November 12, 2018

The IM Saturday Monks Brunch: November 3, 2018

The IM Saturday Monks Brunch: November 3, 2018

Welcome to our first brunch of November 2018. We’re past Halloween and Reformation Day. Many of us celebrate All Saints this Sunday. The season is getting darker, but we’ll get a bit more light soon on how politics here in the U.S. will trend going forward. We’ll honor our U.S. military veterans this month as the UK commemorates Remembrance Day with poppies. And then Thanksgiving, the end of this current Church Year cycle, and on into Advent. Thanks for joining us as we enter this auspicious month.

Public service announcements…

Don’t forget to set your clocks back tonight!

U.S. citizens: Don’t forget to VOTE next Tuesday!

Yeah CT! An article worthy of Michael Spencer…

We did not run our normal annual Halloween post from Michael Spencer this year, but I found a wonderful  substitute at Christianity Today by Dr. Anderson M Rearick III.

“It’s Satan’s Holiday, Dr. Rearick,” affirmed one of my students. “Didn’t you know?”

Well, no, I didn’t know. And I am reluctant to give up what was one of the highlights of my childhood calendar to the Great Impostor and Chief of Liars for no reason except that some of his servants claim it as his.

I have always considered Halloween a day to celebrate the imagination, to become for a short time something wonderful and strange, smelling of grease paint, to taste sweets that are permissible only once a year. How wonderful to be with other children dressed up as what they might grow up to be, what they wished they could be, or even what they secretly feared. All of us, dreams and nightmares, were brought together on equal footing, going from door to door to be given treats and admired for our creativity. How delightful to go to parties with doughnuts, apples, brown cider, and pumpkin cakes—and to hear spine-tingling ghost stories and feel our hearts skip a beat when the teller grabbed for us.

…If we give up All Hallows Eve, we lose the delight of God’s gift of imagination and we condemn the rest of society to a darker Halloween because our laughter will not be there to make the devil run.

The doctor who treated the synagogue shooter…

One of the heroes who emerged during the tragedy at Tree of Life Synagogue was Jeff Cohen, president of Allegheny General Hospital. Dr. Cohen, who is Jewish, led the medical team who tended to Robert Bowers after he was shot multiple times by police taking him into custody on Saturday.

Despite the fact that Bowers was still shouting “I just want to kill Jews!” as he was wheeled into the emergency room, Dr. Cohen responded by saying, “My job isn’t to judge him … my job is to care for him.”

Dr Cohen also praised other Jewish workers at the Allegheny General Hospital, where the gunman was treated.

“Many of the people who attended to him were Jewish. And they’re heroes,” he said.

Protecting the wilderness…

We talk about the wilderness as a metaphor a lot here on Internet Monk. It is one of the most poignant and effective images in scripture, one which people throughout human history have evoked when describing certain life experiences.

Now, let’s talk about the real wilderness areas on this planet. The first map of Earth’s intact ecosystems show that just five nations are responsible for most of them.

From The Guardian:

Researchers from the University of Queensland (UQ) and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) have for the first time produced a global map that sets out which countries are responsible for nature that is devoid of heavy industrial activity.

It comes ahead of the conference of parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in Egypt in November where signatory nations are working towards a plan for the protection of biodiversity beyond 2020.

Conservationists are calling for a mandated target for wilderness conservation that will preserve the planet’s vulnerable ecosystems.

The UQ and WCS study, published in the journal Nature, identifies Australia, the US, Brazil, Russia and Canada as the five countries that hold the vast majority of the world’s remaining wilderness.

…The researchers say that the planet’s remaining wilderness can be protected “only if it is recognised within international policy frameworks”.

They’re calling for an international target that protects 100% of all remaining intact ecosystems.

“It’s achievable to have a target of 100%,” Watson said. “All nations need to do is stop industry from going into those places.”

He said the five countries responsible for most of the world’s remaining wilderness had to provide leadership and could act to protect these areas through legislation or by offering incentives to businesses that do not erode nature.

John Robinson, the executive vice-president for global conservation at WCS, said wilderness would only be secured globally “if these nations take a leadership role”.

Parkinson’s Disease may start in your gut…

As a hospice chaplain, I meet people suffering from all kinds of terminal diseases and conditions. Of all the conditions, one I would rather not ever have to deal with is Parkinson’s Disease, a progressive nervous system disorder. If any of you have cared for loved ones or neighbors with a severe form of Parkinson’s, you know how devastating it can be for patient and caregivers.

It has long been thought that Parkinson’s, a brain disease in which certain neurons gradually break down or die, is linked somehow to problems in the gastrointenstinal system. Now scientists have found some intriguing new information.

