U.S. Church Membership Falls Below Majority for First Time

If we are counting on a moral compass to bring the United States out of the wilderness, it doesn’t appear that our organized churches will provide the leadership. Should we be surprised?

U.S. church membership was 73% when Gallup first measured it in 1937 and remained near 70% for the next six decades, before beginning a steady decline around the turn of the 21st century.

As many Americans celebrate Easter and Passover this week, Gallup updates a 2019 analysis that examined the decline in church membership over the past 20 years.

In 2019, It was noted that a majority of white Democrats had become non-Christian.

In Obama’s first year in office, 68% of white Democrats described themselves as Christians, 7% claimed to be members of other faiths, and 24% said that they had no religious affiliation.

A decade later, only 47% of white Democrats call themselves Christians. 10% are members of other faiths, and 42% have no religion.

That was a Pew survey. The Gallup survey for church membership now is even worse recording the sharpest drop in membership among Democrats.

20 years ago, 71% of Democrats were members of a church. A decade later, in the Obama years, it fell to 60% and is now down to 46%.

That’s the sharpest drop of any demographic group and a quite striking one. While religious affiliation has dropped across the board, the collapse among Democrats is striking.

Meanwhile, the Californication of the West continues apace with membership in the West dropping from 57% to 38%.

One can offer a speculation.

The decline in church membership appears largely tied to population change, with those in older generations who were likely to be church members being replaced in the U.S. adult population with people in younger generations who are less likely to belong. The change has become increasingly apparent in recent decades because millennials and Gen Z are further apart from traditionalists in their church membership rates (about 30 points lower) than baby boomers and Generation X are (eight and 16 points, respectively). Also, each year the younger generations are making up an increasingly larger part of the entire U.S. adult population.

Still, population replacement doesn’t fully explain the decline in church membership, as adults in the older generations have shown roughly double-digit decreases from two decades ago. Church membership is down even more, 15 points, in the past decade among millennials.

Full story at https://news.gallup.com/poll/341963/church-membership-falls-below-majority-first-time.aspx

That is the best of the swamp today.

‘Your Papers Please’ – Mass Covid Tracking starts in 15 Countries

COVI-PASS will determine whether you can go to a restaurant, if you need a medical test, or are due for a talking-to by authorities in a post-COVID world. Consent is voluntary, but enforcement will be compulsory.

The old slippery slope. What possibly could go wrong? Bill Gates has his dream come true.

A British cybersecurity company, in partnership with several tech firms, is rolling out the COVI-PASS in 15 countries across the world; a “digital health passport” that will contain your COVID-19 test history and other “relevant health information.” According to the company website, the passport’s objective is “to safely return to work” and resume “social interactions” by providing authorities with “up-to-date and authenticated health information.”

15 countries, including Italy, Portugal, France, Panama, India, the US, Canada, Sweden, Spain, South Africa, Mexico, United Arab Emirates and The Netherlands, the company reports.

 

Sold: 50 million digital health passports

A British cyber security company, VST Enterprises has signed a contract with international digital health technology firm Circle Pass Enterprises (CPE), owner of ‘Covi-Pass’, to supply 50 million of its ‘digital health passports’ to 15 countries.

VST was founded by tech entrepreneur Louis-James Davis to integrate its state-of-the-art VCode & VPlatform technologies into the Covi-Pass Digital Health Passport, which will be paired with approved testing kits.

Put simply, the user downloads the app to their smartphone device and uploads his/her key information, such as name, address, age. Their identity is then verified using a biometric fingerprint or facial scan. A COVID-19 test is then carried out by an authorised healthcare professional, nurse or medical doctor. The test is geo-fenced to that location ­– using GPS, RFID, Wi-Fi or cellular data to set a virtual boundary around a geographical location – and the test results are then scanned from the testing kit into the Covi-Pass Health Passport.

A colour mapping system (green, amber, red) authenticates and provides the COVID-19 test history and relevant health information, so the accurate data metrics can assess those who have tested positive and negative and the location only of their testing. The user can then show the Covi-Pass to authenticate their health status. ‘A traffic light system confirms their health status as either red or green, red for positive and green for negative,’ the company points out. ‘The amber colour indicates a countdown timer to when another test would be due and required.

