Francis A. Schaeffer Foundation

Chalet Les Montaux

Chemin de Jermintin 3
CH - 1882 Gryon, Switzerland

Summer 2015

Just when the last of our summer students left, the rains came and refreshed the fields and our garden. We had been able to have all our meals, lunch and suppers, with lengthy discussions outside each day this summer, surrounded by the gorgeous view of the valley and mountains opposite.

The pastures wrung by generations of farmers from the forest on the slopes, where cows graze outside day and night and their bells make a pleasant and calming music from a distance, are crowned by the Argentine with its silvery rock face on the left, the Grand Muveran at 10’000 feet with the tooth-like Petit Muveran as its neighbor right in front, and then the range ends with the Dent de Morcle on the right.

There the Rhone River has carved its bed through the first line of Alps on its way into Lake Geneva and eventually the Mediterranean. The mountains are magnificent and wild, they are stable and reassuring guards over narrow valleys where for centuries people have sought shelter from human and natural enemies, and space to work and live.

Surrounded by such beauty we enjoyed the long days and late light of summer as we talked about basic questions and the Bible’s answers, the outlook we have been there to make sense of life. Creation is so masterminded, so rational in its order and present perceived disorder. It is both protection of and source for what we need in life, but also an indifferent weight and awesome power. It easily serves without intent and destroys without pity or mercy. The Swiss author Ramuz has written a historic novel Deborence, translated into more than 20 languages and into English under the title The Day the Mountain Fell, about the beauty and power, the protection and the danger of these mountains to people, their presence and distance to the small human beings always exposed to them. He describes people in the Alpine valleys fearing these mountains with their Roman Catholic and quasi-pagan superstitions. Geneva’s cultural influence will have shown Ramuz a similar effect on peasants in protestant villages who see the same mountains in their sovereign, inscrutable, and unaccountable powerful presence over them reflecting Calvin’s views on God.

To enjoy the mountains more and to change the venue for our discussions together we hiked up through cow pastures, ate fresh smoked goat cheese from a little old woman who lives for the summer among her many goats above the tree line; we sat under cliffs surmounted by pine trees like scissor cuts against the sky, in a setting reminiscent of Caspar David Friedrich, who saw human beings more lost than protected in nature. Our central pursuit was always how we understand human existence and purpose being shaped over generations in light of the Bible, how that is different from other places and cultures, and how that is or is no longer carried out in different places and ages.

We had returned in May from the semester in New York and almost immediately spent a week for lectures with students from several countries outside Tromsoe. We made use of the occasion so far north in Norway to board a postal boat for a further week to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary, in part also a gift from our children. Hugging the coast, the boat docked in many little ports inside fjords for passengers, mail and freight, including several empty coffins, up to Kirkenes near the Russian boarder and down to Bergen. I was troubled by the remains of German destruction in World War II and pleased with NATO’s awakened patrols in the face of increased Russian military provocations.

In early August we saw Isaac and Jessica off after several family gatherings to their new work in several African countries. Each of our daughters live with their families in Switzerland. We have 10 grandchildren close-by and enjoy them each. They range in age from 20 (in university) to 2 years. Isaac has started his work for the One Acre Fund (Look it up!) to improve security procedures in each of the seven countries where they operate. Jessica will assist an International organization in their mandate to examine the effectiveness of public education in Tanzania, where they will also make their home.


The conversations with our students revolved around many subjects on the foreground of the increase of horrible acts everywhere: Violence by guns in the US, a fence against refugees in Hungary, Boko Haram’s attacks in Nigeria, the destruction of history and memory in Palmyra. There were questions about the Iran Nuclear Treaty with unreliable partners (a multipolar world hardly leaves any other alternative), though constant pressure must be exerted on Iran with legal and economic means to reduce its terrible bloody mischief in other Near Eastern countries. We acknowledged the impossibility of ever realizing total security in any open or closed society: it always was an unrealistic assumption in a world after Cain and Abel; we grieved over the flood of refugees into Europe from no-longer-states and non-functioning societies (should we host all? Whom do we protect until they can return? Or are returned? Can one single out for priority care the persecuted Christians among them?). We favor legal walls and reject all others, whether set up in Berlin in the past, now in Hungary or along the US border. Israel was often reminded in the OT that they were once slaves in Egypt and thus should be generous to strangers, applying the same law to all!

