Patterico's Pontifications

5/21/2020

The Vexing Issue of When Churches Can Safely Reopen

Filed under: General — Dana @ 11:32 am



[guest post by Dana]

California churches in revolt:

Buoyed by a letter from the U.S. Justice Department to Gov. Gavin Newsom that emphasizes the right to worship, a lawyer for a church suing over California’s coronavirus ban on in-person services says he expects thousands of congregations to return to their churches a week from Sunday.

The move comes as the fight over whether the state has the right to prohibit church services for now has moved to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, where a Lodi church is seeking an emergency injunction against the ban, and as hundreds of pastors have signed a petition declaring that their services are “essential.”

“More than 1,200 pastors have signed the ‘declaration of essentiality’ that we were asked to put together,” said attorney Robert Tyler, one of the lawyers fighting for the right of Lodi’s Cross Culture Christian Center to reopen. “We expect more than 3,000 individual churches to open May 31, with or without permission.”

Here is the gist of the argument, according to Tyler:

We are not trying to say that churches are somehow exempted from engaging in protective measures that are required of secular enterprises. We are simply saying that it’s unconstitutional to require that churches stay closed when they can engage in the same protective measures as a grocery store, restaurant or other similar businesses.

This lines up with Eric S. Dreiband, assistant attorney general for the U.S. Justice Department’s civil rights division, who wrote:

The Department of Justice does not seek to dictate how States such as California determine what degree of activity and personal interaction should be allowed to protect the safety of their citizens. However, we are charged with upholding the Constitution and federal statutory protections for civil rights.

Whichever level of restrictions you adopt, these civil rights protections mandate equal treatment of persons and activities of a secular and religious nature.

Tyler claims that churches that meet on May 31 will observe social distancing measures. Meh. At this point, Tyler is just hoping for the best case scenario.

Anyway, California is currently in Phase 2 of the state’s reopening plan. In-person church services are set to resume during Phase 3 of the state’s plan.

Other states are wrestling with when to reopen their churches. Some states are even looking further into the future, as with Pennsylvania:

State Rep. Eric Nelson, R-Westmoreland, said religious leaders have been confused about whether churches are affected by state-mandated coronavirus shutdowns.

“Our religious community is very confused. They don’t want to violate a law, but they’re also extremely frustrated,” he said.

Nelson and Rep. Clint Owlett, R-Tioga, introduced House Bill 2530, which would amend the state’s Religious Freedom Protection Act of 2002 to prohibit the limitation of religious gatherings during a state of emergency.

New Jersey pastors want to see churches be identified as “essential” and not “non-essential”:

Several South Jersey pastors say they answer to a higher power and want to reopen their doors, even if Governor Phil Murphy has prohibited church services.

Pastor Charles Clark, of Solid Rock Baptist Church in Berlin, said the United States Constitution gives him the right, and the Bible gives him the mandate to invite parishioners back to the pews.

“Walmart is open, the pet store is open, the bicycle repair shop is open, and all are considered essential, but the church has been closed,” he said.

Clark’s attorney sent a letter to Murphy demanding that the status of churches in the Garden State be switched from non-essential to essential.

Even as the state slowly begins to reopen, Murphy has made it clear that until there’s a vaccine or treatment, mass gatherings, including church services, will likely remain restricted.

“Inside, no ventilation, close contact, it’s a hard nut to crack. We’re just not there yet,” he said.

Just days ago, a report came out that the CDC linked an Arkansas church service to a coronavirus outbreak. This occurred before nationwide social-distancing guidelines were implemented:

A Centers for Disease Control study released Tuesday found that 38% of 92 attendees at events held at an Arkansas church in early March tested positive for Covid-19, underscoring the risks of public gatherings as states reopen.

According to the study, 35 of the attendees tested positive for Covid-19, while 3 have died; another 26 cases and another additional death were linked to the church’s outbreak.

The church’s pastor and his wife developed coronavirus symptoms and indefinitely closed the church March 12, 2020. .

The question of churches being able to hold in-person services during the pandemic has been a polarizing one – and a political one as well. According to reports, the reopening guidelines for churches was delayed because of a conflict between the Trump administration and the CDC: how would Trump’s base receive limitations on in-person services?:

CDC draft guidance on houses of worship was the subject of much internal debate at the White House last month. Some aides did not want any guidance for religious institutions. Others thought recommendations were too restrictive.

In the end, the decision to hold back reopening guidance for religious institutions came from some White House and coronavirus task force officials who did not want to alienate the faithful and believed that some of the proposals, such as limits on hymnals, the size of choirs or the passing of collection plates, were too restrictive, according to two administration officials.

Trump and Vice President Pence have maintained close ties to conservative religious leaders during the shutdown, scheduling private calls and asking for support as they try to reopen the nation, the officials said.

Officials in Pence’s office, the Office of Management and Budget and the Domestic Policy Council raised concerns about the guidelines for religious institutions, the officials said.

There were conversations about scaling back the guidelines, but after weeks of discussion, they were left out entirely, one of these officials said. At one point, officials discussed various religious groups and even called pastors and other religious leaders to see if they could shape the guidelines in accordance with “faith traditions,” according to one senior administration official.

The White House wants to get the churches opened up again, but they are not planning on issuing any issue any guidance for religious institutions at this time. White House spokesman Judd Deere said that

President Trump and “all Americans want to see their churches safely open again. Not only is it good for the community, it’s their right under the Constitution to worship freely without government intrusion. The Trump administration will always protect that right and continue to partner with states to ensure congregations are properly protected as restrictions are responsibly eased.”

–Dana

127 Responses to “The Vexing Issue of When Churches Can Safely Reopen”

  1. Hello.

    Dana (0feb77)

  2. Really seems like they should be allowed to re-open at the same time and with the same types of restrictions as other activities in their area.

    Time123 (80b471)

  3. What if the church has a body of more than 100 people, should they be able to meet at the same time? There are mega-churches that already hold 3 services on Sunday in auditoriums that hold more than 1,000 worshipers.

    Dana (0feb77)

  4. It seems to me like the common sense answer is to allow inside X percent of fire code capacity, to start with, and require facial coverings if it’s likely you’ll be within six feet of the other person.

