The IM Saturday Monks Brunch: July 25, 2020 — Satire Edition

The IM Saturday Monks Brunch: July 25, 2020
Satire Edition

• • •

FIRST…you didn’t think we’d forget the BEST news of the week, did you?


With a commitment to promoting social justice for black lives.

Bringing joy that can’t be contained!

We are very excited for the first game of the MLB season starting this week. We appreciate the sacrifice the players are making to continue on at their jobs during such an uncertain time for our entertainment. We hope you enjoy this summertime anthem. This is Colt Clark and the Quarantine Kids playing “Centerfield” by John Fogerty.

They blog at Nomadic Homebodies.

And now, let the SATIRE begin. We start with…

The Onion:

City Enters Phase 4 of Pretending Coronavirus Over

DALLAS—Saying the city remained on track for progressing into the final stage, Mayor Eric Johnson told Dallas residents Friday that they would soon officially be entering Phase 4 of pretending the coronavirus was over. “Thanks to the efforts of municipal employees, I’m happy to say we’ve reached the final phases of completely deluding ourselves into thinking that this pandemic has somehow stopped spreading and that we’re safe,” said Johnson in a press conference, in which he applauded the city for bringing them to this stage by successfully disregarding the virus in previous phases. “In order for this to be effective, however, we’re instituting guidelines requiring all residents to convince themselves that they can no longer contract or spread this disease, and that despite virtually no changes in the situation, we will no longer need to use hand sanitizers or observe social distancing. Phase 4 will also need all of you to start going into restaurants and stores without masks and pretending that this is endangering absolutely no one. Thank you all.” At press time, Johnson added that he hoped successful observance of protocols would allow the city to soon move into the outright panic and citywide devastation that would characterize Phase 5.

From the Daily Bonnet (Mennonite Satire):

Quebec Requires All Residents to Wear Head Coverings

QUEBEC CITY, QC: After an outbreak of “uncontrolled sassiness,” the government of Quebec is trying to reign things in and is requiring all residents to humble themselves and wear traditional religious head coverings of some sort.

“And, no, I don’t mean a vintage Expos cap,” said Premier Legault. “I mean a Mennonite headscarf–you know a duak–or one of those straw flat-brimmed Amish hats. Might as well throw on some suspenders while you’re at it.”

The new requirements came into effect this week, and a few residents have been reluctant to abide by the rules.

“I get it. We could all use a good dose of humility, but it’s 30 degrees outside! This outfit is way too stuffy! Gotta let my head breath,” said Mr. Gauthier of Quebec City.

The new law is a stark change for the province who is usually opposed to any form of identifiable headgear.

“Well, yes, but things were getting bad. People were getting prideful and boastful and self-confident and that kind of thing spreads fast,” said Legault. “There were all sorts of forms of self-expression that are just not acceptable in this province. Better to get things under control while we still can!”

The new law also requires residents to sing an a cappella hymn on Rue Dalhousie at least one a month.

From the Babylon Bee:

Baptists Lose Hundreds of Pounds Due to Cancelled Potlucks

U.S.—As churches across the country have canceled their potlucks for the past four months, one group has seen a positive side effect: Baptists, who have lost up to 200 pounds as they can’t scarf down casseroles every Sunday.

Unable to chow down on three or four plates of casseroles and guzzle down gallons of sweet tea after church every Sunday, Baptists are getting lean and fit. Most other denominations gained weight during quarantine, but since Baptists consume an average of 10,000 calories per potluck, they actually lost weight.

“It’s been really great for my health,” said Baptist pastor Jack Wilderbean as he tightened his belt another notch. “I kept eating Ms. Ethel’s tuna casserole every Sunday — she’d make a special one just for me in addition to the shared potluck casserole.” Wilderbean lost over 200 pounds since church services were canceled a few months ago, a phenomenon that doctors are calling “nothing short of a miracle.”

Unfortunately, youth pastors have begun starving to death, as the church potluck was their only source of food every week.

From NewsThump:

Secret globalist cabal delighted with conspiracy theory that has stopped people wearing masks and allowed continued facial recognition

A secret cabal of globalist billionaires is today celebrating their success in getting gullible idiots to ditch facemasks, after it became apparent that wearing them rendered their global facial recognition systems obsolete.

As developed countries around the world begin introducing rules that mandate the wearing of facemasks to help limit the spread of COVID-19, it has come as a shock to the shadowy figures that run the world that their facial recognition systems no longer work as advertised.

Simon Williams, a secretive billionaire plotting to take over the world, told us, “We’ve been tracking you for ages.  Through your TVs, your phones, CCTV – everything.  We know where you go, and when you go there.  But these bloody COVID facemasks ruined everything.

“Almost twenty years of technology investment down the toilet, overnight.  We pivoted to video from audio years ago, before you’d even heard of YouTube, so of course we started looking for ways to undermine the mask-wearing programmes.

“Useful idiots like Donald Trump help, but the best way to get a gullible moron to stop doing something, is to tell them people like us want them to do it.

“We just started it spreading rumours that masks were the first step in allowing globalists to steal their freedoms. No, of course it doesn’t make any sense – but it combines their two favourite things, global issues they don’t really understand, and someone to blame for all the bad stuff in their lives.

“It’s working brilliantly.  Just look at your social feeds to see all the people we’ve successfully manipulated into thinking a facemask is an attack on their freedom.

