134 Pentecost 7: You Have a Crown
“You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.” ~ Psalm 16
You Have a Crown
The lies of wicked men not only make a religion out of everything. To fully justify themselves, they insist that you submit to the religion they have made.
Wearing masks is not a religion, except to those who have made it their religion.
Taking experimental gene therapy is not a religion, except to those who have made it their religion.
Castrating children is not a religion, except to those who have made it their religion.
Eating vegetables and bugs is not a religion, except to those who have made it their religion.
Stoking the fire of racial distinctions is not a religion, except to those who have made it their religion.
Stealing from the poor and middle class is not a religion, except to those who have made it their religion.
Obeying the talking box is not a religion, except to those who have made it their religion.
The Bill of Rights is not a religion either. But you are a Christian. You are free, and free most of all to reject the oppression of false religion.
No one has the right to steal your crown.
“Those who forsake the Word praise the wicked. Those who need the Word fight back.”Proverbs 28:4
Till angel cry and trumpet sound,
The Mad Christian
Sticking to the narrative
What is it with climate activists gluing themselves to artworks? Two protestors in Italy were unceremoniously bounced out of a gallery after they stuck their hands to a Botticelli painting. Well, they may not have to protest much longer, with the Biden administration seemingly bent on doing away with fossil fuel use. So buy an electric car already! Just don't ask where the electricity comes from. Or how you can afford it.
In a recent interview, one energy expert pointed out that there is not enough renewable energy in the entire world to transition away from fossil fuels, as our politicians would delude themselves into believing.
Yet everything can be scrutinized according lofty climate goals. Wired reports that the US government would like to rein in the energy consumption of cryptocurrency. How much does it cost the planet to print all the money we're spending? Although we know modern economies are more akin to digits stored in computers, Tufts University tried putting an environmental price on cash against crypto and it may surprise some!
The pressure to make agriculture more environmentally-friendly is still being felt by farmers everywhere. Dutch farmers are still holding protests to retain their land, herds and way of life. One farmer told the Guardian, "A lot of people in the cities don’t see the link between what they eat every day and what we as farmers do". In the UK, the government announced it would pay farmers if they wanted to leave farming. A lump sum payment was available on the guarantee that they would rent their land to a new generation of farmers or sell it for "rewilding" with trees.
People may take our Western abundance for granted but it will be the poorest who suffer if climate policies are viciously implemented. We rejoice with that this issue is being highlighted and the opportunity it brings for justice to be done. But we are not looking to the worldly powers to provide for us, but rather to the one made heaven and earth with the power of his Word. He ordained all our days before we even existed. So don't wallow in this muck, but trust him who rose from the dead and is coming back soon.
Check your head
Efforts to curb gun crime continue in the USA with lawmakers legislating even while many of them see woefully uninformed about what guns do. California's Governor Gavin Newsom wants firearms dealers to be sued if they sell guns to anyone under 21.
While we all pray that mass shootings and violent crime would be brought to heel, folks who follow the chatter around firearms will probably be aware that the biggest proportion of gun deaths (62%) are actually suicides. Overdoses contribute to the most suicide attempts but the majority of completed suicides are gun-related.
There are many groups doing good work where gun ownership and mental health issues overlap - you can find them pretty easily by searching the internet. One such group is "Walk the Talk America." Jake Wiskerchen & Michael Sodini from this organization joined a podcast for an episode of Unsafe Space.
During the long conversation, the men point out that the disconnect between firearms manufacturers and mental health professionals leaves gun owners afraid to seek help when they most need it. Transfer laws in many states make it difficult for a responsible gun owner to place their firearms in the care of someone they trust should they face hard times and the temptation to take their own life.
"Walk the Talk America" aims to educate medics, counselors and other professionals to dispel stereotypes about gun owners as well as providing places for people to go when they need help without fear that they will have their firearms confiscated. As we said earlier, there are a number of organizations helping here, but WTTA has free, anonymous screening to encourage gun owners to understand their "baseline" mental state and identify when they need help.
