Things I Think

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81 Responses

  1. MM says:

    I’m very saddened by the general response to the pandemic. Today I went to Walmart and my local Natural Foods Market and found both of them cleaned out in certain food isles.

    While not a Twitter subscriber or fan, I did look at a couple of threads about the virus and found the words and hearts of people are just plain evil. They literally shout down and name call others who do not follow with the popular narrative about what should be done.

    If the shelves of the stores are any indication of what is in the hearts of people then the Revelation narrative is basically true (when it comes to how people respond).

    In the Talmud the rabbis agree on this one thing, “to save a life is to save the world.” I agree, but when the complexity of this issue grows to the levels we are seeing, whose life is being saved?

    I’m in the over 60 category and the call is to quarantine me, and it would seem Italy has crossed the line and began to refuse ventilators to those over 60. I don’t know if that is true but if so I can except such. The point I want to get to is which life is the most important?

    The CDC published this about possible deaths from COVID-19, “Nevertheless, given the residual uncertainties, health sector decision-makers and disease modelers probably should consider a broad range of 0.25%–3.0% for COVID-19 case-fatality risk estimates.”

    They, CDC, also published this stat, “Among the 48 reporting areas that provided data for 2016, a total of 623,471 abortions were reported” (Note in the USA, the world is probably well into the millions or tens of millions).

    The question of saving a life and therefore a world is very complex.

    This is where I want to go in all the jumble and confusion;
    Are we as a world actually destroying lives in an effort to save our own?

    The COVID-19 crisis is really a narrative about who we are looking at in the mirror each day. Frankly I have no idea how this will end.

    Yes He is in control!

  2. Dan from Georgia says:

    Local idiot on the neighborhood website accused a poster of being a Democrat because this poster said positive things about our Senior’s getting their own time to shop at local grocery stores.

    I still have anxiety, and job outlook in the airline industry is bleak. I don’t care what people think about airlines and their fees, but heck, this is how I take care of my wife.

  3. Em says:

    I have a grandson with a new baby & a mortgage who builds the Boeing triple 7s and i believe they are talking about shutting down… His sister, on the other hand is a microbiologist. Needless to say, she is employed…
    We must take care of each other now… and pray like sonofaguns… 🙏 🙏 🙏

  4. Michael says:

    “The point I want to get to is which life is the most important?”
    No one I know is qualified to make that call.

  5. Michael says:

    I’m not disappointed in anyone except those who can’t see beyond their political beliefs to deal with this.

    None of us have been through this before and none of us know how to deal with it.

    I’m trying to stay sane and kind of calm…trying.

  6. Dan from Georgia says:

    Sounds like I am in good company here.

  7. Babylon's Dread says:

    The left blames the right the right blames the left. The conspiracists pundits are in heaven. The fearful are more fearful. The rebellious are more rebellious. The guns are flying off the shelf. The bleeding hearts are condemning the hard hearts. It kind of seems normal but more so.

    And my tongue is in cheek with eyes rolling.

    But wow. This one caught us blinking.

  8. MM says:

    “No one I know is qualified to make that call.”

    Michael, that is the complexity and vexation of leadership, from home to governments, at all levels. Everyday people are conceived, born, living, near death, dying, being killed or murdered. As creation we are charge by God to bring some sort of order to all this chaos and to help the others prosper.

    When Israel was charged to follow they always said, “we will.” Yet their actions always somehow went towards the animal instincts in them.

    I think we give mostly “lip service” ourselves.

    It’s a struggle and part of His calling.

    Quite frankly I’m at peace with myself, but absolutely ripped apart when I consider the devastation crouching at humanity’s door in the wake of this crisis.

    He will always be with us.

  9. Michael says:

    My main concern at this point (beyond the lives of all of us) is how this will affect the social future.

    I thought we would be able to set aside all the political bull… when all of us were in crisis…and we’d stay in our lanes and specialize in our callings.

    Boy, was I deluded…

  10. Duane Arnold says:

    Michael

    As a nation, we are hopelessly divided. This is not 9/11 in which an attack from the outside united us, at least for a time. I don’t want to “blame”, but it seems clear that the ball was/is being dropped. That, however, is not the worst of it. The divisions are being encouraged. The result is that we are no longer willing to believe the best of each other.