    Paul Montagu (b3f51b)

  5. What if the church has a body of more than 100 people, should they be able to meet at the same time? There are mega-churches that already hold 3 services on Sunday in auditoriums that hold more than 1,000 worshipers.

    Dana (0feb77) — 5/21/2020 @ 11:43 am

    We’re still learning new things about CV19 and I don’t think I can answer that question correctly.
    But if 100 ppl is the limit that can safely occupy that space for an hour or 2 than that’s what they should permit. There’s also the hallways to and from the auditorium. I guess my POV is that churches should be treated the same as other facilities.

    Time123 (80b471)

  6. Interestingly, the WSJ has a report discussing scientists trying to curb the spread of coronavirus by limiting “superspreader events”:

    Some scientists looking for ways to prevent a return to exponential growth in coronavirus infections after lockdowns are lifted are zeroing in on a new approach: focus on avoiding superspreading events.

    The theory is that banning mass public events where hundreds of attendees can infect themselves in the space of a few hours, along with other measures such as wearing face masks, might slow the pace of the new coronavirus’s progression to a manageable level even as shops and factories reopen.

    Dana (0feb77)

  7. At this point, most if not all Americans are smart enough to decide whether they should attend a church service or not. All the church should be doing is ensuring social distancing measures. All the government should be doing is stepping aside.

    Hoi Polloi (dc4124)

  8. There’s also NC in play.

    felipe (023cc9)

  9. I don’t see how you can allow for airlines to cram folks in the plans while telling churches that they cannot.

    whembly (c30c83)

  10. President Trump and “all Americans want to see their churches safely open again. Not only is it good for the community, it’s their right under the Constitution to worship freely without government intrusion. The Trump administration will always protect that right and continue to partner with states to ensure congregations are properly protected as restrictions are responsibly eased.”

    Gutless, stupid, and utterly devoid of leadership.

    Duh Donald in a nutshell.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  11. You can claim that a grocery store is essential, but a restaurant??

    The fact of the matter is though, anything indoors is a vector for infection, especially if gets no natural sunlight, or it’s not too ventilated with the outside, and many people are speaking, not silent, and maybe singing.

    5. Time123 (80b471) — 5/21/2020 @ 12:02 pm

    But if 100 ppl is the limit that can safely occupy that space for an hour or 2 than that’s what they should permit. There’s also the hallways to and from the auditorium. I guess my POV is that churches should be treated the same as other facilities.

    If there is a danger, it is not safe for three people. The difference between 1,000 and 500 and 100 and 40 and 10 is just a matter there being a higher or lower probability of infecting large number of people at one time.

    The one rule maybe to follow is, that anyone with any suspicion of illness, should not come. That will stop people from catching colds, too.

    Sammy Finkelman (dfa011)

  12. @10 He doesn’t want the responsibility if the fed orders opening and then there is a huge outbreak or the flack from the religious right (one of the few groups supporting him) if he says no, not yet. He has consistently abrogated the most basic of presidential requirements during a crisis, leadership.

    Nic (896fdf)

  13. 3. What if we just don’t know for sure? Let’s act on that doubt and make a policy based on that fear and uncertainty./

    Gryph (08c844)

  14. 9. whembly (c30c83) — 5/21/2020 @ 12:28 pm

    I don’t see how you can allow for airlines to cram folks in the plans while telling churches that they cannot.

    You could argue that plane travel is more essential, but that’s a point of view.

    Another difference is that there are not so many people speaking a lot in an airplane.

    But a difference the other way is that there’s no way to get away if somebody starts coughing. And the air circulation is worse (ignore that claim that some study supposedly proved the ventilation system is OK – another proved it was a way one person spread SARS. SARS, in fact was pretty much only communicated in enclosed environments with many people, like hospitals.)

    Sammy Finkelman (dfa011)

  15. Church, even at close seated distance is not necessarily the main concern , it’s the projection of voice i.e. call and response and singing that is the worrisome aspect.

    urbanleftbehind (8596e8)

  16. Problem is, suppose you have a church with room for two hundred people at a service in normal times, but more than 75 people will start to cause social distancing problems. What does the church do when too many people show up (say, more than 100 people)?
    Take reservations? Have a schedule (if your last name starts with A-G, come at 9 AM: H-P, come at 10 AM, Q-Z, come at 11 AM)? Do it outside and hope there’s no rain?

    Kishnevi (8c03ee)

  17. Really seems like they should be allowed to re-open at the same time and with the same types of restrictions as other activities in their area.

    The issues presented by houses of worship are thorny.

    On the one hand, it is not the place of the state to decide that religion is not “essential,” but other things are, especially when the other things are broader than the bare minimums of life (food and medical care). Some states and localities have allowed bars, restaurants, liquor stores and lawyer and accountant offices to remain open, while closing houses of worship. IMO, that is a serious Constitutional violation.

    On the other hand, the logistics of how people gather in a church, synagogue or mosque can differ quite a bit from many other places. A store you go in, buy something, and go out. A house of worship, people go in for extended periods of time, there are often large crowds, they pray and/or sing (which lets out more droplets that may have the virus). The closest secular analogy is attending a play at a theater or a music concert, which are still generally not allowed.

    Of course, there are many variations on both sides. Some churches have been holding drive-in services, or allow only very few attendants with enforced social distancing.

    Still, I understand the State authorities who just want to ban it all and not deal with the headache of reviewing each church or synagogue’s safe-distancing protocol.

    I guess as the country opens up, it will mainly be a matter of trusting the people to act intelligently. I think most religious institutions will do so, and seek to run their services, but with safety measures in place.

    Bored Lawyer (56c962)

  18. What if we just don’t know for sure? Let’s act on that doubt and make a policy based on that fear and uncertainty.

    Ever hear of game theory?

    If you’re uncertain about it raining on your wedding reception, you plan on moving it inside.

    If you’re uncertain about killing or disabling a few dozen people, what do you do?

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  19. 17. Religion was considered “essential” enough by the anti-federalists, and they feared government’s power over it enough, to merit special mention in the very first amendment to our constitution. It’s that pesky “free exercise” clause that galls me the most. We shouldn’t even be having this debate.

    Gryph (08c844)

  20. 18. Yes, I’ve heard of game theory. It’s a lousy basis on which to form policy, particularly as regards economic and moral questions.

