BHoP#050 Kid Prison Part 4

BHoP#050 Kid Prison Part 4
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In this sixth installment on the series on education, Dr Koontz and Rev Fisk talk about “socialization”, among other topics surrounding the decision of “how do I want my kids to be raised?” The white guys lay out more reasons why institutional education breeds apathy and the inability to create friendships. In their usual fashion, the free-range conversation covers Harold Innis’ media ecology, the dearth of male friendship, the role of moms in activism and ways to future-proof your tribe.

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Fitly spoken

British rapper, Zuby is proving to be a sage in our age. He recently nailed it with some modern proverbs in a tweet thread called “20 Things I’ve Learned (Or Had Confirmed) About Humanity During The ‘Pandemic’.” Check out these gems..

“Propaganda is just as effective in the modern day as it was 100 years ago. Access to limitless information has not made the average person any wiser.”
“Most people care more about looking like they are doing the right thing, rather than actually doing the right thing.”
“It’s easier to fool a person than to convince them that they have been fooled.”
Preach it.

Hide yo’ kids

Not the Bee broke the news that the San Francisco Gay Mens’ Choir had released what it called a “satirical” song titled “A Message from the Gay Community.” The lyrics say: “We’re coming for your children, it happens bit by bit, we’ll convert your children and you won’t even notice it.” The video was ratio’d and also pulled from a number of sites, as commenters piled on and commentators responded (Andy Ngo and Ben Shapiro).

But we know this is not a new idea for every ideology that goes against reality must continually distract using propaganda. Breaking down the family and indoctrinating children is a standard M.O. for any regime. The Sexual Revolution may be a slow one, but the infiltration of LGBT content into children’s TV programs has been deliberate and slyRealClearInvestigations also noted the way anti-racist messaging is being pushed on kids by corporations and media. 

So, Mad Christians, know what your little ones are being exposed to and do your duty in teaching them the truth of God’s Word. Praise God, he will strengthen you for this important task!

Too bad to be true?

A kerfuffle broke out in various quarters of the internet over a study recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The study was conducted early in the USA’s rollout of COVID vaccinations and aimed to gather data on the potential danger of mRNA vaccines to pregnant women. Somewhere along the way, a claim was made that the study found miscarriages occurring in 82% of pregnancies. LifeSite News, a website trusted by many Mad Christians to bring true information about vaccines and abortion also reported this sensational headline.

Rev. Fisk thought something smelled funky, requesting fact-checking by the Us-the-Chill brain trust— they did not disappoint. Bill, a resident number-cruncher summarizes as follows:

“Here’s what we’re given:

  1. Researchers publish study in NEJM that claims (and here I’ll quote directly) ‘Preliminary findings did not show obvious safety signals among pregnant persons (sic) who received mRNA Covid-19 vaccines.’
  2. Claims circulated that said the researchers were failing to acknowledge that their own numbers reveal that 82% of those receiving the vaccine had a miscarriage. Further claims are that MSM won’t cover it because it doesn’t fit the narrative. Etc. “

Bill also suggested that the study’s design is a little confusing to the non-statistically minded, but concluded: “This particular study does not sway me one way or the other. I cannot, based on this study alone, claim the vaccine to be low risk, nor can I claim it to be high risk. Not enough information.”

It is sad to see LifeSite publish this news, when a little digging might have given them pause, and yet it shows that you can never check your brain at the door when assessing news today. The fact-checkers have not been without their biases, but in this instance, PolitiFact (yes, the one Facebook relies on for its “Truth-O-Meter”) made a fairly good summary of the situation. LifeSite has since pulled their article on the study, stating that it needs reviewing.

There is a quip, attributed to Mark Twain, about lies being able to travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes. The amount of information presented to us every day is one thing, but the speed of a Twitter feed turnover is akin to a digital autobahn. Whether half-truths and lies start with an Instagram post, a conservative news outlet, or a government agency, we need to take time to assess them. 

If something fits our narrative too cleanly, it is wise to be a little suspicious. Those without hope in the world cling to any information that endorses their worldview. Being on the “right side of history” is the self-justifying project of the modern man and morsels of half-truth are tasty – for a time. But Mad Christians do not need the world to fit into neat categories, because we know whose world it is. God’s trustworthy word says it best, “The simple believes every word, but the prudent considers well his steps.” ~Proverbs 14

Modern Lies: Chronological Order

“If something is in order, it is better.” 

This is an assumption you will have difficulty parting ways with. It is drilled into us to believe wholeheartedly that chronological order is “more true.”

An example plays out like this: St. John has Jesus cleansing the temple early in his public life, and the synoptic writers have him cleansing it late. The best the last two centuries of Christianity can do with this “perceived inconsistency” is to hem, hah, fight, and muster until we have drawn up battle lines. One side insists that Jesus cleansed the temple twice. The other that the Bible is riddled with errors yet still filled with great metaphorical truths.

Behold, and bow to your lord and savior Chronos! It appears impossible for the modern mind to even consider the option that the “inconsistency” only exists in our heads because of the assumption that chronological order is a primary truth.

It’s still taught in dusty corners that the ancients actually didn’t give a hoot about historical timing when recounting events for posterity. What we would assert to be “lying” they would say is “highlighting the important parts.” If you find yourself naturally disagreeing with “their” take, that is because this assumption that “in chronological order” means “more true” is hard to get away from.