We also struggle with the attraction to many, including Christians, of the Trump show: This can’t be serious!; and what about the continuing Putin problem with his Czar-like aspirations, using nationalism to hide Russia’s cultural decline,  to appease its suffering population, and his bluffs, muscular performances and self-inflicting tit-for-tat economic actions. We talked about what contributes to the gradual loss of influence and weight of the church in public life everywhere: church attendance varies, but moral scandals and intellectual insignificance abound everywhere. They prevent the Bible from even getting a real reading or hearing. With increasing effects of fragmentation in modern life people prefer to go to market, much like the Athenians in Paul’s time (Acts 17:21), and see what new attractions, directions and information are offered.

Since all life experience starts with frustration and doubt (or suffering in the Buddhists view, while the Bible proposes our life effected by Man’s eviction to the East of Eden), our conversations with students often came back to that central question about history and our part and experience in it: does what we and others do really matter? Are our experiences here and abroad intended, inevitable, in that sense normal and thus in some way deserved? Should we accept everything as planned? Does history follow in all things a totalitarian instruction and program, in which we are rolled along as the victims of a prior, possibly higher order? Is the sex trade undertaken by ISIS and the Russian mob handlers between Eastern Europe and the West part of a current larger intended program? What about forest fires in California, hunger in India, polluted oceans and dirty air to breathe?

Is it somehow intended in the nature of people that so many trying to reach Europe drown in the Mediterranean, or die of thirst and exhaustion in the Arizona desert, or are shot out of the sky over Ukraine by a Russian rocket? One verse in the Joseph story in Genesis is always cited to hold that view: “God intended it for good”. Does that supersede and perhaps sanctify the brother’s evil intention? That is no silly question: One student this summer heard the suggestion in a funeral sermon that God had called the father of a young man ‘home’ at a specific time to be with his own father for father’s day in 2015! What, God adjusts to our cultural calendar?

Such intentionality thinking suggests a prior cause or conspiracy, benevolent or evil, everywhere; e.g. in simple narratives it gives reasons for the appearance of a rhinoceros: its ugliness is due to an assembly of pieces left over at creation, which in turn makes it hide in rivers, where this vegetarian can’t harm any fish. It is forced to return on land at night to eat plants, and so on….An unbroken line of intended steps, born from a desire to have all of it fit by removing all.

But there is no such unbroken causation for people wherever we are free to choose. For, according to the Bible we originate actions as part of a multitude of actors, people and powers, responsible for is at heart a morally demanding, and then often produces a contradictory, and therefore objectionable sequence of events. What is observed demands intelligent inquiry, moral evaluation and chosen responses in actions. Under the influence of the Bible’s teaching for generations we respond critically from a position of freedom, or independence and distance from complete causation, standing up to analyze, resist and create alternatives and solutions. God did exactly that for Joseph and his brothers.

Entrepreneurship is not only required for business, but in all human efforts to limit and stand up against the weight of historic or inherited situations. Humans are made in the image of the creative, loving, judging and redeeming God of the Bible, not some impersonal divinity. Our example is Jesus, not our surrounding nature in its fallen compromise. He is the express image of God the Father (Hebrews 1:2ff); he is the living Word “in (and from) the beginning.”

It is a fundamental concern of the Bible that we grow in knowledge of God and creation. We discern, act and revolt in line with and obedience to God’s own word, thereby also exhibiting the Lordship of Jesus. He did not accept all events as necessary, but stood up to evil in whatever manifestation present in nature, in people’s reasoning and their lives. He repelled and denounced also the work of the evil spirits. Jesus redeems through action rather than acceptance, through the payment for sin and the conquest of death. He does not cover all things with a divine presence, but uncovers and removes all brokenness, evil and death itself.

Made in the image of God, we should take the same moral stand and follow his example. In his nature God is good and committed to redeem his broken creation. Impersonal nature always follows a closed program, even in its current damaged form, in which everything still functions “according to their kind” (Genesis 1). Particular to “our kind” as people, to the nature of human beings, is thinking about our life and living our thoughts. Thinking morally is the first form of action in response to life’s questions. It requires work and effort, and then changes the form of life by subsequent moral action.