    Gryph (08c844)

  21. I think once you pass about 50 people, the virus suffers from the law of diminishing returns (unless the same people reassemble again another day)

    It’s how many people are how close to each other for how long. Someone infected can infect someone 150 feet away, I think, but the probabiliiy diminishes with distance.

    Sammy Finkelman (dfa011)

  22. Religion was considered “essential” enough by the anti-federalists, and they feared government’s power over it enough, to merit special mention in the very first amendment to our constitution. It’s that pesky “free exercise” clause that galls me the most. We shouldn’t even be having this debate.

    That’s false. What they feared (I guess they were cowards, too, huh) was the central government’s power over state prerogatives. At the time of the ratification, several states had state religions, and they kept them AFTER the ratification.

    But, as always, you just ignore the FACTS surrounding limitations on various rights.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  23. @19 What the founders were reacting to in the first amendment was the history of European countries choosing, supporting, and favoring one religion over another. It had been a very significant problem in Europe since the beginning of the reformation and was still a problem in their time. (in some parts it still is, for example the king of England cannot be a Catholic, nor can he marry one.) It had caused civil wars and thousands of people had been executed for practicing the wrong religion. They were against the government favoring one religious denomination over another.

    Nic (896fdf)

  24. Here’s the question. Is a church service more like the grocery store, or more like the movie theater. I think the answer is obvious, and therefore church services should be treated as such.

    Greg (da71f4)

  25. the china flu has turned into a gold mine for you ambulance chasers
    court case after court case after court case I bet the never trumpers deem God nonessential

    mg (8cbc69)

  26. 22. Okay, then insert the word “federal” where I used “government,” and my statement remains true. The only niggling little detail *you* left out is that all 50 state governments have religious freedom clauses in their respective state constitutions; it was a condition for admittance into the union for all but four of them.

    Gryph (08c844)

  27. At this point, most if not all Americans are smart enough to decide whether they should attend a church service or not.

    I think this is the crux of the matter. What bothers me the most about church bans is the assumption (by the largely secular crowd) that churchgoers and church leadership are too stupid or pig-headed to manage the risk and take the necessary precautions, including choosing to opt-out of attending. It’s just a weird vibe to say that grocery stores, big box chains, hospitals, police departments, and all of the other businesses in operation can be trusted to observe the proper safety procedures but churches cannot. It plays into the bigoted stereotype of religious people being dumb and unreasonable.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  28. Again, you’re just full of “that thing when you are untruthful”.

    Several states and commonwealths would NEVER have ratified a new experiment in central government that tried to tell them what their respective constitutions said.

    I really wonder where you get this BS.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  29. It plays into the bigoted stereotype of religious people being dumb and unreasonable.

    I disagree. I think it’s because they view church services as places of entertainment and not as places where people pursue spiritual development. So it’s not in their view essential in any way.

    Kishnevi (8c03ee)

  30. So it’s clear, any church that will practice safety measures should be opened.

    But, as we’ve seen, sure as there are carts to horses there will be some who will pack people in and declare that divine providence will protect them.

    Happily, there insurance carriers won’t. Nor will civil courts when they’re sued.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  31. Problem is, suppose you have a church with room for two hundred people at a service in normal times, but more than 75 people will start to cause social distancing problems. What does the church do when too many people show up (say, more than 100 people)?
    Take reservations? Have a schedule (if your last name starts with A-G, come at 9 AM: H-P, come at 10 AM, Q-Z, come at 11 AM)? Do it outside and hope there’s no rain?

    Kishnevi (8c03ee) — 5/21/2020 @ 12:56 pm

    Many churches have overflow rooms where the service is live-streamed for attendees unable to be seated in the main sanctuary.

    Dana (0feb77)

  32. They can also require masks to be worn.

    https://nypost.com/2020/05/20/religious-services-of-up-to-10-people-can-resume-thursday-in-ny

    Religious gatherings of up to 10 people can resume across New York State starting Thursday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced — though participants must maintain social-distancing and wear masks to ward off the coronavirus….

    ….The allowance is similar to one Cuomo previously announced for Memorial Day observances, and comes days after the governor teased a relaxation of restrictions for the upcoming Jewish holiday of Shavuot.

    Asked whether he would consider bumping up the number to 14 to afford more wiggle-room to Jewish congregations — which require 10 people alone for a “minyan” to officially mark services — Cuomo didn’t rule it out, but voiced reservations.

    Sammy Finkelman (dfa011)

  33. Asked whether he would consider bumping up the number to 14 to afford more wiggle-room to Jewish congregations…

    Not an expert, Sammy, but what sect of Judaism wiggles as part of its observance?

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  34. 24. A movie theater is really dark. Not good.

    Sammy Finkelman (dfa011)

  35. Yes, I’ve heard of game theory. It’s a lousy basis on which to form policy, particularly as regards economic and moral questions.

    Proving you have no concept of what game theory is or its applications in just those areas.

    But same challenge as before: when you are in a position to have the lives and health of many people under your control, you get back with us.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  36. What bothers me the most about church bans is the assumption (by the largely secular crowd) that churchgoers and church leadership are too stupid or pig-headed to manage the risk and take the necessary precautions, including choosing to opt-out of attending.

    Or too political.

    Sheep flock.

    I have not been to an organized church service since spring, 1968. It’s certainly not essential and lately, just good common sense to avoid given the current health emergency. And I’m certain I’m as good-if-not-better connected to the Almighty than the steeplechasers. You don’t need to gather in a group to commune; sometimes all it takes is a singular perspective that clicks into place whilst your fellow Man traverses the Heavens and circles the moon.

    “What’s the matter, kid? You never had lamb chops?” – Lawyer ‘T-Rex Appetizer’ Gennaro [Martin Ferrero] ‘Jurassic Park’ 1993

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  37. Thw phrase used in the article is “wiggle room”

    We’re talking about planning. Because what you can call a quorum is so important, (to read the Torah for instance, as is done on Saturdays, and also on Monday and Thursday mornings and also on some other occasions, or to say a few things, or for the Chazan (representative of the congregation) to repeat the main prayer) if you set the limit at ten, you have a big problem. The minimum and the maximum is the same.

