The Brew: Where Are You, Christ? And a Stream Challenge for ‘Rescue Week’
Hallmark movie about a town that forgets Christmas forgets Christ instead.
Get that Brew caffeine in you, because we have a challenge for you.
We’ve written several times on The Stream about our parent organization LIFE Outreach International’s “Rescue LIFE” … a masterful mission operating here and abroad to prevent human and child sex trafficking before it happens and “Reach, Rescue and Restore” those caught in its evil web.
Inspired by Sound of Freedom, many of you stepped up to support this vital work this summer. We hope even more of you will now. This is “Rescue Week” at LIFE Today. A time laser-focused and dedicated to saving innocent lives from human trafficking. To live out the words of Proverbs 31:8: “Speak up, for those who cannot speak for themselves.”
At this moment, there are young girls and boys hoping someone will hear their cry for help. Your support says “I hear you and I will help.” And this week, any gift for Rescue LIFE will be matched. Double the blow against this evil.
Here’s where the challenge comes in. In 2024, you will see The Stream start having a much larger footprint. Lots of good things are going to be happening. We’re going mad with the itch to get to it. But even more crucially, I am convinced beyond all shadow of doubt the Stream community will become significant backers of LOI’s chief missions, including Rescue LIFE. Why? Because you all aren’t couch potatoes when it comes to making things better. You’re the doers. The sowers. The playmakers.
This “Rescue Week” is an opportunity for us Streamers to give folks a taste of what I’m talking about.
And yeah, help spare women and children the unspeakable.
Anything you can offer will be greatly appreciated and wisely used. And this week MATCHED.
Do They Finally Have Their Guy? 4th GOP Speaker Designate Mike Johnson Gets Floor Vote Today
Looks like maybe, possibly, the day will end with a new Speaker of the House. After more twists and tumbles than a gymnast floor routine, GOP Conference Vice Chair Rep. Mike Johnson of Louisiana has emerged as the Speaker designate. And it appears Republican members, from those who rebelled against McCarthy to those who derailed Jim Jordan are on board. We’ll see for sure when the Speaker vote hits the floor later today.
Tennessee Congressman Tim Burkett, one of the eight who voted to oust McCarthy gave a colorful description of his well-regarded colleague: “I think he would be an excellent choice because… he’s very cerebral,” Burchett told reporters. “And he’s kind of a goober… but I dig that about him. There’s an old saying in east Tennessee, ‘He’s cleaner than a hound’s tooth.'”
The Shema and Shofar
You hear a bit how the Israel Hamas war stems from 75 years of oppression on the part of Israel. Even Tuesday, United Nation Secretary-General Antonio Guterres — as rockets continue being fired at Israel, as terrorists responsible for the murder of over a 1,400 Jews still hold a hundred or so hostage, as Israel grieves — spoke of Palestinians enduring “56 years of suffocating occupation.” (A “shocking” statement that has Israel’s Ambassador to the U.N. demanding Antonio Guterres’ immediate resignation. Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen was equally horrified, “As we meet here today, young babies, children are held in Gaza. This is beyond imagination. A living nightmare.”)
Dennis Prager’s latest, Dr. Michael Brown’s recent writings on The Stream and Dr. Jim Garlow’s “Understanding Israel War” series put Guterres’ assertion to rest. To say nothing of Raymond Ibrahim’s and Timothy Furnish’s writings on Islam. For thousands of years, the Jews have faced enemies hell-bent on their annihilation.
A beautiful reminder of how God has stood with His people comes in the form of a young Israeli boy, reciting the Shema and blowing the shofar to IDF troops preparing to head into the storm.
Simply beyond words!
A young Israeli boy sings Shema and blows the shofar to inspire the IDF soldiers before they enter the front lines.
Shema is the Jewish prayer that serves as the centerpiece of the morning and evening Jewish prayer services, and reminds us to connect… pic.twitter.com/MKzMRrCuD7
— Rabbi Shmuel Reichman (@ReichmanShmuel) October 24, 2023
“Hear, O Israel: YHWH is our God, YHWH is one” (Deut 6:4)
Where Are You, God in Where Are You, Christmas?
It ain’t no secret. Al loves himself some Hallmark Christmas movies. The 24/7 Christmas movie blitz is on and I’m happier than a kid in a toy store with Bill Gates’ credit card. Yes, some of the movies are bland and predictable and only get a rating of zero or one cups of hot cocoa. But rarely is there one that makes me want to do a spit-take. On Saturday night, Hallmark premiered Where Are You, Christmas? Taking its title from a Faith Hill song, and a chunk of its inspiration from the Tobey Maguire film Pleasantville.
Short plot is a woman named Addy tired of Christmas wishes there were no Christmas, has an accident and wakes up to find her home town of Red Lake Falls in black-and-white and nobody remembering Christmas.
Amazingly, at no point when trying to jog people’s memories does Abby mention Jesus. You know, the “Christ” part of Christmas. Nor does she mention Bethlehem, the Wise Men, the manger, or for that matter, even candlelight church services or “Silent Night.” Nothing at all that points to the birth of Christ. The reason for the season.
Hallmark has turned in a woke direction in recent years. And there isn’t that much holy in a great percentage of their holiday flicks, however wholesome. But to completely ignore what Christmas is and how it came about in a movie about people forgetting Christmas takes the fruit cake.
I wouldn’t expect Hallmark to do a film of what the world would really look like without Christmas … without Christ. The little town of Red Lake Falls would look like North Korea crossed with the Hamas massacre. Instead it’s closer to Bedford Falls without George Bailey, if It’s a Wonderful Life had been made by Hallmark. Ol’ George is great, but he’s no Jesus Christ.
Thing is, you could conceivably have Christ and Christianity without there having been a Christmas holiday. Jewish tradition 2,000 years ago didn’t commemorate birthdays of major figures. And Christianity had Resurrection Sunday ready made for a “holiday.” So the film could have acknowledged the birth of Christ, while this “Christmas” with its pageants and Christmas trees and gift-giving remained foreign. Same idea, but no nose crinkling from people of faith.
In the film, the townspeople transform from black-and-white to color when they remember a cherished Christmas season memory. So perhaps that offers a way to look at the movie: The Christmas season may add warmth and color. But Christ brings life.
All told, I give Where Are You, Christmas? only one cup of hot cocoa. For performances and technical merit.
Meanwhile, John Zmirak pays tribute to his favorite holiday movie with “The Nightmare Before Christmas Reminds Us to Keep the ‘Hallow’ in Halloween.”
Along The Stream
Part Three of Dr. Jim Garlow’s “Understanding Israel’s War: The Balfor Declaration and the Call for a Jewish State.”
Stream contributor Joseph D’Hippolito skates in with “Somewhere Over the Ideological Rainbow, the NHL Found Sanity.”
Al Perrotta is the Managing Editor of The Stream, co-author, with John Zmirak, of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Immigration and co-author of the counter-terrorism memoir Hostile Intent: Protecting Yourself Against Terrorism.