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Sunday, April 4, 2021

Resurrection Sunday: When Jesus “Cancelled” Death

I have bad news: I’m dying. I have worse news: so are you. Whether sick or healthy, young or old, Christian or not, conservative or liberal, democrat or republican, each of us has an inevitable date with the moment in which we will depart this world. Most of us have a bit of trouble with this. In fact, of all the things that scare us, for most, death is the ultimate terror.

As the book of Genesis reveals, it was not supposed to be this way. Death was not part of the picture “in the beginning.” We were always supposed to live forever in glorious and perfect splendor with our Creator. To live “happily ever after” is the fitting ending to so many fairy tales—and movies, TV shows, novels, and the like—because this is the way things are supposed to be.

Death was the tragic consequence of wanting to rule our own world. But thanks to the sacrifice of Jesus and His resurrection, death does not have the final say in the lives of those who have put their trust and hope in the One who died for our sins, and who was raised to life on the third day. As one scans history, no other date put such a mark in time as when Jesus Christ shed His grave-clothes and departed the tomb.

Of all the religions of the world, only Christianity claims an empty tomb for its founder. The physical resurrection of Jesus is the cornerstone of Christianity. British theologian Michael Green said it well when he noted, “Without faith in the resurrection there would be no Christianity at all.” Noted biblical scholar, professor, and author Wilbur M. Smith said that, “The resurrection of Christ is the very citadel of the Christian faith. This is the doctrine that turned the world upside down…” Indeed it did.

C.S. Lewis notes that, “In the earliest days of Christianity an ‘apostle’ was first and foremost a man who claimed to be an eyewitness of the Resurrection,” or more accurately, a witness of the resurrected Christ. He adds that, “to preach Christianity meant primarily to preach the Resurrection.” And preach they did.

The transformation of the disciples of Jesus is one of the greatest evidences of His resurrection. For decades following Jesus’ death and resurrection they preached His “good news.” Biblical references and strong extra-biblical sources have almost all of the disciples dying martyrs’ deaths. James, the son of Zebedee, according to Scripture was, “put to death by the sword (probably beheaded).” According to early church historians Peter was crucified in Rome, and Paul (of course not one of the original 12, but an apostle nonetheless) was beheaded there. Strong church tradition has Thomas, the “doubting” disciple, being run through with a spear.

The faith of Jesus’ Apostles spread to thousands upon thousands in a relatively short period of time. As the “good news” of Jesus spread, many of the early believers suffered intense persecution. Fulton Oursler, in The Greatest Faith Ever Known, notes that “Thousands of these men and women would die themselves in the arena, burning on pitch-soaked pyres, crucified, they would die for Jesus Christ, and for the Faith, the Church that Christ founded.”

The persecution of the church continued for centuries. Nevertheless, Christianity endured, and the number of Jesus’ followers continued to multiply. After Constantine’s conversion in the year 312 the church passed from persecution to privilege. Councils were called, the Scriptures were translated into various languages, and faithful missionaries carried the gospel to ever farther reaches of the world.

The impact of the resurrection of Jesus extends far beyond religious institutions. The influence that Christianity has had on the world can be measured in practically every facet of life. Everything from the family, to science, government, medicine, art, literature, business, and so on, has felt the impact of the message of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The world’s first university, birthed in 1088, was The University of Bologna in Italy. It was founded to teach canon law. The second oldest university, The University of Paris, grew out of the cathedral schools of Notre-Dame and soon became a great center for Christian orthodox studies. Dr. Alvin J. Schmidt, in his book Under the Influence: How Christianity Transformed Civilization, points out that every college established in colonial America, except the University of Pennsylvania, was founded by some denomination of Christianity. He adds that, preceding the Civil War, 92 percent of the 182 colleges and universities in the U.S. were established by some branch of the church.

By around 1450, Johannes Gutenberg had nearly perfected his printing press. Making use of movable metal type, Gutenberg’s press was the world’s most efficient means of large-scale printing. This process of printing remained virtually unchanged for four centuries. The first major work mass-produced on Gutenberg’s press was the 42-line Bible (or “The Gutenberg Bible”). This magnificent work ushered in the age of the printed book, and the era of mass communication. Soon, millions of homes, schools, and churches had their own copies of God’s Word, and news of the resurrection of Jesus now spread faster than ever before.

Many of the greatest artists in history—Rembrandt, Michelangelo, Donatello, Da Vinci, Salvador Dali—were followers of Jesus. This is evident in that many of the great works they produced were scenes or characters from Scripture. Beethoven, considered by many to be the world’s greatest composer, wrote some of the most profound Christian masterpieces of history. Johann Sebastian Bach was, as one scholar put it, indeed “a Christian who lived with the Bible.”