    One of my young musician friends has tested positive. A young historian friend at Purdue let me know that his family in NYC – father, mother, brother and sister-in-law – have all tested positive. Meanwhile, here in Indiana, even as my mother’s assisted living facility is locked down, a nearby neighbor was trying to organize golf games to protest “the Democratic coronavirus hoax”. I simply have no words.

    This, of course, is not to even mention some conservative church folk, including some Anglicans I am sad to say, who believe they are making a point of faith by holding services. Again, I have no words.

    My greatest fear is the scar this will leave on society. Trust was already a rare commodity. It soon may cease to exist…

  11. Michael says:

    Duane,
    Thank you for that … my fears are the same.

  12. Jean says:

    There are conservative voices, including some in my Synod, who are coming to the conclusion that the preservation of life must be balanced against economics and freedom of movement. I asked him: When there are no beds available at the hospital from the surge in demand, from the seriously and critically ill, are we sanguine that our fellow citizens, many of whom because of their ages risked their lives in our nation’s wars for our freedoms and economy, will be left to die in their homes, and the hearses will be along to pick them up on his regular route.

    Reminds me of the Belgium mentality that so many conservatives condemn.

  13. MM says:

    “I thought we would be able to set aside all the political bull… when all of us were in crisis…and we’d stay in our lanes and specialize in our callings.”

    You are correct, the threat is personal to each of us. However there really is no common ground to unite all of us. The question we should ask ourselves is, why?

    It is far easier to build weapons to fight a war than it is to understand the health and economical threat we are in (not facing, but knee deep).

    No matter what I write today we will (most of us) see the end of this current mess. Things will be different.

  14. Eric says:

    Vox reported on ongoing surveys that found that 1-2 weeks ago, people in blue areas were significantly more concerned about the virus than those in red areas, but that now most of that gap has disappeared as Trump, Fox News etc have swung from careless dismissal to taking it serioiusly. (Some of that difference also reflected places like NY and CA being hardest-hit, esp among jetsetters)

  15. filbertz says:

    The fire of this trial will consume a lot of things of little lasting importance. We’ve built our lives on plastic and cardboard in many cases. What is valuable and important will be clarified. The bedrock of our faith in Christ will stand. Our need to gain and express wisdom from scripture, experience, and the testimonies of the saints will be ever more important in the potentially chaotic days ahead. To love others as Christ has loved us will be necessary, difficult, and life-changing. We must hold firm to our Savior’s hand as he leads us through. We must be willing to let go of so many other things that occupy our minds, hearts, and time. Service and sacrifice are never popular, but rarely so necessary.

  16. Michael says:

    Jean,

    I sense the nations conscience shifted over the weekend to the position you speak of…

  17. Gina Ps40 says:

    #10
    Please repeat A thousand times.

  18. I just exchanged messages with a friend in The Netherlands which is locked down harder than here in Cali. They had the same issues like the spring breakers here… youth ignoring the shelter and social distancing orders. Gen Z, you’re looking badly.

    I was just told that we’re going back to work tomorrow. 8-5, hard start and stop, screened at the door. My immediate boss punted me into starting on Monday rather than tomorrow, given I have little kids. He cares, his boss doesn’t give a rip about us and didn’t even want to tell our group that one of us was exposed (he’s ok so far). Our company has some clout to be deemed “essential.” They also said we might get issued papers from HR in case we are stopped by cops.

  19. Em says:

    Gen Z. … ? That’s the end of the alphabet… Uh oh

  20. Lol. I guess my 7 and 10 year olds are Gen A? I’m close to 50. Calgon, take me away…

  21. bob1 says:

    “Only the old and sick die”… sounds like we’re disposable… I thought you were pro life…actually, I always knew you were selectively pro life…

    Well, if being prolife means you’re willing to sacrifice older adults to help the economy
    a bit as was floated today by the Texas Lt. Governor…then I’m NOT pro life. What an idjit.

    https://www.star-telegram.com/opinion/editorials/article241454236.html

  22. Cash says:

    Bob1-The Lt. Gov. of Texas is a self-proclaimed conservative Christian. He showed in that interview he worships at the altar of money and capitalism. Suggesting the elderly should sacrifice their lives so the economic system can rebound. This is disgusting and immoral. He calls himself “Pro-Life.” I guess he’s pro-life only when it doesn’t involve money. It’s exactly what Michael said in the article “Only the old and sick die”… sounds like we’re disposable… I thought you were pro life”… It’s idolatry like that that I’m neither evangelical nor conservative any longer. From the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

  23. MM says:

    Statements like this are the problem with the internet:

    “The Lt. Gov. of Texas is a self-proclaimed conservative Christian. He showed in that interview he worships at the altar of money and capitalism. Suggesting the elderly should sacrifice their lives so the economic system can rebound. This is disgusting and immoral”

    Let’s hear what the Lt. Gov actually said so people can decide for themselves the heart of his statement:

    “No one reached out to me and said, ‘As a senior citizen, are you willing to take a chance on your survival in exchange for keeping the America that all America loves for your children and grandchildren?’ And if that’s the exchange, I’m all in,” he said. “And that doesn’t make me noble or brave or anything like that.

