204 Advent 2: Unity Achieved
“I will hear what God the Lord will speak, for He will speak peace to His people and to His saints.“ ~ Psalm 85
“I want to reform the Catholic Church,” he said to me.
I smiled a grin as wide as the sun.
He was evidently puzzled.
I haven’t followed up yet with our local Rockford Canon since those words were exchanged at a local rally to prevent a Drag event at the township library. I’m not sure he knew who I was. Perhaps the collar made him think I was Anglican. All that said, the point at hand, as I understand it, is that the Latin Mass retained at St. Mary’s in downtown Rockford is overseen by special dispensation directly from superiors in Rome, outside the normal system of bishops. Particular to the conversation that day is the notion that this goes left-hand-in-right with a much larger Roman movement that understands all too well that the current pope is so very, very “not Catholic.”
As a Lutheran, it only drives home what I have now come to firmly believe: that the day Lutheranism became satisfied with being Lutheranism, we died.
Without the Reformation of the Catholic Church, without the battle to turn the office of the Antichrist from his destruction of the Church, the heirs of Wittenberg amount to little more than a neurotic and emotionally self-repressed megalomania.
The Bible is taught to the laity in the Roman churches today. This is the legacy of the Reformation. We won, if not in totality, then in practice.
I don’t think we should stop there.
Francis, the Lavender Godfather, this week made public his opinion that Jesus isn’t feminine enough yet. I understand that everyone is not keeping score with the same cards when it comes to the battle of the sexes in the house of God these days. But last time I checked, it was Team “Girls-Run-Church-Culture” up by, like, a billion and something to seven. That's across all denominations combined. Even “Christian Traditionalism“ strongholds like the Missouri Synod are matrilineal microcultures where the men only rule symbolically.
No Christian on earth today should hear what the pope said and think, “That’s the Holy Spirit of Jesus talking.” Every one of us should be able to see this mortal man sitting in the heights of the public Christian Church and decrying the very manhood of Jesus Christ as nothing short of Antichrist.
“I want to reform the Catholic Church.”
Yes. Let’s start there.
Till angel cry and trumpet sound,
The Mad Christian
Births, Deaths and Marriage
Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) has recently released his hold on blocking military appointments after Democrats said they would change Senate rules just to breach his blockade. President Biden said all Tuberville’s actions had been “pointless” and that he “needlessly hurt” military families and national security. But it was far from pointless, given that Senator Tuberville’s actions have brought attention to the Pentagon’s unconstitutional policy of paying for abortion. Ben Domenech writes that Senator Tuberville showed “what’s possible using the power of an individual senator.” In the end, lawmakers would rather railroad Tuberville than “actually vote on such approvals, chewing up much of their floor time, keeping them from flying around the world to conferences and fundraisers, and all the other things that, as aspects of doing their job, modern twenty-first century politicians believe are beneath them.” Senator Tuberville’s blockade is still in place for 10 four-star promotions. (The Week, The Transom)
New Hampshire has moved to protect life, with a proposal from Republican Representatives which would limit abortion after 15 days pregnancy. (WNG)
A stunning new report from the CDC shows that 42% of America’s abortions kill black babies. This data excludes states like California which does not collect abortion data. (WNG)
During a Congressional hearing on Title IX and women athletes, the president of the National Women's Law Center said that for trans-identified individuals to “fully access education as their full selves,” females must learn to “lose gracefully.” Can we just point this out? It’s “graciously” NOT gracefully! Let’s just say, a hulking boy with long hair is unlikely to do anything as “gracefully” as a girl. The new line of argument/talking point for the pro-transgender crowd seems to be that athletes will be subjected to intrusive examinations in order to “prove” they are women, ergo we need to let anyone who says they’re female compete how they like. Perhaps an accurate birth certificate would do the trick? (The Blaze, The Blaze)
Employees of iniquitous website PornHub have claimed that its algorithms deliberately push transgender and other abominable content to heterosexual men and (wait for it) children. Apart from the desire of perverts to have others participate in their sin (Romans 1-style), it is worth their seeing “if you get a bigger audience with it” as porn is very lucrative. PornHub’s spokesperson “disputed the interpretation of what the employees were discussing.” (Washington Examiner)