Some of the most famous and influential founders of what is considered “modern science”—Galileo, Kepler, Newton, and Pasteur—were Christians who operated from a strict biblical worldview. For example, in 1595, in Kepler’s first major work, he thought that he had discovered “God’s geometrical plan for the universe.” As a Christian, Kepler believed that the universe was designed by a Creator and thus should function in a very logical fashion. He went as far as to define his view of “science” as “thinking God’s thoughts after Him.”

Isaac Newton is considered by many to be the greatest scientist who ever lived. He is most famous for his laws of motion and universal gravitation. On gravitation he noted that, “Gravity explains the motions of the planets, but it cannot explain who set the planets in motion. God governs all things and knows all that is or can be done.”

Recognizing that “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it…” and knowing that we are merely stewards of the Creator of all things, those who follow Jesus are the most generous people on the earth. Take note of the number of influential charities inspired by Christianity. Among them are The Salvation Army, Campus Crusade, Feeding America, Catholic Charities, Compassion International, Samaritan’s Purse, St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Habitat for Humanity, World Vision, and the YMCA.

The first hospital in North America, the Hospital de Jesus Nazareno (the “Hospital of Jesus of Nazareth”), was founded by Cort├ęs. With the aid of Benjamin Franklin, the first hospital in the U.S, Pennsylvania Hospital, was founded by a Quaker, Dr. Thomas Bond. The Catholic Church alone operates over 1,100 hospitals and long-term health care facilities in the U.S.

This great nation—the miraculous United States of America—that we inhabit was founded almost exclusively by Christians and upon Christian principles. On July 4, 1837, in a speech delivered in the town of Newburyport Massachusetts, John Quincy Adams, son of John Adams, and the 6th U.S. President, proclaimed,

Why is it that, next to the birthday of the Savior of the World, your most joyous and most venerated festival returns on this day? [Independence Day] Is it not that, in the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior? Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer’s mission upon earth?

The impact of Christ’s resurrection can be seen in individuals and institutions, in art and entertainment, in science and industry, in calendars and carols, in tribes and in nations. All of human history—from Creation to Christmas to the Crucifixion—culminates in Jesus leaving His earthly tomb. As I implied earlier, and as history clearly reveals, the resurrection of Jesus stands aloft every other event the world has ever known. Again, virtually every facet of our lives has been impacted by the empty tomb left by Jesus. Though we may acknowledge Him on our currency, and measure our years from His birth, our only real hope is in His resurrection. In the end, the only things that will matter, the only things that will be truly lasting and good, are the things we did in His name.

Copyright 2021, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor is the author of The Miracle and Magnificence of America
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

The Data Continues to Prove the Mask Zealots WRONG!

I've long said that the data on the Wuhan virus in no way matched the hysteria visited on most of the U.S. and the world. Whether "cases," hospitalizations, deaths, masks, lockdowns, and the like, time and again we've seen that the actual data reveal that our efforts to "slow the spread" have been largely useless and thus unnecessary. In other words, time has revealed the truth on the Wuhan virus. As I noted back in August of last year, short of an effective vaccine (which, at the time didn't seem like it was on the near horizon), each of us is going to get exposed to the Wuhan virus, and our health outcome will be determined by how our Creator made us and what treatments are given to us. 

The rise in hospitalizations and deaths over the holidays, and the subsequent steep decline we've seen over the last several weeks, has little to nothing to do with masks and the like. The rises we saw during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season likely would not have been as severe if we had allowed for more herd immunity to occur during the summer and early fall of 2020. In other words--and again, short of an effective vaccine--the increase in cases was always going to happen; it was just a matter of when. 

Also, the recent declines in cases, hospitalizations, and deaths occurred too soon and too rapidly to be attributable to the vaccine. In other words, this decline was always going to happen; it was just a matter of when. Now, a year removed from the beginning of the panic porn, the data continues to reveal the truth on the Wuhan virus. This is especially true for masks. 

Take a look at the data on multiple school systems in Florida: those with mask mandates vs. those where masks are optional: 

Note that the cases per 100k in school systems where masks are optional are significantly lower than those systems where masks are mandated. As you've probably recently heard, Joe Biden and his fellow mask apologists foolishly described the idea of states lifting mask mandates as "Neanderthal thinking." This is especially foolish considering that democrats are the modern poster children for "Neanderthal thinking." It's also especially foolish given the latest data on U.S. states and "Daily New Cases" of the Wuhan virus: 

This is all on top of all of the other science that reveals the truth on the Wuhan virus and masks: the Danish Mask Study; the mask data from "all U.S. jurisdictions;" the mask data from Europe; the data out of Florida; data from the complete NFL season; the data from the Super Bowl; the data from school districts in Texas and Florida that began school last August, have remained open, didn't cancel events, and never mandated masks; and so on. 

