Paranoia is the Feeling that You Have Been Lied To
Sometimes it is true.
Someone is certainly lying to you about the elections. Someone is lying about COVID. Someone is lying about the CCP. Someone is lying about just about everything and twice over these days.
We shall see how that plays out for us all this week.
A "people" is a group of humans who are aware that they are (or have been or will soon be) vulnerable in the same way.
A rich man is hard to overthrow. A poor man is easily overthrown. - Proverbs 10:18
Imagine a game of debt and lies tailored to keep you poor while tricking you into believing you are rich.
Imagine that the critical wickedness of men is not a theory, but a reality, writ on the walls of history.
In an age run by evil men, good men must not hide.
You need not fear the devil. He is no "dark lord," but a blinded and failing conductor. Remember that his entire game is mythology. All he does is make stuff up. He's 10x bluster with a pitiful bite. His real game is convincing you to trust the stories about him and others, about the great power of their evil, and thereby to believe that he is more godlike than he really is.
The more you destroy his story with the story of Scripture, founded in Christ and armed with his psalms and proverbs, the more your ability to withstand the nonsensical fear-mongering of our present age will mature. More than that, you will also find you are growing unafraid of evil men, while in juxtaposition, they are increasingly intimidated by you.
Christian virtue is this: you have not been authorized to despair.
The justified shall stumble seven times, and rise again. The wicked trips only further into his calamity. - Proverbs 24:16
For most of us who dwell on this amazing planet, 2020 was one of the bumpiest trips around the sun in memory. The arbitrary line that is January 1st often facilitates some much needed review of the year left behind and the lessons drawn from this one might fill a few smart notes or make some great memes. Or a nice cross-stitch.
Historian Tom Holland writing elsewhere remarked that this year affords us the ability to consider things "with a clarity denied us in happier times" and that's not a bad way to put it. Here's a big, fat recap from us at Mad Mondays...
Top Tens all round While the labels of "Left" and "Right" are perhaps less helpful right now than in the past, it is interesting to see what different publications thought was memorable about this year. Fast Company compiled a list of the "most exciting" discoveries of the year. They suggest we should treat climate change as seriously as we did COVID. You mean lock everything down until it goes away? They think it would be a great idea to cancel rent and reinvent our cities. Klaus Schwabb would be proud.
Wired identified who they thought were the most "dangerous people on the internet" this year. We can all agree Mark Zuckerberg is the architect of all sorts of infamy, and an archetype of the Silicon Valley mogul with far too much sway over our lives. However, he spent a lot of this long year trying to placate demands from those who think Facebook and Instagram censor too much and those who say not enough. Perhaps 2020 revealed more than ever that you can't put the social media genie back in the bottle.
In the end, Zucks wasn't even at the top of the list. Wired nominated [spoilers] Donald Trump as Public Enemy Number One because he was the worst spreader of fake news and "COVID disinformation". He sits alongside "right wing extremist" groups and Russian hackers. Antifa and Black Lives Matter are conspicuous in their absence. And Karl Marx probably should get an honorable mention, but who knows his Twitter handle?
The Elites are restless John Daniel Davidson at The Federalist reflected on things we learned about the elites in America. He rehearses the double standards on the part of Democrats when it came to "the science," lockdowns, and rioting. Davidson also reminds us that 2020 proved what many conservatives suspected— "Big Tech doesn’t care about free speech or the free exchange of ideas."
Unherd writer Jacob Siegel wrote a blunt summary describing how elites "failed upwards" in 2020. He writes that "masks were the most visible representation of this: a year defined by politicized expert opinion detaching itself from reality and undergoing sudden reversals. Mass gatherings went from deadly super-spreader events to being practically mandatory as a matter of public moral hygiene, with the rise of the BLM protests in May. Covering up such absurdities required the combined effort of ideological enforcers in the press and on social media, brute intimidation by people with hiring and firing power, and the constant appearance of a new crisis to distract from the last."
Siegel goes on to say, that while the biggest casualties for society are the trust in institutions and also science, the trade off for elites has been worth it. "Those costs are marginal compared to the material and political gains. If you are one of the people or organizations which repeatedly got the coronavirus wrong, abetted wanton political violence and destruction, or once again misread the American electorate, odds are very good that your funding streams, political influence, institutional power, and leverage over your fellow Americans are going increase over the next four years of the Biden administration."
"The iron law of the American elite is that as long as everyone fails together, everyone fails upwards. Regime loyalty is the herd immunity of the ruling class, a protection against the consequences of their own failures. This is why the loss in authority that manifests in the “crisis of experts,” while real, doesn’t diminish their power. But it’s also why the regime has to become more ideological and nakedly coercive— for a kingdom of experts without reliable expertise falls back on propaganda and state power."
Your double standard is showing The story around Hunter Biden and his laptop is an example of Siegel's conclusions. PJ Media has laid out how NBC News ruined an innocent man to make sure the story stayed buried. Seeing the behavior of the media, what they chose to report and chose to ignore during the confirmation of Justice Kavanaugh, and the nothing-burger of the Trump-Russia collusion story, set the scene for the hysteria of the plague-ridden election year.
Even the giddy world of celebrity, which takes identity politics very seriously showed that if you are part of the in crowd, then the rules are kind of fuzzy. Exhibit A: the strange tale of Hilaria Baldwin, a yoga teacher and "Influencer," and wife of actor Alec Baldwin (yes, the one who parodied Trump on SNL for four years). For many years, Mrs. Baldwin has claimed to be Spanish and has traded on this identity. It turns out, it's pretty much all lies. She claims that it's just because she loves Spain so much and anyway, it's not her fault that the media assumed her Spanish heritage.
