Letter to the Church in America

And to the church in America, write:

I am the lamb with seven eyes and seven horns. The lion who roars, calling forth the seven thunders. I know your zeal, the way you have opened your doors to all peoples and ideas, gathering the curious with programs and with emotional messages. You have a history of spreading your message both within your borders and across the world and have not grown weary of sending others to share in my suffering.

But I have this against you. You have decided to resemble the world more than me, and have done this so that your Christian witness might not be hindered! You have withered at infection from without, causing infection from within to set in all the more, disregarding my instruction regarding infectious disease. You have allowed outward appearances to supercede the internal truths spoken from the God who sees the heart.

With all you have been given, shouldn’t much more be required? Have I not made one people from the nations? Haven’t I spoken in a way that you are able to understand? Do you serve me or your local authorities, who also must answer to me? Behold! The master is returning soon, and all of the debts will be reconciled! Your talents will be weighed and measured.

All of this degradation has been championed by those who once measured their growth by love, joy and peace if not by humility and self control. Those who were granted a platform that my people could consume more fulfilling meals but who never used that platform to soften their own hearts or to harden their own feet. There are reasons other than lukewarmness to spit out a drink. These were your champions? May they return to Gath!

Repent of your misdeeds! Repent of your adoption into the world and return to me, if you ever were of me! To the one who overcomes, I will return you to health. I will multiply your joy until it wells up within you and overflows to the nations. Though you must suffer for a little while, your reward will be great.

Editor’s Note: This post is not to be confused with Holy Scripture, nor is it intended to serve as an authoritative instruction to all churches at all times. The letters to the seven churches in Revelation are complete and sufficient. I was only trying to write within the genre in my completely insufficient way.

Doug McHone

Social Media Update: Thought Police Edition

Hey y’all, alternate social media is hard to start because first you have to get a significant number of people you already know on there. People are generally followers, no offense intended as I’m including myself in the category of “People.” If you’d like to see what else I’ve had to say about social media, I’ll direct you to a previous post where I discussed the full circle concept of social media.

My favorite social media platform of all time will probably always be Google+. Google+ failed primarily because it was launched full scale before it had a core group of users, even though it had more users than Twitter. The advantage that Facebook had then is the same one it has now. You already know lots of people on there. You know more people who are on there than who aren’t. I joined at a time when I desperately needed a new group of friends, and the platform was ideal for that purpose, both locally and widespread.

Just so you know, only roughly 20% of Americans have a Twitter account. I don’t know the ratio for Parler, but the thought police pervading Facebook and Twitter is resulting in a lot of people branching out there. MeWe and Gab have also seen an increase, but for right now Parler is the place to be for true free speech. It is more similar to Twitter than to Facebook and I hope it evolves as it grows. It isn’t as polished as Twitter yet, but it’s improving. If you’d like to give it a try, my handle is CoffeeSwirls. Unexpected, right?

I’ve also been seeing an uptick in users joining MeWe. MeWe feels more like Facebook and has an interesting component to it. It is free to use, but you can upgrade your experience. For a small fee you can unlock night mode, which I am considering. You can also add more emojis, which is crazy because there are already too many. In return, they don’t flood you with all sorts of adds for hair loss formulas and ED pills. But I’m a middle aged dude, so you may get something different. Here is how to find me on MeWe.

In discussions, it has been suggested that I try Gab. Gab doesn’t have an app on the Google store. They say it is because Google disagrees with their free speech. If that is true, why is Parler on the store? I have an account there, but among the new groups it is a distant third, at best. I don’t want a fifth social media account. Frankly, four is more than I want.

I am also a member on a few Discord servers. I have no idea what I’m doing there.

I have no intention of ending my Facebook account. Twitter either. The biggest benefit of Facebook is that my FB account is my login for some other websites. I should probably address that sooner rather than later. I must say that it is refreshing to see other platforms where people can communicate openly without fearing the ban hammer just because some neutral third party has a different agenda. That ban makes both Facebook and Twitter a PUBLISHER, which is another discussion altogether.

Also, neutrality is a myth.

This is true for Fact Checkers, political posts, religious proclamations, jury selections, and governor lockdowns. Everyone enters every decision with presuppositions. To deny this, you must either lie or you must be unaware of your own leanings.

2020 Thanksgiving Guidelines

In light of these precedented times and the unprecedented overreactions I thought it would be a good idea to share some guidelines that ought to be universal to all this coming Thanksgiving. I would require that you follow these rules, but I don’t want to enforce them at your home. They are the expectation at my family’s Thanksgiving though.

