The following essay has an interesting story. The author, a federal prisoner, wrote a very intelligent and insightful letter to us late last February. In it he used the term "idiot" in a very interesting way. In my response, I challenged him to develop the term into something interesting, descriptive and inclusive in such a way as to be informative and useful. What he came up with is not exactly what I had in mind. It’s better. (DWH)
[This article was published in the Idaho-Observer in May of 2009 while I was still in prison. And while Don Harkins edited the piece, he gave me full credit for it. What was interesting about this article is that he published it even though there were some things he initially disagreed with, but published them according to the way I had written the piece. Unfortunately, Don passed away suddenly in September, 2009 after sustaining a very strange leukemia illness. Don was a good man and an outstanding reporter who will be missed by his family, friends, and his readers. (WAT)
By Walter Allen Thompson: "Why does he act like such an idiot?"
How many times do we ask that question about other people—even about ourselves? There is no shortage of idiots and they are the primary reason it is so difficult (if not impossible) to live on Earth in peace and truth.
Idiot: 1. A person afflicted with idiocy (extreme deficiency of intelligence, commonly due to incomplete or abnormal development of the brain). Idiots are incapable of learning connected speech or of avoiding common dangers in life. 2. A fool; simpleton—a term of reproach (Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary ).Today the term "idiot" is most commonly used as a "term of reproach" while historic idiots are now described as "retarded" or "mentally handicapped." We will be using "idiot" and "idiocy" in the reproachful contexts in common usage today.
Foolishness, stupidity and ignorance are the product of influences that relentlessly attack our sensibilities, faith and equanimity every day of our lives. They attack the well-being of all men. Idiocy induces war and an enormous amount of suffering upon mankind.
The first idiotWho was the first idiot? As a Christian, I will say that it was Satan. Here is a being who was in heaven, but swore oaths with other angels and sinned against his Creator—eternally damning himself because he wanted to usurp the authority of God (Read Book of Enoch). And when God created man in His own image, Satan was intent on destroying the lives of every man, woman and child.
The choice between good and evil—free will—has always been a part of God’s creation. God did not create evil, but the tendency for Satan and mankind to choose evil has always been present.
Satan became an idiot when he disobeyed God, incurring His wrath. Since misery loves company, Satan spreads the misery by influencing mankind to disobey God’s natural order of life. The "new world order" was started with the first sin and it has continued to this present day.
The march of the idiotsThe new world order is the plan of the idiots who are responsible for the death and destruction of the millions (if not billions) of lives memorialized in written history. The reason is because the new world order exists completely outside of God’s natural order. Think of it as God’s natural order completely inverted or reversed: Good became evil and evil became good; darkness is light and light is darkness. In God’s order the strong and the wise came before weak idiots. In the new world order we can plainly see that idiots come before the wise because idiots love death while the wise man loves life.
The worship of images, or "idols," is called "idolatry." The purpose of idolatry, the worship of powerless objects, is to destroy mankind by influencing man to disobey God’s natural order of life, thereby acting like an idiot.
Recently, the monetary and banking systems have been involved in numerous crises and bailouts. When money was made of gold and silver it was strong. But paper debt notes are weak, producing the boom and bust cycles that we have today. Any monetary system that trades debt notes in exchange for goods and services is doomed to eventual failure. Why? The people who designed and are currently running the money system are idiots. In addition, the financial institutions are patronized and regulated by idiots.Idiot worshipMost people know the histories of Hitler, Stalin, Mao-Tse- Tung and Pol Pot who destroyed the lives of millions. These leaders were idiots. Worse yet is how other idiots look upon the works of these men with favor. This kind of idiocy—murderous leaders and the people who support them—is apparent in our own political system. The same kind of idiots are in control of the United States. Through idiots in the mass media, the idiots in leadership animate the rank-and-file idiots to do their bidding. The idiots-in-charge derive their relative strength in proportion to the numbers of rank-and-file idiots willing to support—even fight and die—for their idiotic causes.
The idiots’ strength is the force of arms under war powers; it is easier to kill or imprison anyone who questions the motives of the idiots-in-charge. And the idiot’s message is this: "Let our strength be the law of justice."Idiots have no license
From where do the idiots-in-charge derive their authority? They are not ordained by God because God is not an idiot. They are not ordained of God (as in Romans, Chapter 13) because they break God’s commandments. The idiots have no license to sin or do evil; no one has the authority to usurp God’s law; any claim that idiots proceed with lawful authority is an utter farce: "For God made not death: neither hath he pleasure in the destruction of the living. For he created all things, that they may have their being: and the generations of the world were healthful and there is no poison of destruction in them, nor the kingdom of death upon the earth."
God did not make us in His image to be idiots. I used to think that all men were born evil; they are not. The evil we do is chosen. If we were born evil, then God’s commandments would serve no purpose because it would be impossible to keep them. It is not only possible for a man to keep God’s commandments, but also He expects us to keep them. And this is exactly how we can abide in His natural order.
The idiot will say just the opposite. "But ungodly men with their works and words called it to them..."
The idiot brings evil upon himself because he has contracted with evil to do evil; he acts like an idiot because he is an idiot.How do we stop being idiots?While sitting in a prison for the last four years, I realized that I have to stop doing what all the other idiots do. I discovered that my isolation from the outside world was becoming an asset to me because I have had more time to think things through. But all of my actions are my responsibility and there is no excuse for me before God if I do wrong.
I can’t just stop being an idiot without knowing how to guard myself from acting like one. My mind is something that I consciously set out to guard so that I do not lapse back into idiocy. My first line of defense is the eyes. I do not use them to offend God in any way. I don’t look at or read things that will cause my mind to become unsettled. I avoid all forms of material that is offensive to God’s natural order.