Lastly, recall that Walmart, Kroger, and the like didn't mandate masks until July. We went months in and out of these stores where no masks were required, the virus was supposedly raging, and yet hospitals sat nearly empty. The masks/mask mandates perpetuate the shutdown/lockdown narrative that has destroyed hundreds of thousands of businesses, millions of individual incomes, kept schools and churches closed, etc. If the masks were truly effective, we wouldn't have the data we have. If the masks were truly necessary, there's no way the vast majority of businesses--including Walmart, Kroger, Outback, McDonald's and the like, and every small business (especially restaurants) that require people be indoors for extended periods of time--could properly operate. If there were zero mask mandates and zero mask usage across the U.S., it is very doubtful that our national health outcomes from the Wuhan virus would've been any different. 

(See this post at American Thinker.)

Copyright 2021, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor is the author of The Miracle and Magnificence of America
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com

Sunday, March 21, 2021

COVID Commies

 There's a reason that our approach to the Wuhan virus reeks of Communism: 

Rand Paul was somewhat right when he accused Fauci and his ilk of engaging in political "theatre" when it comes to masks and the like. Tragically, what we are witnessing with many the leftists in our government, and those like-minded, is FAR more nefarious than mere "theatre." Millions of American individuals, and hundreds-of-thousands of American businesses, churches, and schools have been duped into following--or worse: enthusiastically embracing--the "corona-communism" of the champions of Big Government in America. 

The longer this charade plays out, the more it becomes clear--as school districts in Texas and Florida have recently revealed--that almost everything we have done to "slow the spread" has been worthless and unnecessary. Along with the useless masks and the foolish lockdowns, this includes the "six feet" nonsense, as even the leftist hacks as CNBC recently had to admit:

Not only have many Americans had enough of this anti-science, freedom-destroying garbage, but liberty-loving people the world over are taking to the streets, burning their masks, and saying ENOUGH! (Video below doesn't begin until about 12 minutes in.)


Copyright 2021, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor is the author of The Miracle and Magnificence of America
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com


Thursday, March 11, 2021

Today’s Democrats Are the Poster Children for “Neanderthal Thinking”

As most well know by now, Joe Biden thinks it is “Neanderthal thinking” for Americans to take off their masks and get back to church, work, school, and play. One would think that a U.S. President who refuses to hold a press conference, and, while in office barely over a month, has been caught numerous times struggling to put together coherent sentences, would be careful about hurling around insults accusing others of “Neanderthal thinking.” 

To be fair, Biden is likely suffering with dementia, and this is no laughing matter—for him or the country. No one dealing with such a struggle should be taunted with insults on their mental difficulties. However, a healthy Joe Biden, along with countless other democrats, have for decades provided us with numerous examples of what truly could be described as “Neanderthal thinking.” 

The quickest path into Neanderthal thinking is the “wide road” away from God and His Word and wisdom. The Democrat Party in America has been on this dangerous road for a very long time. Democrat Rep. Jerry Nadler recently reminded us of this when the U.S. House debated the evil “Equality Act.” After Republican Rep. Greg Stuebe used Scripture on the House floor to help shine light on the evils of the “Equality Act,” Nadler responded by declaring, “Mr. Steube, what any religious tradition ascribes as God’s will is no concern of this Congress.”

What is God’s will has long been of “no concern” to modern democrats and has resulted in Neanderthal thinking on a wide array of issues, leading to many tragic public policies. Few things illustrate this better than the democrats’ “Equality Act.” The definition of “Neanderthal thinking” should include the phrase, “unable or unwilling to articulate properly the definition of who is a male and who is a female.” 

Yet, the “Equality Act” aims to obfuscate what biology and sound morality have always known. In other words, with this wicked legislation, democrats are ignoring and undermining what was made clear “in the beginning” and attempts to make criminals out of those who live according to the biblical (and biological) view of who is a male and who is a female. 

Of course, democrats’ struggles with biology are not limited to biological sex. Their Neanderthal thinking on life has led to the slaughter of tens of millions of unborn children. Since the early 1970s, almost every time democrats gain power in America—whether at the national, state, or local level—they rush to promote and enable the killing of the most innocent and helpless among us. Led by Joe Biden, tragically—and much to the dismay of foolish “Pro-Life Evangelicals For Biden”—today’s democrats are no different. 

In 2020, abortion was the leading cause of death worldwide. This has been the case for decades. According to Worldometer statistics, last year, abortion killed more human beings than cancer, malaria, HIV/AIDS, smoking, alcohol, and traffic accidents combined. Additionally, since 1973, when democrats and their Neanderthal-thinking allies in the U.S. Supreme court legalized the killing of the unborn across America, abortion has been the leading cause of death in the United States. (According to the CDC, in 2019, the leading cause of death in the U.S.—659,041 total—was heart disease. Every year since 1973 the Guttmacher Institute reports over 700k annual abortions in the U.S.)