From  Healthcare in Europe

Papers Please – Done in 2009

 

 

These objectives mirror those that Bill Gates has been promoting since the start of the COVID-19 lockdown. In an essay written by Gates in April, the software geek-cum-philanthropist lays out his support for the draconian measures taken in response to the virus and, like an old-timey mob boss, suggests the solutions to this deliberately imposed problem.

Ironically, Gates begins to make his case for the adoption of mass tracking and surveillance technology in the U.S. by saying that “For now, the United States can follow Germany’s example”; He then touts the advantages of the “voluntary adoption of digital tools” so we can “remember where [we] have been” and can “choose to share it with whoever comes to interview you about your contacts.”

More at  Zero Hedge

Sources for this post come from a previous post done in June 2020.

The very best of the swamp.

Adrienne’s corner has an excellent post up and worth a visit.

“Vaccine” Passports?…

 

 don’t say no, but hell no!

Excellent article on why we must resist now.

White House started pushing ‘vaccine passports.’ Here’s what we need to do to stop it.

 

Weather person creates ultimate thought crime

How is this to start out the week? Will she survive her Caturday night misstep? It makes our Nation’s other problems seem small now doesn’t it? A real statement about how far off the rails we have become in our cancel culture.

Maybe if she would just kneel?

Other than this everything is swell in the swamp.

Sunday – Palm Sunday Reflections

A difficult year for all of us. It is hard to believe a year has gone by since we began the Covid journey. On a personal note is has been devastating to our retirement community. 20 deaths and over 150 became very sick with the virus.

We became more like prisoners of war than happy Golden Age retirees. I have posted about the experience previously:

Marooned in No Man’s Land – a nursing home

The above post first appeared in American Thinker referenced now per their requirement.

We are left with what I suspect is the Stockholm syndrome. The feeling of possibly living on death row for so long is abating and the pouring out of gratitude to our captors who locked us up and kept us alive is surreal. Apparently I am the only one who sees the dichotomy of this. In fairness we did well compared to other retirement communities. The dirty secret that it was not only nursing homes that were affected to such an extent. Congregant living is our description. Cottages and apartments for independent living. Continuing care as we march through the time machine and take our licks and get support as needed to go through it. I suppose it could be compared to living on a cruise ship. I have found no studies excluding nursing home deaths from deaths in communities such as our. A good portion of our deaths were non-nursing home deaths as I understand it as well as the Covid illness.

I would be remiss not to thank all of those here who braved the unknown and were willing to work hard here to keep us alive and well. From the guards who allowed in only those necessary to keep us alive to the many college age kids who were more than willing to take the risks and remained happy and upbeat as they went about their business.

The retirement community got its first dose of Moderna with the second dose coming up soon. We are now able to avail ourselves of our various dining options for the first time since forever with strict seating arrangements. For a few brief moments of dinning we are able to see “faces” wow. No activities yet. The toll taken on the older folks is telling.

Sadly several of our blogging friends who visit here often and comment, lost their loved ones recently as well. As we remember all of the lives lost and pray that the families may find peace, let us keep “Always on Watch” and our “Friend from Florida” in mind.

Always on Watch

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Mr. AOW Has Gone Home

This morning, Mr. AOW (1949-2021) passed peacefully at the hospice facility: end stage renal failure with complications.  His passing was expected the past ten days or so.  He was at the hospice for eight and one-half days.

Your Friend from Florida

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Making Progress

 The outpouring of love and care and prayers is overwhelming. I am so blessed by your kind words, good advice, and love.  Thank you.  I am humbled.

Joseph (Joe) Nicholas D’Orsaneo, 83, passed away at Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center and walked into the arms of Jesus on February 16, 2021, after a short and devastating battle with COVID-19.

I am choosing a selection from last Easter that brought me much Peace of mind. I hope it does for you to.

“You Do Not Walk Alone” traditional Irish blessing Original music by Elaine Hagenberg

I suggest watching this is full screen.

 

Wishing you a good day with much Peace.

Saturday’s Passel of Potpourri

Let’s see what mischief our fellow earthlings have gotten themselves into this week. It’s Saturday and time for a break and maybe a smile or two.

Animals rule this week.

For politics page down and/or check top posts at the right side of the page.  Page may take a few seconds to load. Check for Sound!

I will end today with “The Healing Power of Nature” Music by Mandarava and Miyagi~ “Inner Silence”

Wishing you a wonderful day with much Peace.

