism. Yet riots were somewhat contained (usually) and ordinary law enforcement and police protection went on elsewhere. 9-1-1 was still working. During Hurricane Katrina, we did see officers totally desert or abrogate their duties. In the latter situation, could one fault an officer staying home to protect his house and family knowing that there was a very low chance other cops would respond?
Major factors in police desertion will be conservation/gathering of resources and personal/family safety. A cop is not going to want to burn 10 gallons of fuel he may not get back driving forty miles from the high desert to downtown LA. Likewise, someone who is struggling to find enough food to keep his family from starving isn’t going to want to divert the hours necessary for that to perform a job that isn’t guaranteed to put food on the table.
Public employees in the emergency services or critical public works should be relocated to staff facilities and stations as near their homes as possible. This will reduce transportation expense and time should fuel sources, etc. be constrained. Employees will also feel that their efforts are more related to the survival of their families, friends, and themselves if they are working in or near where they live.
Police will not want to leave their loved ones to fend for themselves while he provides security for strangers; the officer would rather stay home and provide direct protection than trust some other officer who might or might not be there for him. The officer might not be guarding his house, but if he’s not far away, he can respond home and also provide area protection that benefits him, his family, and his community. Simply said public servants care more if they feel they’re working for their neighborhood.
First responders will not put their or their family’s survival behind that of the public. The safety and survival of families are as vital of that as the officers, medics, and fire fighters for an agency to continue to be viable post-catastrophe.
If you want an overly-optimistic idea of what post-SHTF (EMP, in this case) policing might look like in a worst-case scenario, I wrote two novels on the topic.
Problem: Jesus-is-my-boyfriend theology; thinking God is different in the OT/NT; thinking Jesus is a wimp; thinking that Christianity isn’t masculine.
It has to be understood that the God of the Bible is consistent through the entire story. The Old Testament God, be it the Father in Heaven or the Theophany (Jesus’ pre-Incarnation appearance in the OT), is the same God in the New Testament. Yaweh (I am who I am), is a righteous and honorable god who is also merciful.
A oft-made complaint is that Jesus is some weak pusillanimous hippie and not at all like the OT God; that the Bible doesn’t speak to masculinity and manliness, etc. Um, have you read it? Probably not if that was your takeaway. Maybe you did but you were hopelessly biased or have poor reading comprehension skills.
What people fail to understand is that multiple things can be true at once. God can be vengeful, judgmental, and forgiving as well. Christian theology teaches that God is the originator of all things; his personal nature is as real as physics. This means that things like honor and justice derive from God. God also plays by his rules, which creates some interesting cases.
You’ve got this righteous, omnipotent being who is so honorable he will not break his own rules. Yet his favorite creation sinned, condemning them to death and eternal separation from him. Nothing these humans can do will redeem themselves. So what does he do? He decides to become a man in order to bear all the sins of the world in sacrifice. I doubt we can really understand it this side of eternity.
This attitude of forgiveness and a peaceful God in the form of Jesus is not inconsistent with the OT. All throughout the Bible, both testaments, forgiveness is clear. Does this prayer of David seem like someone who doesn’t believe in grace? “But the Law of Moses…”
It’s not contradictory for God to think homosexuals deserve the death penalty, for example, but that they can repent and perhaps spare themselves. Lots of people repented in the OT and God did not strike them down. David was an adulterer and murderer yet he repented and did great things for God, in spite of his sin. (Heck, in the New Testament the greatest persecutor of Christians was redeemed to become the greatest evangelizer of all time.)
In the OT, God does offer forgiveness and the whole Jewish theological doctrine of salvation is the hope that God will offer grace—that is an unmerited pardon from the guilt of their sins. But to condemn them, he had to make the law as well. And yes, this loving, forgiving God in the OT does have to do some really nasty stuff, even to the people he loves. “After all, he’s not a tame Lion,” C. S. Lewis might say.