    You don’t really want a situation where if an 11th man comes in, you’re supposed to what – are you supposed to lock the door so that doesn’t happen? And that is weekdays.

    If some people are sufficiently far away, can their presence be ignored for these purposes?

    The OU came up with a complicated set of advice or instructions that is suitable maybe onl;y for larger suburban congregations.

    https://www.ou.org/assets/OU-Guidance-To-Shuls-And-Communities-5-8-2020_F-1.pdf

    It’s relying, to a limited degree, on faulty medical advice. You know it is faulty, because it contains this sentence:

    While there is reason to hope that this may confer some level of immunity for a period of time, there is simply insufficient data available at this time for this to dictate differences in policy, and all should consider themselves susceptible to infection with the COVID-19 virus (just as individuals can catch the common cold repeatedly).

    The common cold is dozens, if not hundreds, of separate infections. Covid-19 is not known to mutate in+ any important way. The only question about immunity is is the strength of the immunity, which is a big question, and there is also the fact that some people, particularly children, beat it back so fast, they never develop specific antibodies.

    And there’s no reason to think immunity, if it exists, exists for a limited period of time, although it probably does fade. And if it did, if immunirty bease of an infection was only good for alimited period of time, a vaccine is not better than an infection in conferring immunity. That’s another unnecessary doubt that’s going around. Vladimir Putin and anti-vaxxers and sundry are not the only sources of misinformation. Some of it is coming from the very official medical establishment. and if it were to become immune from criticism, there would be more.

    Jews are supposed to listen to medical advice. That would be of the best doctors. Who tell you the truth. And who know what it is. Anyone giving a faulty argument like that one, comparing the pandemic virus to colds, cannot be relied upon. I don’t know who is responsible for putting that in.

    Of course, as Governor Andrew Cuomo has said, the “facts” change.

    Sammy Finkelman (dfa011)

  38. Of course there is the opposite extreme.Especially among some of the Chassidim of Williamsburg. Who seem to be treating all of this as if they were being persecuted by the Communists.

    Sammy Finkelman (dfa011)

  39. Religious freedom. Learn it. Love it. Accept it.

    Then you have the idiot in Minnesota who says restaurants can have 50 people, but churches only 10. Can’t believe he was willing to express his anti-Christian bigotry so openly.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  40. Put up a link, please, Rob.

    Is everyone in Minnisooooda a Christian, Rob? I’m betting not.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  41. Here’s the question. Is a church service more like the grocery store, or more like the movie theater. I think the answer is obvious, and therefore church services should be treated as such.

    Two problems with that. First of all, you are using “church service” like it is always the same thing, without accounting for differences in congregations, size, denominations, other religions (Jewish, Muslim), etc. Even before COVID, there was a large variety in what a “church service” consisted of and how it might be run.

    Second, you are assuming that the services cannot be altered in a way to accommodate safe-distancing concerns, like holding drive-in services, or requiring everyone to be at least a certain distance apart, or holding services outside. Which many religious institutions have done and are willing to do.

    Bored Lawyer (56c962)

  42. https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-first-amendment-faithful-11590017004

    Rangy has trouble with the “google.” Or he could just go to Powerline where they’ve been fantastic on the dictator in Minnesota since they live there.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  43. Bored Lawyer,

    Then there’s that pesky constitutonal issue.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  44. I bing, Roberta, and I was WAY ahead of you.

    Your depiction was…SURPRISE!!!…NOT true.

    Restaurants could seat up to 50 people OUTSIDE. Churches were limited to 10 inside.

    Churches were not granted more liberty by Walz. Under the policy, indoor and outdoor religious services are still limited to 10 or fewer people. Religious groups can still host drive-up services.

    Regarding why restaurants could host 50 people outdoors but religious centers could not, Walz said there is “not a perfect answer.” He claimed that the decision-making was based on the “predictability” of the venue but then said that many religious gatherings have predictable crowds.

    “I think, and I’m hearing strongly on this, of trying to figure out how we make that happen because I think the logic behind it, and I think, again, it was the predictability of who’s there. But I think you could argue, ‘Boy, I see the same people every Sunday at my congregation and, in fact, the Smiths sat in the same pew every year for 30 years, so we know exactly where they’re at and we know exactly where they are,'” Walz said.

    “I just want to say that I think there is a very strong sense of urgency for us to figure this piece out around churches. And I say that about all the businesses, but I do think these pieces of people’s lives ⁠— we need to try and get it around. So, Dave, I would just tell you, I think it goes with the predictability piece of it. I will, again, say that I don’t think that it’s perfect, and I think there’s some things that we have to still continue to figure out,” Walz added.

    That MONSTER…!!! He’s trying to think about the right thing to do, damn his eyes!

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  45. Then there’s that pesky constitutonal issue.

    Which I acknowledged above. But Constitutional rights are not absolute. The First Amendment does not grant you the right to perform human sacrifice, for example.

    More to the point, if someone actually has an infectious and dangerous disease, it is not a violation of the First Amendment to quarantine him or her, including keeping them from going to church.

    That’s the point here. At some point, the government can restrict religious freedom when it becomes dangerous. (Although it has to do so in an even handed way, not disfavoring religion as such.)

    Bored Lawyer (56c962)

  46. Are there only Christians in Minnasooooda, Rob, darlin’? (An Irish term of endearment.)

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  47. 39. I’m sure Rob wasn’t really trying to gaslight the thread. Accurate reporting is hard….

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  48. Which I acknowledged above. But Constitutional rights are not absolute. The First Amendment does not grant you the right to perform human sacrifice, for example.

    More to the point, if someone actually has an infectious and dangerous disease, it is not a violation of the First Amendment to quarantine him or her, including keeping them from going to church.

    That’s the point here. At some point, the government can restrict religious freedom when it becomes dangerous. (Although it has to do so in an even handed way, not disfavoring religion as such.)

    Bored Lawyer (56c962) — 5/21/2020 @ 3:16 pm

    However we cannot presume people to be Typhoid Mary. If they have the virus a quarantine makes sense, but if they do not it’s a violation of their constitutional rights.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  49. Raggy, you still aren’t being honest. Too bad. The dictator in Minnesota is going to lose just like the one in Wisconsin and the one in Oregon. Americans are born free no matter how much you desire otherwise.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  50. Raggy, you still aren’t being honest.

