164 Lent 2: Where We Stand
"I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come?" ~Psalm 121
Where We Stand
(Part 19 and the final installment of the multipart series "Where We Stand")
When cultures come into contact with each other they have three options:
The technocratic, transhumanist, totalitarian, segregationalistic, hardly-scientific-mostly-one-world religious "Left" is, among many other things, a "culture" that we have come into contact with.
To fight back against any assault, cells of resistance must form. While the world is losing its grip, it will be natural to clamp down harder, force the issue. Don't. Trying not to be fragile makes you fragile. Panic is the giving way to the reign of irrational instinct. Lack of confidence is born of lack of discipline.
To survive, you must believe that you can.
Because you can, you will reassert self-control, enact patience and build toward the clarity and prudent action that will outlast this mess.
Fact: shortages are coming:
supply chain confusions
valuable currencies capable of generational wealth transfer
Starting something new is more difficult than inheriting. But it is also exhilarating, fulfilling, and about so much more than just you. Jesus elects when you die. Jesus chooses when you rise. Jesus is inside of us. The promise is that:
We shall not cease to struggle.
The struggle shall not destroy us.
We shall overcome.
Would that you reigned... - St. Paul
Till angel cry and trumpet sound,
The Mad Christian
In this edition of Mad Mondays:
Dating has fallen on hard times
Ohio still waits for answers
De transitioners take the stand
Plus our new layout for news bullets. Let us know what you think!
Failure to launch
A recent study from American Enterprise Institute surveyed 5000 adults, 18 years and older about dating and marriage and the findings are quite instructive. A lot of things are the same as they have been for a while – young people are prioritizing education and careers, while delaying marriage and starting a family. But there has been a dramatic rise in singleness which presents fresh challenges.
According to The Hill, more young men are unattached than young women, with a proportion of ladies choosing to date older men or each other (yes, that's the world we live in..) "Nearly half of all young adults are single: 34% of women, and a whopping 63% of men." Both men and women say they would rather not date at all than risk a bad experience.
We can blame the internet for a lot of things and in this case, there is good reason to suspect that virtual lives are impacting real ones. Men swamped with internet imagery expect women to be like the porn stars they see, while women want tall, muscled men, able to emote as they do (with six-figure salaries to boot). Dating apps have made it easier to be picky, with religious beliefs, political affiliations, and earning power now potential deal-breakers, especially for ladies.
Men seem to be hardest hit by these trends. While women report that time with besties is just as fulfilling as dating, many men say they have few or no close friends. Suzy Weiss writing at The Free Press nominates a few factors that have contributed to this bleak picture. especially the fear of being #meToo'd which keeps a number of men from approaching women at all. She also blames “snowplow parents” who cleared "even the tiniest of obstacles" for their sons, robbing them of the ability to learn how to navigate life on their own.
Possibly the most poignant moment in Weiss' piece is her interaction with a 26 year-old man in London. He sees the internet as "simultaneously a lifeline and a noose. Between social media and porn and podcasts and video games, you can live a low quality simulation of what a fulfilling life would be.. The lowest possible quality of life you can have, with the internet, is still kind of tolerable. It’s not absolutely awful. You can sort of exist in that, and there’s nothing to give you a kick up the butt because it’s not the worst thing.”
No doubt this is not every young man's story and we thank God for his mercy. Indeed, one YouTube life coach took exception to the idea that finding a mate should be trauma-inducing, insisting there are still wonderful partners to be found. As he advises, if you want to find a spouse, then become a quality candidate yourself.
But the internet epitomises a lot of the worst things about modern life – it's just distracting and convenient enough to stop you from seeking anything deeper. Like Huxley's soma, it anaesthetises into feeling that you're purposeful, when in reality you're at home in a wasteland. Or worse, in the devil's sandbox.
The enemy would seek to chip away at the family, to undermine the comfort of marriage by sowing hurt and indecision and complacency. But the counterfeit is obvious when the good, true and beautiful are revealed, whether broken men acknowledge it or not. Like the woman at the well, the rich young ruler and Pontius Pilate, distracted by sex, power and earthly goods, an encounter with Jesus revealed their need for living water.
