Year in review
Happy New Year!
Another year, another trip around the sun, another testament to our mighty God’s providence and love! As history trundles along, it is clear that men plot and scheme but the counsel of Jesus Christ will stand, as he frustrates the plans of the evil ones and keeps his promises to his saints.
I thought I’d send out a year-end round up edition (in a leisurely fashion) of Mad Christian Mondays, because boy howdy! 2023 was a big year of headlines.
War continued in Ukraine and the Middle East is once again in turmoil. The UK crowned a new king, Finland joined NATO and nations signed up to use artificial intelligence responsibly. The BRICS bloc was busy planning to ditch the US dollar and China sent a spying balloon across the USA.
Closer to home, post-Roe America went through various convulsions at state and federal levels, with abortifacient drugs a fresh battleground in the fight for life. Transgenderism was a constant theme with the UK and Europe moving away from child mutilation but the Biden administration giving full-throated support to all of it. Immigration, trafficking, surveillance, inflation and violence in the streets were never far away from the spotlight. Hollywood went on strike, auto workers went on strike, presidential drama abounded and climate activists ran amok.
Thoughts and prayers went out to East Palestine as it took the brunt of a chemical spill, and to Maui when it caught on fire. We mourned with the families of those on the Oceangate submarine and with Nashville after a deranged woman shot up the Covenant School, though scoffers could only victim-blame.
And now it’s 2024. So be in prayer, be in the Word and do more good! Should the Lord tarry, it promises to be a wild ride!
Here is the year as we recorded it.
Politics: It’s probably not worth the pixel-width to lay out all the year’s wrangling in US politics – there was too much. Former president Trump faces many charges and legal battles even as he maintains a convincing lead in polls as the likely Republican candidate in this year’s elections. President Biden faces impeachment proceedings even as many Democrats believe he is unfit to run for a second term.
Early in the year, Former Special Counsel head, John Durham testified that his investigation found that the CIA treated the Trump and Clinton campaigns disparately and knew of the efforts to hamstring Trump’s presidency. We wrote: “SC Durham [concluded] that his recommendations would be fruitless unless the Bureau recruits agents who are of high moral character and dedicated to protecting Americans.”
Courts and law: The Biden administration was sprung for pressuring social media platforms to censor or remove posts and intelligence agencies were questioned over their harassment of pro-life citizens and Catholics.
The Supreme Court of the USA also ruled that the affirmative action practices of elite universities were not constitutional. SCOTUS also put the kibosh on President Biden’s plan to wipe out student debt (although he is doing it anyway). The Court defended Christian conscience ruling that a graphic designer in Colorado would not have to make products for same-sex weddings.
Fox settled a massive 2020 election defamation case against Dominion Voting Systems paying almost $800 million before a scheduled trial.
Life: All eyes were on Ohio in the battle for life, with an initiative to enshrine constitutional protections for the unborn ultimately failing. Moves by other states also lost at the ballot box.
The Federalist has compiled a running tally of companies who are pushing trans insanity.
The border: Immigration has been one of the most important issues facing America for a while now. Blue state mayors got a taste of what happens when national sovereignty is an afterthought, with New York and elsewhere dealing with buses of illegal immigrants sent from border states. Republicans in the House tried a number of times to use their power over the purse to leverage government action at the border.
Money: According to many markers, the American economy "performed better than people would have expected this year" last year, but prices were still high.
Medicine: Three years on, the covid pandemic was still making news and understandably so. Dr Fauci said he was not responsible for a single lockdown and the head of a powerful teacher's union, Randi Weingarten said she wanted schools open the whole time. Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau absolved himself over mandates, insisting no one was forced to be vaccinated.
The USA lifted its covid vaccine requirement for international travelers in May.
Religion and the Church: Pope Francis had quite the year, grabbing headlines numerous times in 2023. He gave women the right to vote at a meeting of bishops in October, fired a conservative bishop in Texas and moved to allow blessings over all sorts of debauchery.
The occult was also near the surface of popular culture. Back in February, satanic themes featured heavily at the Grammy awards but even throughout the year, the Satanic Temple made its presence felt in after-school programs and displays in state capitols.
Public Bible reading and prayer are facing hostile pushback, but that is not a reason to stop. In January, I wrote “Praying may soon be some sort of hate crime, but we know that the prayer of a righteous man scatters the darkness…Let's be serial offenders - it may not always be safe for us, but it will always be effective. What a blessing!”
BTW if you missed Pastor Fisk’s challenge to reform the Roman church, you can read it now:
Some of your favorite links about church and faith:
Mrs Wolfmeuller’s advice on managing little ones in church
Like a Mad journal or scrapbooked breviary: Bible smash books
A new edition of the Small Catechism
And..how to start a Sons of Solomon chapter where you are:
Climate and the natural world: Energy regulators in the US were keen place stricter standards on gas appliances, air conditioners, diesel big rigs, dishwashers and ceiling fans. But scientists are also speaking out against climate alarmism.
Health and food: Some of our most clicked links:
How to stop your amygdala from hijacking your emotions
What happens to your body when you quit sugar?
Exercises from 1918 to increase your concentration
Guide to steak grilling times
The changing American diet visualized
Safer alternatives to ibuprofen
Engaging in silly walks might make you fitter
We’ve had a great year at Mad Christian Mondays, with more people reading and supporting us than ever! Although we’ve changed the lineup a tad, the addition of the Mad Tank has been the realization of a dream. You’ll remember the Fisks were able to travel to Alaska in August and that adventure has proved to be life-changing in all the best ways. The Mad universe has gained much from God’s work in their lives.
What I have seen as I’ve read the news this last 12 months is that there is definitely a lot of white noise out there and discernment is as important as ever. Yet underneath the din, there’s a calm and quiet movement of people who are turning away from that which they can’t control to put their energies into shaping their lives according to what they hold dear.
Homeschooling is the fastest-growing form of education.
American’s desire for large families is at its highest in fifty years.
Kids are showing interest in patriotism and a lo-tech life.
People are wanting to be strong and healthy.
More than that, wide-awake Christians are returning to the Word and prayer, which will always accomplish the purposes of God.
God’s peace to you all!
For good measure, here are some of our most-clicked Quickhits:
✏️ Hyperrealistic drawings that pop off the page
🏴☠️ Where did the pirate accent come from?
🤸♀️ The one-time only gymnastic's "dead loop"
🍏 No phones, hoodies or takeout coffee, just hats, suits and newspapers: 1930s New York City
🗺️ Fascinating! Maps distort how we see the world.
🔍 Details you probably never noticed in famous logos
🇳🇬 A ballet school with a difference
⏰ The wildest timepieces you'll see
🎞️ Very minimalist movie posters
👄 Is it crispy? Apparently you can tell a lot about a person by the way they pronounce the letter “R”
🇧🇷A picture of Christ the Redeemer three years in the making
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