Neanderthal thinking among today’s democrats has now led to a “war on mathematics” in America’s schools. This has resulted in a stunningly stupid concept called “ethnomathematics.” This absurd “education trend,” among many other terrible things, argues that “White supremacy manifests itself in the focus on finding the right answer.” According to Fox News, the training on “ethnomathematics” declares, 

The concept of mathematics being purely objective is unequivocally false, and teaching it is even much less so. Upholding the idea that there are always right and wrong answers perpetuate objectivity as well as fear of open conflict. …

It should be totally unsurprising that those opposed to the Bible and what it reveals would also be opposed to anything that is “purely objective.”

It turns out that, according to Neanderthal-thinking liberals, not only is math racist, but so is good writing. An Associate Dean at Arizona State University recently penned a 358-page book that details how “grading students’ writing is a form of racism and white supremacy.” According to Legal Insurrection

In a book titled “Labor-Based Grading Contracts: Building Equity and Inclusion in the Compassionate Writing Classroom,” professor Asao Inoue encourages teachers to ditch grading for a “labor-based” grading system wherein students earn grades based on their effort. The quality of a student’s writing would not help or hinder their course grade.

“This book focuses on one kind of grading contract, one that calculates final course grades purely by the labor students complete, not by any judgments of the quality of their writing,” Inoue writes. 

Anyone want to guess who Dean Inoue voted for in the 2020 presidential election? 

Only Neanderthal thinking could lead one to be so often wrong on the same issue and yet continue for decades unwaveringly to preach and teach—and attempt to make horrific public policy on—the same falsehoods. This is where modern democrats are on the matter of climate change. For decades, the climate cultists from the “New Religion of First World Elites” have attempted to use fear (the destruction of the planet) and a fake cause (saving the planet) to convince Americans to vote for democrats and enact the perverse science-denying—aka “Neanderthal thinking”—climate agenda of the modern left. 

Though their meteorologists often get the 5-day forecast wrong, the same people who tell us that “gender is a spectrum” want us to take their 100-year climate forecasts as the gospel truth, because, you know, “SCIENCE!” The Neanderthal thinkers who run the bastions of liberalism in America—like San Francisco—can’t even keep their streets free of human feces, yet we’re supposed to trust such politicians when it comes to something as magnificently complex as the global climate. Maybe they should put their efforts toward building a better pooper-scooper.

Speaking of “so often being wrong on the same issue,” the only recent issue that rivals the democrats’ voluminous folly on climate change is their repeated Neanderthal thinking on the Trump-Russia-collusion lie. After years of screaming that Trump colluded with the Russians to steal the 2016 presidential election—and with their lackeys in the media giving them countless hours of airtime to do so—democrats came up completely empty in their nefarious attempts to prove such.

As Tucker Carlson put in in March of 2019, “We have lived through three separate investigations into Russia collusion, not just Mueller, but a committee in the House and a committee in the Senate and they spent years looking in this and in the end, they found nothing…” It turns out that the only campaign that colluded with the Russians was Hillary Clinton’s. As the late-great Rush Limbaugh noted, “Mueller knew from day one there was no collusion.”

Andy McCarthy rightly concluded, the Mueller report was “A hysteria without a cause; a report without a point.” As Daniel Greenfield put it, democrats “invented the Russian conspiracy, then they faked the crimes.” And when you have to fake crimes in what has been rightly described as “the biggest political scandal in the history of the United States,” much Neanderthal thinking ensues. 

That brings us back to the issue that started all of this: democrats and the Wuhan virus. In spite of what Joe Biden would have us believe, since the Wuhan virus entered the U.S., it has been democrats who have burdened millions of Americans with a mountain of Neanderthal thinking. Whether the immoral and unnecessary lockdowns, the useless masks, school closings, cases and hospitalizations, and so on, in order to cling to their COVID authoritarianism, democrats have repeatedly ignored science and the data. In other words, tragically, the Wuhan virus crisis again reveals who are the real Neanderthal thinkers in America. 

(See this column at American Thinker.)

Copyright 2021, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor is the author of The Miracle and Magnificence of America
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Woke Coke is No Joke (and Nothing New)

As much as conservatives in America love capitalism, many U.S. capitalists sure seem to hate conservatives—especially Christian conservatives. On virtually every issue important to conservatives of all stripes, large U.S. corporations (“Big Corp” for this column) stand opposed—almost unanimously!—to American conservatives.  

In other words, to the detriment of America and the truth, Big Corp has gone “woke.” Coca-Cola provides the most recent and egregious example of gross corporate wokeness. According to a whistleblower, Coca-Cola is forcing its employees to complete online training that instructs them on “What it Means to Be White” and how to “Try and be less white.”  

