My, how things have changed.. It was not that long ago that anyone who baulked at the idea of lockdowns and wearing masks was shouted down as a "science-denier." While the data has been bearing out the idea that lockdowns don't make much difference, now even the CDC has relaxed its guidelines for masks. Emma Green wrote an illuminating piece for The Atlantic recently, highlighting liberals who can't quit the lockdown life.
While some progressives openly admit they just want to oppose whatever former President Trump recommended, others are trapped in a way of thinking that is, ironically, no longer supported by "the science." Green writes in her article that some people see extreme caution as "a form of good citizenship" and are reluctant to give that up. Others are still working through the "trauma of the past year."
MSNBC's Rachel Maddow gave an interesting insight into this mindset when she said that she would need to "rewire" her brain. Even though health authorities assured her that science backs their recommendations, she said it would take patience and compassion for her to not see unmasked people as selfish and a threat. The comments on her tweet show the grip that this thinking has on people, with most saying they would not be quitting masks any time soon. One reply summed up where we are: "I need more than a CDC announcement."
Mad Christians will see a few takeaways here. We know that when mankind casts away the fear and knowledge of God, they don't become less religious. Nor do they become more rational or free. Our creaturely status means we will always seek something to worship. The dream of humanitarianism - that human potential is infinite and that our best days are always ahead - is foolishness. Human institutions can't save anyone and the worship of science leads to disappointment.
So maybe it is we Mad Christians who need patience and compassion. For the ones who are on shifting sand, fearful of death and putting their hope in masks, vaccinations and mandates, we have good news. There is a hope that never disappoints, sealed by the very blood of Christ, who is the Resurrection and the Life.
This is the truth which emboldens us to live without fear, knowing it is Christ who ordains our days. May he strengthen us to speak this truth to those who are bound by the rules of a false religion, without hope in this world.
Proof is in the [policy] pudding
Matt Welch, whose writing we featured recently in Mad Mondays, kept the hot takes coming. Welch is troubled by the co-opting of the word "equity" as a short-hand for "equality of outcome" (that's Communism, Patrick!) He outlines how President Biden and VP Harris routinely use this language and argues that the ideology is coloring Democratic policies.
Those who read Welch will know he is no fan of the Republican party. But he's also no fan of identity politics: "If the 46th president wants to subject his own actions, particularly the massive American Rescue Plan, to a results-based analysis, let us help him with the task."
He writes that the data on employment rates, open schools, and economic performance show that red-state COVID measures have done more to help the groups most in need than the "equity" driven measures deployed by Democrats. For example, blue-state governors wasted "valuable time and energy preparing the removal of allegedly racist names...from shuttered schools" rather than working to re-open them.
Welch argues that statistics around rates of infection and death from COVID suggest that "geography and climate, much more than opening/closing variation, [correlate] with COVID damage." However, "the greatest impact of government policy may be on those who never got sick." While Woke politics claims its policies help lower income families, minorities and women, Welch uses blue-state COVID measures to illustrate that is not the case.
The wokest place on earth?
News came last week that Disneyland would re-open after a 13 month closure. The company's revenue dropped significantly through lock downs and even subscriber numbers to Disney+ were lower than hoped for. Is this another case of people getting tired of the woke ideology the company has been beholden to?
In addition, reporter Chris Rufo tweeted documents from a staff training course, run by Disney. The course aims to "reimagine tomorrow" and includes a privilege checklist to work through. If you don't rely on public transport and have never been called a terrorist, you got privilege, right there.
Similar documents have been doing the rounds, with the YWCA's list presumably one of the tools they think will help "empower women" and "eliminate racism." Wait, an "unpaid internship" is a sign of privilege? Who knew?
Mad Christians will be familiar with the agenda of Critical Theory by now and will recognize this as one of its many disguises. While Christian welfare begins with the recognition that all have sinned, making everyone compare their privilege just breeds distrust and resentment. Critical theory would reduce us all to units, a checklist of attributes to be fed into a system, in the hope of scoring some righteousness. It is a dehumanizing endeavor but the righteousness that is given by Christ sets us free. Thanks be to God for his grace!
Stay calm.. It's just Monday
Hook, line and sinker
Tedium revisited the educational phenomenon that was "Hooked on Phonics." The cassette-tape program made bold claims and was marketed heavily during the 1990s. "Hooked on Phonics" got educators mad because it was a principally a commercial tool. But it was also offered a competing learning style in a decade when literacy curriculum was saturated in the theory of "whole language." It is an interesting read and, as probably "more controversial than you remember."
Running on empty
The southeast of the US is still experiencing gas shortages after a cyber attack lead to the shutdown of Colonial's pipeline. The hackers thought to be behind the ransomware attack have issued an apology for causing chaos. They were only in it for the money.. The pipeline is back in action but it may take a while for fuel to reach everyone.
Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm suggested that if you drove an electric car you'd be just fine. Note to self..
Only Illuminati Need Apply Your Reaction Highlights
Great conversations are happening in the Captain Covid Crunch channel in Discord. Here's an excerpt from unbiasedmike regarding the why behind storytelling and meta myth:
One thing I have discovered in the last 5 years or so is the power of storytelling. Something that I had previously not thought much about, probably from being inundated with stories as entertainment rather than what they really are... a way that complicated aspects of life and existence can be condensed into a digestible memorable format.
People respond to stories. We internalize them, learn from them, and apply them to our life. The best stories invite our participation and can only truly resolve once we do.
Interestingly stories have more of a real impact on people than academic information seeking and teaching. So much so it makes me continue to question the universal need for it.
People listened to the story and it affected them as all stories do.
2020: the tale of Covid wasn't even that well constructed, it was just asserted. Too many twists and turns. Too many plot-holes. Those who at some point recognized it as a story realized the disjointedness of it all. They maybe even kept watching to see if it would make sense. Maybe even thought that if they just participated in the story that it would end like a bad dream.
Now as we near the end of the story (or maybe it's still the middle) any thinking person's suspension of disbelief has been stretched to the breaking point. Any who still believe in the story exist in a fantasy realm complete with fairies both good and bad.
This video was a good watch and it helps illustrate things a bit in a tangential way.
A Good Word: Rec's from Rev. Fisk
This week on the SMChill, Rev. Fisk was interviewed by Rebecca Lemke, podcaster, author, and artist regarding Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Here are some of the resources that came up in conversation.
Let us pray: O King of glory, Lord of hosts, uplifted in triumph far above all heavens, leave us not without consolation but send us the Spirit of truth whom You promised from the Father; for You live and reign with Him and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.