    “I just think there are lots of grandparents out there in this country like me … that what we all care about and what we all love more than anything are those children,” he added. “And I want to, you know, live smart and see through this, but I don’t want to see the whole country to be sacrificed, and that’s what I see.”

    The internet has people flinging false hoods left and right. We need to calm down and avoid spreading un-truths or our opinions as truth. I’m preaching to myself.

    Disclaimer: I am not a Texan nor do I disregard the health threat of the COVID-19. However, I am a grandparent and love and care much for my children and grandchildren in all this.

  24. Michael says:

    ‘As a senior citizen, are you willing to take a chance on your survival in exchange for keeping the America that all America loves for your children and grandchildren?’ And if that’s the exchange, I’m all in,”

    Patrick created a false binary choice that should be repugnant to anyone who calls on the name of Christ.
    It was simply part of the decision that the powers that be have made to reopen the country.
    The results may destroy the country anyway.
    The mythical America of old would mobile all it’s resources and creativity to protect the nation and all it’s citizens…but that’s the problem with myths, isn’t it?

  25. MM says:

    Michael

    My only point is the internet is full of hysteria (long before the COVID-19 BTW) and opinions taught as truth. I might add, in my opinion, Christianity has a long and prosperous history of the doing the same.

    Since we live in a time of easy access to information, providing the actual statements, as complete as possible, in their context and then allowing others to decide for themselves should be our aim, but is probably only followed in the rarest of occasions.

    With that said, being a leader and making decisions, right or wrong, is the calling and curse of leadership. We would hope the method of government in the USA would allow for input by the constituents who are being represented by men like the Lt. Gov. However, per your opinion, that may only be a myth.

    Could it be most of us want our myths and to live comfortably within them.

    My only hope is we could learn to live in peace within our differing views and myths. Probably won’t happen, ever.

    Thank you for allowing us to post.

  26. Jean says:

    If someone thinks that you can reopen the country for business without getting the virus under control is totally naïve. Who is going to want to go out to dinner or a movie when the nightly news tells of 100s or thousands dying daily in your own city and thousands are being hospitalized? The truthers aren’t that great in number.

  27. Michael says:

    MM,

    We appreciate your tone …thank you.

  28. Dewey says:

    “1. Whether or not you believe that the coronavirus epidemic is a serious threat to all of us seems to be based partially on religious and political positions. Many politically conservative evangelicals do not believe there is a real crisis. Last time I checked, the virus was unable to check voter registration cards or baptism certificates …”

    Wow, surely, at least with a longer glance, you see your self-defeating folly…?

    Not only that, but you take a little information—which, in itself, is misleading, if not entirely false—and add some snarkiness, and then extrapolate all that into a gross error and harmful generalization?

    I hope you are not making this crisis into an opportunity to bash “politically conservative evangelicals.” Yikes!

    While false accusations are far more harmful than people realize, it seems, at least over the past 10 to 15 years, especially in the past 5 years or so, there have been less and less consequences for those who make them. This has not only led to more demonization of innocent people (Prov 17:15), it has caused more division and polarization in our society, and the Church, and in religious communities.

    I have not read everything here, but maybe you have taken to task, at least accurately, the left/progressives/liberals? Have you not seen any gross politicizations and countless false accusations from these folks?

  29. bob1 says:

    What Cash said, so eloquently.

    I did read what this guy said. Does he really think older Americans would be willing to sacrifice themselves for the “American Way of Life”? Seriously? Isn’t the idolatry
    apparent here?

    Oh, and he’s not a senior citizen. So he gets a pass, I guess.

    This shows the ugliness of extreme nationalism pawned off by the current Administration.

