Things I Think…

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57 Responses

  1. Jean says:

    Well said!

    Out of curiosity, did you put on a coat of hair and a leather belt when you wrote this article? It was a powerful voice, maybe even a cry. Who are we? Will we hear? 🙂

  2. Michael says:

    Thanks, Jean.
    I’m more and more concerned that the end is indeed near…but not the end where Jesus comes back to clean up the mess…

  3. Em says:

    2-not sure we CAN vote them out….. There seems to be a nomination bottle of some kind

    9- there’s an old saying that people get the government they deserve….. sigh

    “In such a time as you think not, the Son of man cometh…..”
    Would it help if we all thought “not?”
    God keep

  4. filbertz says:

    I’m saying he’s not coming simply in hopes that it provokes him to come.

    As a former dispy, I always thought the over-emphasis on eschatology was one of its weakest characteristics. Not only does it create an unbalanced view of life and the afterlife, it creates a weird competition to vie of who guessed right–who was most accurate on the mind of Christ. The cost of this bizarre game is seen in an inability to process the challenges of life that are not framed in spiritual warfare or the chess game of the heavenly hosts.

  5. filbertz says:

    Your prophesy update reminds me of the classic bumper sticker

    “Jesus is coming. Look busy.” 😉

  6. Michael says:

    Em,

    Term limits might be helpful as well…

  7. Michael says:

    Well said, fil!

  8. Jean says:

    “Framing this pandemic crisis as freedom lovers vs. freedom haters”

    In this debate between these two parties, where do our doctors and nurses, our grocery store workers and meat processing workers, our police and EMT technicians, fit into the equation? Do they have rights? Families? aspirations? A future?

  9. MM says:

    Jean

    I’m really tired of all the rhetoric that is still flying around the internet. And it’s sad there seems to be no middle ground.

    However you asked a question and in my opinion the answer depends on one’s view of the pandemic.

    Here’s my opinion (we all have one):

    If the general view this is comparable to war then your answer lies in the idea warriors, i.e. those defending the innocent and needy, are in a special category different than the general population.

    In war time the warriors are in a sacrificial position bringing greater risk to their existence. Families of these people often suffer the greatest. The problem is in this war many never signed up to be warriors and therefore need to have the ability to opt out, which hasn’t been given them.

    Now if the position is this isn’t comparable to war time the best answer is maybe the general population should sacrifice or limit their needs, such as meat, and other commodities to allow the industries to scale down and protect their workers.

    Personally I believe this is nothing like war at all. In a war the enemy is known, their tactics and abilities analyzed and the population is fully engaged, both in spirit and economically supporting those who are on the front lines.

    The enemy this time is a virus which, as it is proving, has a life of its own. We have no weapons to stop or defeat it only to slow its growth across humanity. The COVID will never suffer nor wave a white flag of surrender it will only succumb to a vaccine or its own eventual mutations.

    To me it’s neither about “freedom lovers or freedom haters” it’s about people and how they have been effected by everything, form the virus to their lively hoods.

    Again, I’m really tired of all the stuff associated with this and wish people would stop dividing over it through their competing comments. Eventually it will be over and yes our social lives will never be the same.

  10. Em says:

    Not all are adversarial…. I went into our community grocery this morning – my daughter made me promise to wear an N95 mask – i told the checker how uncomfortable it was – no one else was masked – she handed me a pretty floral one sayiing that she was making them and handing them out free…. She explained that she added a layer of something that made them an effective barrier

  11. Massive cinco de mayo gathering in San Jose. Strongly discouraged, but the police came out and said that they wouldn’t and couldn’t do anything.

    Security at work stopped screening us. Apparently their company’s lawyers told them that they didn’t have to, so one or more of them must have complained. That explained why the janitorial supervisor screened us yesterday. It’s not like they hug us in greeting. They ask questions, have us put a temp strip to our heads, though this week they got a non contact IR thermometer. Platic barriers are up. We need to wear facemasks inside the building, and gloves. So the site manger/VP is looking for volunteers or to hire someone to screen. It’s a bit much, Security.

