Settled?

Geocentrism, the discarded theory that the Earth is the center of the universe, is commonly associated with second century astronomer Ptolemy (Claudius Ptolemaeus), though he built upon the even earlier observations of Hipparchus of Nicaea et. al.

The Ptolemaic model was displaced by that of heliocentrism. It is commonly associated with the Renaissance astronomer Copernicus (Nikolaus Kopernikus, d. A.D. 1543), though Aristarchus of Samos had offered heliocentric postulations before the time of Christ’s earthly life.

That once reigning dogma which held that the sun is the astrophysical center of the cosmos is now dethroned. Today’s scientific establishment views the sun as an unremarkable star located in a minor stellar arm of the swirling Milky Way galaxy. And according to the website LiveScience, “the universe, in fact, has no center.”

So 21st century astronomers are as amazed and baffled as their predecessors, despite their highly sophisticated telescopes and instruments, as they gaze into the Heavens, seeking the score for the music of the spheres.

Should these experts glibly assume that their theories will not be displaced in the future? Should the rest of us believe what LiveScience’s statement would have us believe, any more than their contemporaries should have believed Ptolemy or Copernicus?

Consider that area of scientific pursuit which traffics not in parsecs and light years but in molecules and quarks. The search for something like the ancient Greeks’ proposed ATOMOS (the smallest, indivisible, and indestructible unit of matter) ever reveals greater complexity in the structure of matter as well as its relationship to energy.

Whether by the naked eye or with the help of the Hubble telescope or the Hadron particle collider, we are confronted with the majesty of the God Who reveals Himself both by His world and His word. Both are unfathomable treasure troves of knowledge for mankind – the crown of creation appointed to subdue the Earth and have dominion over it to the Creator’s glory.

We were justly evicted from its divinely planted garden spot millenia ago, but Earth is still man’s home. It was called into being by the word of God’s power before all the heavenly luminaries. It is the theater so to speak upon which the Creator became incarnate as the Man above all men and dwelt among us. Both divine creation and the work of the saving grace of Him Who since has ascended far above the Heavens hallow the Earth with a transcendent centrality.

Again, the ideas of Ptolemy and Copernicus have been surpassed. Who can say how future models, based on keener and more precise observation, might eviscerate the current tenets of astronomical science and other disciplines?

What scientific dogmas now deemed unshakeable will in turn go by the wayside as we continue to investigate the sub-atomic realm, the “…sun, moon, and stars in their courses above,” and everything in between?

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Information Ageless

So here we are in the Information Age. Yet, information was around during all previous ages. Only the variety and sophistication of the media which carry information gives our age that title. In fact information has existed since time began.

One obvious aspect of information is that it requires a SENDER.

Every snapshot video, mobile phone text, social media post, e-mail, voice call, paper letter, or smoke signal ever received was SENT. Where there is no sender, there can be no information. The more complex the information, the greater must be the intelligence of the sender.

DNA is an extremely complex form of information. It well has been described as an intricate code or a very detailed blueprint. This amazing information is meticulously recorded at the microscopic level in all living things, from germs to geniuses. It provides the genetic instructions which enable all living things to procreate, grow, and function.

So who wrote that intricate code? Who drafted that detailed blueprint? With whom did those instructions, written on the medium of molecules, originate? In short, who SENT the information contained in DNA?

To learn more about the source of that information, Who has nothing to hide, read the first chapter of the book of Genesis.

For more specific information about the origin, nature, purpose of, and original plan for humanity, read chapter two.

Read chapter three for even more specific and historically accurate information. There you will learn why we live in such a world as this. You’ll find out why we live in a world where crime exists. (Thankfully DNA information is so helpful in solving crimes. What depth of foresight on the part of the information Sender!)

For further information that will prove more helpful than you could ever imagine, even in your wildest dreams, and most importantly to find hope, keep reading.

If you stick with your reading plan, eventually you will come to the following statement found in a letter to a student from his mentor. This statement refers to the incalculable value of that information, and urges the student to continue his course of life in light of it. We do well if we internalize the statement for ourselves…make it our own…get it into our spiritual DNA:

“You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” — Saul of Tarsus, also known as Paul the apostle of Jesus Christ, to his Greek/Jewish spiritual son Timothy, c. A.D. 60

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A Boxing Day Meditation

What so many celebrated yesterday is this:

The One Who took a rib from Adam’s side and formed Eve (Genesis 2) became incarnate in order to be pierced in His own side. From that wound flowed the justifying blood and cleansing water (John 19:34, Romans 5:9, 1 John 5:6-8) by which He will present to Himself a spotlessly righteous and pure bride (Ephesians 5:25-27).

