Author Topic: Coronavirus news  (Read 726870 times)

J. Thomas Shelley

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3660 on: April 29, 2021, 12:02:17 AM »
We are supposedly concerned about “trauma” of a teen, kept from her view of “normal” life.
So where is your sympathy, Pastors Bohler and Kirchner, for senior citizens deprived of that which has given their lives enrichment and excitement and meaning? Don’t we count? Are you unable to see what has been inflicted on us; do you have no sympathetic ear for what pulls us down? What kind of pastors are you?
Or are you just jealous because we have earned and are experiencing a “good life”?
Please. I shared a story about a young woman suffering from mental health issues and your response was to point out that she was better off than a lot of other people, which is possibly the least pastoral response humanly possible. Then you you accuse the people who call you on it of lacking sympathy and pastoral instincts, which shatters the irony record. You can't even keep yourself from obnoxious gestures like putting "trauma" in scare quotes. I'd rather my confirmands all got covid than be subjected to a pastor like you.

Please, both of you.

Since this is the day of betrayal in Orthodox Holy Week (Orthros of Holy Thursday served earlier tonight) I  should not be taking time to read this discussion much less offer comment; but against that backdrop I am greatly grieved.

You BOTH are writing very uncharitably and are teetering on the edge of betrayal....of the Ministerial Office.

I love you both, brothers, and desire better of you.
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Charles Austin

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3661 on: April 29, 2021, 12:22:49 AM »
Peter, you and others are over-working and over-heating my comments in warped ways because you so despise liberals that when you cannot suppress the teeny tiny, itsy bitsy hint of a sense that one of us might be just a little bit right, you go nuclear.
Peter, I truly worry about what your world view, your sectarian theology, your right-wing political stance, your refusal to accept correction and your arrogance are doing to this forum and perhaps elsewhere.
You and others here see me and Brian, not as fellow Lutheran pastors, but simply - because we are here -  targets for your hatred of liberals.
But we should quit. It is a flawed medium for such critical concerns.
Retired ELCA Pastor. Parishes in Iowa, New York and New Jersey. LCA/LWF staff. Former journalist. Now retired in Minneapolis. My only Thanksgiving cooking chore: providing fresh ground, fair trade, bird friendly coffee.

peter_speckhard

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3662 on: April 29, 2021, 01:02:46 AM »
I wrote: This year one young woman wrote movingly about the collapse of her mental health due to the Covid lockdowns and the general atmosphere of fear, and what a blessing returning to school was for her. She writes: "When the Covid pandemic started and we had to go into quarantine, the effects of isolation from everyone and watching the stress my mom had to go through with her patients in the hospital affected me greatly. I lost motivation in almost everything. I stopped caring about school, how I look, and my mental health. I gave up in school. I stopped doing my homework. I had completely given up. I desperately needed help." Thankfully this young woman will be confirmed and this Sunday and has a strong, confident faith, which she credits for seeing her through, especially once she got back into a Christian community at school. I suspect many victims of unfortunate policy will suffer lasting effects with or without faith to see them through.

Charles responded: We are supposedly concerned about “trauma” of a teen, kept from her view of “normal” life. So where is your sympathy, Pastors Bohler and Kirchner, for senior citizens...

I think the posts speak for themselves.


peter_speckhard

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3663 on: April 29, 2021, 01:21:04 AM »
We are supposedly concerned about “trauma” of a teen, kept from her view of “normal” life.
So where is your sympathy, Pastors Bohler and Kirchner, for senior citizens deprived of that which has given their lives enrichment and excitement and meaning? Don’t we count? Are you unable to see what has been inflicted on us; do you have no sympathetic ear for what pulls us down? What kind of pastors are you?
Or are you just jealous because we have earned and are experiencing a “good life”?
Please. I shared a story about a young woman suffering from mental health issues and your response was to point out that she was better off than a lot of other people, which is possibly the least pastoral response humanly possible. Then you you accuse the people who call you on it of lacking sympathy and pastoral instincts, which shatters the irony record. You can't even keep yourself from obnoxious gestures like putting "trauma" in scare quotes. I'd rather my confirmands all got covid than be subjected to a pastor like you.

Please, both of you.

Since this is the day of betrayal in Orthodox Holy Week (Orthros of Holy Thursday served earlier tonight) I  should not be taking time to read this discussion much less offer comment; but against that backdrop I am greatly grieved.

You BOTH are writing very uncharitably and are teetering on the edge of betrayal....of the Ministerial Office.

I love you both, brothers, and desire better of you.
Fair enough. I have removed my objectionable post.

