Author Topic: Coronavirus news  (Read 589559 times)

James J Eivan

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #1740 on: May 23, 2020, 12:43:51 PM »

The President's approval ratings among his church followers have slipped and his announcement was a quick and cheap way to shore up support.  The President's comments reflect political opportunism.  The various church leaders here in Minnesota and elsewhere are only too quick to be led like sheep.  The Brooklyn Center pastor just cited by Pastor Austin has stated the issue precisely.

Here in Florida, we have been planning a limited reopening on June 7.  The Presidents announcement had no bearing on our decision, since we made it last Monday.  Some of us don't make decisions based on whether we like the President or not.

Tragically Mr Teigen's chronology lacks factual basis.  Rev Weedon post concerning the Minnesota concerns occurred days before President Trump spoke ... So who is leading who?

https://www.becketlaw.org/media/minnesota-churches-tell-governor-walz-resuming-person-worship-services/


Of course now it be the irresponsible LCMS district presidents who are leading President Trump down the road to calamity, death and disaster.

David Garner

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #1741 on: May 23, 2020, 12:48:08 PM »
Regarding what is colloquially called "science," the first thing scientists do is acknowledge what they do not know, and the second thing they do is question what they do know.

"Science" is not blindly following recommendations of people who have changed their mind on everything from how bad the impact of this virus would be to whether to wear masks to whether the virus is airborne or spread via contact with surfaces.  Pretending that what is said today by people studying the issue is the same thing as some irrefutable scientific proof is not only absurd, it is dangerous.  The truth is, these people should be listened to, but their counsel has to be weighed against what we DO know -- economic impact of shutdowns, whether getting an abortion or going to Wal-Mart is less dangerous than going to church (they aren't), etc.  And laws have to be applied fairly and equally.

It has been said in this thread that the president is playing to his base.  There are two things about that claim that I find offensive.  First, the notion that Christians who would like to attend services ought to have a political allegiance per se, and second the notion that one party (the one that does not control the White House) implicitly does not want them as their base.  Governors and mayors across this country have gone out of their way to treat church services differently than other things.  They have determined -- self-servingly -- that Christians and Christian worship are "non-essential" because, let us be honest, they do not value such things.  But it is not the role of government to weigh the value of religious services or religious activity.  It MAY be the role of government to act to prevent the spread of disease, but government must do so with an even hand and in ways that are the least restrictive where possible.  If everyone has to stay home, that's one thing.  When I can go to Wad-Mart and have some jackass stand 2 feet behind me in line even though they put marks on the floor telling people where to stand, I think I can attend a church service safely.  At the very least, I trust my priest and my fellow parishioners more than I trust the general public.
Orthodox Reader and former Lutheran (LCMS and WELS).

D. Engebretson

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #1742 on: May 23, 2020, 12:54:05 PM »
We are loosening up the lock down. Well, sort of. Depends on where you live. But what next? A vaccine is possibly yet a year out. Production and mass distribution further yet.  So if outbreaks spike somewhere, do we lock down that area, or the entire country again?  Do we live for possibly years (it took four years to develop a vaccine for Ebola, but it's possible to develop a vaccine for COVID-19 sooner) with the general fear that it might be lurking around every person we encounter and every enclosed space we enter? And when that vaccine is developed and distributed, do we live in fear of the next pandemic?

And as we become overly phobic over germs and infections, what of our immune systems?  If we live in self-made sterile worlds of endless sanitizers, gloves and masks, will our bodies ever learn again to adjust to the ever present bacteria and viruses that normally live in our world? 

I hope the future is not run by rampant fear.  That would be more oppressive than anything the government might impose.
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #1743 on: May 23, 2020, 12:56:08 PM »

One of my peeves along the way is that we're talking about the "re-opening" of churches.  We have not closed for a minute here in Brooklyn, in the center of the heart of corona death and infection. 

Well said.

Except many of our churches were NOT open.  The doors were locked.  No one was allowed inside, except for staff and the occasional emergency visit.  Bible studies were discontinued.  Our parochial school forced to do on-liine education.  Ladies groups and sewing groups and youth groups did not meet.  Yes, worship continued.  But not with the public.  That is not open, in my book.  So, I have been and will continue to announce that we are re-opening for services on May 31.

I guess it depends on how you understand "open," and what your congregation has done. Our congregation has continued virtually (in both senses of the word) every activity--Bible studies, worship, meetings, Sunday School, our weekly men's group. The only thing not "open" is the building, and that's not the church.

So, if someone broke into the building or there was a fire there, you would not say to the police or fire station: "Come to the church!"?


Nope. "Come to the church building" - and I'd have to specify which of our four buildings.