  12. Jean says:

    MM,

    The President describes the battle against the virus as a war. he is the one who has called himself a wartime President. While the analogy is not perfect, it does carry some helpful connotations. It calls for a national effort, national coordination, national shared sacrifice, and ordinarily national unity. The President refers to the virus as the invisible entity.

    What is extraordinary in this particular war, and is simply outrageous, is that the President, instead of unifying the country, said just yesterday that the Democratic Party hopes more people die, so he will be defeated in the next election. He calls 40+ % of the citizens of this country disloyal or the enemy because they disagree with one or more of his policies. He calls Republicans who disagree with one or more of his policies Republican in name only. Basically, it’s impossible to disagree with him and still be considered a good American citizen. It’s shameful and the worst impulse that itself is a virus spreading from him to our citizenry.

  13. MM says:

    Good morning Jean

    It is quite clear you are dividing others through your continual references to political personalities and in particular POTUS.

    My reference to war was simply to point out the differences between a unity around a clear cut threat to the sovereignty of the USA and the safety of humanity around the world. Such unity goes beyond political lines and rallies people to bind together in spirit and work to defeat the enemy. It also puts people to work and builds them up, personally and economically, focused on a single goal.

    Clearly this COVID and your comments have demonstrated the chasm amongst people.

    Pray for our President and the decisions he is tasked with making, and then respect and honor him as the holder of that seat. It’s that simple.

    When in public wear a mask because it makes people feel safe and honor their safety circle. It’s the little things and everything is a little thing in life.

  14. Duane Arnold says:

    When we recognize certain traits and actions taking place in society, we have the responsibility of response…

    “Christianity stands or falls with its revolutionary protest against violence, arbitrariness, and pride of power, and with its plea for the weak. Christians are doing too little to make these points clear … Christendom adjusts itself far too easily to the worship of power. Christians should give more offense, shock the world far more, than they are doing now.”

    Dietrich Bonhoeffer

  15. MM says:

    So Duane you are finally going to quote Bonhoeffer.

    Hmmm…

  16. Duane Arnold says:

    MM

    I’ve been quoting him for years… as well as Oscar Romero and the students of the White Rose movement.

  17. Michael says:

    “So Duane you are finally going to quote Bonhoeffer.”
    Finally?
    He’s quoted him since he arrived and the Barmen Declaration is posted as one of our core guides…

  18. Michael says:

    Jean isn’t dividing anyone.
    We’re divided.
    Most enjoy that division and we’ll chew the succulent taste of rage to our last breaths…which may not be far away at this point.

  19. MM says:

    Duane

    Please spare me, you understand why I wrote that.

  20. MM says:

    Michael

    You can choose to divide and or support that division or be a peace maker, which one do you choose?

    I choose to wear my mask, social distance and more in support of those around me. I choose to do the same for my leaders in spite of the insanity of all of us.

    Whom do you choose this day?

  21. Michael says:

    MM,

    I think I couldn’t possibly be more clear about where I stand.

  22. Michael says:

    I think Jean has written with clarity and insight, by the way…

  23. Duane Arnold says:

    MM

    Sorry, I have no idea why you write what you write…

  24. Michael says:

    I’ve tried to be a peacemaker.
    Someone has to want peace for that to be a viable calling.
    I think what we once had is gone and won’t be coming back.
    We’re trying to grow our own food and I’m counseling the boy to marry a Canadian citizen if at all possible …

  25. MM says:

    Duane

    Again please spare me, you’re a PhD, Anglican, written a library of books, song writer and producer, have hung out with the top names in evangelical circles and a Calvary Chapel personality.

    I’m nothing more than an average man with a family in my community, so you should surely understand.

    Michael,

    I agree Jean is quite clear.

    His clarity reveals division and divisiveness in those writings, so I believe your statement would indicate your agreement with those ideals.

    I’ll end because it is also clear you are not interested in my opinion or feelings.

    But I thank you for the courtesy and forum allowing me to write.

  26. Jean says:

    Thank you Michael!

    MM,

    Let me ask you, if you thought (not that you necessarily do, but if you thought) that a leader is leading in such a way that is dangerous to the public health, the civil peace, and/or the US Constitution, would you speak up?

