Popular culture, political lobbying and global manipulation: Opinionated hysteria and fundamentalism weighed in the balance
By Charlotte B. Cerminaro
Anyone who owns a houseplant is the beneficiary of a small biochemical factory, a wonder of molecular synthesis and energy conservation. Skipping the overly-complicated details of photosynthesis, our leafy greens absorb carbon dioxide (CO2, a normal byproduct of mammalian respiration) and water (H2O)--synthesize these into glucose (C6,H12,O6) for their own metabolism and growth, and release pure atmospheric oxygen (O2) in the process. It's a symbiotic, complementary and beneficial relationship that we generally don't think about. A certain oxygen/carbon dioxide balance is necessary for the survival of all plants and animals and, contrary to ongoing media hysteria, CO2 is not a "greenhouse gas" nor is it a cause of global warming.
It's easy to see why responsible use of our natural resources is necessary. Wholesale deforestation causes mudslides, catastrophic shortages of food and shelter for countless animal species, and unnatural migratory patterns that are largely responsible for their dangerous encroachment into suburban areas. Leaving old-growth largely intact and planting seedlings practically eliminates these problems, allowing both commerce and resources to flourish. According to global warming theorists, however, there is no allowable use of natural resources. The fundamentalist "green party" religion goes into full red alert when we try to weigh the facts on issues like climate change. An entire branch of fake science has bloomed in the wake of the supposed 'man-made' crisis, and, like every other pseudoscience, is politically and financially motivated. The most weighty facts, like the Maunder Minimum and the "mini ice age" that occurred two- to three hundred years ago, are not even taken into consideration. During the 1600's-1800's, much of the earth was affected by a brief ice age. Glaciers advanced as far south as Europe and average global temperatures were lower than any point in recorded history. Solar activity was at an all-time low, known as the Maunder Minimum, and volcanic activity was unusually high. Volcanic ash clouds in the upper atmosphere are known to block the sun's infrared and ultraviolet rays and they are believed to be the cause of other mass cooling and extinction events in the distant past.
As of the last 120 or so years, we've slowly emerged from this mini ice age. Solar storms and sunspots have increased significantly and only in the last couple of years has volcanic activity crept out of a long, relative slumber. That the global climate is more greatly affected by forces far outside our reach or influence, is truly galling for the egomaniacs and green-party communists. The actual and potential profit of lies, greed and guilt-driven legislation, is too much to relinquish even in the face of credible evidence to the contrary. Developing a new vocabulary that not only defines but criminalizes our "carbon footprint", putting an actual price on carbon credits and allowing the biggest polluters to slip through the cracks, pushes dissenting opinions into silence and compels others into compliance by underhanded economic incentives. Scientists whose research shows a contrary reality are shunned and blacklisted from the mainstream. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. The power structure will remain unchallenged when a majority of the population is silenced by media propaganda, the enforced ignorance of illiterate education and limited thinking.
For several decades now there's been yet another war; different, far more insidious than the incursion of socialism or globalism. Resembling in many ways the continuous references to racism in this country, and the attempts to incite violent racial tensions where there are none, it is an attack on one of the most fundamental relationships and institutions in our civilization. This war is similar in that we're bombarded by misinformation and the motives appear to be both controlling and destructive. What's surprising is that the most polarized groups, from extreme feminism to extreme religious fundamentalism, have ignited a campaign of tension and opposition that is likely the direct cause of innumerable broken marriages, families and lives. The misinformation comes from many sources: popular culture and the media, late night comedy, pseudoscience, institutionalized ignorance, and a subversive cherry-picking of religious ideas. If a biblical text won't support their unsound beliefs, certain pseudo-scholars have been known to simply change the meaning of a word or lie about its translation.
There are many rough roads and difficulties to work through in any marriage. The misunderstandings and miscommunication between two individuals are countless; a persistent drumbeat of deliberate obfuscation, spoonfed from different sources for years, can become insurmountable without a dose of reality or common sense. Men and women are different, biologically and psychologically, and marriage is ideally a complementary relationship of open communication and understanding. Despite the differences between male and female, they are not opposing, or opposite, in nature--contrary to the preaching of radical feminism and religious fundamentalism.