The possibility of choice in itself rejects all notions of a closed history of necessary events. Choosing is an essential part of our human experience and has its corollary in language, our legal system, our concern about human rights and individual responsibility. Genuine choice is absent from Greek Drama, in Islam, in African and East Asian religions and cultural habits, where consequently there is no notion of sin.  Note the difference between American and German admissions of racial discrimination in their history, while Japan has a much harder time to admit its terrible colonial practices in Asia in the first half of the 20th century.

A similar denial of choice is also found in much modern scientific reductionism with the eventual elimination of human accountability. C. S. Lewis discusses this in relation to the supposedly humane forms of punishment in a collection of articles published as “God in the Dock”. Sin and repentance, morality and responsibility are meaningless concepts without the reality of original and thus genuine choices.

Among the possible explanations of reality only the Bible speaks of a moral responsibility to engage in history, to effect its course and to object to human and natural evil in obedience to what Jesus calls “the great command”: to love God and each neighbor. The Bible starts with the eternal existence of that God (“In the beginning God…”) as a plurality of persons, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the Triune God (“Let us…). This is not a totalitarian power, unlike all impersonal ‘energy’ in the sciences or the Hegelian dialectic which Marx and Lenin/Stalin used to justify a central control, but the God of love, truth, beauty and compassion. Evil is not in his nature (“He saw that it was very good…”). Evil and death on earth are a later creation by Adam and Eve’s choices; neither are a necessary or intrinsic part of creation or subsequent history.

In light of the Bible there is then no justification for any form of totalitarianism, a term not only connected to political systems, but to any controlling system of thought. Totalitarianism removes that sovereignty intended by God for each human being, whereby I as an individual, have a name and place, and deserve praise and blame. God’s question to Adam, “where are you?” is no sign of God’s ignorance, but makes Adam aware of his own responsibility for the new situation of genuine guilt before God, before each other and all of history.

God’s sovereign existence does not imply his totalitarian control, but a loving Lordship with space for personal creatures to love (or to make a mess of things, and then to repent and repair). It explains the reality of current and past evil and death without having to conclude that they are either part of God’s creation or only  “appearing that way”, i.e. that they merely seem to us to be what in fact they are not. There is no way that the “end goal” of righteousness (Christ’s future reign) extends backwards to justify the present “means” of unrighteousness.

Following the Bible we therefore agree with the historian Tony Judt, who repeatedly urges us to embrace anti-totalitarianism and anti-utopianism as a moral imperative. This applies to political and economic systems, but also to religions and social patterns. There is no room in the view of the Bible for human beings to bow to imposed or chosen forms with indifference and to resignation as a habit of life. 


On three Sundays I preached in Leysin above the next valley to the West, on aspects of David’s life in 2nd Samuel and 1st Kings. I was surprised to find in the account of his slaying Goliath no reference to a miraculous divine intervention. The focus in the account is instead David’s remarkable courage, his willingness to use all his skills to defeat this nasty, provocative and insulting giant from among the Philistines. The account tells us of Israel’s weakness, if not cowardice, during 40 days of insults and provocations. Saul is occupied with his own depression, following God’s rejection of his kingship. Both armies hesitated to enter battle in the valley between their respective lines on opposite hills.

The young David accepts the challenge, already trained as a shepherd and highly skilled to fling stones ahead of his sheep to control the direction of their wandering. He was only there to deliver new food supplies of corn and cheese for the troops. Saul had dismissed and forgotten him, his older brothers had left their sheep in his care. Now there, he hears Goliath’s shouted insults and challenge and responds. He rejects both the offered armor, an honor to bear, but also a cumbersome burden, and the advice, even doubt, mockery and ridicule of his own people. He does not weaken under the jealous comments of his older brother Eliab, nor has he overlooked his obligations for the sheep and abandoned them in his enthusiasm to join the war.

David has one thing in mind: a combination of deciding a battle and of the vindication of the name of the “living God” against the imagined deities of the Philistines. Emboldened to respond to Goliath’s insults about Israel’s God, he slings one stone with trained precision at the very small place on Goliath’s forehead where his armor has left an opening and does not cover his skull. That knocks the giant over, so that he can be killed with his own sword.

David applies his admirable skill and moral courage to precise action. That is a good example for us. When a demand for moral sensitivity and courage provides an occasion to use our skills, we have a choice to make, precisely because history does not follow a master’s plan, but is always created and interrupted by people’s choices in all political and personal settings. Sickness, falling mountains, floods, carelessness or plain wickedness are not the work of gods (The Greeks and most pagan cultures see it that way), but events that call for our moral, creative and skillful intervention. 