  1. Pray before the meal. Pray to God in the name of Jesus. Don’t just go around the table and ask what each person is thankful for. Pray and thank the fount of every blessing.
  2. Be a good host. And to do so, ignore the conflicting information coming from the CDC as well as your local lawmakers. We were told masks don’t work. We were later told to wear one, not to protect yourself but everyone around you. Now we are told they protect you as well, even though the CDC said that 85% of the positive cases were from people who wear masks either All or Most of the time. The CDC has been on every side of this and your best response is to ignore them.
    • If someone shows up in a mask, be kind to them. They know that they will need to remove it if they will be eating anything, making their arrival in a mask purely cosmetic.
    • If you are invited to someone’s home, don’t show up in a mask. Don’t be that guy. It sends a message that contradicts the very reason you were initially invited.
  3. Gravy is a near-universal condiment. The only exception that comes to mind is dessert. Don’t put gravy on your pumpkin pie.
  4. Don’t talk politics. Just don’t.
  5. Any news program is verboten on this day. I saw my first bit of national news in over a year this last weekend and it was just vile. I took a journalism class in college and these clowns have absolutely none of the objectivity that was restated in every class session. They are in the midst of a historical time that will be dissected by future generations, but all they can do is recite “Orange Man Bad.” Pathetic.
  6. Sigh. The early NFL Games both suck. Texans at Lions? Washington at Cowboys? Ugh. Unless your team is playing, you can get some brownie points with your wife if you tell her you want to focus on just family during them. Don’t tell her why, you dolt! But the late game of Ravens at Steelers is worth watching.
  7. Cranberry sauce is useful. Put some on the white meat. You’re welcome. If you still don’t like it, refer to rule #3.
  8. Are you nervous about ruining the turkey? Buy a couple Costco rotisserie chickens the day before and stick them in the refrigerator. The next morning, put them on the smoker or in the oven at a low temperature. You’re not cooking them again because you bought them cooked. You’re just warming them up and maybe adding a little extra flavor. I smoked them last year and the results were delightful!
  9. Congratulations, you have now entered the Stuffing and Eggnog Season. You have roughly 5 weeks where it’s OK to consume these with every meal. If you aren’t counting carbs, take full advantage! But know that you will pay for these 5 weeks with a gym membership in January, that you will regret before February.
  10. Will the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade be worth watching? I want to say no, but with the lunacy going on it will be a memory to tell your grandchildren as you tell tales about what it was once like to be free.

CHAZ is the new Tiger King

My fascination with CHAZ is a lot like my previous fascination with Tiger King. Both are train wrecks filled with terrible people doing terrible things to other terrible people, terribly. CHAZ is a six block area in Seattle and the name means “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone.” According to the signage on the barriers surrounding the zone, they are no longer a part of the United States of America, hence the term “Autonomous.”

I’m not sure what is autonomous about begging others for food because you didn’t think that far ahead. They do have some huge demands against the rest of society, which is odd seeing that they are no longer a part of our country, according to their own statements. More realistic demands they have made include cigarettes, clothing, and tents. Oh, and sunglasses! They have defined their border with a wall. They patrol that border with scary looking guns. They have no police, but they do have “warlords” who apparently don’t see eye to eye with each other.

BLM members have started to complain that the Antifa agenda is pushing out their desired utopian societal demands. The… um… peacekeepers are already accused of many extortion charges and Seattle’s 911 has been called to that area at a much greater rate than previously, but the group declares itself autonomous and won’t allow authorities in.

Unless there’s a dumpster on fire in there. And of course, there was.

You couldn't feed ONE person with this garden

The community garden is a great metaphor of their worldview. It is way too small. It is only an inch deep. The ground underneath hasn’t been prepared so the roots of their plants won’t take hold. And some of their life saving plants include geraniums. Is that flower even edible?

I’m not sure what I would do if I were in charge of a city with a non-autonomous zone like this. They should be shut down. They should not be allowed to leech community resources if they are to be their own country. They should be assisted with the legal steps to renounce their citizenships if that is truly what they desire. They should be allowed to continue for now, if for no other reason than they highlight the idiocy of their worldview. All people are to be respected. Not all ideas share that biblical protection.

This will end. It will not end well. They do not have a center that can hold. The city of Seattle is just fine with it for now, and for the moment, I’m popping a tub o’ corn. But like everything else in 2020, the situation as well as my reaction to this can turn on a dime.

That’s a mic drop.

Because The Children Are Worth It

Violence may be on the decline in America. School shootings may be less than they were in the 90’s. Students may be safer from physical harm in schools than they were a generation ago while being in more danger from moral harm. All of this may be true. But nonetheless, a major recurring story in our nation points to the opposite. This is not because our nation is more violent, but it is because the violence is being reported disproportionally.

It is evil to hope for a crisis. It is evil to use a hoped-for crisis to your own political or economic gain. It is often those opposed to liberty who create such crises. And it is the media who directs the attention of the public by deciding what to cover and what to overlook, thus magnifying the situation exponentially.

The group American’s For Class released an 8-step plan to make our schools safer. I strongly suggest you read it for yourself. Here are the 8 points, with the details removed to keep this post brief.

  1. Secure the perimeter 
  2. Control the flow 
  3. Protect the interior 
  4. Develop the School Safety Volunteer Network 
  5. Increase parental communication 
  6. Appoint a District School Safety Specialist
  7. Increase Mental Health Services 
  8. Establish a School Safety Hotline

I believe these are all excellent steps to begin with. This list should be non-controversial. We know that it isn’t, but it should be. This isn’t a topic that will be solved by merely avoiding controversy, though. So let me add a few ideas written like the rough draft of a bill.

