Today Mankind is in Dire Need of More Philosophers like Anicius Boëthius thumbnail

Today Mankind is in Dire Need of More Philosophers like Anicius Boëthius

By Dr. Rich Swier

“A man content to go to heaven alone will never go to heaven.” — Anicius Manlius Severinus Boëthius

I recently read The Consolation of Philosophy by Anicius Manlius Severinus Boëthius.

Anicius Manlius Severinus Boëthius or Anicius Boëthius lived from 480-524 AD.

Boëthius was a Roman scholar, Christian philosopher, statesman and the author of the celebrated De consolation philosophiae (The Consolation of Philosophy), a largely Neoplatonic work in which the pursuit of wisdom and the love of God are described as the true sources of human happiness.

What mankind is suffering from today is a lack of happiness because mankind has forgotten the words of Boëthius that proved what truly makes one happy is based upon the pursuit of wisdom and the love of God.

Boëthius wrote The Consolation of Philosophy while in prison wrongfully accused of treason and awaiting his execution which happened in 524 AD.

The Pursuit of Wisdom and the Love of God

Boëthius, while in prison, lamented his state of affairs. Boëthius was a high level Roman official whose words were embraced by many before a few accused him of treason against the Roman state.

Boëthius wrote,

“These it is who kill the rich crop of reason with the barren thorns of passion, who accustom men’s minds to disease, instead of setting them free.”

Boëthius was the victim of “the usual sickness of deluded minds.” Today, we are seeing deluded minds that have singled out free men and women for punishment for speaking “truth to power.” In America these free men and women are simply exercising their Constitutional rights to petition their elected officials. For this effort to tell the truth they have been labeled terrorists, semi-Fascists and traitors. wrote this about The Consolation of Philosophy,

Evil has no substance, according to Philosophy, because it cannot participate in the ultimate pursuit of mankind: the supreme good. Therefore people who inflict their wickedness on the good are not truly powerful, since they have no capacity to stop the good people’s attainment of the one thing that matters. God orders the world through Providence, and the order of things that happen on earth is called Fate. Though people on earth cannot understand the ways of Providence, they must nevertheless accept whatever Fate sends, for all fortune, good or bad, is good. Bad fortune can instruct the recipient in the ways of virtue, and, often is better for the soul.

God does not interfere with free will, Philosophy concludes. Though God knows all things past and present, this knowledge doesn’t preclude the freedom of choice of human beings. God’s knowledge is not like our knowledge, and doesn’t happen over a period of time. God had one act of knowing the world, and in that act knew all things, including all the free choices of all the people throughout the entire history of the world.

Finally, Boethius, through this long conversation with Philosophy, has been comforted. Philosophy leaves him with the advice to cultivate virtue, for the Heavenly Judge sees all things. [Emphasis added]

The Story of an American Patriot and Political Prisoner

Fast forward to 2022 AD and we see many American patriots in prisoned who have been wrongfully accused of participating in an “insurrection” and accused of treason just because they attended a rally on January 6th, 2022 in Washington, D.C.

These falsely accused political prisoners, like Boëthius, are still awaiting judgment.

Among these political prisoners, much like Boëthius, is a young man named Zachary “Zach” Rehl who on March 17th, 2021, the Federal Bureau of Investigation agents arrested him at his home in Port Richmond, Pennsylvania.  From October 2008 to May 2012, Zack was a U.S. Marine Corps non-commissioned officer in Yuma, Arizona. Zack is a 100% disabled Marine Corps. veteran with a wife and young child.

Why Zack?

Because Zack takes his oath to protect and defend the U.S. Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic seriously. Zack understands that the oath that he, and all those who honorably served our nation, does not expire until we do.

What are Zack’s crimes?

  1. Zack is the leader of the Philadelphia chapter of the Proud Boys. He was one of the organizers of the We the People rally outside the Independence Hall in Philadelphia in 2018, which supported Donald Trump.
  2. In July 2020, he attended the Back the Blue rally outside the Fraternal Order of Police lodge in Philadelphia where the Proud Boys members mingled with police officers. (c)
  3. “Just FYI, WE’RE HERE with you in DC now! Love you all!” he wrote on Parler on the evening of January 5, 2021. He had raised more than $5,500 via the Christian website GiveSendGo to fund his travel from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C., USA. 
  4. Wearing a camouflage cap while carrying a Temple University backpack, he went to the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C. on January 6, 2021. That day, Trump’s supporters held a peaceful Save America rally while the joint session of Congress was certifying the vote of the Electoral College and affirming Joe Biden‘s victory in the 2020 presidential election. During the Save America rally, he assisted Proud Boys leaders Ethan Nordean and Joseph Biggs but never entered the U.S. Capitol building.

You see Zack is an American patriot, a disabled veteran and a member of the Proud Boys. These are now punishable offenses according to this administration.

Like Anicius, Zack is a political prisoner who has yet to be judged by a jury of his peers.

Zach, in a letter to his wife, warned:

“They are jailing innocent people on bogus and trumped-up charges because those people simply supported the sitting president Donald Trump at the time; which is absolutely insane. If you think it can’t happen to you, look at me, because if it can happen to me, trust me, it can happen to you.”

Zack like Anicius faces an uncertain future. But he wears the full armor of God.

But Zack and his fellow imprisoned patriots  are consoled by the truth that people who inflict their wickedness on the good are not truly powerful, since they have no capacity to stop the good people’s attainment of the one thing that matters.

May God bless Zack, his family and his fellow political prisoners.

©Dr. Rich Swier. All rights reserved.