Charles Austin

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3664 on: April 29, 2021, 05:15:52 AM »
And I have edited a portion of one of my recent posts.
   Pastor Morris, I freely admit that my life has been affected by white, male, privilege and that the white, male privilege has been supported by some racist aspects of our history and culture.
   My effort for the past 50+ years has been to address those aspects of our society, history and culture. And at the same time I admit that whatever I have - pensions, savings, insurance, shared benefits from my wife - was not just handed to me without my/our work. I have no qualms about saying that we earned what we have now, and Beloved Spouse earned her living in a culture which devalued work by professional women, frequently discriminated against them, and unfairly tied their lives and benefits to those of their husbands. On several occasions, she had to fight for what would have been quickly granted her if she had been a man. And the discriminatory systems in place when we lived in Europe meant that she had to essentially put her career on hold during our time there.
   My grumpiness, Pastor Morris, comes from the potshots taken by one of our number about my allegedly "swanky" retirement facility and what benefits I am able to purchase there. I shall try to get over that grumpiness.
    And, as probably the oldest member of this forum, I just note that we "seniors" have suffered, because of the pandemic, almost the same kind of mental, spiritual and social pains encountered by the younger generations. They are different pains, but they are pains nonetheless.
Thank you for noting that. And we must all note, as I try to do, that millions of our fellow citizens have suffered more than, I suspect, anyone in this modest forum, due to the fact that they have no health insurance, a "disposable" job, education inadequate for our times or may be among those sadly considered the "lower castes" in our country.
   As for neatly synthesizing various concerns, views, and responses to life: That is impossible. Life is complicated.

Retired ELCA Pastor. Parishes in Iowa, New York and New Jersey. LCA/LWF staff. Former journalist. Now retired in Minneapolis. My only Thanksgiving cooking chore: providing fresh ground, fair trade, bird friendly coffee.

Dave Benke

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3665 on: April 29, 2021, 08:24:58 AM »
New York City opens fully (100%) on July 1!!  We just received that announcement this morning.  Wow!  Fully capacity, this states, for restaurants, sports events, and Broadway, among all the others.  And fully open schools in the fall.  This is the result of dropping indicators of virus infection and is due in great part to 6.3 million vaccinations in NYC to date.  In our part of the city, still over-infected and under-vaccinated, encouragement to push ahead.
On the plus side, pretty much everything.  Hot time, summer in the city.
On the minus side, traffic.

The second announcement made by the mayor was unfortunately necessary.  He announced the Jacob DeGrom Support Fund, which promises live bats to be supplied for DeGrom's pitching starts, since once again last night the Mets lost 1-0 when he was pitching, the umpteenth time he gives up one or zero runs and either loses or gets no decision.

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peter_speckhard

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3666 on: April 29, 2021, 08:46:14 AM »
New York City opens fully (100%) on July 1!!  We just received that announcement this morning.  Wow!  Fully capacity, this states, for restaurants, sports events, and Broadway, among all the others.  And fully open schools in the fall.  This is the result of dropping indicators of virus infection and is due in great part to 6.3 million vaccinations in NYC to date.  In our part of the city, still over-infected and under-vaccinated, encouragement to push ahead.
On the plus side, pretty much everything.  Hot time, summer in the city.
On the minus side, traffic.

The second announcement made by the mayor was unfortunately necessary.  He announced the Jacob DeGrom Support Fund, which promises live bats to be supplied for DeGrom's pitching starts, since once again last night the Mets lost 1-0 when he was pitching, the umpteenth time he gives up one or zero runs and either loses or gets no decision.

Dave Benke
That is great news for New Yorkers and for the whole nation.


Donald_Kirchner

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3667 on: April 29, 2021, 08:51:05 AM »
"We are supposedly concerned about " trauma” of a teen, kept from her view of “normal” life."

The continued Intentional expression of a lack of empathy for the young woman's suffering during the pandemic, manifested by the unnecessary use of scare quotes ("quotation marks used around a word or phrase when they are not required, thereby eliciting attention or doubts"), immediately followed by the "But what about me?" focus on self should not be surprising. We see it in other comments such as finding humor in opining that the death of the supposedly ignorant is perhaps God's way of culling the herd.

 "[A]s people climb the social ladder, their compassionate feelings towards other people decline."

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-wealth-reduces-compassion/

« Last Edit: April 29, 2021, 09:14:19 AM by Pr. Don Kirchner »
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Jim Butler

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3668 on: April 29, 2021, 10:32:01 AM »
    And, as probably the oldest member of this forum, I just note that we "seniors" have suffered, because of the pandemic, almost the same kind of mental, spiritual and social pains encountered by the younger generations. They are different pains, but they are pains nonetheless.


Of course you have suffered.