We know our readers don't take gun ownership lightly. Responsible firearm ownership is very important and should include knowledge of yourself and knowing your weaknesses. Supporting each other without condemnation is something the church should excel at. Check in on the folks down at the gun range and especially your brothers and sisters.
President Biden has contracted COVID and it didn't take long for the internet to find that exactly a year ago, the President had insisted vaccinated people would not catch the virus. White House spokesmen say his symptoms are mild.
Former NYT journalist and general rabble rouser, Alex Berenson, has used his return to Twitter to continue where he left off. A German government report found serious and adverse reactions for 1 in every 5000 doses of COVID vaccine. As Berenson points out, this means that the more doses you have, the higher your risk. If that number is correct, that would mean as many as 100000 Americans have been injured by these vaccines.
COVID is still making life unpredictable. Heathrow, one of the world's busiest airports is limiting departures to 100,000 passengers per day until September. The move comes amid staff shortages and the surge in passengers. The departures cap is around half of what Heathrow usually handles. In addition, across the USA, public pools are being forced to close amidst a shortage of lifeguards.
Reporter Donald McNeil wrote an interesting Substack all about monkeypox. He has followed a lot of disease outbreaks over the years. He calls for the need to speak frankly about the spread of the disease by gay men. Although he cites "squeamish health agencies" for the lack of plain speech, he could not resist a dig at Justice Thomas, saying that there is a "serious backlash against gay rights growing in this country". Just know that the personal is political, but so is the medical, the scientific...
Perhaps the message got through.. The WHO announced that monkeypox is a global emergency and finally started admitting that homosexual men are most at risk.
Oof. Officials in Ghana have declared an outbreak of the very nasty marburg virus. Two people have died and more are being monitored.
And in case you don't know what we were talking about... Visit Brandon Falls!
The Hebron Collegium
"The primary goal of Hebron is to build a like-mind, Christ-centered, Bible-literate brotherhood/network of men committed to a shared Christian future in the post-denominational wasteland of north America."
The Hebron Collegium is a one-year Bible school for young men. The idea is a dream come true for Rev. Fisk. Be sure to recommend the school to young men needing some direction or purpose. Remember to pray for Hebron, its incoming students, and that the Lord would build this school.
Well, here's something you don't hear very often - The Science was wrong. A review of decades of data found that the "chemical imbalance" view of depression is only hypothetical. Although it has been very lucrative for pharmaceutical companies, researchers found that the serotonin theory is not supported by the data.
We know that people have been questioning this theory for some time as well as the over-prescription of anti-depressants with uncertain side affects. In a resurfaced clip from 2005, none other than Tom Cruise questioned the practice of prescribing anti-depressants. If Mr. Scientology's ideas were written off as a diatribe, you know you gotta just keep questioning.
Merriam-Webster is not done kicking against the goad of reality. Readers may remember that the publisher got a little creative with the definition of "vaccine" during the pandemic. It now appears they think "female" includes a "gender identity opposite of male". With a spectrum of genders to choose from these days, it's hard to see how one could be the "opposite" of another.
But everything is up for grabs, to keep you unsteady and take your eyes off the man behind the curtain. Spooked by an opinion written by the Supreme Court's Justice Thomas in the Dobbs decision, lawmakers have hastily written bills to codify gay marriage and access to contraception into law. A number of Republican congressmen voted for the bills, with Washington Examiner conceding that if you can't get the state out of marriage altogether, it would be discriminatory to exclude some. Go figure.
However, we can take courage. These bills prove that rulings which forced gay marriage on the all fifty states are based on shaky legal argumentation. Despite what activists say, the matter is not settled. So we need to dust off our arguments like it's 2013 (or 2004 or 2006). In a recent interview with Issues, Etc., Katy Faust from the organization "Them Before Us" says if you start with the needs of a child and argue backwards from there, natural marriage - God's design for family - is what you arrive at. Every time.