From Gizmodo:

The international team of scientists reviewed two datasets, including a large registry from Sweden, and found that removal of the appendix was associated with a decreased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. They also found that the human appendix contains clumps of a protein called alpha-synuclein in a form associated with the disease. There’s more work to be done, and the authors are not advocating that people preemptively remove their appendixes, but they hope that the research could provide a pathway towards treatment.

“There’s potential for [gastrointestinal]-tract based therapies that could block the formation and spread of alpha-synuclein clumps as future, early, and preventative treatments for Parkinson’s disease,” professor Viviane Labrie from the Center for Neurodegenerative Science at the Van Andel Research Institute in Michigan said in a press teleconference.

…The team…analyzed surgical human appendix samples and found that they contained alpha-synuclein proteins—including shortened and mis-folded alpha-synucleins like the ones found in Lewy bodies.

Perhaps, and according to experimental evidence, “it can travel up the nerve that connects the G.I. tract to the brain,” says Labrie. “And if it were to enter the brain, it can seed and spread from there and have neurotoxic effects that could eventually lead to Parkinson’s disease.”

…John Woulfe, a scientist from the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute’s Neuroscience Program, said: “This research is important because it provides some support for the idea that Parkinson’s disease may be initiated outside of the brain and, specifically, in the appendix.” He said he found the study results convincing.

Pictures from the Week…

From The Atlantic

BOSTON, MA – OCTOBER 31: The Boston Red Sox ride in duck boats on Tremont Street past Park Street Church during the Boston Red Sox Victory Parade on October 31, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY – OCTOBER 31: People in costumes participate in the annual Village Halloween parade on Sixth Avenue on October 31, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

LONG BEACH, CA – OCTOBER 28: A dog dressed in a Mardi Gras costume seen at the Haute Dog Howl’oween Parade 2018 on October 28, 2018 in Long Beach, California. (Photo by Chelsea Guglielmino/Getty Images)

PISA, ITALY – OCTOBER 30: Students of Scuola Normale Superiore and Sant’Anna School in action during the traditional battle of the water balloons against students of Scuola Normale Superiore on October 30, 2018 in Pisa, Italy. The Universities of Normale di Pisa and Scuola Sant’Anna di Pisa engage in an annual water balloon battle in the centre of Pisa. The balloons are launched by elaborate machines designed and built by the students themselves. Around 300 students took part in the event and over 32,000 water balloons were used. These two universities of excellence among the most prestigious in Italy and in the world since 2017 are federate. (Photo by Laura Lezza/Getty Images)

Relatives gather around some of the graves illuminated by candles during All Saints Day at the cemetery in Vilnius, Lithuania, Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018. Candles illuminated tombstones in graveyards across Europe as people communed with the souls of the dead on Thursday, observing one of the most sacred days in the Catholic calendar.(AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis)

Midterm Election Crafts…

Just in time for this Tuesday (don’t forget to vote!!!) — According to an article in the New York Times, Etsy, the online craft store, has in recent years become a clearinghouse for homemade political paraphernalia. Here are some of the current election items available.

Beto O’Rourke Votive Candle ($12.99)

Ted Cruz Acrylic Painting ($15.00)

Trump Christmas Tree Ornament ($5.00)

Tim Kaine with an Octopus on his head ($25.00)

This last one is my personal favorite. Here is the background:

Jonathan Crow, a programmer in Silicon Valley, started drawing all the vice presidents with octopuses on their heads when he was laid off in 2013. He thought the goofiness of the animal was a good match for the goofiness of the role, which he described as “the ultimate dead-end job.”

Expecting that Mrs. Clinton would win the presidency, Mr. Crow planned to release this portrait of her running mate on election night. Of course, it was not to be. Still, Mr. Crow said, he has sold 11 of the prints since, to “people who wanted to live in an alternate universe where he became vice president.”

Great recent headlines from…


Chris Tomlin Marks Reformation By Adding Ten-Minute Chorus To ‘A Mighty Fortress’

Uh-Oh: The Migrant Caravan Just Announced A Plan To March Around The US Seven Times Blowing Trumpets

God Condemns Washington DC After Being Unable To Find Ten Righteous People There

Decaf Coffee Condemned as Heresy

Suspicious Package Mailed To Joel Osteen Found To Contain Bible

Report: Lots Of Yelling At Each Other Expected To Fix Things Any Day Now

This week in music…

One of my favorite artists, Roseanne Cash, has a fine new album out now called She Remembers Everything.

Jon Pareles’s review in the New York Times says, ‘The passage of time, tenacious love, a life on the road and inevitable mortality suffuse “She Remembers Everything,” Rosanne Cash’s new album. “From this point on there’s nothing certain/except there’s not many miles to go,” she sings in one of the album’s most upbeat songs, the country-rocker “Not Many Miles to Go.” And in “Everyone But Me,” a solemn piano hymn, she counsels, “Our strange and beautiful lies/Fade and turn to dust.” Cash is 63, and she is neither pretending otherwise nor regretting where she stands right now.’