David’s battle against Goliath is not the only example in the Bible of people standing up for what is right. Noah does not model his life after his neighbors. Abraham follows God’s word rather than the social context of Ur. Joseph maintains his moral integrity in the face of Potiphar’s wife’s advances. John the Baptist denounces Herod’s immorality and loses his head over it. Elijah speaks up before King Ahab: “As the Lord the God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall be neither dew nor rain these years except by my word” (1st Kings 17:1); and Peter and John justify themselves before rulers and elders in Jerusalem (Acts 4:8ff); Moses, raised in the household of Pharaoh, interferes from a moral sense to strike down an Egyptian who was beating a Hebrew and then, on the next day, reprimands two of them who were attacking each other (Exodus 2:11ff).

Goliath is the giant underdog against the skill and determination of David. Though young in years, he had built prior experience and gained confidence when he had had the guts to hold back a lion and a bear from devouring his sheep. He had earlier also used his calm sensitivity and musical skills to calm Saul’s depression, and now the accomplished shepherd came forward to defy the greatest warrior of his time.

Each of us should be encouraged to make good use of the abilities we have acquired, our human and professional skills, our passion and compassion, in any activity at the right time in good pursuits. The four men who repelled a heavily armed Islamist extremist on the French train just now did that, and so does everyone who often works less dramatically, but well, morally and professionally, as builders, craftsmen, politicians or parents. We need to bind moral actions to professional skills in every arena of life. That is our calling as human beings, and our spiritual service (Romans 12: 1f) It is God’s will that we accept challenges from people like Goliath in their arrogance and the needs of the poor, the ignorant, the migrants and the mistreated. Life’s cruelty and unfairness must, wherever possible, be resisted, realigned, and repaired.


“If today we face a world in which there is no grand narrative of social progress, no politically plausible project of social justice, it is in large measure because Lenin and others poisoned the well” writes Tony Judt in his collection of essays Reappraisals (Penguin New York 2008, pg. 125). In response to secular progressive thinking, which has adulterated much social interaction with feverishly applied ideologies in pursuit of grand schemes for the transformation of society, many others, mostly conservatives, see their selfishness and arrogance justified in response to real needs. In any moral society needs are recognized, examined and then given the required attention and solutions. The mandate to love our neighbors as ourselves, uniquely found in the Bible (because love is in the nature of God himself rather than an occasional sovereign decision) is carried out when we choose to apply acquired abilities and bring about change in a broken world. Skillful people should raise the necessary funds to undo the unfairness of life, to diminish the always unequal opportunities of many, and to seek and practice what provides greater justice to all.  


The materialistic and selfish quality of much contemporary life is unfortunately the dominant philosophy in the fallen human condition even of Christians. We reach for any straw to keep us alive and above water, and defend our right to it. Adam accused Eve, instead of admitting his own fault. But we cannot simply repeat that, leave it there and go on living like that. We cannot simply count and claim rights, but must create ways to overcome any indifference to the real needs of others. A quantifying outlook asks: How much, how many, when and where? It is inherent to mathematics, but not to morals; derived from nature, but not from an awareness of its impersonal and often tragic reality.

But such are not the only questions to have. Any condemnation of people’s bad choices must be matched by our accepting the challenge to change their view of life. Their perception of reality is often flawed, including the view of a basic necessity for or normality of their experiences. Absent of a larger moral and personal narrative as proposed in the Bible, the bits and pieces of people’s lives are only random events that occur within the pushes and shoves of powerful struggles in an impersonal universe.

In response, people will add to the fight for survival, for significance, for affirmation with provocative claims and imaginatively selected “random acts” of outlandish behavior to be more effective in a battle to survive another turn.

The denial and absence of a satisfactory ‘grand narrative’ gives likely reasons for the attraction of gangs in our cities, the drug culture in all social classes of our society, for identity politics and the appeal of mild or belligerent Islam. The sudden rise of gender identity interests, including same-sex contracts, may also find its origin in the need to create merely personal narratives. Behind such fragmenting pursuits lies, in my view, ignorance and uncertainty about the real world. All that remains is the creation and an embrace of personal, though flawed narratives and ideals.

