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Quantum 92 – Tom and Jerry, The worlds longest creature, ; clapping; Ramadan; Non-Jewish NT; Hate laws; Jacinda Ardern; Covid; Gambling; Captain Cook; Trump’s Bible; Dominic Smart and Ps 23

This weeks Quantum…looks at Tom and Jerry, the longest creature in the world, marrying a computer figure; clapping (again!); Steve Chalke and Ramadan; Israel, Denmark and the New Testament.

We also look at the sad story of the selfish Melbourne millionaire.

The creeping authoritarianism in Scotland reaches a new depth with the proposed new blasphemy laws. 

Jacinda Ardern is being feted as the worlds ideal leader.  Impressive though she is there are reasons for concern – not least her wicked attitude towards the unborn.

Meanwhile anti-Covid measures could result in a further 150 million people facing starvation. 

But there is good news re Covid – its affecting gambling 

Good News – https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-04-26/pokies-addicts-kick-habit-during-coronavirus-venues-shutdown/12183018?nw=0

Did you know that the Australian national anthem was written by a Scot?

 

Speaking of Australia we celebrate 250 years since Captain Cook landed at Botany bay.

Captain Cookhttps://www.spiked-online.com/2020/04/24/captain-cook-and-the-heroism-of-the-enlightenment/

Have you seen this video about Donald Trump’s Bible?

Tom Lennie has destroyed this myth…

The MYTH of Trump’s Bible

A 5-min video-clip, ‘Donald’s Bible’ has gone viral in recent weeks, creating great excitement. It began as a popular story in 2017, and relates to a religious revival on the Scottish island of Lewis some 70 years ago, from 1949-52. The story centered on the remarkable discovery that two elderly sisters involved in that revival were in fact the great-aunts of no less than the 45th President of the United States of America, Mr. Donald Trump himself. Additional details soon got added to the narrative – paving the way for the current video.

It’s an intriguing story for sure. And at first glance it seems quite possible. It’s no secret that Trump’s mother, Mary Anne Smith Macleod, hailed from Lewis. Her own mother’s maiden name was indeed Smith – she lived from 1867 till 1963. This would have been roughly contemporaneous with the lives of Christine and Peggy Smith, who are famed in revival folklore for their lives of faith and intercession.

But sadly the story’s not true. In fact it’s riddled with problems. There are hundreds of Smiths in the Western Isles, and the names Christine and Peggy Smith do not match with Trump’s relatives. Further, Lewis is a relatively small, well-connected island where people know genealogy well, and we are dealing with just two generations. People on Lewis insist that Mary Anne is not directly related to the Smith siblings. (Also, Mary Anne Macleod came from the east Lewis village of Tong, just north of Stornoway; the Smith sisters lived in Barvas, on the west side of the island).

The teenage boy that the video claims the Rev Duncan Campbell became dependent upon during the revival was Donald MacPhail from Arnol. He is incorrectly referred to in the video as Donald Smith. There is no evidence to suggest that Donald MacPhail was a cousin of Mary Anne. In any case, MacPhail’s life of faith and intercession could not have inspired Trump’s mother to name her son after him; the Lewis revival began in 1949 and MacPhail became a Christian the following spring, in May 1950. Donald Trump, however, was born in 1946 – did he live without a forename for the first four years of his life?

Further, Trump’s own uncle was called Donald; so was his maternal great grandfather. There was no need for Mary Anne to look to some religious revival on the other side of the world for someone to name her son after. In fact, Mary Anne left Lewis in 1930 (not 1936 as the video claims), before Donald MacPhail was even born. That means she also emigrated long before the 1949-52 revival ever broke out on the island. Although she returned to her native Lewis in later years, it is quite possible she never knew that a spiritual revival occurred on Lewis in those years (one of a whole string of revivals to grace the island in the twentieth century). Besides, there were countless other Donalds on Lewis – what select source is privy to her naming her son after one particular Donald over another?