“I can barely say it with a straight face, but they fell for it hook, line and sinker and how we can keep on tracking them wherever they go.  Happy days!”


From the Babylon Bee:

White BLM Protestors Try to Start Chant but No One Able to Clap on Beat

PORTLAND, OR—In what is being seen as a major victory for federal enforcers, Antifa morale took a hit today after the entirely white mob failed to produce a decent chant or even clap on beat.

“Pathetic, just pathetic,” said one observer. “They couldn’t even rhyme. I always believed in the movement, I don’t even know what to believe anymore.”

According to citizen journalists on the ground, the crowd began to dissipate after a failed attempt at the following chant:


What is the thing that’s bad because it’s the source of all oppression?


Sources confirmed that nobody really knew when to clap and people began to hang their heads in defeat. The leaders tried again:

“Systemic racism! Transphobia!

We’ll stop it!

Yes, that’s absolutely

What we’re going to do!”

Leaders tried to help people along by drumming on the hoods of cars and clapping but failed miserably. As the crowd continued to dissipate, rioters were forced to revert to their standard primal screams. Antifa leaders have confirmed they will be hiring consultants to help make their chants more catchy in the future.

At publishing time, the protesters had tried to just tweet their slogans but they couldn’t put the hand clap emojis in the right spot.

Best of Rick Steves’ “No Travel Tips”

Travel guru Rick Steves ran a piece on his Facebook page asking for “no-travel” tips from his fellow Americans who are stuck at home and unable to travel during this pandemic. ast Friday, He received half a million views and nearly 3,000 comments with countless clever “no-travel tips” to help bring a little Europe into our locked-down lives at home. Here are some of Rick’s favorite submissions.

  • Dig a hole in the garden, put two foot-shaped cutouts on each side, tell your family that’s the toilet from now on.
  • Wash all your unmentionables in the sink and then drape them over every possible bit of furniture in the bedroom.
  • Use suitcases for dirty laundry instead of a hamper. Then it is just like unpacking from vacation for every single load!
  • Tell everyone else in the house to pretend they don’t speak English and talk slowly and loudly to them.
  • When you shower throw yourself against the walls a lot — making believe it is really tiny!
  • Refuse to acknowledge anyone until they say, “Bonjour Madame.”
  • When you do get that occasional trip out, wear your money belt. To pay for things, pull up your shirt and dig out your money.
  • Change the hot and cold tap labels on your bathroom sink, or better yet, the shower!
  • Stand in your linen closet with a suitcase and pretend you’re in a classic old European hotel lift.
  • Detach your toilet seat and just sit on the porcelain.
  • Use all of the little soaps and lotions you’ve collected over the years from different hotels instead of the standard size soaps and lotions.
  • Stand around the corner from a painting. Just stand there for hours waiting to get to see it.
  • When your quarantine partner asks for water, ask, “gas or no gas?”
  • Try to charge every device that you own using one outlet on your bathroom counter.
  • Next time you go to the grocery store, just put all the cash you have in your hands and hold it out for the cashier to take what they need.
    Ask your housemates for something in a foreign language; if they look confused, just repeat it louder.
  • Serve your housemates tepid water, and say you’ll be right back. Return three hours later and ask if they would like some bread.
  • Take tours of several of your neighbors’ backyard gardens. Take pictures of them and then force your family to watch your tour.
  • Throw coins in your neighbor’s birdbath.

I wish it was satire…

John MacArthur’s Grace Community Church announces it will not obey California’s ban on indoor worship services

Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, which is pastored by influential theologian and author John MacArthur, announced Friday that it would continue holding in-person services, saying state mandates restricting worship are an overstep of government authority and thus they have no duty to follow them.

Pastor MacArthur argued in a blog post published on Friday that “government officials have no right to interfere in ecclesiastical matters in a way that undermines or disregards the God-given authority of pastors and elders.”

“Therefore, in response to the recent state order requiring churches in California to limit or suspend all meetings indefinitely, we, the pastors and elders of Grace Community Church, respectfully inform our civic leaders that they have exceeded their legitimate jurisdiction, and faithfulness to Christ prohibits us from observing the restrictions they want to impose on our corporate worship services,” MacArthur wrote.

On July 13, California indefinitely closed churches— as well as restaurants, bars, fitness centers, hair salons, and barbershops — in at least 32 counties. A group of churches from the state also recently sued California Gov. Gavin Newsom after he instituted a ban on singing in churches as a way to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

“The biblical order is clear: Christ is Lord over Caesar, not vice versa. Christ, not Caesar, is head of the church,” MacArthur wrote. “Conversely, the church does not in any sense rule the state. Again, these are distinct kingdoms, and Christ is sovereign over both.”

He also argued that because the church is by nature an assembly, any restrictions goes against the nature of the church “in principle.”

“As government policy moves further away from biblical principles, and as legal and political pressures against the church intensify, we must recognize that the Lord may be using these pressures as means of purging to reveal the true church,” MacArthur wrote. “Succumbing to governmental overreach may cause churches to remain closed indefinitely. How can the true church of Jesus Christ distinguish herself in such a hostile climate? There is only one way: bold allegiance to the Lord Jesus Christ.”

➡️ Read MacArthur’s full statement here.

A funny, feel-good ending to today’s Brunch…

James Corden connects with a Canadian school teacher whose class has organized a hotline for senior citizens to call and listen to a joke, and to thank him, Billy Crystal pops in to the chat to record a few jokes of his own. The number for the Ever After School project is 1-877-JOY-4ALL.

