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Doomsday a Good Day for Beer

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I am a fan of good beer. Right now, I have a special beer in my fridge that’s part of Stone Brewery’s Vertical Epic series. It was brewed on 11/11/11 and is not supposed to be drunk until 12/12/12. But there’s a problem. The Mayan Calendar says the world will end that day. (Or was it the 21st?) Let me tell you why I’m not worried.
First off, why do people want to use the Mayan Calendar to predict the end of the world even though we don’t use the Mayan Calendar for anything else? Is the slated Doomsday taking into account the fact that we didn’t count year AD 0–1? What about the fact that we lost a few days in the West when we switched from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar (Britain had no September 11 in 1752… it was one of eleven “missing” days)? I just want to make sure that we’ve calculated Doomsday accurately. I wouldn’t want to have already missed it. Oh, wait… turns out they found an old Mayan calendar that goes way beyond 2012. Doh.
It may be a little early to be talking about all this, but, come December, it’s gonna be all over the place and I just wanted to slip in before the airspace gets supersaturated. There are good reasons to be confident that the world isn’t ending any time soon, and they’re good to repeat even if you already know the difference between astrology and astronomy.
Back to beer… A. E. Housman said, “Malt does more than Milton can to justify God’s ways to man.” John Milton wrote Paradise Lost as a theodicy—a justification of God’s goodness in light of the reality of pain and evil. If you’ve ever talked to an atheist, you’re probably very familiar with the argument: If God is good and all-powerful, why does He allow evil? A. E. Housman’s answer? Beer. God is looking out for us. It might not look like it from inside this short life (AKA, an approximately eight decade bout of terminal myopia), but God has given us all the proof we need that His ways toward us are good and right (e.g., beer). To reiterate, “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” Benjamin Franklin didn’t say that, by the way. He preferred wine.
And God Himself had some other words to say on the issue. Right after the Flood had subsided, God made a promise to Noah (who also preferred wine): “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” The normal, natural cycles of the earth are going to continue on until God finishes telling His story. And from the looks of it, that story is far from over. I mean, come on. It was four thousand years to the climax… don’t you think God might be a little more patient than we are? I don’t think even an Obama re-election in November could precipitate the end of the world. (That was the directly political portion of this post, by the way… in case you missed it.)
So Lord willing, come December 11, my twin daughters will turn five. And December 12, I’ll be celebrating another fine day on this good earth with a delicious beer. And lest you think I’m recommending sloth over industry: I’m not saying don’t work. I’m just saying don’t worry.

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Religion

Federal Judge Strikes Down New York Coronavirus Bans On Church Services

On Friday, a federal judge struck down the restrictions banning church services imposed on both New York State and the City of New York.

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On Friday, a federal judge struck down the restrictions banning church services imposed on both New York State and the City of New York.

The ruling by District Judge Gary Sharpe insisted that the large-scale protests among church goers undermines the claims by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio that the bans on services are “generally applicable.”

Per theWashington Examiner:

“The State argues, in overly-simplistic fashion, that the challenged laws only incidentally impose a burden on religious exercise, and they are neutral and generally applicable, and therefore, only rational basis need be shown, which is self-evident: preventing the spread of COVID-19,” Sharpe wrote. “The State was silent with respect to the mass race protests.”

Sharpe added that de Blasio’s comments with regard to churches, as well as his attitude toward New York Jewish communities, made it difficult for the mayor to make a “legitimate” claim that he is not biased against people of faith while favoring protests.

“Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio could have just as easily discouraged protests, short of condemning their message, in the name of public health and exercised discretion to suspend enforcement for public safety reasons instead of encouraging what they knew was a flagrant disregard of the outdoor limits and social distancing rules,” Sharpe wrote. “They could have also been silent. But by acting as they did, Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio sent a clear message that mass protests are deserving of preferential treatment.”

De Blasio insisted that allowing tens of thousands to protest in the streets was “not the same thing” as allowing church services to continue unimpeded.

The judge found de Blasio’s claims to be absurd.

The ruling came after a large group of Christian and Jewish church officials sued the state and city over the restrictions.