When I was doing church calendars, I had "The church at worship" and "The church at study" to better indicate that we are the church all the time and sometimes we gather for worship. Sometimes for study. Sometimes for fellowship.
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

DCharlton

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #1744 on: May 23, 2020, 12:58:13 PM »
Pastor Charlton...
This really saddens me.  Bishop Eaton is engaging in cynical pandering to her base...
Me:
You mean speaking to the church she leads? How awful!
“Her base”? Base for what?

If its fair for her to accuse Trump of cynical pandering, them its fair of me to accuse her of the same.  She did not say this to protect her churches from real or imagined harm that might be done by President Trumps affirmation of the essential nature of worship. (My governor affirmed that from day one.) She said it to signal to whoever might listen that we are a politically correct church. 

Its actually a little sad.  PB Hanson spent years being an obsequious cheerleader for President Obama, hoping to be affirmed by the president.  It never worked.  Now it seems that we hope to gain some relevance by signaling our opposition to everything Trump says or does, in that frantic search for relevance.  I'm sure that if Biden wins the presidency, we will return to the practice of agreeing with everything he says in hopes of being noticed. 
« Last Edit: May 23, 2020, 12:59:44 PM by DCharlton »
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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #1745 on: May 23, 2020, 01:04:32 PM »
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-05-22/did-japan-just-beat-the-virus-without-lockdowns-or-mass-testing?utm_source=url_link&fbclid=IwAR3KgVaweOFTLSYqWoovnHXDom1vRSrBGhM84y8Rfx79wn8OO4QsdLZwZnI

Experts aren’t sure how or why exactly. If wish they would admit as much up front.

That headline sounds misleading to me.  My sister-in-law lives in Okinawa.  They have had several lockdowns.  She sent us a picture of the cloth mask covered by a plastic shield that she has to wear while teaching her English class. 
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Charles Austin

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #1746 on: May 23, 2020, 01:07:12 PM »
Mr. Garner:
Governors and mayors across this country have gone out of their way to treat church services differently than other things.  They have determined -- self-servingly -- that Christians and Christian worship are "non-essential" because, let us be honest, they do not value such things.
Me:
How do you know this? And on what basis do you pass judgment on the faith of governors and mayors and others in office?
Can you not see how a church service with people close together (or even separated) and singing, moving around and talking with each other for an hour or more is different than standing in line at Walmart?
What about all the churches and ecclesial jurisdictions that agree with the restrictions? Do they not value their worship?
Explain to me also how it could be politically “self-serving” for governors to act against churches.
   Pastor Charlton, you and some others here seem to have amazingly detailed insights into what motivates our presiding Bishop, and what she wants to “signal to whoever might listen.” I think your words are unkind and “self-serving” For your own personal agenda.
Retired ELCA Pastor. Iowa native. Now in Minneapolis. One must always ponder both the value and the dangers of poking the bear. Aroused and stimulated, the bear usually shows its true self. Or it might leap to an extreme version of itself. You never know with bears.

Charles Austin

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #1747 on: May 23, 2020, 01:14:39 PM »
Pastor Charlton:
PB Hanson spent years being an obsequious cheerleader for President Obama, hoping to be affirmed by the president.  It never worked.  Now it seems that we hope to gain some relevance by signaling our opposition to everything Trump says or does, in that frantic search for relevance. 
Me:
I wonder again how you have such insight into what presiding Bishop Hanson hoped for.
And it has been a key aspect of the current presiding bishop‘s leadership that she has not done the kind of things in the public arena that were characteristic of her predecessor.
Furthermore, I really tire of this Ancient canard that we are in the public arena to “search for relevance.”
Retired ELCA Pastor. Iowa native. Now in Minneapolis. One must always ponder both the value and the dangers of poking the bear. Aroused and stimulated, the bear usually shows its true self. Or it might leap to an extreme version of itself. You never know with bears.

DCharlton

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #1748 on: May 23, 2020, 01:21:18 PM »
Pastor Charlton, you and some others here seem to have amazingly detailed insights into what motivates our presiding Bishop, and what she wants to “signal to whoever might listen.” I think your words are unkind and “self-serving” For your own personal agenda.

If she has the right to judge motives, then so do I. 

By the way, PB Eaton and I are pastors in the same church.  We took the same, or similar ordination vows.  I have a right to have an opinion about what it and is not appropriate for a pastor to say publicly as a representative of the church.  This is not her personal twitter account.  @ELCABishopEaton is her official twitter account as PB of the ELCA.  I am criticizing her actions as our presiding  bishop, not her personal political views.
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Jim Butler

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #1749 on: May 23, 2020, 01:21:58 PM »
Charles, if you think my position is to doubt the science, you are simply dense. Doubting the experts who repeatedly say things that turn out to be wrong is trusting the science. Science is knowledge collected via testing. The experts you look to demonstrate themselves to be unreliable, yet you claim relying solely on them is an act of faith in science. You have blind faith in experts (but only certain ones) despite their failings and call dogmatic trust going by science.