Comments

  1. Dr. Cohen is a mensch.

  2. Susan Dumbrell says:

    Hi Fellow IMonkers.

    I am feeling rather ambivalent about this whole Halloween stuff.
    All Saints and All Souls are remembered in the Anglican Church as recalling those who as Saints enriched our Church with their wisdom and All Souls as those near and dear to us who encouraged us in our journey through life and into the Christian faith.

    None of this required ‘vegetables’ lit with candles and ghastly costumes with children demanding sweets/(candy).

    Unfortunately the dollar stores in Aust have been selling ‘stuff’ to encourage kids and adoring, never say no, parents to take up customs which are alien to the true meaning of the days. Secularisation of all things of Christian origin and meaning are not encouraged or promoted.

    I do sound like a kill joy, but………

    Society is hell bent on offering nothing of substance to our children as a good grounding whether it be within the Christian framework or the secular. Anything to keep the kids happy. Lets just spend more money on cr…p for them and they will stop whingeing. (I could say give them candy or sweets or guns, what options!!)

    For this Sunday we have been asked to bring Spring flowers with which to adorn our little bush church. We will pray for the Saints of the Church who set the example of good and showed us the way of Christian living.
    We then will pray with the flowers we bring for the souls of our dear departed and offer the flowers and our prayers for them to God for his safe keeping.

    NO PUMPKINS REQUIRED (HUG might like this?)

    Bless you all and the saints and those near and dear and departed who are still so near to us.

    Susan

    • I like the saints, Susan, but I also kinda like pumpkins.

      there’s something about
      pumpkins that makes you wanna
      go get a pumpkin

      • Susan Dumbrell says:

        Pumpkin soup or pumpkin pie. YES
        Just the best.

        • Susan Dumbrell says:

          I make the best pumpkin soup, I can give recipes.
          Family favorite

          • Pellicano Solitudinis says:

            Yes please. My kids love the stuff, but I’m a bit bored with my recipe.

          • My wife make pumpkin soup for supper last night. Ahhh… I had seconds.

            Your recipe would be welcome too, and thanks to Christiane for the stuffed pumpkin recipe.

        • Michael Z says:

          Also, save the seeds and bake them! Just cover them with a bit of olive oil and salt, and leave some of the pumpkin goop on them for extra flavor. Very tasty, and possibly even nutritious as well.

  3. Heard Roseanne Cash’s “Not Many Miles to Go” for the first time the other night on my car radio as I drove home from choir practice. A hauntingly beautiful song, especially for those of us who have not many miles to go — and isn’t that all of us?

    • I play clarinet in a community band these days and really enjoy the sense of camaraderie that brings. I describe it as getting together with 50-60 of my favorite people in the world and making some beauty (or at least trying). Does choir have that same sense of community?

      • Somewhat; yes and no. I think it complicates matters for me that my wife is the paid choir director/organist/musician, and I’m always aware of the internecine church conflicts that happen around music programming for worship.

        • Ah yes! I’m fortunate in that that’s no concern for me. The only paid positions in the band are elective and those guys work hard for the meager $$ they get as stipend.

  4. Remember: Vote early, and vote often!

    I’m just kidding. Those of you prone to conspiracy theories about fraudulent voting (you know who you are), please refrain.

    • Susan Dumbrell says:

      Just vote correctly.

      • Pellicano Solitudinis says:

        That’s not as easy as it seems. My spouse votes one way and I vote another; neither of us could in good conscience vote any other way. Our votes cancel out each others. Should we not vote at all?

        • That Other Jean says:

          My father always insisted that if you didn’t vote, you couldn’t complain about the results. Since I’m sure each of you will find something to complain about before you get another chance to vote the winners into/out of office again, you should certainly both vote. Far, far too many people don’t bother.

        • Susan Dumbrell says:

          Yes, always. But once each election.

          Confusion reigns as Aust never knows who is in and wants to be still in and who is in disfavour but wants to be in.

        • Susan Dumbrell says:

          Pellicano,
          I have just picked a dozen mixed colour roses to take to Church tomorrow. Magnificent.
          I love Spring. We had a big wind and rain storm yesterday evening and have significant damage to town buildings and trees in our Parks.
          Unfortunately the drought breaking is still a myth.

      • I’m a first time poster here, but I read the posts and comments here occasionally.

        Sue Dumbrell, can you tell me exactly how to vote correctly? Is there a specific correct vote? I have always been taught that voting is a matter of conscience and different people will vote differently.

        • I think may be Susan might mean fill out your ballot correctly. In Aus voting is compulsory and your vote will be invalid if you don’t fill it out correctly, we use paper and pencil voting, supervised by the Australian Electoral Commission. If you spoil your ballot accidentally then you ask the supervisor for a replacement. U
          An incorrectly filled out ballot is counted as “informal” in our system.

