by Mike Pyatt
When the ship’s captain, Edward J. Smith, ordered the crew to direct the passengers to flee to the lifeboats, that accommodated only about 1200, of the more than the 2,200 passengers and crew, many passengers dismissed the voices of warning, choosing to remain in the “safety” of their opulent quarters, convinced the massive vessel was “unsinkable.” Nearly 106 years after the RMS Titanic struck an iceberg on its voyage from Southhampton, England, to New York City, “experts” still speculate about the manifold causes of the disaster that sent 1,514 passengers to their death on that fatal night, April 14,1912. Richard Cornfield, consulting physicist, in a Physics World article, remarked that it wasn’t only the iceberg, but a “cascade of events,” a chain of missteps, and omissions that doomed the vessel to the recesses of the North Atlantic. Cornfield, and a host of other voices, list numerous reasons, such as the vessel traveling too fast, in a region known to contain massive amounts of ice, and mismanagement of the evacuation, to the conflicting voices in the face of a rapidly deteriorating disaster.
It’s reported that the Titanic’s senior radio operator, Jack Philips failed to pass on the dire multiple warnings about ice fields. Apparently Philips misinterpreted it as non-urgent. At least six warning signals were ignored, and deadly combination of ice, engine fire, and miscalculations doomed the “unsinkable” Titanic on Monday morning, April 15th. Researcher, Ray Boston, wrote, in 2008, “It’s a perfect storm of extraordinary factors coming together: fire, ice and criminal negligence.” In 2005, Lillian Asplund, last American survivor, with actual indelible memories from that disastrous night, confirmed there were no safe passage ways for passengers and crew, and that confusing, conflicting voices from the crew, contributed to the pandemonium.
Our earthly existence is spent listening to the voice of others. Friends, parents and more. It’s manifested in overt and covert forms; from advice and solicitudes; to subtle arm twisting; to abject coercion; unalterable commandments; and lawmakers. A cacophony of voices bombard our auditory senses on an endless stream of topics. “Do this, don’t do that.” This 2018, primary in Wyoming, seven GOP gubernatorial candidates are vying for our attention, praying we’ll heed their voices, in this pantheon of ideas. How does one distinguish these voices? Are they voices of liberty, who’ll staunchly defend our constitutional rights, claims of sagacity, with virtuous intentions, or just soaring rhetoric crafted to tickle our political fancy? Some rely on our political amnesia.
How could the wisest man of his time, King Solomon, respond to the wrong voices, and ignore God’s? He began to serve the idolatrous gods of his 700 wives, and 300 concubines turned his head. Because he listened to the wrong voices, God removed Solomon’s kingdom, and gave it to Jeroboam. Five decades of women have heard the unconscionable voices of “handmaidens of death,” telling them it’s their body, that they can conveniently abort their baby, with impunity. These myriad of voices are like passive soundscapes, background music, which one faintly detects, though not fully aware at the moment, one ends up humming a song, one can’t recall hearing. Those sounds penetrate our thoughts undetected. Jesus, in His Good Shepherd illustration, warned of the peril of listening to the wrong voice in John 10:1-6.
Voices from the hard Left, and mainstream media, insisted that President Trump’s bareknuckle diplomacy with North Korea, would usher in a doomsday scenario. As the three released hostages stood on the tarmac with President Trump, shrill voices, from Democrats, silent about that historic humanitarian event, chose pedantry over substance, ranted about a tawdry porn star, her quirky attorney, and the hackneyed “Russian collusion.” The New York Times’ voice, accused Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, of being “Thousands of miles away,” MIA, when President Trump scrapped the Iran nuclear deal. Was it “fake news,” ignoring this highly anticipated, summit between President Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jon-Un? Pompeo’s voice, in Pyongyang, paved the way for the release of those hostages, and greased the skids for the Singapore summit.
Our Founders voices resonate in our ears, warning, that the loss of virtue, will inflict a corresponding loss of this Republic. Eric Metaxas, in his 2016, book, If You Can Keep It: The Forgotten Promise of American Liberty, reminds us that we’d have to visit 1787, to rediscover what virtues forged this Republic. A lady asked Benjamin Franklin, “Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy? ”He famously replied: “A republic, madam-if you can keep it.” John Adams remarked, “The only foundation of a free Constitution is pure virtue.” There’s an inextricable link between liberty and Christian Virtue; the guardrail for this Republic. Secularist voices insist there’s no such relationship. It has been largely forgotten, or worse, dismissed. The Council For Secular Humanism voices insist our Republic doesn’t rely upon God-based concepts, but on “critical intelligence,” and, “we are generally skeptical of supernatural claims, or intolerant sectarian creeds.” Humanists insist we’re obscurants and irrational. They’ve a National Day of Reason. We’ve a National Day of Prayer. An irreconcilable clash of voices. Speaking of competing voices, last week, “Never Trumper,” syndicated columnist, George Will, mordantly voiced his opinion about Mike Pence’s VP role as, “obsequiously, mobocratic toadyism.” Evangelicals reflexively voiced opposition to Will’s fatuous caricature.
In recent generations, we’ve heard disquieting voices from some not-so-hallowed halls, academic elitist, adversaries of “permanent things,” who’re assiduously commandeering a host of core social issues, exchanging historic absolutes, for unfettered impulses of the heart, ushering in their self-imposed, ineluctable, terrestrial hell. Our Founders understood that freedom and liberty, like a delicate blossom, nurtured by the sweat and tears of Patriots, doesn’t guarantee its perpetual bloom. Has the unrelenting din of mortal voices drowned out His? Which voices will prevail down the corridor of time? What do you think?
Mike Pyatt’s a Natrona County resident. His email’s firstname.lastname@example.org