Thursday, April 1, 2021

Jesus and George Floyd: the last day

Vincent van Gogh - "Olive Orchard" in the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri

This Van Gogh painting is called "Olive Orchard."  It reminds me of seeing the garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem two years ago... very similar.

I was moved to be able to kneel and pray among those trees where Jesus knelt two thousand years ago, on the night before he died and probably many times before that.

The Gospel of John provides quite a long summary of  Jesus's talk with his disciples at the Last Supper.  He seems to be worried about his followers, giving them a crash course in how to carry on.  He tells God, "I protected them in your name... I guarded them." 

Several times he asks the Holy One to protect them, also saying "protect them from evil."  Was he worried about the evil they might commit or about the Roman soldiers soon to execute him?

That very evening the disciples had been arguing over which one of them was the greatest (see Luke 22:24-27 and also Matthew and Mark). 

I wonder if Jesus foresaw what a mess the church would become at times--the greedy popes, the Crusades, the right-wing Christians supporting Trump.  If so, he also foresaw the saints and many sincere but humble followers.

He kept asking his disciples to "abide in me" like branches of a vine connected to the trunk and roots.  He prayed "that they may all be one."  Well, we know how that worked out.  Christians are splintered into many sects.  

On the other hand, I guess the first group stayed connected to Jesus and the Creator long enough to "bear much fruit," as he was hoping.

"Little children, I am with you only a little longer," Jesus said. "I give you a new commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you..." (John 13:33-34).

Because of these words, the day of the Last Supper came to be called Maundy Thursday in English cultures.  

For many centuries, priests read the Bible in Latin.  "New commandment" is mandatum novum in Latin.  In English, Mandatum Thursday became shortened to Maundy Thursday.

Of course, Jesus would have been speaking Aramaic (a language related to Hebrew), not Latin or Greek.  The Hebrew for new command is פקודה חדשה (pekoodah hadashah).  

In fact, this command wasn't really new; see for example Leviticus 19:18.  Maybe Jesus is stressing it at this point because he won't be around to stop their quarreling. 

On Good Friday 2021, instead of focusing exclusively on the crucifixion, let's spend some time reading Jesus's last words as recorded in the Gospel According to John, chapters 13 through 17.

This year many of us in the US are spending Holy Week focused on another man killed by his government, George Floyd.  He died on May 25, 2020, because of all our sins--our racism, our historicially flawed police systems, and our inattention to funding things like drug rehab programs, Covid relief, and better-trained first responders. 

Just as we are getting to know George Floyd in his last day,  through the trial of the man who killed him, let's focus on what Jesus was saying in his last 24 hours.  

Note: There are shorter summaries of that dinner discourse in Matthew 26:20-35, Mark 14:17-26 and Luke 22: 14-38.

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Days 1,2,3 in painful-to-watch trial

911 Dispatcher Jena Scurry explaining why she reported
use of force to police sergeant

"Today I look at you as a maggot," said Charles McMillian to Derek Chauvin as the ambulance left with George Floyd's body.  

On Day 3 of the trial, he testified that he had said to Derek Chauvin five days before May 25, 2020, "I'm going to respect you.  At the end of the day, you go home safe to your family, and the next person go home to his family safe."  

But after witnessing the murder, he immediately told Chauvin that his view had changed; he now saw him as a maggot.

He said these words after having been polite to the officers for an hour, trying to intervene and save George Floyd's life.

McMillian's education ended after third grade, but morally and as a human, he was miles ahead of any of the officers who showed up.

Darnella Frazier, a passerby entering Cup Foods with her little cousin, was the star of the second day.  Here's an excerpt from the New York Times report on Day 2 of the trial.

As her voice cracked, Ms. Frazier described how what she witnessed that day last May had changed her life. She sometimes lies awake at night, she said, “apologizing to George Floyd for not doing more and not physically interacting and not saving his life.”

“When I look at George Floyd, I look at my dad,” she added. “I look at my brothers. I look at my cousins, my uncles because they are all Black. I have a Black father. I have a Black brother. I have Black friends. And I look at that, and I look at how that could have been one of them.”

This trial is riveting, heartbreaking for anyone who is human. 

