May 8, 2023

Posted by orrinj at 5:42 PM


DOJ charges 'Pink Beret' Jan. 6 rioter IDed after an ex spotted her in a viral FBI tweet (Ryan J. Reilly, 5/08/23, NBC News)

A woman who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 while wearing a pink beret and was recently identified to the FBI by an ex-romantic partner was charged with four federal counts on Monday.

As NBC News first reported, Jennifer Inzunza Vargas Geller of California was identified by an ex and reported to the FBI after she was featured in a viral tweet from the bureau last month. She now faces four misdemeanor counts: entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds; disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building; disorderly conduct in the Capitol grounds or buildings; and unlawfully parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building. She was not in custody on Monday, a law enforcement source said, but there's now a warrant out for her arrest. [...]

[L]ast weekend, a clothing designer Vargas Geller used to date was standing in the checkout line at a Joann Fabric and Crafts store when his buddy showed him a funny tweet from the FBI's Washington Field Office on his phone.

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


On Tucker Carlson and the Fear of Being Replaced (RUSSELL MOORE, MAY 4, 2023, Christianity Today)

Every blood-and-soil form of fear-based identity politics thrives on defining us in terms of visceral categories like race, tribe, or nationality. This assumes a blatantly social Darwinian view of what human communities are or can be.

The problem for Christians is that the gospel contradicts this ideology at its very root.

If "Christianity" for you is white and American, then it is not only out of step with the Bible; it is also precisely the kind of religion that almost every chapter of the New Testament explicitly repudiates as carnal and pagan.

The gospel situates us in a whole new story--one based on the promise God made to Abraham (Rom. 4; Gal. 3:1-9). If the church is just another way for humans to protect their gene pools, then Jesus was a fraud from his first sermon onward (Luke 4:25-27). If the blood-and-soil nationalists are correct about what defines success, then the crowds were right to call out for a leader like Barabbas instead of Jesus (John 18:40).

But Jesus and his apostles gave us an entirely different vision of how we and us are ultimately defined. The apostle Paul is in sync with the rest of the New Testament canon when he reveals that "here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all" (Col. 3:11).

Once we lose that biblical sense of "we-ness" overall, any threat to the places where we do catch rare glimpses of it is considered an ultimate threat--capable of destroying "us" completely. If we have misplaced hopes, we will have misplaced fears. When we seek the wrong kingdom, we will fear the wrong apocalypse.

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


Can a State Flag Be Too 'Woke'? Some Utahns Say So (Natalie Andrews, May 6, 2023, WSJ)

"I was hoping this would be a thing that brings people together," said Gov. Spencer Cox, who signed the March flag bill. "I should have known better."

The path to a new Utah state flag involved years of effort in the legislature, including sorting through thousands of ideas. Many agreed it was important the design continue to feature a beehive, honoring the pioneers who arrived in the Salt Lake Valley on July 24, 1847, a date that is celebrated more than statehood.

"I did lay down the law on the beehive," the governor said. He threatened to veto any design that didn't have one.

The new flag's beehive sits inside a hexagon and has five stylized peaks above it, symbolizing Utah's mountain ranges, plus a swath of red below, a nod to Utah's red-rock canyons to the south. Designers made an amalgam of submissions from 72 people, each of whom was awarded a $100 gift certificate as a winner.

The governor said he recognized the need for a new flag when he attended the National Finals Rodeo, an event at which flags from many states were paraded. He looked for Utah's but found that it blended in with roughly two dozen others that also featured a state seal.

"We jokingly call those SOB flags--that's a seal on a bedsheet," said Ted Kaye, a vexillologist--flag scholar--and the compiler of a design booklet called "Good Flag, Bad Flag."

The old Utah flag--which was tweaked 12 years ago to fix a mistake that left the year 1847 in the wrong spot--wasn't simple or distinctive and it and didn't look good from a distance, said Mr. Kaye. He worked with state officials on the new one.

Critics unfurled a slew of complaints. Some accused the governor and state legislators of trying to cancel history.