Biden needed cheat sheets including photos to identify reporters

All you need to know about plugs and his presser yesterday. Apparently he needed pictures to identify the reporters no doubt pre-selected. They’re all numbered…. Good grief.

He had his prepared answers to questions.

It’s was a testimony of triumph over senility.

It comes down to the ego for Joe.

Bonus time. Just as a reminder of our swamp creature Nancy Pelosi

Nope Nancy not how it is suppose to work.

The best of the swamp on a Friday.

Biden Argues Supreme Court Case Lets Cops Enter Homes And Seize Guns Without A Warrant

As the gun control issue comes barreling down the congressional chute big time, a number of cases are winding their way toward the supremes. This one has a ring that is particularly disturbing and worth keeping track on its progress. I have thought that the easiest route to overcome the obstacles caused by the Second Amendment was the mental health route. Here is one worthy of attention:

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday will hear oral argument in Caniglia v. Strom, a case that could have sweeping consequences for policing, due process, and mental health, with the Biden Administration and attorneys general from nine states urging the High Court to uphold warrantless gun confiscation

Critically, when police seized the guns, they didn’t claim it was an emergency or to prevent imminent danger. Instead, the officers argued their actions were a form of “community caretaking,” a narrow exception to the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement.

First created by the Supreme Court nearly 50 years ago, the community caretaking exception was designed for cases involving impounded cars and highway safety, on the grounds that police are often called to car accidents to remove nuisances like inoperable vehicles on public roads. 

Both a district and appellate court upheld the seizures as “reasonable” under the community caretaking exception. In deciding Caniglia’s case, the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals acknowledged that “the doctrine’s reach outside the motor vehicle context is ill-defined.” Nevertheless, the court decided to extend that doctrine to cover private homes, ruling that the officers “did not exceed the proper province of their community caretaking responsibilities.”

Worth the full read:

https://www.zerohedge.com/political/biden-administration-urges-supreme-court-let-cops-enter-homes-and-seize-guns-withou

We have a savant over at CNN to let us know us how easy this would work. Enjoy!

Just for giggles here is a bonus:

Speaking of mental health

The best of the swamp today.

The Curse of Abraham Lincoln

 

The Curse of Abraham Lincoln

 by Mustang

 

Americans today remember Abraham Lincoln as one of their greatest presidents.  I completely disagree with such a proposition.  The facts of our history leading up to the American Civil War, and those following it, simply do not support such a conclusion.

1860 election

Abraham Lincoln O-26 by Hesler, 1860 (cropped).jpg John C Breckinridge-04775-restored.jpg
Nominee Abraham Lincoln John C. Breckinridge  
Party Republican Southern Democratic
Home state Illinois Kentucky
Running mate Hannibal Hamlin Joseph Lane
Electoral vote 180 72
States carried 18 11
Popular vote 1,865,908 848,019
Percentage 39.8% 18.1%

ElectoralCollege1860.svg

President Lincoln didn’t start the American Civil War, of course.  The road to civil war began long before Lincoln entered politics.  No — what started the civil war was a drastic shortage of thoughtful, tolerant, patient men serving in high political offices.  Lincoln’s election to the presidency simply galvanized the southern state’s refusal to obey laws passed by Congress that they (the southern states) believed were unjust.

 

Several markers led to civil war, but ultimately, there were two key issues — their order of importance depending on who one is talking to — state’s rights and slavery.

 

 Slavery.  There is no justification for human bondage.  It is not only abominably sinful, but it is also a dumb idea.  Slavery, as an institution, cannot be economically sustained.  The USA was well on the way to abolishing slavery in 1808 when the slave trade was officially outlawed.  So, there was no “continuing pipeline” of human slaves coming to the United States after that year. 

Even so, maintaining a large number of people in bondage was economically unsustainable.  Suppose a planter owned ten slaves: five males and five females.  In five years, the grower could end up with forty people in bondage.  If one imagines how much it cost to house, feed, and clothe ten people, how much more would it cost to care for 35-40 such persons?  In 1800, the slave population in the United States was 894,000; In 1830, around 2-million.  Slavery was always a stupid idea, and (or so I believe), slavery would have imploded on its own without emancipation through carnage.