This racist training declares that, 

To be less white is to:  

be less oppressive 

be less arrogant 

be less certain 

be less defensive 

be less ignorant 

be more humble 

listen 

believe 

break with apathy 

break with white solidarity …  

No doubt this garbage is directly the result of Coca-Cola bowing to the evil efforts of the “woke” army of Black Lives Matter (BLM) and the like. As Al Perrotta recently put it, “Of course, it’s doubtful anybody with any brains in Coca-Cola’s leadership really believes such racist, divisive gibberish. But they do believe the Woke Warriors won’t let them rest until they push this poison onto their employees.”  

Thanks in large part to Big Corp, as cities were looted and burned across America in 2020, BLM raked in tens of millions of dollars. As reported last year by Jordan Davidson at The Federalist, Amazon, Pepsi’s Gatorade, Microsoft, Warner Records, Intel, and numerous other members of Big Corp helped to line the stuffed coffers at BLM. Of course, this will do nothing if not embolden BLM and its allies to continue their violent, destructive, and grifting ways. In addition, the lavish funding of BLM will further promote their racist agenda. None of this is good for America.  

Coca-Cola is far from alone when it comes to its corporate “wokeness.” Under Armour has also recently come under fire for forcing employees to endure “anti-white diversity training videos.” Long before “woke” and its derivatives entered our lexicon, Big Corp had surrendered to the agenda of the modern left. Decades ago, Big Corp quickly got on the bandwagons of the radical pro-abortion agenda, the perverse LGBT agenda, and so on.  

According to very recent polling by Echelon Insights, the top issues for republicans (yes, not all republicans are reliably conservative, but virtually all conservatives vote republican) that are a “problem for the country” are (in order of importance):  

·         Illegal immigration 

·         Lack of support for the police 

·         High taxes 

·         Liberal bias in the mainstream media 

·         General moral decline of the country 

·         Socialism 

·         Antifa violence 

·         China 

·         Legal abortion in the third trimester 

·         Election fraud 

·         Tech company censorship 

·         Discrimination against Christians 

Other than perhaps “high taxes” (and even this means something different to individual conservatives than it means to Big Corp) there’s not an issue in this list that Big Corp has taken a stand on that is favorable to conservatism. For example, “Corporate Supremacists”—as Brian Schuster described them in 2018—“love mass immigration.” What he means is they love illegal immigration. One reason for this is, as Schuster put it,  

A steady stream of immigrants means a steady stream of competition for jobs. Workers generate profit for multinational corporations, and the cheaper a company’s labor costs are, the more profit is left over for the corporate supremacists at workers’ expense. 

Just after the 2020 Presidential Election, the New York Post reported that “Big Tech” began lobbying the incoming Biden administration to “reverse President Trump’s stricter immigration policies.” According to the Post, “rescinding Trump’s [immigration] actions is the industry’s top priority next year.”  

Media corporations that are part of Big Corp are the main reason that conservatives are concerned about “liberal bias in the mainstream media.” Because this bias helps to further the left’s agenda, other members of Big Corp play along. In fact, in attempts to censor conservatives, many of them have sometimes engaged in advertising boycotts.  

Tragically, hundreds of members of Big Corp—including Amazon, Apple, AT&T, Best Buy, Capital One, Chevron, Citigroup, Coca-Cola, Dell, Delta Airlines, Dominos, E-TRADE, Food Lion, General Motors, Google, Hershey, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Kellogg, MasterCard, Mattel, Microsoft, Netflix, Nike, PepsiCo, Sony, Starbucks, Target, Texas Instruments, Uber, and many others—have thrown their support behind the evil—and misnamed—“Equality Act.” Thanks to democrat control and the support of Big Corp, this abomination recently passed the U.S. House. Perhaps more than any other collection of words in recent history, the “Equality Act” epitomizes the “general moral decline” of America.  

As many others have already noted, the evil “Equality Act” promotes anything but “equality.” Among other disastrous consequences, if the “Equality Act” becomes law, it would make criminals out of those who live according to the biblical (and biological) view of who is a male and who is a female; it would gut religious liberty and compel speech; it would ruin women’s and girls’ sports; it would endanger women and girls; it would allow for children to be taken from their parents, and so on. Yet Big Corp finds all of this not only acceptable, but necessary. 

Clearly these “woke” corporations have forgotten their foundations and forgotten what allows for their continued existence and prosperity. They have forgotten—or choose to ignore—that they could only have prospered as they have in the United States of America. Most importantly, they have forgotten God and His law. As I point out in The Miracle and Magnificence of America, the United States is the world’s most enduring constitutional republic and the world’s most powerful and prosperous nation—which has produced the world’s largest and wealthiest corporations—because our Founders rightly feared God and dually embraced the principles of Christianity and free market capitalism (as espoused by Adam Smith in The Wealth of Nations).