140 thoughts on “The IM Saturday Monks Brunch: July 25, 2020 — Satire Edition

  1. Just like the old man in that book by Nabakov….

    HT: The Police (one of the 2 Power Trios in rock music). I am sure you know who the other is (or rather was)?


  2. I described my college years as “Major in IT and Minor in Dee & Dee”. All nighters every weekend at the other end of Brea Canyon.

    One of the guys at our monthly Hobby Day was getting me into “Middle Earth Battle Companies” when COVID hit and Hobby Day shut down for the duration.

    Other than that, I’m the local king of orphan games (which nobody plays). Doing Classic Traveller articles for the online ‘zine Freelance Traveller under my real name and another orphan game (Full Thrust by Ground Zero Games of England) that also got shut down by COVID.


  3. Regarding how a church should respond to government orders.
    Matt. 17:25 “What do you think, Simon?” he asked. “From whom do the kings of the earth collect duty and taxes—from their own children or from others?”

    26 “From others,” Peter answered. “Then the children are EXEMPT,” Jesus said to him.

    27 “But SO THAT WE MAY NOT CAUSE OFFENSE, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours.”


  4. Those were the days. A welcome diversion from all the studying during one’s college years.

    I haven’t done any tabletop RPG stuff since the late 90’s. Did Advanced Squad Leader (ASL) from the mid 90’s to around 2010. Haven’t done anything since then. Though I do now want to get back to doing at least ASL once in a while. There are still a few older guys around where I am at that still play ASL.


  5. Three years for me, in the glory days of 1976-80.
    At Cal State Fullerton, as part of their multi-group gaming club “Expeditions Ltd”.


  6. Speaking of Ponies and Sins, there was something within Bronydom that affected me very deeply some seven-eight years ago.

    Understand, my main interest in Pony was the fan-created derivative material — art, fiction, animation, music, doujinshi comics, you name it. I’m old enough to remember the first flush of both Star Trek and Star Wars fandom, and I have NEVER seen the sheer amount of fan-created material as from Pony over the past nine years.

    (Here is an example — a fan-made music video for a fan-made song):

    Well, seven years ago someone with the pen name of “Pen Stroke” wrote a 200,000-word fan novel redeeming the ponies’ Antichrist figure. (The younger sister/moon goddess who was sealed in the moon in the above video — “A thousand years hence, She shall return and end the world in Eternal Night”.)

    The novel was called Past Sins, and resonated something within me, emotionally involving me in the story such as hadn’t happened in many years. I remember Past Sins as its first draft appeared chapter-by-chapter at FIMFiction; with every scene, a movie version started screening in my head scene-by-scene and still hasn’t stopped. There was power behind that story. (I’m not sure that I can explain it here, because it requires some familiarity with “G4 Ponydom”.)

    Well, it actually achieved hardback publication — an archival-quality non-commercial subscription private printing for members who donated to the publishing project. Autographed copies now sit on my bookshelves and those of my two writing partners.

    To this day, I keep comparing all those End Time Prophecy types signing over the future to The Antichrist contrasting with a twentysomething lapsed Lutheran grad student who spent a year and 200,000 words to bring Redemption to a Pony Antichrist figure. (Having her “born again” but not in the Christianese sense.)


  7. Funny… The Seventh-Day Adventist Mark of the Beast is “the National Sunday Law”, when the Government decrees all churches must meet on Sunday (first day) instead of The Sabbath (seventh day).


  8. Of course, my gaming group in that era played together just about every week for the better part of 4 years.


  9. We took material from the subclasses as needed. The main thing was the overall character concept, background, motivations, etc. For example, when the Special Wizards subclasses (their books came out during 2nd Ed. I believe) came out, I used that material for my Van-Helsing type specialist necromancer. My spells were tweaked (via DM and In-House rules) to be more effective against undead but did almost no damage to living. The Paladin character played by my friend did not know what to make of me, as my character despised undead more than he did, but I was going after them “the wrong way”. We started at 3rd Level and made it to around 12th to 14th or so (a pretty long campaign, but not super super long). This was a good 25 years ago so my memory is foggy on all the details.


  10. There you go.

    Even Robot Chicken got into the act and did a My Little Pony parody at the same time:


  11. I think the ancient form of gluttony, which was a vice only the rich could afford, was often of the type described by Lewis in The Screwtape Letters: not too much, but must be of the exact right kind and quality for the discerning palate.


  12. You don’t need to apologize to me. I do understand, my friend. I’ve said and continue to say things I should’ve known better than to say.


  13. And here’s an Oldie But Goodie — End Time Prophecy With Ponies:
    Line Code (unicorn), Palette Swap (earth pony) and Emerald May (pegasus) in “The End Is Neigh!”


  14. There is more than one kind of gluttony.
    The secular world these days has “gluttony of delicacy”, where the indulgence comes in NOT eating things. But in the words of Screwtape, their Appetites are still in complete control.


  15. And from someone very familiar with Eighties Pop Music (Yay YouTube’s vintage music videos!) “Don’t Stand So Close To Me” is on the same subject as Van Halen’s “Hot for Teacher” (student/teacher ehebephilia) but takes a different angle.


  16. When entering a new D&D campaign, I usually started with a Fighter. Simple & direct, without having to immediately learn the local magic system (of which there were many DM-tweaked variants). Gave me a feel for the campaign rules. Later I’d branch out into spellcasters as I understood the house rules better. Preferred the simpler Old-School classes to the later special subclasses.


