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Saturday Selections – April 6, 2024

Click on the titles below to go to the linked articles…

Quite the fish story! (8 min)

How do salmon find their back to where they were first spawned?

Elon Musk gets folks talking about problems with the Pill

Of the many gods in the world, unfettered sex is among the biggest. So it shouldn’t surprise us that information that might hinder worship of that god could get pushed to the side. That’s what’s happened with the side effects of the birth control pill, which largely seem to be unknown. Christians should be aware of one that’s not touched on in this article – the third action the Pill can have, of being an abortifacient.

J.K. Rowling uses her influence to fight Scottish “hate law”

J.K. Rowling might be best known for popularizing witchcraft in her bestselling Harry Potter series and normalizing homosexuality by declaring a principal character, Dumbledore, gay. But this past week she made headlines for her stand against a new Scottish “hate law” that could be used as a weapon against anyone who says men aren’t women. So, Rowling did just that, on Twitter. And she promised:

“If they go after any woman for simply calling a man a man, I’ll repeat that woman’s words and they can charge us both at once.”

Canadian man wants a set of both genitalia

A Canadian man says that Canada’s anti-conversion therapy law means the government has to pay for him to get both sets of genitalia. He might win his case, but he won’t get a “vagina.” What he’d get amounts to an open wound that he’ll have to dilate weekly or even daily for the rest of his life, lest it heal up. Sadly, his isn’t the only experiment being performed in the name of trans affirmation. Surgeons are leaving folks looking like Barbie dolls, with no genitalia at all.

The silver lining? The world is starting to get horrified too, but they don’t really have a basis to be. So, brothers and sisters, this craziness is an opportunity to point them to the reality, sanity, and salvation that comes only with repenting and believing in Jesus Christ through whom we were made male and female.

Sweden had the lowest mortality in Europe from 2020–2022

Sweden didn’t do the lockdowns like the rest of the world, and the “experts” said they were going to pay a high cost for it. But, Sweden didn’t.

How do I respond if I’m asked to state my pronouns?

Greg Koukl explains why we should never “give our pronouns” and how we can use questions to steer the conversation in our direction.

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Saturday Selections – Mar. 30, 2024

Rich Mullins: Creed (4 min) Rich Mullins riffing off of the Apostles' Creed. How C.S. Lewis predicted the pronoun push... ...and in a passage in The Horse and His Boy, he taught us how to respond. Bug zappers might do more harm than good Sick of mosquitos? Your bug zapper might be the problem. A couple decades back two universities tested how many mosquitos actually get zapped and found that of the approximately 24,000 bugs their zappers killed, just 39 were mosquitos. Less than o.2 percent! The rest included bugs that actually eat mosquitoes, which means the bug zappers might actually be making your mosquito problems worse. The Road to Socialism and Back Again – a free e-book This free e-book charts the fall and rise of Poland's economy, stagnating for decades under centralized communist management, then quadrupling once some freedoms were returned. It's history we need to share. However, while this notes that socialism doesn't work, it doesn't dig into what God says about the why: that a centralized economy doesn't work because it lacks humility (a distant leader knows how to run all our lives better than us?), it fosters envy over what the rich have (breaking the 10th Commandment), it requires men to be angels (working hard with no thought of gain for themselves), and in eliminating private property, it violates the 8th Commandment. No wonder then that it doesn't work. Christians aren't ready to argue against AI-generated porn When it comes to pornography, Christians will point out the harm it does to "performers," highlighting the dark, dark side of porn production. It is dark, so that argument is certainly valid. But that the performers are harmed isn't the foundational reason pornography is wicked – the underlying problem is that porn conflicts with God's plan for sexuality. And now, with the advent of AI-generated, actorless films, talking about the harm done to the actors, rather than mentioning anything about God, won't work as an objection anymore. The conclusion to the linked article is both spot on, and really, really sad, because it makes it seem as if talking about God is the very last thing any Christian would want to do in the culture wars. But is that true? "This will be uncomfortable, because it will force Christians to make moral arguments that appear irredeemably at odds with the secular society. The benefits of emphasizing things like exploitation is that such concepts resonate with non-Christian audiences. There’s nothing wrong with seeking this common ground, but the reality is that we’re not going to have that ground at all very soon. The arguments against consuming or licensing pornography that will matter in the age of AI will be moralistic arguments: arguments rooted in the goodness of embodied sexuality in the context of marriage, and the destruction that occurs to hearts and emotions by feasting on a fake version of sex that collapses us inward. 'This is somebody’s child' will have to become, 'You are somebody’s child.' "Here will be a good stress test for Christian moral theology. Western Christians can articulate a vision of life that makes sense in a radically fractured, technologically isolated context. But that vision requires helping people get beyond the 'Does it harm anyone' framework, not simply appropriating the question. So it seems very likely that Christians will have to bring God into the discussion. When there’s no one to exploit, there is still God to offend. When there is no one to be trafficked, there is still God who sees. And when there is no one to stand over your shoulder to intervene or care, there is still God who saves." Pre-natal screening: should we do it? Some prenatal testing – specifically the sort that is called "invasive" – comes with a risk for the unborn, and so Christians should question why we'd want to get such a test at such a cost. As the article above and video below explain, "non-invasive" tests come with a different sort of "risk" for the unborn... though not when conducted by pro-life Christians. ...