Many liberals in America—including many now in D.C. —would’ve long ago shredded the U.S. Constitution. The Constitution endures because it is worth conserving, and from the beginning of this great nation, conservatives in America have long understood that fact. If anything is worth conserving it is those things that have been settled for all time, and more than any other governing document written by mankind, the U.S. Constitution embraces this notion. 

Again, to the great detriment of America (or any nation) “wokeness” is a war on the truth. Like individuals, corporations embrace this deadly ideology because they ignore God and go their own way. As has been the case for all time, if we want this to change, we need revival and repentance in our corporate boardrooms. 

(See this column at American Thinker and The Blue State Conservative.) 

Copyright 2021, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor is the author of The Miracle and Magnificence of America
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

"Masking the Science": "We Wished Masks Worked, But They Don't"

One of the best takedowns of the "masks slow (or even stop) the spread of the coronavirus" narrative--sometimes known as "wear your (expletive) mask" narrative--was recently published by two Oregon physicians, Dr. Tim Powell and Dr. John Powell. Their excellent essay entitled "Masking the Science" was published on the blog of Evergreen Family Medicine where Dr. Tim Powell is the CEO and Medical Director. I came across the piece a couple of weeks ago, and linked to it from my site. 

Yesterday (2/8/21) I was dismayed to discover that my link was to a page that no longer existed. It seems their truth-filled essay has been scrubbed from their blog. I can find it nowhere on their site. Also, I can find no explanation on the internet as to why this piece was taken down. However, I can speculate. I imagine that the cancel-culture mask Nazis targeted (and threatened) these good doctors and thier business. Much pressure was then applied--perhaps even by those like-minded as the doctors on masks, but neverthless frightened by the cancel crowd--for the docors to remove their mask-narrative destroying post. What a shame! However, as many have often rightly said, "the internet is forever." 

Using the internet archive "Wayback Machine," one can still find "Masking the Science." In the name of the truth, and to help end the wicked, widespread masking of Americans, and to help end the evil lockdown of America, here is the complete essay (including many the many informative graphics used):

1/25/2021 Masking the Science

We have purposely avoided directly confronting the issue of masks because it is such an emotional and political issue. Like waving a red flag in front of a bull, the topic elicits strong emotions which overwhelms reason. We wear a mask in the hospital and don a N95 mask, gown and gloves when we see a patient known to have COVID-19. Masks are used for source control when patients are admitted with various types of infectious respiratory diseases. After the visit, we dispense of the gown, gloves and change into our regular surgical mask to continue patient rounds. In public, we wear a cloth mask to comply with executive orders and as a courtesy to others who feel afraid and uncomfortable. Like most of you, we rarely wash the mask, we stick it in our pockets, pick it out of the glove compartment or off the floorboard when we need it.

In truth, we wish masks worked. If they did, it would be a cheap, and easy way to control the spread of Covid. The idea that they protect not only their wearer, but also those people around them seems noble. We wished masks worked because citizens are spending billions of dollars on them.

We wish masks worked because most Americans wear them now. Telling them it was unnecessary will not make them happy. We wish masks worked because they have become a symbol for virtue and social responsibility. Anyone who doubts their utility is personally attacked; as though they don’t believe the viral pandemic is real, or don’t care about those who die from it.

We wish masks worked, because they distract from other important Covid related issues such as: school closings, lack of access for non COVID related illness, increased mental illness, elderly dying alone, missed youth experiences, substance abuse, suicides, increased poverty and homelessness, suppression of free speech, censorship of science, disruption of supply chains, government agencies used to oppress small businesses, restriction of religious gatherings, travel disruptions, isolation protocols, modeling over actual data, quarantines, lockdowns, contact tracing, and global harm of the economy that most impacts the working class, vulnerable and poor.

We wish masks worked.

But they don’t.

At least, not the cloth and surgical masks you see in the public arena. They litter the landscape and waterways. They are difficult for people with disabilities and small children. It promotes natural germaphobe tendencies and indoctrinates the young to see their fellow humankind as a sack of germs.

There have been many randomized controlled trials (RCT) and meta-analysis of previous studies that suggest that masks do not work to prevent influenza- like illnesses, or respiratory illness transmitted by droplets and aerosol particles – like Covid. This knowledge was the basis for the WHO and CDC recommending against the public wearing masks in the spring of 2020. It was repeated by authorities and experts at every level.

Dr. Jerome Adams, the Surgeon General tweeted, “Seriously people – STOP BUYING MASKS! They are NOT effective in preventing the general public from catching Coronavirus”

Dr. Anthony Fauci told 60 minutes, “There’s no reason to be walking around with a mask”.

In April, the New England Journal of Medicine wrote: “we know that wearing a mask outside of health care facilities offers little, if any protection from infection”.

What changed? Well, it wasn’t the science.