  30. Michael says:

    Dewey,

    I don’t see the world through the lens of a left/right binary.
    I loathe that lens.
    I do spend a great deal of time making observations that I report on…

  31. Em says:

    Dewey, you might consider “your self defeating folly.”
    Speaking as a conservative, evangelical who occasionally disagrees with Michael, there is much phony manipulative fluff coming from our pulpits – I thank God for Michael, even when we disagree, as his is a needed voice. Pray for more God fearing, honest teachers to man the pulpits of our churches, Dewey….

  32. Jean says:

    “There really is no middle ground, and it’s very tough to say to people, ‘Hey, keep going to restaurants, go buy new houses, [and] ignore that pile of bodies over in the corner. We want you to keep spending because there’s maybe a politician who thinks GDP growth is all that counts.’ ” — Bill Gates

  33. Em says:

    Bill Gates ? Not sure he knows what GDP means…. He’s been one lucky little sonofagun.. err. .. rather a top drawer Seattle attorney

  34. Jean says:

    Em,

    He’s the co-founder of Microsoft and founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which has been involved in health and medical projects worldwide for years. He’s a wise and formidable intellect who’s worth listening to.

  35. Jean says:

    He’s not an attorney, as though that would disqualify someone from knowing something. His father is an attorney.

  36. bob1 says:

    “There will be no normally functioning economy if our hospitals are overwhelmed and thousands of Americans of all ages, including our doctors and nurses, lay dying because we have failed to do what’s necessary to stop the virus.”

    — Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), on Twitter, pushing back on President Trump’s desire to have the “country opened” by Easter.

    Cheney is Dick’s daughter and as staunch a Repub. as you’ll find.

  37. bob1 says:

    Bill and Melinda are believers. They’ve poured in literally millions and millions to help in countries where they need basics like infrastructure,
    running water, etc.

  38. Jean says:

    Bob1 and Michael,

    I can’t believe I’m still trying to convince intelligent adults that COVID-19 is not the fabrication of a liberal or never Trumper. But if they won’t be convinced by logic, data and experience in other countries or even now in cities here like NY, we are all going to be convinced by a tsunami of body bags.

    Are we willing to cede our place among nations and our prosperity and way of life, because we don’t have the stamina for a 30 day hard stop? Prior generations sacrificed a hell of a lot more for us.

  39. bob1 says:

    Prior generations sacrificed a hell of a lot more for us.

    Damn straight, Jean.

    I think the last day or so is when historians will say that the Republican
    party left the prolife movement. Hopefully the reverse is also true. We’ll
    see.

  40. Em says:

    Jean, i know who Bill Gates is… never went to coolege as fsr as o know although his late moher was on the UW board
    Thought i ssid that the prominent attny

  41. Em says:

    Corrrctoon HIS father is theprominent attny

  42. Jean says:

    If you know who he is, why would you mock and belittle him?

  43. Em says:

    Bill and his Australian wife are Believers? In what?
    Given they do a lot of philanthropic good deeds, but…?

    My battery is about to die, so can’ t respond anymore….

  44. Em says:

    Mock amd belittle? 🙆 Like i said he rode a lot of coattails to get his piece of the pie, good deds or no

  45. He went to college, but didn’t finish. Like Steve Jobs and like Steve Wozniak (who finished a BS after Apple made him a multi-millionaire). Irrelevant. All three are brilliant, especially Bill and Woz.

  46. MM says:

    Jean

    What you write here makes me believe two things about you, so correct me if I’m wrong.

    First you assume others, including the President, don’t have a passion or feeling for the possibility of a “tsunami of body bags” resulting from this pandemic.

    Second you seem to approach and defend this in the same manner you do with your denominational ties.

    Quite frankly this hyperbolic approach does nothing to sway me and you really have no idea where I or others really stand.

    I hope you can agree we are all scared in some way over what is coming down the road over the next month or more in our USA.

    We need to bring peace and be called…

  47. Dewey says:

    I’ve heard of many comment sections/websites like this. This thread is so sad …….. yet a perfect reflection of why our world is so crazy.

    So little objectivity, all while directed by subjectivity. When this is the case, you will be increasingly mired in deception, all while you think you are the righteous few, so nobly fighting for justice, all while doing the opposite. The truth matters.

    And the three primary actions you take, and seem to be limited to, are: to delete comments; or to distort reality and then say, “oh yeah what about you? ha! now I get to ignore the truth and not deal with reality!”; or to blame it all on mean, nasty, evil conservatives, and to do so with false accusations.

    This is a textbook echo chamber, where groupthink thrives.