It's also triggering for anyone who is Black.  It calls up fears and memories of police violence, whether personally experienced or through friends or news events such as the Rodney King beating.

"I've been avoiding it all week," said Baratunde Thurston, a writer, comedian, and commentator.

A black friend says she is not able to watch the trial; it's too painful.  She expects it to end with Chauvin getting little or no jail time.

As a white person, I'm able to watch it, but even for me the testimony and video are horrific.

Prosecutors Jerry Blackwell and Erin Eldridge, we're depending on you.

Testifying on Day 1:

911 dispatcher Jena Scurry, who called the police dept. sergeant to report the mishandling.

"Something might be wrong," she testified.  "I became concerned... My instincts were telling me that something was wrong...  I took that instinct, and I called the sergeant."

Passerby Donald Williams, a mixed martial arts fighter and an expert on chokeholds.  He said that the type of chokehold Derek Williams was using is called a "blood choke, a tactic that hinders air circulation from the head to the rest of the body."  He felt that George Floyd was murdered and called the police on the police immediately afterward.  He was cross-examined on Day 2.

From the Minneapolis StarTribune:  As Williams watched the viral video shot by a fellow bystander, he told the court that Chauvin was shifting his weight on purpose repeatedly to tighten the hold on Floyd's neck, what the witness called a "shimmy." At one point, he said Floyd was trying to fight "through the torture."

See also video of Day1 of the trial

Testifying on Day 2:

Darnella Frazier, a passerby was asked by the prosecuting attorney, "How did this event change your life?"  See her answer above.

Darnella's 9-year-old cousin also testified very movingly.

Genevieve Hansen, an off-duty fire fighter and paramedic, urged police to stop choking him and check his pulse.  They ignored her. During her cross-examination, this exchange took place (as reported in the Washington Post):

When [defense counsel] Nelson asked whether Hansen would describe the “demeanor” of others around her as “upset or angry,” Hansen gave a cutting response: “I don’t know if you’ve seen anybody be killed, but it’s upsetting.”

There was murmuring.

The judge reprimanded her for arguing with the defense lawyer's question.  She continued testimony on Day 2.

Testifying on Day 3:

Passerby Charles McMillian (see above). 

Christopher Martin, 19-yr-old cashier who challenged the $20 bill and is grieving over having told his manager, who called the police.

Video excerpts of Day 3:

CNN report on Day 3

Friday, March 26, 2021

"Biblical womanhood" isn't biblical

Photo courtesy of Dallas News

This op-ed by Beth Allison Barr stopped me in my tracks as I started reading.

"The deliberations of the elder board were short, too. My husband was to be fired as youth pastor," writes Dr. Barr, a history professor at Baylor University in Texas.

She and her husband had reached "the point at which my husband and I were willing to risk our ministry by challenging pastoral authority, especially over the unequal treatment of women in our church."

I was trying to review email and tweets efficiently before going to bed, but I had to stop and cry.

Dr. Barr is on a campaign to get evangelical churches back on track with what the Bible really says about women.

Other Southern Baptist women are also reconsidering the "women obey your husbands" and "women may not preach" theology.  Here's an Associated Press report.

For example, the well-known Bible study media figure Beth Moore recently left the Southern Baptist Church over its relegation of women to second-class status.  Because she is a popular Bible teacher, her exit in March is still making a lot of waves.

Many churches have book clubs, and women especially are reading and changing their minds on these once-standard maxims of church teaching: "Women must submit to their husbands" and "Women must not preach."

Start using this hashtag in your social media posts and tweets: #endchristianpatriarchy

You can get the sticker by pre-ordering Dr. Barr's forth-coming book, The Making of Biblical Womanhood: How the Subjugation of Women Became Gospel Truth.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Boulder shooting, school bullying

Los Angeles Times report, March 25, 2021

My brother is freaking out about people who excuse the Boulder shooter because he was bullied.

Here's my reply:

The kid clearly has a screw or two loose, one dud out of 11 kids in the family. I figure his parents have a batting average of 900. 

Don't let a few bleeding heart comments get to you. Of course he was bullied like everyone else who stuck out in any way. But not everyone kills ten people. 

Of course he'll get life in prison. End of story. As Al-Anon says, accept what you cannot change. A few bleeding hearts are always going to say things like that. 

