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 ... 363
1
Your Turn / Re: Coronavirus news
« on: Today at 09:29:59 AM »
This quote encapsulates so much of what is wrong with our discourse. The idea that pointing out that Fauci lied about his research is taking an anti-science stand is absurd.

"But if they get up and really aim their bullets at Tony Fauci, well people can recognize that there’s a person there, so it’s easy to criticize, but they’re really criticizing science because I represent science." Anthony Fauci

When people talk about losing faith in experts, about elitism run amok, and about a political bias in the "deep state" of unelected officials, this is the sort of thing they're talking about. Sen. Paul is a doctor. He isn't anti-science. He is anti-lying to Congress.   

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/rand-paul-blasts-fauci-astounding-alarming-represent-science

How many in the medical communities agree with Senator Paul (& Admiral Jackson)? It's likely a tiny number.

Peace, JOHN

2
Your Turn / Re: Fear Is Deadlier Than Viruses
« on: November 27, 2021, 07:59:30 PM »
I am going to take a step back as say… I agree with David Garner on the importance of persuasion. If you look at my comments from beginning to end, I started with a position that I think is fundamentally conservative… do one's duty, take responsibility for the good of the community. This is an old Yankee mindset (though not limited to natives of New England) that encourages an active citizenry taking an active role in the shaping the community. It is an appeal to patriotism, civic virtue, and old fashioned values.

I grew up in a place where major decisions were made communally in "town meetings," and it is in my bones. For that kind of society, you need a certain amount of seriousness among the populace, a strong community spirit and (unfortunately) a far amount of peer pressure. Not to sound nostalgic, but I actually think a system where you socially chide your able-bodied neighbor for not keeping up their lawn (and show up to do the lawn work, without expectation of payment, of the widow next door) rather than a world with endless rules (HOAs) and ordinances. From the get-go, I was accused of the exact opposite… which I take responsibility for, since I obviously could have been clearer in my musings.

Of course: when community spirit breaks down and division sets in and appeals to virtue are not working… then you get ordinances and laws and more sticks than carrots from the government. I actually hate this… even if I (and I assume, when it comes down to it, all of us) agree that it is necessary… we just tend to disagree… vehemently… WHEN it is necessary.

And we disagree on whether it is necessary in this instance. I see Biden as moving towards mandates reluctantly, because vaccine uptake had stalled, and, after a ton of energy was put into persuasion… even to the point of outright bribery…. for the good of the country, we needed to raise the vaccination rates in the short term. Before winter. Before another massive wave of infection. Before our already strained health care systems had to absorb another massive blow.

I reject the idea that all of this boils down to individualism… every individual's choice in the pandemic… to mask, or not to mask, to vaccinate, or not to vaccinate… has ramifications for others. That is not an obsession with power and control on my part (I don't seek to micromanage anyone's life… I can barely manage my own). It is just reality. When the ICU's get filled with unvaccinated patients, other people's surgeries get postponed or canceled. I have seen that happen in my family and in my community. It isn't the case that the unvaccinated solely bear the consequences of their decisions… others are also impacted.

So what I have attempted here… and likely failed… but alas… intentions matter… is call for greater responsibility. Greater civic pride, duty, obligation. Not because of laws… laws are there for when virtue has failed… but because we understand that we are part of our neighborhoods and our towns and our cities and our states and our country. David Garner might detect in here some lingering whiff of totalitarianism… but really, I do not think it is there. It's merely a call to consider responsibilities in addition to rights… not just what are my own individual freedoms, but also what moral (not legal) obligations do I have to others?

I would argue getting vaccinated is in 98% of the cases a responsible act, a mark of good citizenry, and a sign of neighbor love. I freely concede that in a minority of cases, this would not be so, so judgement should be withheld and compassionate responses created.

And I also decry: maybe too stridently… the reality that we face a challenge of a society lacking in virtue… in a political arms race with one side pitted against another… so that immaturity reigns. That is how we get appeals to religious exemptions from one corner… not always sincere… and attempts to remove religious exemptions from mandates from others (e.g. Maine's healthcare worker mandate). It is a zero sum game of power and control. Who is calling for greater responsibility right now?

Tom Nichols, Kevin Williamson, David Brooks… all have made versions of this argument better than I have here. But it is a problem. A big one, if we are going to endure as a free society. A republic needs more than a republican constitution and republican laws… it needs republican values. The same goes for a democracy.

As others have observed, politics are downstream from culture… and the politics of vaccine mandates in 2021 point to a sick culture.

