TBT: Music Among the Stars

It’s been a musical week here at The Portly Politico, so I figured, “why stop now?”

I’ve dedicated more and more space on the blog to musical and cultural matters, especially in the last year.  Among the posts I most enjoy writing—and of which I am most proud—are those I write about music.

This week’s TBT feature, “Music Among the Stars,” is one I really enjoy, and I think (humbly) it’s one of my better posts.  It’s about the golden records aboard the Voyager I space probe, and about the true purpose of music—to worship God.

I’ll let the essay speak for itself.  Here is 8 September 2021’s “Music Among the Stars“:

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TBT: Things That Go Bump in the Night

Despite my griping about South Carolina weather in yesterday’s post, the first day of September was surprisingly cool and overcast, giving the slightest taste of the crisp autumnality to come.  This time of year always gets me thinking about Halloween and spooky stuff, especially as everything feels more magical.

Our modern minds have diminished and dismissed the supernatural as mere superstition, often accompanied with attempts to explain away supernatural phenomena with explanations that themselves require faith to believe.  That “faith” is in scientism, a counterfeit “religion” built purely on a material understanding of the world.

We see but through a glass darkly.  There is more to our world than meets the eye—more to it than what we can observe.  God tells us much of what is there—at least, what we need to know—and Scripture seems to suggest we shouldn’t go looking for things beyond Him and His Son.

Seems prudent to me.  With that, here is 2 September 2021’s “Things That Go Bump in the Night“:

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Supporting Friends Friday: Audre Myers

I’ve been on a roll featuring blogger buddies on Supporting Friends Friday as of late, notably with my feature of photog last week.  If photog is my avuncular ally in the world of under-the-radar right-wing blogging, then today’s featured friend, Audre Myers of Nebraska Energy Observer, is probably the doting aunt who “likes” every post and almost always leaves some kind of feedback and encouragement on the blog.

She’s also brought new readers to my blog, such as 39 Pontiac Dreamer, whose comments this past week have really enlivened the blog (and inspired Wednesday’s post).  I’ve also noticed that since bringing 39PD to the blog’s comment sections, my page views have skyrocketed, thanks to the raucous back-and-forth between Audre, 39PD, Neo, and myself (feel free to join in, dear readers, and enjoy the fun!).

Audre’s encouragement and recommendations have shaped my own blog profoundly.  Many of the film reviews on the site over the past two months have been from Shudder, and Audre is to thank—she and a colleague both recommended the service heartily, and it’s become pretty much the only streaming content I consume besides YouTube videos.  Indeed, my review of The Man Who Killed Hitler and then the Bigfoot (2018) is a direct consequence of Audre mentioning the film!

More importantly, Audre is a skilled writer and thinker in her own right, though, not just a cheerleader and booster of my rambling scribblings.  She brings a warm, almost motherly perspective to the issues of the day, without descending into hyper-feminized sentimentality (something I am probably more likely to do than her, truth be told).  She employs literary and filmic allusions to highlight her points, making them easier to understand, without falling into the trap of the Harry Potter kids who use the popular book series as their entire frame of reference for understanding the world.

In short, Audre’s writing is fun, entertaining, and lively, while still retaining a sense of seriousness about the issues facing the world today.

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Lazy Sunday CXXIV: Bible Posts

There are many Biblical commentators out there, each adding their interpretations to Scripture.  I’m very much an amateur in this field, armed with my Pentecostal upbringing and lots of men’s Bible studies.

But that hasn’t stopped me from trying, and I’ve written a few posts attempting to interpret Scripture over the years.  So, with summer rapidly fading—and my prayers going up for a good school year—here are some of those feeble attempts:

  • Nehemiah and National Renewal” (and “TBT: Nehemiah and National Renewal“) – This post was my attempt to shoehorn the story of Nehemiah rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem to the need for America to construct a border wall.  There are some useful parallels though—the construction of Jerusalem’s wall ushered in a period of national renewal in the land, and Trump’s border wall could have prevented further invasion of ours.
  • Nehemiah Follow-Up” – This post went into deeper detail on the spiritual aspects of the story of Nehemiah, which I shamefully overlooked in my haste to equate Nehemiah with Trump.
  • The Desperate Search for Meaning IV: Vanity” (and “TBT: The Desperate Search for Meaning IV: Vanity“) – This post was part of my The Desperate Search for Meaning series, and focused on the idea from Ecclesiastes that, without God, life is meaningless.
  • Psalm 13 and Patience” – Patience is something with which I personally struggle, and it’s very easy to get impatient with God’s Timing.  This post deals with that idea, using one of my pastor’s sermons to explore the idea in more depth.
  • Let’s Get Biblical: The Wisdom of Exodus 22” – My most recent Bible-based post, this one looks at the rules for social responsibility laid out in Exodus 22, particularly the admonitions to take care of widows and orphans—and the harsh penalty enacted for those who abuse and mistreat the same.

That’s it for this holier-than-thou Lazy Sunday.  Sloth is a sin, but perhaps the Lord will forgive this Sunday’s laziness.