  1. Since 97% of all mass shootings occur in gun free zones, we need to abolish gun free zones. Gun free zones in public or taxpayer funded areas are inherently unconstitutional. Gun Free Zones only serve to disarm law abiding citizens. Criminals and murderers might refer to them as Helpless Victim Zones. Private property is exempt from this provision.
  2. Any public or taxpayer funded property that insists on remaining a gun free zone (schools, federal buildings, post offices, etc) assumes the responsibility and liability for any injury, damage, death, or other negative result due to a violent act upon those visiting said property. No legally licensed carrier of weapons shall be barred from exercising their constitutional right without consequence. Private property is not included in this provision.

Specific to Schools that are Assisted with Government Funds of any kind

  1. With the legal penalties for law abiding gun owners to exercise their constitutional rights removed, teachers and staff at our public schools will no longer be barred from defending themselves and their students with the best means at their disposal. All law abiding citizens with legal access to a school shall be allowed to enter the school grounds without disarming.
  2. For the safety and security of every person in the school building, the teachers and staff members who choose to bring their own gun into the school must conceal their weapon and must keep this weapon on their person or in a secured location at all times. Speaking openly with students about their decision to carry a weapon results in a less secure environment for everybody, especially the teacher, and will result in corrective action up to and including a loss of employment, regardless of tenure.
  3. Any staff member who reveals other weapon carriers to third parties will be subject to corrective action up to and including a loss of employment, regardless of tenure. If this action is repeated, that teacher will be charged with a felony. The safety of students is paramount. An active shooter should never know who is prepared to end their threat. A staff member should never set another staff member to be the first target of an active shooter.
  4. Staff members who decide to carry may join a program that will provide firearms and accessories at a reduced rate and training at no charge. This training includes, but is not limited to, situational awareness, conflict deescalation, marksmanship, first responder medical training, psychological assistance, and shoot/no shoot scenarios.
  5. Staff members who have joined this program, should be compensated for their willingness to stand up for the safety of everyone around them, with bonuses for staff members who are able to produce their firearm at times that are random, but places that are private.  There should be no negativity toward any staff member who chooses not to participate in this.

I share all of this because our children are valuable. I share this because there are people who do not value the lives of others or even of themselves. Any action taken to restrict others will only affect those who are already more law abiding than off duty law enforcement officers. The people more likely to perform violent acts will only see more Helpless Victim Zones.

It’s time to live in accordance with the worldview we espouse. It’s time to accept our own national worldview as a reality. It’s time to defend the second most vulnerable people in our country from danger, and it’s clear that posted signs just aren’t doing the job. It has been demanded of us that we do something, If we are to do something, then we need to do something consistent with the ideals of liberty and of personal responsibility and of the reality that bad people are only stopped when good people are empowered.

Nehemiah 4:8-9 English Standard Version (ESV)
And they all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and to cause confusion in it. And we prayed to our God and set a guard as a protection against them day and night.

You salute the rank

Regardless of your political stance, I think our culture would be wise to take a deep breath and remember something our grandparents understood. You respect people because they are people. You honor those placed over you because you honor the one who placed them over you.

That is true whether you believe that a plurality of districts placed a leader in power or whether you believe the Bible when it says that all leaders are placed in their positions by God. Nobody is exempt from this requirement.

In the USA, you do have the freedom to object to the actions of the leaders. The leaders are not the gods of our country. To find out what idols have been set up over you, you merely need to ask which person or group are you not allowed to disagree with. There is the real tyrant. But I digress.

I didn’t vote for our current president. I haven’t voted for a winning president in many years. But I honor the office of the president, and by extension of that, I honor our president. Because I honor the One who placed him in his office. To do any different would be hypocritical.

Finally to answer an objection before it is asked, Christians are not required to obey unlawful demands by government leaders. When I say unlawful, I refer to demands that are unconstitutional, against lesser (but still valid) laws, or opposed to the law of God. We honor earthly leaders because we honor God. You cannot honor God by breaking His commandments. Therefore, I would not celebrate the sin of others. I believe Romans 1:32 has some negative things to say about Christians offering approval to sinful behavior.

1 Peter 2:16-17
Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.


The Myth of Marinade

I’ve known about this for a while, but nobody seems to listen. I used to argue this point more, but now I mostly just chuckle to myself and let it go. By looking at the title of this post, you know where I’m going. Marinade is a silly way to waste time before you cook your meats. And how do I know this? Because science.

According to the propaganda arm of cooking known as the USDA, the meats that you would marinate, mostly chicken and steaks, is comprised of mostly water. In fact, 2/3 of the weight of your meat is water. Now look at the ingredients of your favorite marinade. I’m guessing the first ingredient is some kind of oil.

What happens when oil combines with water? Not a whole lot, right? This is why the marinade will flavor the outside of your meat, but it can’t penetrate without being directly injected. And even that injection can only travel along with the fibers of the meat.

America’s Test Kitchen is kind of like a Consumer Reports organization that specializes in cooking. This brief video will agree that marinades will not penetrate meats but will be useful when adding flavor to tofu. But then you run into another problem. That problem is that you are now eating tofu.

I think the next golden calf for me to grind up will be beer can chicken. Have a nice day!