One of the more destructively false teachings comes from a painful contortion of Genesis ch.3: God told Eve, "Your desire (teshuqah) will be for your husband, and his is to rule over you." According to Robert Jeffress, a Dallas-based pastor and writer, the English translation of the Hebrew word isn't "desire", but rather "jealousy". He claims that the enmity isn't between the woman and the serpent, between her seed and his, as God said, but between the man and woman, because of his leadership and her jealousy. The Oxford Hebrew dictionary defines the word "teshuqah" as 1. Passion; 2. Physical desire; 3. Need, craving. Clearly, God's decree on such feelings is a source of resentful discomfort for Jeffress (among others) as they completely exclude any biblical passage that cannot be made to support their ideas. We can only wonder what they would make of Deuteronomy ch.24: "If a man is recently married he must not be sent to war, or any other duty placed on him; he is to be free to stay at home for one year, to bring happiness to his new bride." A woman's family responsibilities were, and still are, generally well-defined but our modern fundamentalists never cite verses from Exodus, in which a man's most basic marriage responsibilities--the provider of food, clothing, and conjugal rights--are in plain text.
These ordinances aren't surprising to those who understand the mutuality of marriage and the complementary nature of male and female. The man's leadership responsibilities in marriage also include relatively simple duties for his wife; that this causes squeamish avoidance in many of those who claim to espouse traditional biblical marriage, and worse, in those who offer marital advice to the hordes of struggling couples, is evidence of a most profound refusal to accept the responsibilities that go hand-in-hand with matrimonial privilege. Untrained Christian counselors all-too-frequently throw relationships under the bus when a not-uncommon pattern emerges--the husband becomes more domineering or over-controlling, the wife already having an affair or dangerously close to it--and she's told, "submit to your husband". This unilateral advice encourages neither respect from her, nor love from him, and only drives a deeper wedge between them. The adulterous wife generally doesn't boast about her behavior but all the signs are there. When a marriage suddenly crumbles, it's the husband who is most surprised.
If we reframe this issue and put it in the simplest scientific terms, it causes no less hand-wringing than the global warming debate. Fundamentally, testosterone is considered a "male" hormone even though it's present in healthy females to a lesser degree. Estrogen is considered a "female" hormone though men have a lesser amount. They are not mutually exclusive. Testosterone is largely responsible for muscle building, and the more assertive, masculine protective behavior; large amounts of it cause aggression and decreased fertility. Biologically and psychologically, it does not drive sexual behavior. On the other hand, estrogen is responsible for mammary gland development, and more sexually specific behavior. The very name means, "Generating estrus", which is fairly straightforward. Interestingly, boys around 14-17years old have a fair amount of circulating estrogen, sometimes causing gynecomastia, which resolves by their late teens when estrogen levels drop significantly.
For thousands of years, common sense and universal observation determined reality. The earth's resources weren't under threat of extinction and neither was marriage. Modern feminists rage at the very idea that a woman would "desire her husband" and that men tend to prefer assertiveness and leadership. None of these aforementioned tendencies are separate from our own free will and neither are they exclusive to anyone, but these natural tendencies cause extremists, whether religious or secular, to fear reality and resent any duty placed on them by God, nature, or the law.
It has become the rule rather than the exception that the opinionated and hysterical want no part in the discipline of reason or the wisdom that comes with understanding life's lessons. The only characteristics that set them apart are their unwillingness to negotiate or compromise, ever, and their unadulterated preference for unfettered privilege without the responsibilities that are inherent to these positions. In this it's clear--we are being led by petulant children--their self-serving opinions tilt the balance of power in their own favor. In the absence of self-reflection, without subtlety or nuance, those with the most power will lie to keep it, and this is the only way they can keep it. As French mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal said, "Truth is so obscure in these times and falsehood so established, that unless we love the truth we cannot know it." Reason and truth are valuable commodities, and a responsibility too important to delegate to those who are most undeserving. Our lives and those of our family and friends, our future and our posterity, are not for sale or surrender. The stakes are high, as are the risks; yet we've been secured and redeemed by the most precious and eternal of all promises; for a future, not yet seen...and this is the truth that sets us free.
Charlotte B. Cerminaro is a Juilliard-trained classical musician who, in addition to being a studio and orchestral musician, enjoys writing and has a degree in Molecular Biology. © 2021