I use the same principle with my ears. I try not to hear anything offensive as it will disturb the strength of my inner peace. By consciously guarding my eyes and ears, I can effectively guard my mind and soul. As a result, I’m finding that I can enjoy long periods of time in silence without getting bored.
The key to overcoming idiocy is goodness and virtue. We should be mindful about how we speak about and treat others. By exercising self-control, we can break the idiotic habits of saying and doing things that harm our fellow man. I actually feel good when I get the urge to say something idiotic and then hold my tongue. I’ll admit sometimes it is difficult but I feel good when I can suppress my evil inclination.
What are our obligations to God? Solomon says it in one sentence: "Let us hear the end of all: fear God and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man (Eccl. 12: 13-14, Geneva Bible).
The fear of God puts a man’s soul at rest because the man knows his duties to God and he practices them. There is no fear of hell because his obedience to God’s commandments is the source of his confidence, hope, faith and the love for his Creator. On its surface, the fear of God putting a man’s soul at rest seems to be a paradox. I think of it this way: The fear of God is as healthy as not putting my hand into a flame. God will punish evil doers, so why be one?
I don’t fear Satan; I fear God. God makes the judgment; I want to have His favor all of the time. I exercise my own self-control so as to not act like an idiot.Idiocy’s opposite
The opposite of idiocy is wisdom and with wisdom comes understanding.
"The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord: all they that observe them, have good understanding: His praise endureth forever" (Psalms 111:10).
Here are some of the aspects of wisdom that I am paraphrasing from the wisdom of Solomon:
Wisdom is glorious, does not fade, and seen of those who love her.
Wisdom is a treasure found by those who seek her.
Wisdom is the breath of the power of God; the worker of all things.
Wisdom moves more than motion; it is the pure influence flowing from the glory of the Almighty.
Wisdom is the unspotted mirror of God; the image of His goodness.
Wisdom is the brightness of his everlasting light; the knowledge of God, the fear of God and the understanding of God.
Wisdom is privy to the mysteries of the knowledge of God; is patient, and conversant with God.The choice is ours.In light of the aformentioned, we can see that an idiot has no value to God if he dies an idiot. To be an idiot greatly offends God. Man was created in the image of God so when he acts like an idiot he, in a sense, defiles the "copy" of God and is, therefore, a degraded version of the original. The only true happiness in life is having the favor of God; nothing else is better. But there are those choices God allows us to make between life and death, good and evil and heaven and hell; between idiocy and wisdom.
Most governments have failed because they were run by idiots with no regard for God’s commandments.
Religions of the world with doctrines other than that which God has promulgated are not valid and will suffer the same fate as failed governments and for the same reasons.
Our problems today arise from people calling upon idols or false gods for answers. We turn to our enemies as if they are our friends. We look to idiots as if they are wise. We treat idiots with honor and treat the wise with contempt. We turn to darkness and live as if it were light. We call upon ruthless idiots to do good when we should know they are incapable of it. The idiots have the authority on earth because we, the idiots, gave it to them.Are there any good people in government?
I take the position that, if they take an oath of office (forbidden in the scriptures), then no, they cannot do good even if they wanted to; the structure of government is idiocy with evil as its foundation.
Oh sure, there are some seemingly good things about government but they are always twisted and perverted to do the work of evil because it was designed that way and is working perfectly. The real purpose of most governments is to promote and grow idiocy by enlisting legions of idiot evildoers to steal from the people.Only one way out of idiocy
The only remedy for idiocy is to mend our ways and do good by being good and by providing others with the example of our goodness through the plain testimony of our actions. We are witnessing the last death-throws of this global idiocracy. We should step aside and stand aloof from it all, keeping ourselves within God’s natural order while adding virtues to our lives and exercising more self-control. If we guide our hearts and minds to maintain God’s natural order in our spheres of influence, then we will realize true peace. And pray for God to give the idiots a place for repentance. This is the true power of God.If it weren’t for idiots...I will now close with an example of how things work when they are under the authority of God. The following was written about 100 AD by Bishop Clement of Rome in his Epistle to the Corinthians:
"The heavens, revolving under His government, are subject to Him in peace. Day and night run the course appointed by Him, in no way hindering each other. The sun and moon, with the companies of stars, roll on in harmony according to His command, within their prescribed limits, without any deviation. The fruitful earth, according to His will, brings forth food in abundance. At the proper seasons, for man and beast and all the living beings upon it. Never hesitating, nor changing any of the ordinances which He has fixed.
"The unsearchable places of the abysses, the indescribable arrangements of the lower world, are restrained by the same laws. The vast unmeasurable sea, gathered together by His working into various basins, never passes beyond the bounds placed upon it, but does as He has commanded. For He said, ‘Thus far shall you come, and your waves shall be broken within you.’ The ocean, impassable to man, and the worlds-beyond, are regulated by the same enactments of the Lord. The seasons of spring, summer, autumn, and winter, peacefully give place to one another. The winds in their several quarters fulfill, at the proper time, their service without hindrance. The ever-flowing fountains, formed both for enjoyment and health, furnish without fail their breasts for the life of men. The very smallest of living beings meet together in peace and accord. All these the Great Creator and Lord of all has appointed to the smallest of living beings to exist in peace and harmony; while He does good to all, but most abundantly to us who have fled for refuge to His compassions through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom be glory and majesty for ever and ever. Amen."Compare the words of Clement to the idiocy of evil men. What is our problem? Again, it rests on man’s desire to usurp the authority of God and to establish a "new world order" of idiocy and utter nonsense. God did not create evil; man does that for himself. We all must place ourselves under the authority of God and live in harmony and peace under His natural order. To do anything else is idiotic.
Walter Allen Thompson is the author of The Grace of Repentance: Keeping God's Commandments