So, Christian, wherever you are in this decaying age, your godly marriage is a witness, your steadiness in prayer is testimony, your love for the saints is inspirational, your daily dying to self is evidence that a frictionless life is not the haven the world makes it to be. That is found in the comfort of a baptised Christian, pressing towards the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. We may struggle on the narrow way, but he is risen and he is coming quickly.
Attorney General Merrick Garland has been grilled by Republican lawmakers at a special hearing over the FBI response to attacks on pro-life centers. Senator Mike Lee asked if anything besides politics could explain the lack of prosecutions. The AG said it's hard for the Bureau to find the perpetrators since those criminals usually work at night and are clever people who do things in secret. So, the FBI can work at night when arresting pro-lifers but lawlessness is just fine if it's in the right cause? Got it.
While 34 individuals had been charged for blocking access to or vandalizing abortion clinics, only two individuals have been charged for attacks on churches and pregnancy centers. According to Catholic Vote there have been 81 attacks on pregnancy centers and the 130 attacks on Catholic churches since the Dobbs leak last year.
Just a heads up...Voters in Ohio will be asked to consider enshrining abortion into law in November.
Up in the air
The National Transportation Safety Board has released its initial findings about the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio. The report found that a sensor on the rail detected an overheated bearing, which failed by the time the train could come to a halt. NTSB chair Jennifer Homendy said, "I can tell you this much: This was 100% preventable".
So keep praying for the folks affected, that they will receive help and answers in the face of an uncertain future.
We were put on to this informative podcast by Dr. Koontz. Railroad pundits and a former engineer discuss rail worker unions, government meddling, and how reduced manpower is a recipe for more disasters.
Dr. Koontz has also set up a page to donate money to help folks in the area. Give if you are able!
Two lawsuits look set to open a bit of a floodgate and we're here for that. Chloe Cole, an outspoken de-transitioner is suing medical providers for coercing her into "irreversible chemical and surgical interventions" to live as a boy. A similar case is being brought by a woman in Canada, who was "prescribed testosterone and underwent both a bilateral mastectomy and a hysterectomy during a mental health crisis in which she believed herself to be a man".
Recent research found that cross-sex hormones substantially increases the risk of strokeand cardiac problems. The study concluded that "transitioning" is not a "risk-free endeavor" and recommended that enhanced screening and counseling should be completed before starting the process.
So know that your prayers are not in vain, people are waking up and by God's grace this practice will come to an end.
Meanwhile, men keep crushing it in women's sports. A former male athlete recently broke the women's track record at Canada's Masters games. "Tiffany" Newell said he could have competed in the open, "non-binary" category, but he doesn't "feel comfortable racing against men." We can only imagine how his female competitors feel...
Mid Vermont Christian School Eagles has withdrawn from their division IV state tournament after refusing to play against a transmogrified male player.
Permission to speak freely?
The Department of Energy has joined the FBI and several other government agencies in concluding that available evidence points to a Wuhan lab leak as the most likely origin for covid. Readers may remember that scientists such as Eric Weinstein noted that the virus had markers which indicated it had been tinkered with by humans, way back in 2020. He was bounced out of polite social media circles for his claims, but apparently you can say it now.
So why has it taken so long for this conclusion to come from official channels? One reason is the lack of coverage of the story by corporate media. MSNBC presenter Mehdi Hasan blamed conspiracy theorists, tweeting, "The simple reason why so many people weren’t keen to discuss the ‘lab leak’ *theory* is because it was originally conflated by the right with ‘Chinese bio weapon’ conspiracies and continues to be conflated by the right with anti-Fauci conspiracies." We assumed it was a journalist's job to sort out the facts?
Some social media commentators seemed puzzled as to what difference it makes where the virus came from. If covid occurred naturally, there are things that could be done to mitigate the damage in the event of another pandemic. But if it was a manufactured pathogen that escaped from a secure lab, was covered up by Chinese or Western powers resulting in the deaths of millions? Well, that seems kind of important!
A panel of experts called to testify last week to a congressional committee on covid did not hold back their criticism of government response to the pandemic. Stanford professor Jay Bhattacharya blasted bureaucrats for lockdowns, mandates, and squandering public trust in medicine. Epidemiologist Martin Kulldorff mocked public health leaders for forgetting about natural immunity for three years. Surgeon Marty Makary called the US government the "biggest perpetrator of misinformation".