    • Vote EARLY!

      • I have a coworker who took that advice in the last election, showing up at 7:00 AM to get it done early; she stood in line for nearly five hours, and didn’t get to vote until almost noontime. I, on the other hand, voted after work, around 5:00 PM, and it took me less than an hour. But having to spend four hours in line to vote for many people would be a real hardship, and for other people impossible. Why should it take longer to vote in this country than to buy a gun?

        • Robert, I meant “early” as in before election day. Here in my county in NE Tennessee early voting began October 17th.

          • Duh! I wish I could blame it on not having had my coffee yet, but I have!

          • Ah, but Tom, Robert lives in PA, as do I, and the powers that be in Harrisburg, and especially the one particular party that controls things there, have decided that early voting might lose them their seats of power, so they’ve consistently killed any bill that would allow early voting. So the only “early” voting we’d get to do would be showing up when the polls open Tuesday morning.

            • Yes. “Suppress the Vote!” is the motto of the party that you’re talking about.

              • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

                Which no matter who you talk to, is always the OTHER party.

                “House Baratheon, House Lannister, House Targereyn — every one tries to stop the Wheel forever with themselves on top.” — Tirion Lannister, Game of Thrones

          • Yes. I started voting early (before election day) a few election cycles back, as my job often sends me out of state at short notice, and I’ve missed voting. I’ll never go back to election day voting!

      • That Other Jean says:

        Too late to do that here in MD. Unfortunately, I was too ill to make it to the early voting location during the period when I could have voted. But I’ll definitely vote on Nov. 6.

      • Adam Tauno Williams says:

        Already voted.

    • I guess I’m the only one who rarely/never votes. The whole point of electing leaders is that they represent the people. As long as a poll is accurately reflective of the population, it’s irrelevant how many people vote. I suppose I have faith in the law of large numbers. If the outcomes start to regularly contradict the true population’s position, then perhaps I’ll revisit. (Or maybe I’m also just partly lazy and am waiting for technology to catch up and voting to be online, like everything else these days.)

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      Like a little ditty during “Indecision 2000”:

      “Everybody get out the vote for Gore,
      Everybody get out the vote for Gore,
      Vote early and often and then vote some more,
      Everybody get out the vote for Gore!”

      Especially when you live in a state where Kim Jong-Un has a better chance of being voted out of office than any of our incumbents.

  5. The Chris Tomlin headline is spot on.

    • Michael Z says:

      Yeah, that one almost made me choke on my oatmeal. There are a lot of contemporary songs I like, but good old hymns with quality poetic language and imagery really don’t need to be “improved” by adding insipid and predictable praise choruses to them.

  6. Christiane says:

    For SUSAN,

    ‘stuffed’ pumpkin recipe:

    hollow out seeds from pumpkin and stuff with chopped onions and diced potatoes mixed with cooked hot Italian sausage

    bake for as long as it takes depending on the size of the pumpkin and ENJOY!

    no way you can mess this up unless it explodes in the oven (just kidding!)

    • Susan Dumbrell says:

      Wow!

      Thank you (I guess.)
      I will give it some consideration.
      Could cause a neighbourhood dilemma!
      My street is very quiet and without explosions!!
      I might be expelled!

      Susan

      • Christiane says:

        LOL Yikes! on second thought . . . . . 🙂

        let me see if I can offer another holiday recipe instead . . . . something quiet and uncomplicated 🙂

        • Susan Dumbrell says:

          Take your time, I am off to bed now ready for any early start to drive 25minutes to 9.30am church, with my beautiful roses.
          Blessings xx

    • Patriciamc says:

      Yum! I’m going to have to try this.

      I did my first acorn squash last week. I thought I would have to use a chain saw, but one I did get it sliced, it baked beautifully and reheated well. Great for fall!

  7. “I am reluctant to give up what was one of the highlights of my childhood calendar to the Great Impostor and Chief of Liars for no reason except that some of his servants claim it as his.”

    I dont hear many satanists – or pagans for that matter – claiming Halloween as Satan’s holiday. I DO hear not a few Christians who claim that, however. And Christians have a *very* poor track record about knowing who Satanists are and what they want.

    • From what I can tell, Satanism as a religion is a completely reactionary posture, designed to “trigger” (if I may borrow a term currently of much usage in the political world) the hypersensitivity of so Christians. The shame is that it works so well, and many hypersensitive Christians do get triggered; if they didn’t, Satanism as a religion might disappear into a form of paganism.