The resulting worldview lives its modern life assuming that anything less than perfectly chronological is therefore “less than true.” After long reflection, I must say that this seems to me to reflect a perilous abandonment of the holy fear of God.Long before the modern “we swear we’re not religious!” “deists” started moralizing so loudly that the rest of the world should put great hope in the utopian capacity of their officially “godless” thinking, nations were trying not to fall, people were trying not to die, and God (or the gods) seemed like the evident, obvious answer.“

But now, things have changed.” That’s the “new” pitch.

In this, “modernism” is not a thesis, but an antithesis. It is not revelation, but an attempt at ultimate alpha privation. It does not add. It takes away, and then has the audacity to call itself a progressive “evolution.”Christianity does not need to reject this. Modernism postures itself as the rejection of Christianity (i.e. the non-necessity of specifics regarding your answer to the question, “Who, after all, is Jesus?”). Christianity need only remember our moorings, and not be dissuaded by all the bluster and hocus pocus. We need only bide our time, watching and expecting the modern experiment to eat itself to death.“But now, things have changed,” promises the freedom of new hope, but in the end it is the birth of endless equivocation, leading only to deeper and deeper toilet bowls of skeptical doubt, rage and despair. “In order” is a matter of perspective, and this can be of great value. But “more true” means “it never really was true to begin with,” and that will not do you any good in the long run.

Reliable truth is never in part, but in whole. Before long, every attempt to become “more true” with partial truths only descends into a hopelessly half-true hall of mirrors in which all your efforts are also the source of your greatest fears, regrets and doubts.

I do not deny alpha privation. I only deny its superiority to revelation. Doubt comes by questioning. Certainty comes by hearing.

Hear about Jesus more.

He is risen. Alleluia to it.

Till angel cry and trumpet sound,
Jonathan Fisk

Collapsing under its own cleverness

Could technology be our undoing or is it our only hope? A thought-provoking article appeared in Wired a few weeks ago and a hat tip to Professor Koontz for bringing it to our attention. The writer, Steven Levy, tells the tale of a bet made 25 years ago between “neo-Luddite” Kirkpatrick Sale and “techno-optimist” Kevin Kelly. After reading Sale’s doomsday-style pronouncements that no society was immune to collapse, including the USA, Kelly challenged him to a wager: name the day.

In the moment, Sale named 2020 as the year he thought the USA would break down, with a disastrous trifecta of economic depression, environmental catastrophe and a war between rich and poor. This would result in the remaining humans banding together in “small, tribal-style clusters. They wouldn’t be just off the grid. There would be no grid.” And that would be just fine with Sale.

But Kelly would have none of it. He says, “I wanted him to be accountable for that romantic nonsense he was spouting.”  Kelly sees technology as “an enriching force,” a means for society solving problems and progressing towards great things. Technology, in Kelly’s mind, provides choices for people that they would not have had otherwise. People are “leaving villages that have organic food and beautiful scenery, and beautiful architecture and very strong families,” he says. “Why do they do that? Because they have choices. They don’t have to be what their father or mother was, which was basically a farmer or housewife. They could maybe be a mathematician, maybe they could be a ballerina.”

The bet was to be settled this year, with Kelly’s optimism winning by a narrow margin. However, Sale will not accept the verdict. It is strange to read about two educated and thoughtful men, weaving together pieces of evidence, creating completely different myths about what is going on in the world. Do humans have an infinite capacity for improvement and adaptation? Or are we better off shunning technology in favour of a pre-industrial existence? Does technology improve our society or destroy it? 

We have smart phones and Netflix. We’ve sent machines to Mars and banished nasty diseases from the face of the planet. We have supermarkets with food conveniently displayed in plastic. Technology saves and improves the lives of millions every day. 

But it is not too difficult to observe that there are trade offs here. While having cars means we can commute here and there, it is also easier to disengage from the community in which we live. Food and water are easy to come by in the West but our control over what goes into our bodies is reduced. We are connected through the internet to more people than ever, but deep friendships still require work and time. 

Pastor Fisk’s love of Scripture’s wisdom literature will be familiar to Mad Mondays readers and the book of Ecclesiastes has much to bring to this discussion. Solomon would probably hit both Sale and Kelly upside the head: you’re asking the wrong questions – it’s all vanity. The meticulous examination of the toils of life led the Preacher to write that in human endeavour, the “lack is immeasurable”. Whether we think knowledge and greatness are the mark of human flourishing or that philanthropy and self-sacrifice are where it’s at, putting our hope in anything “under the sun” will end in despair. 

Pastor Jeremy Rhode says that the comfort of Ecclesiastes is the “comfort of a correct diagnosis.” Solomon saves us the time of chasing salvation in all these toils and shatters every illusion:  death comes for everyone, great or small. Mad Christians are free to look into the abyss, to consider the futility of life and call it what it is. 

For many of us, life will be a gingerly walk, always seeking God’s wisdom as we engage the technology around us. We walk with care but not without purpose, for we “remember our Creator” who knew us before we were born. Whether we are early adopters of all the latest tech, or like to stay as far away as possible from things that beep, our hope is in Christ and the world he is preparing for us. 

0112 The Mad Christian Returns

Yeah. And I think I kind’a like it. Walk with me on the road as we talk about the virtues of both anger and insanity, and learn how to say “bull poopy!” 

Safe for work, but you should probably wear headphones or else your cube-mates will think you’ve started drinking Khoolaid. Or, maybe, you’ll start to realize that’s what they’ve been doing all along……