The ruling will immediately prevent the state and city from preventing churches from opening.

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Religion

1,200 California Pastors Organize to Defy California Gov. Newsom’s Ban on Churches

More than 1,200 California pastors have joined an effort to defy Gov. Gavin Newsom’s coronavirus ban on church services.

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More than 1,200 California pastors have joined an effort to defy Gov. Gavin Newsom’s coronavirus ban on church services.

The group has pledged to resume in-person church services starting May 31.

Newsom issued his stay-at-home decree to slow the spread of COVID-19 on March 19. Per Newsom’s orders, the state is in stage two of his four phase re-opening plan, but that plan does not include a resumption of church services.

The governor claims that his stage two plan does not allow the re-opening of churches, gyms, libraries, theaters, and other places that might entail large groups on close proximity.

But the pastors are not waiting for Newsom’s approval.

The group’s lawyer said the pastors have signed a “declaration of essentiality,” and will reopen on May 31. They also plan to observe to social distancing guidelines and take other coronavirus precautions.

In a letter to Newsom, attorney Robert Tyler said that the gov’s orders overlook the “essential and critical nature of the services provided by clergy and religious assemblies throughout California.”

“The clergy is convinced that ‘we the people’ are ultimately responsible to protect the individual liberties that may be lost unnecessarily during times of crisis regardless of whether public officials’ actions are well intentioned,” the letter said. “Without the checks and balances of the courts and legislature, the clergy now stand as a counterbalance to unchecked regulatory action.”

But the lawyer warned, “This letter was not sent for the purposes of asking for permission.”

Tyler expects as many as 3,000 churches across California could reopen on May 31 and offer in-person religious services. Sunday, May 31, is the Christian holy day of Pentecost.

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Religion

Church that Defied Quarantine Razed by Lockdown Loyalists who Leave Message at Scene of the Crime

At a time in which our nation is already deep in the throes a politically divisive election and a global pandemic, nothing good can come from this violent escalation.

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During this global pandemic, it’s not only the coronavirus that you need to watch out for, as viral and violent vigilantes continue to target those with whom they disagree politically.

In Mississippi, the suspected arson of a small-town church has appears to be the work of lockdown loyalists, who were enraged that parishioners were gathering during this time of quarantine.

A church in Mississippi burned down this week and the incident is now being investigated as arson, the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office confirmed to CBS News First Pentecostal Church in Holly Springs had previously defied stay-at-home orders to open for services, and the church even sued the city of Holly Springs for trying to shut down a Bible study gathering.

And what made residents believe that the arson was the work of extralegal ne’er-do-wells?

Investigators said they found graffiti on the church property reading: “Bet you stay home now you hypokrites.”

Officials in The Magnolia State were shocked and appalled.

 “I am heartbroken and furious,” Governor Tate Reeves tweeted on Thursday, sharing a photo of the now-destroyed First Pentecostal Church. “In Mississippi, a church was just burned to the ground. They had been trying to open services.”

“What is this pandemic doing to us? We need prayer for this country,” his tweet continued.

At a time in which our nation is already deep in the throes a politically divisive election and a global pandemic, nothing good can come from this violent escalation.

News of the arson broke just hours before a declaration by President Donald Trump in which all houses of worship were deemed “essential“, allowing them to remain open during this time of trouble.

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Religion

California Churches Complain About Governor’s Virus Plan, Get Backing from DOJ

Bill Barr and his crew were unmistakable in their language.

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Attorney General Bill Barr had previously warned state and local authorities not to infringe on the rights of the religious in their coronavirus contingency plans, but not all have heeded the warning.

In California, for instance, Governor Gavin Newsom had inexplicably categorized houses of worship as “phase 3” establishments, despite the similarities between weekly congregations and other gatherings that would be allowed in earlier stages of reopening.

Now, the Department of Justice is following up with Newsom, and lambasting California’s apparent discrimination against the Golden State’s faithful.

Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband pointed out that Newsom’s plan allows a variety of businesses to reopen in “Stage 2,” but does not allow churches and other houses of worship to reopen until “Stage 3,” for no apparent reason.