Even if Christine and Peggy Smith were Mary Anne’s aunts, no one has provided a reason for them choosing to donate their Gaelic bible to Mary Anne rather than one of their many other nieces and nephews (Mary was one of ten children). Besides, their bible would probably have been the last thing the godly sisters would have parted with. Well-worn after a lifetime of use, and full of hand-written notes and markings as it probably was, it would almost certainly have been their most prized possession. Rather than post a heavy bible to their niece in the States in any case (they were poor), it would have been more convenient to send a postal order so she could buy a new one.

And that leads to another problem. Mary Anne did give her son a bible when he was young. Rather than being in Gaelic (a language unfamiliar to Donald), it was an English translation; and it was a Revised Standard Version. The RSV was first published only in 1952, by which time the Lewis revival was already coming to a close. Trump’s bible was presented to him at First Presbyterian Church in the Queen’s district of New York in 1955, when nine-year-old Donald graduated from Sunday school there. (Indeed, he swore in on this bible when inaugurated as President in 2017). Trump proudly refers to this as the bible his mother gave him – he has made mention of no other.

Everybody likes a good story, and ‘Donald’s Bible’ is one that many have found inspiring. But in a faith-system that centres on truth, myths need to be exploded (though some may prefer to carry on believing the lie). The 45th President of the United States of America keeps no ‘Hebrides Revival Bible’ in the Oval Office. On the contrary, as with his mother, it’s doubtful Donald Trump has even heard of the Lewis revival, let alone of his would-be great aunts. The entire story, sadly, is a mammoth fabrication.

Tom Lennie
http://www.truerevival.net

This is the most cringeworthy thing this week!  Women Catholic Priests – https://twitter.com/grendel_the/status/1254093518424944641?s=12

Please – if you have a few minutes watch this wonderful interview with our brother and friend Dominic Smart….who went Home this week…

 

We end with Psalm 23.

Quantum 91 – The one with Keir Starmer; Covid 19; Israel; Nigeria; Canada; Dutch Euthanasia; Fruit Pickers; Elevation; The Gettys and Joni; Frightened Rabbit; Life in Wartime; Duncan Chisholm

https://patron.podbean.com/theweeflea

 

 

 

14 comments

  1. Ramadan is not really a genuine fast . It simply means eating a huge early breakfast , skipping lunch and gorging at an especially lavish dinner.

    If the Koranic precept was to inculcate fellow – feeling with genuine hunger sufferers, it has long – since been abandoned.

      1. To those of us who are not “Wee Free And Unco Guid” one theological fantasy is much like another.

  2. I have two comments, if that is not being too greedy. First, you reference a report from the UN that predicts 265m face starvation, twice the number compared with the number before the Covid measures were implemented. There is a call for more funds, but no acknowledgement of the cruel irony that it is the directives of the WHO (which is part of the UN) that are causing the doubling of potential mass starvation. All the UN has to do is tell the WHO to change its advice for poor countries. Yes, people would die of Covid, but nowhere near the numbers threatened with starvation. Except, it seems, in Malawi, where rights activists have secured a High Court order banning the government from implementing lockdown measures because of the harmful effect on poor people. (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-52471276?intlink_from_url=https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/topics/clm1wxp5pert/malawi&link_location=live-reporting-story) God bless Malawi.

    Second, regarding the orchestrated clapping for the NHS, I have copied and pasted below a slightly shortened version of the foremost of the most popular posts on the doctors.net forum last week. Of course, just because a post was “most liked” for a week does not necessarily mean that the majority of doctors feel the same way, but it does mean that a significant number do. I post it with some hesitation, but I do think it is important for Christians in particular not to get caught up in the sentimental virtue signalling so beloved of politicians and the media. Here goes:

    Forgive this slightly miserable post but..

    Am I the only one that finds this idolisation of the NHS cringey?!

    All these rounds of applause, these rainbow pictures everywhere, our gaff has turned our break room into a “wellness” room or some such bull crap where there are once again pictures of rainbows everywhere, being hailed as heroes, free food and worst of all one local hospital near me had what basically amounts to a concert outside it’s front door where presumably some local starlet entertained hundreds of staff with a rendition of “simply the best. ” (cough-social distancing-cough)

    It was positively Brent-esque!