      • Adam Tauno Williams says:

        > Satanism as a religion is a completely reactionary posture

        Yep. People give it w-a-y to much consideration. We are talking about an organization whose membership has a **maximum** estimated membership of 20,000; some asset it is closer to ~3,000. It is also difficult at this point to understand what the organization does other than collect dues. They disbanded all grottos [official meeting sites] quite some time ago, they do not advocate proselytizing. Other than some occasional vanity law suits – good for press – it mostly looks like a money collection device preying on the unbalanced . . . very much like late night Christian TV “ministries”.

        • But you could say the same of snake-handling Pentecostalism, whose devotees number in the hundreds rather than thousands.

          • Snake-handling Pentecostalism, however large or small in numbers it may be, is not predicated as a religion on triggering the reactions of hypersensitive members of an another, older religious group (mostly just for the fun getting the uptight upset). Big diff.

    • I have a pagan coworker. Every Halloween I wish her a happy Samhain (even though I’m inclined to believe that ancient Samhain and modern Halloween have little to do with each other, in terms of what they are celebrating or when they actually occur on the calendar). She says that I’m the only person who gives her this greeting; I’m sure that if other Christians hear me do it, and understand what Samhain is, they believe I’m committing a great moral infraction. Yet these same Christians insist that the greeting “Merry Christmas” rather than “Happy Holidays” should dominate the cultural landscape at the holiday season, no matter the differing beliefs of other people in their communities and in our country.

  8. I heard Roseanne Cash’s “Not Many Miles to Go” for the first time on my car radio the other night. It’s a hauntingly evocative song, for those those of us who don’t have many miles to go — and isn’t that all of us, really?

  9. I believe the decaf coffee article was written about Lutherans. Funny thing at our church, we have two sets of coffee pots. The pro-Trump faction has coffee in the basement fellowship hall, the anti-trump faction has coffee pots upstairs at the entrance of the sanctuary. Surprisingly works well to keep the peace.

  10. Given the importance of the right to vote for democracy, it’s a damn shame how much voter suppression occurs. It’s the first time I’ve been cognizant of how many voters are disenfranchised by political ploys and logistical obstacle placed in their way. If a sober administration ever resumes power, it should push for a thorough nationwide investigation of voter suppression tactics and conspiracies, not one of fake accusations of voter fraud.

    • Adam Tauno Williams says:

      It is crazy.

      And it also demonstrates the power of way-down-the-ballot offices like County Clerk. Races nobody thinks about. But the County Clerk in most places is in charge of the actual implementation of voting, the voting places, etc… Our current Country Clerk is a corrupt dark-hearted sleaze bag with the nickname “Black Money Stallion”. She handily defeated, with trainloads of outside money, her challenger one of the most honest persons I know. Very sad.

      And my polling place promptly moved from the center of the precinct, in a pocket of population density, in a public building, to the other end of the precinct, in a church. Subtleties like this compound over every precinct.

      Overall country level government is a nasty place populated by petty little men – and they can dwell there unnoticed seemingly indefinitely. Very sad as your County Commissioners, County Clerk, and yes even the Drain Commissioner, likely have a larger day to day impact on your quality of life and local economic prosperity than all the chuckle heads in DC.

      Fortunately we have two state ballot initiatives which will overrule much of the petty nonsense, open up voting opportunities and regulate redistricting through a citizen’s commission. Both are currently expected to pass with healthy margin.

    • Robert, if you think this all happened in the last two plus years with Trump you are sadly mistaken. What about the eight years of Obama ? How about the democrat running for office saying that hunters would lose their hunting liscense if they voted. I agree with what you say but it has been happening for years and both parties are at fault.

    • Christiane says:

      not even the courts will help voters this close to the election . . . .

      not only is the voter suppression actively practiced, it is celebrated quite openly with a lot of jokes among the perpetrators (a wink and a nod on steroids)

      of course, the targets are predictable: those the alt-right hates, of course

  11. In other news, Dee over at The Wartburg Watch quotes Chaplain Mike on celebrity pastors.

    http://thewartburgwatch.com/2018/11/02/why-i-heartily-disagree-with-james-macdonalds-alleged-biblical-reasons-for-suing-bloggers/

    Dee’s post is about James MacDonald suing bloggers, biblically, when they disagree with him. I assume he considers that sort of thing fake news, and apparently that needs to be squelched, for the sake of Jesus.

    • Adam Tauno Williams says:

      I’m waiting for Religions Registration. Evangelicals would be all over that, and given some of the current administration’s challenges in keeping religious leaders in their bull pens – like the recent “incivility” during one of Jeff Sessions addresses – this would be a “good” move on their part. Then they could identify the people who are “officially” Evangelical [good Americans] and register your Muslims and Jews in one swoop; not to mention rhetorically side-lining the “frauds”. Sure, it would be wildly unconstitutional, but as a PR play it would work for them.

      After he gets hit in the House elections on Tuesday I will wager a beer he goes there, at least on Twitter, by end of year.

      • An executive order can over-ride the First Amendment, same as it can the 14th. I read that on twitter.

