180 Pentecost 4: Fight Back 2023
"For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone." ~ Psalm 91
Fight Back 2023
I’ve said it before. Deo Volente. I will say it again.
It is your Christian duty to fight back.
Civil disobedience is not pacifism.
At the Rockford Walk for Life and Family this past June 25th, in celebration of the one-year anniversary of the overturning of the death-grip Roe v Wade’s blood cult has had on the public square since, well, before I was born, a wide spectrum of men, women and children were exhorted to understand the real fight we are in, to gird ourselves up with the power of prayer, and to not be afraid in the face of evil.
Those words came to have real meaning when a middle-aged woman with recently barbered hair and plenty of ink tried to drive her small sedan through the crowd from behind, shouting about how she had a right to the road we were walking in. I immediately split off from my group of hymn-singers, continuing to lift my crucifix high, and stepped up behind the three men in reflective wear who were obviously the event-organizer’s traffic control monitors. (I realized later I did not see a single public official presence in the entire event. One might have expected a few police officers stationed about for such potentialities.)
In the end, the woman, though bursting at her gas so that the car lurched when it moved, felt she was unwilling to follow through on her momentary act of terror, and instead wheeled her vehicle about into a near alley, speeding off to the squeal of burning rubber, with the rear of the car even jerking once or twice, threatening a loss of control.
Loss of control indeed!
I was happy to see the lady beside recorded the entire thing, as did the local tridentine priest. Together with many others, we felt the psychological pressure that demonic attacks always bring, and we were blessed by the providence of Jesus to be upheld in our testimony before men.
Those who forsake the law praise the wicked,
But such as keep the law contend with them.
That means fight back.
Till angel cry and trumpet sound,
The Mad Christian
In this edition of Mad Mondays:
Death and glory
Building in an age of incompetence
No further debate
And a look at the week that went...
Death and glory
The sad story of a submersible which went missing while on a dive to view ruins of the Titanic has drawn the attention of the world media. Five men, who had paid to travel in the vessel for a once-in-a-lifetime experience are now presumed dead, after wreckage of the sub was discovered on the sea floor. Experts say the implosion of the submersible would have been over in an instant.
OceanGate, the expedition company running the dive, has been portrayed as being a little cavalier with safety. There had been warnings about its experimentation with carbon fiber hulls, which have not been extensively tested at such depths. Twitter sleuths noted that the sub was controlled using what looked like a gaming console controller, but that is not entirely unusual, with Vice pointing out that the U.S. military also uses such controllers.
Writing at Pirate Wires, Mike Solana made some observations about the online and media commentary to the news. One trend was to laugh at the fate of the passengers since they were rich and privileged. Instead of empathizing, it was easier to score some political points by scolding the wealthy for being "part of the problem". Solana writes, "Dehumanization has been used for countless horrors, and across the political spectrum...How could we not arrive at the actual celebration of gruesome death?"
The second thread of responses revealed how deep our current dedication to "safetyism" runs. In a culture where mere words are considered "violent" and "harmful", engaging in something so reckless means these guys clearly had it coming to them. Yet, as Solana points out, there is a spirit that is missing from our risk-averse and comfortable vantage point which previous generations possessed. He ponders all that has been achieved by risk-takers throughout human history.
Without wanting to draw too long a bow, we see some interesting themes here for Christians – what brings security in this life? and, how do we face death? Someone like Solana sees value in man's desire to explore and test the limits of this created realm, believing death is a noble price to pay for a life worth living. He is at odds with the self-preservation mindset of the Twittersphere which believes risks are for those less evolved and if they die, that's on them.
Yet for we who are baptized into Christ, death is overcome. We can boldly pursue what is good with our whole hearts simply because death has no sting. Pagans run from death but like the martyrs before us, we know that our death is the means by which our Savior brings us to himself. Take courage, performing every vocation to the glory of Jesus, bringing hope to those who live in the valley of the shadow.
You may have heard, Mad Mondays will soon launch a subscriber-only hub. It will be a collection of quality content for Christians who are not satisfied to wallow in the muck, like those who have no hope.
We're in a culture war and a spiritual battle, so we need to suit up! Grab your pens, TEA notes and the mighty Word of God and send us your reviews, opinions, essays, poems and calls-to-action.
Plant a tree
Dr Koontz recommended this thoroughly interesting (but a little gloomy) article. Here's a summary paragraph:
"Americans living today are the inheritors of systems that created the highest standard of living in human history. Rather than protecting the competency that made those systems possible, the modern preference for diversity has attenuated meritocratic evaluation at all levels of American society."