    If I think one or more of those things are occurring right now, would you support my right to speak my mind here? Because, I support your right to communicate your opinion too, even if I don’t agree with the substance of it.

  27. Michael says:

    MM,

    We’re waiting with bated breath to understand why you think Duane (who often quotes Bonhoeffer) quoted Bonhoeffer again.
    I agree with the observations that Jean has made and believe them to be accurate.
    He didn’t create the division, he simply recognized it.

  28. Duane Arnold says:

    MM

    I am simply a church historian in the Anglican tradition. Additionally, I try to understand what people write, not the cryptic meaning hidden within…

  29. MM says:

    Jean

    Would I stand up? I have and will continue to do so.

    I respect you right to state your opinions and you should do the same. I have made it quite clear that I believe your opinions are political in nature and betray your statement about defending public safety and health.

    In this COVID crisis there are only two clear cut methods of defeating the virus, a vaccine or total isolation of the un-infected, something the experts have made quite clear. We chose social isolation to prevent an overwhelming of our medical facilities and now we choose other methods to make our neighbors have a sense of safety. We do these things for others, it’s that simple.

    You can choose to support the welfare and peace of mind of those around you or divide over the politics of the media and politicians. I believe you write about the later.

    But that’s just my opinion and we all have one.

  30. MM says:

    Duane W.H. Arnold PhD, just write an article about it. It’s what you do really well.

    I’m just a nobody.

  31. MM says:

    Michael

    Jean doesn’t just recognize the division he supports and amplifies it.

    The horse is dead.

  32. Jean says:

    MM,

    Two things:

    1) Please disagree with Duane WITHOUT ridiculing his education. Most of here are pretty good at identifying innuendo.

    2) We in America are entering a phase of this pandemic where the fight is turning from solely against the virus to also a fight for the truth. People are being encouraged to open up the economy, go out, and go back to work, and the question is: Will they be safe doing so? What are the risks?

    I am not saying that someone should or should not have the right to open up a business, but I think his/her employees and customer have the right to accurate information about the risks there.

    I believe the President and his organs of power and regulation, such as OSHA, CDC, HHS, his task forces, and he himself, are beginning to shape the rules and communications in such a way that the public is being misinformed.

    In the short run that may work, maybe the election in November will go to Trump, maybe a vaccine will come on line that is safe and effective, but how many deaths will we suffer in America in the short run to make Trump appear as an effective and successful leader.

    Again, to be clear, I know there may be trade-offs and I know we can’t shut down everything forever. But people should be armed with the facts and the best information public health officials have at their disposal, so we can make the best choices for our families.

    I don’t want to hear about miracle drugs that haven’t been properly tested, or powerful lights that can be shined inside me, or detergent cocktails, or that the virus will go away on its own at the end of the month, etc. Don’t show me by your example that masks are for the weak and fearful, but not for the strong. Don’t give authority to the States and then tweet against them, when you see your political supporters demonstrating.

    We need the truth, the consistent truth, and we need it now. So, don’t muzzle our nation’s infectious disease experts.

  33. Jean says:

    I should add that there are mixed messages coming from the Administration over testing. How much should the country be conducting in an open economy? Where are we currently? Why aren’t we where we need to be? I think testing and the supply chain for testing is a disgrace so far.

    In Iowa, it can take 3-5 days to get a test result. And there are so many different kinds of tests, some FDA approved and others not, that I don’t think even the results are attracting a lot of confidence by the American people. One former head of FDA said in an interview yesterday that he would want 3 positive anti-body test results before he would feel confident that he had coronavirus antibodies. Can you imagine?

  34. MM says:

    Jean

    I am not ridiculing Duane’s education, I’m am sarcastically pointing out the convenience of his quotes and articles when it suits his narrative. Additionally, as he may remember, he subtlety mocked a similar suggested reference in an older thread.

    You know nothing of my education nor of my passionate support for all education, including at the highest levels of our universities and seminary’s. So be careful where you go and what you assume.

