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Hey, what’s up everyone and welcome back to the End Times Mama podcast, a prayerful news brief for busy Christian, conservative mamas who don’t have the time or energy to wade through the mainstream news.
My name is Isa, and I am a work-at-home homeschooling mama and news junkie. My mission is to take the biggest stories of the week as well as those that may be of particular interest to Christian, pro-life, pro-liberty mothers and break them down in a handy dandy news brief.
You can find me on my blog, Crunchy Con Christian Mom, on Instagram @crunchyconchristianmom, and on Facebook.com/endtimesmama. I literally just launched this podcast again last week, so please get in touch and let me know how you’re liking it as well as any feedback you may have. I’d really appreciate it!
OK, so it has been a very big news week and to be honest, there’s no real quick way to break down every crucial detail about what’s going on with the House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry.
So I’m going to do the best I can without rambling on too long, so bear with me. I have to say I will do my best to present the facts from where I see them, but they are not without bias because I do feel strongly that much of the mainstream coverage of Trump, which tends to coincide more with the Democrats’ position on things, is misleading, so I am deliberately trying to give an alternative perspective to the mainstream narratives.
So, here’s the deal: this week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. Although the Democrats have been talking about impeaching Trump for a long time, Pelosi, who has not been shy about claiming that Trump is “engaged in a cover-up” relating to the longstanding allegations that Trump colluded with Russia to influence the 2016 election, has been shy about committing to impeachment as it would be a politically risky move for her party ahead of the 2020 election.
While most talk of impeachment, which has been more decisive from House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, has centered around the Russian collusion allegations or “cover-ups” thereof, this time around it has to do with a whistleblower complaint from someone who had indirect knowledge of a phone call held between Trump and Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in which they discussed investigating former vice president Joe Biden, who is currently running for president.
Now, Biden has long been suspected of helping his son, Hunter Biden, both secure a job on the board of Burisma Holdings, a Ukranian energy company, and evade criminal complications when Burisma Holdings was under investigation by the government of Ukraine. Biden famously bragged in 2017 that while he was in office, he had had the prosecutor who was conducting one of the investigations into Burisma fired by threatening to withhold aid if the Ukranian government did not do so.
Ironically, the Democrats are arguing that Trump withheld to withhold military aid from Ukraine if they did not investigate Biden, a claim which is shaky at best, as the transcript of the phone call between Zelensky and Trump, which was released on Wednesday, does not give any smoking gun indication of this.
Because Biden, of course, remains the frontrunner in the race for the 2020 Democratic party nomination for president, again, ironically, the Democrats are accusing Trump of trying to collude with a foreign power to influence the 2020 election.
This is also ironic considering not only have they been trying to convince us that he did so in 2016 with Russia, but it was, irony upon irony, actually the Democratic National Committee that asked the Ukranian government to give them dirt on Trump in 2016 which ultimately led to the whole Trump-Russia investigation.
So, all of this has enjoyed fresh scrutiny.
Now, there are many, many details coming out on all sides, such as:
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been subpoenaed by three House committees
Rudy Giuliani, Attorney General William Barr are expected to be subpoenaed as well
House Intel Chair Schiff tweeted about Trump’s supposed “quid pro quo” with Ukraine before Congress was supposed to have known about the whistleblower complaint
The still anonymous whistleblower was a CIA operative who has since returned to the CIA
It’s been suggested they had the help from members of Congress in drafting their complaint
The Ukrainians initiated discussions about the Biden investigation
The Democrats wrote to Ukraine in 2018 Demanding they investigate Trump
Bill Clinton signed a treaty in 1999 that made Trump requesting the Ukrainian’s help in a criminal investigation legal
The rules for whistleblowers were changed just one month before this whistleblower’s complaint, taking away a need for first-hand knowledge of whatever it is they are trying to expose
In short...the country is a mess. It’s so hard to distinguish what’s real and what’s political theatre. I think we should definitely be praying that someway, somehow, we can have a peaceful conclusion to...whatever this is.