    How so, Roberta?

    The dictator in Minnesota is going to lose just like the one in Wisconsin and the one in Oregon.

    You mean the democratically elected governors? Now, isn’t that just more “inaccurate reporting”?

    Americans are born free no matter how much you desire otherwise.

    Take as long as you want, and justify that set of “intentional untruths”. With things I’ve actually said, not your gas. Lighting.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  51. Rob, you’re obviously upset by being caught again.

    I’m going to good smoke a pretty good cigar and let you calm down.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  52. There shall be no lewinskying of cigars… fine or otherwise…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  53. @ Greg, #24:

    Here’s the question. Is a church service more like the grocery store, or more like the movie theater. I think the answer is obvious…

    Indeed it is.

    I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.

    —John 6:35

    Food for the body can hardly be considered more important than food for the spirit.

    Demosthenes (7fae81)

  54. @ DCSCA, #36:

    I have not been to an organized church service since spring, 1968. It’s certainly not essential and lately, just good common sense to avoid given the current health emergency. And I’m certain I’m as good-if-not-better connected to the Almighty than the steeplechasers.

    I can just hear a somewhat-bright teenager saying the same thing about schools. Not essential, since everything you would be taught there is on the Internet anyway. Just good common sense to avoid, given the germiness of kids. And after all, she’s better educated than her classmates anyway.

    That somewhat-bright teenager, of course, could be partially excused for such silly remarks due to her age…

    Demosthenes (7fae81)

  55. For example sake, here’s the main part of an email I got this afternoon regarding Shavuot (Pentecost) services next Friday and Saturday

    We feel that it is time to begin reopening our Shul. We have consulted with doctors, nurses, and health policy experts to come up with an appropriate and measured plan. It is important to remember that we cannot reopen everything at once. We must do this gradually and with chochma (wisdom).

    Following the guidelines of Broward County, we have developed the following plan for or own reopening starting Friday, May 29th, the first day of Shavuot; We will have a 1 Hour service Torah reading only from 10 -11 am a second service-Torah reading of 10 Commandments and Yizkor service will be on Shabbat Saturday, May 30th Second day of Shavuot 10-11 am.

    Services will be held in Bet ben Moshe Sanctuary, while strictly maintaining social distancing, Children under Bar/Bat Mitzvah are not permitted in the shul at this time.

    You may not come to shul if you feel:

    Even slightly unwell (fever, excessive coughing or sneezing).
    You have been exposed to someone who is a possible COVID-19 carrier, or
    You have any underlying health issues that you at greater risk (obesity, heart disease, liver disease, diabetes, immunocompromised, respiratory issues and so on).
    If anyone who attended shul develops symptoms or test positive for COVID-19 you must inform me or Sterna immediately.

    Anyone over 65 -Please consult with your Physician, to ensure that it safe for you to attend shul at this point.

    Masks MUST be worn by everyone in our facility. You must wash your hands with soap when you arrive in shul.

    No kiddushin meals at this point.

    We thank you all for your continued cooperation and look forward to a successful reopening and returning to our regular schedule as soon as we can.

    WE ASK YOU TO FOLLOW THE RULES, WITHOUT EXCEPTION, IF YOU CHOSE TO ATTEND YOU DO IT AT YOUR OWN RISK, FOR WHICH THE SHUL TAKES NO RESPONSIBILITY

    We’ll be doing the same thing this weekend for Shabbat morning, although that wasn’t officially announced. What’s not said in the email is that the normal Shachrit and Musaf prayers said before and after the Torah reading won’t be said. Congregants are supposed to say them at home before or after the Torah reading.

    Kishnevi (b72022)

  56. If the object is to hear and receive the Word of God, that can be done by the pastor over zoom/skype/google. If the object is the comfort of the afflicted, the pastor should probably be arranging individual zoom/skype/google sessions with the members of his church. Communion obviously can’t be give at this time so that aspect isn’t the goal. If the object is communal, unfortunately all communal events are canceled right now. Churches should really think about what they are getting out of in person church services and adjust the delivery method if they can do so.

    (some of the churches, unfortunately, are probably looking for money and trying to reinforce control of the congregation, which is much more difficult with distance-churching, but I don’t regard those as valid reasons to resume services)

    Nic (896fdf)

  57. There shall be no lewinskying of cigars… fine or otherwise…

    Of Clinton’s deep, dark cardinal sins, his maltreatment of what were probably finer cigars than I can afford ranks high on my list.

    Unpardonable…

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  58. No apology from pastor of Butte County church where 180 were exposed to COVID-19
    ….
    The leader of Palermo Bible Family Church in Butte County said Sunday that he doesn’t need to defend his decision to hold services in person a week earlier — an event at which an estimated 180 congregants were present with someone who had been infected with the coronavirus.

    “May I just say to all of our church, you don’t need to defend us. When Jesus went before Pilate, he didn’t defend himself. So I don’t feel the need,” Jacobsen said in a half-hour sermon that was largely devoted to the criticism Palermo Bible has received. Pontius Pilate was the Roman governor who is said to have ordered Jesus’ crucifixion.
    …..
    In his sermon, Jacobsen confirmed that a congregant had tested positive for COVID-19 but wasn’t feeling any symptoms while attending the Mother’s Day service at the church, which is also known as PBFC Ministries.

    “They didn’t do it intentionally,” he said, referring to the congregant. “It was never in my heart to put our church in harm’s way.”
    …..
    Jacobsen said he didn’t want to put anyone at risk, and that he’s self-quarantining. His sermon was preached to an empty sanctuary but was broadcast on the church’s Facebook page.

    Butte County public health officials criticized the church for holding the service last week, saying it violated state and county stay-at-home orders. The service at the church, located south of Oroville, was held to mark Mother’s Day.
    …..

    Total Butte County COVID-19 cases up to 30

    Four new local cases of the novel coronavirus were confirmed Wednesday via Butte County Public Health’s informational online dashboard, putting the number at 30.