Citing Attorney General William Barr’s April memorandum warning state and local governments to respect First Amendment rights of religious freedom — “[T]he Constitution is not suspended in times of crisis,” Barr wrote — Dreiband argued that while California could determine the pace of its reopening, it could not infringe on religion…

The language of Dreiband’s warning was unmistakable.

Laws that do not treat religious activities equally with comparable nonreligious activities are subject to heightened scrutiny under the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment. … Religious gatherings may not be singled out for unequal treatment compared to other nonreligious gatherings that have the same effect on the government’s public health interest, absent the most compelling reasons.

California has not shown why interactions in offices and studios of the entertainment industry, and in-person operations to facilitate nonessential ecommerce, are included on the [essential workforce] list as being allowed with social distancing where telework is not practical, while gatherings with social distancing for purposes of religious worship are forbidden, regardless of whether remote worship is practical or not.

Places of worship are not permitted to hold religious worship services until Stage 3. However, in Stage 2, schools, restaurants, factories, offices, shopping malls, swap meets, and others are permitted to operate with social distancing.

According to Dreiband, these sort of written warnings have been successful in other locales where similar oversights had been made.

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Religion

Illinois Governor: No Church Until ‘Widely Available’ Vaccine or Treatment

The move prompted several lawsuits from the Illinois faithful.

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While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to dominate headlines worldwide, one of the most pressing issues in the United States is when and how to begin reopening our economy.

We are currently weighing the health risks against the economic risks, and hoping to find a sweet spot right in the middle where we can safely restart the American machine without putting an inordinate amount of “at-risk” citizens in harm’s way.

Some elected officials have chosen to err on the side of optimism, while other, like the Governor of Illinois, are acting so cautiously that their citizens are growing enraged.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s plan to reopen his state calls for bans of gatherings of more than 50 people, including worship services, until a vaccine or treatment for the coronavirus is “widely available.”

The Democrat governor released his five-phase plan, titled “Restoring Illinois,” Tuesday, which says even at Phase 4, called “Revitalization,” “50 or fewer” would be permitted at any gatherings as long as testing and tracing are widely conducted.

The state is currently in Phase 2, or “Flattening” the curve, as the rate of infection is slowing.

According to the most recent data, Illinois is the fourth most affected state in the nation, with 73,760 total cases of COVID-19 and 3,241 deaths.

As of May 1, nursing home deaths accounted for 44 percent of Illinois fatalities due to the coronavirus.

The details of the governor’s plan had faithful Illinoisans furious.

According to the plan, it is not until Phase 5, or “Illinois Restored,” when “testing, tracing and treatment are widely available throughout the state,” and “either a vaccine is developed to prevent additional spread of COVID-19, a treatment option is readily available that ensures health care capacity is no longer a concern, or there are no new cases over a sustained period,” will gatherings, including religious services, of more than 50 people, be permitted.

On Friday, Romanian churches in Illinois filed a federal lawsuit against Pritzker, claiming his executive orders discriminate against churches by restricting worship services to ten people while other commercial entities, such as liquor and “big box” stores are permitted to accommodate larger groups.

The plan drew a number of lawsuits against the State of Illinois, with churches far and wide lining up to blast what they saw as an egregious overreach.

 

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Facebook Removes Coronavirus Prayers by Army Chaplains After Complaints from Christian-Haters

Facebook removed prayers posted by U.S. Army chaplains after Christian-hating groups complained that they represented “illicit proselytizing” of Christianity.

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Facebook has removed several prayers posted by several chaplains in the U.S. Army after a Christian-hating group complained that they represented “illicit proselytizing” of Christianity.

Facebook removed four videos recorded by chaplains Capt. Amy Smith and Maj. Scott Ingram which had been posted to the Facebook page of the Army’s 10th Mountain Division Sustainment Brigade at Fort Drum, New York.

Facebook moved to delete the “offensive” prayers after the anti-Christian group Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRRF) demanded that the social media giant remove them.

The group falsely claimed that the videos were a violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

“These videos belong only on a chapel page, not on a base’s or unit’s main page,” said Chris Rodda, the hate group’s senior research director, according to Fox News. Rodda added that the group “has been seeing an uptick in a particular type of complaint — overt proselyting videos on official military Facebook pages.”