Interestingly, one headline I found particularly interesting through all this is that, according to one congressional aide, talks on gun control have stalled amid the impeachment inquiry, which gun rights advocates like myself may find to be a bit of a silver lining, perhaps.
UN General Assembly
In news that was greatly overshadowed by impeachment talk, the UN General Assembly met this week at UN Headquarters in New York.
In his address to the assembly, President Trump, covered a wide range of topics, including recent tensions with Iran, fighting socialism at home and abroad, social media censorship, and abortion.
Of Big Tech censorship of free speech on the internet, he said:
“We must always be skeptical of those who want conformity and control. Even in free nations, we see alarming signs and new challenges to liberty.
A small number of social media platforms are acquiring immense power, over what we can see and over what we are allowed to say.
A permanent political class is openly disdainful, dismissive and defiant of the will of the people. A faceless bureaucracy operates in secret and weakens democratic rule. Media and academic institutions push flat-out assaults on our histories, traditions and values.”
In the United States, my administration has made clear to social media companies that we will uphold the right of free speech.
A free society cannot allow social media giants to silence the voices of the people. And a free people must never, ever be enlisted in the cause of silencing, coercing, canceling or blacklisting their own neighbors.”
Of abortion, he said:
“We are aware that many United Nations projects have attempted to assert a global right to taxpayer-funded abortion on demand, right up until the moment of delivery. Global bureaucrats have absolutely no business attacking the sovereignty of nations that wish to protect innocent life. Like many nations here today we in America believe that every child, born and unborn, is a sacred gift from God.”
This week, climate activists around the globe continued their efforts to protest what they perceive to be man-made climate change.
Greta Thunberg, a 15-year-old Swedish climate activist, famously spoke at the UN’s climate summit, telling delegates that they’d ruined her childhood, attracting quite a bit of mockery from her ideological opponents.
She said, in part:
"My message is that we'll be watching you.
"This is all wrong. I shouldn't be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet you all come to us young people for hope. How dare you!
"You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words. And yet I'm one of the lucky ones. People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!
Her message wasn’t exactly subtle.
Thunberg has gained lots of fans though, from the likes of Barak Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Prince Harry the Duke of Sussex, who praised her while taking a carbon-inefficient trip via private jets with a team of 16 handlers along with his wife and son across Africa to lecture about climate change.
Florida Religious Exemptions
In Florida, a bill has been introduced that would end religious exemptions from childhood vaccinations.
The Ledger reports that SB 64 was introduced by state Sen. Lauren Book, D-Plantation, and would also create a panel to review certain medical exemptions from immunizations. The bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on Health Policy, chaired by Sen. Gayle Harrell, R-Stuart.
This bill comes after the states of New York and Maine recently ended religious exemptions from childhood vaccinations, and California passed legislation severely restricting medical exemptions for vaccinations.
Now for some news that is easy to miss, but that I find to be incredibly significant.
In the typically progressive UK, a judge drew a notable line in the sand this week when a biological woman who identifies as a man had sought to be listed as her child’s “father” on a birth certificate.
“There is a material difference between a person’s gender and their status as a parent,” Andrew McFarlane, President of the Family Division of the High Court, said.
“Being a ‘mother’, whilst hitherto always associated with being female, is the status afforded to a person who undergoes the physical and biological process of carrying a pregnancy and giving birth.”
Here in the states, time-honored toy company Mattel unveiled an upcoming line of gender-neutral dolls.
Kids will be able to customize their dolls with long or short hair, pants or skirts, or some combination thereof. There are several skin colors to pick from as well.
Time reports that: “Mattel’s first promotional spot for the $29.99 product features a series of kids who go by various pronouns — him, her, them, xem — and the slogan 'A doll line designed to keep labels out and invite everyone in.' With this overt nod to trans and nonbinary identities, the company is betting on where it thinks the country is going, even if it means alienating a substantial portion of the population.”
Senior Vice President of Mattel Fashion Doll Design, Kim Culmone, said in a statement that:
"Toys are a reflection of culture and as the world continues to celebrate the positive impact of inclusivity, we felt it was time to create a doll line free of labels "Through research, we heard that kids don’t want their toys dictated by gender norms."