    You also might notice I have not, and I repeat not, writing any more about politicians, media or my opinions of what they are telling us. The information is out there for all of humanity to hear, read and digest.

    What I am stating, and with complete clarity is this, support those around us, encourage them to love one another by what we do not just what we say, and pray for our leaders, including the POTUS.

    I choose NOT be part of the division.

    No one is muzzling anyone and if you don’t like what the POTUS is saying then act in a way that contradicts what you hear from him. Constantly politicizing and criticizing him only feeds the fire of division and does nothing to help others.

    BTW this is in no way either a support or critique of any of our Nation’s Leaders policies or actions. Things are what they are at this point and I choose to support and care for my neighbor. In the end I prefer to only have that memory and which brings great peace to me today.

  35. Duane Arnold says:

    MM

    “I’m am [sic] sarcastically pointing out the convenience of his quotes and articles when it suits his narrative.”

    Golly, that’s news to me and, I would guess, Michael as well. Clairvoyant psychology and literary criticism seldom gets it right… just sayin’.

  36. MM says:

    Jean

    If you want to discuss the particulars of testing, the conflicting or ambiguous information coming from our experts I feel that is a personal conversation saved for those closest to each of us.

    In my opinion this is a public forum and from a public (and private position) I support the efforts of our leaders to get a handle on this virus and its spread across the world. I also understand and sympathize with the conundrums they are facing from ethical, personal and decision making positions. Real life is messy and never goes like we think it should.

    From a biblical point God said man would live at maximum 120 years old and yet the Psalmist said this:

    “The days of our years are threescore years and ten, Or even by reason of strength fourscore years; Yet is their pride but travail and vanity; For it is speedily gone, and we fly away…So teach us to number our days…”

    My point? In the end it’s about those around us.

    And to Duane’s quote, when and how do we stand up to live with, help those around us and how should this revolution look in these days?

    Isn’t that the heart of this quote: “Christianity stands or falls with its revolutionary protest against violence, arbitrariness, and pride of power, and with its plea for the weak. Christians are doing too little to make these points clear”

    What are you going to do?

  37. MM says:

    Duane

    It’s good to see you do have the ability to clearly be sarcastic as well.

    “Golly, that’s news to me and, I would guess, Michael as well. Clairvoyant psychology and literary criticism seldom gets it right… just sayin’.”

    🙂

    I guess you don’t have a narrative and are really just neutral and objective in all things.

    Thank for goading me on again.

  38. MM says:

    Duane

    I will help those who may not know what [sic] means. Not all us are as well versed in Latin or critical writing.

    From my dictionary.
    [sic]

    adverb: sic
    used in brackets after a copied or quoted word that appears odd or erroneous to show that the word is quoted exactly as it stands in the original, as in a story must hold a child’s interest and “enrich his [ sic ] life.”.

    literally, “thus” “so”

    Good work, thanks!

  39. Michael says:

    Duane,
    I have no idea what he’s trying to hint at, but I am getting really annoyed….

  40. Duane Arnold says:

    Michael

    I have no idea either… but it seems to be all over the map…

  41. Nancy Holmes says:

    Trollish comments–maybe passive-aggressive but definitely irritating… And that may be the point.

  42. Jim says:

    Is it just me, or are all of Jean’s posts political? Our host supports and agrees with him, and that’s fine. His house/his rules. Is it possible that some of the quiet readers like myself might be dismayed to find the type of discourse on their favorite blog similar to what drives us away from social media?

    MM is correct in, “Jean doesn’t just recognize the division he supports and amplifies it.”

    Just my 2 cents… carry on…

  43. Em says:

    Jim, i think Jean enjoys poking the few here who, like me, are evangelical and conservative… Dunno……..

  44. Jean says:

    I recommend focusing on the substance of the issues and not the messenger or his/her motives.

    Look, either testing is optimal or its not. Either PPE is widely available to first responders and essential workers in physcially cramped spaces or not.

    If our government wants US business to open up, is it too much to ask that appropriate precautions be both available and in place, so that those businesses can be successful and not sources of infection? Do you really want to eat a hot dog if you knew that a poor soul had to literally risk his life to make it for you?