Per Fox News:

The alleged violations include Smith discussing the Fort Drum Spiritual Fitness Trail in a video that was posted April 17, saying, “You are invited to pray, to pray for the family, to pray for the sick, and to pray for our leaders.” In another video, Smith encouraged people to visit the Fort Drum Labyrinth as a great place to hear God’s voice.

Addressing the coronavirus pandemic on April 2, Ingram said, “God encourages us not to be dismayed by what we see around us, things we cannot control. We can, however, with the best intel in this moment, place our trust in him, walk forward in his strength, and treat others with kindness.”

Not everyone agreed with Fascistbook’s removal of the videos.

Mike Berry, a lawyer for the First Liberty Institute, said he was shocked to find out the news and questioned why MRFF is focused on this issue.

“At a time when our nation is hurting and many feel hopeless, why on earth would Mikey Weinstein attack prayer?” Berry told Fox News. “America has the strongest military in history, but our brave service members are not immune to the havoc COVID-19 has wreaked.”

He added, “I cannot believe the legendary U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division raised the white flag of surrender to an anti-religious freedom zealot. Every president, from Washington to Trump, has publicly prayed for our military. If the commander in chief can pray, then our soldiers can, too.”

Exactly right.

The Constitution gives us all freedom OF religion, not freedom FROM religion.

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Disastrous Pope Uses Easter to Suggest Using Coronavirus to Institute World-Wide Socialism

The worst pope in modern memory is at it again, saying that the world should use the coronavirus as a smoke screen to institute a full communist takeover of the world.

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The worst pope in modern memory is at it again, pushing leftism instead of religion, this time saying that the world should use the coronavirus as a smoke screen to institute a full communist takeover of the world.

On Easter Sunday, the pope brazenly used one of Christendom’s holiest of days to push his communist ideals by issuing a letter urging leaders of social movements to use the viral outbreak to unleash a new era of “change.”

Instead of sticking to Catholicism, the pope used Easter to push for “structural changes” to the world, and to put an end to the “economy of exclusion and inequality.”

He also said that the world should spur radical change for a “humanistic and ecological conversion” to institute his real religion of leftism and climate change. He also expressed support of a universal “basic income” — that being a new favorite communist goal aimed at undermining both the world’s governments and the capitalist system.

As PJ Media noted:

In the letter, the pope argues that these activists are “invisible to the system. Market solutions do not reach the peripheries, and State protection is hardly visible there.” Rather than encouraging philanthropy to reach these peripheries, Francis writes to encourage “you who are looked upon with suspicion when through community organization you try to move beyond philanthropy or when, instead of resigning and hoping to catch some crumbs that fall from the table of economic power, you claim your rights.”

In this context, Francis endorses a UBI. “I know that you have been excluded from the benefits of globalization. You do not enjoy the superficial pleasures that anesthetize so many consciences, yet you always suffer from the harm they produce,” he argues. “Street vendors, recyclers, carnies, small farmers, construction workers, dressmakers, the different kinds of caregivers: you who are informal, working on your own or in the grassroots economy, you have no steady income to get you through this hard time … and the lockdowns are becoming unbearable. This may be the time to consider a universal basic wage which would acknowledge and dignify the noble, essential tasks you carry out. It would ensure and concretely achieve the ideal, at once so human and so Christian, of no worker without rights.”

The pope went on to suggest that the coronavirus is the time to spur these inhuman and anti-Christian changes:

“I hope that this time of danger will free us from operating on automatic pilot, shake our sleepy consciences and allow a humanist and ecological conversion that puts an end to the idolatry of money and places human life and dignity at the centre,” the pope’s letter continues. “Our civilization — so competitive, so individualistic, with its frenetic rhythms of production and consumption, its extravagant luxuries, its disproportionate profits for just a few — needs to downshift, take stock, and renew itself.”

This man is an utter disaster for the west and religion in general, and Catholics in particular.

Surely Satan is this man’s closest adviser.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Facebook at: facebook.com/Warner.Todd.Huston.

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