All studies are not equal. The gold standard of medical evidence comes from randomly controlled studies. Recent observational studies that were used to support mask mandates were poorly designed for confounding factors, carried out in medical environments, and then, impressions were extrapolated to the general public. Studies that evaluated the viral exposure of mice in a cage covered with mask material vs. caged mice without a mask cover does not seem to translate well to a world of humans who use their hands. In contrast, a recent Danish mask study of the general public that was performed in a prospective, randomized fashion did not endorse the current majority narrative and was vigorously criticized and suppressed by some.

A new drug, medical product or procedure would never be approved based on this type of evidence.

Logic argues against mask effectiveness. The size differential between viral particle or droplet size expelled from the human respiratory tract compared to the filter size of surgical or cloth masks is substantial. If you read the fine print on most consumer masks, one will likely read a statement such as this; “not intended for medical purposes and has not been tested to reduce the transmission of disease”.

The best studies are outcome based and measure “patient oriented evidence that matters.” A pharmaceutical company may show their statin drug greatly reduces cholesterol and science can show a correlation between cholesterol and heart disease. So, the obvious premise is that lowering cholesterol reduces risk of heart attacks.

Except it doesn’t. At least not for primary prevention in patients without preexisting vascular disease. It is why you must do the study. Does the intervention work in real world conditions?

In August, Pew Research reported that 85% of Americans said they wore masks in public all or most of the time. If this is so, and if masks are effective, why has the incidence of SARS-Cov-2 increased so rapidly? Why is there not a favorable correlation between mask usage and disease transmission in countries and states with different mask policies?

If masks and lockdowns work, why don’t they work?

The graph below shows the daily number of deaths per million in the UK, France, Spain, Italy and Sweden from March to December. The number to the right reflects the percentage of the population that report wearing a mask in public spaces. Sweden has the lowest number of deaths per million in this comparison despite only 7.7% of the surveyed population reported wearing a mask. For those who argue that Norway, Denmark and Finland have lower mortality rates than Sweden. They would be correct, but these countries also have much lower rates of mask use compared to other European countries (less than 50%). Masks have been oversold as a solution.



Dr. Anders Tegnell, Sweden’s state epidemiologist said, “face masks are an easy solution, and I’m deeply distrustful of easy solutions to complex problems”. He was right. Sweden now (1/23/2021) has fewer deaths per million people (1086) than the United States (1284). In fact, they have a lower death rate than 30 of our states. History is replete with examples when politics or religion meddles with science and adversely impacts solutions. Dr. Martin Kulldorff has argued against widespread public mask mandates from the beginning. He is a professor at Harvard Medical School and a leader in disease surveillance methods and infectious disease outbreaks. He describes the current pandemic policy of COVID lockdowns and mask use this way; “after 300 years, the Age of Enlightenment has ended.”

At this point, many do not need an expert opinion to trust their own intuition and lying eyes that masks are not working. Everyone wants to mitigate the transmission of the virus, but let’s focus on what works.

But, wearing a mask is so easy to do. Can’t you just shut up and wear the damn mask?

Why are we poking this tiger, this mask issue now?

Because there is mass hysteria, and many are blind to it.

Because it’s an irrational and divisive policy when unity is required more than ever.

Because evidence should matter.

Because in 2019, if we saw a father struggling to muzzle a terrified, crying 2-year old child on a plane with a cloth, we would report them to authorities for possible child abuse. In 2021, we kick the whole family off the plane unless the father is successful in his efforts.

Because of a young man with autism who is unable to tolerate a mask on his face is publicly shamed.

Because the masks offer a false sense of security and may adversely impact more important public health mitigation measures.

Because our local high school cross-country teams should not be running the trails wearing masks.

Because the Oregon Board of Medicine suspended the license of a physician who objected to this policy.

Because one of the greatest losses in this pandemic has been the loss of credibility of organizations for whom we held in high regard. Organizations such as the CDC, WHO and Public Health Organizations that need to maintain the trust of the citizens.

Because it is increasingly apparent that the basis for the mask mandate is not medical, but political.

Because fear and panic should not prevail over actual evidence, even when many powerful institutions have expended so much political capital promoting the wrong policy.

We wish masks worked.

We wished we didn’t have to fight about them.

But they don’t.

And we do.

Tim Powell MD
John Powell MD

If you want to see more graphs, we have included them below as well as a video demonstration.












In September 2020, the CDC acknowledged that SARS-Cov-2 could be spread in an aerosolized manner. Masks are ineffective against this mode of transmission. Early in this pandemic, some physicians showed video evidence of how masks might work as a source control for droplet transmission of COVID-19. Unfortunately, this is not the case for aerosolized transmission of viruses as demonstrated in the video below.



Monday, February 1, 2021

Democrats' Climate Agenda Will Mimic Their COVID Tyranny

If you’ve enjoyed the last 10 months of foolish, science-denying lockdowns and mask mandates, the widespread destruction of businesses and economies, the government telling you what jobs are “essential” and how you are to conduct yourself in your own home, then you must absolutely love the democrats’ climate agenda.

