Author Topic: Recent Surpreme Court Decision Concerning Churches  (Read 5553 times)

Julio

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Re: Recent Surpreme Court Decision Concerning Churches
« Reply #60 on: November 29, 2020, 08:26:45 AM »
I comment:
Iím not referring to the others at church, but those the worshippers meet at the store, in school or wherever they go after they become infected at church. There is clear proof that church services with people close and singing are spreader events. And those who want freedom of religion at church services must also support freedom of speech at street protests.
The misunderstanding now comes to light  ... the congregation I am currently attending is not an infected church ... there have been absolutely none, zero, zip, nada Coronavirus cases attributed to a Divine Service in our Sanctuary.  I believe one of the elders is a dentist ... and as such he insures that the sanctuary is a virus free as your dentist office.

Yes, the pastor contracted the virus and was sidelined for almost two months ... with neurological complications from the virus ... yet in the Thanksgiving Sermon he thanked God for the virus! He attributes the virus to his local gym/fitness center and no one at church ... not even his wife and children became infected in spite of the fact that he became symptomatic less that 24 hours following an couple of mini communion services. Thanks be to God!

Those of us attending Divine Services certainly support the peaceful freedom of speech at street protests!  Those we are concerned about are those who would condemn us for worshipping our risen Lord and Savior Jesus Christ while at the same time supporting freedom of speech at street protests while failing to condemn the sinful violence, destruction and looting that many of our cities have experienced.

Most are in far closer contact With utter strangers at the supermarket than attending a Divine Service.  There has yet to be a confirmed case of china virus as the result of attending St Johnís Gaspump Lutheran church where I attend.

For those more at risk, I support your decision to take precautions worthy of your standing in life ... please respect the rest of us as we do the same!
« Last Edit: November 29, 2020, 04:21:57 PM by Richard Johnson »

Charles Austin

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Re: Recent Surpreme Court Decision Concerning Churches
« Reply #61 on: November 29, 2020, 09:21:21 AM »
ď I believe one of the elders is a dentist ... and as such he insures that the sanctuary is a virus free as your dentist office.Ē
I muse:
So absolutely everyone is masked? Like the receptionist in my dentist office, with a an operating-room quality mask? Then, everyone who comes within any distance of you is wearing surgical garb, a mask, face shield and surgical gloves? Everything you touch, door knobs, pews, hymnals, bulletins, communion glasses, is sanitized just before you may need to touch it? And every person in the office, who comes into the waiting room, even to deliver a package, has their temperature checked and is expected to wear a mask and gloves if they are touching anything?
Maybe this congregation has taken some precautions. But it is in no way as virus free as my dentist office where I was this past week.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2020, 10:15:28 AM by Charles Austin »
Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Now in Minnesota. Interesting things on the new administration and religion in the 1/24 newspapers. Douthat column, e.g. Posted link here, but it was deleted.

Rev Geminn

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Re: Recent Surpreme Court Decision Concerning Churches
« Reply #62 on: November 29, 2020, 10:25:15 AM »
The important thing to me with this decision isnít religious freedom so much as it forces a consistent application of the 1st Amendment.  Thereís the freedom of religion clause and thereís also the right to peacefully assemble clause.  The latter has been inconsistently applied by governors like Cuomo.  That is a very dangerous precedent.  You canít ban a religious group from a park while also giving your blessing to the George Floyd protests.  This is what DeBlasio did here in New York.  You can cite many instances of this inconsistent policy from political leaders in the last year.  That is a dangerous road to trod.  What I hope this ruling does is make our leaders more thoughtful or cautious about the decisions that they make.  I donít think this has much to do with persecution of any sort as it has to do with ignorance.  I just donít think many political leaders, their advisors, think about religion and worship in the way that we do simply because itís not part of their way of life; itís not in their framework.  This disconnect is revealed by these decisions and also reveals what they value and believe in.

