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Another day of “coincidences” to address another concept: character. The definition of character is simple: the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual. Good character, bad character, no character are all descriptions of an individual. No one talks about the character of a community or nation. I read the following account from Ann Barnhardt describing bad character:
I stopped into a church today intending to pray the whole Rosary (all 15 decades) sitting before Our Lord reposed in a tabernacle. I got through the Joyful Mysteries when a crazy man/professional panhandler entered the church begging for handouts. He zeroed in on me and wouldn’t relent. I tried to ignore him. Then… he touched me.
There were two men, excuse me, “men”, who were associated with the church sitting behind me, so I enjoined them to render assistance. [What I just did in that last sentence is called “foreshadowing”. Can you guess how THAT turned out??] They replied that there was nothing they could do. Ah, the battle cry of the post-Christian “man”: THERE’S NOTHING I CAN DO!
I cannot imagine not defending a woman in a church (or anywhere else). A second coincidence involved what I call playing the “victim”. Instead of verifying both sides of a story, we tend to side with the “victim”.
Playing the victim to gain sympathy is effective: especially if you use some facts to bolster your case. In yet another of what is an unending series of attacks, the victim started with this statement: “Not to speak is to speak”. The correct Bonhoeffer quote is:
“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”
In this particular instance of “no character”, the woman representing evil uses a portion of a greater concept. This is a typical example of using a half truth as a truth to make a point. That is not to say that portions of this quote cannot be used to make a larger statement. My lower receiver on my AR-15 reads “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil” to remind me that it is our duty to the Lord to fight evil.
It is no surprise that people of bad character and no character are attracted to each other. Just as people of good character are attracted to each other. But it seems that people of bad or no character seek the approval of people of good character. A real life example is a man of bad character telling people of good character that he removed a child pornography virus from the computer of a common acquaintance to gain their approval. It always amazes me why people would trust people of questionable character.
But the real question is how do you determine the character of an individual? In our culture, most people would judge someone by their actions. The Bible teaches us the difference between good works and the path to salvation. The Bible also teaches us to keep silent about our works. Although it is counter intuitive, the man who consistently has to tell people about his actions usually is a man of bad or no character seeking approval where none is deserved.
The important next question is how do we determine the character of a nation? Contrary to individual salvation, there is no collective salvation for a nation as our pResident stated:
Is it even appropriate to consider the character of a nation? The founding principles of our Republic are Sacred honor, morality and virtue. Does this apply to a nation or the people as a whole? What can be said about a nation which has condoned the murder of over 50 million babies through abortion? We can only measure the character of a nation by the character of its people. If the people of a nation are not willing to stand up to evil, we have no character as a nation. We cannot play the victim as a means to build character. And that is a hard lesson that has yet to be learned.