Covid vax maker, Novovax said it may go out of business when government contracts end later this year.
In related news, President Biden wants $1.6bn to fight covid grant fraud.
Meanwhile, Brazil's president Lula Da Silva is hoping for a 100% vaccinated population.
Ukraine president, Volodymyr Zelensky has warned that if his country loses their fight against Russia, American sons and daughters will have to fight. During a press conference, Zelensky predicted that a Russian victory would likely see Moscow sending troops into neighboring NATO-member Baltic countries obliging America to join the fray. While the thought of Ukraine falling to Russia is awful, the idea that Putin is pining for the glory days of the USSR and wishes to reclaim its territories is contested by some experts.
But it is understandable if Americans are skeptical about sending more money to Ukraine. There are still questions around whether the billions already sent have been used as intended and whether Zelensky's track record makes him trustworthy to administer such a kitty.
Ukraine is preparing new defensive positions near the frontline city of Bakhmut, but the situation is "precarious".
Odds and Ends
Money and politics
The Supreme Court of the USA will hear arguments over President Biden's student debt erasure plans. The President's program was challenged when six Republican-lead states sued the administration (AP)
The Mormon church has been fined millions of dollars for obscuring its massive investment portfolio (AP)
Lori Lightfoot has placed third in Chicago's mayoral race (AP)
Washington state senate has passed laws to encourage "mother-in-law" cottages (Just the News)
The Biden administration wants to crackdown on immigrant child labor (PBS)
Seattle becomes first city to ban caste discrimination (Oregon Public Broadcasting)
South Carolina proposes a "yankee tax" after northerners flock to the state (NYPost)
Science and tech
Amazon has closed a deal to buy Primary Care provider One Medical (CNBC)
A teacher in Massachusetts is facing charges with mining crypto in his school's crawl space using the building's power (Gizmodo)
Ford has submitted a patent for tech which would lock a driver out of their car if repayments are late (Detroit Free Press)
Tik Tok will restrict children's use to one hour (NY Post)
Culture, sport and entertainment
DHS has denied World no. 1 tennis player Novak Djokovich a vaccine waiver to compete in California (Tennis)
Headlines from far away
Iran is investigating the poisonings of hundreds of school girls (AP)
Greece's transport minister has resigned after a passenger train crash claims more than 40 lives (BBC)
Nigeria has voted for a new president. Mr Bola Tinubu won in Christian-dominated states but chose a Muslim running mate in hope of unifying the nation (BBC)
Farmers have driven tractors into Brussels to protest climate regulations (Not the Bee)
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
🧵 Beautifully detailed embroidery
🇬🇧 A rolling bridge
🧪 Scientist says he's found a cure for hiccups
🦉 Owls are the best!
You can't look away...Presidents with mullets
🪙 Bonhams are auctioning coins minted by Cleopatra and Brutus
👊 How to throw a straight dynamic punch
🇩🇪 Germany's holographic circus
🇪🇬 A new chamber has been found in the Great Pyramid
😮 Yikes! New report says 77% of Americans would not qualify for military service
A Good Word: Links from the Show Notes
Double or nothing? We go double. Here's your round up from the last two weeks of Stop the White Noise.
Bringing up Boys by Dr. Dobson
Homer's The Iliad and the Odyssey
Brief History of Power episode 130: Searching for the Silver Bucket
The Easy Peasy Way to Quit Porn- a free ebook
For Women Only: What You Need to Know about the Inner Lives of Men by Shaunti Feldhahn
The Kindness Challenge: Thirty Days to Improve Any Relationship by Shaunti Feldhahn
...SAVED sermons on Mark
Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen
The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien
Promo of Friends
Here's yet another promotion of the GoFundMe set up to support the citizens of East Palestine, Ohio. Leave it to the Reverend Doctor to call for Lenten piety.
Sweetness You May Have Missed
Let us pray: O God, You see that of ourselves we have no strength. By Your mighty power defend us from all adversities that may happen to the body and from all evil thoughts that may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.