Thank you, Dana. Your explanation is an excellent example of serious and reasoned argument. I hope others will consider it carefully.

Peace, JOHN

Speaking of serious and reasoned argument/dialog, yesterday a replay of an interview from last year was shown as the Firing Line episode with Margaret Hoover.  It features Cornell West and Robert George, from two very different positions on issues demonstrating mutual respect and, yes, love for one another.  Both are Christians.  Exemplary:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YfKMJ99CLTM.  Worth a watch.

Dave Benke

I just finished watching it again (NJ-PBS). Indeed! Their example could be ours here on the ALPB FORUM.

Peace, JOHN

3
Your Turn / Re: Fear Is Deadlier Than Viruses
« on: November 27, 2021, 04:32:50 PM »
I am going to take a step back as say… I agree with David Garner on the importance of persuasion. If you look at my comments from beginning to end, I started with a position that I think is fundamentally conservative… do one's duty, take responsibility for the good of the community. This is an old Yankee mindset (though not limited to natives of New England) that encourages an active citizenry taking an active role in the shaping the community. It is an appeal to patriotism, civic virtue, and old fashioned values.

I grew up in a place where major decisions were made communally in "town meetings," and it is in my bones. For that kind of society, you need a certain amount of seriousness among the populace, a strong community spirit and (unfortunately) a far amount of peer pressure. Not to sound nostalgic, but I actually think a system where you socially chide your able-bodied neighbor for not keeping up their lawn (and show up to do the lawn work, without expectation of payment, of the widow next door) rather than a world with endless rules (HOAs) and ordinances. From the get-go, I was accused of the exact opposite… which I take responsibility for, since I obviously could have been clearer in my musings.

Of course: when community spirit breaks down and division sets in and appeals to virtue are not working… then you get ordinances and laws and more sticks than carrots from the government. I actually hate this… even if I (and I assume, when it comes down to it, all of us) agree that it is necessary… we just tend to disagree… vehemently… WHEN it is necessary.

And we disagree on whether it is necessary in this instance. I see Biden as moving towards mandates reluctantly, because vaccine uptake had stalled, and, after a ton of energy was put into persuasion… even to the point of outright bribery…. for the good of the country, we needed to raise the vaccination rates in the short term. Before winter. Before another massive wave of infection. Before our already strained health care systems had to absorb another massive blow.

I reject the idea that all of this boils down to individualism… every individual's choice in the pandemic… to mask, or not to mask, to vaccinate, or not to vaccinate… has ramifications for others. That is not an obsession with power and control on my part (I don't seek to micromanage anyone's life… I can barely manage my own). It is just reality. When the ICU's get filled with unvaccinated patients, other people's surgeries get postponed or canceled. I have seen that happen in my family and in my community. It isn't the case that the unvaccinated solely bear the consequences of their decisions… others are also impacted.

So what I have attempted here… and likely failed… but alas… intentions matter… is call for greater responsibility. Greater civic pride, duty, obligation. Not because of laws… laws are there for when virtue has failed… but because we understand that we are part of our neighborhoods and our towns and our cities and our states and our country. David Garner might detect in here some lingering whiff of totalitarianism… but really, I do not think it is there. It's merely a call to consider responsibilities in addition to rights… not just what are my own individual freedoms, but also what moral (not legal) obligations do I have to others?

I would argue getting vaccinated is in 98% of the cases a responsible act, a mark of good citizenry, and a sign of neighbor love. I freely concede that in a minority of cases, this would not be so, so judgement should be withheld and compassionate responses created.

And I also decry: maybe too stridently… the reality that we face a challenge of a society lacking in virtue… in a political arms race with one side pitted against another… so that immaturity reigns. That is how we get appeals to religious exemptions from one corner… not always sincere… and attempts to remove religious exemptions from mandates from others (e.g. Maine's healthcare worker mandate). It is a zero sum game of power and control. Who is calling for greater responsibility right now?

Tom Nichols, Kevin Williamson, David Brooks… all have made versions of this argument better than I have here. But it is a problem. A big one, if we are going to endure as a free society. A republic needs more than a republican constitution and republican laws… it needs republican values. The same goes for a democracy.

As others have observed, politics are downstream from culture… and the politics of vaccine mandates in 2021 point to a sick culture.

Thank you, Dana. Your explanation is an excellent example of serious and reasoned argument. I hope others will consider it carefully.