(Note: I am a champion bleeding heart.)

My brother Jim lives in Arvada, Colorado, where the killer also lives or lived before he went to jail.  Jim's two sons went to the same high school as this killer.

He and his wife knew one of the victims, Suzanne Fountain, a dental patient of Jim's wife who worked as a Medicare consultant and helped them find the best Nedicare supplement plan for their needs and budget. 

Clearly, Jim has reasons to be outraged by the murders and by any sympathy for the killer.

But I hope he moves on to focus on ways to effect change, not on comments that increase his anguish.

Ways to prevent these mass murders from happening again include:

  • Enact gun control.
  • Do background checks.
  • Require waiting periods after applying to buy a gun.
  • Allow cities to enact gun control 
  • Improve access to mental health services.

And yes, decrease bullying in high schools. 

Thank you to Los Angeles Times reporters Jaweed Kaleem @jaweedkaleem and Melissa Etehad @melissaetehad.


Monday, March 8, 2021

An Inconvenient Truth from The Guardian

Editorial in The Guardian, March 8, 2021
What an experience to witness Oprah Winfrey interviewing Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.  I felt that I was watching another episode of The Crown.

Thank you to The Guardian for pointing out the obvious: that the monarchy is no longer relevant.  

Yes, "Whether a hereditary head of state is required today ought to be considered...."

The monarchy is a relic of the day when colonialism was okay, racism was legal, and equality was heretical.

The radicals in Britain's North American colony who declared their independence also sowed seeds that would eventually dissolve the monarchy: 

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal....

If all humans are created equal, no one has a birth right to rule over others. 

The king and queen of England do not rule by divine right or any other right except social consent. Parliament and the public have the responsibility to decide whether retaining the monarchy serves a useful purpose.

By their racism against Meghan and her children, the royals have proven that they are no longer useful.

Like France, England needs to remove the monarchy as a relic of history. 

See also in The Guardian:

Thursday, February 25, 2021

In Memory of Allene Winkfield Pera, 105 years

Taken from obituary by her daughters Donna and Trish

Allene Winkfield Pera, age 105 and a true Colorado pioneer, passed away February 22, 2021 at Mercy Hospice House in Durango, Colorado from injuries sustained in a fall. 

She was born July 17, 1915 to Floyd Jacob and Leafy Ellen Winkfield in Nucla, Colorado. 

As a child, she lived in numerous mining camps and towns including Ute Mesa, Nucla, Naturita, Dolores, Rico, the Doctor Camp and Pinon. 

Her life was simple, hardscrabble but rich in the memories made when poverty is a challenge.  Allene loved dancing and even played in a small dance band where the wages were meager and sometimes given in food. At one of those dances she met Walter Pera, a handsome Finn from Telluride. They married July 29, 1936 and moved to Telluride.

In 1939, Walter and Allene moved with their young son, Jack to the deserted mining town of Tomboy 3,000 ft. above Telluride. They were the sole occupants of the town while Walter operated the switching station for the Western Colorado Power Company. 

She coped by learning to knit, sew, quilt, cook, garden and preserve their own food. 

In her eighth month of pregnancy with their second child, the family made an arduous journey to Telluride for the expected delivery of the baby. 

They travelled on snowshoes to the Smuggler Mine, then ventured through the underground workings, going down 5 levels on long ladders to reach a lower level where they were transported by ore car to exit the mine. From there, they rode an open aerial ore tram to the Telluride valley floor. 

Two weeks after the birth of their daughter, Donna, the family of four reversed the process to travel back home to the Tomboy.

After moving back to Telluride, the family grew with the addition of daughter Patricia, and sons Walter Edward and Ronald. 

Allene loved to bake, especially breads, and soon became known as “The Cinnamon Roll Lady.”  She also prepared many picnics for her family’s favorite pastime of exploring the back country in the mountains surrounding Telluride. 

They also enjoyed spending time at their cabin at Trout Lake, which Walter built from discarded railroad ties.

In the summer of 1956, Walter and Allene transferred to Electra Lake, north of Durango. They lived in near isolation there for 15 years and then returned to their beloved Telluride until Walter retired. 

They then moved to Nucla, purchased a whole city block and developed it into a mobile home park. During their retirement years together, they enjoyed searching the hills around Nucla for petrified wood, dinosaur bones and rock art and travelling extensively in Europe, Canada and Mexico as well as the United States.