    Public Information Officer Lisa Almaguer said one of the new cases was confirmed to be someone who attended the Mother’s Day church service at PBFC Ministries in Palermo. More than 180 individuals attended the service, and the following day one felt ill and was tested for the virus. Two days later, the person was found to be positive. This will be the second confirmed case from that gathering.
    ……

    RipMurdock (d2a2a8)

  59. Flashback-April 4th:
    At least 70 people infected with coronavirus linked to a single church in California, health officials say
    …..
    In an interview with a Sacramento television station on Thursday, Sacramento County Department of Health Services director Dr. Peter Beilenson confirmed at least 70 people at the Bethany Slavic Missionary Church were infected with Covid-19.

    He said he named the church “not to cast aspersions on anybody but to really hammer home the importance of not congregating, not only in church but also in prayer gatherings in people’s homes.” It is one of the largest outbreak clusters of the virus in the US.

    In an archived version of last Sunday’s online service, a pastor announced at least three members of the church were infected with Covid-19.
    ……
    Beilenson told the Sacramento Bee Thursday that church leaders had “basically told us to leave them alone,” adding “this is extremely irresponsible and dangerous for the community.”

    Health Department spokeswoman Janna Haynes told CNN officials they believe the virus is being spread during Bible study and fellowship meetings in small groups at congregants’ homes. Haynes says the department is very concerned about the upcoming holidays of Palm Sunday and Easter, when church members and their families traditionally get together to celebrate, and they are deploying translators to plead with the Russian speaking community to stay home.
    ……
    ….[T]he health department released a statement Friday that said health officials had spoken to members of the church and community during their contact tracing investigation, and those interviews revealed links between the cases linked to the church.

    “While we know that the church as a whole has ceased to meet and the leadership is hosting online services, we have been told by multiple sources that there are groups that continue to meet in homes, despite the public health order to not gather with anyone outside of household members,” the health department statement said. “These gatherings have been directly linked to the clusters of cases in the community.
    ……..

    RipMurdock (d2a2a8)

  60. odd how this flatline is killing everything, what was that line about ‘destroying the village to save it’

    https://legalinsurrection.com/2020/05/wuhan-coronavirus-lockdowns-continue-to-decimate-u-s-healthcare-system/

    narciso (7404b5)

  61. No reason churches shouldn’t be allowed to open if they wear masks or practice “Safe Distancing”. Sorry if they reopen and someone, somewhere, gets CV-19, but that’s happening anyway. We can’t all hide in holes till they discover a vaccine – which may be never.

    rcocean (846d30)

  62. Kishnevi (b72022) — 5/21/2020 @ 4:26 pm

    Sounds like they have this down pat.

    Our Church is requiring everyone to enter by one entrance so as to ensure that only the proper number of people are admitted. People are escorted to designated areas with each group apart. Masks are required. When Mass is ended, all remain in place until an usher escorts them out.

    I have not attended, due to my age, so I do not know how smoothly this is going.

    Quick trivia: The Holy Mass is called “Mass” because of the latin phrase “Ite, missa est” spoken at the end of the Latin Rite.

    felipe (023cc9)

  63. OMG, 70 people with CV-19! Guess they’ll join the 1 Million Americans who have it already, the million who have it and don’t know it, and the millions who are going to get it.

    rcocean (846d30)

  64. A coward dies a thousand times before his death, but the valiant taste of death but once. It seems to me most strange that men should fear, seeing that death, a necessary end, will come when it will come.

    rcocean (846d30)

  65. Felipe, how is your church handling communion?

    It does seem that the churches where the Eucharist is focus of the service are not making a (public) fuss, and all the fuss is coming from evangelical type churches. Yet you can give a sermon online, but not communion.

    Kishnevi (51ad16)

  66. rcocean (846d30) — 5/21/2020 @ 5:14 pm

    You know what happened when plague hit London in Shakespeare’s age? They shut the theaters and everyone who could leave, left. The theater companies found it a good time to do a road show, as we would call it.

    Kishnevi (51ad16)

  67. Kishnevi (51ad16) — 5/21/2020 @ 5:16 pm
    Those who attend in person, receive the Eucharist Sacramentally, in the hand, placed by a minister who wears a mask. Those who watch the Mass via live-stream, participate in the Eucharist spiritually, by reciting the following prayer:

    My Jesus,
    I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
    I love You above all things,
    and I desire to receive You into my soul.
    Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally,
    come at least spiritually into my heart.
    I embrace You as if You were already there
    and unite myself wholly to You.
    Never permit me to be separated from You.

    Amen.

    felipe (023cc9)

  68. Communion obviously can’t be give at this time so that aspect isn’t the goal. If the object is communal, unfortunately all communal events are canceled right now. Churches should really think about what they are getting out of in person church services and adjust the delivery method if they can do so.

    (some of the churches, unfortunately, are probably looking for money and trying to reinforce control of the congregation, which is much more difficult with distance-churching, but I don’t regard those as valid reasons to resume services)

    Nic (896fdf) — 5/21/2020 @ 4:45 pm

    Says who? Are you in charge of salvation?

    NJRob (4d595c)

  69. Felipe, thanks. Seems the most obvious way.

    Kishnevi (f0c334)

  70. It does seem that the churches where the Eucharist is focus of the service are not making a (public) fuss, and all the fuss is coming from evangelical type churches.

    The Antichrist’s minions have no compunction about dressing themselves in priestly vestments while doing the work of the First Horseman.

    nk (1d9030)

  71. A coward dies a thousand times before his death, but the valiant taste of death but once. It seems to me most strange that men should fear, seeing that death, a necessary end, will come when it will come.

    That’s from the Koran, right rc?

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  72. A coward dies a thousand times before his death, but the valiant taste of death but once. It seems to me most strange that men should fear, seeing that death, a necessary end, will come when it will come.

    rcocean (846d30) — 5/21/2020 @ 5:14 pm

    A truly valuable sentiment.

    I personally do not see the cowardice in avoiding crowds and wearing masks. The cowardice is not speaking up against people who seek to hurt the United States with relentless doubt and fear of things like masks (called mind control devices). The cowardice is not speaking up when your political party is overrun by criminals, because you’re too afraid of the other political party, also overrun by criminals.

    Dustin (d59cff)

  73. That’s from the Koran, right rc?

    Ragspierre (d9bec9) — 5/21/2020 @ 6:34 pm

    I know you’re joking but it’s Shakespeare.