But instead of sympathizing with the struggles of this catechumen, you downplayed them. As I read your statement, it came across to me as, "What's she complaining about? Others have it worse. Whiner. Get off my lawn, kid." In which case, people are going to respond the same way to your own complaints about suffering during the pandemic.

You could have said, "Many of us have struggled in similar ways. I'm thankful that her faith and her school have helped her."

The fact that you continue to use scare quotes in your reply show that you still downplay her struggles and have no sympathy for her. Granted, using the term "trauma" might be a bit overwrought, but that's part of her age. Just because older folks like us may have seen worse--or pastored others through worse--doesn't mean she's not in a great deal of pain. There are many reports of spikes in teen depression, anxiety, etc. due to the isolation they've dealt with.

Try to be a bit more pastoral in your concern for her--and others. It might go a long way.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2021, 12:18:53 PM by jebutler »
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

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3669 on: April 29, 2021, 10:38:22 AM »
New York City opens fully (100%) on July 1!!  We just received that announcement this morning.  Wow!  Fully capacity, this states, for restaurants, sports events, and Broadway, among all the others.  And fully open schools in the fall.  This is the result of dropping indicators of virus infection and is due in great part to 6.3 million vaccinations in NYC to date.  In our part of the city, still over-infected and under-vaccinated, encouragement to push ahead.
On the plus side, pretty much everything.  Hot time, summer in the city.
On the minus side, traffic.

That's incredible. Massachusetts is about a month behind you. Boston is about two months behind. I wonder how much pressure this will put on the acting mayor. But seriously great news!

The second announcement made by the mayor was unfortunately necessary.  He announced the Jacob DeGrom Support Fund, which promises live bats to be supplied for DeGrom's pitching starts, since once again last night the Mets lost 1-0 when he was pitching, the umpteenth time he gives up one or zero runs and either loses or gets no decision.

Dave Benke

Well, if they got some hitting behind Thor, that might help. But I'm a Royals/Cards fan, so what I can tell you?
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

Dan Fienen

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3670 on: April 29, 2021, 11:30:26 AM »
    And, as probably the oldest member of this forum, I just note that we "seniors" have suffered, because of the pandemic, almost the same kind of mental, spiritual and social pains encountered by the younger generations. They are different pains, but they are pains nonetheless.


Of course you have.

But instead of sympathizing with the struggles of this catechumen, downplayed them. As I read your statement, it came across to me as, "What's she complaining about? Others have it worse. Whiner. Get off my lawn, kid." In which case, people are going to respond the same way to your own complaints about suffering during the pandemic.

You could have said, "Many of us have struggled in similar ways. I'm thankful that her faith and her school have helped her."

The fact that you continue to use scare quotes in your reply show that you still downplay her struggles and have no sympathy for her. Granted, using the term "trauma" might be a bit overwrought, but that's part of her age. Just because older folks like us may have seen worse--or pastored others through worse--doesn't mean she's not in a great deal of pain. There are many reports of spikes in teen depression, anxiety, etc. due to the isolation they've dealt with.

Try to be a bit more pastoral in your concern for her--and others. I might go a long way.
I agree with your comments, but have a quibble with your last line. It could reasonably be argued that none of us are actually here to function in a pastoral capacity, and certainly Charles was in no way in a position in posting here to act pastorally towards the confirmand. Nor did his comments likely reflect what he would have said to the confirmand had he been speaking to her. Or at least, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.


But should compassion, sympathy, empathy, or understanding be primarily pastoral characteristics? Should they not characterize human and humane interactions? One thing that I have observed about much contemporary discourse is a lack of empathy for others, as though to express my own difficulties I must discount the difficulties of others. "Look at me! Look at what I am suffering! Your suffering doesn't count, even mentioning it distracts from the importance of my suffering," seems to be the order of the day.


"If you prick us, do we not bleed? if you tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison us, do we not die? and if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?" (Act III, scene I) Merchant of Venice.

Can we not share a common humanity across lines of race, age, socio/economic status, or caste? Is sympathy a zero sum game where sympathy accorded to someone else, from a different group, removes sympathy from me and my group?


I am as likely as anyone to over react and over dramatize the "traumas" in my life and at times I need the corrective of being reminded that I am not the only one hurting and putting my discomforts in perspective. But even so, the fact that others are suffering more does not negate what I am suffering at the moment. To empathize with a teenager who has suffered deprivations of some sorts during this pandemic should not prevent us from empathizing with what seniors have gone through, even those comparatively well off and in otherwise comfortable circumstances.


« Last Edit: April 29, 2021, 12:11:10 PM by Dan Fienen »
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Jim Butler

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3671 on: April 29, 2021, 12:30:56 PM »
    And, as probably the oldest member of this forum, I just note that we "seniors" have suffered, because of the pandemic, almost the same kind of mental, spiritual and social pains encountered by the younger generations. They are different pains, but they are pains nonetheless.


