Modern Day Jeremiad

Any institution that is not explicitly (and actively) right wing will become left wing over time.

—John O’Sullivan

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Illustration Credit: By Jim Padgett, courtesy of Sweet Publishing, Ft. Worth, TX, and Gospel Light, Ventura, CA. / CC

Published July 30, 2021

By James V. Ferguson, MD (contributor to the Tennessee Conservative) –

In the 7th century BC Jeremiah was called as a prophet during the last 40 years of the kingdom of Judah before it’s destruction by Nebuchadnezzar and the neo-Babylonian empire. A prophet is defined as “one who utters divinely inspired revelations, is gifted with more than ordinary spiritual and moral insight and foretells the future” (Webster). Jeremiah fits the definition, urging the people of Judah to stop injustices and worshipping idols instead of God. His repeated warnings of the coming destruction “from the north” were ignored. And Judah was destroyed, along with The Temple in Jerusalem, ushering in the historic Babylonian Captivity.

Because of his calls to repentance, Jeremiah was ridiculed, beaten, abandoned by his friends and imprisoned. But history proves his prophetic vision of Judah’s destruction. And from the Old Testament book of Jeremiah, we get the term jeremiad which is a “bitter lament and righteous prophecy of doom” (Wordnik). 

American jeremiads date from the colonial period. They were often delivered in times of crisis or in response to apostasy or declining morality of the people. A notable example is the sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” by theologian and colonial minister Jonathan Edwards. 

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I am no prophet, but I often feel called to deliver a modern jeremiad in this column. Folks, we are in trouble. The Babylonians have taken over our country’s government, the media, academia and public education. They are aided by Big Tech, corporate quislings and toadies who proclaim their current good life and ignore their children’s future.  

I was once a liberal, but not the modern variety. Classical liberalism of the Founders favored free markets, limited government, civil liberties, private property, and equality under law. Classical liberalism abhors a welfare state, emphasizes maximum freedom of the individual and champions the rationalist thought of the Enlightenment.

Liberals have historically supported free enterprise, national borders, free speech and hold that skin color is irrelevant and inherently racist. Martin Luther King, Alan Dershowitz and Tulsi Gabbard are modern examples. Obama defined himself as a Progressive. I’m not sure what Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi are. Their covetous pursuit of power is idolatry.  

Modern day liberals are actually Progressives. Progressivism is a political and social movement which arose in the late 19th century to oppose unfettered capitalism and radical forms of socialism/communism. This movement came out of populist yearnings for representation by immigrants, farmers, and urban workers. Progressives promote government as the solution for societal problems, demand income redistribution, universal healthcare and the “living wage.”

Apparently, I am an exception to O’Sullivan’s dictum that systems become more liberal over time. I have become more conservative because of education, life experiences and, perhaps, because I’ve aged. (I’m partial to old shoes rather than suffering new ones.) History teaches us that communism, socialism and leftist philosophies like BLM always fail with disastrous consequences. Case in point is the current revolt in Cuba over inadequacies of just about everything. 

According to Mr. Webster a euphemism is “the substitution of an agreeable or inoffensive expression for one that may offend or suggest something unpleasant.” (I might ask who gets to determine what word or term is agreeable or offensive?) Modern liberals, progressives and leftists are masters of euphemistic subterfuge. As an example, who would not want to be progressive – at least until you know the political and social meaning behind that “good” word?  

Since we are on definitions, let me include leftism, which is not liberalism or progressivism, nor is it related to the left/right dichotomy. Leftism is anti-capitalist and socialist. It is anti-American. Leftists believe in open borders and world citizenry. Leftists are intolerant of ideas and speech with which they disagree. And Leftism promotes racial class warfare just as Karl Marx promoted economic class warfare.

As I pen this jeremiad I wonder if anyone will listen, thoughtfully consider the perspectives or be persuaded. The leaders and citizens of ancient Jerusalem ignored Jeremiah. Mr. Vacuous, who I spoke of last week, is doing just fine and will consider me a crackpot. And if it were not for media operations like The Tennessee Conservative and the Knoxville Focus, one would only hear the bilge on legacy media or read the local fish wrapper’s progressive-Democrat-socialist blather.

I recently learned there are one hundred seventy-nine news outlets in Tennessee, but only three are conservative voices. I don’t doubt the report because 95% of journalists identify as liberal Democrats. I just hope the majority are not leftists, but one wonders. 

There is a passage of scripture which is especially meaningful for me. The apostle Paul was under house arrest in Rome awaiting his court appearance before Caesar. He did not expect it to go well. In 2 Timothy 4:7, Paul describes his life, stating that he “fought the good fight, kept the faith and finished the race.” I have adopted this scripture, but with the future tense. 

This is why I plan to show up on our Knoxville Primary election day (August 31) and vote against the Democrat progressive socialist Babylonians on our city Council. Tip O’Neill said all politics is local. We must change the course of our cities. I am urging you to get INFORMED. Get INVOLVED. And I guarantee you will be INSPIRED. Our future depends on it. 

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Editorial also published in the Knoxville Focus. Printed here by permission from the Author.

About the Author:

Jim is a native of Knoxville, practicing Internal Medicine for more than 40 years, prior to retiring in 2020.

Along with learning to become a “gentleman farmer,” he has written essays for the conservative weekly Knoxville Focus since 2007. 

One thought on “Modern Day Jeremiad

  • July 30, 2021 at 4:25 pm
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    Excellent insight and presentation, Jim. An abundance of truths and facts in so few words. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply

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