Whatifalthist said to the effect that the reason the OT God is so harsh is because that’s how gods in the Middle East had to be back then. A part of this is secular historians’ making the argument that a passive god wouldn’t be an attractive figure to the Israelites contemporaries, so humans constructing a religion would give their god characteristics of a tough guy. A certain element of fear would also required to keep people in line.
Since I accept the Bible as true, I do believe that God did have to be tough with the Israelites because people back then literally needed a vengeful god to keep them in line. If you are familiar with the OT, you know that the Israelites are a “stiff necked people,” rebelled against God multiple times, and got themselves into trouble a lot. God literally asks Moses “Hey, do you want me to kill all these losers and start over with you?”
God says plenty of times the only reason he hasn’t abandoned Israel is because he made an eternal covenant with them that they will be his chosen people. He lets them dig themselves into a hole and then, after they’ve suffered the consequences and repent, he bails them out. It will happen one last time before they finally open their eyes.
So we get to the New Testament and have hippie-Jesus-is-my-boyfriend guy. This attitude is wrongly taught by too many “warehouse churches” today giving people the wrong impression that God is weak and Christianity isn’t masculine or tough. I think the Crusaders would beg to differ. Throughout history, Christianity has been as “chad” as Islam has, but those are the political sides of religion, not the “real” side.
The whole point of the Incarnation as Jesus was a mission of forgiveness and redemption. Jesus was to come as a Lamb the first time in order to be the sacrifice of sin. The Gospel is good news because the provision for man’s sin and the reconciling of mankind to God had arrived. But that didn’t mean Jesus was just some wimp.
Probably the best example of Dark Jesus is the cleansing of the Temple when he whips the moneychangers and merchants ripping people off. One of you on Twitter posted that Jesus had to sit there making a whip, which was not a quick process, probably giving a death stare to these guys before he went on his rampage. Can you imagine the terror if they knew who he was? Peter walks up to a moneychanger: “Um yeah hi, YHWH is over there making a whip and when he’s finished he’s going to beat your ass. You might wanna think about refunds and packing up your table.”
The kind of guys who think Jesus is a pussy are like the women who see their “tough” husband cry at his mom’s funeral and suddenly want a divorce because they think he’s weak. Jesus told the Pharisees off to their face—that’s like calling out Antifa in the middle of a Portland riot. Many times the Apostles got chased out of towns.
Now to modern churches. Yes, a lot of modern churches teach the Jesus-is-my-boyfriend gospel because it’s popular right now. On modern Earth, people want to hear what makes them feel good right now. Joel Osteen, anyone? It’s beyond Christianity too; you can’t criticize [redacted] or point out the hypocrisy in the LGBTQAH47 community. No one wants to hear the harsh truth, especially the Federal Reserve and Congress, let alone some IQ 90 people who feel like crap because they made bad decisions in life.
The forgiveness message takes over in a lot of modern American Christianity because it attracts a lot of broken people. If you are so burdened down by having lead an objectively bad life, supernatural forgiveness is the only way to make amends for that. Hence Jesus’ mission and Christianity. That’s why it attracts ex-porn stars, single moms, addicts, and criminals. Jesus for the sinners.
The problem with that is too many churches get stuck in the “it’s all okay” message so people don’t ever have to feel bad. Stupid preachers are one problem and the other is a business decision. These less-sincere preachers don’t want to turn people off, see attendance decline, and lose tithe money with a message of “Hey, living with your girlfriend and having threesomes on the weekend isn’t what God intended.” I exaggerate but that’s it.
Boyfriend-Jesus is popular with the single mom crowd and keeps everybody who can’t bear a strong message happy. That doesn’t work for a lot of men and does little for spiritual development. Sin has to be called out. Forgiveness is great and all but sin has consequences. Look at it this way: if you pig out once in a while, you can work off that weight and eat better, but if you just give into gluttony you’ll weight 600lbs. The western church is the 600lb woman now.