      • Andrew Zook says:

        There’s some people in power who are all ready to go even further… look up “theocracy-will-come-to-washington-state-if-this-legislator-has-his-way”. Not surpised; I have an acquaintance who’s expressed similar things. We’ll see. The fog is thick around some “christian” folk. Who or what will lead them out of darkness?

        • senecagriggs says:

          Nancy Pelosi? Maxine Waters? Elizabeth “Fauxahontas” Warren? Kamala Harris? Corey Booker?

          Andrew, who has your vote for leading us out of darkness?

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

          The fog is thick around some “christian” folk. Who or what will lead them out of darkness?
          For 81% of Evangelicals, it’s that Second Coming of Christ, Donald J Trump.
          (Quit handing me such obvious straight lines…)

        • They want to have an American Christian equivalent of the 1979 Iranian Islamic revolution.

          • Christiane says:

            can’t you see this coming?

            Franklin Graham, Mike Pence, Jerry Falwell Jr., and all the Trumpites who KNOW that their leader is ‘annointed of God’

            who was it said:
            ““When Fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross” ?

            • That Other Jean says:

              “When Fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross”

              It’s generally attributed to Sinclair Lewis, although Snopes says it isn’t so. They haven’t found an original source. A lot of people, though, including Huey Long, have said something similar.

            • GA Secretary of State and gubernatorial candidate Kemp (who from the beginning should’ve recused himself in his office of state attorney general with regard to any election matter, since he is a candidate) is fraudulently claiming Democratic Party hacked state elections, and is referring claim to FBI for investigation. Blatant in your face abuse of power and authority. And so the banana republic tactics progress, and fascism advances. Absolutely disgusting, and scary. It’s getting worse, folks; it’s getting worse. Alarmism is warranted.

      • I expect him to call voter fraud if he loses the House on Tuesday, and to question the legitimacy of the Congress as a result. I expect him to do his best to usurp the Constitution before the next presidential election. I wouldn’t be surprised if a first step is in the works, with an attempt to end-run around posse comitatus at the border; if the reactionary-packed upper courts uphold him, if the Supreme Court upholds him, we are on the way to a full dictatorship.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

          And the streets fill with armbands, tiki torches and AR-15s.

          “Trump Tweeted It,
          I Believe It,
          THAT SETTLES IT!”
          (Somebody needs to do that as a parody bumper sticker…)

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

          if the reactionary-packed upper courts uphold him, if the Supreme Court upholds him, we are on the way to a full dictatorship.

          While all the Christians chorus “AAAAAAA-MENNNNNNN!!!!”
          And Christian leaders go all dagger-and-poison-vial on each other to be THE Court Favorite.

  12. Senecagriggs says:

    Don’t worry about your vote. God always has the tie breaker.

    • AquilaAlae says:

      +1

    • I’m not worried about my vote; I’m worried about yours.

      And remember that saying the next time an executive-order prone progressive president is elected.

      • senecagriggs says:

        The sovereignty of God Robert F. ALL governments rule at his pleasure; good, evil, stupid. He elects, he discards and laughs at their politics and plans. We to easily forget who’s really in charge; neither President Trump nor Nancy Pelosi et al.

        • Thanks for the theology lesson.

        • Norma Cenva says:

          Is the Almighty really that much of a control freak?
          What fun is there in controlling every coin flip and dice throw?
          Seems to me, a roulette wheel would be much more pleasurable.
          Round’ and round’ she goes…

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

            Is the Almighty really that much of a control freak?
            What fun is there in controlling every coin flip and dice throw?

            The Oh-so-Delicious taste of POWER Over All-that-Is.
            Ever heard of “Remaking God into Your Own Image”?

    • Pellicano Solitudinis says:

      Eh, sometimes God lets us suffer the consequences of our collective stupidity. Doesn’t mean it’s OK to be stupid.

      • Allowing us to suffer the consequences of our collective stupidity is God’s typical MO.

        • “Religion is one of the larger roadblocks that God has had to put up with in the process of getting his message through to the world. The usual religious view is that God has his finger in every pie, and, as the infinite meddler, never lets anything act for itself. People bolster such ideas by an appeal to Scripture, pointing out things like the parting of the Red Sea or Elijah starting fires with wet wood on Mt. Carmel. That won’t do, however. To be sure, I am not about to make out a case that God can’t do miracles–that he can’t from time to time stick in his thumb and manufacture a plum if he feels like it. Nor am I going to maintain that he can’t answer the prayers of those of his free creatures he has bizarrely said he would take advice from. All I want to insist on here is that most of the time he doesn’t meddle; that his ordinary policy is: Hands off.”

