Author Topic: Recent Surpreme Court Decision Concerning Churches  (Read 10250 times)

David Garner

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Re: Recent Surpreme Court Decision Concerning Churches
« Reply #15 on: November 28, 2020, 10:36:59 AM »
Governor Cuomo, predictably opposed to the Supreme Court's recent decision, not only labeled it "irrelevant" (given the change in the zones under lockdown), but made this additional statement regarding the implication of the decision:
“They wanted to make a statement that it's a different court. That's the statement they're making, I understand that. And that’s to be expected," Cuomo said during a Thanksgiving Day call, alluding to the impact of the recent addition of Justice Amy Coney Barrett on the bench without calling her by name.

“We know who we appointed to the court. We know their ideology. It’s irrelevant from a practical impact because the zone that they were talking about has already been moved. It expired last week. I think this was really just an opportunity for the court to express its philosophy and politics,” he said.


https://test.christianpost.com/news/ny-gov-andrew-cuomo-slams-supreme-court-ruling-on-churches.html

Unfortunately this expresses, again, the highly partisan atmosphere in which politics now exists.  Any decision not respected by those identified as more progressive or liberal will now be automatically labeled not as a reasoned judicial decision, but as a ideological statement.  Of course, this is Cuomo speaking for himself, but I suspect others concur with his thinking.  Again, if the runoff Senate elections in Georgia favor Democrats, I predict that Supreme Court realignment to be one of the earliest projects undertaken by the new majority to control all branches in DC.

Ironically, the standard used by the Per Curiam opinion and the concurrences, and opposed by Roberts and the other dissenters, has been articulated before as a reason for the Court to act on disputes that are moot for the moment. That standard is “capable of repetition, yet evading review.” 

Why ironically? It was most famously articulated in Roe v. Wade.
Orthodox Reader and former Lutheran (LCMS and WELS).

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Re: Recent Surpreme Court Decision Concerning Churches
« Reply #16 on: November 28, 2020, 11:18:11 AM »
I will listen to and discuss your criticism of Governor Cuomo, when you come equally hard down upon your guy, the president, who plays golf every day, holds massive rallies, (and is planning more),  completely ignores the virus rampaging through the country, and continually spouts lies concerning the election.
Until you deal with that, I don’t want to hear one word from you about Governor Cuomo, who at least responded to criticism and modified his plans.
Criticism in the eyes of some is hypocrisy in the eyes of others.

Meanwhile the false accusations that President Trump ‘plays golf everyday’ is simply partisan talk.

President Trump golfing rounds neither hinder the work of our first responders nor are responsible for any additional China virus cases.

Dealing with factual inaccuracies concerning President Trumps private life is of utmost importance to many.

D. Engebretson

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Re: Recent Surpreme Court Decision Concerning Churches
« Reply #17 on: November 28, 2020, 11:23:14 AM »
Trump, of course, is not above reproach, and many pixels have been spent demonstrating his supposed faults and failures.  I'm not sure what is to be gained by offering more, especially since his days in the White House are numbered and his influence will soon be past.

Also, Cuomo, who will remain in office after Trump is gone, seems relevant to this thread since he was impacted directly by the Supreme Court decision and addressed it specifically in a critical manner.  It also seems relevant because it appears that he addresses what may also be on the mind of other Democrats, namely, that the court has become ideologically shifted. 
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Re: Recent Surpreme Court Decision Concerning Churches
« Reply #18 on: November 28, 2020, 11:26:45 AM »
I will listen to and discuss your criticism of Governor Cuomo, when you come equally hard down upon your guy, the president, who plays golf every day, holds massive rallies, (and is planning more),  completely ignores the virus rampaging through the country, and continually spouts lies concerning the election.
Until you deal with that, I don’t want to hear one word from you about Governor Cuomo, who at least responded to criticism and modified his plans.
Interestingly, this is exactly the approach you could not tolerate when people responded to your criticisms of Trump by pointing out the failings of the alternatives to Trump. More importantly, nobody cares want you want to hear from them. If you don't want anyone's criticisms of a governor's unconstitutional overreach, don't read a thread devoted to the SCOTUS majority's ruling about it. Nobody is forcing you to log in and read what they post. 