One Iranian Christian woman went back to Iran because she felt the churches here were dead and she didn’t want to backslide. Christianity isn’t for wimps. Jesus said the fate of Christians was to be persecuted and killed. He promised hardship and suffering, not prosperity. The latter is nice and all but not a guarantee. Our society right now is an aberration in world history.
So as I conclude this rant, please, sit down and read the Bible. Get a good, modern translation but not anything “woke.” The NLT is okay and so is NIV84, but also try the legion of American English translations published since the late 19th century. Once you’ve gotten the gist of it, you can have translations wars later. Read the Bible and understand the picture in full; don’t take it piecemeal from the Internet, TV preachers, or the couple times you’ve been to church.
Specifically to those warrior types who think the world is gonna end soon (it probably is), I suggest my friend Joe Dolio’s Tactical Wisdom series. It’s basically non-boring field manuals on how to basically be a Marine (or solider) but he also discusses the badass portions of the Bible like where Gideon leads a guerilla raid and uses psyops. Seriously.
I shit on a lot of neo-pagans on Twitter recently and frankly, I’m not sorry, but I did say I would explain myself and I will do that. I had a much longer version of this but it basically got into an argument that couldn’t escape the “first causes” trap.
I argue that pagans choose their religion because it tickles their fancy and not because they actually believe that Valkyries are going to usher them into Odin’s hall. It is not a reality to them in the same way devout Muslim fears Allah or a Christian endeavors to see Jesus return again, but a superstition based entirely on personal preference.
One fellow believes in a nebulous “higher power” but I ask don’t you want to know who this higher power is? By what principles it works? I must admit that I see people who believe in a “higher power” as someone who believes in gravity but denies the laws of physics are real.
2 Timothy 3:5 sums up my thoughts on this spirituality “…having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof.” I refer to a belief in religious customs—with or without an organization, scripts, or pantheon—ungrounded in any sincere confidence that the theology is indeed reality. All religions are subjective to the outsider, but I fail to see how you can take comfort in something that doesn’t have a firm underpinning in at least it’s own reality.
Many new-age or neo-pagan devotees have admitted they adopted their beliefs for superficial reasons that appeal to an aesthetic they admire. I’d gonna bet you didn’t actually read the Bible in detail or bother to understand it.
I am being slightly hyperbolic, but I see neo-pagans as “Wow, this pagan religion has cool stories and characters. I’m going to believe that.” Congratulations, you are the same as the nerd who likes Star Wars so much that he decides to change his religion to Jedi because Luke Skywalker is cool. The Germanic tribes Caesar fought didn’t get a choice to be pagan or not.
Of course, in the modern world everything is relative so by the logic of relativism I’m equally crazy for believing the Bible is real. The difference is I believe that YHWH and his human form Jesus are indeed real and powerful, that is, supernatural and extant. I seriously doubt most of those who claim to be neo-pagans believe that Thor and Odin are real in the same sense that devout Christians, Jews, and Muslims believe their god is real.
So, getting down to it, is a pagan prayer or ritual really going to appeal to the “higher power” to save my life or am I just putting my mind in order for battle? Am I putting my faith in Mars to see me safely through the war or am I better off taking a Xanax, doing some breathing techniques, and having faith in Kevlar? Reading Kipling might give me a better understanding about my experience and feelings, and Shakespeare’s St. Crispin’s Day Speech might inspire me before the attack, but neither will keep me alive.
For instance, the Bible would be about as much comfort as Kipling to me if I didn’t believe that Jesus (who is the God of the Bible) was real. Psalm 91 is just a poem, not a prayer. In a world where spirituality is ungrounded in a firm theology, it’s all just a psychological balm. That’s all it might be, but until we can scientifically prove it I’m going to stick with the Bible.
Author Don Shift
Don Shift is a veteran of the Ventura County Sheriff's Office and avid fan of post-apocalyptic literature and film who has pushed a black and white for a mile or two. He is a student of disasters, history, and current events.