The Speaker out of a bush that was on fire and yet unconsumed appointed Moses, Aaron and Joshua to serve as foreshadows. It was He Who came and dwelt among us, speaking words of truth. He, the great I AM, is the substance. He is that solid Rock of ages which cast those shadows. He was born a true Man to lead His people out of a more bitter bondage into a greater promised land, and to serve as a better high priest (see the book of Hebrews).

The Object of worship Who in times past received many offerings according to the Levitical priesthood, offerings which could never take away sins, Himself came into the world so that he could become the once for all sacrifice, taking sins away forever.

Jesse’s youngest son crushed a giant’s head with a slung stone. The One Who is both the Root and the Offspring of King David is also the bright morning Star. His royal birth was signified by a star standing over David’s home town, where the baby King of kings was held in His virgin mother’s arms (Revelation 22:16, Matthew 2:9). Hosanna to the Son of David Who crushed the head of a greater foe, even that ancient serpent. For He is also the Son of God Who appeared to destroy the works of the devil, 1 John 3:8.

The Good Shepherd of the 23rd Psalm and John 10 became the Lamb “standing as if slain” of Revelation 5. That Lamb, once dead but risen and alive forevermore, is also the door of the sheep who hear His voice, and the conquering Lion of the tribe of Judah (Revelation 5:5). Great indeed we confess in the mystery of godliness, 1 Timothy 3:16!

So on that silent night in the little town of Bethlehem, the joy to the world of which the herald angels sang was joy over the enfleshment of the eternal Son of God. This is the core message of God’s book of inexhaustible wisdom. That book, breathed out by Him Who is the eternal Spirit of the Father and of the Son (Galatians 4:6, 2 Timothy 3:16, 2 Peter 1:20,21) infallibly declares the Gospel which is the power of God unto salvation.

Little children, you who have been baptized according to Jesus’ command in the one Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves from the weak and beggarly idols of today!

They are no more able to save than were the dumb and deaf statues of ancient times, those wretched works of sinful hands and minds, Psalm 115:4-8. Flee the seductive siren song of polytheism, falsely promising that regardless of how we imagine deity in our own conceits…whether we call that invention Jack or Jill or Bess or Bill…we all have the same god.

Rubbish! Accept no substitutes! There is only one way, one truth, and one life. God discloses Himself, for none can search Him out. He tells us Who He is and what He has done. Jesus, Immanuel, is LORD! This is the true God and eternal life.

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Happy What-i-Days?

1. In President Abraham Lincoln’s A.D. 1863 Thanksgiving Proclamation he asked his fellow Americans to “…set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a Day of Thanksgiving and Prayer to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens.”

As of A.D. 2018, Thanksgiving Day is 156 years old and going strong. Thanks indeed be our beneficent Father in heaven. What a blessing to live in a constitutional republic that still has one day set apart for that high and holy purpose. No violation of the First Amendment’s non-establishment clause here!

2. Hanukkah (or Chanukah) is an eight day festival which originated in 165 B.C. at the time of the Maccabean revolt against the Seleucid Empire. Hanukkah commemorates the re-dedication of ancient Judaism’s temple in Jerusalem where the God of the Bible was worshiped in Old Testament times. According to the Gospel of John (10:22) this festival was observed by Jesus Christ.

3. Although we do not know the actual date of Jesus’ birth, the December 25 holiday called Christmas exists because of that birth. (The Santa Claus legend has its origins in the life of a fourth century leader in the Christian Church.) Moreover, the former Occupant of Bethlehem’s renowned manger is smack dab in the center of the whole world’s calendar.

4. Why? Because whether the years before His birth are designated B.C. or “B.C.E.” and the years after His birth called A.D. or “C.E.,” the fact remains that the years are counted backward and forward from the birth of Jesus. Every New Year’s Day is the first day of another year Anno Domini – of our Lord. So Jesus the unique One makes the years of antiquity “Before Common Era.” Jesus the peerless One makes the years since His birth “Common Era.”

Note, this is true even though calendar year A.D. 1 is actually a few years after Christ’s birth. The calendar used universally today is the Gregorian calendar, introduced by Pope Gregory in A.D. 1582. Just what is it about that Man from Galilee that the whole Earth is now reckoning time according to His birth?

Listing these four historical holiday tidbits was occasioned by another list. If was found on Facebook in a meme which included this text:

“I say happy holidays because I don’t always know if the person I am speaking to is Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Wiccan, Navajo, Pagan, Atheist, Pastafarian, Klingon, Jedi, or Scientologist, and I just want to say something nice.”

Let’s think about that. Think word origins…think of the two word term “holy day” changing over time into one word…letter Y becomes letter I, giving us holiday. So a holiday is a holy day, a day set apart for religious observation and/or celebration.

Now let’s think a little further about that list of religions from the meme in connection with what our society calls the holiday season. People of all beliefs agree that in early 21st century America, that season is roughly the time between Thanksgiving Day and New Year’s Day, as it has been for a long time. It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Go ahead, sing it.

Stick with me here. Hanukkah is primarily a Jewish holiday, and Christmas is primarily a Christian holiday. Virtually all Americans observe Thanksgiving Day and New Year’s Day, even if it is only a day off work for some.

But what holiday, widely recognized by society in general, is observed or celebrated as holy primarily by followers of other religions during the days beginning around late November and ending on January 1, when the expression “Happy Holidays” is used by many?

If the user of that expression is concerned about his or her lack of knowledge of others’ beliefs, how do they know they are not offending followers of those religions by saying “Happy Holidays” since those religions don’t have any holy days –any days set apart for a purpose pertaining to them – during that season?

And if they are consistent with what they believe, followers of the belief system which claims it is not a religion (a-Theism) have no holy days, no holidays, at all. Perhaps we should go with “Happy Nothing Day” every day of the year to make sure we don’t offend them. Hmm…come to think of it, what do a-Theists have to be happy about?

(Maybe their own birthdays? In other words, that day about nine months after some molecules which had turned into two cells which in turn had come together and grown into a non-viable lump of tissue which somehow became something called a baby which would grow up, die, and go back into the darkness of oblivion, birthday candles eternally extinguished. Oh the warm fuzziness of it all!)

Finally, the meme included Navajo in its list. Can a person not be a Buddhist Navajo or a Christian Navajo or a Muslim Navajo, etc? What’s wrong with that part of the picture? How offensive!

So putting this all together, if you say Happy Holidays between Thanksgiving and New Years Day in the good ol’ U.S.A., the John Q. or Jane X. Public whom you so greet will assume you refer to a holy day that our society recognizes (even if some do so begrudgingly or even if some don’t observe it religiously), and which exists in one way or another in honor of the God of the Bible.

So all you out there saluting us your neighbors with Happy Holidays, thanks! And Happy Thanksgiving, or Happy Hanukkah (starts December 2 in A.D. 2018), or Merry Christmas, or Happy New Year back to you!

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Old Earth Vs. Young Earth

Matt Walsh seeks to defend old earth creationism in his November 16, A.D. 2018 Soundcloud audio blog, Ep. 145 – Responding To Ken Ham’s Distortions And Misinformation *

As the title informs us, Walsh there delves into interaction between himself and Ken Ham of the organization Answers in Genesis, a well known advocate for young earth creationism. Although occasioned by listening to Walsh’s audio blog episode, this text blog episode will criticize old earth creationism in a more general way, using Walsh’s as a source of focal points.

Early on in his monologue, Walsh introduces a subject with which Christians of good will on all sides of the ongoing old earth/young earth discussion are familiar. That would be how to understand the duration of creation days one through three in light of (take the pun as you will) the creation of the sun on the fourth day, according to Genesis chapter one.

According to Walsh days of ordinary length exist solely because of the relationship of the sun and the earth. Therefore he claims that we cannot know what the nature or duration of a “day” would be, if that day occurred before the existence of the sun.

Hold that thought while we jump ahead in Walsh’s discourse to where he struggles with a theological difficulty, namely the divine toleration of death for eons before the Fall of man. He admits that he cannot conceive how God would allow “millions of years” of death, including extinction, to exist before Adam’s sin. (Apparently Walsh also embraces evolution.)

Walsh’s argument indicates that he considers plants as well animals to be capable of death. This young earth creationist as well as others do not regard plants, and possibly other organisms such as bacteria, as living beings in the way that humans and animals are. We classify plants as organic; capable of both growth and decay but not alive. We note that God gave vegetation to our first parents and to animals for food before the fall, but eating flesh was not divinely sanctioned for mankind until centuries later after the Noahic flood.

Upon its completion God pronounced His creation very good. So we infer that the first occurrence of death was when God Himself used the skins of animals to cover the nakedness of Adam and Eve, replacing the tawdry fig leaf gear they had cobbled together. Herein we have the Bible’s earliest foreshadowing of the necessity of the shedding of blood for the covering of sin and a graphic display of a foundational reality echoing throughout holy writ: donning garments weaved from foliage and all other man-made religion is useless superstition!

Let us get back to Walsh’s theological struggle. He wonders how the God of the Bible could permit millions of years of death, predation, and extinction in a universe into which sin had not yet entered. What is his resolution?

“Just because I can’t wrap my head around that doesn’t mean it isn’t true.”

What! Is that an appeal to our limited powers of conceptualization? OK, consider this. After God created the heavens and the formless earth, He called light into existence and divided it from the darkness, establishing day and night. What problem is there in believing that almighty God, the Creator of time itself, determined that a day would be a certain length before the sun existed?

Or why murmur if the record reveals that He later created the sun and the other luminaries to make them for signs and seasons, and for days and years…and to be for lights in the firmament to give light on the earth? Why stumble if Scripture states that He ordained the sun and moon to “rule over” an already existing period of time called day and night, evening and morning? Why doubt that the light spoken into existence on day one, whatever it might have been, was the sun’s predecessor?

In other words Mr. Walsh, you are correct. At present we can’t conceive how the cycle of evening and morning, the day of ordinary length (i.e. twenty-four hours; the hour is a man made unit of time) could obtain without the sun. But our inability does not require that the first three evenings and mornings were of a duration differing from all subsequent evening and mornings!

“Just because I can’t wrap my head around that doesn’t mean it isn’t true.”

Why, when we are dealing with that extraordinary, never to be repeated first week of the universe’s existence…why, when almighty power is working prodigiously, must the ordinary duration of the first three days be denied because an astronomical relationship did not exist until day four?

Why is it that scientifically minded, Bible believing Christians do not impugn the virgin birth which defies biological rationality? Answer: “Just because we can’t wrap our heads around that cornerstone Gospel truth doesn’t mean it isn’t true.”

Without providing textual warrant, Mr. Walsh also declares the teaching of Romans 5 to be that death came into the world only for human beings as the result of sin’s entry. To shoot down this canard we need but move ahead in this Holy Spirit inspired letter to chapter 8. There, Paul teaches that the whole creation was subjected to futility as a result of human sin. He writes that the creation is now in the bondage of corruption awaiting the revelation of the sons of God, when it will be delivered.

Thus the apostle gives us an enlarged, new covenant understanding of what was revealed with adumbration in the old covenant per Genesis 3: a curse on man and on woman, on that member of the animal kingdom behind which was our malevolent adversary, the father of lies for whom the lake of fire has been prepared, and on the ground itself, now doomed to bring forth not only fruit and crops but thorns and thistles.

But the divine second Adam has nullified all curses. At the consummation, every trace of the consequences of sin in the entire cosmos will have vanished. Bible believing Christians cherish the hope which comes from the declaration that He will make all things new. According to His promise, Bible believing Christians are looking for that new heavens and new earth in which righteousness dwells – when death, sorrow, and pain will be no more forever. Thanks be to God!

Yet in this present time both “old earthers” and “young earthers” face the grim reality of death, corruption, savagery, and diverse sorrows even in the lower creation. The old earther scratches his head and wonders why God permitted that state of affairs to go on for millions of years even before sin came into the world. The young earther is given the reason (so dreadful and sobering) why it has existed for a relatively short few thousand years. Which position has the greater theological difficulty?

Walsh places a great deal of emphasis on the authority of what in our age is virtually personified, set upon a pedestal, and named Science. He puts great trust in the sheepskin credentials of those professionally involved with it; persons revered essentially as priests by the masses of today’s secular western culture. Are they and Walsh exalting human wisdom above the authority of Scripture? Whose science is to be trusted, and by what standard do we measure its trustworthiness?

Consciously or not, scientists worthy of the vocation according to its original sense fallibly follow God’s infallible and orderly mind, displayed in His faithful, perpetual care for His entire creation (a.k.a. providence). They observe, hypothesize, and theorize. If they also are faithful and sincere, they ever aim at objectivity over funding, tenure, and recognition. Their work is ever subject to correction by more rigorous observations, more creative hypotheses, and superior theories.

At one point in his blog, Walsh alludes to Ham’s assertion that there are mountains of evidence for young earth creationism, but dismisses the assertion with “Where is that evidence?…let’s move on.” The evidence is there, and many credentialed, faithful, objective scientists worthy of the vocation have marshaled it.

The Achilles’ heel of old earth creationism is its lack of any positive exegetical footing. Where in Scripture do we go to find even a hint of these pre-Adamic millions of years? How does a Christian parent or a pastor or a teacher explain to one of Christ’s tender lambs that Genesis 1 is really not saying what it seems to be saying so clearly? What chapter and verse mentions or even alludes to the existence of “deep time?” Can old earth creationists who deny Darwinism do so consistently?

Can you hear the mantras? Science says…most scientists believe…studies have shown…all reputable experts agree…trust me, I’m wearing a lab coat with a pocket protector.

A verse in a non-metaphorical, plain narrative, genealogical passage (Genesis 5:5) tells us that Adam lived 930 years. Was the sixth creation day on which Adam was formed from the dust a day of ordinary length? If not, exactly when did Adam’s first year of a life lasting 339,450 days begin? When was the first 24 hour day? Why was the duration of the eighth day of the world dramatically briefer? Where does God tell us that He made that change in the duration of days? He was careful to tell us about one day in history that was not of ordinary length:

“And there has been no day like that, before it or after it, that the LORD heeded the voice of a man; for the LORD fought for Israel.” (Joshua 10:14)

Like others who have studied the word of God, Walsh correctly observes that the word day in Scripture does not always mean a twenty four hour period. In Genesis 1 itself the word refers both to the illuminated portion of a twenty four period, as well as to an entire twenty four hour period!

Context is king when it comes to rightly dividing the word of truth. And that brings us to a portion of Scripture written under the Spirit’s inspiration by the same human author (Moses) at the same time and to the same immediate audience, the Israelites who had made their exodus from Egypt.

The fourth commandment, recorded originally with finger of God and preserved for us at Exodus 20:11, appeals to the Genesis record to give it force with hearts that love His law. The Old Testament Hebrew word for day is transliterated YOM. The plural form of that word is transliterated YAMMIM, and that form is used in this verse where we read that in six days God created the world and all it contains. Again, context is king. Let the old earther search as he will, no context in all of the Old Testament can be found in which that plural form YAMMIM refers to anything but literal days of ordinary length. The gauntlet is thrown down…

But it is intended as a charitable gauntlet. Granted, true Christians can hold erroneous positions on creation and on other doctrines. Unless one who claims to be a Christian consciously and deliberately denies cardinal truths such as the deity of Christ, or the Trinity, or that justification before God is only by His grace in Christ, we dare not judge that person as outside the fellowship of the redeemed. We do maintain that they are in error. Why is that?

Many of those aforementioned tender lambs belonging to the Good Shepherd have been poorly taught! Let all under shepherds beware and consider the holy Bible’s diverse warnings to those responsible under Him for feeding His sheep!

Just as Christ’s kingdom inexorably advances despite setbacks and temporary defeats, so it is with the church’s growing body of theology. Her ecumenical confessions reflect an increase of depth, clarity, and purity from Nicea to Westminster et. al.

Although in ancient Christianity we might find an occasional speculation about instantaneous creation (i.e. that it took place in far less than six days of ordinary length!), the position articulated in the Westminster Confession (“in the space of six days”) has been normative from antiquity.

On the other hand, the old earth view is quite innovative within the church catholic. Again, the old earth position does not originate with exegesis, but appears to exist only to accommodate ideas derived from fallible human reasoning.

The Lord Jesus in His sermon on the mount (Matthew 5 – 7), affirming that He did not come to abolish the law, declared that whoever would break the least of God’s commandments would be called least in the kingdom of heaven. Surely then we rightly infer that teaching incorrectly about “the least of God’s doctrines” also would make one least in the kingdom of heaven. Are any of God’s commandments less than holy, righteous, and wise? Is any of God’s testimony about His creation trivial…secondary…of little importance? May it never be!