To say that we are going to follow "science" is silly. Science can give us data; science cannot help us evaluate decisions, especially those which necessarily require risks and trade-offs. Governors can say 'no mass gatherings--including sports--until a vaccine is found.' But what happens if it takes years to find one or in one is never found? Something tells me that if there is no vaccine by this time next year, their viewpoints will change considerably. After all, those bond payments on sports arenas aren't going to pay themselves.

Not to mention the many errors that scientists have made during this pandemic. Some expert in New York told Cuomo that it was perfectly OK to send elderly patients with Covid-19 into nursing homes. I don't think that turned out too well. We won't even get into the models which called for 40,000 ventilators in New York. Here is Massachusetts, we were supposed to have 10,000 hospitalized and over 3,000 on ventilators (that was with social distancing, yada, yada, yada). We never topped 3500 hospitalized and less than 500 were ever one ventilators. But Science! (And now there is a model from Singapore telling us that SARS-Cov-2 should be over and done with the world over by December; September in the US.) As a runner, I've had to deal with the Belgian who put out his model showing how running could infect tons more people. I've had to point out that he studies aerodynamics, not medicine and that his model has been disgraced via later review.

Not to mention that science changes positions. Charles tells us what "all" scientists are saying about the dangers of singing...except some disagree as others have posted. Earlier, there was great danger in surface to human transmission. Now the CDC says that the virus doesn't spread that way.

So please, don't talk about "science" as if it a new oracle giving us all. Science is simply people gathering and interpreting information that may or may not be right. It is up to people to figure out what to do with that information.
The significance of the passage of time, right? The significance of the passage of time. So when you think about it, there is great significance to the passage of time. -- VP Kamala Harris

DCharlton

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #1750 on: May 23, 2020, 01:22:23 PM »
Pastor Charlton:
PB Hanson spent years being an obsequious cheerleader for President Obama, hoping to be affirmed by the president.  It never worked.  Now it seems that we hope to gain some relevance by signaling our opposition to everything Trump says or does, in that frantic search for relevance. 
Me:
I wonder again how you have such insight into what presiding Bishop Hanson hoped for.
And it has been a key aspect of the current presiding bishop‘s leadership that she has not done the kind of things in the public arena that were characteristic of her predecessor.
Furthermore, I really tire of this Ancient canard that we are in the public arena to “search for relevance.”

I gain my insight in the same way she gains insight ino the President's motives.
David Charlton  

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David Garner

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #1751 on: May 23, 2020, 01:25:03 PM »
If she has the right to judge motives, then so do I.

I gain my insight in the same way she gains insight ino the President's motives.

Indeed.
Orthodox Reader and former Lutheran (LCMS and WELS).

David Garner

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #1752 on: May 23, 2020, 01:25:59 PM »
The left:  "President Trump is pandering to his base."

Also the left:  "How DARE you question the motives of these fine people?"

The principle isn't what matters at all.  It's simply being on the same side as the right people.  The wrong people, of course, are by definition always wrong.
Orthodox Reader and former Lutheran (LCMS and WELS).

Dan Fienen

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #1753 on: May 23, 2020, 01:27:38 PM »
Pastor Charlton:
PB Hanson spent years being an obsequious cheerleader for President Obama, hoping to be affirmed by the president.  It never worked.  Now it seems that we hope to gain some relevance by signaling our opposition to everything Trump says or does, in that frantic search for relevance. 
Me:
I wonder again how you have such insight into what presiding Bishop Hanson hoped for.
And it has been a key aspect of the current presiding bishop‘s leadership that she has not done the kind of things in the public arena that were characteristic of her predecessor.
Furthermore, I really tire of this Ancient canard that we are in the public arena to “search for relevance.”

Complains the one who regularly criticizes others for having the motivations that he has assigned to them and knows what they are really thinking.
Pr. Daniel Fienen
LCMS

DCharlton

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #1754 on: May 23, 2020, 01:41:10 PM »
Let me put it this way, I don't think President Trump's speech yesterday was helpful.  My governor has always listed worship and other religious activities as "essential services".  We have been in Phase 1 of reopening from 23 days, with no serious spike in COVED-19 infections.  As a result, businesses and restaurants are able to operate at 50% capacity.  In this context, the Catholic Church has already permitted congregations to hold mass at 30% capacity, with social distancing, masks, sanitation and other precautions.  My congregation is planning to follow suit on June 7.  As far as that goes, President Trump's speech was irrelevant.

However, it has been harmful because it has stirred up an over cautious reaction in my bishop, who now recommends that we wait until Phase 3 to open.  It politicized the question of opening churches, almost guaranteeing that the issue will be polarizing for the remainder of 2020.  If PB Eaton had stuck to calling Trump's speech unhelpful, and reasserting the need to follow the recommendations of governors and local health departments, I would give her the benefit of the doubt.  However, it is clear to me that she has chosen a political response, and in turn made the issue of reopening churches in the ELCA a test of political loyalty. 
David Charlton  

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