 

State’s Rights

 

a.       If the founding fathers formed the United States on the notion that the people controlled their government and destiny through the selection of representatives, why would Abraham Lincoln deny the people their “God-given” right to choose their future?  The question is significant because I do not believe the American people have ever been “united” in matters of the greatest import.

b.       What did the average farmer in Indiana or Georgia know about nullification?  My guess is “not much.”  But what the average citizen understood about the nullification principle was a matter best left to the states, not the federal government.  Either the people were, as stated ad nauseam, empowered to choose their government and destiny, on what basis did Lincoln have to “preserve a union” that (1) never actually existed except on paper, and (2) no longer served the interests of the people?

 

1.       Only about one-third of the American people thought the revolution was a good idea.

 

2.       Hardly any American supported going to war with Great Britain in 1812.  Those who did support the war had something to gain from it.

 

3.       The American people did not have any input to the Louisiana Purchase or subsequent territorial expansion — which played an essential part in leading up to the civil war, particularly relating to the admission of states.

c.       People today argue that such discussions have no merit because the “matter” has already been resolved.  The northern union won the war — the war settled the matter.  But has the issue of individual liberty been fixed?  Do the American people continue to express their will through their respective state governments?  Should the states, therefore, have the most influence on formulating national policy — and the US Congress “less” influence?  Shouldn’t the federal government, as set forth in the U. S. Constitution, have limited power over “we the people?”

Let’s test this for a moment.  Suppose there had never been a civil war.

a.       Six-hundred fifty-thousand Americans would not have lost their lives.

b.       There would have been no need for national reconstruction, which was nothing shy of a horrendous experience for southerners and a disaster for the industrialized north, as well.  Poor southerners, for example, did not become consumers for northern-made products.  It took the American people sixty years to recover from the US reconstruction policies imposed upon the country by “radical Republicans,” men hell-bent on teaching the southern people a  lesson they would not soon forget — while concurrently punishing the entire nation.  I wonder, too, without reconstruction, would there have been such lawlessness in the old west?

c.       Likely, there would not have been a Spanish/American War and no quest for overseas colonies.  During the resulting Philippine Insurrection, 300,000 people lost their lives.  Another 100,000 people lost their lives during the Boxer Rebellion in China.

d.       Would the American people, whether as separated into northern and southern states, or even as diplomatically re-united at some point, have involved themselves in the dreadful affair of World War I?  We gave up 120,000 of our young men in World War I; we gave up another 650,000 lives because of influenza brought home to America from Europe by our soldiers  (1918-1920).

e.       Without American colonialism in the Pacific – an example not lost on the island nation of Japan, who in focusing on United States behavior, embarked on their own version of Manifest Destiny, the Pacific War cost the American people another 388,000 casualties and, in terms of current dollars, $2 trillion.

f.        There may not have been a Korean War without American colonial meddling, which cost the American people another 140,000 casualties and another $320 billion.

g.       Without American colonial meddling, there would not have been American involvement in the Vietnam War, which cost the American people another 60,000 casualties and another trillion dollars in 2019 valuation.

My questions remain: Was President Abraham Lincoln truly one of our best chief executives?  Was he good for future generations of Americans?  Should Lincoln have allowed the southern states to “go their own way?”  Without such gross expenditures and the loss of so many American lives from colonial adventurism, would the US spend itself silly in 2021?  Would we have a “homeless” problem today?  Would our tax rates be so high?  Would half of our population so quickly embrace communist/socialist policies today?

My guess is that the divided states would have come back together in due course, on a more equitable basis, perhaps, under an improved constitution and one that actually governed the behavior of the federal government.  But that’s just me thinking …

What say you?

Mustang also blogs at Fix Bayonets and Thoughts From Afar

Vote to repeal 2002 Iraq war authorization coming up

 

 

GOP Hawks Warn against Repealing Iraq War Resolution ahead of Vote | National Review

So goes the headline:

In a little-noticed development on Friday, a House panel scheduled a vote to repeal the Congressional resolution that authorized the Iraq war.

National Review has learned that the House Foreign Affairs Committee will vote next Thursday on a measure to repeal the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) against Iraq. This resolution to eliminate the Iraq War AUMF is expected to pass, likely with the support of all of the panel’s Democrats and Representative Peter Meijer (R., Mich.).