Obituary: Television producer Norman Lear, dies at 101. The Briefing covered how Lear’s hostility to Christianity came through in his culturally transformative sitcoms. (The Briefing)
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin urged Congress to release more money for Ukraine. Secretary Austin warned that if Putin takes Ukraine and threatens NATO allies, American would be obliged to fight Russia directly. “It’s cheaper to fund Ukraine now”, he said. (Mediaite) corrected to properly reflect what Secretary Austin said 12.12.23
Israel has released footage of Hamas soldiers who they say surrendered to them en masse. Israel continued its incursion into southern Gaza, claiming it has killed five more Hamas leaders. Turkey has warned Israel that it should not try to take out Hamas leaders on its soil. (Red State, AP, Bloomberg)
The US has filed war crimes charges against Russia for torturing an American in Ukraine. (Just The News)
From the Mad☧Tank
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Great stuff from our archive:
Democratic strategist, James Carville, recently appeared on Bill Maher’s show and claimed that as a Christian, Speaker Mike Johnson is “a bigger threat than al-Qaeda to this country.” (The Blaze)
Actor and film maker, Rob Reiner, has released a documentary warning of the dangers of Christian Nationalism. Like a lot of Hollywood liberals, Reiner only likes a social justice Gospel and Christianity that is “vaguely nice” and can’t seem to comprehend that Christians know that righteousness exalts a nation. Definitely don’t talk about sin and repentance! (Daily Wire)
President Biden’s reelection campaign has warned that a second Trump administration would be disastrous for America. The President said he might not even be running were it not for the thought of stopping Donald Trump and he chided the press for not taking this threat seriously. The campaign specifically called out the New York Times saying it was up to them to “responsibly inform the electorate of what their lives might look like if the leading GOP candidate for president is allowed back in the WH.” (USA Today, The Federalist)
Opinion: On the Left’s hysteria over Donald Trump as a would-be dictator, Cuban-born Martin Gurri says, “Trump is ‘no Fidel Castro.’” (UnHerd)
Should we tell them that right-wing loudmouth Alex Jones is back on Twitter? (Twitter)
This is not really about Trump and his detractors, but about godless leaders who are driven by power and fear. They want to throw off every constraint that would remind them of their need for repentance and forgiveness. So pray for America and its leaders, our pastors and our families too.
The heads of three top universities (University of Pennsylvania, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University) were questioned by a Congressional education Committee over anti-Semitic behavior at their institutions. The trio fudged their way through questions, saying the balance between free speech and safety depends on context. You can be sure if someone was misgendered on campus, there would be a lot less nuance! (The Hill)
The University of Pennsylvania president Liz Magill testified that UPenn doesn’t “accept any gifts that would compromise our mission or create any sort of conflict of interest” after lawmakers asked her about gifts from foreign governments. Previous investigations have revealed that top universities receive hundreds of millions of dollars from many international sources, including Arab governments. (The Daily Pennsylvanian, University World News)
Former US ambassador to Bolivia, Victor Manuel Rocha, has been charged with spying for Cuba for over 40 years. The discovery of Rocha’s espionage represents “one of the highest-reaching and longest-lasting infiltrations of the U.S. government by a foreign agent." (CBS)
Hunter Biden has been hit with nine tax-related charges. “Prosecutors allege in the indictment that Hunter Biden ‘spent millions of dollars on an extravagant lifestyle rather than paying his tax bills.’” (Axios, Jonathan Turley)
House Republicans have said they have “no choice” but to bring a formal impeachment inquiry of President Joe Biden to the House floor. (WNG)
RemArm, America’s oldest firearms maker, is shutting down in NY, citing a hostile environment for gun owners and manufacturers. The company is eyeing Georgia as a location for its new facility. “The company warned that politicized legal warfare against Second Amendment rights would place the firearms industry ‘in danger of being overwhelmed by the cost of defending itself.’” (Epoch Times)
Crime, law, courts
An appellate court has sided with Douglass Mackey, who had been sentenced to 7 months in prison for making a meme. The satirical meme encouraged people to vote for Hillary Clinton by text, but the “DOJ was not able to bring any evidence to trial to show that voters were harmed by the meme, or disenfranchised of their voting rights.“ (PostMillennial)
Walk a mile: A woman who threw her meal at a fast food waitress has been offered a reduced prison stay in exchange for working at Chipotle. The judge hopes she will “learn how people should treat people.” (CNN)