The gaslighting continued at Variety and other sites who covered for this nonsense by suggesting we all take on different personas online and if she really thinks she's Spanish, then why does it matter? So it's not a case of the dreaded "cultural appropriation"? It's not another instance of white people "erasing" other cultures?
Exhibit B: Rachel Dolezal was pilloried for claiming a black identity. In trying to assuage her white guilt and help the cause of black Americans, she was "following society’s most cherished anti-racist slogans to their logical anti-racist conclusion."
It would seem that being a white female is fairly unexciting these days (as Abigail Shrier has noted much to the chagrin of Progressives) and taking on a more exotic identity is a thing. But it depends who you are as to whether it's acceptable. One woman, a single mom with Progressive chops, another, with a large Instagram following and a very famous husband... You might think they committed similar crimes, but you'd be wrong. Maybe if you squint a bit, you'll see the difference.
Champagne for my real friends, real pain for my sham friends Many people have added "activist" to their resume last year, as the rich and famous tried to assuage the guilt induced by all their privilege. From Woke capitalism through to influencer culture, making sure everyone knew that you stood for the right things and condemned those who didn't was the path to redemption. But like the Great Reset, many people will still maintain that cancel culture is all in the imagination of a few conservative snowflakes who can't handle their bigotry being challenged.
However, the growing number of those, great and small, who have lost livelihoods, been threatened by random trolls, de-platformed and disinvited, would beg to differ. The latest story of someone having their life upended takes vindictiveness to a new level. Mimi Groves' classmate stashed away footage of her using a racial slur for four years, timing the release of it to ruin her application to the University of Tennessee.
Glenn Greenwald left the Intercept, a publication he founded, claiming that he no longer felt able to write freely, particularly when it came to news about Hunter Biden. Greenwald recently appeared on an episode of Lockdown TV to discuss tech censorship. He is in no doubt that the Democratic Party and its allies on Wall Street and in Silicon Valley are likely to "use their influence to further shut down discourse they find unacceptable."
Yet, as he rightly asks, what qualification do tech giants have to arbitrate public discussions or pronounce verdicts on "highly complex questions such as how to manage a pandemic, or whether vaccines are safe and effective, or whether the balances of a lockdown are justified by their cost? " Rather, Greenwald says, "These are incredibly complicated decisions that a society ought to be debating."
The not-so-great Reset Justin Haskins from Stopping Socialism was interviewed by radio host Ross Kaminsky on the subject of the Great Reset. While many people dismiss it as a conspiracy theory, Haskins lays out the evidence. Haskins also wrote a piece for Fox which details how John Kerry, under a Biden government, plans to bring the radical agenda to fruition.
Let's talk about China. Again. The Communist-ruled nation of China was rarely out of the headlines last year and this was warranted. Douglas Murray has written many pieces advising the West to get out of its sour relationship with China. His article for The Sun provides a list of all the reasons.
Meanwhile, China's richest man, Jack Ma has attempted to get back in the good graces of the Communist Government after it scuppered the Ant Group's IPO, wiping billions off its value. You know what they say about the men who fly too close to the sun.. Especially if the sun doesn't like competition.
20/20 vision So, here we are. It looks bleak when you put it all in one place. Yet, Mad Christians who have tuned in to the Saturday Morning Chill will have heard Rev Fisk express gratitude for the events of 2020. The tide from this wave of insanity is receding and what has been exposed is hard to miss. The agendas of wicked men are easier to see. The wake-up call has been clarion. The path ahead of us is clearer and we are sober.
How much has this year revealed the things we have taken for granted? Isn't it clear how far has the white noise invaded our thinking and the what our children are learning? How much time did we spend on things that don't matter? How much more do we value meeting together? Was the Supper ever so precious?
We are not giving up. We are paid for and immortal, laboring as did the saints who went before us. The apostle Paul wrote of his own work: "We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh."
Our great King has not be sleeping, but is working his purposes out in the world. While the enemies of Christ seek to kill and destroy, we stand for family, for building communities that support life and freedom. To paraphrase a certain politician, we need to "build back better." As the Mad Christian has challenged, what will we" put back?"
Come and see the violence inherent in the system...
Only Illuminati Need Apply Your Reaction Highlights
This one is for the hymn enthusiasts (attn: #catholic-christian-art and #gemütlichkeit)
Hey Rev. Fisk!
We sang hymn 969, Sweet Flowerets in the Martyr Band (only found in the LSB Hymnal Supplement), this advent to remember the slaughter of the innocents. This was based on Liber Cathemerinon Hymn XII of Prudentius which gives a much more gruesome account of this event.
While doing some research on this, I found this website which translates all 12 of Prudentius’ hymns from Latin to English.
His first 6 hymns are meant to be read at different times throughout the day. I thought UsTheChill may enjoy this resource from a 1600 year-old poet in our fight against Chronos! Fun fact, Of the Father’s Love Begotten was based on Hymn IX of this work as well. Thanks for all you do, take care!
A Good Word: Rec's from Rev. Fisk
This book recommendation by sammbard caught Rev. Fisk's attention this week. BHoP listeners may find interest in this one:
In the newly published Durable Trades, Rory Groves discusses family-centered economies that have stood the test of time. Rather than leave the family to go to work, working along side your children gives parents the opportunity to train children in much more than physical skills, including faith, culture, and ethics. Listen to an author interview here, or check out this awesome book trailer. This book is "for families who are looking for another way forward, who don't want work to constantly divide them from their families, who want something more durable in uncertain times."
Let us pray: Almighty God, You have poured into our hearts the true Light of Your incarnate Word. Grant that this Light may shine forth in our lives; through the same Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.