          – Robert Farrar Capon
          (The Romance of the Word: One Man’s Love Affair With Theology)

  13. johnbarry says:

    https://www.ajc.com/news/state–regional-govt–politics/what-you-need-know-about-georgia-000-pending-voters/0aulxJgIulIpKgMmpexBmK/

    From reading the news account and going to the official Ga. Voter site at the Ga. Sec. of State it does not seem to any more “strict” than in Florida where I live and vote early and often. It is just another low information issue to inflame the various groups on both sides. Simply, If I got registered by Acorn or Support Life registration group and they put in Jon Berry instead of John Barry I would have to show an authorized photo id to valid that it was just a mistake in my application or if it was John More-Barry and I did not use the hyphen . Check out the Georgia voter requirements, similar to most states.

    • A federal judge disagrees with you, and has ordered an immediate remedy to the overly restrictive GA voter ID law, so maybe there’s something in it or its implementation that you don’t see or know about that makes it different from other states’ laws.

      • The Federal judge made a minor correction but in the few months after the election the law as it stands now will be declared legal. This was an emergency decision that removes the political issue more than the legal one. Read it yourself.
        However,, do not worry , the progressive, liberal or Democrat agenda , or whatever it is called, will win the war even if Trump wins the battle until 2024 or 2020. The racial, sex, ethnic background and language group id politics will not be stopped. The balkanization of America will continue due to the change in demographics and the lack of involvement of the majority minority who will not care as they and the country live off the fat of their forefathers. To quote the oft eloquent Headless U Guy, I have mine” and personally will make it to the end of my life in fine shape if its God’s will, but I know the American “experience” is on the downward trajectory . I am now at this point in my life an interested observer wondering why the greatest nation in history is making the Easu choice, My generation has passed the torch to the Starbucks generation, no more cup of Joe guys now we have the need a latte or frap guys, you can afford it——–for a while. The country will look a lot like San Fran in the future.

        it may not be the end , but it is the beginning of the end, so to the majority on this site, relax knowing that you are as they say so often are on “the right side of history”.

        • The judge’s “minor correction” may restore the legitimacy of a few hundred or few thousand votes, which is no small thing in a close election, nor is it ever a small thing to the people who vote in good faith expecting not to have their vote negated by political manipulation.

          And you can relax knowing, to quote senecagriggs, that “God always has the tie breaker.”

          • Robert F. I am relaxed and sanguine that God is in control. It is certainly not me, as at times I cannot even control my bladder. Seriously when I had a cast and then a brace on my leg, going to the rest room was like planning D Day. So things do get better.
            If Georgia does not go “blue” this election it will very soon not because of policy or political maturation but strictly demographics as I noted above. Use to be an old saying that was how most Americans believed true, ” God takes care of babies, drunks and the United States of America”, I would personally add to that list John Barry
            . I am predicting , well hoping , that the Republicans hold the House but again it is only a battle won, not the war. Well , maybe the caravan can get to Ga. in time to vote.

  14. rhymeswithplague says:

    If the US is one of the five countries, why isn’t it shown in green on the map?

    • Dana Ames says:

      Rhymes,

      the map shows areas within countries that represent those intact ecosystems. Note that most of the wilderness areas in the US are in Alaska.

      Dana

    • The State of Alaska looks pretty much in the green to me up there west of Canada. It is mostly all wilderness.
      It is 663,268 square miles or 1,717,856 square kilometers in area!

  15. senecagriggs says:

    Daniel 2:21

    New Living Translation
    He controls the course of world events; he removes kings and sets up other kings……..”

    Psalm 2
    1 Why do the nations conspire[a]
    and the peoples plot in vain?
    2 The kings of the earth rise up
    and the rulers band together
    against the Lord and against his anointed, saying,
    3 “Let us break their chains
    and throw off their shackles.”

    4 The One enthroned in heaven laughs;
    the Lord scoffs at them.
    5 He rebukes them in his anger
    and terrifies them in his wrath, saying,
    6 “I have installed my king
    on Zion, my holy mountain.”

    [ There is great comfort in recognizing that ALL things are under God’s control; politicians included. There has never been a president, good or bad, that didn’t serve God’s ultimate purposes. Is Mr. Trump a Godly man? I don’t think so. But does he serve God’s purposes? Absolutely.
    Will having been President give him bonus points when he faces judgment? Nary a one. He will, like all of us, account for our acceptance or rejection of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and his presidency will not factor in. ]

    • It is easy enough to see the Finger of God in a situation; it can be somewhat harder to determine which direction He is pointing in.

    • Pretty easy to speak that way as a prosperous, comfortable American. When scripture speaks that way, it voices what would have been lament and revolutionary subversion from people under foreign rule. I wonder how many of us would find “comfort” in such words if we found ourselves exiled from our homelands and forced to live without the comforts we enjoy today.

      It seems almost obscene to me to hear the prosperous speak so confidently of God’s sovereignty.