"This line allows all kids to express themselves freely which is why it resonates so strongly with them,” she added.
Obviously, the dolls have attracted critique.
“This isn’t just about creating a doll that looks like its owners,” writes Madeline Fry over at the Washington Examiner. “It’s an attempt to make a statement that gender isn’t what it was once thought to be, and we all ought to change our minds about it.”
“Mattel might be able to cash in on the gender-neutral doll, or it might flop. Either way, at least the company has been clear that its gender-neutral dolls aren’t value-neutral, and the company has a specific, radical message targeted at young kids. Maybe they should go back to Barbie instead.”
Chinese Organ Harvesting
A group investigating human rights abuses said at a meeting of the United Nation Human Rights Council on Tuesday that the Chinese government has had “hundreds of thousands” of members of the Uighur Muslim minority and the Falun Gong religious group murdered to harvest their organs.
The group, The China Tribunal, explained that the Chinese government has been taking hearts, kidneys, lungs, and skin from persecuted religious groups.
China Tribunal lawyer Hamid Sabi told the UNHRC:
“Forced organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience, including the religious minorities of Falun Gong and Uighurs, has been committed for years throughout China on a significant scale, and that it continues today. This involves hundreds of thousands of victims,”
“Victim for victim and death for death, cutting out the hearts and other organs from living, blameless, harmless, peaceable people constitutes one of the worst mass atrocities of this century,” he added. “Organ transplantation to save life is a scientific and social triumph. But killing the donor is criminal.”
Persecuted Church in India
In India, 8 Christians have been jailed in a massive crackdown by radical Hindu groups on house churches in the Uttar Pradeshafter province, according to persecution advocacy group International Christian Concern.
According to Pastor Ram Kumar, who spoke with ICC, he and another pastor were assaulted by a mob of angry Christians during a prayer service on September 15th.
When police arrived, Kumar said that he and the other pastor, rather than the perpetrators, were arrested.
“We were around 50 people worshiping in a little hut, all of a sudden a mob of 20 Hindu radicals stormed into the hut while shouting at us using filthy and abusive language dragged me and pastor Gokran out of the hut and started to beat us,” he said.
“[A]nd later, the police arrived and took both of us to the police station and then sent us to the jail.”
ICC reports that both pastors were charged with blasphemy under section 295A of the Indian Penal Code which bans “deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs.”
The pastors were released on bail on Friday, five days after their arrest, The Christian Post reports.
Open Doors USA notes that since the current ruling party in the country took control in 2014, “many Christians have been targeted by Hindu nationalist extremists more and more each year. The view of the nationalists is that to be Indian is to be Hindu, so any other faith—including Christianity—is considered non-Indian. Additionally, in some regions of the country, converts to Christianity from Hinduism experience extreme persecution, discrimination and violence.”
It’s been a long week of chaos, confusion, and assaults on truth and righteousness. Following the news is hard, in many ways because it can be depressing, scary, or infuriating.
This is why it’s important to keep a kingdom focus and think about the bigger picture.
Around the world, Christians are suffering for your name. We pray that you would encourage and bless them, and we know that their witness is not in vain.
We pray that you would bless us in this coming week and help us to remember that our ultimate mission on this earth is to preach your Word and to grow your kingdom on this earth. As the worldly battles over who has power in this country play out, please help us not to get too wrapped up in the division and to be discerning and wise as we digest the facts we’re presented.
I pray that everyone listening would be encouraged by your Word and the way you are working in their lives this week and that whatever they’re going through, you would reveal Your purpose for them through it.
We thank you for your son’s sacrifice on the Cross and pray that His love and light would shine through us in all we do.
In Jesus name,
Well, that’s all for this week, thanks so much for listening and don’t forget to rate, review, and share this podcast! You can find me on Anchor FM, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Breaker, PocketCasts, and RadioPublic, and hopefully, next week, iTunes.
In this episode:
Breaking down impeachment inquiry, background
Trump at the UN
Florida religious exemptions
UK "fatherhood" ruling
Mattel's gender-neutral dolls
Chinese organ harvesting
Christian persecution in India