Column #268Mercy and Truth have met Righteousness and Peace have kissed

Linda and I have known Reverend Paul Stetler since our earliest days in Stuart, Florida. We’ve always admired him and his family. So, when we were invited to hear him give the message at First Congregational United Church of Christ in Port Saint Lucie, we headed that way.

His message was partially based on Psalm 85:10 which, in one passage, has the line: “Righteousness and Peace Have Kissed.” It’s a complex message that seems to apply to many of our modern-day situations. As with many Bible verses the interpretations can be very complex. Basically, my take on the message is that if we are too righteous, and there is no room or respect for anyone who expresses a different opinion, there will be no peace. Therefore, forgiveness and mutual respect (a kiss) have its virtues.1 2

Many people today are so steadfast in their beliefs regarding what they perceive as right or wrong that they have no tolerance for any individual who espouses so much as even one differing opinion out of thousands. What do you think the world would be like if everyone agreed 100% on everything? Well, the world would not be the same as it is today because mankind would still be living in the Stone Age.

The only advantage I can see in the Stone Age lifestyle is that everyone would still be eating the original diet of man. With a diet consisting of only nutrient dense and diverse foods that are low glycemic with naturally balanced Omega-6 and Omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFAs), health would not be a primary concern. That’s what happens when immunity is maximized and all body functions are optimized. In that case there would be many things to be concerned about other than health for survival.3

Total uniformity in thought has never been the norm except in the most brutal of totalitarian societies. That’s why change has occurred and we call it scientific, artistic, and social advancement. As science advanced, it only advanced because someone was thinking outside the box or they interpreted an event in a new light. As a result of free thinking, there’s been a lot of progress during the past million years and “science dogma” has been rewritten millions of times. In fact, there’s been so much progress that most Americans can’t even recognize some of the ordinary tools and toys that were in widespread use just 100 years ago.

Today, all of mankind is grappling with a virus that is new, yet as viruses go, it’s not totally new. What we assumed were valid concerns and solutions regarding COVID-19 in February 2020, by October 2020 many health science professionals started telling us those decisions were inappropriate.

For some people, the old saying about not seeing the forest for the trees is appropriate. So it is and will be for COVID-19. I believe it’s shortsighted to ignore the big picture involving 7.8 billion people, the new fatality data, and the new medical approaches and insist on remedies that attempt to protect a very small minority of vulnerable citizens, primarily those with multiple underlying health conditions and the very elderly. After many countries applied the tightest restrictions (lockdowns) on their entire populations, some scientists are saying that approach came at too high a cost. The lockdown burdens weighed heavily on over half of the world’s entire population (especially the poor and the young) and their loses exceeded the cost of the severe illnesses and deaths associated with COVID-19.4 5

It’s a valid point that needs discussion and it underscores why individuals must be responsible for their own actions. There are steps everyone can take to improve their own immunity and safety. Part of that strategy must take into account that, according to the CDC, for everyone under the age of 70, seasonal influenza is deadlier than COVID-19. (That is not a typo.)6

Marginalizing others who see something different is how marriages fail. Everyone who is or has been married understands this. Two people living under the same roof can clearly see two different pictures and have two totally different interpretations. Oftentimes in those cases understanding and mutual respect can lead to a better solution. But if the perceived righteousness of one party prevails over the other, there probably won’t be any peace.

As good people we must try to understand others and not be overly righteous. Life will go on. At the same time we should not judge the decency of others based upon on a narrow range of issues. People are far more complex than that.

We have different risk tolerances. Our backgrounds and aptitudes differ. Some people respond to feelings and others respond to facts. Some people are dependent and others are independent. Some people have no self control while others have a lot. We live in the same country, but in many respects it’s like we’re all living in own different worlds. This is why countries have constitutions. It’s to establish boundaries between highly diverse individuals and their government entities. In America we’re lucky because our well-thought-out Constitution sets us free instead of making us subjects of so-called “superiors.”

Our laws (most of them anyway) are based upon standards that have stood the test of time. That’s because our Founding Fathers did their homework when they wrote the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. With that legal foundation, in 250 years the United States became a beacon of hope for many and a model for how great a county can be. Has it been perfect? Absolutely not, but it has been better than most countries and, with all citizens respectfully working together on making it better, it will continue to improve in the future.

Another thing that Americans can improve in the future is overall health. That goal does not require better healthcare and more doctor visits. Americans already spend 18% of the GDP on healthcare and 86% is to treat chronic diseases mostly to no avail. Compared to that, the goal of better health can be very inexpensive because most of the steps are free or, in the case of food, only slightly more expensive. Unfortunately, it’s a goal only few Americans strive for.7

If you want a strong immune system and optimal body function, diet is where you start. Then add in the following:
●    Don’t Smoke
●    Exercise Regularly
●    Maintain a Healthy Weight
●    Drink Alcohol Only in Moderation
●    Get Adequate Sleep
●    Minimize Stress and Anxiety

The best foods are nutrient dense and diverse, with close to 1:1 EFA balances, that are also low glycemic. Yes, it’s the original diet of man. Grass-fed meats, Omega-3 meats, wild-caught seafood, the dark green leafy vegetables, and many other vegetables such as squashes and beans are excellent selections. Foods high in Omega-6 EFAs should be avoided whenever possible. They are the seeds, nuts, grains, most oils, and grain-fed meats.8

That formula works for everyone and will be the best protection you will ever have for viruses such as COVID-19 and influenza. It’s especially true for people over 65 years of age as the scientists have pointed out in regards to protecting against a severe reaction to a COVID-19 infection.

The CDC tells us that influenza vaccines are not very effective on older citizens compared to younger citizens. Therefore, when it comes to COVID-19, for old folks, like me, to be as safe as the youngsters we must be more proactive than they are by taking appropriate steps in improving our immunity.

To your health.

Ted Slanker

Ted Slanker has been reporting on the fundamentals of nutritional research in publications, television and radio appearances, and at conferences since 1999. He condenses complex studies into the basics required for health and well-being. His eBook, The Real Diet of Man, is available online.

Don’t miss these links for additional reading:

1. Psalm 85:10 Discussion from Bible Hub

2. Psalm 85:10 Discussion from Bible Study Tools

3. The Importance of the Ratio of Omega-6/omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids by A.P. Simopoulos

4. Weekly Updates by Select Demographic and Geographic Characteristics from CDC

5. The Great Barrington Declaration—Current Signature Count

6. COVID-19: Not That Deadly? by Ted Slanker

7. Prevalence and Medical Costs of Chronic Diseases Among Adult Medicaid Beneficiaries from  National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine

8. Food Analysis: EFA, Protein to Fat, Net Carbs, Sugar, and Nutrient Load by Ted Slanker