Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.


Messages - John_Hannah

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 335
1
Your Turn / Re: Recent Surpreme Court Decision Concerning Churches
« on: November 29, 2020, 02:37:18 PM »
It is at least nearly unanimous among public heath professionals that masks, distancing, and vaccinations protect us all. Very few medical doctors dispute that. I don't know why anyone would want to resist that based upon libertarian ideals and fear of government intrusion. It seems that the same argument is made by those who are pro-choice on abortion. It is not good and not prudent.

Peace, JOHN

2
Your Turn / Re: Recent Surpreme Court Decision Concerning Churches
« on: November 29, 2020, 01:20:42 PM »
Pertinent thoughts from Pope Francis, in an op ed piece for the NYT:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nytimes.com/2020/11/26/opinion/pope-francis-covid.amp.html

Authentic! He is an authentic pastor indeed. Just think. What if he had been the pope when Luther came along?   ;D

Peace, JOHN

3
Your Turn / Re: Recent Surpreme Court Decision Concerning Churches
« on: November 28, 2020, 04:23:00 PM »
Richard,

I may be wrong in this, but it seems to me it comes down to this: please let the adults and responsible family members make their own decisions and stop imposing your decisions upon them. If they believe it is important to be willing to risk this for that, let them risk it. Don’t tell them: “No, it is not.” I think it is as simple as that.

WILL,

The problem with this virus is that the danger applies not only to the one making the decision whether or not to wear one but also to those he meets.

Not all those advocating masks and distancing are communists.    :)

Peace, JOHN

4
Your Turn / Re: Recent Surpreme Court Decision Concerning Churches
« on: November 28, 2020, 03:41:06 PM »
I find myself quite conflicted about the Supreme Court ruling. On the one hand, I believe that the free exercise of religion is one of the bedrocks of our nation, and from one point of view, a ruling that affirms this as an absolute right is good and salutary. On the other hand, in a public health crisis it seems there are reasonable restrictions that might be made that in some way inhibit what a church would ordinarily do. This is nothing new; a while back our congregational historian wrote about an incident in 1918 when the rector of our church was arrested because he had failed to follow the flu pandemic restrictions for a funeral he conducted.

So the nub of the issue seems to be what is "reasonable" for safety. I think the complaints about "why is an acupuncture office essential but a church isn't" is really a red herring, and it is unfortunate that the pandemic experts chose the word "essential" (just as many of us wish they hand't used "social distancing"). The real issue is whether churches are being treated differently from "comparable businesses." Not many businesses are really comparable to churches. In an acupuncture office, for instance (just because I'm familiar with this option), you don't have large groups of people sitting in an enclosed space for long periods of time. Same with a retail store. The simple fact is that a church service, as "essential" as we think it is, has many risk factors that most other businesses don't have.

The closest parallel I can think of is a venue like a movie theater. And actually, just looking at California restrictions, the provisions for churches and movie theaters are pretty much the same for the "--outdoor only, with modifications (like masks and spacing). Live theater is completely closed, interestingly--so more restrictive than worship.

I have little patience for the hysteria of people who are trying to claim that "politicians" (especially, of course, Democrats) are trying to "persecute" churches by restrictions that are more onerous than tattoo parlors or liquor stores. Apples and oranges in terms of risk. The "politicians" are listening to the public health people. Do they get it right all the time? No; who does? But crying "anti-Christian persecution" doesn't really help any of us as we navigate an unprecedented situation.

I do tend to agree, though, with those who criticize the "one size fits all" regulations. A building that seats 100 is not comparable to a building that seats 1000, and a rule that says "25% or 25 people, whichever is smaller" is really not well considered.

As an aside, when we were worshiping in person in our fellowship hall, the rule was 25% and then it was 40% for a while when we were in the orange tier. The fellowship hall was built in the 1940s, and there had never been a reason for the public safety people to set an occupancy limit (which happens with any new construction, but usually not otherwise, at least here). So we just ballparked it. When the limit was raised to 40%, we decided that we really couldn't go that high and still be safe, given the configuration of the room. So we basically said, "OK, 25%, but if a few extra people show up, we'll make it work." And an attitude like that is precisely the kind of problem the public health people are dealing with: give some leeway, and somebody will take advantage of it--not maliciously, but just in trying to do what's right but without thoroughly thinking through the implications. (Fortunately, only one Sunday during the four months of in-person did we come anywhere near a problematic number of attendees. The rector that Sunday said "Maybe we need to go to two services"; I said "Let's wait a couple of weeks; I suspect this was a one time issue" which turned out to be right.)