Walter and Allene returned to live in Durango through their final years.  They had been married 70 years when Walter passed away July 4, 2006 at the age of 92. After a short time with family in Texas, she moved to Sunshine Gardens Assisted Living Center where she continued to enjoy knitting and quilting, playing dominoes and cheering for the Colorado Avalanche Hockey team. 

In her later years, she completed her last quilt at the age of 103. From ages 95 to 102, she produced 156 knitted baby blankets for Project Linus. She celebrated her 100th birthday with a grand party attended by 64 members of her family. 

At the age of 101, she was interviewed by National Public Radio and the Rico Museum for her memories of early life in the Colorado Rockies. In 2018, at the age of 103, she was honored as the Grand Marshall of the Rico July 4th Parade.

Allene was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Walter, sisters Kathryn Penasa and Valera Tobin, sons Jack and Ron, grandson Travis Pera, and granddaughter Linda Gann. 

She is survived by daughters Donna Pera Burr of Durango; Patricia Pera John of Eugene, Oregon; and Walter Edward (Eddie) Pera of Salt Lake City, Utah, as well as 14 grandchildren, 33 great grandchildren and 10 great, great grandchildren. 

A family gathering in Durango in the summer will celebrate Allene’s life.

Donations in memory of Allene Pera can be made to Mercy Hospice House in Durango, Colorado.

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Nathalie Becquart: Nun will vote with bishops at Vatican

Sr. Nathalie Becquart
photo by Peter Potrowi via Wikipedia

One woman will be allowed to vote in the next Vatican synod of bishops in 2022.  Hooray!  

Her name is Nathalie Bequart, and she's a nun, of course.  She has been named an undersecretary in the Synod of Bishops office in Rome, and she's the fourth woman to become an undersecretary in various departments of the Vatican.  She's French.   

Thank you to RNS, the Religious News Service, which sent Nicole Winfield to interview her in Rome on Feb. 10 and wrote this report: "Nun named to voting position at Vatican praises 'brave' pope."

[There have been many] "calls to allow women religious superiors, who also participate in synods of bishops, to have the right to vote on proposals of pressing concern to the life of the church. The religious sisters are allowed to speak and participate in the bishops’ debate, but have not been allowed to vote.

Their calls took on public form during a 2018 synod of bishops on youth, with prominent nuns calling for the vote and a popular movement promoted by progressive women’s groups #VotesForCatholicWomen.

As a result, Becquart’s appointment has been met with praise but also some bitterness that in 2021 it’s actually newsworthy that a lone woman might be able to cast a ballot alongside hundreds of male bishops about the future life of the Catholic Church."

My friend Andre Berthou in Paris sent this news to me, knowing that I'd be interested:

La star catholique du moment, c’est elle : Nathalie Becquart, une religieuse française de 52 ans, promue, samedi, par le pape François, devenant ainsi la première femme à obtenir le droit de vote au Vatican.

Sr. Nathalie praised Pope Francis for his courage to move ahead in this daring way: "He is the one who is writing history, with the Holy Spirit of course behind him."

Ah, the crumbs we women settle for.  One woman voting with hundreds of men, bishops from around the world.  

One tiny step for woman, one giant step for humankind.  And other women will follow Nathalie Becquart.

I'm still betting that women will be ordained as regular priests in the Roman Catholic Church by 2050.

Mark my words.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

The Holocaust: Understand in Your Bones

Congressman Tom Lantos
survivor of the Holocaust

"The veneer of civilization is paper thin.  We are its guardians, and we can never rest," said President Joe Biden in his statement issued today, International Holocaust Remembrance Day. 

He was quoting his friend, Congressman Tom Lantos (1928-2008) of San Mateo CA, the only Holocaust survivor to serve in the US Congress.

President Biden described the sources of his deep commitment to "never again":

I first learned about the horrors of the Holocaust listening to my father at the dinner table. The passion he felt that we should have done more to prevent the Nazi campaign of systematic mass murder has stayed with me my entire life. It’s why I took my children to visit Dachau in Germany, and why I hope to do the same for each of my grandchildren — so they too would see for themselves the millions of futures stolen away by unchecked hatred and understand in their bones what can happen when people turn their heads and fail to act.