The writer concludes that unless there is a rise in the quality of American governance, the U.S. faces an erosion of the complex systems that contribute to the high standard of living enjoyed by citizens for the last few decades. That all sounds rather grim, and in the face of electoral shenanigans and general incompetence, what can be done to speak truth to power?
There seems to be a great sorting happening in the U.S, not only between Red and Blue but also within conservative groups. There are those who think the best future involves making "red states redder" through political action. The call is for conservatives to get more comfortable wielding political power. Governor Ron de Santis is held up as a model of someone who is not afraid of using the power of the state to enforce particular values.
Others believe we need to stop arguing with the pagans and just get busy setting up our own enclaves wherever we are. Building better communities, stronger families and better products will be refutation enough of the woke ideologies that are wildly tearing everything down. A parallel economy and our own institutions will outlast the destruction and chaos.
Why not have both?
It's not our job to despair, as Pastor Wolfmueller says. Pastor Fisk tweeted last week something also worth remembering: "I may not know what the day will bring. But I know who brings the day." Pray for good government and build something amazing. It has taken a while for America to atrophy, it will take a while to restore. But as someone wise once said, it is a good thing to plant the trees under whose shade you may never sit.
I'm not arguing
Joe Rogan has offered to host a debate between presidential hopeful Robert F. Kennedy jr. and prominent vaccine scientist Peter Hotez over Kennedy's claims about covid inoculations. Hotez declined, saying he's tried to explain many times to RFK that he doesn't understand vaccines and why he is wrong. Corporate media chimed in, concluding that a debate which includes the potential spreading of misinformation would not be in the public interest. Anyway, conspiracy theorists cannot be persuaded.
Auron McIntyre offered an interesting perspective on the situation. The progressive Left understands that debates and arguments offer opportunities to take power. They like to cause arguments so that they can take power. Once they have established power, they don't debate any more. "If you want something to be unassailable, if you want something to be a core and foundational truth...then you don't debate it ever, you stop pretending you care about free speech and you censor everything."
It sounds like the purpose behind one of the first questions: "did God really say?" Start an argument so you can define the terms of engagement. We have seen the slow annexation of definitions for marriage, sexuality and now biology through a strategy of "we said it is so". Hey Christian, are you standing strong on the non-negotiable things? The ground is shifting under our feet by design – manufactured instability is a weapon – but the bedrock of our life is Christ and his word. Our speech must be seasoned with salt, as we give an account for the hope we have. But isn't it time to stop arguing with heathens about what God says is true?
Odds and Ends
Former Special Counsel head, John Durham, has dropped a few bombshells during testimony on Capitol Hill. Durham said that President Obama, as well as intelligence agencies, knew of Hillary Clinton's plan to smear Donald Trump's presidential election. Durham also testified that his investigation found that the CIA treated the Trump and Clinton campaigns disparately. (Hot Air, Just the News).
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) has been censured by Congress. Schiff has been at the center of the Russia collusion hoax, lying on television that he had seen evidence proving President Trump was guilty of bad business. (The Federalist)
Idaho Republicans have signed a resolution calling for the abolition of the FBI. (Idaho Tribune)
Supreme Court of the U.S. rules that Texas and Louisiana "lack standing" to sue Biden administration over border deportation policy. (The Hill)
Biden and Trump
Hunter Biden is expected to plead guilty to charges relating unpaid taxes. The First Son will also enter a "pretrial diversion on a felony gun charge". Critics have called this a "sweetheart" deal, which may see Biden avoid jail time. (Washington Examiner, NewsWeek)
IRS whistleblowers have claimed that Attorney-General Merrick Garland used the Department of Justice to hamper investigations into Hunter Biden. Although President Biden has denied knowing anything of his son's financial dealings with Chinese nationals, transcripts of interviews suggest that is a lie. (Free Beacon, Just the News)
Donald Trump has told a Fox interviewer that he was aware National Archives wanted him to return documents he held at Mar-a-lago, but was too busy to go through them to sort out his own belongings. (PJ Media)
Perhaps not an unrelated news, Judge Cannon who is overseeing the Trump documents case set a date in August to begin trial. However, prosecutors have asked for the trial to be delayed until December. (NBC)