Peace, JOHN

4
Your Turn / Re: Fear Is Deadlier Than Viruses
« on: November 26, 2021, 03:21:06 PM »
I also had covid before there were vaccines available. And thought long and hard before getting vaccinated. And here's the thing: the vaccines offer superior protection than any kind of "natural immunity." Covid re-infections are real. Many people with long covid have experienced symptom relief after getting vaccinated. Based on the evidence we have, not exempting people previously diagnosed with covid from vaccine mandates is perfectly logical. They are not equivalent levels of protection. And presumably your friend leaves the house at some point, even if it is not going to the office, so a vaccine mandate is in the government and his company's best interest.

Who are you to make that decision on his behalf?  Is it because you "thought long and hard about it?"  Do you think he didn't?  Do you think if perhaps he read your conclusory assertions here he would say "oh, gosh -- I hadn't considered that Dana Lockhart disagrees with me, perhaps I should submit to the vaccine after all!" 

I mean, you didn't even mention his health issues, but being entirely fair, it's not really any of your business what they are and so I haven't told you, which leaves you a little bit in the dark.  My point is, that doesn't seem to have stopped you from judging him and his choice.

Quote
As the Supreme Court found in Jacobson v. Massachusetts, compulsory vaccine mandates are constitutional. That does not mean they are good policy, and there is a question over who has the power to enact them (states vs the federal government). But there is no automatic right to refuse a vaccine.

The Court in Jacobson found that it was the right of a STATE to enact a vaccine mandate because the LEGISLATURE directly enacted the law within the state's police powers.  It did not say an unelected federal bureaucracy has the right to impose a mandate not contemplated by the enabling legislation, much less that private employers may go beyond it to compel employees to have chemicals injected into their bodies against their will.  Since nobody has said there is an "automatic right to refuse a vaccine," that seems to be a red herring to me.  The state legislature of Georgia has not imposed a vaccine mandate and this man's employer is basically forcing him to get one or be fired from his job, in the name of workplace safety for a workplace he does not attend.  You say above he will at some point go outside his house.  Well, obviously. What that has to do with workplace safety is beyond me, but you and Pastor Stoffregen seem eager to tell other people what to do under pain of starvation and financial ruin, so I suppose such details don't matter.

I ask again -- where did Christ teach you to starve your neighbor to make yourself feel safer?  Put the shoe on the other foot and justify your insistence that this man get injected against his will.  Until you do that, your entire worldview is unchristian and unbefitting a Christian.  I am vaccinated and I wish others to be vaccinated, but I'm not going to insist my friend get vaccinated over my irrational fears.  I trust that my vaccine works.

I have outlined my views of vaccination as a civic duty, akin to paying taxes, already in this thread. Framing it as a personal choice is a rhetorical ploy… I understand why it serves your views, I just don't think it represents the reality of the situation.

Has your friend been advised by his medical professional that getting vaccinated would imperil his health? If so, then there should be an exemption available to him.  But for the vast majority of people, vaccination should be a considered a duty of citizenship. Akin to taxes and jury duty and registering for the selective service and all other things we have to do as citizens, even (especially?) when we would prefer not to. As to the mandates: they will be litigated in the courts, but it is obvious as a matter of policy that the intention is to get as many people vaccinated as possible. Whether the courts will uphold the Biden's administration's preferred means is an open question. I was merely pointing out that, as a matter of law and policy, vaccines have long been considered compulsory rather than optional.

And our employers have the right to establish their own polices. There is no right to a job. I don't desire anyone to lose their job or face financial ruin… it just perplexes me that vaccines have long been a condition of employment for millions of people, that this has been uncontroversial, and it just happens to be THIS vaccine that people are digging their heels in about. Ok. Dig your heels in. But you are not being any more persecuted if your employer fires you for doing so than if you are dismissed for not following through with any other job requirement.

Look: it's clear it doesn't matter who says that "natural immunity" is not equivalent to vaccination, as you have already rejected it out of hand. Things were less clear 8 months ago when I signed up to get jabbed… science does take time… but the picture is much clearer now, which is why previous infection is not considered by any health authority as equivalent to vaccination. So it's not "Dana Lockhart disagrees with me," but rather "just about every public health authority in the nation looked at this question and came to a different conclusion." But hey, what do they know?

Screaming, "but I don't wanna do it" is petulant. It's childish. It's anti-social. Pay your taxes, show up for jury duty, and get your shots. It's not hard.

Anti-vaxing serves to discredit Biden and the Democrats. For many that seems to be what it's all about. Vote against Biden three years early.

You are right. Cooperate now for the public's health and vote your choices with your ballot when the time comes.

