In biblical times, there were Jonah and Jeremiah. In the 19th and 20th century there were John Quincy Adams, Clement Vallandingham, Anthony Comstock, Smedley Butler, Joseph McCarthy and Robert Welch. In more recent years, Joe Scheidler, Randall Terry, Michelle Bachmann, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Ron Paul and Donald Trump. In Alaska we have Lora Reinbold, David Eastman and Schaeffer Cox.

Who are these people? Depending on your politics, they are sitting in either the Hall of Fame or Wall of Shame. Some were vilified in their own time, others by historians. All of them attracted a large following, some still do. But the engine of propaganda has worked, or is working, to massage the “official record” to basically either permanently discredit them, or force most of their supporters to distance themselves.

They were not perfect. Who is? Some became overconfident and overblown in their importance which contributed to their own fall. Others were led into a carefully prepared and intricate trap. Some came to accept their lot and learned to ignore the censure served up to them.

But they also have one thing in common: they had principles and truth that needed exposure for the public to see. They did not enjoy saying what they had to say, yet they entered the cauldron because of an invisible Voice and a Guiding Hand called them to do so.

The Truth looks at the long game and acts for our own edification, while lies play for the short term and our ultimate demise.

The prophet Jeremiah had this to say about such times:

O Lord, you have duped me, and I let myself be duped. Thou art stronger than I, and hast prevailed: I am a laughingstock daily, everyone mocks me. For since I spoke, I cried out, “Violence and spoil!” But the word of the Lord was made a reproach and insult unto me, daily.

Then I said, I will not make mention of Him, nor speak any more in His name. Yet His word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am groaning, and am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.

I hear many whispering, “Terror is on every side! Report him! Let’s report him!” All my trusted friends are waiting for me to fall, saying, “Perhaps he will be deceived; then we will prevail over him and take our revenge on him.”

Most of the characters mentioned above, the contemporary ones, still await the so-called “Verdict of History.” But even for those whose reputations have been destroyed, a higher Judge is the only one that counts. Reputation is what man thinks of you. Character is what God thinks.

Most readers will not recognize all those in the list above. If you find information on them, especially through “mainstream” sources, they will not be complimentary. Most, however, receive at least a grudgingly brief acknowledgment that their actions and claims had some merit. Every one of these people were, or are, subject to ridicule and absurd caricature, yet their names persist. Their supporters risk ridicule merely for siding with them. And what was the message?

Consider first what it is not: the messages are not trying to foist upon society a novel understanding of human nature. Rather, a criticism of it.

Tyranny cannot stand dissent. It survives through the maxim “Conform or die.”

But today’s “court-approved prophets” are telling us the opposite: that the unborn child is a “commodity,” and its humanity is dependent upon some ethereal and changing definition. They tell us that men can become pregnant, that there is an infinite number of gender identities being discovered every day, that paper money is authentic wealth, that the earth is cracking in two, that elections are true and fairly conducted, that all white persons are born racists, that Green energy is perfectly affordable and capable, that pro-lifers and Christians are terrorists, that Covid came from monkeys, that masks help to prevent its spread, that the Covid jab is perfectly safe and effective, that man is a blight upon the planet, that we can create new hybrid species through genetic engineering, and that there is no such thing as the Deep State, nor a conspiracy of mega-wealthy globalists.

On the other hand, the message of the modern Jeremiah’s is a critique of human nature and our unwillingness to hear unpleasant truths. They point out that there are murderous people masking themselves as friends of humanity, that there is a Deep State using its own citizens and foreign countries as straw men to strike fear through their propaganda, that it hires provocateurs to guide and encourage violence, that there are mad scientists given the power of government, that there is a conspiracy of wealthy globalists who are drunk with power, that our government has long been infiltrated by foreign enemies, that all established news networks are manipulated for one narrative, that the Constitution has long been warped and broken for nefarious purposes by various presidents, that the Natural Law of God cannot long be suppressed and that we are risking a nuclear cataclysm.

These are not popular themes, but Truth is its own reward. Medicines and cures are usually sour. Lies are sweet tasting lollypops that provide childish distractions. The Truth looks at the long game and acts for our own edification, while lies play for the short term and our ultimate demise. How many of their warnings given just three years ago have proven to be true? How many from the “court-approved prophets” have proven to be lies?

As time passes and the prophets are eventually grudgingly admired, the usual face-saving retort is, “Well OK, they were right. But their methods were wrong and obnoxious. If only they had more skill at style points.”

This loses sight of the fact that style points do not grab people’s attention. Jesus was not “nice.” He overturned tables, made seemingly mad and impossible claims and predictions, scolded the powerful to their faces, and was betrayed because of that.

The default position of today’s conservatives ought to consider that the purveyors of lies are – in almost all cases – found in the daily newspapers, radio and television networks and their online blogs. They accuse opponents, who dare to challenge them, of being liars. And usually, the allegedly conservative “leadership” caves in when principles must be defended.

Tyranny cannot stand dissent. It survives through the maxim “Conform or die.” While we still have freedom of speech, it is obvious that it is slipping away quickly – but our own Jeremiah’s are using it while they still can.

Even if it once was, Alaska is no longer an island of sanity. But this is our corner of the garden, and the weeds must be pulled.

And thank God that we have weed pullers. We all might consider their message with closer scrutiny.

The views expressed here are those of the author.

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OPINION: Vilifying truth-tellers in Alaska and beyond

Bob Bird
Bob Bird ran for U.S. Senate in 1990 and 2008. He is a past president of Alaska Right to Life, a 45-year Alaska resident and a retired public school teacher. He has a passion for studying and teaching Alaska and U.S. constitutional history. He lives on the Kenai Peninsula and is currently a daily radio talk-show host for The Talk of the Kenai, on KSRM 920 AM from 3-5 pm and heard online