Is there a reality outside people’s feeling?
In this episode of the Woke Zone, we watch as a trans activist “lovingly forces everyone to agree.”
Old Testament case for small government
J.P. Moreland gives us something to chew by looking at the first chapters of Amos.
John Hopkins University meta-analysis says lockdowns had minimal impact on mortality
A National Post article on a new John Hopkins study that calls into question the effectiveness of the lockdowns can be found at the link above while the study itself can be found here. A key quote from the study:
“…lockdowns have had little to no effect on COVID-19 mortality. More specifically…lockdowns in Europe and the United States only reduced COVID-19 mortality by 0.2% on average. [Shelter-in-place orders] were also ineffective, only reducing COVID-19 mortality by 2.9% on average….While this meta-analysis concludes that lockdowns have had little to no public health effects, they have imposed enormous economic and social costs where they have been adopted. In consequence, lockdown policies are ill-founded and should be rejected as a pandemic policy instrument.”
A few cautions considering this study:
- While it is from John Hopkins University, this is their economics, rather than medical department. And while it covers 24 studies, it is just one analysis. Also, as it notes, others have differed (though the authors offer some explanation as to why they think their conclusions are the better ones)
- It argues for the ineffectiveness of government “non-pharmaceutical interventions” – government-imposed lockdowns, mask mandates, stay-at-home orders – and not, for example, the ineffectiveness of voluntary mask usage or social distancing.
- Reading through this meta-analysis, it becomes apparent that it is far more imprecise than numbers like 0.2% and 2.9% would first make you think – there are lots of educated guesses being made, and conclusions drawn based on minimal data. Of course, that’s true not only of this, but studies in general, based as they are not simply on the facts, but on greatly varying ways of interpreting and understanding the facts. As creationists understand, science regularly speaks with a certainty that isn’t warranted.
Is there an authoritative source we can turn to, to find greater clarity on this issue? Well, there is a Christian consideration for why we might take this study as more credible than some others: the conclusion is in keeping with a vision of less encompassing government. That might seem like supporting a study simply because it says what we want it to say – that big government actions taking away our freedoms haven’t been effective. It is like that but with one big difference: it isn’t simply that we like the conclusion, but that it seems in keeping with God’s Word. How so? The Bible steers us away from big government (see J.P. Moreland’s article “Old Testament case for small government” just above, and 1 Sam 8:10-22) and consequently that gives us reason to be skeptical of big government actions. What we see in tyrannies of the past (USSR, Cuba, China, etc.) is that limited Man, no matter his leadership skills, doesn’t have the omniscience needed to make the right decisions for everyone. These governments denied God, but when they tried to replace Him, they could never manage it.
Unfortunately, this too is not a conclusive argument. There have been times (think World War II, or maybe Israel’s conquering of Canaan) where most would agree “big government” actions were needed. But general principles remain principles still even when there are exceptions. It is when exceptions become the rule – when people start speaking of this as “the new normal” – that we then have increasing reason to doubt whether the intrusions were truly warranted in the first place.
How do Mormons view their complex history of polygamy?
Mormons used to practice polygamy and now don’t – this is a short secular take on how it happened
Government spent a quarter million for each job saved
To counter the lockdowns the US government imposed, they spent $42,000 per federal taxpayer to stimulate the economy and help preserve jobs. However, it cost “$170,000-$257,000 for each job it helped preserve [which was] a lot more than most of those jobs even pay.” This is an American example of governmental incompetence, but the warning against big government spending programs is applicable everywhere.
On the new Christian film Redeeming Love
“Redeeming Love may be the first prominent faith-based film whose two main characters have on-screen sex” and Cap Stewart asks us to “consider the actors.”
US Report on UFOs (30 min)
Last year the American government released a report on documented encounters with unexplained aerial phenomena. In this half-hour podcast, two creationists dig into the report, explaining that they likely are true – “the allegations are serious and the witnesses are credible” – and offering a biblical explanation.