Peace,
Scott+

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Re: Recent Surpreme Court Decision Concerning Churches
« Reply #63 on: November 29, 2020, 10:57:18 AM »
Rev. Gemin writes:
I just donít think many political leaders, their advisors, think about religion and worship in the way that we do simply because itís not part of their way of life; itís not in their framework.
I comment:
Why do you say this and how do you know it? Biden goes to church almost every week. There has been much news over the years about prayer groups (even some "secret" and cabalistic ones) and church attendance in Washington. I'd need some real data to say that politically leadership on a wholesale basis, is not involved in church or religious faith. 
The much bigger danger, in my not so humble opinion, is that political leaders who are not religious in any way will pretend to be on special occasions or to satisfy what they see as a segment of their support. Then they will refer to the Bible (usually incorrectly) or make a show of attending church or slather some praise on a cadre of religious leaders not because of their faith or for serious support of those religious leaders but because of their need for votes. Now you might ask: Who would do a thing like that? There are answers to that question.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2020, 11:00:54 AM by Charles Austin »
Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Now in Minnesota. Interesting things on the new administration and religion in the 1/24 newspapers. Douthat column, e.g. Posted link here, but it was deleted.

Pr. Don Kirchner

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Re: Recent Surpreme Court Decision Concerning Churches
« Reply #64 on: November 29, 2020, 12:04:29 PM »
If adults always did what was best for them, we wouldn't need most laws. They wouldn't use illegal drugs. They wouldn't get drunk...

I used to have friends who felt that way.   ;)

You simply don't realize how intellectually dishonest you are when you quote one's post but make changes first, rendering it not a quote. Bottom line, you're lying.

I realize that what I quoted was a typo, and I was having some fun. Hence the wink. That's no reason for you to lie about it, Brian.   ::)
« Last Edit: November 29, 2020, 12:32:57 PM by Pr. Don Kirchner »
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James S. Rustad

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Re: Recent Surpreme Court Decision Concerning Churches
« Reply #65 on: November 29, 2020, 12:23:19 PM »
Look it up. Itís true.

Your challenge would be much easier to take up if you provided a link to the information you want us to consider.

John_Hannah

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Re: Recent Surpreme Court Decision Concerning Churches
« Reply #66 on: November 29, 2020, 01:20:42 PM »
Pertinent thoughts from Pope Francis, in an op ed piece for the NYT:

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

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

Peace, JOHN
Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS

Charles Austin

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Re: Recent Surpreme Court Decision Concerning Churches
« Reply #67 on: November 29, 2020, 01:40:35 PM »
Great words from Pope Francis!
One of my favorite sentences:
"Looking to the common good is much more than the sum of what is good for individuals. It means having a regard for all citizens and seeking to respond effectively to the needs of the least fortunate."
And this one:
"The pandemic has exposed the paradox that while we are more connected, we are also more divided. Feverish consumerism breaks the bonds of belonging. It causes us to focus on our self-preservation and makes us anxious. Our fears are exacerbated and exploited by a certain kind of populist politics that seeks power over society."
And this one:
"Look at us now: We put on face masks to protect ourselves and others from a virus we canít see. But what about all those other unseen viruses we need to protect ourselves from? How will we deal with the hidden pandemics of this world, the pandemics of hunger and violence and climate change?"
Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Now in Minnesota. Interesting things on the new administration and religion in the 1/24 newspapers. Douthat column, e.g. Posted link here, but it was deleted.

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Recent Surpreme Court Decision Concerning Churches
« Reply #68 on: November 29, 2020, 01:47:05 PM »
If adults always did what was best for them, we wouldn't need most laws. They wouldn't use illegal drugs. They wouldn't get drunk...

I used to have friends who felt that way.   ;)

You simply don't realize how intellectually dishonest you are when you quote one's post but make changes first, rendering it not a quote. Bottom line, you're lying.

I realize that what I quoted was a typo, and I was having some fun. Hence the wink. That's no reason for you to lie about it, Brian.   ::)


Since I changed the text in the original quote, I felt I should also do it in the quoted text.
"The church Ö 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]

Rev Geminn

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Re: Recent Surpreme Court Decision Concerning Churches
« Reply #69 on: November 29, 2020, 02:24:28 PM »
Rev. Gemin writes:
I just donít think many political leaders, their advisors, think about religion and worship in the way that we do simply because itís not part of their way of life; itís not in their framework.
I comment:
Why do you say this and how do you know it? Biden goes to church almost every week. There has been much news over the years about prayer groups (even some "secret" and cabalistic ones) and church attendance in Washington. I'd need some real data to say that politically leadership on a wholesale basis, is not involved in church or religious faith. 
The much bigger danger, in my not so humble opinion, is that political leaders who are not religious in any way will pretend to be on special occasions or to satisfy what they see as a segment of their support. Then they will refer to the Bible (usually incorrectly) or make a show of attending church or slather some praise on a cadre of religious leaders not because of their faith or for serious support of those religious leaders but because of their need for votes. Now you might ask: Who would do a thing like that? There are answers to that question.

I say this because in large part we pastors are a subset of subset of practicing Christians in America. I think we are more inclined to read such mandates and their inconsistencies as an attack on our faith because it matters so much to us.  For politicians Iím inclined to think that what takes up so much of our life is but one among many competing interests. For example, Andrew Cuomo would probably say he values his faith, but after getting divorced he lived with a woman out of wedlock for many years.  Joe Biden, who you note is reported to go to mass every week, is pro-choice and has recently been revealed to be deeply corrupt among many things. Other examples abound, the general and deep corruption of Washington seems to reveal as much as well.

But, hey, I may be wrong and life goes on, my friend.

Peace,
Scott+

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Re: Recent Surpreme Court Decision Concerning Churches
« Reply #70 on: November 29, 2020, 02:26:06 PM »
Richard,

I may be wrong in this, but it seems to me it comes down to this: please let the adults and responsible family members make their own decisions and stop imposing your decisions upon them. If they believe it is important to be willing to risk this for that, let them risk it. Donít tell them: ďNo, it is not.Ē I think it is as simple as that.
In general, this is a sound way to make decisions for a free society.  It gets a little murkier with infectious disease, though, where my decisions have the potential to impose risk on total strangers.  To take a non-COVID example, consider measles vaccination.  The measles vaccine is safe and highly effective, but it is not perfect.  Every few years, there is a measles outbreak somewhere in the US.  Invariably, the outbreak can be traced to one or more unvaccinated individuals, but occasionally, some fully-vaccinated children get sick as well, because the virus is highly transmissible, and the vaccine is not 100% effective.  If I had chosen not to vaccinate my kids against measles, most of the risk would have fallen on my own children, but I would also have needlessly imposed some risk on others in our community. 

Peace,
Jon
So the question becomes whether it is better to live with the occasional outbreak of measles in a free society or live 100% measles-free in a society where the government can inject things into your children against your will. Don't get me wrong, all my children are vaccinated. I simply think we too often solve problems at the expense of the big picture and then wonder why the big picture is so messed up. I believe it is in some writing regarding Screwtape Letters (but I could be wrong) where C.S. Lewis points to the fact as extremely tyrannical if not Satanic that some law in England forbade a man from cutting down his own tree on his own property. Lewis would be all in favor of leaving the tree there; that wasn't the point. The point is that when the collective imposes its will on the individual, every individual in the collective loses something without even knowing it. The defenders of liberty in principle will always appear to be the uncaring ones who can't see the obvious benefit of this or that (usually emergency) solution to this or that problem.

If the state took two or three billion dollars of Elon Musk's money and gave it to poverty-stricken people, it would seem like far more people would be better off. Musk would barely even notice. But suddenly 300+million people would be living in a country that didn't recognize private property or equal protection under the law. The people arguing against such a redistribution would not be opposed to poverty relief or pro-billionaire. They would be protecting an important principle that benefits all people.     

There can be problematic cases, especially as it relates to addiction, in which the strong can prey upon the freedom of the weak in such a way that it becomes problematic to figure out what should be legal. And contagion/public safety certainly presents conflicting principles. I simply think special circumstances require us to err on the side of principle rather than practical solutions because we are somewhat "bribed" in our deliberations by the promise of a solution to a pressing problem.
If youíll accept a friendly amendment, it would not be ďthe governmentĒ injecting anyone; it would be the government mandating vaccination with a product likely produced by the private sector, administered by the provider of your choice. But I agree that you have identified the trade-off, which is yet another variant of the age-old tension between liberty and security. My point is just that in questions related to infectious disease, personal risk tolerance is not the only relevant value, since my decisions may impose risk on others. Deciding that giving the government power to mandate vaccinations is a worse evil than occasional measles outbreaks is a defensible position, but itís a different argument than saying that my kids are the only ones affected by my decision.

I share your disgust with leaders who ignore the restrictions they mandate for others. But, as you frequently pointed out in discussing President Trump, the merits of a policy donít depend on the sincerity, motivation, or personal rectitude of the policyís proponents. The merits of public health restrictions should be assessed with the best data available. Whether Andrew Cuomo or Gavin Newsom is a hypocrite or an opportunist is irrelevant.

Peace,
Jon

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Re: Recent Surpreme Court Decision Concerning Churches
« Reply #71 on: November 29, 2020, 02:37:18 PM »
It is at least nearly unanimous among public heath professionals that masks, distancing, and vaccinations protect us all. Very few medical doctors dispute that. I don't know why anyone would want to resist that based upon libertarian ideals and fear of government intrusion. It seems that the same argument is made by those who are pro-choice on abortion. It is not good and not prudent.

Peace, JOHN
Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS

Pr. Don Kirchner

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Re: Recent Surpreme Court Decision Concerning Churches
« Reply #72 on: November 29, 2020, 03:04:29 PM »
If adults always did what was best for them, we wouldn't need most laws. They wouldn't use illegal drugs. They wouldn't get drunk...

I used to have friends who felt that way.   ;)

You simply don't realize how intellectually dishonest you are when you quote one's post but make changes first, rendering it not a quote. Bottom line, you're lying.

I realize that what I quoted was a typo, and I was having some fun. Hence the wink. That's no reason for you to lie about it, Brian.   ::)

Since I changed the text in the original quote, I felt I should also do it in the quoted text.

No, if you're going to quote someone you don't change the content of what you're quoting. That renders it a lie. Furthermore, it changes the meaning of what you're quoting.

But you know all that.  You do it a lot but usually not by blatantly changing a quote.  >:(
« Last Edit: November 29, 2020, 03:08:15 PM by Pr. Don Kirchner »
Pr. Don Kirchner

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James S. Rustad

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Re: Recent Surpreme Court Decision Concerning Churches
« Reply #73 on: November 29, 2020, 03:20:31 PM »
Look it up. Itís true.

Your challenge would be much easier to take up if you provided a link to the information you want us to consider.

Please provide a link where I can "Look it up."  I'd really like to see the evidence for your beliefs.

Charles Austin

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Re: Recent Surpreme Court Decision Concerning Churches
« Reply #74 on: November 29, 2020, 05:50:55 PM »
https://abcnews.go.com/US/minnesota-sees-rise-covid-19-cases-tied-protests/story?id=71393938

That story reports on testing in protest sites. It has this paragraph:
The results are "very encouraging," the health official told ABC News. The official attributed the low infection rate to "the fact that many or most protesters were wearing masks, the events were outside, people were often able to maintain a 6-foot distance, and any exposures were of relatively shorter duration, not several hours to the same people in the same place."

Conclusion: The protests were not necessarily spreader events. They were different in style from certain political rallies, which kept people close together in one place for a long time, usually unprotected.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2020, 05:53:15 PM by Charles Austin »
Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Now in Minnesota. Interesting things on the new administration and religion in the 1/24 newspapers. Douthat column, e.g. Posted link here, but it was deleted.