The IM Saturday Monks Brunch: August 15, 2020
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In honor of one my all-time favorite character actors (and diabetes spokepersons)…
Is this what the future of American religion looks like?
Kamala Harris filled two criteria that Joe Biden wanted in a running mate: She is a woman and she is Black, two critical Democratic constituencies ahead of the November elections.
But Harris, the 55-year-old junior senator from California, has other advantages in the 2020 presidential race. She embodies the future of American religion: In a time of expanding religious pluralism, the country’s younger generation, many of them children and grandchildren of immigrants, will recognize in Harris a kind of multifaith and spiritual belonging unfamiliar to the mostly white Christian majority of past decades.
Harris, who was born in Oakland, California, to a Jamaican immigrant father — Donald Harris — and an Indian immigrant mother — Shyamala Gopalan — is both Black and South Asian. She grew up in a home that accommodated both Christian and Hindu religious practices.
As an adult, she married Douglas Emhoff, a Jewish, Brooklyn-born lawyer.
“There are a lot more young Americans who, identity-wise, are like Kamala Harris — mixed race, with a background of lots of different cultural, ethnic and religious experiences,” said Eboo Patel, founder and president of the Interfaith Youth Core. “That’s just a demographic fact.”
What of college football 2020?
The 2020 college season remains uncertain because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in the United States.
COVID-19 concerns contributed to four of the 10 FBS conferences canceling their season in 2020. The Big Ten, Mid-American Conference, Mountain West Conference and Pac-12 are out. A total of 54 schools have postponed their fall football season.
That leaves 76 of the 130 schools still in. The ACC, American Athletic Conference, Big 12, Conference-USA, SEC and Sun Belt, along with a few independents, still planning on playing.
What does that mean for the college football landscape?
Nature strikes back…
A nudist bather who chased a wild boar near a Berlin lake after it stole his laptop was applauded by onlookers after a successful pursuit.
The photographer who captured the drama said the unidentified nudist was happy for her to share the images, which show him in bare-bottomed pursuit of the boar and her two piglets while fellow bathers look on in amusement.
“Nature strikes back,” wrote Adele Landauer, a personal coach, on Facebook. “I showed the man the photos, he laughed heartily and gave me permission to make them public.”
The man was sunbathing naked at the Teufelssee in west Berlin, a popular and perfectly legal practice in the German capital as part of what is known as FKK, or Freikörperkultur (free body culture).
Now here’s where people have every right to fear the government…
HONG KONG – Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai became the highest-profile person arrested under a new national security law on Monday, detained over suspected collusion with foreign forces as around 200 police searched the offices of his Apple Daily newspaper.
…His arrest comes amid Beijing’s crackdown against pro-democracy opposition in the city and further stokes concerns about media and other promised freedoms when it returned to China in 1997. China imposed the sweeping new security law on Hong Kong on June 30, drawing condemnation from Western countries.
…Apple Daily posted on its Facebook page a livestream of police officers roaming through its newsroom and rifling through files, and asking staff for identity documents.
Some executive offices were sealed off with red cordons. The police later wheeled in stacks of empty plastic containers. Lai himself was brought back to the office, initially in handcuffs.
“We can’t worry that much, we can only go with the flow,” Lai said, before being escorted into a police vehicle.
Police said around 200 officers entered the premises with a court warrant and collected 25 boxes of evidence after finishing the search. The law allows police to search premises without one “under exceptional circumstances”.
MLB Play(s) of the Week…
Three in one game!!!
Mr. Q goes to Washington…
QAnon is an online movement fueled by an anonymous poster (“Q”) that subscribes to a baseless, shameless conspiracy theory. It alleges there is a “deep state” run by political elites, business and cultural leaders, and Hollywood celebrities that are engaged, in cooperation with governments around the world, in a worldwide child sex-trafficking ring and are working tirelessly to bring down President Trump.
If that sounds like kooky and idiotic fringe thinking to you, well, it is. Well, then again, maybe it isn’t.
This week, QAnon supporter Marjorie Taylor Greene won a Republican primary runoff election in Georgia. She will likely end up in Congress. According to research done by Politico, Greene has:
…suggested that Muslims do not belong in government; thinks black people “are held slaves to the Democratic Party”; called George Soros, a Jewish Democratic megadonor, a Nazi; and said she would feel “proud” to see a Confederate monument if she were black because it symbolizes progress made since the Civil War.
…In recordings obtained by POLITICO, Greene described Islamic nations under Sharia law as places where men have sex with “little boys, little girls, multiple women” and “marry their sisters” and “their cousins.” She suggested the 2018 midterms — which ushered in the most diverse class of House freshmen — was part of “an Islamic invasion of our government” and that “anyone that is a Muslim that believes in Sharia law does not belong in our government.”
In other videos, she directly compared Black Lives Matter activists to the neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klan members who marched at a white nationalist rally three years agoin Charlottesville, Va., denouncing them all as “idiots.” And Greene forcefully rejected the notion there are racial disparities in the U.S. or that skin color affects the “quality” of one’s life: “Guess what? Slavery is over,” she said. “Black people have equal rights.”
In a tweet congratulating Greene for her victory, the president called her “a rising star in the Republican party,” even though many Republicans have condemned her rants and have tried to distance themselves from her. A recent story in the Washington Post describes how the Trump campaign has been actively courting and legitimizing this band of crazies. Another WaPo piece observes that:
So far this election cycle, more than 50 supporters of the conspiracy theory have run or are running for national office. Most QAnon-supporting candidates are unlikely to win. But several have attracted supporters — even though they are endorsing a conspiracy theory that the FBI considers a domestic threat and that has spurred alleged acts of terrorism and violence.
Related article: See how QAnon is hijacking on the #SaveTheChildren movement.
And now, let’s hear from the Christian conspiracy theorists…
BROOKFIELD, Wis. — The Elmbrook School District will reopen five days a week to in-person learning. The decision came after three and a half hours of discussions by school board members.
Along with returning to in-person learning, the board also made a decision on requiring students to wear masks. However, not everyone liked that idea.
“Six-foot distance and wearing masks are pagan rituals of satanic worshipers,” said parent Heidi Anderson. “My kids are Christian they are not subject to wearing masks.”
Canary in the coal mine…
Greenland’s ice sheet may have shrunk past the point of return, with the ice likely to melt away no matter how quickly the world reduces climate-warming emissions, new research suggests.
Scientists studied data on 234 glaciers across the Arctic territory spanning 34 years through 2018 and found that annual snowfall was no longer enough to replenish glaciers of the snow and ice being lost to summertime melting.
That melting is already causing global seas to rise about a millimeter on average per year. If all of Greenland’s ice goes, the water released would push sea levels up by an average of 6 meters — enough to swamp many coastal cities around the world. This process, however, would take decades.
“Greenland is going to be the canary in the coal mine, and the canary is already pretty much dead at this point,” said glaciologist Ian Howat at Ohio State University.
…“We are still draining more ice now than what was gained through snow accumulation in ‘good’ years,” said lead author Michalea King, a glaciologist at Ohio State University.
The sobering findings should spur governments to prepare for sea-level rise, King said.
“Things that happen in the polar regions don’t stay in the polar region,” she said.
Music, the elixir of life…
Please, take time to breathe deeply and let this generous gift of music soothe your spirit today.