Two essentially opposite tendencies contribute to this: The first is a singular focus on exploring, and discovering and pursuing the personal self. That is encouraged in education, psychology and literature. It disregards a more encompassing reality, takes away all lasting certainties, all need to link to an outside, more objective and lasting reality. In the absence of recognized limits, such pursuits are like descents into deeper and deeper caves until the light at the entrance is taken away by nightfall; or the flight of Icarus too close to the sun. The melting wax loosens the feathers on his wings, and he falls and drowns  

The second is the narrow focus on gender roles and expectations which have no ground in either fact or faith. There is no hint in the Bible that for boys and girls all human activities must follow divinely appointed roles: Men outside the home, tough and competing to win; women as homemakers, sweet and gentle.  That tends to suggest that a sensitive, artistic, musical boy must in a hidden way be feminine, a tomboy girl a hidden male!? Says who, but a culture more informed by Sparta and Athens than by the Bible, where each person is made in the image of God, not in the image of a masculine or feminine ideology.

The foundational grand narrative of our culture was, and perhaps still is, the Bible. It is not indigenous to us, like an attempt to make sense out of the summary of our experiences. Instead, it is quite foreign to us and only accepted because of its convincing arguments and presentation, its high regard for people, its focus on valuing of truth and the reasoning mind, founded on an understandable text, the Word, revealed in written form and “Living”, God come in the flesh.


In order to counter such fragmentation and the loss of narrative, our task must be to start questioning people’s perception, their thinking, their belief and their practices. We must teach, as it were, a course on responsibility and solidarity. Seeing our daily life as normal and deserved is illusionary. We are neither victims of history and without value, nor sole and unaccountable masters. In pursuit of truth we must not close our eyes to the suffering of those weaker than ourselves, and seek to transform what, and whose, ideas and practices have contributed to that condition.

The other grand narratives, both religious and secular, fail to respond to the daily challenges. So many totalitarian propositions, whether in Marx or the proposals of an almighty God who did not or could not prevent the catastrophes of the 20th and 21st centuries, are no longer credible. We must have noticed: the grander or more perfect the answer, the more terrifying its consequences experienced and imposed. 

The examples of horrors committed and tolerated in the name of policies and religions, including sometimes Christianity and others according to the Biblical record, are numerous. The “good old times of religion” had many blind spots and terrible dark sides. Present advocates of belief in God are no less subject to false views and inhuman ideas. “Yet the impossibility of perfection makes it no less imperative to fight for a better world” (Judt).

Such an outlook is mandated from the Bible’s perspective, where any work towards a better world does not stand in contrast to God’s sovereignty, but rather joins it. All along such efforts require critical review and humble trials.


The fundamental problem lies always in what, by its nature, is a leap of faith: It takes place when an idea is so readily embraced that reality on the ground can no longer contribute reasons to change one’s mind. Marxism was such a leap of faith, and so is ISIS, likewise a faith-based initiative. They set out an explanation of how the world ought to work, an ethic of human relations. They announce incontrovertible grounds for believing that things will work in that way in the future thanks to a set of assertions about ‘scientific historical necessity’ or ‘divine promises’, in which a combination of moral prescriptions and political prediction proves intensely seductive and serviceable. For that reason people leap jump to it.


The problem with such a closed narrative is that it opens a direct way from imagined necessity to historical reality by means of a machinery of enforcements. The present inconvenient experience of whatever form (murder, rape, destruction of cultures and languages) must not obstruct the view of the ideal. Faith in Marx’s dialectic of history, or in ISIS proclaiming a caliphate, or in divine determinism and intentionality must always remain untainted by real-world experiences and human shortcomings. There is therefore no tool in its box to recognize and resist real evil and the terror with which it is advanced.

Instead, such a leap of faith has a way to decode the skein of social experience, interpreting all external political and social data according to a pronounced grid, in which all things and events reveal their true meaning only when decoded in accordance with the knowledge of the initiated: at this point what is twisted becomes attractive to people in their lost-ness, their isolated, fragmented modern existence. They are invited into the ‘household’ of ideas, a flow of necessary actions, which make complete sense, since everything follows a universal scheme. Perhaps with that we understand why many in our Western world, who resent their lack of social integration, feel disrespected or without an integrated identity find a welcome and practical purpose in such a home of faith. Yet in this way they continue the fragmentation of the one human race into gender, racial, religious, nationalistic, and economic identities, and destroy the brotherhood of one human race.