  17. There you go. It’s a shame you are missing out on those.

    There are several within 15 minute drive from where I am at. Though the enjoying the diner atmosphere in sitting in the old-school booths and counters has taken a hit due to COVID.


  18. I usually role-played Ranger or Fighter (professional military background) or most interestingly my Van Helsing inspired specialist wizard.



  19. That’s them. Don’t forget Lindsey and Chuck Smith of CC also figured the Rapture would happen in 1981. Their reasoning:

    1948 (Israel becomes a country) + 40 yrs (1 generation) = 1988 – 7 (Tribulation) = 1981

    Needless to say that didn’t happen. Some later End-Times predictions:

    How about the year 2000 (that was another one)? 1967 (Israel gets all of the Temple Mount) + 40 = 2007 – 7 = 2000. And for the added bonus all that Y2K stuff (also pushed by the now dead Chuck Missler).

    Through in some Cahn Harbinger crap, with added Hagee Blood Moons excrement, and Hitchcock BS for the mid 2010s..

    How about these ones which which were pushed in some circles,Year of Jubilee (50 yrs)?

    1967 + 50 = 2017 – 7 = 2010

    1917 (Balfour Declaration) + 100 = 2017 – 7 = 2010. This one gets the Powerball multiplier since 1917 + 50 = 1967 too.

    Remember the point of reference for all the Dispys is always Israel. Never mind that the socialist, European-style parliamentary secular nation of Israel is not the Israel of the OT.

    Let me make one on the fly: 1917 + 137 ((the fine structure constant for all you physics nerds)+ I am sure there are stuff in the Bible about 137 too)) = 2054 – 7 = 2047. 2047 – 80 (40*2) = 1967 – 50 = 1917. And there you go. 2047 is the year.


  20. I was close to 300 lbs a few years ago before I started to take my weight seriously. I am down into the 240s now…still overweight though. I attribute part of my weight spike to poor eating habits, but I also suspect a medication I take may have contributed to the weight gain spike.

    I do apologize for my part in being insensitive. My late sister had was overweight, and I have several people very close to me that are obese. I should know better.


  21. I don’t care about “fat jokes” myself, though I am overweight, but there are people close to me who they hurt terribly, and there may be people who read this blog who they affect the same way. I tend to think that obesity starts at home, not at restaurants. I think your analysis of the historic differences between our times and those ancient times regarding gluttony are correct. It was the rich who practiced gluttony in ancient times, whether it led to being overweight or not was immaterial; in our society, the poor tend to be overweight, because of negative social conditioning, and because of inability to afford good, healthy foods, or access them due to living in food deserts.


  22. Being overweight myself–like so much of the US public–I suppose I have become practically immune to “fat jokes”–in no small part because a lot of them contain a grain or two of truth. Certainly, obesity is a complicated thing, and not single-minded gluttony. It is, though, perfectly true that people–not just men–will gather in restaurants and ignore the dietary restrictions they might observe at home–“making up for lost time,” perhaps.

    And the Bible does call out gluttony as a sin–which made perfect sense in a time and place where food was not freely available and famines were common. If one person–or one class of people–ate more than their share, there would be less for all the rest. Food, for the moment–with the onset of climate change, all bets are off–is widely available, and humans are still programmed to eat it when it is, because it may not be next time they’re hungry. But that may have to change in the future, when scarcity may be much more common. I don’t think “sin” is generally an appropriate category for overeating today.


  23. Jokes at the expense of overweight people, from the comments:

    >When you say “large Baptist” do you mean the church, or the Baptists?
    >….400-lb (200-kilo) spheroid Baptist preachers….
    >Where else can the guys get away from the house and family (ignore any dietary restrictions) and meet with fellow men doing the same thing to grow spiritually (and in the waist size)?

    Then the general suggestion across several comments that churches, instead of focusing so much on preaching against “sexual sin”, should preach more about gluttony as “sin”, since their subculture includes many overweight people — as if “sin” is the cause of most people being overweight or obese. Imagine such comments being made with regard to alcoholics and alcoholism; it’s not much different. Being overweight or obese is a complex phenomenon with many social and personal causative factors, none of which are easily reducible to personal sin.


  24. By “the 1988 one”, I assume you mean Edgar Weisnahunt and his best-seller 88 Reasons the Rapture WILL Happen in 19881. (Followed a year later by his 89 Reasons the Rapture WILL Happen in 1989! whose sales bombed like Tsar Bomba.)

    Here were the “THIS IS IT!!!!!” Biggies from my time in-country::
    * Yom Kippur War Rapture Scare, 1973 — found out later ANY war in the Middle East triggers one of these.
    * Comet Kohoutek Rapture Scare, 1974 — The brightness of this comet WAS Going To Fulfill Isaiah’s Prophecy of the Sun and Moon brightening sevenfold. Found out only a couple years ago that this one actually got started by Mo David and the COGs.
    * Rosh Hashanah Rapture Scare, 1975 — THE Biggie. Rapture goes down at sunset in Jerusalem starting Rosh Hashanah (starting a Jewish calendar year whose number transliterates as “Messiah”), Global Thermonuclear War and Revelation of the King of Spain as The Antichrist following immediately, the next Seven Years choreographed and scheduled almost down to the minute, every word PROVEN chapter-and-verse from SCRIPTURE(TM). Swept through the Real True Christians(TM) of the time like COVID through Brazil and the USA. Massive revival meeting Live all over the Christianese TV channels that day/night. Found out much much later that this one was actually started by the Jehovah’s Witnesses but nobody would ever admit to that.
    * Jupiter Effect Rapture Scare, 1981 — Astrological syzygy (alignment of planets) would cause gravitational tidal stress on Earth and Sun causing earthquakes, solar mega-flares, and all the other Plagues of Revelation. Actually started with a secular woo-woo bestseller (The Jupiter Effect) and the Christians jumped on the bandwagon waving their marked-up End TImes Prophecy Charts and going “ME, TOO!”

    That was around the time I burned out, many years before Weisnhaunt and his 88 Reasons. But the damage remains; I still cannot look out of a kitchen window facing the eastern sky and motivating myself to do anything is an uphill battle against the residual “It’s All Gonna Burn”.

    “Any Minute Now” + “It’s All Gonna Burn” = CHRISTIAN NIHILISM (“Why Bother?”) And you can live that way only so long before you burn out and/or go crazy.


  25. Where did you see that, Robert? I saw some reasonable explanations of why people are fat, and some on why gluttony is rarely the subject of a sermon, but not fat-shaming. Did I miss something?


  26. The NFL and MLB owners rank above most of the rest of us, and their interests will prevail, even at the cost of lives.


  27. And Took His Mark in Praise and Adoration.

    Like that “Messianic Christian” in Jewish prayer shawl tooting a shofar at Divine Trump’s kickoff rally touting his “Gift of Spiritual Discernment”:

    “If your Spiritual Gift keeps mistaking Donald Trump for Jesus Christ, Why Should I believe ANYTHING you tell me? Or ANYTHING your Private Revelations/Dreams/Visions tell me?”


  28. No, “Constipation to you” is all those pictures of Perry Noble behind the pulpit. Always had a grimace on his face like he was straining on the can with an intestinal obstruction.


  29. Can you describe the postcard adverts?
    (I suspect they’d be in the running on a “Have You Gone Stupid?” competition.)


  30. They were my go-to buffet place after Hometown Buffet went south and Golden Corral moved into their place. Best buffet chain I’ve eaten at.

    Unfortunately after a year of COVID lockdown, the only surviving retail businesses will be McDonalds, Starbucks, and WalMart.


  31. Don’t forget Christianese obsession with Pelvic Issues.

    And obsessing on the speck of the OTHER GUY’s SIN SIN SIN while the log in your own Righteous eye clobbers people every time you turn your head.


  32. I always like IHOP (the breakfast place, not Mike Bickle’s cult) over Denny’s.

    I’m not too keen about IHOP; my first job after college was working in the IT dept of their company HQ and top management was as autocratic and corrupt as they come. After leaving, I would not eat in an IHOP for over ten years, the aftertaste of working there was so bad.

    But give me a old-school diner, something you would see in the Northeast, any day.

    Like Baker’s Diner on Route 15 at the north end of Dillsburg (between Harrisburg & Gettysburg).
    Or Whitehall Diner at MacArthur & Mechanicsville Road north of Allentown.
    Or Bethlehem Diner near Lehigh Valley Airport.

    Wish they had eateries like those in my part of the country.


  33. And let’s be theologically clear: being svelte is not a visible sign of an invisible grace. It is mostly, for most people, the result of genetics and conditioning, nature and nurture, not virtue. And being overweight or obese is the same, genetics combined with conditioning; in the case of morbid obesity, developmental psychological trauma is frequently a major causation.


  34. Ever wonder why they always harp on the deadly sins of lust or sloth, but somehow gluttony gets a pass?

    It’s impossible to hide being overweight or obese. Sexual impropriety, otoh, can remain very secret. If the preachers and the lay leadership of churches were all svelte, you’d hear lots of sermons about gluttony — which would be a terrible thing, since reducing the causes of being overweight to gluttony is not unlike reducing the causes of alcoholism to an excessive enjoyment of beer or whiskey, an enjoyment which one can simply choose to indulge or not, i.e. attributing it solely to “sin”. It is better that the the preachers and lay leader remain obviously overweight themselves, and so are forced to exhibit a measure of tolerance regarding this problem; if only their sexual improprieties were also as obvious to everyone, then the condemnation, and hypocrisy that goes with it, that surrounds that issue would also greatly decrease.


  35. I always like IHOP (the breakfast place, not Mike Bickle’s cult) over Denny’s.

    Waffle House has some good items too on their menu.

    But give me a old-school diner, something you would see in the Northeast, any day.


  36. But it seems that QAnon conspiracy belief is moving into the territory left open by the decline of Premillennial Dispensationalism. The postmodernist character of QAnon belief does not seem to be susceptible to falsification by facts. I’m also not sure younger folks aren’t as susceptible to it as older ones.


  37. Professional sports teams will be using tens of thousands of coronavirus testing kits and the lab resources to analyze them each day during training camps and each week during the season to monitor people without any symptoms, and on a quick turnaround basis so that results come in daily. In the meantime, you or I can only get tested if we present symptoms or had near contact with someone who tested positive, and the turnaround, because of lab inability to keep up with the number of tests submitted, will take several days to up to two weeks (pre-surgical testing for screening purposes is the exception; that is expedited as quickly as the testing for professional sports teams). Something is wrong with this picture.


  38. Decades ago it was required that workers in restaurants and food processing have a food handlers permit that was given after a negative test for TB and VD. I was required to have one in order to work in a creamery during college. Would these same idiots call that a “mark of the beast?”


  39. About a month ago a friend posed the thesis that no sports and no church removed normal emotional outlets and the nation wide protest have been the replacement.


  40. The last time I was at a Denny’s was in the late 1970s/early 1980s, and I don’t meet with fellow men to eat at restaurants —- in fact I don’t meet with fellow men at all — but this I know from personal experience, since I continue to suffer from and struggle with obesity: you don’t get fat at Denny’s or any other eatery, you get fat at home — the house, if you own one, but many of us, the less affluent that is who also tend to be the obese, don’t own one— with the family. At Denny’s or any other restaurant you just repeat the patterns you learned and practice at home.


  41. One of my Facebook friends, a longtime evangelical, shared MacArthur’s statement and called it admirable. I disagreed in a comment, for which I’ll probably get a lot of flak, but I don’t really care. I’ve seen enough of McArthur and how his teaching warps people. He is a man who has no idea how much he is a both product of and trapped in his own particular culture and brand.

    Also, I have to wonder what the medical experts in his congregation think of this. Talk about cognitive dissonance!


  42. Dan from GA,

    There you go. Where else can the guys get away from the house and family (ignore any dietary restrictions) and meet with fellow men doing the same thing to grow spiritually (and in the waist size)?

    Ever wonder why they always harp on the deadly sins of lust or sloth, but somehow gluttony gets a pass?


  43. in all honesty, after Trump’s salesmanship of junk drugs, I would rather trust Oxford University’s findings for a vaccine instead.

    But if the vaccine is SAFE and EFFECTIVE, I bless them that finds it and tests it properly as soon as possible. Tired of scams and creepy politics . . . way too many people suffering.


  44. Hope you feel better soon, Susan.
    They might have got you a wheelchair to help you to see your John!
    Sending hug.


  45. I should know…I was in one of those groups and we met at a local Denny’s.

    So did other “men’s groups”.


  46. Ha! That “men’s meeting”…up nort’ (meaning the Upper Midwest, not northern Georgia) they met at Denny’s.


  47. Yes, but how many people will be following baseball this season? It seems sports, and not just baseball, have become an afterthought thanks to the pandemic. Perhaps that could change if some good pennant races develop down the stretch.


  48. I looked up Golden Corral, a chain I haven’t visited in years. Their nearest location is 25 miles away in Manassas, except they’re currently closed. The nearest open location is in Winchester, 70 miles away. I can’t exactly say it’s on my list of places to go at this time.


  49. I guess the Beast was way back in 1905, when Jacobson v. Massachusetts, 197 U.S. 11 (1905) was decided. This was a SCOTUS decision in which the Court upheld the authority of states to enforce compulsory vaccination laws.


  50. Well at least as long as the Dispys were running roughshod over everything. With the rise of Internet and the fact that all the Dispys have been repeatedly wrong on their predictions ever since they botched it big with the 1988 one, Premillennial Dispensationalism as not as popular among Christians as it was 20-30 years ago (especially among the GenX-ers and Millennials). Of course the aging boomer Jesus People Movement cling to it, but it is more likely they will see Jesus in death rather than meeting Him in the air. More folks now are either Historic Premillennialists or Amillennialists.


  51. Golden Corral shutdown? That must one of the End-Times signs, especially if the closures are at the same time a blood moon and a politician in the Knesset retiring and buying a condo in Palm Beach. FL.


  52. Oh OK. I think he was still with wife #1 then. He comes up with more versions of the Late Great Planet Earth than he has ex-wives as the decades go by. He hopes you forget about the previous versions because THIS TIME all the signs are there and “I am right about the all new significant prophetic events. The guy is 90 but his mustache is only 40.

    I am glad I am amillennial and don’t buy a whole new set of books, tapes, sermons every 5 years.


  53. The proper code word is “Miracle Mineral Solution” or “Healing Water”:

    Myles Power is a British chemist (pharmacist?) whose channel does a lot of videos on quackery and general woo-woo. There is an actual cult called “The Genesis II Church of Health & Healing” (founded by an ex-Scientologist) whose sacrament is drinking industrial bleach under that code name. And has a knockoff called “The Global Healing Christian Mission”.


  54. He’s ROLE-PLAYING at being a martyr, “Persecuted for Righteousness’ sake” and all that.

    Why can’t these guys admit they’re into LARPGs?
    (Like Doug ESQUIRE of VIsion Forum wouldn’t admit he was into cosplay.)


  55. They’re gonna have a hard time with the latter. All-you-can-eat buffets are one of the first types of eateries to shut down from COVID-19 and there is no easy way to turn them into takeout/delivery for survival. But then Christians(TM) seem to be into COVID Defiance Culture.


  56. Bu which edition of Late Great Planet Earth?

    Whichever edition had a mass-market paperback best-seller with pub date around 1973-75.

    Also, when Hal meets Jesus in the air an a blink of an eye and is transformed, does that mean his body goes back to being young again

    With steroid-like abs, pecs, and biceps and two percent body fat max?

    During my time in-country, there was a common belief that in Heaven all our Resurrection bodies would be the same age — 33, the same as Jesus at the time of his death. I think this was a folk belief that graduated to dogma, and always wondered what an origin trace would reveal.