Of course you have.

But instead of sympathizing with the struggles of this catechumen, downplayed them. As I read your statement, it came across to me as, "What's she complaining about? Others have it worse. Whiner. Get off my lawn, kid." In which case, people are going to respond the same way to your own complaints about suffering during the pandemic.

You could have said, "Many of us have struggled in similar ways. I'm thankful that her faith and her school have helped her."

The fact that you continue to use scare quotes in your reply show that you still downplay her struggles and have no sympathy for her. Granted, using the term "trauma" might be a bit overwrought, but that's part of her age. Just because older folks like us may have seen worse--or pastored others through worse--doesn't mean she's not in a great deal of pain. There are many reports of spikes in teen depression, anxiety, etc. due to the isolation they've dealt with.

Try to be a bit more pastoral in your concern for her--and others. I might go a long way.
I agree with your comments, but have a quibble with your last line. It could reasonably be argued that none of us are actually here to function in a pastoral capacity, and certainly Charles was in no way in a position in posting here to act pastorally towards the confirmand. Nor did his comments likely reflect what he would have said to the confirmand had he been speaking to her. Or at least, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.


But should compassion, sympathy, empathy, or understanding be primarily pastoral characteristics? Should they not characterize human and humane interactions? One thing that I have observed about much contemporary discourse is a lack of empathy for others, as though to express my own difficulties I must discount the difficulties of others. "Look at me! Look at what I am suffering! Your suffering doesn't count, even mentioning it distracts from the importance of my suffering," seems to be the order of the day.


"If you prick us, do we not bleed? if you tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison us, do we not die? and if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?" (Act III, scene I) Merchant of Venice.

Can we not share a common humanity across lines of race, age, socio/economic status, or caste? Is sympathy a zero sum game where sympathy accorded to someone else, from a different group, removes sympathy from me and my group?


I am as likely as anyone to over react and over dramatize the "traumas" in my life and at times I need the corrective of being reminded that I am not the only one hurting and putting my discomforts in perspective. But even so, the fact that others are suffering more does not negate what I am suffering at the moment. To empathize with a teenager who has suffered deprivations of some sorts during this pandemic should not prevent us from empathizing with what seniors have gone through, even those comparatively well off and in otherwise comfortable circumstances.

I agree that we are not here to function as pastors, but for those of us who serve in the Office of the Public Ministry, we should still strive to act pastorally. Charles himself has stated in the past that he functioned as a pastor to his colleagues at the New York Times when he worked there.

I agree that empathy should be part of a "common humanity." I agree that " compassion, sympathy, empathy, or understanding" should characterize "human and humane interactions."  But I also think that this should be even more so for Christ's baptized and certainly for those who serve as Christ's under-shepherds.

I don't disagree with anything you said. But I also think what is expected of any person should be expected of clergy on a higher standard.
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

Dan Fienen

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3672 on: April 29, 2021, 12:42:45 PM »
As I said, a quibble, not a disagreement. Those of us who have placed into the pastoral office should in all our interactions even more exemplify those humane qualities that Christ have enjoined on all who would walk His path.
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Charles Austin

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3673 on: April 29, 2021, 01:02:02 PM »
And sometimes it can be “pastoral“, if we have to use that word, to say clearly “you’re wrong, ““you’re out of line,” or even “you are being incredibly foolish.“
In addition to being “pastoral,“ which always seems to me to have a mushy context, at times we are called to be prophetic and to proclaim the truth, sometimes that truth being more than “Jesus is Lord.”  People in this modest forum are not very “Pastor,” in the usual use of that word, towards those who are fervently, and even piously “pro choice.”
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Jim Butler

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3674 on: April 29, 2021, 01:13:58 PM »
And sometimes it can be “pastoral“, if we have to use that word, to say clearly “you’re wrong, ““you’re out of line,” or even “you are being incredibly foolish.“

So you are saying that the catechumen was "wrong," "out of line", and "incredibly foolish"? Because that is what we are talking about: your specific comments on a catechumen's essay.

Or are saying that your comments about it were "wrong," "out of line", and "incredibly foolish"? I mean, I'd go with the latter, but maybe you mean the former.

In addition to being “pastoral,“ which always seems to me to have a mushy context, at times we are called to be prophetic and to proclaim the truth, sometimes that truth being more than “Jesus is Lord.” 

That's what we keep trying to tell Brian S, but he keeps disagreeing with us. He says all we need to believe "Jesus is Lord" and there is no other truth beyond that. Glad to see that you agree with us.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2021, 01:39:54 PM by jebutler »
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