Very well stated, as usual for you. It is not simple. Nor are we being persecuted. Ask my congregation's Coptic tenants. They have not been allowed back because we cannot conduct the cleaning necessary between services. They do know what real persecution is, only too well.     :)

Peace, JOHN

5
Your Turn / Re: Lutheran ethnic origins
« on: November 26, 2020, 01:17:00 PM »
Professor Edmund Smits at Luther Seminary belonged to a Latvian congregation in Minneapolis.

There is a Slovak Synod in the ELCA, if I am not mistaken.

Peace,
Michael

There is. And there is a Slovak District in the LCMS as well. A bit of humor there. The District is officially the SELC. Slovak Evangelical Lutheran Church! I suppose it was "just in case the union did not work out."   ;D

Peace, JOHN

Actually, the SELC changed its name in 1959 to the "Synod of Evangelical Lutheran Churches."  The acronym remained the same.

Got it. Thanks.

Peace, JOHN

6
Your Turn / Re: Lutheran ethnic origins
« on: November 26, 2020, 12:33:14 PM »
Professor Edmund Smits at Luther Seminary belonged to a Latvian congregation in Minneapolis.

There is a Slovak Synod in the ELCA, if I am not mistaken.

Peace,
Michael

There is. And there is a Slovak District in the LCMS as well. A bit of humor there. The District is officially the SELC. Slovak Evangelical Lutheran Church! I suppose it was "just in case the union did not work out."   ;D

Peace, JOHN

7
Your Turn / Re: Coronavirus news
« on: November 24, 2020, 02:29:10 PM »
What I'm curious about--and I'm not sure any of you really know, but maybe--is who determines what vaccines get distributed to whom or where?

The Texas state health department has already published its priorities:
  • Healthcare personnel likely to be exposed to or treat people with COVID-19.
  • People at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19, including those with underlying medical conditions and people 65 years of age and older (Residents of long term care facilities are first on this list.)
  • Other vulnerable, frontline workers

You have misread my question. Which of the three (or is it four now?) vaccines get given to whom, or distributed to where? I'm not asking what people get it first, I'm asking what vaccine they get.

Yeah, I was wondering about that also. Will I have a choice as to which "brand" I prefer?    :)

Peace, JOHN

8
Your Turn / Re: Official antisemitism label
« on: November 24, 2020, 11:03:46 AM »

Where is your tolerance for opinions other than your own?


A really pertinent question, indeed.

9
Your Turn / Re: Coronavirus news
« on: November 23, 2020, 08:50:22 PM »
I think it works this way.
Medical workers are to get it first, and those working directly with the sick.
Then the elderly and those with greater risk of serious and potentially fatal infection.
Supposedly there are plans in hand for massive distribution headed by an army General skilled in logistics. This is good. When the army is not being asked to kill people and blow things up, they are really good at getting things done and moving stuff around.

 ;D  That's for sure. They really are.

Peace, JOHN

Now, after my initial response, I read responses to Charles. I am career Army and am not at all offended by what he said. Time to chill out on jumping on Charles. His point is very true. The Army does an excellent job in logistics. We invented logistics. Yes, we kill and blow things up when ordered by proper civilian authority for the sake of national security. Our democratic, constitutional order allows dissent about particular efforts and we kill and blow things up in defense of that freedom. Come on! Go American! We are free!

End of my patriotic homily for this Thanksgiving season.

Peace, JOHN

10
Your Turn / Re: Coronavirus news
« on: November 23, 2020, 08:39:20 PM »
I think it works this way.
Medical workers are to get it first, and those working directly with the sick.
Then the elderly and those with greater risk of serious and potentially fatal infection.
Supposedly there are plans in hand for massive distribution headed by an army General skilled in logistics. This is good. When the army is not being asked to kill people and blow things up, they are really good at getting things done and moving stuff around.

 ;D  That's for sure. They really are.

Peace, JOHN

11
Your Turn / Re: Coronavirus news
« on: November 19, 2020, 11:29:00 AM »
As an independent voter I will observe that political issues must be very hard to find if it comes down to being anti-mask.    ;D

Peace, JOHN

12
Your Turn / Re: Now that the 2020 Election is over....
« on: November 18, 2020, 10:03:44 AM »
From Rev Engebretson’s post above, it appears that there is concern that the the ‘unity’ and ‘working together’ that the possible Biden administration folks speak of is a lock step my way or the high way dictatorship that will result in continued gridlock.

May God preserved us from this foolishness.

So, you think there will be a "Biden administration" from which we need to be preserved?    :)

Peace, JOHN

13
Your Turn / Re: Now that the 2020 Election is over....
« on: November 14, 2020, 02:12:25 PM »
I will presume that any evidence of fraud will be brought to the appropriate state court of law and argued vigorously by the enthusiastic GOP lawyers. Until proven in court I will presume innocence. That's the American way. Is it not?

Peace, JOHN

14
Your Turn / Re: Now that the 2020 Election is over....
« on: November 13, 2020, 04:25:21 PM »
One reason many conservatives are inclined to suspect something amiss in the election is that virtually every indicator, including the way things looked on election night, showed Trump would win. This is not to say he must have won, but only that if he didn't, a lot of very, very strange things would have had to have happened.

To give just one example out of many, there are 19 bellwether counties in the U.S. that have voted with the winner in every election since 1980. 18 of those 19 favored Trump in this election. Possible that he lost anyway? Of course. But definitely weird if he did. His favorability rating on election day, the percentage of people who say they are better than they were four years ago, economic indicators-- a lot of things with long, proven track records of picking the winner seemed to indicate that what was happening mid evening on election day-- Trump repeating his 2016 showing and perhaps improving on it slightly-- is what we should have expected to have been happening. Then everything stopped, and Wednesday morning whole lot had changed. Again, it could all be on the up and up. But it doesn't have that vibe.

The answer is absentee ballots in states where they are not allowed to count ahead of time. Florida and Ohio are examples of states that do allow advance counting. It would be good if all states changed to that before next time.

Nothing untoward has been uncovered thus far and that's likely not for neglect or unwillingness to investigate, especially in red states. All states have required procedures to audit the count before certification so it's possible something strange will turn up. Still there's the administration's Homeland Security asserting that it was the most secure election ever.    :)

Peace, JOHN

15
Your Turn / Re: Now that the 2020 Election is over....
« on: November 13, 2020, 11:50:24 AM »
Time to stop the frivolous recount demands and lawsuits surrounding the election?
Note that in 2016, there were recount attempts in WI, NV, PA, MI, and maybe other states.  There were election lawsuits in OH, AZ, NV, NC, PA, NY, and maybe other states.  Demands and lawsuits came from both Democratic and Republican parties as well as Clinton and Trump campaigns.  Somebody named Jill pushed as hard as anyone for changing outcomes, particulalry in WI.

Whining now about such demands by one candidate or party or another but having praised them another time is simply partisan positioning.  Let the system work. 

This is part of the process, unseemly as it will always seem to those on the other side of recount and lawsuit demands.  How can it be solved?  Proceed with recounts where state law requires or allows them when there is less than x votes between candidates.  Let the courts decide the merits of lawsuits.  Actually learn from an election where some jurisdictions seem to have a radically harder time allowing votes or counting votes to occur versus others that have fairly clean sailing.

Don't accept "no need to change" just because your candidate won. 
Work to make the process even better for the next time.

Yes, there have often been recounts, audits, suit, the longish legal process toward final Congressional recognition, etc. Yet there has never been a Republican candidate who refused to concede shortly after the call by the AP. Embarrassed Republican officials are now beginning to disassociate themselves from the refusal to recognize Biden.

It is somewhat inconsequential. Except Biden should be given the daily classified briefing now.

Peace, JOHN

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 335