  48. Michael says:

    Dewey,

    You’re clueless about this site.
    There has not been a single comment deleted on this thread.

  49. Michael says:

    Jean,

    I don’t spend any time trying to reason with those folks anymore.
    We have readers all over the world and medical people from all over and here at home have told me in no uncertain terms that this is a terrible situation.
    If some want to ignore that truth they just need to stay away from the rest of us.

  50. Michael says:

    We used the Wal Mart grocery app tonight…very nice service to help keep safe.

  51. I hit Wal-Mart at 730 this morning. Got TP (though i was good for a month because I prepare for earthquakes). I wont hoard more. Wiped down the cart with Clorox wipes, as I did at the gas station a few days ago. I only learned that my son likes hit pockets this past week, so I picked up a pack of 15 pizza ones and a pack of 5 meatball ones. I haven’t had them in over 2 decades. Pretty good! He ate one after picking up breakfast bags from the school. He’s only 10, but 95th percentile. I’m beginning to learn what my mom told me about eating her out of house and home though I’ll never guilt him like that.

  52. Michael says:

    TNV

    We ordered it all online, then drove over and they loaded it up…never touched anything or got near anyone.
    I’ve been dreaming of this all my life… 🙂

  53. MM says:

    As I was about to turn the lights off and get some rest my mind began to ponder and mediate, yes mediate not meditate, all that I’ve read about the pandemic. It occurred to me almost all the blogs, twitters, editorials and their comments, politicians, medical experts and generally people who are fervently writing and commenting are men.

    Yes the male DNA equipped segment of humanity seems to have the most to say, the greatest passions and emotions tied into this world crisis. Are my observations wrong and if not what do they tell us about ourselves?

    Could it be our tendency to want to “fix” things, or be right about something sends us into Some sort of a rage blocking out competing thoughts? Maybe this Is this why our forefather listened to his soul mate rather than God?

    Oh well, just another rambling thought. There is one thing I know for sure, the sun will rise again tomorrow; for most of us.

    May we have peace with God and with others.

  54. Michael, Introverts Rising! Even though I know that you’re not really, taking care of your lambs in the flock.

  55. Catherine says:

    In the midst of all of this, and I agree with Michael on almost everything, I wonder where Xenia is?
    Is it Lent and she is in a period of staying apart from social media? It doesn’t matter to me anymore whether I am a Jewish believer or a gentile… I miss her wisdom and godly input to this site. The days are dire… Lord have mercy..

  56. Catherine says:

    My own daughter , a family practice doctor in Phoenix, has decided from an abundance of caution, to cancel her May 17th wedding at Los Pablonas in NM form fear of infecting our 150 plus guests, most of whom would be flying in from Israel. This is and will be a life changing event for many. I am not in any way comparing the cancellation of a wedding to human death, only saying these are serious times.

  57. Catherine says:

    and alas, I am usually the last to comment and so get few responses! I usually wait too long and the thread has gone on…. I only really want to make sure Xenia is okay, ad if she needs something, I can supply it…

  58. bob1 says:

    Catherine,

    Good on your daughter postponing her wedding! That can’t be real easy.

    I wish more people were selfless and thinking more of others, like her.

  59. Eric says:

    Over here weddings will be only allowed 5 people. The couple, the celebrant and the necessary two witnesses. This comes after 35 people who attended one wedding tested positive (including a senator).

  60. Jean says:

    I support the agreed upon stimulus package, because it will allow our citizens to get through a nationwide pause in relative comfort, while also preserving our companies through that period, so that we an restart the country once we get the virus under control.

    But, let me be very clear: Unless we get serious as a nation about shutting down business as usual, and non-essential travel outside the home, all the stimulus will be totally wasted, because we will not be able to resume normal life, work, travel, etc., because the virus will overwhelm all facets of our lives. Within the next couple/three days, the US will have the most cases in the world, and we are on track for a much worse situation.

    It’s either a little inconvenience now, or a lot of pain later. Honestly, the virus is so embedded in several of our major cities already, that we are in uncharted territory and as it gets worse the pause and mitigation steps will have to be more severe.

    This is not about a seizing of power or a taking away of liberties, its about trying to save our country and the lives of our fellow citizens. Ignoring the virus, or chocking it up to the deep state or liberal elite, or whatever nonsense is out there, will not offend the virus one bit nor slow it down. It is not a respecter of persons.

