January Journal, Third Sunday after Epiphany

In this season of Epiphany, of manifestation, it is appropriate to consider how we converse with one another in a free country, how we manifest our own epiphanies to one another.

The power of expression reflects our national debate, such as it is. Will free speech be silenced in the wake of wokeness? Will those who disagree with the current propaganda be prosecuted for inciting violence? Time will tell whether there are enough good men and women to save our union. As Ronald Reagan said,

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”

Freedom must be fought for with words as well as wars. Such expression is manifested best in love, in love of words, in love of persons, in love of reasonable argument, in love of, at the end of the day, truth.

Pilate’s famous question, “What is truth?”, is the foundation of modern secular thought. For truth is a phantom, we are told, and it is only feeling and perception that is true. It is a happy thought for the unbeliever, the agnostic or atheist, for judgment cannot occur apart from truth. Ergo, no one sins; ergo, all are absolved.  We justify our actions with our background, race, gender, inequality or victimhood. Without God to judge, who are we to judge? today’s relativists opine.

And so, without any objective standard of perception, media in all forms becomes an expression of feeling, not truth or facts. Where journalists once sought to report the facts, they today give their opinion, or a lockstep and prevailing opinion, a politically correct opinion, and masquerade their propaganda as truth. 

In this war of words, truth is lost.

And in this war of expression, of dubious manifestation masquerading as fact, I discovered a source of news that has been a great blessing. In addition to the local left-leaning newspaper and a national paper afraid of retaliation, I discovered The Epoch Times. In print and digital formats, this newspaper, in my opinion, “gives the other side,” since there are always at least two sides. The reporting is straight forward, as opposed to opinion pages. In addition to the News, The Epoch Times offers: Opinion, Life & Tradition, Home, Mind & Body. There is a children’s page and there are book reviews. There is a wonderful section on traditional art: great paintings, great architecture, great music.

The Epoch Times has offered a balanced source for news and strengthens those aspects of American culture that need strengthening today: family, faith, education.

Which brings me to an article on the “1776 Commission,” created by former President Trump to ensure America’s school children learn America’s founding principles, teaching them why we consider our country to be the last great hope in the world. This noble effort seeks to teach our unifying principles, that we are a country where freedom and free speech ensure we honor diversity as we embrace our common language, history, and ideals:

“‘The 1776 Commission’s first and last report, despite being banished by the Biden administration, will endure because it upholds the founding principles of the United States,’ the advisory commission’s chairman said.

“The 1776 Commission, appointed by President Donald Trump for two years, was tasked with producing a report on the nation’s founding principles while providing guidance on how the federal government could promote those principles in public education. It is commonly seen as a counter to The New York Times’ 1619 Project, which has been pushed by educators who teach the American story as one that’s based upon racial oppression.”

GQ Pan, “1776 Commission Chairman: The Founding Principles Offer the Only Hope of National Unity”, The Epoch Times, January 21, 2023 

Just as Christ’s epiphany manifested God in flesh, incarnate, to the world, so we must be epiphanies, manifesting our faith and our country to the world, in spite of those who try to silence us. We must protect free speech by supporting media that speaks truth to powerful elites, offering another side to the news we see opined in mainstream outlets. We must protect speech while we still can. 

If we don’t become manifestations, shedding the light of epiphany, free speech in the public square will be cancelled.

So, I thank you, Epoch Times, for your courageous stand in our season of peril. Because of you, we can read vitally important news that is absent, has been erased, from our national debate.

And, dear readers, please support this great endeavor as best you can. It may be the last stand in this erasure of history, memory, freedom, and America herself.

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