Religion and the Church
Pope Francis says the church has been “masculinized.” Since the “church is a woman,” more women are needed in leadership, he said, to counteract the “male-dominated view that still exists in the church and in society.” (RNS)
Speaking of antichrists… “Antiochus Epiphanes—The Bible’s Most Notoriously Forgotten Villain.” (Biblical Archaeology)
Apple and Google have been forced to reveal that the government can read your push notifications. Although those pings may just be about Amazon packages, government agencies “have used this data to link anonymous messaging app users to specific accounts.” (Vice, The Hustle)
Google has released its latest Large Language Model, Gemini. (The Verge)
Economy, Markets and Jobs
Speaker Johnson has warned President Biden that there will be no more funding for Ukraine’s war effort without “extensive reforms” of border policy. A reported 1.5 million people have entered the US illegally since President Biden took office. (Fox, BBC, New York Post)
Health, Medicine and Food
Ultrasound technology can push vaccines into the body without needles. (New Scientist)
A person’s organs may age at different rates, according to a new report. (Nature)
Millennial parents are asking for vegan school meals. (Ambrook)
Climate and the Natural World
Farmers are retrofitting their old tractors with AI tech to help with spraying and planting. (Wall Street Journal)
The Mormon Church is buying Nebraskan farmland. “It could soon become Nebraska’s largest landowner – passing Ted Turner, who has famously long occupied that No. 1 spot.” (Flatwater Freepress)
Tennessee storms have claimed at least 6 lives. One man captured a spectacular lightning strike in a tornado as it hit a substation. (Daily Mail)
Why scientists are making transparent wood? (Knowable)
Rolls Royce have unveiled a mini prototype nuclear reactor they say could power a lunar settlement. (Interesting Engineering)
Hearts and Minds
Experiences are for having not hoarding. (The Imperfectionist)
Yay productivity. Netherlands start-up wants to develop technology to help you control your dreams, so you can work while you’re asleep. What could go wrong? (The Hustle)
The Ivy Lee method to avoid decision fatigue. (Well and Good)
Stories from Far Away
🇻🇪 Tensions between Venezuela and Guyana continued to escalate last week. President Maduro (Venezuela) ordered oil companies to issue licenses to extract oil from the Guyanese province which they say belongs to them. (Time)
🇫🇮 Finland has accused a Chinese container ship of deliberately damaging a gas pipeline by dragging its anchor for 180 miles. (Politico)
🇯🇵 Demand for sasumata, a samurai weapon, has jumped after a jewellery store owner used one to chase away would-be thieves. (The Guardian)
🇨🇳 Investment giant, Moody, has downgraded China’s economic outlook to negative, highlighting concerns over the size of China’s debt and unstable property market. (Times of India)
🇬🇧 The UK is aiming to reduce immigration by raising the minimum wage that immigrants must earn to be admitted to the country. (Reuters)
🇯🇵 Russian diplomats are ticking off their hosts in Japan by racking up 2,300 unpaid parking fines. (SCMP)
🇧🇷 Rioting has broken out in São Paulo following a defeat for Santos FC soccer club. The loss means Santos will be relegated for the first time in their 111 year-history. (Yahoo)
🇬🇭 Who is Ghana’s masked presidential contender? (Semafor)
🇫🇷 French farmers have sprayed manure on government buildings to protest climate policies which have hurt their incomes. (Not the Bee)
Quick Hits for the Eyebuds
🇮🇹 Italy’s other leaning tower
🦸🏻♂️Quiz: Name of a font or a Marvel character?
🇳🇿 Kiwi babies have been born in the wild for the first time in a long time
🎸 In 2013, Metallica became the first band to play on all seven continents, including a concert on an station in Antarctica
🌌 Astrophotographer captures three phenomena in one shot
🏴 Couple discover their garden ornament is a live bomb
🌳 The benefits of having a favorite tree
☕ When hot chocolate beverages took over the British court
🛢️ Skiffle: 1950s punk
A Good Word: Links from the Show Notes
On this week’s Stop the White Noise (YouTube, Rumble), Jonathan and Meridith spoke at length about devotionals and spiritual formation, babies in church, children in heaven and Christian charity. Here’s a place to start your week:
Professor Horner’s Bible reading plan
Treasury of Daily Prayer - Regular Edition edited by Scot A. Kinnaman
Psalm 119 (tackle a section each day)
Proverbs, the first 9 chapters, for wisdom and spiritual guidance
Our disclaimer: These are some resources the Fisks have found edifying, but when dealing with human-authored texts, apply discernment liberally!
Sweetness You May Have Missed
This Week Preached:
Let us pray. Stir up our hearts, O Lord, to make ready the way of Your only-begotten Son, that by His coming we may be enabled to serve You with pure minds; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
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