Churches Defy Covid19 Shutdown

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83 Responses

  1. CM says:

    Both of these idiots will discover the HARD WAY that SCOTUS precedents and case law give states wide leeway in terms of public health (as some of those opposed to them in MI found out earlier).

    I really want to see both of the do the perp walk.

  2. CM says:

    For starters, no one is preventing these churches from holding gatherings outside or preventing them from worshiping with the proper quarantine / mitigation protocols put into place. By the way, during the Spanish Flu pandemic, health authorities did ban church meetings. Everyone seems to forget that.

  3. Michael says:

    I just hope we don’t see an outbreak from these churches…

  4. Duane Arnold says:

    At heart, I think this is an ethical question. That is, what are my rights and what are my responsibilities? For instance, you have the right to protest, but you have the responsibility to do so in a non-violent manner. Likewise, we may have the right to assemble, but with that comes certain responsibilities including, but not limited to, following public health directives and concern for the health of congregants. I’m hearing a lot from these folk about their rights. I’m hearing little to nothing about their responsibilities. They need to go back and take Ethics 101…

  5. CM says:

    Michael,

    Unfortunately, that will most likely happen and many of their flock may die to satisfy’s the Manogawd’s ego.

    For those of you lawyer types out there, here are 2 SCOTUS cases that give states wide authority in dealing with epidemics, quarantines, and other health issues:

    Compagnie Francaise de Navigation a Vapeur v. Louisiana Board of Health, 186 U.S. 380 (1902)

    Jacobson v. Massachusetts, 197 U.S. 11 (1905)

  6. parker says:

    I watched a video online. The service was on July 5th. You can look it up on their website. The church is Calvary chapel of Chino hills with Jack hibbs. The church was packed. No social distancing. Lots of hugging and talking. And lots of singing. Jack said in defiance that the governor doesn’t want us to worship. He said I know of another person who doesn’t want us to worship. Satan. Jack also said I am not going to live in fear and wear a mask and hide in my basement. The way the crowd reacts there you would think you’re at a Trump campaign rally.

  7. Michael says:

    It seems that the debate is over individual rights vs. community reponsibility.
    How do we balance both?
    Should the church be the place where we battle for political rights?

  8. Michael says:

    Parker,

    Hibbs scares the hell out of me…maybe I’m possessed…

  9. parker says:

    Michael,
    Ditto

  10. MM says:

    What I have a hard time with is many, including some who have posted on this website, have encouraged and been proud of those who have gone to protest BLM. Yet it seems many of those same people have cried fowl when various churches decide it too is their right to protest through peaceful (and in reality actually peaceful compared to most BLM protests) means.

    As far as the ethics go, it is important to be consistent with them. If it is unethical for a church to gather in protest, ignoring social distancing and recommend PPE, then it is also unethical for others to do the same regardless of the subject.

    The only fair argument, in my opinion, which could be made about church gatherings is they should be based on an authority higher than the state. Is meeting together actually endangering our neighbor and not showing love for them? To me this is the one and only valid question which must, not should, be asked amongst church community leadership. The decision should be based on a sound understanding of the potential risks associated with such gatherings.

    It is also my opinion if one says because the risk of church gatherings to our neighbors is too high then they should also apply that same standards and decision to participation in other protests. Not doing so is unethical.

    Now what would I do personally? What Michael is doing until the risks are made clearer about the virus.

  11. Michael says:

    MM,

    I’ve written repeatedly that the inconsistent messaging between the protests and churches has been harmful.
    Having said that, there are differences…protests have been outdoors in open air and many do wear masks.
    I would feel safer in peaceful protest than inside a church packed with maskless people…

  12. Just Sayin' says:

    MM, even conservative folks like Senator Romney and Jonathan Leeman walked in solidarity with BLM peacefully in July while respectfully disagreeing with their positions on some things.

    I’m sure if Jack Hibbs or John MacArthur and their flock wanted to walk with BLM protesters in California, they’d be welcome to. But that is a very different thing than holding church services indoors.

  13. MM. I dont believe any commenter has ever advocated an illegal act. A protest is not illegal in America. Arson, pelting the police and looting luxury shoe boutiques, is not a protest. There is no ethical inconsistency here.

    Michael. It seems the admonition to withdraw from an unruly brother, was never more timely then this situation. Even a broken clock is right twice a day. The old Fundamentalist practice of second and third Separation, finally has a legitamate purpose for those of us with underlying conditions.

  14. Duane Arnold says:

    There is a difference in churches gathering indoors to worship as an act of protest…
    The difference is that there is a really good chance that people will die as a result of such “protests” and the deaths will not be limited to those in the congregation.