Happy Sunday!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

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Let’s Get Biblical: The Wisdom of Exodus 22

This past Sunday we had a guest speaker at church, a pastor with a children’s home ministry.  The ministry began with a home in southwestern Virginia, and has expanded to an orphanage in Tuxtepec, Oaxaca, Mexico.  Both children’s homes are in poor, mountainous communities—the former the region where my late great-grandmother lived.  Both orphanages do amazing work with the kids, combining work (like gardening, feeding donkeys, and the like) with play—even a band!

In giving his talk about the ministry, the guest pastor referenced a few passages of Scripture.  Aside from the famous passage from Matthew 19:14 in which Jesus told the disciples to “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven,” the pastor also referenced Exodus 22:22-24, which deals with how widows and orphans are to be treated:

22You must not mistreat any widow or orphan. 23If you do mistreat them, and they cry out to Me in distress, I will surely hear their cry. 24My anger will be kindled, and I will kill you with the sword; then your wives will become widows and your children will be fatherless.

It’s a pretty powerful passage, and a reminder that God doesn’t mess around with sin, especially against the weakest and most defenseless.  We like to think that God has “mellowed out” since sending Jesus to die for our sins, but that’s dangerously wishful thinking.  God doesn’t change, and His Wrath is still mighty.

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Make-A-Death-Wish

UPDATE:  In case anyone missed it, The Make-A-Wish Foundation REVERSED their decision to require terminally ill children and their families to be fully vaccinated in order to receive their wishes: https://theportlypolitico.com/2021/06/29/decency-prevails-make-a-wish-foundation-rescinds-mask-requirement-for-children/

Read The Foundation’s statement here: https://wish.org/news-releases/reemergence

* * *

The Make-A-Wish Foundation, which grants children with terminal medical conditions a “wish,” has announced it will require all wish recipients and their family members to be fully vaccinated against The Virus.

No vaccination, no wish fulfillment.

Naturally, this requirement is absurd, and represents a new low in the race to virtue-signal in The Age of The Virus.  At this risk of sounding macabre and insensitive, The Make-A-Wish Foundation is requiring children who are already dying to take a vaccine against an illness with a 99.5%+ survivability rate.

It’s a purely symbolic action that achieves nothing beyond making it more difficult for dying children to enjoy one last bit of whimsy before they cross over into the arms of Jesus.

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Hard to Swallow

A big H/T to Neo at Nebraska Energy Observer for the inspiration for today’s post:  in his latest edition of Sunday Funnies (“Sunday Funnies:  Juneteenth & Other Things“), Neo includes a tabloid-style headline that reads, “I Was Nearly Krilled!: Lobster diver says he was swallowed by humpback whale.”  The pun “krilled’ is circled in orange.

I looked it up, and it’s a real story:  Michael Packard, a fifty-six-year old lobster diver from Massachusetts, was briefly trapped in the mouth of a massive humpback whale.  According to Packard, he was in the mouth of the great beast for about thirty seconds, before the creature surfaced, shook its head back and forth, and spit Packard into the air.

Here is the relevant excerpt of Packard’s account, as quoted at NPR.org:

Packard told WBZ-TV that he was about 45 feet down in the water when he suddenly felt “this huge bump and everything went dark.” He initially feared he had been attacked by a shark.

“Then I felt around, and I realized there was no teeth and I had felt, really, no great pain,” he said. “And then I realized, ‘Oh my God, I’m in a whale’s mouth. I’m in a whale’s mouth, and he’s trying to swallow me.’ “

Packard was still wearing his scuba gear and breathing apparatus inside the whale’s mouth, which he said was completely dark. Fearing he wouldn’t make it out alive, he thought about his wife and sons.

After about half a minute, the whale rose to the water’s surface and began shaking its head from side to side.

“I just got thrown in the air and landed in the water,” Packard recalled. “And I was free, and I just floated there … I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe I got out of that.”

The story sounds incredible—and, according to whale experts, the odds of it happening are extremely rare—but it is within the realm of possibility.  Humpback whales lack teeth, and instead filter feed through baleen, long, hair-like “teeth” that filter out sea water and trap small prey, like shrimp and krill, inside.  Humpback whales often feed using lunge feeding, during which the whales “open their mouths, accelerate and ‘take in 10 SUVs worth of water and fish and then everything else,'” according to Iain Kerr, quoted in the same NPR piece.

Apparently, Packard just happened to be swimming in the wrong place at the wrong time, and the great whale accidentally sucked him up with tiny sea critters.

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Reclaim the Rainbow

Orthodox Christian, America Firster, former US Senate candidate for Delaware, and current babe Lauren Witzke posted a meme to her Telegram page a few days ago featuring a rainbow with the Cross emblazoned in front of it, with the captions “June is Christianity Month” and “Reclaim the Rainbow.”

It’s a clever meme, of course, because June has become Pride Month, a month dedicated to forced corporate celebrations of abiological and immoral lifestyles.

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TBT: The Desperate Search for Meaning IV: Vanity

In the spirit of yesterday’s post, which also dealt with a passage from Ecclesiastes, I thought I’d dust off an old post from my The Desperate Search for Meaning Series, which I completed back in 2019.  A double-shot of Ecclesiastes, and the long-winded (but condensed here) wisdom of Pastor Monday is always a nice treat.

With that very brief introduction, here is October 2019’s “The Desperate Search for Meaning IV: Vanity“:

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