    Hopefully, medical research will produce a vaccine and therapeutics, but we need to buy our researchers the time to develop, test, prove and manufacture them.

  61. Michael says:

    Catherine,

    I think Xenia is fine…just taking a bit of a break…

  62. Mike Ehrmantrout says:

    I despise President Trump. But I prayed for him this morning, and for all those who are around him. I apologize to you my brothers and sisters, I sometimes get overheated in my rhetoric. I prayed for conservative believers. It won’t make me agree with them. But perhaps in praying, God will change my heart and grant me more compassion than anger. I do pray for all of you during this time of crisis and fear of the unknown. I decided I would reveal myself by name on this site and stop using the alias, Cash. I don’t know why, I just feel like I don’t need to hide any longer. I am me and that’s ok. Conservative or liberal or in between or nothing, most of you are my brothers and sisters in Christ. We share in Him together. May He help us all to put our divisions and meanness toward each other aside. May God bless each and every one of you and all your loved ones.

  63. Michael says:

    Mike,

    Much love to you, my friend…I concur .

  64. filbertz says:

    binary thinking/choices are the antithesis of critical thinking. There is life inside and outside the box, as well as above it, under it, beside it, near it, surrounding it…
    When school is in session, I strive to assist kids in understanding objective and subjective ideals. both are essential and valid, given the ability to express, support, and explain.

    freerangefil

  65. Duane Arnold says:

    All

    Just to bring it home a bit, the pandemic has claimed the lives of over 50 pastors and priests in Italy. That’s only thus far…

  66. Em says:

    Mike (aka cash), this conservative evangelical thanks you for the prayer… May the blessing redound. 🙏

    Been thinking about trying that Walmart curbside pickup – my daughter has asked me to not grocery shop…

    I read that one dear old priest in Italy died refusing a respirator, insisting it be given to a young person

    God keep

  67. Muff Potter says:

    What is it about religion that causes otherwise rational and intelligent human beings to abandon reason and common sense?

  68. Em says:

    good question, Muff… why do we get Faith mixed up with mindlessness? I would have no faith at all, if it were dependent on not thinking… as best i can tell, my faith comes from what seems very reasonable….
    today i was driving downriver to the Post Office (15 miles) listening to a CD of hymns made by a group of Roman Catholic Priests and looking at an incredible sky in front of me – full of massive thunderheads, really massive, very unusual and those priests were singing, “How Great Thou Art.” Then sings my soul? Yep my soul was singing because of the green of the canyon and the incredible warm sun behind me and the frightening mass of thunderheads that i was driving down into…
    i just cannot see the order of this universe as an accident, but still i need to “see” reasons to believe that there is a Creator and Governor of it all…
    Yesterday as i was overwhelmed by covid 19, a myriad of chores out here in the hills as i play backup to a nurse daughter working 12 hour days … yesterday, if i’d read Muff’s question i’d probably have had no reaction other than a passive thought that faith and relationship with God is not “religion.” dunno 🙂 thanks for reminding me of that drive today, Muff

  69. I’ve seen a few posts about Mexico on Quora from people living there, and AMLO seems to be utterly failing, and it’s being left up to state governors and local mayors to take care of their own. It could get very bad there in a month or so. I talked to a buddy in Edmonton yesterday, and he’s struggling with his 3 kids and working from home. His ex wife has flu like symptoms and is self isolating. She and her 2nd ex husband have a toddler.

    They just announced public schools here in the Bay Area closed until May1st. I’m going back to work Monday, but will be carrying papers in case I’m pulled over by the cops. “Papers please!”

    Kaiser in San Jose thinks that up to 50% of their patients may have been exposed to Covid-19 recently.

  70. bob1 says:

    Muff, a couple of observations if I might.

    Generally (and there are lots of exceptions!), I believe that the more education one has, the better off you are in terms of utilizing critical thinking skills.

    Second, because our faith is so important to us, there’s a tendency
    to give a “totalistic” assent to religious leaders that they usually
    don’t deserve. So you trust a preacher who tells you it’s OK to go to his
    church during the Coronavirus-19 pandemic, ignoring experts IN THE MEDICAL FIELD. You know, division of labor and all.

    Third, I think it’s hard to admit that you’re not reasonable and discerning. I see a lot of folks these days who cherry-pick reality. So if they already have their own view of things, they hunt and seek to find
    others, especially in authority, who have a similar POV. I think it’s
    called “confirmation bias.” These folks (and I’ve done it plenty) think
    they’re reasoning, but it’s really reason in the service of irrational
    emotions.

