181 Pentecost 5: A Kingdom of Tongues
"The entirety of Your word is truth, and every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever." ~ Psalm 119
A Kingdom of Tongues
“They” don’t want you to believe it. “They” want you to think that it all came from “them.” “They” say that you can hold on to it, make it work, get the win, but “they” never say the Name of Jesus Christ.
I stood face to face with a man fuming with bloodlust and asked him if he knew Jesus.
He began to preach Moses.
“They” are not creative. “Their” stories are never new. But “they” are confusing. “They” are dislogical. “They” are the agents of chaos.
Not so with you.
You have the gift of tongues. You have the Bible, a story so true, so perlocutionary, so actual, that even generations of mistranslations, downright abuses and outright rejections have been unable to hinder its power for dynamically uniting the most unexpected of people into the most tremendous force the world of sorrow and shame has ever seen: the Holy Christian Church.
Yes. You too.
Till angel cry and trumpet sound,
The Mad Christian
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In this edition of Mad Mondays:
An Insider's preview
SCOTUS' very big week
Pride is past, but the battle goes on
And a few headlines to keep you up-to-date..
We are pleased to publish a piece from one of our Mad readers and an advocate for Sons of Solomon, Titus Berndt. Consider this a teaser example of the great content we will soon be collecting in our Insiders edition of Mad Mondays. Watch this space for more information...
Mad Mondays is levelling up! Our Insider's edition of exclusive content will be launching early August (Deo volente!) and we would love to feature our readers' work. Our awesome network is full of people with great things to say, so send us your treatises, creative writing, theological essays, poetry, political commentary and uplifting reflections!
For more information, contact Frisby.
The Supreme Court of the United Sates has handed down some consequential decisions, as is its habit, before retiring for summer break. The ruling grabbing most attention saw the justices decide 6-3 against the affirmative action practices of Harvard and the University of North Carolina. The desire to redress discrimination against minorities and women to give all Americans equality of opportunity in life is well-placed, yet affirmative action policies have devolved into weighting college admissions solely according to race.
The question should be asked: has affirmative action solved the racial disparity problems it was tasked with remedying? Stanford fellow Ayaan Hirsi Ali writes that the practice has done little to raise poor black Americans out of poverty. While more black students are gaining admission, a majority drop out of their degree before graduating. Meanwhile, Asian students are required to achieve much higher scores on their SATs to be considered over a black student. White students are at the bottom of the heap.
Elite universities seem happy to continue discriminating on the basis of race because racial diversity has come to be prized as an end in itself. Back in 2003, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor imagined a day when race-based preferences would not be necessary to create a racially-diverse student body. But now progressives hold to the platitude that "diversity is strength" even though the statement doesn't hold up to much scrutiny. However, carefully curating who gets into their programs is a way to maintain ideological homogeneity, which may be the true goal.
As this case has been working its way up to the Court, elite universities have been seeking loopholes to continue their admissions policies, lowering academic standards and looking to resurrect "adversity scores". The Babylon Bee cheekily suggested a better way might be to ask prospective candidates their sauce preference: ranch, BBQ or soy?
Justice Thomas criticized the dissenting opinions of Justices Sotomoyar and Jackson for writing as if Americans are "all inexorably trapped in a fundamentally racist society." Coverage in the corporate media similarly declared that this decision will perpetuate "systemic racism". But affirmative action can only treat the symptoms of a deeper problem. As Ali points out in her piece: legislation to funnel the underprivileged into higher education will not help if they don't have that which fosters "habits associated with stability and success in life" – strong families.
In another 6-3 ruling, the Court struck down President Biden's plan to wipe out $400 BN worth of student debt. The majority insisted the President could not do so by executive order and must get Congressional approval. The President has said he is planning to circumvent the Court's ruling using a higher education Act.
In a case that will interest Christians, the Court ruled 6-3 that Colorado website designer Lorie Smith does not have to build products commissioned to celebrate same-sex marriage. After the harassment of baker Jack Phillips over his refusal to make cakes for gay weddings, the Court ruled that Colorado authorities had been "hostile" to Phillip's religious convictions, but failed to rule that forcing consciences is a form of compelled speech. The case in favor of Smith makes a very clear free speech ruling and will help in the defence of religious liberty.
The Court also ruled unanimously in favor of postal worker, Gerald Groff, who was disciplined for refusing to work on Sundays.
Grooming month is over
With calendars flipping over to July, it will be good to see activists putting away their pride flags for another year. However, the season of debauchery really did go out with a bang. See if you can see a theme here:
Fully naked men rode bikes in a Seattle pride parade, in front of children and families.
Participants in a New York procession chanted, "We're here, we're queer, we’re coming for your children!"
Actor and activist George Takei tweeted that even if there weren't any naked cyclists, conservatives would find a way to demonize LGBT celebrations. And corporate media tried to "let's go Brandon" the situation, saying that the groomers didn't really mean that they are coming for children – it's just a thing that gets said at pride parades, apparently.