    Like in parts of Appalachia there was a folk belief that Christ was the only man in history exactly six feet tall.


  57. But HUG,

    Bu which edition of Late Great Planet Earth? You can tell the edition by seeing what future ex-wife’s picture he has on the back of the book or on the back inside hardcover jacket.

    Also, when Hal meets Jesus in the air an a blink of an eye and is transformed, does that mean his body goes back to being young again (except his mustache of course). As I understand, his mustache is ageless and will never die, much like Enoch.


  58. Gotta offset the effects of the Potlucks in some way.
    Especially when one of the hospitality customs is to partake of everything in the potluck.

    The cartoons of the 400-lb (200-kilo) spheroid Baptist preachers have a basis in reality.


  59. Until they can go back to Cracker Barrel or the Golden Feeding Trough. You know, for that Men’s Meeting…


  60. We can thank the fraud C.I. Scofield for that. Of course it became really popular when Hal Lindsey published his book “The Late Great Planet Earth”. But given how all their predictions, all their books, TV shows, etc. have been shown to be wildly inaccurate over the past 50 years (so much so they come up new revisions every few years – which are still wrong), the Premillennial Dispensationalism view of eschatalogy has taken a hit in recent years. With the advent of the internet and many Evangelicals being exposed to Historic Premillennialism and Amillennialism for the first time (especially among Gen Xers and younger), the percentage of Christians here in the US who are Dispys is lower than in the past.

    Sure there are still holdouts, MacArthur, Calvary Chapel and others. But much the crowd is also aging boomers will likely see Jesus when they die rather be caught up in the air.


  61. In theory, yes. But you should have seen the postcard adverts they mailed out to the entire neighborhood. Christian Cheese at its worst.


  62. “Grace” in the official name of a church should be treated as “People’s Democratic” in the official name of a Third World country.

    “The more adjectives about Democracy there are in a country’s official name, the nastier a dictatorship it is..”


  63. And in the Christianese bubble, Pre-Mil Dispy and Rapture Eschatology are Inerrant SCRIPTURE(TM). Any dissent in any jot or tittle is Apostasy and Rebellion against GOD HImself.

    I know of what I speak. I was in-country during the Age of Hal Lindsay. When the only SCRIPTURE superseding all the others was Late Great Planet Earth. I heard nothing else but that “plain reading of SCRIPTURE” until I escaped. NOTHING ELSE.


  64. Right. And there better not be any “shame” associated with those who are a little leery at saying, “Yes, inject that into my body!”


  65. It’s not just a seminary professor’s term.
    I heard it from other contexts.

    And anyway it’s not “seminary”, it’s SCRIPTURE(TM – Quote! Quote! Quote! Verse! Verse Verse!)”


  66. Those pictures are incredible. The not-yet developed coronavirus vaccine has become the Mark of the Beast.

    Some months ago down a link from Professor Fea’s blog, I read a half-serious, half-humorous essay on how MAGA hats actually fit the description of The Mark — a sign of Absolute Loyalty worn on the Forehead.

    Would have liked to see MAGA hats on all the Devout Christians holding up that banner.


  67. Look at the two IRL pictures a little farter down and guess who’s in the forefront of “pretending coronavirus is over”:



    Buzzword phrases sound familiar?


  68. I did laugh out loud at the “Don’t Stand So Close to Me” cartoon. Does that count?


  69. Pridefully demanding that his congregation defy local authorities and expose themselves to the possibility of contracting a debilitating, possibly lethal, disease in order to worship in a way that John MacArthur considers to be correct doesn’t strike me as a particularly grace-filled action. I’ve read that “Render unto Caesar. . .” passage for myself, and I don’t think it says what he thinks it does. He’s more an idiot than a modern-day martyr.


  70. –> “Sadly, a good number of my coworkers don’t feel the first wave of vaccinations will be safe, and say they won’t get it.”

    Sadly, they might be right. I mean, do any of us truly believe that all the Covid vaccinations being rushed into development right now and that might be brought to the market are going to be 100% safe? Which ones will we trust and which ones will we be leery of, and how do we determine that?

    To be honest, as much as I might want to be first in line, in the back of my mind I’ll be praying that whatever I get injected with won’t be harmful. And note: I am NOT an anti-vaxxer.


  71. Robert, it’s also possible that they simply don’t trust anything that our present government is pushing—an attitude I find quite understandable, considering the pressure being put on companies to produce SOMETHING that might, maybe, help. Adequate testing for safety and effectiveness doesn’t seem to be a very high priority at the moment. I can’t say that I blame anyone who hesitates to be in the first wave of people who are vaccinated in the US.


  72. Today’s brunch had a good vibe to it, CM; so much so that I had to check to see if it was a Daniel Jepsen version. So kudos to you for making it lighter than some previous ones.


  73. Oh, I’m sorry, Susan. I hope tomorrow will be better for you, because today definitely sounds like a bust. All good wishes to you and John, for your next meeting, and I hope the brace your physiotherapist ordered is exactly what you needed to help you walk. All the best to you and yours.


  74. A large Baptist church near us had a very similar program. I suspect it’s a prepackaged thing that churches can purchase and tailor to their congregation.


  75. There’s a Baptist church a few miles from my house that started what they call a “Losing to Live” campaign about ten years ago to help church members and others in the community take off extra pounds. The senior pastor lost more than 100 pounds and others have lost plenty of weight as well. So the Babylon Bee article may not be so satirical after all, at least in the case of that one church.