    Just a couple of observations from someone who’s been active in churches for 50+ years. Don’t know if I’m any wiser than when I
    started, however.

  71. Confirmation bias is a bane of humanity.

  72. MM says:

    Bob1

    I agree with you post about “confirmation” bias.

    But what I rarely if ever observe is people stating they have such a bias.

    Decades ago I was sharing my faith with a Secular Muslim born colleague of mine. He made the following statement, “The only reason you are a Christian is because you grew up in a Christian nation. Had you been born and raised in my where I was, you would probably been Muslim.”

    I have never forgotten his argument.

    What point am I making?

    Don’t all of us think we analyze, choose the best information and have the right answers or at least the most correct ones. It is always the others who have “confirmation bias” and not me.

    I openly and freely admit my glasses are rose colored and my environment colors and effect everything I do.

    It’s who we are.

    Who knows those others actually may be right. But that would be admitting I was wrong.

  73. JoelG says:

    I think the secular Muslim has a point. And I agree with you too Bob1 too a point. However, I think life experience might contribute to critical thinking more than anything else. Some of my friends with college degrees lack common sense, IMHO.

    We are all biased. But experience with diverse people and situations is the best teacher.

  74. MM says:

    JoelG

    “Some of my friends with college degrees lack common sense, IMHO.”

    I get this, but did you ever wonder if they said the same about you?

    I know I want to say (and often do) the exact same thing and then I wonder, “how do people observe me?”

    Maybe it’s the aging factor.

    I do believe all people have both common sense (the reasonable man) and the mindless chaos which refuses to listen to anything, even when it leads to destruction.

    Hard to know which one is driving us at times.

    “When the woman saw that the tree was good…”

    Sounds like common sense to me; doesn’t it?

  75. JoelG says:

    MM, yes I know some in my circle probably don’t think I’m the brightest bulb in the box. And I worry way to much about that, believe me.

    I think you bring up good things to ponder MM. Thank you.

    I admit I let mindless chaos drive me more than I’d like. My anxiety gets the best of me quite often.

  76. Linnea says:

    Dread…curious about your thoughts regarding Charlie Shamp. The pastor who married us was loathe on the gifts then, but seems to embrace them now.

  77. pstrmike says:

    ” However, I think life experience might contribute to critical thinking more than anything else.”

    It is a false dichotomy to contrast life experience with education. Have you ever considered that education is actually one facet of life experience? Those who have gone to college understand this.

    To claim, as a colleague of mine has, that education is mere “book knowledge,” demonstrates ignorance. The educated person may or may not be “smarter” than those who have not pursued higher education, it is true, however, that they often have more resources at their disposal. Whether they use them or not is another story.

  78. JoelG says:

    pstrmike,

    You are right. It is a false dichotomy. College is part of life experience. I went to college and I didn’t gain much from it. Your mileage may vary.

    I’ve learned more from the consequences of my own failures and success outside of a classroom than in. In addition, getting to know folks outside of my own bubble has given me new perspectives on life and it’s nuances.

    I hope you didn’t take my comment as a anti-education. There are things one can only learn in school. But life has a way of teaching one to think critically whether one is a student or not. Just my opinion, of course.😊

  79. “College is part of life experience.” Right. College is added to life experiences.

    The thing is that background influences life paths. One of my best friends barely passed high school, not for dint of being intelligent, by rather that he doesn’t like authority. He designed, built and runs an RV park for an Indian casino. The park is rated in the top 20 in the entire USA. It’s a $7.5M business for the casino (this includes money guests spend while there). Not bad for a kid whose 12th grade English teacher accused of plagiarism on his final book report on One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. The teacher was harsh and referred to college prep as “bonehead” English. My buddy was one level below that in her class. I had gone through her honors English class years before and it was brutal though I was one of her top 4 students and the only one recruited into the Academic Devathalon team. She also drove out most of the cheerleaders in the class who had to transfer to “bonehead” English so they didn’t ruin their GPAs.

    The teacher knew me and my buddy were friends and accused him of getting me to write the report. She said it was one of the best reports she’d ever read and no way my buddy could have written it. I didn’t learn of this until years later. His mom was a special ed teacher at the school and she and the English teacher argued about it.

    Funny thing: my buddy never read the book but watched the movie. I guess he didn’t telegraph the different endings in his report.

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