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Now Writing at Things Above Us!

The all-star team over at Things Above Us has brought me onboard as a writer. My first article is about how changes in NASCAR’s points system may reflect negative societal changes. The rest of the blog is much more worth checking out and subscribing to.

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A restart at Texas Motor Speedway in November 2014. Photographer: Garrett O’Hara.

Moka Thought will continue as an outlet for things that don’t fit within Things Above Us.

 

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Dark Humor and Incivility

“Too soon”? Perhaps. Did “we” have it coming? Also yes.

By “we,” I mean the Navy, as I am a Navy Surface Warfare veteran.

By now, you probably know of the recent respective collision incidents involving USS Fitzgerald and USS John S. McCain, and you almost certainly know of the damage in south Texas from Hurricane Harvey. The two ship collisions cost the lives of 17 U.S. Sailors. The overall death toll from the hurricane is yet to be known until flood waters recede.

Now add satire news. Notwithstanding the far too common problem of people believing satirical news articles to be true, this came in the other day from Duffel Blog, a military-themed satire news site. Continue reading

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What Was Being Worshiped Yesterday at First Baptist Church in Dallas?

I found myself once in the middle of something like this at a Sunday morning service at a relative’s church. I had left the Navy about five weeks prior, and they wanted veterans to stand up for their particular service anthems. I remained seated for “Anchors Aweigh.”

Moreover, they managed to “churchify” the song. You see, there’s a line in the song that goes “Through our last night on shore, drink to the foam,” and they’re not talking about drinking ocean water. But the church had purchased music along with accompanying lyric video from some company, and they changed the offending lyric to “hail to the foam.” The church leadership itself was probably completely unaware of this.

“Hail” to the foam? Really?

the way of improvement leads home

Jeffress 1

Yesterday was “Freedom Sunday” at the First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas.  The pastor of First Baptist is Robert Jeffress.  He is a Trump supporter, Christian nationalist, and prominent court evangelical. As the pictures attached to this tweet indicate, it was a day of patriotic celebration in the church sanctuary.

People waived American flags during the service.

The last time I checked, the waiving of the American flag was a sign of support or loyalty to the nation.  Jeffress had no problem allowing such an act to take place in a church sanctuary–the place where Christians worship God as a form of expressing their ultimate loyalty.  Patriotism is fine. Flag-waiving is fine.  But I wonder if any…

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What Christians need to know about USNS Harvey Milk (T-AO 206)

News came to the Christian twittersphere yesterday via Dr. White that the U.S. Navy is naming a ship after homosexual rights icon Harvey Milk.  I have nothing unique to contribute in terms of the record of Harvey Milk’s life, but I am a seven-year Navy veteran who specialized in floating gray vessels, so it’s probably a good idea to dispel some potential myths or untruths that have arisen or may arise later concerning the nature of this news.

If you are a Navy veteran of any kind, this post will probably teach you close to nothing.  The aim here is to assist fellow Christians in understanding the particulars and especially to help Christian bloggers to avoid perpetrating erroneous information. Continue reading

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Christian News corrects Together 2016 article, but there’s still something fishy.

Following my post pointing out its factual error, Christian News has now corrected its article.

Editor’s Note:An earlier version of this story stated that a message from Bergoglio was played at Together 2016, which was previously promoted by the organization PULSE, led by Nick Hall, in a national press release: (see“Pope Francis to Address Americans at National Mall Event ‘Together 2016’ With Special Video Message.”) For unknown reasons, PULSE decided to circulate a video invitation/endorsement from Bergoglio via their social media channels rather than playing a video message at the event as the group initially announced.


The obvious lingering issue, of course, is Jordan (JD) Hall (no known relation to Nick Hall or Mark Hall), the personal and vitriolic nature of whose comment and subsequent podcast requires no defense except to point out one item: the fat joke on Facebook is inappropriate.

Jordan Hall claims that Christian News’ “jumbotron” error was minor, not unlike any error that may be published in a newspaper.  How did such an error arise, what is its level of seriousness, and how might have it been prevented?  I submit the following. Continue reading

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Ronnie Floyd has 142 words of new revelation from God at Together 2016

For those who believe Ronnie Floyd and want to add this to their bibles, here’s the text.

Who can heal our nation? And who can heal the family and who can heal the church? Here it is. Not a politician. Not a political party. Not a president. Not a governmental agency. Not a state. Not an educator. Not an entertainer. Not a preacher. Not a celebrity. Not an athlete. Not a leader. Not a church.  Each is important but not one is imperative. Jesus can heal our nation, and Jesus can heal relationships. America is like a broken bone* that needs to be put back into its correct place in order to experience healing.  Yes, I say to you today America is broken. Very, very broken. But each of us are broken. Minimizing human impact is not the goal, but maximizing God is. And Jesus is the answer, and Jesus does only what Jesus can do. And while being

(An earlier version of this video had included Floyd’s long, rambling introduction that gives no value to the video.)

* Corrected from “bowl.” 🙂