Writing in the Spectator, Daniel McCarthy proposes a not-so-hypothetical future where children are "commissioned" and grown using incubation. Like every dystopic sci-fi image you can imagine, McCarthy warns: what has been said about how the pill changed society "will apply a hundred times over...to the advent of artificial gestation". When it comes to marriage and family, the defense can never rest - we've got a lot of defending to do!
Help or hindrance
At least 76 churches and pro-life centers have been attacked since May and according to LifeNews, no one has been held responsible. The sides in fight for life are clearly defined, with one trying to punish anyone who takes a stand and the other wanting to help mothers and children as much as possible. Republican lawmakers introduced a bill that would see pregnant mothers receiving financial support. While you think that this would receive some bipartisan approval, those who are committed to aborting babies accused the bill of "sneaking personhood" into this debate.
Some good news about people doing things to preserve life.. One Texas company has offered to pay their employees to carry their baby to term and adopt him or her out, rather than have an abortion.
The CEO of the tech company said that companies which pay for abortion are short-sighted, ignoring the declining population and the desires of women.
Wallgreens have come under fire for allowing their employees to refrain from selling condoms and contraceptives, if it goes against religious beliefs.
This is just amazing - welcome to the world, little one! God be praised for these wonderful moments.
All the president's men
Russian president, Vlad Putin, met with Iranian president, Ebrahim Raisi, and also Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, last week. The trip was aimed to lock in contracts for Russian oil and to persuade Russia to lift its blockade of Ukrainian wheat, which is needed desperately in the Middle East and Africa.
The talks seemed to have worked, as Ukraine and Russian officials signed a deal to resume exports of wheat. But just hours later, Russian missiles struck the Black Sea port of Odesa, hampering the export operation.
Headlines from far away
Sri Lanka has a new president. Six-time Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, won a secret ballot by lawmakers. (AP News)
Pope Francis has visited Canada to apologize for the abuse of indigenous children in Catholic residential schools. (CNN)
A Japanese regulator has approved a decades-long release of treated water from the Fukushima nuclear reactor into the ocean. The plant was crippled in 2011 after being damaged by a tsunami. (Voice of America)
The run-off for Britain's new Prime Minister will be between Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss (AP News)
John Michael Jones Gets a Life is produced for Mad ⳩ Mondays by E. Darwin Hartshorn. Episodes can also be found on Tuesday, along with previous episodes, on Bunny Trail Junction at bunny-trail.com.
A Mad Public Service Announcement
Mad reader The Grey Knight suggested we remind Mad Christians of all the podcasts we have going on in the Mad Christian universe.
🕶️ Catch Rev Fisk and Dr Koontz on A Brief History of Power podcasts
✝️ Hear Rev Fisk's sermons at St Paul, Rockford Ill
👏 And there is an audio podcast edition of Stop the White Noise, Pastor and Mrs Fisk's Saturday YouTube show.
These podcasts should show up if you search your podcast provider, however they can be a little tricky to find sometimes!
Quick Hits for the Eyebuds
🇨🇭 A wild plan for underground tunnel drone delivery
🏢 Lego comes to Dunder Mifflin
🖨️ Hasbro will 3-D print your face on an action figure
🥄 Spoon fries for maximum ketchup uptake
🐉 Dungeons and Dragons is going to be a movie
💳 What happens when you swipe your credit card
🦋 Monarch butterflies declared endangered (we know they're yellow, but emojis have limited choices!)
📖 We need a Daughters of Wisdom American Girl doll
🔍 How to spot fake reviews
⚙️ How a mechanical watch works
↕️ Crazy narrow house in DC
Promo of Friends
In case you missed a Koontz sighting, Dr. Koontz presented "Truly Human: Biblical Education of the Soul for Life in Christ" at the Conference on Classical Lutheran Education earlier this month. Check out the video below.
Sweetness You May Have Missed
Let us pray: O Lord, let Your merciful ears be attentive to the prayers of Your servants, and by Your Word and Spirit teach us how to pray that our petitions may be pleasing before You; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
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