Marriage, sex and family
A new poll shows that fewer Americans believe same-sex relations are morally acceptable. (Gallup)
If you watched Saturday's Stop the White Noise, you heard the Fisks discussing ways of reclaiming June as a month to celebrate things we are "proud" of, such as the overturning of Roe vs. Wade. The good folks of Belgrade hit the streets protesting LGBT festivals with their own, celebrating family and children. (Not the Bee)
Rapper Kesha said she "nearly died" from a complication after having her eggs harvested. "She wanted more time to think through what it meant to have a child in the world today without feeling rushed or distracted." (Self)
What you get from watching too much Hollywood: The director of the left-wing organization called Human Rights Campaign said it's not a given that men have physical advantages over elite sportswomen. Champion swimmer Riley Gaines delivered some cold hits of reality during a hearing on men playing women's sports. (Not the Bee)
Science and the natural world
U.S. food regulators have given the green light to two start-ups to produce cultivated chicken from animal cells. (TechCrunch)
Depletion of groundwater has led to a change in tilt of Earth's axis. (Nature)
Scientists froze then reanimated rat organs. (Stat News)
NASA's Parker probe has come close enough to the sun – 3.8 million miles away – to study the source of solar winds. (Cosmos)
Montana bridge collapse sends train cars containing hazardous material into Yellowstone River. (CBS)
Climate and energy
Sweden has announced it is aiming for "100% fossil-free" energy production, signaling a departure from the "100% renewable" policies of its European neighbors. Sweden's finance minister said that the country needs a "stable energy system" and will build more nuclear power plants. (Red State, Euractiv)
Climate influencer Greta Thunberg has deleted a tweet from 2008 where she warned that humanity had 5 years to fix climate change. (The Blaze)
CDC data shows that protection from hospitalization after bivalent covid vaccine waned within three months. (Epoch Times)
An employee of the U.S.-funded Eco Health Alliance was among first covid deaths in Wuhan. (The Blaze)
Pandemic leaning loss is continuing with test scores still falling. (The Week)
The best way to spot A.I.-generated content is to think about it for a while! (NPR)
Oregon radio station debuts A.I. DJ. (Tech Crunch)
Chat GPT preaches a sermon in Germany. (AP)
Headlines from far away
Chief of Russia's Wagner mercenary group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, has agreed to move to Belarus after leading his men in an alleged uprising against Moscow. Reports say that Prigozhin pulled his men out of Ukraine and was marching towards the Kremlin. The Wagner group seems to have had a beef with Putin since Russia invaded Ukraine, with Prigozhin accusing Russian troops of attacking his men. (BBC, Just the News)
Top court in Moldova has dissolved pro-Kremlin political party after being warned of a potential coup attempt. (Politico)
Italy will no longer register two mothers on birth certificates. The country allows civil same-sex unions but not "gay marriage". (Not the Bee)
Estonia has legalized gay marriage, the first ex-Soviet nation to do so. (WNG)
Mali's junta government has asked U.N. peacekeeping forces to leave, however rebel fighters say that their absence will destabilize the country. (Voice of America)
Honduras has cut ties with Taiwan, opening an embassy in Beijing. (Al Jazeera)
French police have raided the offices of Paris' 2024 Olympic committee after accusations of corruption. (BBC)
Influencer Andrew Tate indicted on rape and trafficking charges in Romania. (CNN)
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.
Quick Hits for the Eyebuds
🏰 Every story needs a dungeon and other things writers can learn from Zelda
🍉 Watermelon snow in Utah
🎺 Museum of imaginary instruments
🇯🇵 Urban farmers of Tokyo
😋 How do spices get their flavor?
🦅 Snack on the go: bald eagle eats fish mid-air
👽 Las Vegas police set up cameras at home where family reported seeing aliens
🍩 The world's favorite fried dough snacks
🕹️ Atari to release new cartridge game for the first time in 30 years
🛰️ Tour of the space station at night (in Russia though)
✈️ Airline thinks chili and chocolate can help reduce jetlag
👀 Tiny bugs living in your eyelashes can help trace family history
🎂 Pups turn out in droves to celebrate a dog lover's 100th birthday
🚧 A house on the edge of an abandoned quarry
A Good Word: Links from the Show Notes
The early and compact Saturday show was another great Stop the White Noise discussion. The recommendations were few, but the encouragement to pray the Psalms is evergreen!
Pro-life books by Randy Alcorn
"Before you Were a Baby" by Paul Showers and Kay Sperry Showers (hard to find!)
Dr Koontz' lecture "Our Heritage of God’s Gifts"
Sweetness You May Have Missed
The Journey: 3 Weeks to Build an Ark - Part E
BHoP#148 The Prestige of Mattering
Let us pray: O God, because Your abiding presence always goes with us, keep us aware of Your daily mercies that we may live secure and content in Your eternal love; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen