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the mobocratic spirit

Last summer James Bennet was sacked as Opinion editor of the NYTimes because he authorized an opinion piece suggesting the military should be called in to quell urban riots. Thursday 1/7/21 Mr. Bennet was the guest writer for Politico’s daily newsletter:

“You may have last seen me getting bounced out of The New York Times for running an opinion piece by U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) arguing for the use of military troops to prevent the rioting that accompanied some of the peaceful protests over the summer. As our editorials made clear, I disagreed with Cotton then (that’s one reason I supported running the piece). And so I hope it doesn’t make me a hypocrite now to say that I wish the military had been out in force Wednesday to stop the rioting and protect what Biden called the ‘citadel of liberty.’”
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best christmas ever

Adapted from Dr. Kevin Elko Monday Morning Cup of Inspiration, 12/14/2020

I hope you’re getting all-fired up for Christmas. Here’s my recipe to have the best holiday season ever.

To have the best Christmas ever, make this a “more than” season. To win, a football team must score more points than their opponent. To save money you must earn more than you spend. It’s a “more than” thing.
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be wise, be gentle

Gov Polis told Coloradoans to self-quarantine for Thanksgiving: “The more family members that make that decision to self quarantine, the more likely it is that you’re not bringing a loaded pistol for grandma’s head.”

SARS-CoV-2 (i.e., Covid-19) is a killer. But our governor spoke like a fear-monger. FDR famously claimed, “
The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Throughout this pandemic many politicians have offered little more than fear.

Since March, I’ve tried to understand why politicians want citizens to be afraid.
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stealing thanksgiving

Colorado Public Radio reports that Gov. Polis has asked Coloradans to stay at home, with only their immediate family for the holidays to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The CDC doesn’t want people to travel over Thanksgiving.

So, it’s official. The pandemic has stolen Thanksgiving.
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election anxiety

Nervous about election day? You’re not alone. So how to deal with the anxiety?

Monday afternoon Sara & Ken Aiken plan to board their 40foot yacht in Annapolis, MD and cruise out into Chesapeake Bay. “No phones, no television, no political discussion. Just a nice dinner in a quiet anchorage.” The Aikens don’t plan to return to the mainland before Thursday.
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strange rites

Much has been opined recently about Nones--the increasing numbers of Americans who do not identify as Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim nor any other religion. Rather, when asked about their religion affiliation they answer, “None.”

Tara Isabella Burton (doctorate in theology from Oxford) has interviewed and researched
Nones. She concludes that while unprecedented numbers of Americans are rejecting traditional religion, they are not rejecting religion. They are instead embracing a kaleidoscopic panoply of spiritual traditions, rituals and subcultures: from astrology and witchcraft to SoulCycle, social justice and the alt-right. Read More…

why ariana left tv news

Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.

—James Baldwin, 1962


July 24 was
Ariana Pekary’s last day at MSNBC. Here is what she wrote.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do next, but I simply couldn’t stay there anymore. My colleagues are very smart people with good intentions. The problem is the job itself. It forces skilled journalists to make bad decisions on a daily basis.

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a lesson in humble

During this pandemic one occasionally hear’s reference to the prophetic promise, “If my people will humble themselves and pray, I will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

What does “humble themselves” mean?

One answer is offered by a pagan king humbled by God. Nebuchadnezzar was the architect of the ancient Chaldaean empire centered on Babylon. Because his wife was a mountain girl, he raised a great step pyramid, beautifully landscaping its terraces and populating them with exotic animals. It became the famous
Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Read More…

anxiety

MSNBC broadcast an interview with five Pediatricians about re-opening schools. Towards the end of the 3-minute piece, the doctors were polled about sending their own kids back to school. The studio host was flummoxed by their unity.

Mark McDonald, a psychiatrist who specializes in children and at-risk youth, testified about re-opening schools at a hearing of the Orange County, CA Board of Supervisors (6/24/2020). His testimony addressed a key reality. Read More…

one race

In a June 18, 2020 letter to students, staff, alumni and their families, Hillsdale College wrote:

“There is a kind of virtue that is cheap. It consists of jumping on cost-free bandwagons of public feeling—deeply justified public feeling—and winning approval by espousing the right opinion. The fact that very real racial problems are now being cynically exploited for profit, gain, and public favor by some organizations and people is impossible to overlook. It is a scandal and a shame that compounds our ills and impedes their correction.”
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truth will set you free

“If Liberty University reopens, people will die,” predicted emergency room doctor Max Cooper of Crozer-Chester Medical Center.

So began the condemnation when Liberty U. re-opened their campus at the beginning of our national lock-down. Blaming religious hubris, The Financial Times of London reported “twelve students promptly came down with coronavirus.” This news was repeated by dozens of media outlets. Nobel Laureate (economics) Paul Krugman informed NYTimes readers that Liberty, “seems to have created (their) own personal viral hot spot.” A Washington Post headline story reported how “an authoritarian power structure brought coronavirus to Liberty University.”

Liberty’s academic year has ended. How many students died? Zero.
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dying gives us the chance to confront truth

Adapted from an article by Prof. C. Kavin Rowe, Duke University Divinity School.

The Covid-19 pandemic has swept away the illusions that can ignore death. The virus will kill only a small minority of the world. Yet its prevalence has reminded people everywhere that if Covid-19 doesn’t kill them, something else will.

This realization recalls a truth central to the Christian tradition: No one will get out of life alive. I know this firsthand because my dying wife tells the truth. When she was referred to hospice after a long and painful decline, she simply noted, “I don’t want to die. I want to finish raising our son.”
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