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Out Our Way: Until the Rancher comes

Psalm 2:1- 4


Out our way, one discovers a certain hierarchy when working cattle. The cows rule the calves, the bulls — in season — rule the cows and the smaller bulls, and the rancher rules them all. For all the bellowing and bluster one sees in the heard when we start moving them — they do eventually leave the worn out pastures and dried up watering holes and move to the fresh pasture and flowing waters where we will take them. But they don’t always want to go.

Years ago, my ex-father in law’s dad was a younker on his first trail drive up in Montana — and saw how some of the old cowhands would deal with an unruly steer. With a good toss and a good horse, they would yank that mean tempered rebellious steer around and flip it on its back. Then that steer and the others got the message. The Rancher was in charge. Yet every year and on every drive, there would be some fool steer who didn’t believe in the rancher or cowhands, convincing themselves and a few gullible youngsters that they, and not the “mythical rancher,” was in charge. For eventually the Rancher comes — the gullible discover the truth and the foolish steer is discovered to have been wrong.

Now you don’t have to read the Bible, just read history to see that same foolishness occurring in human beings with the same results. In every generation some loud mouth with pop up claiming he or she knows the real truth and persuades the foolish and gullible that there is no “Rancher,” and that they and their cronies are the true leaders. But, in time, the “Rancher” shows up and sets the record straight until the next time some arrogant type once again comes along to try to revise history and the truth.

What with the internet, cable TV and talk shows, we cannot escape the fact that there are many prominent and seemingly powerful followers in the world now attempting to fool themselves and others that there is no “Rancher” and that the ultimate power and authority is in them.

It is of little surprise, then, that those who want to fool themselves and others not only attack the Church but also education, as both institutions challenge the power of the new leader. Despite claiming to promote diversity, fight bigotry, too often they prove to be the very opposite. In the name of diversity they openly censor any free speech on campus if it doesn’t support the “party line.”

Josef Goebbels, Hitlers’ chief of propaganda, sponsored huge youth rallies and book burnings to encourage censorship, tight control of what was taught, and close off diversity in the name of “progress” and the “new World order.” Stalin did much the same, but as Hitler’s enemy, the West chose to ignore it and the media did not report it.

Sound familiar? If you have read history, you know Stalin, Hitler, Mao, tyrants of the 20th century were nothing new, for the same tyranny has been going on for thousands of years. There we always be some bawling bull or matriarchal cow out there proclaiming there is no “Rancher,” and they really know best. And there are always the gullible and foolish members of the herd willing to listen and believe: until the Rancher comes.

I often share the quote by George Santayana said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

Revisionists think that can eliminate the past by no longer teaching it or replacing it with a revised version and the gullible will be easily fooled.

Ah, but the revisionists fail to grasp the fact that Santayana’s quote also includes them. For, as another favorite quote — this by John Adams — notes: “Facts are stubborn things.” And then there is the line in Shakespeare’s “Merchant of Venice” that states “The truth will out.”

We can attempt to reject or revise the truth but that doesn’t change it. Hitler, Stalin, Mao all attempted to do just that and failed. So did those who came before and those who will come after. They will try to replace God with themselves — usually behind the mask of “the people” the “state” or “the party” — but the truth will out. Many have tried over the millennia and all have failed. Many still try and are failing; for despite all the propaganda, revisionist history, and strict-party line legislators and educators, they cannot change reality. Sooner or later the truth will out.

As has been said, and proven time and again by history, “ Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

And, again, that works both ways: The gullible and ignorant will be fooled by rhetoric, propaganda, and pop politics and allow all the power to be possessed by the elite few … for a time. Look at Germany and Russia. But it does not last. Again, look at Germany and Russia. Stalin mocked religion, and God by asking at the height of his power: “How many divisions does the Pope have?” The Church bells in the Kremlin this Easter Sunday answered Stalin’s question. As a Russian priest who suffered persecution under the Soviet Union noted: “Stalin is dead, but we’re still here.” Despite 70 years of control of education and the media, despite constant rejection, propaganda and persecution, the people of God survived and the Party did not.

That there are those who reject God and insist they can replace Him is nothing new.That it is happening in our own time and even within our own country comes as no surprise. History does repeat itself. It has happened before, it is happening now, and it will happen in the future. And it history will again repeat itself as their “new world orders” end in ashes and chaos just as have all the others that have sprung up over thousands of years.

I can imagine some fool steer telling the gullible calves up in the Tiger Ridge that there is no Rancher or cowboys, and the stories of the round up is a superstitious myth told by old cattle. And maybe they will believe him for a time, for they always do — until the Rancher and His riders show up, as He always has and always will.


Brother John Bruington


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