Peace, JOHN

5
Your Turn / Living As a Minority
« on: November 26, 2021, 06:56:07 AM »
David Brooks on being a minority in America today. Interesting; something to think about.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/24/opinion/creative-minority-multiculturalism.html?searchResultPosition=1

Peace, JOHN

6
Your Turn / Re: Thanksgiving 'myth'?
« on: November 24, 2021, 09:35:57 AM »
The New York Times gives thanks for Midwestern Lutherans today with a major spread on Frankenmuth, Michigan in the Food Section.   An interview with and photo of Dorothy Zehnder, a waitress playing the accordion, explication of the Franken migration and mission to native americans, the chicken dinner, and a recipe for Butterhorns.   Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus!
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/23/dining/frankenmuth-restaurants-thanksgiving-dinner.html

Dave Benke

Two of my close friends and classmates married women who grew up in Frankemuth. They were sisters from a farming family and not part of the modern commercial (dining/Christmas ornaments) enterprises. Wonderful people, indeed!

Happy Thanksgiving to all! Peace, JOHN

7
Your Turn / Re: Christian response to Rittenhouse trial
« on: November 23, 2021, 08:40:07 AM »
Not about Rittenhouse but in Wisconsin (Waukesha), the NY Times report includes this detail about that tragedy:

"The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee said a priest was among the injured, along with parishioners and students at a local Catholic school."

Peace, JOHN

8
Your Turn / Re: Christian response to Rittenhouse trial
« on: November 22, 2021, 08:02:14 PM »
This may be a naive question. Would it have been possible for the Kenosha police/city council to have banned weapons from those entering the protest area? It seems to me that could have been a prudent thing to do.

9
Your Turn / Re: Christian response to Rittenhouse trial
« on: November 22, 2021, 08:54:23 AM »
Concerning the National Cathedral:

True that none of us Lutherans can afford all that the National Cathedral can. But we could readily follow the examples of the all the worship leaders in posture, vocal tone, gait, etc. It is clear to anyone that we are in the presence of God here. Most of us don't do that so well.

(Comment based on watching the Powell funeral.)

Peace, JOHN

10
Your Turn / Re: Christian response to Rittenhouse trial
« on: November 21, 2021, 04:52:19 PM »
If you want to see that celebrated liturgically, look at the YouTube site for the service this morning at the National Cathedral.
Sermon by a British Methodist right on target for the day and for our day.
And if you want a refresher course in how a liturgy should be done, the Sunday eucharists at the National Cathedral are excellent tutors. Minimal intrusion by announcements, good music, reverent use of the variants in the Book of Common Prayer, clergy, vergers and assistants with a sense of "stage presence," lectors who know how to read, acolytes, torchbearers and thurifers who do their duties with dignity.

There is surely much that is worthy of emulation. On the other hand, when seeking to set a standard for professionalism, one notes that a $21.5 million annual budget doesn't hurt in that endeavor.

 :D ;D

11
Your Turn / Re: Christian response to Rittenhouse trial
« on: November 19, 2021, 03:50:56 PM »
Quote
Hey John, we don't have to imagine.  The left did exactly this during the Kavanaugh confirmations.  Chasing Jeff Flake and other GOP senators all over the Capitol. Rushing the Supreme Court building itself (see photo).  Serious business.  Number of insurrectionists charged for disrupting the legal procedure of a Court appointee? Zero.  Number who spent even a day in jail? Zero.

If you are from Wisconsin you can also remember the left during Scott Walker's tenure taking over the WI Capitol and disrupting its sacred proceedings.

If you are on the right, you can do this all day.  This is what the left does.  And nobody ever goes to jail.  I'll actually believe words like legitimate proceedings when the left holds their rent-a-mobs to the same standards.  Until then it's just the exercise of power.  Who/Whom is the only question.


David, I agree that these are examples of wrongfully protesting. There is a difference in degree as concerns Jun. 6.

o  The target was a direct constitutional procedure for formally electing the President of the United States
o  The enormous size the crowd of rioters (it seems improbable that there was not outside funding for travel)
o  The command and control coordination evident in the attack to different locations in the capital
o  The allegation (only an allegation so far) that there was a plan developed to overturn the known results of the Electoral College, which VP Pence rejected
 
It is a matter of judgement whether Jan.6 was a much more serious offense than other protests. Your judgement is that it was not. Mine is different.

Peace, JOHN

12
Your Turn / Re: Christian response to Rittenhouse trial
« on: November 19, 2021, 12:58:03 PM »
I believe that Kyle Rittenhouse shot more people in Kenosha than were shot in an entire week of rioting and demonstrations in Minneapolis and St. Paul after George Floyd's murder.