For decades, the climate cultists from the “New Religion of First World Elites” have attempted to use fear—the destruction of the planet—and a fake cause—saving the planet—to convince Americans to vote for democrats and enact the perverse science-denying climate agenda of the modern left. For a primer on how this would work, look no further than 2020.

As soon as the Wuhan virus entered the U.S. in early 2020, democrats across the U.S. saw it as a means to a political end. Of course, consumed with hatred and obsessed with the removal of President Trump, the 2020 Presidential Election was their primary political target. To help accomplish this, democrats in politics and the media rampantly spread Wuhan virus fear porn. Subsequently, democrat mayors and governors across the U.S—encouraged and enabled by their like-minded allies in D.C. and the media—enacted widespread and economically devastating lockdowns and accompanying measures.

In spite of the fact that most of these measures were unproven and unnecessary—time again has proven this true—the democrats persisted because “orange man bad.” They also persisted because, to paraphrase David Horowitz, inside every leftist is a totalitarian screaming to get out. Because of their lust for political power—because they have made a god of government—leftists are always looking for the next problem that their government elites (supposedly) alone can “solve.” Again, the Wuhan virus provided an excellent opportunity for this.

If you can convince people that they’re going to die if they don’t do as you say, those in power hold great sway. As C.S. Lewis cautioned lovers of liberty in the mid-twentieth century, “A hungry man thinks about food, not freedom.” Today, a corollary to this would be, “A man living in a pandemic thinks about remaining healthy and alive, not about his liberties.”

Likewise, if you think the planet is doomed if we don’t do away with fossil fuels or stop eating beef, then you are probably willing to give power to those who promise to take such things away—by force, if necessary. After all, if the planet is doomed otherwise, what force to do such things could be unjustified?

Whether a virus “emergency” or a climate “crisis,” in an attempt to justify their totalitarian agenda, leftists the world over tell us that we must heed their so-called “experts” along with their computer models. Most often, the main role for these “experts” is to give a Big Government, which is already too willing to encroach on our lives, even more of a reason for doing so. This is especially true in times of crisis, whether the crisis is real or manufactured.

Sadly, as 2020 well demonstrated, in such times many of us are far too eager to become what Lewis called in 1958 “Willing Slaves of the Welfare State.” Typically, in order for any oligarchy to rise and rule effectively, it needs some “extreme peril,” something to cure, some desperate need that the rulers promise to fulfill. As Lewis asked, is this not “the ideal opportunity for enslavement?”

When a generation lives in fear or dread of some looming crisis or when a society is made to believe that someone else can provide the things that it supposedly cannot live without, is this not the opportunity for those who seek to rule over us to be seen as liberators rather than the totalitarian tyrants that they are?

Today’s totalitarian left is devoted to scientism, and their government can well be described as a technocracy. Thus, when the American left is in power, the motto of the technocrats prevails: “only science can save us now” or “science is the way out.” Whether it is a global pandemic, global warming—excuse me, “climate change”—stem-cell research, the beginning of life, healthcare, crime, homosexuality and marriage, or even gun control, racism, or economic policies, the technocrats claim to have the answers.

Scientism almost always leads to a technocracy. “I dread government in the name of science,” said Lewis. “That is how tyrannies come in.” What a profound conclusion! How many of us have been duped in the name of “science?” How many of us cower and yield—or “shelter at home”—because, well, if the “scientists” (and then the politicians) tell us to do so, then we must do so?

Sadly, too many of us then grow accustomed to our chains. We become children, or pupils of the State (like “Julia”). We continue to elect leaders who perpetuate the cycle of the “Welfare State,” based significantly on the lies of scientism. Like their agenda to fight the Wuhan virus, the left’s climate agenda reeks of scientism and technocracy.

There is hardly a cause in the universe that has gotten more wrong than the climate cultists who, for decades, have proffered a wide array of climate catastrophes that require immediate, or near-immediate, actions. Time and again these doomsday scenarios have been proven wrong. These climate cultists have long relied on the deceptive use of data to push their totalitarian agenda. Daily it seems we are subjected to “another global warming fraud.” I suppose everybody needs an Apocalypse—especially totalitarians lusting for power.

Climate science has become such a joke that the “faithful” for years now have been led by a child. However, their dangerous and destructive climate policies are no joke. The left has shown us what they will do when governing in a “crisis.” However, I fear that lockdowns and mask mandates will pale in comparison to what will be called for if the American left’s climate agenda gets the force of U.S. law. We’ve seen how many businesses the left can destroy in the name of controlling a virus; imagine the destruction they can wreak if they control America’s energy policy.

(See this column at American Thinker and Climate Depot.)

Copyright 2020, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor is the author of the The Miracle and Magnificence of America
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com