    I recall Ace of Spades writing a post that included the passage about a matter Ace would later delete when coddling the far left. It was around that time Ace became this pale, degenerate, angry propaganda shadow of its formerly clever, insightful self.

    Dustin (d59cff)

  74. Yeah, but don’t it sound like some imam could say it? Has a kind of kismet ring to, as well.

    Not foreign to my Viking ancestors, who believed the Old Man had wound the skein of your life and there was nothing you could do to add a day.

    Too bad about Ace. Also, Legal Insurrection used to be worth reading and it’s now just more T-rump suckage.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  75. “If Shakespeare’s so f***ing smart, how come he’s so f***ing dead?” — Charlie Partanna, Prizzi’s Honor

    nk (1d9030)

  76. @69 My God wouldn’t blame innocent people for the corona virus. Would yours?

    Nic (896fdf)

  77. Careful, Nic. Rob can get mighty testy if you question him.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  78. Yeah, but don’t it sound like some imam could say it? Has a kind of kismet ring to, as well.

    Yeah I can see that. Certainly the language of bravery and the language of peace don’t overlap that much.

    Dustin (d59cff)

  79. @ nk, #71:

    The Antichrist’s minions have no compunction about dressing themselves in priestly vestments while doing the work of the First Horseman.

    Standards of conversation being what they are these days, I can’t tell if this is meant in jest. I hope it is.

    Demosthenes (7fae81)

  80. Just to clarify, because “priestly vestments” may have conveyed an incorrect connotation, I meant the evangelicals making all the fuss to reopen. They are the false prophets, minions of the Antichrist, spreading pestilence. Not the traditional churches.

    nk (1d9030)

  81. It is interesting that people who are in government, and who are striving (albeit too humanly) to do the best possible things in a very, very dangerous, uncharted, and complex situation where numerous interests have to be balanced…those people are called terrible names by some here who depict themselves to be most religious.

    That seems to be un-christian.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  82. Just to clarify, because “priestly vestments” may have conveyed an incorrect connotation, I meant the evangelicals making all the fuss to reopen. They are the false prophets, minions of the Antichrist, spreading pestilence. Not the traditional churches.
    nk (1d9030) — 5/21/2020 @ 9:38 pm

    Believing the all-exalted Harvard professors now…. why not, they obviously have the best in mind for all of us. Let’s all just curl up and reject truth that doesn’t sync up with the elitists. Yes, I believe what they are rejecting is truth. If they truly believed that life has any value they wouldn’t be pushing abortion and euthanasia. Their hypocrisy on that negates their argument.

    “Belief in an afterlife is a malignant delusion, since it devalues actual lives and discourages action that would make them longer, safer, and happier. Exhibit A: What’s really behind Republicans wanting a swift reopening? Evangelicals.” – Harvard Scientist Steven Pinker

    Unbelievable. Just unbelievable.

    Marci (405d43)

  83. My God wouldn’t blame innocent people for the corona virus. Would yours?

    Nic (896fdf) — 5/21/2020 @ 7:01 pm

    People who aren’t cleansed for their sins cannot enter the House of God. That’s any Christian. Doctrinal.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  84. Just to clarify, because “priestly vestments” may have conveyed an incorrect connotation, I meant the evangelicals making all the fuss to reopen. They are the false prophets, minions of the Antichrist, spreading pestilence. Not the traditional churches.

    nk (1d9030) — 5/21/2020 @ 9:38 pm

    Why are you being bigoted towards Christians trying to freely practice their faith?

    NJRob (4d595c)

  85. It is interesting that people who are in government, and who are striving (albeit too humanly) to do the best possible things in a very, very dangerous, uncharted, and complex situation where numerous interests have to be balanced…those people are called terrible names by some here who depict themselves to be most religious.

    That seems to be un-christian.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9) — 5/22/2020 @ 4:40 am

    Facts not in evidence.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  86. Yes, I believe what they are rejecting is truth. If they truly believed that life has any value they wouldn’t be pushing abortion and euthanasia. Their hypocrisy on that negates their argument.

    Well said, Marci!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  87. 84. You didn’t answer the question.

    85. Why are you biased against all religious stuff but your own?

    86. What facts do you contend are not in evidence?

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  88. @84 are you maintaining that not going to church during an epidemic is making it so that you cannot enter heaven? Has your church not provided appropriate options for you? Because my choices of being cleansed of sin include attending confession electronically, doing a perfect act of contrition (which does not require attending church or confession until it is allowed), and/or participating in a group absolution (“I confess to almighty God and to you my brothers and sisters…”) which can also be done over a distance.

    Nic (896fdf)

  89. From Trump this morning:

    President Trump announced Friday that he was declaring churches and places of worship as “essential places that provide essential services,” and said that he would override governors to allow them to open “right now.”

    “Some governors have deemed liquor stores and abortion clinics as essential, but have left out churches and other houses of worship. It’s not right,” Trump said from the White House podium.

    “The governors need to do the right thing and allow these very important essential places of faith to open right now. For this weekend. If they don’t do it, I will override the governors,” he added.

    The report makes this point:

    The federal government does not have the power to implement nationwide measures to move toward a reopening, though the president has used social media — and formerly, his daily briefings — to influence governors’ decisions.

    Dana (0feb77)

  90. 89… all of which works for you. Others may need the church setting and the fellowship of other parishioners to help them feel closer to God.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  91. This report suggests that concerns about Trump’s slipping poll numbers among evangelicals motivated the decision described at comment 90.

    Dana (0feb77)

  92. Others may need the church setting and the fellowship of other parishioners to help them feel closer to God.

    Which is really odd, according to my layman’s reading of the Gospels. But, hey, passing a collection plate was never a big feature of the KJV…

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  93. @91 That is a different story than being denied the House of God because you haven’t been cleansed of sin.

    @92 seems likely

    Nic (896fdf)

  94. You want to see craven cowardice and cynicism wrapped up with a yellow ribbon…

    President Trump said “all Americans want to see their churches safely open again. Not only is it good for the community, it’s their right under the Constitution to worship freely without government intrusion. The Trump administration will always protect that right and continue to partner with states to ensure congregations are properly protected as restrictions are responsibly eased.”

    vs.