    Do we want to leave March behind or replay it in June? Does the Treasury have another $3 trillion to spend on a repeat?

  45. Em says:

    Jean, Luke 10:41-42.
    God keep

  46. Michael says:

    I don’t consider the questions Jean is raising to be political as much as ethical and moral.
    What am I missing?

  47. Jean says:

    Michael,

    I’m somewhat perplexed at some of the comments here.

    People are free, as far as I’m concerned, to say that it’s safe to go out, that people won’t risk the life of their mother, if they take their elderly mother out for brunch on Mother’s Day to a restaurant this Sunday morning. Just come out and say it.

    Will you be safe because God will protect you from disease?

    Will you be safe because C19 is just like the flu?

    Will you be safe because the restaurant has implemented CDC guidelines that make everything safe?

    Will you be safe because you’re patriotic?

    Just tell me why my concerns are illegitimate for fruitful discussion here?

  48. directambiguity says:

    I don’t think you can avoid politics when talking about the coronavirus at this point, especially when you have government officials calling the shots. Unless you just want to talk specifically about the disease itself.

    As far as unifying the country I don’t think that’s possible without a real war.

    And I agree with Jean the public is being misinformed.

  49. Em says:

    Weeel….. It seems to me that a focus on the Faith pretty much puts all the pieces of the puzzles of life in place…. BUT….
    It aint easy, i know

  50. McGarrett says:

    MM,

    Do you thrive on drawing attention to yourself, or what? You are more of an odor than a fragrance on these discussions.

  51. bob1 says:

    Do you thrive on drawing attention to yourself, or what? You are more of an odor than a fragrance on these discussions

    Well, who knows. But he can’t draw the attention on himself like President Clorox.

  52. Em says:

    MM @ 9:46 AM
    is that post what all this dust-up is about?

  53. Michael says:

    Let’s refrain from the personal comments and insults.
    They profit nothing.

  54. Massive cinco de Mayo gathering in San Jose. Cops tried, but could do little to control it short of going Kent State. Today I saw Mexicans on FB poking fun at the partiers. The inertia to get back to normal is everywhere. White militias, armed, in Michigan get national press while massive protests in Sacramento get little (No guns). The country is going to open up, it has to. We’ll be feeling the effects of this for years, both economically, and politically. I’m not sure which is worse. I’m still working so my judgement is skewed.

  55. Jean says:

    I believe that the vast majority of Americans are willing to submit to their governing authorities. However, the American people hold their independence and liberty close to heart. Therefore, in cases like a pandemic, our governing authorities cannot lead effectively through autocratic methods, as, for example, China can, but in our system our leaders must inspire and persuade. Inspiring and persuading is hard work and takes more effort than autocratic rule.

    In order to inspire and persuade, our governing authorities need to speak with a consistent, unified, truthful message of what they are doing, why they are doing it, and what they are asking each of us to do to play our part.

    I believe much of our division, which is making our fight against the invisible enemy less effective than it should be, is because of ineffective leadership at the highest level. Messages are mixed; messages are constantly changing; and messages are not inspiring confidence and trust by a large segment of the American people.

    One can always find division by one’s political opponents, but great leaders rise to the occasion and build bridges which inspire unity and a common cause. We’ve always had politics, but in the history of our nation, we have had leaders who brought America together in existential moments.

  56. CM says:

    Sigh….

    What people fail to understand is that during the 1918 Spanish flu, local health authorities quarantined, shut down church and other public gatherings, public meeting, implemented social distancing for their era, and the like. And depending on how quick and thorough the lockdown was determined the number of deaths and death rate. A comparison of various large cities readily shows this.

    Now what I see is a lot of the protesters and the talking heads (especially pro-Trump) on the anti lock-down movement try and pull the Constitution card erroneously. Any research on the SCOTUS and other case law shows that during a health emergency, local governments have wide latitude in implementing restrictions (and these powers go back to the Colonial day). But I guess for the Christian Right, the right to be an inconsiderate a**hole is more important than avoiding the spread of a potentially fatal disease.

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