In other creepy messaging, Planned Parenthood proclaimed that virginity is a socially-constructed hangover from patriarchal thinking that "hurts everyone". It is hard to think of an innocent explanation for why adults would like to see purity discarded as the precious thing that it is. Certainly, attacking celibacy and waiting for marriage as desirable estates makes sense for an organization which profits from killing babies.
So keep praying against this zeitgeist. Keep teaching your children about life, as Jonathan and Meridith reminded us last week on Stop The White Noise. The confusing messages especially aimed at young women are designed to kill and destroy lives. And some are buying into it.
Odds and Ends
The State Department has released a report about the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, saying that President Biden's rushing and lack of a planning "compounded the difficulties the Department faced in mitigating the loss of the military’s key enablers” and put the longevity of the Afghanistan government in jeopardy. (The Federalist)
Governor DeSantis has signed legislation regarding illegal immigrants in Florida aimed at making the "state less attractive to noncitizens without permission to be in the country." Businesses with 25 employees or more will be required to verify that their staff are in America legally. ( Washington Examiner)
Climate and the natural world
Scientists excited about "mind-boggling" palm which flowers and fruits underground. (The Guardian)
An invasive "frankenfish" can survive several days on land found in Missouri. (CBS)
A climate protestor was carried off field by cricket player. (PJ Media)
Large solar installation in Nebraska destroyed by hail. (Cowboy State Daily)
The first U.S. malaria cases in 20 years found in Florida and Texas. (WNG)
Australia will be the first country to prescribe psilocybin and MDMA to treat depression and PTSD. (Nature)
Jobs and vocation
The amount of Americans still working after 80 years of age has increased 18% over the last decade. (Daily Mail)
National Geographic is firing all its staff writers and will no longer produce a print edition. (Not the Bee)
Yikes! A university janitor wiped out 20 years of research by turning off freezer which was beeping. (CNN)
Crime and punishment
Explosive devices detonated near three Washington D.C. businesses. (CBS)
Daniel Penny entered not guilty plea to charges over subway chokehold death. (WNG)
"Non-binary" shooter who killed 5 and injured dozens at a Colorado gay club last year sentenced to life in prison. (Colorado Sun)
Las Vegas active shooter thwarted by armed employee. (Maine Wire)
Study finds two-thirds of teenagers have been subject to extortion over explicit content. Predators pose as peers to elicit compromising photos, then threaten to release them unless they are compensated. (Epoch Times)
A.I. image-generator Midjourney can "expand" pictures by filling in background. (ArsTechnica)
YouTube is eyeing mini-games. (9to5)
This week, 40 years ago, the first barcode was scanned on a pack of Wrigley's gum. (Chicago Tribune)
Headlines from far away
France has been rocked by riots, ignited by the police shooting of a 17 year-old boy. The teen had a criminal record and police claim he tried to evade them at a traffic stop. It is not entirely clear what is happening on the ground, but the death seems to have triggered those who are generally upset at immigration policies and Muslim influence, as well as discontent among law enforcement. Riots broke out in similar circumstances in 2005. (BBC, RAIR,Twitter, Le Monde)
Ukraine's President Zelensky has paused elections until war with Russia is over. A parliamentary member said elections could "lead to the rupture of the state, which our enemy is waiting for. That is why I think the most correct and wise decision is to hold elections immediately after the end of martial law." (ZeroHedge)
Brazil's Supreme Electoral Court has voted to bar former President Jair Bolsonaro from running for office until 2030. The move comes in response to Bolsonaro's comments that voting machines "were prone to being hacked and open to large-scale fraud." (BBC)
Israeli Hollywood movie producer has testified in years-long corruption trial against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (AP)
Greece's "center-right" prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, has been returned to office in a landslide victory. (CNN)
South Koreans prepare as Japan plans to release radioactive water into the sea. The "water was mainly used to cool damaged reactors at the Fukushima power plant" which experienced meltdown in 2011. (Yahoo)
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
🇺🇸 Happy Independence to our American readers. Here's a quiz for you.
🧨 How fireworks work
🍕 "Zero gravity" oven means astronauts can make pizza in space
🚉 Enthusiasm for online trainspotting is leading to unexpected tourism in railway towns
👨👨 Eleven sets of twins graduated last week from NJ high school
👀 Remarkably restored 1920s beach footage
🖊️ Rule: Don't redact with Sharpie!
🌎 The world's roundest and most rectangular countries are one and the same
🍽️ The changing American diet visualized
Sweetness You May Have Missed
One Week Under the Beast
BHoP#149 Myth of America Part 5 - Go Home Young Man
Let us pray: Almighty God, by the working of Your Holy Spirit, grant that we may gladly hear Your Word proclaimed among us and follow its directing; 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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