Repealing the 2002 AUMF and the 2001 AUMF that authorized force against those responsible for the 9/11 attacks has gained widespread popularity in both parties, as a war-weary public and top politicians have called for an end to the “forever wars” in Iraq and Afghanistan. But ahead of the vote on repealing the 2002 measure, some Republicans say they aren’t convinced, warning of ongoing threats from Iran, which backs proxies and operates in Iraq.

 

Flashback:  Here is what happened when it was feared that Trump was causing a “premature withdrawal” from Afghanistan:

Speaking on the Senate floor, McConnell warned against a potentially “humiliating” withdrawal that threatens to undo Trump’s “tremendous” work in the region. The GOP leader said a “premature exit” would be reminiscent of the U.S. departure from Saigon in 1975. Leaving Afghanistan now “would be broadcast around the world as a symbol of U.S. defeat and humiliation and a victory for Islamic extremism,” McConnell said.

 

 

Our man Mustang responds to the upcoming vote on the war resolution:.

The problem with open ended congressional authorizations are several.  The power to declare war is constitutionally within the purview of the Congress; we seem not to do “declarations of war” anymore – and the reason, I suppose, is to prevent “war” affecting the way citizens behave.  A declaration of war doesn’t just put our troops in a war situation, it places the entire nation in a war situation, and could even result in government imposed rationing – of petroleum products, for example.  And once “war” affects the people in a negative way, they become unhappy voters, which is a seat-threatening situation for presidents and members of congress.

I think the AUMF should expire.  We’ve been in the sandbox for far too long and beyond the horrendous expenditures, in terms of money, material, and human lives, have achieved next to nothing.  In fact, going to Iraq made Iran the regional king pin – which if nothing else, tells us what a bunch of nitwits we have running the show inside the beltway.

I’m a professional officer.  I have no objection to whacking the bad guys.  The problem is that the nitwits send us out to face dangerous enemies in pursuit of poorly contrived objectives.  No one tells us what our national interests were/are in Afghanistan or Iraq.  I suspect that’s because there are no national interests, beyond whacking Saddam Hussein, who tried to have Bush the Elder assassinated.  The US military shouldn’t be carrying out personal vendettas.

Still, a president has the authority to conduct limited military operations without a declaration of war – for up to sixty days before having to obtain congressional authority (in reality, a spending authorization).  I’m fine with that, but if congress does “authorize” operations beyond sixty days, there should be a specified “end date” and a specific, clearly defined “national interest.”  In both instances, war planners know what they are trying to accomplish, why, and they know that it has to be accomplished within a specific time frame. 

And if I could have my way, not only would the president have a specified end date to non-declared wars/conflicts, but he would also have to commit to asking congress for a formal declaration of war if the time frame was inadequate to achieving the national interests/objectives.  That way, it wouldn’t only be the troops who go to war while the rest of the country goes to the mall – it would be a national effort to win.

War is a terrible event.  We should not be involved in them unless every other possible effort has failed.  War is a “failure in diplomacy” … and there are times when diplomacy must fail (mostly on account of the fact that the US has the world’s worst-diplomats).  When that happens, the US should, as a nation, with clearly defined national objectives, go to war; the US should then be committed to beating the living crap out of everyone on the other side (men, women, children, their armies, their leaders, their infrastructure, their economy) and do that in the most conspicuous way possible.  Two clearly discernible results will present themselves: we defeat a nationally declared enemy, and we send an important message to all others – do not mess with the USA.  Fewer major wars is better that dozens of smaller ones.

I will conclude by observing that none of this matters when the purpose of the US military is social engineering.  Not sure a “Tranny Brigade” would accomplish much that make the enemy fall down laughing.  The other day, the SecDef (Austin) publicly announced to North Korea that we could go to war with them “tonight.”  I understand General Austin (who could be a moron) caused much levity in the North Korean Officer’s Club.

 

Mustang also blogs at Fix Bayonets and Thoughts From Afar

HSS Mayorkas: Trumps fault for the border issue

 

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas blames former President Donald Trump for the Biden border crisis.  During the Obama years we heard fabrications of the truth from the likes of Susan Rice but this fine fellow does take it to new heights. He made the rounds on all the talk shows.  The press are not allowed to report on the border but pictures are being leaked and we know its bad. Yet, this talking head can lie through his teeth without hesitation. 

 

The best of the Biden swamp on a Monday morning.

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