    I tried to examine why I feel this way, why in this time of everyone banding together I view all these things with borderline disgust. The answer is simple-I feel they are empty, “like” gathering gestures. Publicity stunts. Political point scoring exercises.

    Therefore I ask myself this question.

    Where were the rounds of applause over the winter when we had 3 figures of patients in our department and trolleys round the corner into various sub corridors. Nope just frayed tempers and complaints!

    Where was the free food and thank you posters when we spent summer dealing with “winter” pressures. Nope just constant demonisation by those in power in the press

    Where was the constant hailing us as heroes when day in day out we dealt with unprecedented pressure?! Nope just a constant stream of people taking no responsibility for Their own health and then looking for the first opportunity to “have” us should we make a mistake in difficult conditions!

    I say one thing. I will eat my words should at the end of all this there is real positive change or a thank you gesture. Pay rises, protection from complaints if the environment was dangerous or chaotic, hell even free parking!

    Until then I predict when this is all over things will largely go back to being the same; hordes of worried well (a significant proportion of which will expect the world!), A government that continues to run down the nhs, a regulatory body not fit for purpose and a media that will return to making us seem like fat cat doctors!

    Rant over

    DOI

    Increasingly Cynical ED doc!

  3. Re: the response to “clapping for the NHS”.

    I posted this on Doctors Net yesterday:

    “Isn’t our NHS wonderful?”

    “Well”, says my daughter who is a solicitor working in clinical litigation (defense – she is on the doctors’ side), “if that is true and everyone wants to clap for the NHS, how come there are £ billions negligence claims pending against the NHS if everyone loves it so much?”

    (About 56% of claims are successfully defended)

    https://resolution.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/NHS-Resolution-Annual-Report-2018-19.pdf

    Lawyers do not get rich defending the NHS. She does it because she loves the work – it is like being a detective. A claim comes in and she goes through all the evidence forensically, calling on expert witnesses when necessary. If a claim is indefensible she will negotiate an appropriate settlement, usually far less that the litigants are claiming. If it is defensible she goes at it full throttle, and generally wins.

    However what really angers her are the vexatious claims, usually supported by solicitors who usually have no insight whatsoever into the clinical issues. They can mount up huge legal costs, often by protracting the process, and if they get a judgement in their favour the NHS still has to pay.

    Clapping for the NHS – don’t make me laugh!

  4. Dominic Smart wasn’t know to me personally, but I did hear him some years ago at the Keswick Convention.
    His death has had slightly unsettling affect on me, as I don’t usually get affect by the death of people in the public eye, albeit, here, in the far smaller Christian culture.
    I think the interview shows that no matter how robust our Christian doctrine may be, when we are on our own in the face of certain death, even with the support and presence of our loved ones, it is in that place of total dependence on God that our beliefs are irreversibly reduced to its childlike simplicity.
    How he will be astonished at hearing, “well done…” And while he enjoyed the beauty of the Lake District, he will be met with the unsurpassed beauty of the LORD to which it points.

  5. Suetonius — Lives of the Twelve Ceasars — made a list of what he considered to be the good things Nero did and another of the bad things. Among Nero’s reprehensible acts Suetonius counted the introduction of the claque of professional applauders. Nero’s persecution of Christians was counted among his good points.
    The thing is about these rather Orwellian ten minutes of noise making: it gives people something to do and yes, there will be people banging saucepan lids who have clogged up emergency departments with supurious complaints and others who regularly moan that they have been denied the treatment that they ought to have had, etc., etc., etc. But for others this is the chance they get to show appreciation, like the children drawing rainbows.
    As for virtue-signalling politicians: history has plenty of warnings for them and how they will be remembered if they can’t back the noise with action. ‘Is Saul also among the prophets?’ springs to mind.
    I’ll be out there on Thursday — if I’m not picking up my daughter from the care home where she works — and I may well be ringing my great-great grandfather’s carter’s bell because slightly ridiculous OTT gestures have their part to play in raising morale and because for me not to do it would be misanthropic.
    Yours,
    John/.