Charles Austin

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Re: Recent Surpreme Court Decision Concerning Churches
« Reply #19 on: November 28, 2020, 12:42:35 PM »
If you're on a campaign to drive people away from ALPB Forum, Peter, I'd like to know what makes someone worthy of being one of your targets. Apparently I have the red-circle symbol of a big retailer on my back.
I await your directions to those who call Brian and myself heterodox, heretics or worse, and whose instant, knee-jerk response to most of our posts is "How awful! How could a Lutheran pastor say such terrible things!?" This is often delivered, of course, behind a shield of anonymity.
To quote you "Nobody is forcing (them) to log in and read what (we) post."
P.S.  So it's somehow important that I respond to criticisms of Democrats long ago or actions taken in years past, but no one has to answer for Republicans running the country today with lies and actions more unconstitutional than temporary measures attempting to control the pandemic.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2020, 12:45:47 PM by Charles Austin »
Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Heading home from Sioux City after three days and a reunion of the East High School class of - can you believe it! - 1959.

Charles Austin

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Re: Recent Surpreme Court Decision Concerning Churches
« Reply #20 on: November 28, 2020, 12:53:00 PM »
One of the first things that Trump did when he took office was to dismantle some of the machinery that Obama set up to deal with a health crisis, including care for a stockpile of ventilators and other emergency equipment. And he was devastatingly slow to use his full power to order US manufacturers to provide what was needed.
BTW Cuomo is not solely to blame for having virus patients in nursing homes. Regulations in many states, including Minnesota, require nursing homes to take in some needy patients and forbid them from refusing to accept them just because they have a certain disease.
This blindness to Trump's failings concerning the virus, not to mention his lies about it, continues to disturb us. And I wonder why he has never made even a symbolic visit to those seriously ill. He had some recovered people to the White House as a sign that the disease wasn't so bad, but....
« Last Edit: November 28, 2020, 12:58:23 PM by Charles Austin »
Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Heading home from Sioux City after three days and a reunion of the East High School class of - can you believe it! - 1959.

D. Engebretson

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Re: Recent Surpreme Court Decision Concerning Churches
« Reply #21 on: November 28, 2020, 01:16:17 PM »
Conversation about Trump and the virus is hindered when the only option given is an outright blanket condemnation of the president and an ongoing litany of his supposed failures.  To give credit to Trump for anything seems to be quickly countered with a reminder of accusations of lies and other sins. I don't think further condemnation is needed from Republicans.  There is plenty from the other side to compensate.

As I noted before, Trump is not without his faults and failures. But then again, so are all presidents.  Whether Trump is deemed by future historians as the worst of the bunch, time will tell.  Opinion is divided on the benefits of what he has done, yet there appears to be no room for any real discussion of that. 

Democrats now are very close to having the reins of power handed back.  I would think there would be more rejoicing.  If Georgia goes their way, the possibilities are wide open, including a reconfiguration of the Supreme Court. I'm quite certain that with the stroke of many pens Biden will undo as many executive orders of his predecessor as he can.  He has four years to right all the wrongs, and then Harris has four more to build on that.  Why is there not more celebrating?
« Last Edit: November 28, 2020, 01:18:22 PM by D. Engebretson »
Pastor Don Engebretson
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peter_speckhard

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Re: Recent Surpreme Court Decision Concerning Churches
« Reply #22 on: November 28, 2020, 01:26:35 PM »
If you're on a campaign to drive people away from ALPB Forum, Peter, I'd like to know what makes someone worthy of being one of your targets. Apparently I have the red-circle symbol of a big retailer on my back.
I await your directions to those who call Brian and myself heterodox, heretics or worse, and whose instant, knee-jerk response to most of our posts is "How awful! How could a Lutheran pastor say such terrible things!?" This is often delivered, of course, behind a shield of anonymity.
To quote you "Nobody is forcing (them) to log in and read what (we) post."
P.S.  So it's somehow important that I respond to criticisms of Democrats long ago or actions taken in years past, but no one has to answer for Republicans running the country today with lies and actions more unconstitutional than temporary measures attempting to control the pandemic.
If I were on a campaign to drive people from the forum, I would write things like, “ I will listen to and discuss x when y,” or, “Until you deal with that, I don’t want to hear one from you about x”  which is something only a genuine ass would write in the context of a thread devoted to the topic of x. If you don’t want to talk about the SCOTUS ruling regarding Cuomo’s unconstitutional actions re: freedom of religion, then don’t. Other people do. And they owe you precisely nothing by way of opinions on other topics.

Charles Austin

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Re: Recent Surpreme Court Decision Concerning Churches
« Reply #23 on: November 28, 2020, 02:19:53 PM »
OK, Peter, and I owe "them" nothing in response to snipes at Obama or either of the Clintons, who, BTW are no longer in office and exert little influence over anything. Trump is still in office and still does and - if he gets his way and if the members of the sect shout loudly enough and if the sane Republicans cave in - will exert total control over the Republican party when he leaves office. Let us pray that people like Sasse and Romney and the 20 or so other Senators said to privately "despise" Trump keep speaking up or find the voices they lost in thrall to the leader of the sect.
    I do rejoice that Biden was elected, but the rejoicing was dampened by the crap thrown at the election by the President and his minions, crap now proven in the courts to be totally without merit.
   The rejoicing is tempered by sadness that we must now move into the administration ahead with the echoes of nutty allegations, dissembling and corruption having tainted the White House. I think President-Elect Biden should order a total fumigation before letting his family move in. Might be something in the air.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2020, 02:22:10 PM by Charles Austin »
Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Heading home from Sioux City after three days and a reunion of the East High School class of - can you believe it! - 1959.

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Re: Recent Surpreme Court Decision Concerning Churches
« Reply #24 on: November 28, 2020, 02:33:11 PM »
OK, Peter, and I owe "them" nothing in response to snipes at Obama or either of the Clintons, who, BTW are no longer in office and exert little influence over anything. Trump is still in office and still does and - if he gets his way and if the members of the sect shout loudly enough and if the sane Republicans cave in - will exert total control over the Republican party when he leaves office. Let us pray that people like Sasse and Romney and the 20 or so other Senators said to privately "despise" Trump keep speaking up or find the voices they lost in thrall to the leader of the sect.
    I do rejoice that Biden was elected, but the rejoicing was dampened by the crap thrown at the election by the President and his minions, crap now proven in the courts to be totally without merit.
   The rejoicing is tempered by sadness that we must now move into the administration ahead with the echoes of nutty allegations, dissembling and corruption having tainted the White House. I think President-Elect Biden should order a total fumigation before letting his family move in. Might be something in the air.
Precisely. You owe them nothing, so don’t give them anything. Don’t post on the topic. Don’t post that you aren’t going to respond. Don’t post to pony out your refusal to post. Don’t post some little dig and then add, “But we digress.” Just stop interacting with people you don’t like on topics that bug you.

Charles Austin

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Re: Recent Surpreme Court Decision Concerning Churches
« Reply #25 on: November 28, 2020, 02:37:43 PM »
Peter:
Just stop interacting with people you don’t like on topics that bug you.

Me:
Then how are you and the others here ever going to learn anything? And how am I going to have any fun?
Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Heading home from Sioux City after three days and a reunion of the East High School class of - can you believe it! - 1959.

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Recent Surpreme Court Decision Concerning Churches
« Reply #26 on: November 28, 2020, 02:39:57 PM »
Peter:
Just stop interacting with people you don’t like on topics that bug you.


Perhaps when you stop interacting with Charles over his posts that bug you.
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Richard Johnson

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Re: Recent Surpreme Court Decision Concerning Churches
« Reply #27 on: November 28, 2020, 03:11:23 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.)
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

Dan Fienen

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Re: Recent Surpreme Court Decision Concerning Churches
« Reply #28 on: November 28, 2020, 03:38:31 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.)
You make several excellent points here. Just as churches and other religious institutions are not exempt from general health and safety codes, so we need to be sensitive to and cooperative with rules and regulations designed to promote public health during this health crisis. My one caveat, and one that I think you share, is that churches not be singled out for special restrictions.
Pr. Daniel Fienen
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Re: Recent Surpreme Court Decision Concerning Churches
« Reply #29 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
« Last Edit: November 28, 2020, 04:24:06 PM by John_Hannah »
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