We ended the old year in a raw kind of way, with freezing temperatures but (as of Dec. 28, anyway) little of the seriously dangerous wind chill that had been predicted, if only because we did not have very much wind.

But as I passed by Harbor Square Gallery on Main Street the morning of the above, it was plain to all who have eyes to see that the Evil Dark Penguin on the top of the building was breathing out severely frosty air.

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One of the potential strengths of news reporting is its capacity for drawing connections between things that seem unrelated, and when this is done well it can help illuminate something real about the human condition.

Whether the two cases I am about the mention are as truly illustrative of each other as I have come to think, only time will tell. Whether it is useful or not, I must let you judge.

In the first case, the last we heard of Naughty Roy Moore of Alabama in 2017 was that he intends to claim there was voter fraud in the election he lost for one of the state’s two Senate seats. Essentially, he does not want to believe he lost to a Democrat in Alabama, any more that Lord Prez Trumpleton wanted to admit he had lost the popular vote to the Democrat in the 2016 elections, and who knows who else is behind Moore in this situation and pulling his strings.

Both men decided to cry “foul” and pin their hopes on voter fraud as the last-ditch explanation for why their true and righteous beliefs seemed to be unsupported by the facts. Now, you don’t know where I am going with this yet, so just stick with it, hmm?

The thing that got Roy Moore labeled as “Naughty – Not Nice” was his old-man habit over as lifetime of pursuing teenage girls. He was even said to have been banned from a shopping mall years ago, because he was believed to have been stalking his victims there, so we are told. Many women have also described what it was like for them when Moore pursued them as rather young girls.

Despite these naughty revelations, Moore was backed at the polls by large numbers of what we have learned to call White Evangelicals, who were somehow persuaded despite all the evidence in the Gospels that God needed a creep in Congress just to keep the Sacred Republican Majority in power.

Now for the second case. Last year a chap who used to live and work for the Catholic Church in Boston, a certain Bernard Law, died in exile in Rome, and was given a cardinal’s funeral by his former colleagues and by the Pope.

Law, we might remember, lost his job earlier this century when the news revealed that he had concealed the priestly sexual abuse of children in the church, quietly sending his guilty clerics on to other parishes rather than having them arrested like an honest Christian would. Using a logic not too far removed from that used by the good White Evangelicals of Alabama, Law somehow managed to persuade himself that God wanted these sins to be overlooked and normalized.

So now you can see where I am going. In both cases, people claiming to adhere to the Christian Way decided that what God really wanted was something simply appalling to mere mortals.

Even in the hideous tale from the Old Testament, in which Abraham is apparently sent off to sacrifice his son and heir in a truly pagan fashion, we are told how God intervenes and explains that it is actually not what he is looking for from humans.

The Catholic Church was indeed damaged by the news about predatory priests and their fellow conspirators in the upper ranks of clerical administration, and it paid out millions from its treasury in compensation for its guilt, money which should have gone to other things; yet we should not be so quick to condemn this as a Catholics-only thing.

For it seems plain to me that White Evangelicals in Alabama were perfectly willing to murder God on a pagan altar for the sake of worldly power and politics, too.

In the fullness and sadness of time, it may turn out that Roy Moore was in a dreadful way the Evangelical Protestants’ sex scandal.

I do not judge any more than I feel able, nor should I. Human justice is often faulty, and subject to later facts, which is what Moore and Trumpleton have hoped for by crying fraud. (And Trumpleton has quietly all-but folded his fraud inquiry commission because there never was any evidence produced.)

But unless things unfold that disprove my general idea in this case, I will go with what I have got.

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In another case where past news might give us an insight into current events, and moving on from the dreadful stuff above to more mundane matters here in Knox County, what about the story that the Montpelier museum in Thomaston might be closed and stripped of its original historical artifacts because of its dodgy financial situation? Does this story from last week not ring some modest kind of bell for you, dear patient reader?

Did we not read similar things a few years ago about the Maine Lighthouse Museum, in which the Coast Guard expressed itself unhappy with the financial situation of the museum housed at the old Courier building on Park Drive? Did we not all read about how the CG was going to take away the museum’s collection, etc.? And do we also recall how, like Abraham’s sacrifice, it actually never happened?

We cannot say that the Lighthouse Museum story predicts exactly how the Montpelier story will unfold. But we can at least search for parallels, and in them perhaps see part of a bigger picture that explains how things get into such a mess.

The news is more than simply what happened most recently. It is the story of people and our zany institutions throughout the length of time.

And so as we face the next year of it all, as we watch the continued dishonest antics of a government that is teaching foolish people to believe in made-up facts, I will almost quote my dear friend Pig Pen from Peanuts: “Kind of makes you want to treat news with more respect, huh?”

David Grima is a former editor with Courier Publications. He can be reached at davidgrima@ymail.com.