  76. Well, Mike, all I can say is… person, woman, man, camera, TV (in that order 🙂 )


  77. Wow. This is the most accurate description of family members, especially my dad. A man with an honours degree in Physics and a Masters in education. Yet I have had to constantly point out the incongruities to stop him from going off the deep end in terms of all these conspiracies. He is also a geocentrist and (YE) Creationist.


  78. In vulgar language it’s referred to as the taint, in anatomical terms the perineum, but it is almost always, despite which word is used, considered an unmentionable.


  79. MacArthur is also the same guy who came out with a statement a few years back arguing that Christians have no responsibility to address racism and that white supremacy is Biblical. He’s a pretty clear example of a man who has given his primary allegiance to his culture rather than to Christ.


  80. The biggest irony is that all these folks who are so concerned about end times are exactly the ones who mindlessly bowed the knee to an antichrist (i.e. a charismatic, vile, and blasphemous leader) and put him in the White House…


  81. That’s usually done in the bidet, not the bathroom sink; in either case, towel drying works best, but I suppose you could drape them over the furniture if necessary.


  82. “Constipation to you!” would be more apropos name for his ministry, because he sounds constipated theologically and physically.


  83. Sadly, a good number of my coworkers don’t feel the first wave of vaccinations will be safe, and say they won’t get it. They are not religious people, so none of the Mark of the Beast stuff plays into their position, they just don’t trust medical science when it comes to vaccination safety. These people, which might comprise nearly half of my departmental coworkers, will not be relieved if they are compelled by our employer as a condition of continued employment to receive the vaccine — but I will be relieved.


  84. Despite the name of his church and his radio show, John Mac wouldn’t know what real grace was if it came up and chewed on his posterior.


  85. Ps I have been dreaming of yellow butterflies a couple of times this week
    I read they symbolize hope and the presence of angels
    I will keep a keen eye and a listening ear out in the coming week
    Never know I might be pleasantly surprised!
    Bird songs and fragrant violets hide great mystery
    Joy comes in the morning


  86. As Fred “Slacktivist” Clark put it, it’s not that only stupid people believe those things; it’s that there are some things that, in order to believe them, you have to train yourself into stupidity. And once you learn that bad mental habit, it starts to affect everything else you think about.


  87. Vaccinations are a requirement for public schooling; training and licensing is a requirement for driving… Basically, if you can’t be trusted to take other’s safety into account, you don’t have the “right” to do those things. That’s an established precedent.


  88. Implanted microchips, national ID cards, credit cards, bar codes… And now COVID vaccine. One of my seminary professors had a term for this sort of end-times guessing game nonsense… “Pin The Tail On The Antichrist”.


  89. > Once Premillennial Dispensationalism began to catch on …. the jig was up



  90. > coronavirus vaccination to become a requirement for employment,

    That seems likely, and is as it should be.

    Also likely is that his co-workers will be relieved.


  91. A couple of years ago some militants in an African country attacked and killed medical workers there to treat Ebola; they believed that Ebola was a hoax, part of a conspiracy to smuggle in foreign operatives and conquer their country. The same mentality is operating in our country, and not just in Texas, I’m afraid.


  92. Those pictures are incredible. The not-yet developed coronavirus vaccine has become the Mark of the Beast. I caught onto this new development a few weeks ago when a far-right Christian blogger/tweeter I monitor said he expects coronavirus vaccination to become a requirement for employment, at which point he would be unemployed and unemployable, because that’s the “line in the sand” he won’t cross. This idea that not having the Mark of the Beast will prevent true Christians from “buying and selling”, and thereby impoverish and seek to destroy the Christian community during the Great Tribulation, has been explored in the febrile imaginations of End Times prognosticators for decades.


  93. I listen read and wonder how America will ever step out of the mess the politicians weave around them
    I am not saying prayers are the answer but that is all I can offer


  94. Pictures of protest against “new world order” and “mark of the beast”…

    Once Premillennial Dispensationalism began to catch on in the 19th century the jig was up for Evangelicals claiming intelligence or a passable form of reason.


  95. I’m afraid not all businesses are following the guidelines here in PA. The diner around the corner from where we live is definitely packing them in, you can see by the full parking lot, even though they are required to limit seating to 25% capacity according to state requirements. Apparently the local government and police are not enforcing the rules.


  96. Where is joy
    Passed me by today
    Went by appointment to see my John at the nursing and was unable due to my bad knee to go very far
    I could not walk the distance down the never ending corridors of the nursing home
    They will organise a meeting situation that I can walk to in eight days time
    Visiting is very limited
    I took a photo for our daughter but was then asked to leave

    My Physiotherapist has measured my knee and leg and has ordered a brace which will cost me just short of s thousand dollars
    My health insurance does not cover this
    Tomorrow is the day that the Lord has made let us rejoice and be glad in it

    Blessings to Robert and us all
    I will hold you close this week Robert


  97. “Phase 4 will also need all of you to start going into restaurants and stores without masks and pretending that this is endangering absolutely no one. Thank you all.”
    At press time, Johnson added that he hoped successful observance of protocols would allow the city to soon move into the outright panic and citywide devastation
    that would characterize Phase 5″
    OR as some are calling it ” Götterdämmerung “


  98. I may need to be made explicit that “unmentionables” means “underwear.” Don’t do what I did.


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