Daily Bread for 1.12.20

Good morning.

Sunday in Whitewater will be partly cloudy, with a high of thirty.  Sunrise is 7:23 AM and sunset 4:43 PM, for 9h 19m 22s of daytime.  The moon is a waning gibbous with 95.7% of its visible disk illuminated.

Today is the one thousand one hundred sixtieth day.

On this day in 1864, the 20th Wisconsin Infantry takes part in a battle in Matamoras, Mexico.

Recommended for reading in full —

The Lincoln Project rightly rejects a ‘MAGA Church’ as heretical:

  Conservative evangelical Michael Gerson writes Evangelicals need to follow Christianity’s morals, not Trump’s:

It is in this context [of Fox News as a combination of “social Darwinism and the Playboy philosophy, resulting in the survival of the scummiest”] that the recent commentary by Mark Galli in Christianity Today calling for President Trump’s removal from office should be read. Here, in contrast to Fox News, is an institution trying to use a specifically Christian lens to examine the president’s conduct in office. Galli argues that cheating to influence a presidential election is not merely a threat to the Constitution but also “profoundly immoral.” Trump’s lies and slanders on Twitter are “a near perfect example of a human being who is morally lost and confused.” The corruption and cruelty of the president and those around him have “rendered this administration morally unable to lead.”


From the perspective of Trump partisans, a less carnal version of the Ailes arrangement still applies. Evangelical Christians will be given rhetorical deference, White House access and judges and regulations of their liking. All they need to do is set aside their criticisms of cruelty, deception, misogyny, racism and contempt for the vulnerable. All they need to do is forget decency and moral consistency.

From the standpoint of committed evangelical Christians, the calculus should be more complex. Christians are called to be representatives of God’s kingdom in the life of this world. Betraying that role not only hurts the reputation of evangelicalism; it does a nasty disservice to the reputation of the Gospel. It is time, and past time, for Christian believers to listen to Christian sources on Christian social ethics, including the small, clear voice of Christianity Today.

See also from Gerson, Some white evangelicals are difficult to recognize as Christians at all.

Gavin Evans writes of The unwelcome revival of ‘race science’:

One of the strangest ironies of our time is that a body of thoroughly debunked “science” is being revived by people who claim to be defending truth against a rising tide of ignorance. The idea that certain races are inherently more intelligent than others is being trumpeted by a small group of anthropologists, IQ researchers, psychologists and pundits who portray themselves as noble dissidents, standing up for inconvenient facts. Through a surprising mix of fringe and mainstream media sources, these ideas are reaching a new audience, which regards them as proof of the superiority of certain races.


Although race science has been repeatedly debunked by scholarly research, in recent years it has made a comeback. Many of the keenest promoters of race science today are stars of the “alt-right”, who like to use pseudoscience to lend intellectual justification to ethno-nationalist politics. If you believe that poor people are poor because they are inherently less intelligent, then it is easy to leap to the conclusion that liberal remedies, such as affirmative action or foreign aid, are doomed to fail.

Protecting Pangolins From Poachers in South Africa:

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