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Messages - Charles Austin

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Your Turn / Re: Recent Surpreme Court Decision Concerning Churches
« on: Yesterday at 10:01:26 PM »
You donít think his ďgreat lieĒ tactics of the past three weeks are damaging to our democracy. His actual efforts to get Republican leaders in the states to nullify the voting if it is against him?

Your Turn / Re: Recent Surpreme Court Decision Concerning Churches
« on: Yesterday at 09:48:21 PM »
Pastor Fienen, please pay attention. Iím not talking about a burden upon us, obviously the restrictions are a painful burden upon us. I am pointing out that in the minds of the ones at the top of our authority chain and making decisions, the burden on the economy is a gazillion times greater and more important to them than any burden upon you and I and our little churches. In the name of Aunt Gertieís Goat, if he thought putting restrictions on the churches would help the economy, he wouldnít hesitate for a second to do that.
At that point it is good that he does not have the authority to order things nationally. We are much better off with the governors who understand the situation in our states, except of course, for those who are made members of the Trump cult.

Your Turn / Re: Recent Surpreme Court Decision Concerning Churches
« on: Yesterday at 06:36:00 PM »
The issue is the kind of restrictions that have been applied and to what ultimate end. That is definitely about him.

Your Turn / Re: Recent Surpreme Court Decision Concerning Churches
« on: Yesterday at 05:53:49 PM »
Yeah. I thought so.

Your Turn / Re: Recent Surpreme Court Decision Concerning Churches
« on: Yesterday at 05:28:06 PM »
J. Thomas Shelley writes:
I distinctly recall the late March press conference when the occupant of the oval office expressed a hope that this nation could be reopened in time for Western Easter.

I comment:
And you weren't surprised that he knew when Easter was, and - if he actually referred to Western Easter - that he knew there could be a difference between Western and Eastern celebrations?
I think he was actually referring to the Easter shopping season, maybe the traveling that would bring paying customers to his resorts.

Your Turn / Re: Recent Surpreme Court Decision Concerning Churches
« on: Yesterday at 04:24:26 PM »
Spiritual burdens donít matter to those currently calling the shots from the oval office.

Your Turn / Re: Recent Surpreme Court Decision Concerning Churches
« on: Yesterday at 04:20:10 PM »
Burdensome to whom? It is an interesting angle. When restaurants, bars, movie palaces, theaters, sports arenas, and shopping malls shut down, it is most burdensome to the economy and to the tens of thousands of people who work in those places. Those who make regulations and decisions have to have this in mind as they decide what should be done.
On the other hand, if churches must restrict the numbers of people attending their services for a period of time, who is burdened?
The guy defended by so many people here keeps stressing ď the economy, the economy, the economyĒ and says ďwe got to get things opened up.Ē And in his mind and the mind of the people around him doing his bidding, churches donít do a darn thing for the economy.
I wonder how the fact that he has played golf on 20% of the days he has been in office helped the economy.
Forbes magazine has estimated that the presidents golfing trips cost the taxpayer $142 million.

Your Turn / Re: Coronavirus news
« on: Yesterday at 04:13:25 PM »
Letís watch the statistics about attitudes towards vaccinations carefully. Iím not sure what we think we know now is accurate.
And I think we need to know what the attitudes about vaccination are towards this particular situation, before we understand what is likely to happen. Furthermore, if our marketing geniuses can get us to buy some of the crap that we buy by the tens of thousands, spending millions of dollars, surely they can encourage us to take a free shot which is likely to save our lives and the lives of our neighbors.
As for the attitudes towards something that the man in the White House is promoting, I donít think that matters. Iím not listening  to him about the vaccine. He would hardly  be my final authority on the vaccine.
I will listen to the scientists, the epidemiologists, and people whom I know are knowledgeable about the field and people whom I can can respect.
If they tell  me the vaccination is safe enough to take (which does not mean it is 190% safe, because nothing is) I will lineup for the shots.
I wouldnít take advice on buying socks from anyone who spouts the lies that the sad man in the White House has been saying these past three weeks.
And BTW, if he says he needs some credit for the vaccine, I might go so far as to figuratively pat him on his little hand, smile insincerely  and say ďyes, Donnie, you did it. Good boy. Now pick up your toys and leave.Ē

Your Turn / Re: Recent Surpreme Court Decision Concerning Churches
« on: November 29, 2020, 11:19:30 PM »
I guess Iím not trying to convince anybody of anything here, because that would be impossible.
Believe what you choose to believe. Take what precautions you think are necessary. Take no precautions if you donít think any are necessary.
Because the most important thing in all of life at this time is having our churches ďopen,Ē not public health, not risking the health of our neighbors, not even the potential death of our neighbors, but the most important thing is having our churches ďopen.ď
Because to accept enforced restrictions would mean completely forever and ever giving up ďreligious freedom.ď
Because it would be impossible to practice our faith without having our churches wide open.
Because how could our people possibly maintain their faith if we clergy were not standing in front of them in person every Sunday telling them what to do.
Because our churches do not seem to be super-spreaders; weíre only mini-spreaders, possibly only affecting two, maybe three people; not a big deal.
We cannot let the Godless institutions of our secular society tell us what to do. Thatís what our faith requires and our freedom is all about, right?
I am now in favor of everyone doing whatever they want to do.

P.S to Peter:
Itís not about contagion; itís about food safety, not contaminating food by improper handling or unclean facilities and causing foodborne illness. Providing food for 20, 30, 50, or 100 people is quite different from cooking for your own family.
I repeat what I just said. I am now in favor of everyone doing whatever they want to do.

P.S. to J.Thomas Shelley
There are safe ways to distribute holy communion. We are not happy with some of them, and we donít want to take the trouble to do some of them.

Your Turn / Re: Recent Surpreme Court Decision Concerning Churches
« on: November 29, 2020, 08:46:11 PM »
Pastor Peters writes:
For some reason, sometimes even from those within the Church, there is a presumption that Wal-Mart knows how to keep us safer than the Church.  Why does that false assumption still persist?

I comment:
Maybe because Wal-Mart, with hundreds of stores, millions of workers and customers and vulnerable to beaucoup lawsuits if they screw it up, have spent a good bit of money making sure that their workers and customers are safe.
Meanwhile, our little (or big) churches haven't had to worry about anything safety-wise except fire codes(which we do reluctantly because those red "Exit" signs clutter the piety of the sanctuary), and are known for violating safe food-handling rules at pot-lucks, Easter Breakfasts and fund-raising spaghetti suppers.
Safe in a place? I'll take Wal-Mart over a church any day.
P.S. My family ran a restaurant and my father wouldn't help with meals at church because he contended the kitchen and serving area could not be made safe and the church ladies serving were careless in handling food. And this was decades ago.

Your Turn / Re: Recent Surpreme Court Decision Concerning Churches
« on: November 29, 2020, 05:50:55 PM »

That story reports on testing in protest sites. It has this paragraph:
The results are "very encouraging," the health official told ABC News. The official attributed the low infection rate to "the fact that many or most protesters were wearing masks, the events were outside, people were often able to maintain a 6-foot distance, and any exposures were of relatively shorter duration, not several hours to the same people in the same place."

Conclusion: The protests were not necessarily spreader events. They were different in style from certain political rallies, which kept people close together in one place for a long time, usually unprotected.

Your Turn / Re: Recent Surpreme Court Decision Concerning Churches
« on: November 29, 2020, 01:40:35 PM »
Great words from Pope Francis!
One of my favorite sentences:
"Looking to the common good is much more than the sum of what is good for individuals. It means having a regard for all citizens and seeking to respond effectively to the needs of the least fortunate."
And this one:
"The pandemic has exposed the paradox that while we are more connected, we are also more divided. Feverish consumerism breaks the bonds of belonging. It causes us to focus on our self-preservation and makes us anxious. Our fears are exacerbated and exploited by a certain kind of populist politics that seeks power over society."
And this one:
"Look at us now: We put on face masks to protect ourselves and others from a virus we canít see. But what about all those other unseen viruses we need to protect ourselves from? How will we deal with the hidden pandemics of this world, the pandemics of hunger and violence and climate change?"

Your Turn / Re: Recent Surpreme Court Decision Concerning Churches
« on: November 29, 2020, 10:57:18 AM »
Rev. Gemin writes:
I just donít think many political leaders, their advisors, think about religion and worship in the way that we do simply because itís not part of their way of life; itís not in their framework.
I comment:
Why do you say this and how do you know it? Biden goes to church almost every week. There has been much news over the years about prayer groups (even some "secret" and cabalistic ones) and church attendance in Washington. I'd need some real data to say that politically leadership on a wholesale basis, is not involved in church or religious faith. 
The much bigger danger, in my not so humble opinion, is that political leaders who are not religious in any way will pretend to be on special occasions or to satisfy what they see as a segment of their support. Then they will refer to the Bible (usually incorrectly) or make a show of attending church or slather some praise on a cadre of religious leaders not because of their faith or for serious support of those religious leaders but because of their need for votes. Now you might ask: Who would do a thing like that? There are answers to that question.

Your Turn / Re: Recent Surpreme Court Decision Concerning Churches
« on: November 29, 2020, 09:21:21 AM »
ď I believe one of the elders is a dentist ... and as such he insures that the sanctuary is a virus free as your dentist office.Ē
I muse:
So absolutely everyone is masked? Like the receptionist in my dentist office, with a an operating-room quality mask? Then, everyone who comes within any distance of you is wearing surgical garb, a mask, face shield and surgical gloves? Everything you touch, door knobs, pews, hymnals, bulletins, communion glasses, is sanitized just before you may need to touch it? And every person in the office, who comes into the waiting room, even to deliver a package, has their temperature checked and is expected to wear a mask and gloves if they are touching anything?
Maybe this congregation has taken some precautions. But it is in no way as virus free as my dentist office where I was this past week.

Your Turn / Re: Recent Surpreme Court Decision Concerning Churches
« on: November 28, 2020, 10:37:50 PM »
There are risks everywhere, Pastor Weedon. Where I live, Beloved Spouse and I might be trampled by a moose as we walk through a park. But that risk is very small.
I'm talking about the additional "church" risks of closed spaces, imperfect spacing, singing and breathing close together, inadequate ventilation and in attendance for an hour or more.
That's different from going in and out of a store in a few minutes, or moving around the supermarket for an hour, or getting donuts at the Kwik-Stop gas station. The risks there are few.
So, yes, churches are usually a worse risk than other places people go. Sporting events are big risks also, as are movies, indoor concerts, choir rehearsals, and big sale stampeders on Black Friday.
BTW in one of those humorously perverse findings, it was determined that street protests in Minneapolis were not big spreaders-of-disease because of movement, shorter contact between people, outdoor air, and some (even if minimal) attention to distancing and masking.
P.S. An anonymous one here, via unwanted private message, says he/she/they do not believe this. Look it up. Itís true. And please stop the behind the scenes trolling.

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