He continued:

The horrors we saw and heard in Charlottesville in 2017, with white nationalists and neo-Nazis spewing the same anti-Semitic bile we heard in the 1930s in Europe, are the reason I ran for president. ...The Holocaust was no accident of history. It occurred because too many governments cold-bloodedly adopted and implemented hate-fueled laws, policies, and practices to vilify and dehumanize entire groups of people, and too many individuals stood by silently. Silence is complicity.

Antony J. Blinken also spoke out today, his first day as Secretary of State, remembering his step-father, a Holocaust survivor who lost his entire family and spent almost four years in labor and death camps.  In fact, Samuel Pisar, "was one of 900 children in his school in Bialystok, Poland, but the only one to survive the Holocaust after four years in concentration camps."

"He taught me that evil on a grand scale can and does happen in our world, and that we have a responsibility to do everything we can to stop it," said Secretary Blinken.  

Listen to his 2-minute video on YouTube:

It's no accident that people who seek to create instability and undermine democracy often try to cast doubt on the Holocaust.... They want to blur the line between truth and lies.  They want to use disinformation and conspiracy theories to gain power, and they want to provoke hate... Every day that I serve as Secretary of State... I will remember that atrocities like the Holocaust don't just happen.  They're allowed to happen.  It's up to us to stop it.  Never again.

Secretary Blinken gave a fuller description of his family's stories last November when he was introduced as Biden's choice for Secretary of State.

Thank you to Lawrence O'Donnell who quoted both President Biden and Secretary Blinken on The Last Word today.  He noted that when the first American soldier entered Auschwitz on January 27, 1945, they found 7,000 prisoners still alive--but they also found 44,000 pairs of shoes.  Over 1 million people were executed there.

In the 1950s we didn't have International Holocaust Remembrance Day. 

We had Anne Frank's Diary, which appeared in English in 1952 after first appearing in 1947 in Dutch.

I was in elementary school during the fifties, and the Holocaust was not part of the curriculum, nor did it come up in My Weekly Reader, the little newspaper we read aloud in class from second grade on.  It was actually one sheet, folded in half and then opened like a book or tabloid.  

We certainly did not cover World War II in our history lessons. In fact, we didn't go much beyond Columbus, the Pilgrims, George Washington, and Abraham Lincoln.

But we had the first-person testimony of Anne Frank.  By 1959 a film appeared basednon her diary--the first Holocaust film made in the US.

The next time I remember hearing about the Holocaust was when Adolf Eichmann was on trial for being one of the major organizers of transporting and executing 6 million Jews and about 5 million others.  Every night in 1961, from April through December, my watched news reports of the trial in Jerusalem on our black-and-white television.  It was eerie to watch as he sat in a protective plastic box.  He was hung in Israel in 1962, the only execution ever allowed by that nation.  

By 2005 the UN decided that a remembrance day was needed, and they chose January 27, the day the Auschwitz extermination camp was liberated in 1945.

Today, on January 27, 2021, we need Holocaust Remembrance Day more than ever.  During the armed attack on the US Capitol by white supremacists and anti-Semites, there were some with abhorrent t-shirts saying "Camp Auschwitz" or "6MWNE" (six million was not enough).

Is it possible to give these people some kind of access to the reality of Auschwitz, enough to change their minds?  A tour?  A night spent naked alone in one of the gas chambers?

Or are these people's brains so polluted that they have become human waste, not fit for anything but a jail cell?

Lock them up.  Lock up as many of these armed attackers as possible and for as long as possible.

Allow them no reading material or video time--except for the stories of those who died in the Shoah and those who survived it.


Thank you to Vanessa Gera of the Associated Press for  reporting from Warsaw on this day, 76 years after US troops liberated Auschwitz.


Monday, January 25, 2021

Biden's "War on Women"???


My friend Diane sent me an article she noticed on Yahoo! News and asked, "Your opinion, please?"

The article turned out to be from the National Review.  Yikes!  My father used to subscribe to that right-wing journal back in the 1970s when it was supporting Richard Nixon.

This article is headlined, "Joe Biden's War on Women."  Alarming, right?  

I love a detective assignment, so I jumped right in.

