Stream Splashes: August 4-10 in Review

By The Stream Published on August 11, 2019

Every week, The Stream rounds up some highlights from the recent news. We call these our “splashes”: everything from insightful commentary on the week’s big events to small inspiring stories you may have missed.


In these hours of gathering madness, let me start out winsomely, by quoting a lovely poem. One of my favorites, in fact, “Recessional,” by Rudyard Kipling. He spoke to his fellow subjects of Queen Victoria (then also crowned Empress of India).

If, drunk with sight of power, we loose
Wild tongues that have not Thee in awe,
Such boastings as the Gentiles use,
Or lesser breeds without the Law —

Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget — lest we forget!

Now this is the kind of poem you can’t teach in college today. Except, perhaps, as a scathing, appalling instance of crimethink.

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Yesterday’s article on the weekend’s mass shootings ended with a warning. I noted how Satan’s tactic of putting your needs and desires over the life and humanity of others has won the minds of many. But shall we give Satan the last word? No way in heaven.

Before we get there, though, we have to call out another of Satan’s tricks. We see it playing out (again) in this morning’s headlines. President Trump calls it “Fake News.” I call it “Snake News.” To me, fake news is “Elvis Spotted Singing Karaoke in Poughkeepsie” or SNL’s “Weekend Update.” Fake news is the work of hucksters and humorists.

Snake News is more sinister.

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One of the doves who comes to our window feeder seems to be missing the skin on the back of his head. We see his skull when he looks away from the house. The world’s a dangerous world when you’re prey. They’re pretty birds, our doves, but they always seem to be day-dreaming. They have a kind of “Hi! I’m your dinner!” look to them.

So, doves, not the kind of bird you want to be. Yet one of the more famous instructions in Western history tells us to go through the world as innocent as doves. But doves look dumb and get eaten and I don’t want to look dumb and get eaten. Why couldn’t Jesus have chosen one of the cool birds?

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I knew when I started my series on countercultural truth, it was going to be hard getting it across to nonbelievers. It was worse than I expected. Christianity’s view on truth is so foreign, some of them can’t get it even when I repeat words like “reality” a couple dozen times.

There’s a lesson there for fellow believers. Two lessons, actually. First, we’ve got to be sure we’re not imbibing the culture’s view of truth. Christianity isn’t about personal truths. It’s not “our truth.” We don’t package it to suit ourselves; we yield to it and worship the One who sits at the center of it all.

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