  15. MM says:

    You all have an opinion and as I stated very clearly the ethical decisions on gatherings do not matter whether they are a protest or a church service, the results medically are the same. Viruses do not have a mind or the ability to differentiate between the two. Any other view is neither scientific or supported by data.

    As far as this statement goes,

    “ The difference is that there is a really good chance that people will die as a result of such “protests” and the deaths will not be limited to those in the congregation.”

    While it may make you feel good it is inaccurate. The chances of dying in either are the same.

    Again I’ll make it clear as I can, I personally would do the what Michael is doing and would encourage others to do the same.

    There’s enough medical, science and real blind test data to demonstrate the best way to prevent the spread of any virus is to maintain at least 2 meters away and practice good personal hygiene. When outside, and inside with strong ventilation BTW, the same info suggests the greater the breeze the lower the risk.

    The risk assessment is key to all decisions in life including this one. Nothing is risk free.

  16. MM says:

    Nathan

    They have. In fact if you go back in previous thread there are some who have congratulated their family members for participation in BLM protest while condemning and viciously name calling churches and individuals for opening their churches. I find such comments based more on emotion than the truth.

    If one is bad the other should also be bad, only looking at gatherings of people and not the subject. They are inconsistent in their logic.

  17. Duane Arnold says:

    “The risk assessment is key to all decisions in life including this one. Nothing is risk free.”

    True, I’d just rather not risk other people’s lives…

  18. MM says:

    I have to add one more thing, while I would not do what Mac has done, I do fully support the right of his organization to do so. I also fully support the BLM’s right in the same way.

    However, I also believe both are subject to the laws of the land and when local governments limit gatherings, size, health restrictions and such it is equally applicable to both Mac and the BLM protest to be subject to violation, fining and arrest for their actions.

    I will never give a green light for BLM and not for Mac. Our leadership has not been consistent in the application of their own laws. That is wrong and hopefully they will be held accountable. Probably not.

  19. MM says:

    “ True, I’d just rather not risk other people’s lives…”

    And that is leadership. Consider a real war and the decisions made my men in charge knowing those decisions will bring immediate and horrific death to those under their command.

    Not easy.

    Neither is deciding what to teach/preach on each week. Life and death in those words, just not so immediate.

    Yes I take this all very seriously, I just don’t believe we have all the best information so in this case being conservative is probably the best direction.

  20. CM says:

    Couple of things MM,

    The spread of COVID is much less outdoors than indoors (remember just about all HVAC systems nowadays recirculate the air, just like on an airplane – which makes things worse). Second, in any environment where there are COVID -laced droplets and aerosols, the 2 main determining factors are concentration of these droplets and exposure time. Both determine how many virus particles are inhaled into your body. Once a certain threshold is reached, you become sick.

    Outdoors reduces the concentration significantly. Social distancing reduces the exposure to droplets and aerosols expelled by someone, masks reduce the generation and expelling of the droplets and aerosols as well reducing the dispersal area.

    All this explains why masks and social distancing are absolutely critical indoors. Outdoors as long as the people are not concentrated the risks as much less. In fact, there has been almost no cases where some caught COVID in the outdoors at random (obviously if you are outside and in long-term close contact with someone infected the risks go up). A review of the engineering journals in the field of fluid mechanics, computational fluid dynamics, and particle/aerosol science bears this out.

    This means an outdoor protest (or church service or luncheon) will almost always be less risky for COVID than indoors with a comparable crowd size). If Roy or McArthur wants to have his services with only 10 to 15% of the seating capacity and have everyone spread out, sure. But that still does not solve the problem of all that recirculated air that everyone is breathing.

    But their egos and defiance for the sake of defiance (not logic) will not allow that.

  21. Mike E. says:

    Indeed there is a right and righteous way. These men are clearly defying clear biblical commands to submit to the government. They’re doing this because they’re Americans and they have the “right.” I believe we are Christians FIRST, THEN Americans. Not the other way around. Our King never demanded his “rights.” He told us to be like Him. We’re told specifically to pick up our cross and follow HIM. He never carried an American flag. He carried a Roman death instrument. We have to die to our “rights” in order to love others. Demanding our rights when it is in fact endangering other human beings is antithetical to HISTORIC Christian teaching. I declare my unbridled opposition to what these men are doing. I won’t be a part of it. It’s an antichrist spirit. They’ll be held accountable either way.

  22. MM says:

    CM

    Well I covered your “couple of things” in my posts. And please don’t go into the whole mask thing. There are actual blind studies and tests of the efficacy of wearing masks for bacterial and virus control. What masks do is remind people to distance and the proper application of personal hygiene (as in wash your hands).

    This statement demonstrates your judgment of what they are doing.

    “But their egos and defiance for the sake of defiance (not logic) will not allow that.”

    I hope you application of that judgement is applied equally to the BLM protests, which I’ve also seen convene into non-social distancing indoors. We have to be consistent, which is at the heart of justice and mercy.

    We all have egos and do what we think is right… or else we wouldn’t do it.

    As I clearly stated, I would not have done what they are doing and my ego is telling me that is the best decision, but not in condemnation of theirs. We may find out what they chose wasn’t the wrong decision at all. I’m okay with that.

    I’ve written enough about it, we all have our opinions.

    Thank you Michael.

  23. MM says:

    Mike E.

    ” I declare my unbridled opposition to what these men are doing.”

    “And what does the Lord require of you…”

    May all of us want to be like Him!

  24. CM says:

    MM,

    There are computation fluid dynamics that precisely calculate the dispersal of droplets from ones mouth when one is speaking, coughing or sneezing, and they reduce the dispersion. The same sort of mathematics used in aerospace to calculate the behavior of the airflow over a wing or the flow of water along a ship hull. And they show that the dispersion of aerosols and droplets is reduced significantly. Here is but one introductory article:

    https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/journal-of-fluid-mechanics/article/flow-physics-of-covid19/476E32549012B3620D2452F30F2567F1

    But then most people in this whole mask debate have not even heard of this research, much less know anything about it, as all they look at are the various studies and tests from the medical side.

  25. MM says:

    CM

    Thank you, but I’ve already seen that report. There’s so much more to virus and bacterial spread than fluid dynamics, but if it helps any face covering will reduce the distance virus travel when exhaled. Which slightly reduces the distance we need to maintain. Since you are looking up the data actual testing without masks demonstrated the optimal distance to prevent virus transmission by people in a zero air movement situation is one meter. At two meters the transmission is virtually zero.

    A face covering simple reduces that distance slightly, allowing less space between people.

    But wearing a mask is a huge reminder of what is going on and what is necessary, assuming the COVID infection rate need to slowed to under 1.

    Eventually, should a vaccine not be found, we will all get it.

    Which my Doctor told me today at my semi-annual physical.

    What I’m trying to write is this, masks are not a panacea and will not prevent people from getting the virus.

    This thread is about what a group should or not do in light of our knowledge about the COVID virus, its risks and actual threat. And Should our “rights” override what our government has made into law?

    I think many people are not consistent In their application and logic about how the condemn one group over another.

  26. directambiguity says:

    If people weren’t so mad at evangelicals for voting for Trump and doing everything in their power to dissuade them from doing it again I could maybe buy into the shut the church thing down but I think there is more to it. Call it continuing to dissuade or payback I say let people decide… if you are in frightened or high risk stay home.

  27. Michael says:

    What these arguments boil down to is “the protestors got to spread Covid19 so we can too”.
    This is what happens when the church finds it’s identity in politics and it’s embarassing.

  28. Michael says:

    directambiguity,

    It’s obviously the work of the deep state and Illuminati.
    I think The Joker may be involved as well…

  29. Mike E. says:

    “Be careful,” warned Nietzsche, “lest in fighting the dragon you become the dragon.” I see the confusion of politics and religion as one of the greatest barriers to grace. C. S. Lewis once said that almost all crimes of Christian history have come about when religion is confused with politics. Politics, which always runs by the rules of ungrace, allures us to trade away grace for power, a temptation the church has often been unable to resist.”
    ― Philip Yancey, Christians and Politics Uneasy Partners

  30. MM says:

    Michael

    “ What these arguments boil down to is “the protestors got to spread Covid19 so we can too”.”

    Let’s be honest, that’s just a “click bait” false representation of what Mac and the others are doing.

    If you want to do some looking outside the church, anti-lockdown protests are starting to spread across the world in countries used to greater personal freedom. Germany, S. Africa, England, and Israel just to name a few.

    What is interesting is their critics use the same solid “science and data” based arguments, they just call the “idiots.”

  31. bob1 says:

    Great quote from Phil Yancey. His thoughts and musings are always so valuable.

  32. Michael says:

    MM,

    I have never and will never use “click bait”.
    If I did, it sure as hell wouldn’t be all the way down a comment list.
    I stand by what I said.

  33. MM says:

    Jean

    Just one question, how come we can track 91 connections from a church gathering, but we can’t connect people going to the grocery store or Home Depot?

    Is the answer, because we don’t want to. Hmmm.

    What I want to know is this, when are we going to get from our stellar politicians and world leaders the all clear signal and what is it?

    At some point people have got to feel safe enough to risk going outside, shaking hands, eating together and being human, the way God created us.

    Will you trust Biden, Cuomo, Inslee, Brown or Trump to say it’s now safe?

  34. MM says:

    Michael

    It’s a bad comment. Period!

  35. Michael says:

    “Just one question, how come we can track 91 connections from a church gathering, but we can’t connect people going to the grocery store or Home Depot?”

    We can and we do.
    Where I live they’ve traced outbreaks from churches, parties, certain bars, and even the hospital.

  36. Michael says:

    “It’s a bad comment. Period!”
    In your opinion.
    Just as in my opinion much of what you write is right wing Christian drivel.
    The difference is that I own the place…and if you can’t be respectful of my opinions without accusation you can leave.

  37. MM says:

    Okay Michael, you want for me to agree with you on everything? Hey I agreed with you on how you are running your meetings. But I guess what you really want is to be affirmed.

    Well you’ve done good and your the website you run has gained a lot of attention.

    As far as “drivel” goes, could there be a bit of projection in that statement?

    Yes I’m poking, but you give it out equally well. The only difference is I have no real intention of insulting you.

    You are consistent and no one can criticize you for that.

    BTW the email I list in the comment box is a real one if you would like to privately comment.

    And yes, they do tack them at some stores, certainly not where I live though.

  38. MM says:

    I might mention Michael, I am far from a “right wing evangelical Christian.”

    So be careful before you label people.

  39. UnCCed says:

    Jesus kept teaching and prophesying to the 12, they kept arguing and jockeying for position.
    It seems nothing has changed.

  40. bob1 says:

    people have got to feel safe enough to risk going outside, shaking hands, eating together and being human, the way God created us.

    So because God created us, that means He wishes us to go out and infect other people that may lead to their demise?

    This is so idiotic. It’s like the Repub. legislator awhile who said it’s basically against God’s will to cover our faces. Good Lord.

    More drivel.

  41. bob1 says:

    So be careful before you label people.

    Or you could just put on your big boy pants and understand that on a blog like this, everyone makes assumptions. If they’re not accurate, you’re free to let us know a bit more about who you are.

    Also might want to think about curbing the fake outrage. 10 years outdated.

  42. directambiguity says:

    Michael,
    If by “The Joker” you meant Satan we both can agree to that.

  43. Jean says:

    “Just one question, how come we can track 91 connections from a church gathering, but we can’t connect people going to the grocery store or Home Depot?”

    MM,

    You’re a smart guy; I’m surprised that smart people, like yourself, put their brains on the shelf when it comes to the pandemic and Trump.

    Let’s see… In a church, particularly one of 35-150 members in worship, there are several factors that make contact tracing very effective. First, the membership is widely known. Second, most people know each other and even when visitors come, they typically have a relationship to a member. In my previous church, we even had friendship pads in every pew, in which all attendees were invited to sign the the pad and provide certain information. In my current church, the elders not only count but are aware of visitors for purposes of the Lord’s Supper. So, a church is an ideal congregate setting to conduct contact tracing, because virtually all contacts can easily be traced.

    Second, indoor church services are especially hazardous in a pandemic. People sit close together. They handle things together, such as passing an offering plate, passing friendship pads, shaking hands or giving hugs during a period of “pass the peace,” touching doors, touching pews moving in and out, etc.. Congregate singing expels a lot of breath in a closed area. Fans circulate air among the people. They are an ideal setting, and many cases of outbreak from church services have been documented, for the spread of a respiratory virus.

    The Republican governor did not publish the church outbreak to embarrass that church or Christianity, but for an example of what could very well happen anywhere similar conditions exist, so that people will make appropriate behavior modifications.

    i could list all the differences with with Home Depot or a grocery story, but i trust you can figure them out yourself.

    What I would encourage you and others to do, when it comes to church in a pandemic, is stop comparing church to home depot and start asking yourself what the best practices of church should be? Since when does a church take its marching orders from home depot?
    However, what responsibilities does a church have to its member and its communities during a pandemic?

  44. MM says:

    bob1 and Jean:

    Why are you bringing political bias into this?

    And why this:
    “You’re a smart guy; I’m surprised that smart people, like yourself, put their brains on the shelf when it comes to the pandemic and Trump.”

    It appears you are implying something about me possibly as a contrast to yourself? If so please follow your own advice and not only look at read what I write.

    It’s about consistent and arguable positions. You are arguing why you believe Mac and others like him are wrong, possibly unbiblical and immoral in their approach to opening and protests.

    What I clearly write is many are not applying the same argument consistently and demonstrating bias where it fits your opinions.

    By introducing the argument of Trump bias, you are clearly making an attempt to discredit and and mis-direct the point.

    Jean, who says we aren’t looking for best practices for our gatherings and community? No one is the answer. My argument is about inconsistent application of and criticism of others. The only comparison with Home Depot and church is the inconsistency of our government decisions and leadership.

    bob1

    “if they’re not accurate, you’re free to let us know a bit more about who you are.”

    Done so and have made it quite clear and I’ll do so again;
    1. I agree with Michael’s approach to church.
    2. Arguments must be consistent and applicable to all. It is a Godly trait to be just to all.
    3. You are biased and a Trump hater. While I don’t like him I respect and pray for the President of the United States.

    Now please apply your hatred and bias to where it may actually help someone.

    Note from the News:

    The Mayor of Los Angeles last night decided the water and electricity of venues allowing large gatherings, like Mac and other churches, will be shut off if they continue to violate his orders.

  45. Michael says:

    Once someone accuses me of “click bait” the discussion is over.

    “At some point people have got to feel safe enough to risk going outside, shaking hands, eating together and being human, the way God created us.”

    Someone needs to go tell the virus to back off.
    I find it beyond belief that we are so enamored of ourselves that we think that even nature is subject to our control.
    We’re tired of the virus, so the virus must bend to our will.
    The virus doesn’t seem to be listening.
    I don’t like the fact that there has been a double standard in how we have addressed this pandemic, but as a Christian and a pastor I’m going to do the best thing for my people and damn the political ramifications.

  46. Mike E says:

    In this article from The Federalist, hardly a leftist rag, one of John Macarthur’s attorneys is identified as as Jenna Ellis, who also serves as private legal counsel to President Trump and senior legal advisor to the Trump 2020 campaign. SO..are we going to quit playing these semantic games and stop allowing ourselves as believers in The King to be fed a bunch of religious bullcrap when it’s so obvious Macarthur is working for the Trump campaign? Is he doing this for Almighty God, or the god of many evangelical conservatives, the Orange evil man? Read it for yourselves, brothers and sisters.

    https://thefederalist.com/2020/08/05/l-a-threatens-john-macarthur-and-his-church-with-fines-arrest-for-holding-services/

  47. Duane Arnold says:

    Michael

    “The virus doesn’t seem to be listening.” … And the 156,311 dead can no longer hear our arguments about “our rights”…

  48. Mike E. says:

    I’m so tired of this equivocating. When will many evangelical conservatives just ADMIT the truth? Trump is a man of evil. Just judging the rotten fruit. So, perhaps they made an honest mistake and supported someone evil because they were deceived or just simply mistaken. Fine. Where now is Christian humility? I’m tired of the “oh there’s so many good people I know who follow Trump.” Sure, they’re good people. Good people who have been and continue to be wrong, supporting a politician and a political party who continue every single day to dispense evil, ungodly, unmerciful, ungracious, unloving, wicked and deceitful practices. Does this feel like I’m calling out Trump followers? Good, because I am. I do not say this out of anger friends, but through tears. (If I were able to cry, which is a whole different subject). My heart is weeping for the great sin we are committing against the only One, true, and living God, by bowing to evil men and women and not standing for the truth. I’m not playing this game anymore. I will no longer acquiesce to fellow believers who refuse to admit the truth. I stand against this evil.

  49. filbertz says:

    these pastors who defiantly open their churches and present risk to themselves and others certainly bear responsibility for outcomes–they are the leaders and the buck(s) stop there. What I believe they are demonstrating is an inability to extract wisdom from scripture and instead relying on hand-picked points of logic from the Bible to support a predetermined outcome. In my view, that is poor handling of God’s word and will further smear the name of Christ. It also smells startlingly similar to how the pharisees operated…

  50. Michael says:

    Mike E,

    I appreciate your zeal, but it will consume you.
    Let me share something I haven’t to this point.
    I knew Trump would win in 2016 and I know he’ll win again.
    How did I know?
    Lots of reasons, but primarily because he’s a secular version of every corrupt preacher we’ve ever tried to bust.
    Their sins against the church and her people are evident, but few care.
    Mega church pastors become symbols of “God”…Trump is a symbol of an “America” they wish existed.
    Facts, in both cases, are irrelevant.
    I have waged a decades long war that produced little but grief for me.
    Do not dismiss the fact that many, many good people will vote for him…be grateful for that good and know the other side is as evil in different ways.
    The only way to survive and maintain a remnant is to identify with another kingdom…
    Blessings, my friend.

  51. Michael says:

    fil,

    If there is an outbreak from those churches, the backlash will be brutal against all Christians…

  52. Owen says:

    Michael, I hear you – and I’ll continue to pray that you could be wrong…

  53. Michael says:

    Owen,

    I pray that I’m wrong.
    The problem is that this country is divided and broken beyond repair.
    No matter who wins they will preside over an economic and civil catastrophe we have no means of fixing…because we trust no one and hate too many.
    Pray that I’m wrong about this…the Great Experiment is over and it failed.

  54. Xenia says:

    Our parish church was closed for a while, opened up briefly, and now, due to an increase in cases in our county, is closed again. While it was open, it just seemed to me- maybe my sinful imagination at work, who knows- that everyone was concentrating on masks and their various resentments (on whatever side) and really didn’t benefit from the service. Maybe I should only speak for myself. I found it hard to be “spiritual” when I was throwing mental daggers against the conspiratorial people in the corner w/o masks. I know them; I know there isn’t a government edict they wouldn’t want to defy. They remind us, as I have here on the PhxP a few times myself, about the Russian Revolution and how the persecution of the Church got started with medical injunctions, etc. But I don’t hate and fear my government, nor do I hate or fear the medical establishment. I am a rather trusting person, all in all, and now there’s a young man I know IRL on FB who believes I am blind and doesn’t want to talk to me. He is from an oppressive European country and fears the worst. But I think the worst is his willingness to toss his old friend (me) aside as maybe not even a Christian since I don’t agree with him. And believe me, he and his co-conspiracy theorists believe some whackadoodle stuff.

    So we have received some bad new recently about the health of a family member and I don’t even want to talk about it with these friends, other than one dear sister. They will skip over me, Xenia, and launch into dark ideas about the Deep State and blah blah blah. I don’t want to share anything precious with them as I no longer trust them. This current crisis, in all its manifestations, has brought out the worst in some people and I feel like I can see who they *really* are, but that’s an unworthy thought on my part because we all fall into spells of idiocy. May they recover.

    Sorry for the ramble. I am so sad about so many people. It was ok when they wanted to talk about the Rapture and all that goes with it but some people have become absolutely vicious.

    That’s all. God bless you all.

  55. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    I share in your sadness…and have no idea what to do to make anything better other than retreat.

  56. Xenia says:

    Think about this: What if the government shut down all gatherings EXCEPT churches and Christians began to catch the virus in large numbers. Then the theorists would claim the government bunched up Christians on purpose to kill us.

    Personally, I think Gov. Newsom is trying to save the lives of Christians, not kill us or stamp out Christianity. However, when riots and protests are permitted, he and other governors/mayors lose credibility.

  57. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    Your first point is fascinating.
    On the second, that loss of credibility ruined any hope that we could have a comprehensive approach to fighting the virus.
    Instead, we’re fighting each other…

  58. bob1 says:

    3. You are biased and a Trump hater.

    MM.

    You misunderstand me.

    I don’t hate Trump, as a person. In fact, I feel very sorry for him. It’s obvious that his family wounded him deeply. I do pray for him.

    But I don’t like what he — and the entire Republican party — now stand for. Trump would have happened sooner or later.

  59. directambiguity says:

    Michael,
    I’m not as sure Trump will win as you because a large number of people want socialism. If Biden wins that’s what we’ll get plus open borders… if Trump wins the next president will be a Bernie Sanders type and it will all be over. We can’t print money forever.

  60. Michael says:

    directambiguity,

    I’ve been involved in border issues for 20 some years…and still haven’t met my first proponent of open borders.
    I’m very much for immigration and asylum reform and have never even considered open borders.
    The claim is a scare tactic and repeating it here will result in instant banishment from here on out.
    Period.

  61. directambiguity says:

    Michael,
    I never said you supported open borders, not once.

    What about what I said about the election, a large amount of people wanting socialism, and not being as sure as you on Trump winning the election and either way getting a socialist President either now or after Trump?

  62. MM says:

    Michael

    “Once someone accuses me of “click bait” the discussion is over.”

    You are way to sensitive or maybe you think a bit too highly of yourself and opinions.

    Of course the virus doesn’t listen to people, I have pointed that out so me times itmakes me want to vomit.

    The lockdowns and restrictions are people ordained as a defense against the spreading o the virus. It is those same people who will and must declare the threat over or minimal to get back to whatever normal life is.

    If you can’t get that the continue to hide or what ever you do. Maybe you can decide for us when it is safe to go out?

    Yes discussions are gone, but it’s you who ends them and others who make this about Trump and politics.

    Thank you Xenia! Great comment about California’s Governor, I appreciated that.

  63. Michael says:

    “If Biden wins that’s what we’ll get plus open borders…”

    Biden is against “open borders” and was part of an administration that deported more people than any in history to that point.

    Define “socialism”…as I’m on Medicaid and will be getting my first SSI check next month and need both to survive…

  64. MM says:

    bob1:

    “MM.

    You misunderstand me.

    I don’t hate Trump, as a person. In fact, I feel very sorry for him. It’s obvious that his family wounded him deeply. I do pray for him.”

    Thank you for the clarification. I personally am sad He and Biden are the only two choices we have coming this fall. I’m really not sure where I will vote.

  65. Michael says:

    MM,

    “Click bait” has a definition…it’s a false headline to lure people to an article.
    I’ve survived almost 20 years without doing so and yes, I’m proud of what we’ve done and what we do here.
    I have also said that I believe all government mitigation of the pandemic should end…let the passing of the caskets (or not) determine the truth.
    That will be the only thing that we’ll be unable to argue about.

  66. CM says:

    Michael,

    Since I know immigration and border issues is one of your main areas of interest, I found this interesting White Paper on 21st century ideas for immigration by the Cato Institute.

    https://www.cato.org/publications/white-paper/12-new-immigration-ideas-21st-century

    If you have time to read it, I would like to hear your thoughts on it. I am sure there are a number of ideas there you would agree would be a benefit.

  67. directambiguity says:

    Where does that money come from?

    We can’t print counterfeit money forever, only 48% of what the government is spending comes from collecting taxes, the rest is made up lowering the value of the dollar (it gets stronger as everyone runs to it for safety), interest rates are at zero and if the Fed tried to raise them we would go into recession probably a depression. The only reason we in America live as we do is because of debt and the world currency is the dollar if it fails it’s over. The only thing the Fed has left is to print more money, Trump inherited this when we bailed out the bad players in 2008. Trump knows this that’s why we got the relief package and we are getting ready to print more money for another one. This isn’t going to end well when no one want’s the dollar anymore.

  68. Michael says:

    CM,

    I’m up against time restraints, but I will say that I think the paper presents rational and reasonable ideas that really shouldn’t be controversial.
    Most of what I read, I applauded…

  69. Xenia says:

    I am worried about the elections this November.

    If Biden wins, the Trump people will claim the election was rigged and who knows what will happen. Will he leave the White House willingly? The Right will double down on the conspiracy theories and if the election is at all close, with hanging chads and what not, people will go nuts.

    If Trump wins, the Left will burn down the cities.

    So either way, half the country will not accept the election results and there will be chaos.

    A relative and his family have move back to Europe for the duration because he is that worried.

    All I do is withdraw into my little world of Medieval mythology, small animals, and Orthodox Saints. I am increasing and wrongfully looking at everyone outside my family with suspicion. This is not a good attitude.

  70. Mike E says:

    “I appreciate your zeal, but it will consume you.”

    Good, then I will be with my King, saying His words, words that were written of Him in the prophets. “for zeal for your house consumes me, and the insults of those who insult you fall on me.
    Psalm 69:9 –

    To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!” His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me”
    John 2:16-17

    “I have waged a decades long war that produced little but grief for me.”

    I know you have, my dear brother. You are weary. And that’s ok. Very understandable. But, actually, your ministry has borne much good fruit, albeit much grief for you.

    “ not dismiss the fact that many, many good people will vote for him…be grateful for that good and know the other side is as evil in different ways.”

    You are absolutely correct about this However. they are good people..but are they doing a good thing? Are they representing our King’s kingdom, or the kingdom of men ruled by money and constantly using the Name of our King to justify evil? I can no longer abide. We must not make excuses for them or justify them in doing wrong. That makes us wrong. As far as the other side, you are correct. The evil they do cannot be denied either. I have not, nor will I proclaim, that they are any better. I honestly don’t know how to vote. But as a believer in the King, I do know how NOT to vote. Mr. Trump AND his administration have displayed constant cruelty, injustice, unmerciful, and wicked abusive behavior that cannot be tolerated by people of the King. If they do tolerate it, they are wrong. I would even go so far as to say Mr. Trump has blasphemed God by using His Name and His people to accomplish his evil goals. “Woe to them who call evil good and good evil.” So…consume me, O Lord. I will be honored to suffer for His glory and the glory of His Kingdom.

    The only way to survive and maintain a remnant is to identify with another kingdom…

  71. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    I am right there with you on withdrawing.
    It’s to the point that every week about this time we decide whether to keep the site up for another week.
    I actually do not like conflict…and conflict that has no hope of resolution is something I flee from.
    All the stress has sucked the creativity out of me and my attention span has shrunk along with my ability to retain and process information..

    We want to bless the people of God in difficult times…but how?

  72. Michael says:

    MikeE,

    I hear you and thank you for the kind words.
    I have had friends, family, and church members separate from me over the political strife.
    The only thing I could do that would be a worse sin (for me) is to decide that they are as intolerable as they find me.
    This isn’t easy for me…I have a strong ability too dispose of people emotionally, but it’s something I have to fight.
    Many blessings to you my friend as you parse these things…

  73. Xenia says:

    I belong to a small Zoom group run by one of my professors where we discuss the topic of ethical living. We talk about what kind of ethical shampoo (!) to buy, etc. It is silly, but I need someone to talk to sometimes. I have a wonderful, but taciturn, husband. I know I am the only conservative Christian in the group. The others all assume we are on the same page about BLM and COVID and all the rest of the left-wing agenda. These are nice people and they mean well. Their liberal churches are all about diversity and equality as well as supporting feminism and homosexuality and other perversions. They truly believe they have chosen the godly path. They are not evil people, but they have fallen for an evil set of pseudo virtues. They suspect I am not a fellow traveler, but (thanks to the leader of the group) they are polite and skirt around certain topics. I appreciate this, but the tension is growing. I don’t want to argue with these folks, but there is a certain smugness about them which I find infuriating, if I was in the mood to be infuriated. And I imagine my side, wherever that is, is just as smug.

    When I was in Scotland with my beloved (now) Bishop, we visited a very well known church. The rector was an old friend of the Bishop’s. The man sat all us Orthodox pilgrims down in a row and proceeded to lecture us on the evils of conformity to old-style Christianity and how his church has overcome all that and now does works of charity. We all sat quietly and listened to this polite condemnation, without comment, because we were, after all guests. Once we were back outside the Bishop made his only critical comment of the entire trip. He said that when you abandon Christ and His Gospel, all you have left to fill the void is do-gooderism. And that’s the problem with my Zoom buddies. They have shoved Christ aside and all they have left is discerning the most ethical type of shampoo to buy. (This is an obvious exaggeration, of course. They do care about more important things than shampoo but it’s what they no longer care about that is the problem.)

  74. Mike E. says:

    Michael,
    I would never advocate “ghosting” (to use an Internet term) ANY person who follows Trump. To the contrary, I’m called to love them. And I do. That is why I cannot stand silent as they (albeit, in my opinion) proceed down a path that hurts them and millions of other souls.

  75. Dan from Georgia says:

    Michael et al…

    I don’t like conflict either, as in…I don’t like to be fighting with people. More than a few times I have deleted comments on other sites because I just plain find it exhausting to argue with people over sometimes the dumbest things, let alone my political/moral/societal views. it’s just plain tiring.

  76. EricL says:

    I was talking with my pastor yesterday and he mentioned that 6 parishioners have reported getting COVID and that we’ve lost 3 in our extended family (parents of parishioners), with one more in ICU. We’re are less than 20 miles away from Hibbs’ mega church and aren’t close to its size, so I’m sure they’ve had their share of cases and deaths too- they just might not be aware of them.

    We haven’t stopped being the church nor have we stopped meeting, but we do Sundays online and we’ve encouraged more small groups (most of which are virtual). We have about 500 in our church and we have over 40 small groups now. We still gather. We still worship. We still teach the Word. It’s just done a bit differently now.

    The governor hasn’t stopped us from ministering either- we still do our Saturday food ministry, but now it’s a drive-through line. We still pray with people. We still love. We still share truth. And I’m thankful to live in a country where all those freedoms still exist.

  77. Muff Potter says:

    There is no shortage of idiocy in the fundagelical sub-culture.

  78. Duane Arnold says:

    “A new Pew Research Center survey finds that U.S. adults overwhelmingly say houses of worship should be required to follow the same rules about social distancing and large gatherings as other organizations or businesses in their local area. About eight-in-ten Americans (79%) take this position, four times the share who think houses of worship should be allowed more flexibility than other kinds of establishments when it comes to rules about social distancing (19%).”

    The complete conclusions and survey can be found here:
    https://www.pewforum.org/2020/08/07/americans-oppose-religious-exemptions-from-coronavirus-related-restrictions/

  79. CM says:

    It would be a shame if Hibbs and MacArthur get COVID-19 and suffer the same fate as Herman Cain. At least it means further nominations for the upcoming Darwin Awards.

    And to quote Trump on that, “It is what it is.”

  80. Jlo says:

    You should be scared of Hibbs, but even scarier is his followers. He has one person who underwent a lung transplant a year ago, convinced that no mask is needed.

  81. Jim says:

    “The only way to survive and maintain a remnant is to identify with another kingdom”. Well said.

    BTW Michael, I’ll remind you again that I’ve always been a proponent of open borders.

  82. Mike E. says:

    Well since Jim brought up”open border,.” I’d just like to remind everyone about the foreign children being incarcerated and separated from their parents, causing life-long emotional trauma. And think of their parents too. I wonder which Scripture Mr. Trump and his evil administration are using to justify that? Maybe Trump’s lawyer could ask Pastor Macarthur for a proof text, since they both share the same attorney.

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