Here's my reply.

Hi Diane--

Thanks for challenging me with this classic puzzle.  Here's how to figure it out:

1) You start out by remembering that Yahoo! News is just reprinting articles from various newspapers, magazines, websites, etc.  (I'd say don't even look at Yahoo! News because half the articles might be from weird sources.)

2) Next you look at where this article came from: the National Review.  You google it, check its front page, maybe look at Wikipedia on it.  You check out the headlines on its website.

3) When you do that, you see "Joe Biden's COVID Deceptions" and "The Absurd Calls to Shut Down Fox News."  You think: hmmm...Joe Biden seems to be unusually blunt and honest, according to newspapers like the Los Angeles Times and New York Times and Washington Post.  You think, shutting down Fox News is fine with me.  So you start to distrust anything National Review writes.

4) You read the article "Joe Biden's War on Women" and notice that it's mostly about transgender issues.  It's not really about women's rights to equal pay or child care or anything important to you.

5) You notice lines like " the transgender lunacy of Democratic radicals."  You think, wait a minute!  I'm a Democrat.  And I'm sympathetic to someone who thinks they identify more with the opposite sex than the sex they were born.  What's wrong with respecting them as the identity they feel they are, especially if they've had surgeries and take hormones?  You say, I'm not sure that the Democrats' positions on transgender are "lunacy."

6) You notice at the end that this article is trying to address a real issue beneath its anti-Biden, anti-Democrat hoopla--whether a trans woman (born male) can compete as a woman in sports.  You say to yourself, yes, that doesn't sound fair.  Even if she's taking female hormones to be female, she may have a stronger build and stronger muscles and win in competitions against XX women.

7) You notice that there is a bill called the Equality Act that passed in the House of Representatives last year, and this year it could pass in the Senate too.  You decide to research this act and figure out what it's about and whether you favor it.  You go to a newspaper or website you trust and see what they say about the Equality Act and transgender issues.  For example, you could go to the website of Christian Feminism Today.

8) You notice that the writer claims that if the Equality Act becomes law, terrible things will happen:
The order is just a warm-up act to the Equality Act, which passed the House last year and which the Biden administration has promised to pass and get signed into law within the first 100 days. If this were to happen, it would redefine sex in the law as a formal matter, and make the destruction of women’s sports, spaces, and hard-won rights complete.  

9) You realize that whatever happens with how to handle a few transgender people in sports, it's probably not going to destroy women's sports and other "hard-won rights" of women.  

10)  So you either ignore the scary headline "Joe Biden's War on Women" and move on to read the next article, or you start to tell your friends about this article and the lies of the National Review.  You find out whether other Republicans or Democrats are saying this, and you write to your representatives stating your support for the Equality Act.  You email your friends--and family if that's safe!

11)  You go to a church that has 1-2 transgender members and ask them what they think about the sports situation and the Equality Act.  If you have time, you get to know a transgender person.

12)  And you consult with friends you trust--like me!  You did that right, lol.

Lots of love,
🌎 🌠

Note: this kind of analysis of news articles or news websites or broadcasts is called media literacy.  It's now taught in college as part of courses in critical thinking.  You also check what organization owns the website or newspaper or magazine, and you check who supplies the money for this organization or website. how new or old it is, etc.

To test your new skills in media literacy, go work on any article in The Epoch Times, a newspaper and website subtitled "Truth and Tradition."

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Dede Mirabal & her three slain sisters

Una mariposa ~ a butterfly

Thank you, Xana McCauley, my pastor friend in South Africa, for alerting me to the story of Dede Mirabal (1925-2014), which appears today in the New York Times as one of the "Overlooked No More"--people who made important contributions but whose deaths went unmarked in the NYT by obituaries at the time.

May Dede continue to rest in peace with her sisters, las mariposas, their code name for themselves in their work against Rafael Trujillo, murderous dictator of the Dominican Republic.

Good timing--a memorial to Dede Mirabal's resistance to one horrific president on the same day the US president is impeached a second time for leaving a trail of dead bodies in his wake.

Xana is a founding pastor of Hands of Compassion, a nonprofit Christian community based in Johannesburg, SA, which addresses the needs of poverty, injustice, and recovery.  

James 2:17 "So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless."