Wishing you and your loved ones a joyful holiday season filled with peace and hope!
Santa’s Flight Declassified
For over 60 years, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), a binational defensive agency that monitors U.S.–Canadian aerospace for threats, has faithfully tracked the movements of Santa Claus as he travels on Christmas Eve to deliver presents to boys and girls across the world.
Our Breakthrough team had a terrific time at Turning Point USA’s AmericaFest last weekend. Native Illinoisan Charlie Kirk has truly built an amazing grassroots organization. Young – and older – Americans gathered to hear from top Conservatives and influencers. Steve Bannon hosted his show at the event, as did young podcaster (and ANOTHER ILLINOISAN), Tim Pool of Tim Pool's "Timcast"
Over the next couple of weeks, we will roll out our interviews on our website and Facebook page if you missed them Live. We spoke with a diverse group of people and tried to catch as many folks from Illinois as possible.
Here are some selected thoughts from others that I wanted to share:
Cultural Writer for Illinois Family Institute, Laurie Higgins, posted this beautiful image & article on her Facebook page.
By Wilfred M. McClay:
This year . . . “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” . . . has stuck in my brain, particularly these words, in the first verse: “To save us all from Satan’s power/ When we were gone astray.” We move through these sibilant words so quickly and rhythmically. I know I always have. And yet how plainly those few words sketch in a somber background, a whole universe of presuppositions without which the song has a very different, and diminished, meaning.
The merriness being urged upon the gentlemen (one should always remember that, in the lyrics, there is a comma between “merry” and “gentlemen”—they are not “merry gentlemen” being encouraged to “rest”) comes amid a great darkness, a darkness that never disappears, that beckons and threatens, a darkness whose presence is subtly conveyed by the minor key with which the song begins and ends. The black ship with black sails lingers on the far horizon, silent and waiting.
There are constant reminders of this darkness if one has ears to hear them, running through the great liturgy of our Christmas carols, with their memorable evocations of bleak midwinter, snow on snow, sad and lonely plains, the curse, the half-spent night. The spooky and antiseptically sterile depiction of winter in C. S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and its cinematic adaptations is, in that sense, very close to the spirit of the older carols, and to the biblical account of the matter—much closer than the hearty merriment of rosy-cheeked seasonal songs like “Sleigh Ride” or “Let It Snow, Let It, Snow, Let It Snow.”
The older lyrics are laced with just such evocations of darkness. They help us remember why it is symbolically right, even if historically wrong, to celebrate Christ’s birth in winter.
We are constantly reminded to “keep Christ in Christmas” and to remember “the reason for the season.” And of course, we should. But, if I may be permitted to put it this way, we must also keep Satan in Christmas, and not skip too lightly over the lyrics that mention him.
For he and the forces, he embodies are an integral part of the story. It utterly transforms the way we understand Christmas, and our world, when we also hold in our minds a keen awareness of the darkness into which Christ came, and still must come, for our sake.
Later in “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” the visiting angel tells the shepherds in the field that Christ has come “To free all those who trust in him/ From Satan’s power and might.” Being subject to that “power and might” is, as we are likely to put it these days, the default setting of our human existence. But the Christmas story plays havoc with all such defaults.
It reveals the putatively normal and settled features of our world to be something very different: the ruins and aftereffects of a great and ancient calamity, the tokens of a disordered order. It lifts the veil of illusion about who we are and what we were made to be. This means that the “comfort and joy” of which the song speaks are not merely outbursts of seasonal jollity.
They bespeak the ecstatic gratitude of captives and cripples who recognize that, in and through Christ, the entire cosmos has been transformed, and their lives have been made new. Nothing can ever be the same again.
The darkness does not go away. Not now, not yet. But the light that shines into it can make even the bleakest midwinter into a landscape glistening with promise. So may it be for each of us, this and every Christmas.
From Illinoisan Julie Kelly Traitors › American Greatness (amgreatness.com). (Picture below part of CNN article - Ukraine Bakhmut: Volodymyr Zelensky thrusts frontline city onto the world stage in US visit | CNN
Congressional Republicans think lining Zelenskyy’s army-green pockets with more U.S. tax dollars is a greater need than tackling any number of ongoing crises roiling the country right now.
By Julie Kelly
December 23, 2022
A picture, they say, is worth a thousand words. But there are only a few profane words to describe the obscene scene as the two women closest in line for the presidency hoisted the Ukrainian flag from the dias of the House of Representatives while swooning over Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy as Congress cheered on December 21. (This appears to be the first time in history that the flag of another nation essentially flew inside the U.S. Capitol building.)
“They asked me to bring this flag to you, to the U.S. Congress, to members of the House of Representatives and senators whose decisions can save millions of people,” Zelenskyy said before handing the flag to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Kamala Harris. “This flag is a symbol of our victory in this war.”
But even more, telling—sicken