Convictions so held will remove randomness, demystify appearances and provide security of belief in an embrace of “deeper” truths, regardless of actual situations and real people. It is an approach to life from deep aspirations to overcome and be done with doubt, loneliness and inquiry. It flows from compulsion to a super-personal reference in any greater narrative, such as are found in Marxism, Islam, and also ideological Christianity.


It is interesting that Marxism, Islam and Judeo- Christianity each propose a vindication in the future: world revolution, blissful rewards in heaven, or Messiah’s coming. These are, to the believer in each belief, heartwarming certainties that can remove all skepticism. Left to itself, these ends may be or are desirable. For the first two, they can justify any means to achieve them. For them, the singular focus on the future can remove all concerns about the present. It is precisely at this point that the Bible is totally different: Here each day matters, every action is significant, every person is eternally valued, loved and to be loved. The Messiah will do his work and return to reign, but our task is to love, create, and resist evil today and every day on this earth. The end does not justify the neglect of the means today.

The attraction of Marxism, Islam, Christianity, is obvious: an explanation of how the world works and proposes a way in which the world ought to work – an ethics of human relations; and it announces incontrovertible grounds for believing that things will work in that way in the future thanks to a set of assertions about historical necessity or divine promises, in which a combination of moral prescriptions, political prediction proves intensely seductive and serviceable. They suggest that things are what they have to be.


In our age, terror is no longer an extraneous political device in isolated incidences, but the primary motor and logic of modern ideology. By nature it tends to be tyrannical. As I mentioned in the previous issue of FOOTNOTES (all prior issues and much more can be accessed on our web site) ideologies are final solutions, eliminating all dissent and other expressions of restraint. They alone claim to have the final and comprehensive truth. That avoids exposure to the question of evil, since there would be none if everything is already bound to a dialectic, religious, political or economic order.

Yet, consider that the question of evil is and will continue to be the fundamental question: after fascism, communism, terrorism, including the barely and rarely restrained use of too many guns in unstable hands, the intellectual debate around the world will have to seriously address that problem. In too many place has murder been accorded the status of civic duty or the right of self-defense. The once usual moral categories no longer suffice. There is nothing great about ISIS, or about the lawful, but unrestrained proliferation of guns, about the mob’s power over people’s lives, about militias and human trafficking. This is monstrous, any acquiescence reveals a bankruptcy of common sense and moral distinctions.

If before I drew some connections between Marxism, Islam and Christianity in some way, it was because the first two are heretical distortions of Christianity: one a secular grand narrative, the other a largely religious one. We have notions of responsibility and progress in each of them, in distinctions to other religions which teach more a set of inner disciplines and withdrawal. Both ‘disturbed cousins’ of Christianity share with their Western relative or liberalism a schema of assumptions, categories and explanations: an optimistic, somewhat coherent account of society as a transformative project. That exercises a hold, like a magnetic attraction, on people’s minds. Each is a narrative around a big idea, a commitment to understanding and explaining everything, rescripting reality in approved lines and thereby becoming something like a respiratory system.

Yet both Marxism and Islam lost sight of the human person, his and her mind, heart and need for love and respect. The project became more important than the people for whom it was intended. In contrast, the God of the Bible explains, leaves areas of reality free for human contributions in thought and experience, and thereby takes risks which may, and in fact do, require new efforts on the part of the creator: efforts to reach out to sinful Man, to give instructions and to provide redemption, to make his creation whole again through the resurrection.

Those expressions of love and passion, of sacrifice and engagement, of respect for people and compassion for their folly is absent from the Marxist dialectic history and from Islam’s all powerfully demanding and directing deity.

Both Marxism and Islam are not only reject or are ignorant of the God of the Bible. They have already no respect for human persons, those creative bearers of God’s image, agents of change and engagement, with abilities to reason and invent in obedience to God’s mandates to have dominion, what should and must be done: In the end both Marxism and Islam abolish the open reality of human life in favor of totalitarian control. Tyrants fear surprises, the unknown, any challenge and resolution. They insist on closed minds, controlled markets and communal mentalities among bound people. They know nothing of the pleasure that God, or any loving parent or teacher has when people fulfill their calling, enrich their lives, love their neighbor, seek justice, and resist, at times defeat, the pervasive presence of ignorance and evil. Keep that in mind. Have courage!

With warm regards to you,

Udo and Deborah