      • Heather Angus says:

        Thanks for this, Chaplain Mike! I’m thinking of the picture of a starving girl in Yemen, where we Americans are happily selling the Saudis the latest weapons to drop bombs on. Her name was Amal, and she’s dead now.

        A dear friend dying of COPD. The opioid addiction and deaths racing through the midwest. A friend’s niece born with only part of a heart. Wonderful friends lost horribly to cancer.

        “ALL things are under God’s control.” If God wanted Amal or Brenda or Tanis or Kathy to die in agony so as to fulfill His mighty purposes, then he would be a God I could no longer worship.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

          “All things are under God’s control.”
          Say God’s Speshul Pets who have NEVER known hardship. For whom EVERYTHING breaks their way like an Author Self-Insert in bad fanfic. Who have angels carrying them around 24/7 so they never ever stub their toe against a stone…

      • Ronald Avra says:

        The circumstances you’re in do color the way you read scripture.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      Psalm 2
      1 Why do the nations conspire[a]
      and the peoples plot in vain?
      2 The kings of the earth rise up
      and the rulers band together
      against the Lord and against his anointed…

      His Anointed Bill Gothard (upon those sexual assault lawsuits being dropped)?
      His Anointed Donald Trump (Franklin Graham and Jerry Falwell Jr say so)?

  16. Heather Angus says:

    Thanks for this, Chaplain Mike! I’m thinking of the picture of a starving girl in Yemen, where we Americans are happily selling the Saudis the latest weapons to drop bombs on. Her name was Amal, and she’s dead now.

    A dear friend dying of COPD. The opioid addiction and deaths racing through the midwest. A friend’s niece born with only part of a heart. Wonderful friends lost horribly to cancer.

    “ALL things are under God’s control.” If God wanted Amal or Brenda or Tanis or Kathy to die in agony so as to fulfill His mighty purposes, then he would be a God I could no longer worship.

  17. senecagriggs says:

    Heather, CM, if God isn’t sovereign then what?

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      Then maybe WE have to get our hands dirty bringing Wisdom, Mercy, and Justice.
      Ever heard of Tikkun Olam?

      • senecagriggs says:

        “Then maybe WE have to get our hands dirty bringing Wisdom, Mercy, and Justice.”

        I would have never guessed you to be a person who believes in unicorns Ken! Searching thru the archives of history; don’t see any progress for humans bring wisdom, mercy and justice. Zip, Zero, Nada.
        Humanity appears to suffer from a fatal, moral flaw. It’s like there is a sin nature or something.

        Who knew?

        • Dana Ames says:

          Sen,

          God doesn’t have to micromanage everything. His Providence works without him being the Cosmic Puppet Master – and he is a greater God for it.

          There actually have been Christians (and others, because everyone understands what goodness is, but Christians have the best reason for it) who have shown forth wisdom, mercy and justice. The question isn’t “Why is there evil?” – but rather, “Why is there good?”

          Humanity suffers from the flaw of Mortality because we are created, not the Creator – we try to sustain our own lives from our own means because we are enslaved to the fear of death (Heb 2.10-15), which works itself out in all sorts of ways to the detriment of others. Sin is always relational; it is not the mere breaking of rules.

          There is nothing in the NT Greek that says we have a “sin nature”, and the Eastern Church has never read it that way. The earliest Christians did not interpret Scripture the same way the Reformers did. “Nature” is what makes a thing what it is. We are not our sin. We have a HUMAN nature that has been darkened and diseased, by death and sin which are intertwined and feed off one another. That’s why the earliest Christians – even already in the NT – see DEATH as a bigger problem than sin. Try reading Ephesians and Colossians especially through that interpretive lens, and even Romans if you dare. It may surprise you.

          Dana

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

          So all we can do is clutch our Fire Insurance Policy (“MINE!”) and complementary Rapture Boarding Pass (“MINE!”) and laugh and cheer as the world burns?

    • Heather Angus says:

      Seneca, if God IS sovereign, then he DOES want innocents to die in agony, for some purpose far beyond my understanding and which I have no desire to understand.

      Such a god would be a demon, and I could never worship him or do anything but hate and fear him.

      I try to hold on to the vision of Jesus, who saw God as His loving Father. A loving father would never torture one of His children. I’m a sinner like us all, and certainly I would never inflict torture on my child, no matter what she’d done.

      If God is a sovereign demon rather than a loving Father, then Jesus was wrong, and there is no hope. Well, not for me, anyway; you seem OK with your vision of Him.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

        Such a god would be a demon, and I could never worship him or do anything but hate and fear him.

        Or stay alive by out-flattering everyone else.
        “I don’t need to outrun the bear — I only need to outrun YOU.”

        “Let them hate Me — as long as they FEAR me even more.”
        — attr to Gaius Caesar (Caligula)