“I have more understanding than all my teachers, for Your testimonies are my meditation.” (Psalm 119:99)

“For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. … If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.” (1 Corinthians 3:11; 14,15)

* https://soundcloud.com/mattwalshshow/ep145

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An Unworthy Question

The question “does God exist?” is not worthy of God. We might say a bush exists. We might say a rock exists. Does the almighty, living, eternal Majesty merely occupy some obscure, distant place where our puny eyes don’t see Him? How foolish to play philosophical ping pong about Him, as though Job’s “Watcher of men” (Job 7:20) was not omnipresent and omniscient, kindly forbearing us in our frailty!

Even non-miraculous bushes burn with a perpetual declaration of the creative and sustaining wisdom of the God of Moses (cf. Exodus 3:2ff). Every rocky cliff declares His everlasting faithfulness, not just the one that gushed forth water when that prophet struck it with a rod, foreshadowing the water of life that would flow from Christ the Rock of ages (cf. Exodus 17:5,6; 1 Corinthians 10:4).

So why do some question God’s existence? Why are others, driven to at least acknowledge Him by the universal and pervasive witness of all creation, unable to connect with God? The problem is with human hearts and the sinful hatred of God that darkens them. “Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.” (Isaiah 59:1,2)

I would see, delight in, and treasure God so much were it not for the sin that clings so easily to me. What eternal thankfulness is due to Him Who has provided a way not only for forgiveness and reconciliation, but for us sinners to become His children! By nature, we are blind, spiritually dead, children of wrath, under His righteous judgment, oppressing the knowledge our Creator Whom we cannot ultimately escape in this earthly life nor in eternity.

But because of Jesus Who bore the penalty of His people’s guilt and gave them His perfect righteousness, we can now see the truth in newness of life as children of the heavenly Father knowing His unfailing love and joyfully growing in the knowledge of Him in Whose house we will dwell forever!

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Socialist Jeopardy

As usual, we begin with player introductions by the announcer:

“Today’s contestants are…Comrade Moe, a bureaucrat who knows nothing about medical practice but makes decisions about your health care! And Comrade Larry, an inventor hoping to find motivation to actually invent something! And our current champion, Comrade Curly, whose five day total winnings have been redistributed to the losing contestants of the last five games!”

And now…here is the hostess of Socialist Jeopardy…Alexandria Utopio-Marxist!” (There being no “commercials,” she immediately goes into her daily chat with the contes…er, participants.)

“Moe, what’s it like working at your clinic?”

“Well Alexandria, my first challenge every day is to get past the long line of patients waiting at the entrance. It can be difficult because the ones who have been waiting several days to fill out form HC 10001 often are curled up in fetal position, crying.” (Studio audience politely titters) “On a good day, I have so many papers to push around on my wobbly desk that I can dodge actually dealing with any people. Hey, I get my stipend no matter what.”

Moe grins. The gaps between his remaining teeth can be seen even though only about half of the light bulbs in the room are on. The audience which had been compelled to enter the studio is also cowed into suppressing its natural human reaction to thievery. Alexandria takes a few steps to her left.

“Larry, I see here that you abandoned your research project which held great promise for the use of recycled plastic, why?”

“Well Alexandria, I couldn’t get out of my mind what one of our previous Glorious Leaders said.”

“What’s that?”

“You didn’t build that!”

“Larry, you should be motivated to do it for the people!” (Audience claps vigorously as the announcer hoists the dog-eared APPLAUSE sign off stage.)

“Yes, of course, Comrade Utopio-Marxist!” (Thinking to himself, “They probably forced me to come here so they could denounce me as an enemy of the state. Moe and Curly might be informants!)

Alexandria addresses the third player.

“Curly, you seem gloomy for a reigning champion on Socialist Jeopardy! Why the grim look?”

“Well Alexandria, each day my take home…er, take commune percentage goes down because it is being shared equally with all the losing participants. Yes, I’ve won five games to date but will only take commune 20% of that, which will be taxed at 85% anyway since it exceeds the Income Equality Act maximum. If I win five more games, I will only take commune 10% of my total winnings, and I might have moved up into the next tax bracket.”

“So you should be happy, comrade! You are providing for the participants who were wrong on every response, or who never even bothered to ring in, knowing they would benefit from your laborious study of re-written history and other state approved subjects. Understand? Now get with our enlightened program! Go ahead and pick a category!”

“OK Alexandria. I’ll take ‘Evils of Free Market Capitalism‘ for $2.47″

Ding! Ding! Ding! “That’s a daily double, Curly, which means you can wager up to $6.99!”

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