Paying the Piper

Our summer-long mayhem outdoes the 1960s riots

I recently heard of giant rats invading city parks. They have thick brown fur, yellow incisors, and flat tails, looking enough like beavers to attract folks who then feed them. These rodents each year bear 12 or more litters that will reproduce after 3 months. They proliferate at a terrifying rate. Because their customary food supply became scarce during Covid-19, they now survive by gnawing through mortar, thick wood, and metal sheeting into shops and dwellings previously safe and secure.   

Those parks have also become campgrounds for homeless people, gathered beyond count, setting up tent cities without enough toilet facilities. Their numbers have increased at an alarming rate since the economy was disrupted by the Covid-19 lockdown. More than ever, they depend on monthly SSI disability or unemployment checks, plus soup kitchens, religious charities, and begging at shopping mall exits and highway ramps.

Scattered among them are noble-minded kids rallied to the old standby issues of racial and gender inequality, wealth disparity, and Save the Earth. The sagging pandemic economy has not been kind to the younger generation.

When George Floyd’s death hit the news in May, it triggered racial outrage, like in the 1960s when the LA Watts riots erupted over Marquette Frye, a 21-yr-old black man. Back then, looting and burning was mostly against white-owned stores in African-American neighborhoods. Today’s mobs extend their riotous looting and arson to downtown courthouses and police stations in over 20 major cities. 

I sense something is different now in the summer-long mayhem of 80 days and counting in Portland, Oregon. The sheer number of rioters is a hazard to passersby. The good, the bad, and the ugly are swarming together, killing innocent bystanders, so that it is no longer safe to live downtown. The low-hanging fruit is gone, so roving rebel militias have taken over whole city blocks, ransacking food and drug stores in their No-Go Zones.

Street barricades, similar to those in Europe, keep police from protecting private and public property. To make matters worse, pandering politicians are defunding police departments just when they are needed most. Liberal mayors, police chiefs, and DAs are fanning the flames by allowing the downtown disruptions to go unchecked. Politicians chant a Democrat-Socialist hymn: everything free brings heaven to thee. The older generations are naturally worried over what’s happening to their children, on top of the instability of the economic system.

Conservatives say much of the chaos may be a deliberate choice for regime change by the liberal Deep State bureaucrats. I get the feeling that society-at-large is being played by billionaire elites like Soros and Gates, who want a pandemic lockdown to influence the November elections. Even so, there’s plenty of blame to go around at every social level.

This tale has dystopian elements I couldn’t dream up if I were trying to write a blockbuster novel. I would need to craft a complicated plot, but to simplify things I can blame the usual suspect. Satan seems to have drawn our innocent children into stampeding herds of reckless thrill-seekers with phone-media gusto, chasing after evil desires (cf. 2 Peter 3:3).

It’s much like that old German legend of the Pied Piper, who sought revenge for being cheated of an agreed-upon sum to rid a town of its giant rats. He came back to play enchanting music that captivated and led away most of the town’s children, never to be seen again.

What if Satan is that pied piper, having returned to exact harsh revenge by captivating our young folk with his magic flute—mesmerizing most of them unto spiritual destruction. Christian soothsayers have too long avoided paying the piper his due for society’s thin veneer and semblance of peace and justice from laws miming the Ten Commandments. You will have sons and daughters, but you will lose them, for they will be led away into captivity” (Deut. 28:41). This 3000-year-old prophecy still applies today.


Richard M. DellOrfano spent ten years on a cross-country pilgrimage following Christ’s instruction to minister without possessions. He is completing his autobiography: Path Perilous, My Search for God and the Miraculous.

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