    1. Nero’s persecution of Christians was counted among his good points.

      Does Seutonius use the term ”persecution”? The term might be a bit over top, John, and I am presuming you are using it based on the passage in Annals?

      1. I’m not a Latin scholar, Ark,
        nor do I have access to all the translations of Lives of the Twelve Caesars into English so I don’t know if Suetonius used whatever Latin word we could translate as ‘persecution’ in his brief mention of Nero’s dealings with Christians.

        ‘Persecution’ is a reification, or the treatment of an abstraction as a
        thing; so there is a danger in using it that we attribute to Nero a motivation that he might not have held; and for Suetonius, a basis for his approval of Nero’s actions that he might not have had. The likelihood is that Nero needed someone to blame for starting the fires that cleared the ground for the building of his Domus Aurea; and the Christians were convenient scapegoats. Similarly, Suetonius — born twenty years after Nero’s suicide — needed to toady to his soldierly patrons Trajan and Hadrian rather than to decidedly-unsoldierly Nero, hence his condemnation of the claque as well as of the great fire. So why praise Nero’s punishment of Christians while accusing Nero of having the fire started for which the Christians were punished?

        The answer to that probably lies in the writings of Suetonius’s great friend Pliny the younger; through whose offices Suetonius was reputedly introduced to Trajan. Pliny, probably looking to curry favour with Trajan, reported that he had executed some Christians and had by that means ‘persuaded’ the general population to return to the pagan temples. Idolatry — including worship of the emperors themselves — was considered to be needed for social cohesion and keeping the peace so blaming the influence of Christians who even quibbled about eating food ‘offered to idols’ was a no-brainer. Once a means is accepted as legitimate, powerful people are unlikely to condemn the use of that means by a predescessor even if the previous use was for an end now thought reprehensible.
        Tertullian’s obvious sarcasm:

        If the Tiber rises, if the Nile does not rise, if the heavens give no rain, if there is an earthquake, famine, or pestilence, straightway the cry is ‘The Christians to the lion!’ So many to one?

        was misquoted and blown out of proportion in the novel Quo Vadis but even if Tacitus, for example, exaggerated the punishments Nero meted out — though why should he? — the fact remains that there must have been a sizable community of Christians in Rome within a generation of the death of Jesus Christ. Moreover, Nero unjustly accused them of arson and persecuted them for it. That’s history.
        Yours,
        John/.

  6. Medical, nursing, ancillary, carers are not infallible. They serve us poorly if they expect to be, and the public serve them poorly if we expect them to be.
    As , perhaps unwitting, servants of God and his purposes who gets the credit?
    We are born worshippers!
    The best of them admit their limitations and errors: that has been my substantial experience as a recipient: neither do I expect perfection and neither am I litigious despite being a former solicitor who once successfully persued a client’s medical negligence claim. (The complaints system and litigation including insurance system does the organisations (which are slow the learn and implement from errors and poor practice, with various professional heirarchies, self-protectionism) staff and patients few favours.
    It has been jokingly said, (even recently by a GP leading our church zoom bible study meeting) that if you get 3 GP’s in a room you get 12 different opinions!
    The plea here, from me, is for realism: realism in human nature, realism in various organisational and professional, systems and structures, realism in various human and organisational communication systems and channels, and realism in the various barriers and fudges to effective, transforming, communications and leadership.
    Christians, of all people, are to be fundamental realists.
    I have more reason than most to be grateful for the NHS, God’s providential supply in the UK, just as those in Australia may be grateful for their services. Do I make a song and dance about it? No. Do I take it for granted? No.

  7. I just listened to the full video with Dominic Smart, beautifully spoken and so moving. I’m full of admiration for this man, it was extremely helpful; so grounded in truth and glorifying to Jesus.

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