Okay. Why not say that the Minneapolis rioters committed more illegal violence and destruction than the Capitol rioters? The Capitol police shot more unarmed protesters on Jan. 6 than protesters shot by police in all the Floyd protests put together. Is that unarguable fact helpful? Or is it just pushing an agenda with selective and false comparisons?
Because that is not relevant to the topic of this thread. If you wish to start a thread on that topic, it will have to get past the moderators.  :P
That was my point—  comparing number of shots fired here or there is not relevant to the topic. Comparing the number of people shot by Rittenhouse to the number of people shot in the Floyd protests was not relevant but somehow was supposed to seem relevant. Why bring it up?
It's a matter of who brings the violence to a situation. The rioters and the demonstrators in the Twin Cities, for all the property damage that some of them caused, apparently did not bring violence against persons. Therefore the police and the Guard did not need to shoot to protect themselves and others. The police in Kenosha also did not feel the need to shoot at the rioters and demonstrators there. Possibly they had a better grasp of the situation than did the Rittenhouse boy.

And if you will talk about Jan. 6 at the US Capitol, who brought the violence to the situation?

Peace,
Michael

Hesitant to speak to this purely political incident (Jan. 6) on this supposedly theological, ecclesiastical Forum. But an observation as to the "insurrection nature" of the "rioters."

I think that those inclined to defend the perpetrators would change their minds if on December 1st (the day the Supreme Court hears the abortion case) were to do what was done at the capital, their minds would change and they might understand the gravity of attempting to disrupt the legitimate and constitutional workings of our officials.

Imagine rioters shouting "Hang Justice Xxxxx." Imagine them sitting at the bench triumphantly while the justices and court employees were scrambling for safety.

Hope it never happens of course; it's serious business.

Peace, JOHN

13
Your Turn / Re: Coronavirus news
« on: November 18, 2021, 06:47:44 AM »
Minnesota hospitals are overflowing with Covid cases, the vast majority of them people who have refused the vaccinations.
   I have a personal stake in this.
   My left knee - totally destroyed, probably because of decades of skiing and running - now delivers crippling pain, making it almost impossible to walk significant distances, and by mid-day usually means I do not want to walk on it at all, although I must because the normal duties of the day need to be done, and my visually-impaired wife cannot do them.
   The knee replacement was to be Dec. 2, but will probably not take place then because it is "elective surgery" and the crowded hospitals have no beds and lack enough staff to handle post-op care. I do not know when I will be able to schedule the surgery; and there are hundreds of people like me.
 

CHARLES,

Blessings on your forthcoming knee replacement; I hope they can get to it sooner rather than later. I had my second replacement ten days ago. I am still disabled and in pain but less so each day. The first was in April 2021 and a wonderful change in my life.

Peace, JOHN

14
Your Turn / Re: Christian response to Rittenhouse trial
« on: November 17, 2021, 10:57:13 AM »
Honestly, I'm torn between my vocation as an attorney and my vocation as a Christian here.  On the one hand, I don't think what he did in the moment, shooting the people he shot, was either legally or morally culpable.  On the other hand, I think he has a lot to answer for before God in terms of why he went, whether he was the right person to go, etc.

And more than anything, I think a lot of adults failed him, especially those who let him go in the first place.  He's a 17 year old kid.  If he's going somewhere he needs a rifle to protect himself, the better choice is stay home.  I'm not at all opposed to 17 year olds protecting themselves, but I have a real problem with encouraging them to intentionally place themselves in harm's way.

Indeed! I can't imagine ever allowing my teen age child to do anything like this stunt. (Now mine are in their 50's.)

Peace, JOHN

15
The issue is about preaching, but two of the most compelling essays are not about being in the pulpit.
The Word was clearly, bravely, and wonderfully preached by New York’s Bishop David Benke and Bishop Stephen Bouman, their pastors and laypeople on 9/11 and in the days and months following.
Lutheran Forum, the journal, has Bishop Benke tell of the days and Bishop Bouman reflect 20 years after.
Worth the price of a year’s subscription. You should have one. (And buy one as a Christmas present for your best pastor-friend.)

Not at all by the way, there's a fine article by Pastor Matthew Staneck on Pandemic Preaching accompanying Charles' words.  Great stuff.  So I ordered up some extra copies and autographed them for parishioners today on our congregation's 124th Anniversary.  Now I will put the bite on them to become subscribers. 

Dave Benke

The ALPB thrives when we have lots of lay people subscribing and supporting. We are not a ministerium or pastor's labor union.

Peace, JOHN

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 363