    “The governors need to do the right thing and allow these very important essential places of faith to open right now. For this weekend. If they don’t do it, I will override the governors,” he added.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  95. Two federal judges, in separate rulings rhetorically bitch slapped Governor Andy Beshear (D-KY) and his orders closing churches to in-person services. Sadly, the judges did not slap him down by saying that no, such orders are clearly and always unconstitutional, but simply that the Governor placed more of a burden on churches than on Kroger or Home Despot, and it couldn’t be justified.

    However, those two rulings came on Saturday, May 9th . . . after the Governor had forcibly closed churches for seven Sundays. People’s constitutional rights were violated for that period because the courts are slow. On Easter Sunday, Easter! Sunday, the Governor had the f(ornicating) State Police going to church parking lots to record vehicle license plates, to send their names to local health departments, to order parishioners who attended into mandatory house arrest ‘self-quarantine’ for fourteen days.

    Well, if the Governor’s orders were invalid on May 9th, then they were invalid the day he issued them, but nobody cares that people’s rights were violated for seven weeks. But most of the sheeple don’t care.

    The Dana in Kentucky (4a7d62)

  96. President Trump said:

    The governors need to do the right thing and allow these very important essential places of faith to open right now. For this weekend. If they don’t do it, I will override the governors.

    As much as I’d like to see that, I don’t see how the President has authority over elected state Governors.

    The Dana in Kentucky (4a7d62)

  97. 97
    Dana in Ky…don’t forget his Article 11 powers.

    Kishnevi (2cd130)

  98. @97

    President Trump said:

    The governors need to do the right thing and allow these very important essential places of faith to open right now. For this weekend. If they don’t do it, I will override the governors.

    As much as I’d like to see that, I don’t see how the President has authority over elected state Governors.

    The Dana in Kentucky (4a7d62) — 5/22/2020 @ 2:13 pm

    His “authority” is directing the DOJ to sue the governors.

    whembly (c30c83)

  99. But, hey, passing a collection plate was never a big feature of the KJV…

    Don’t forget in King James’s era, and long afterwards, the local parish collected rates and tithes from everyone, no matter what their religious status was. Ultimately, that’s what got us the First Amendment.

    But seeing a parade of Protestant pastors demanding the freedom to hold services, but apparently no others, tends to make me share the cycnical view. It was interesting that one pastor, instead of referring to his congregation’s right to worship together, referred to his right to give a sermon.

    Kishnevi (2cd130)

  100. Ragspierre wrote:

    Which is really odd, according to my layman’s reading of the Gospels. But, hey, passing a collection plate was never a big feature of the KJV…

    In 17th century England, the Church of England was part of the State, and commoners could be fined for not attending church. Churches were supported by various taxes and rents, mostly on the nobility — since their villeins were short on coin — but the nobles profited from their villeins under the feudal system.

    Nevertheless, tithing most certainly is mentioned in the King James Version, in Malachi 3:10:

    Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

    The Dana in Kentucky (4a7d62)

  101. His “authority” is directing the DOJ to sue the governors.

    And what would the DOJ rest its case on, other than the First Amendment, which the churches can use to sue in their own right. They don’t need the DOJ for that.

    Kishnevi (2cd130)

  102. whembly wrote:

    His “authority” is directing the DOJ to sue the governors.

    And how long does that take?

    In the Bluegrass State, free exercise of religion was suspended for seven weeks before two federal judges issued their rulings. The Department of Justice suing the governors in federal court would take weeks more, and then become moot as governors started relaxing restrictions on their own.

    Governor Beshear’s orders were really only overridden for two Sundays, May 10th and 17th, because he had already decided to ‘allow’ in person church services after Wednesday, May 20th. It is the concept that the government has any authority over churches which must be fought.

    The Dana in Kentucky (4a7d62)

  103. His “authority” is directing the DOJ to sue the governors.

    And what would the DOJ rest its case on, other than the First Amendment, which the churches can use to sue in their own right. They don’t need the DOJ for that.

    Kishnevi (2cd130) — 5/22/2020 @ 2:30 pm

    The DOJ’s Civil Rights Divion has been intervening in lawsuits challenging states & municipalities over infringement of religious liberty for quite some time now.

    True that the churches can sue on their own.

    whembly (c30c83)

  104. In the Bluegrass State, free exercise of religion was suspended for seven weeks…

    That’s one of those “failures to be truthful” things you so often indulge in.

    Nobody was denied the right to practice their religion, any more than a fire code or prohibition on pyrotechnics would do, so just stop with your histrionics.

    And your red hot story is the better part of a month old. Things have galloped along since then.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  105. It is the concept that the government has any authority over churches which must be fought.

    Sorry to be blunt, but that’s just crazy. And by now, you’ve been schooled on this so much you cannot say crap like that with any honesty.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  106. Say, DanaInK-Y, I can put my tithes in the mail, or even pay on-line. Which comports with the idea of paying in secret, rather than in the pew with your neighbor watching how much you drop.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  107. Ragspierre wrote:

    In the Bluegrass State, free exercise of religion was suspended for seven weeks…

    That’s one of those “failures to be truthful” things you so often indulge in.

    Do you dispute that Governor Beshear prohibited in person services? The linked article noted that he did; that was a suspension of the free exercise of religion. Do you dispute that Governor Beshear ordered the State Police to take down license plate numbers from cars parked in church parking lots on Easter Sunday, and that it actually happened? That’s attempting to use the law to punish people for freely exercising their religion.

    Nobody was denied the right to practice their religion, any more than a fire code or prohibition on pyrotechnics would do, so just stop with your histrionics.

    It seems that two federal judges disagree with you, stating that the Governor’s orders were invalid, noting that grocery stores and building supply stores could remain open, yet the Governor imposed greater restrictions on constitutionally protected churches than those other businesses.

    The Dana in Kentucky (4a7d62)

  108. It has now been 3 minutes, with no response from pierre. Check his pulse

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  109. Ragspierre wrote:

    It is the concept that the government has any authority over churches which must be fought.

    Sorry to be blunt, but that’s just crazy. And by now, you’ve been schooled on this so much you cannot say crap like that with any honesty.

    Given that my statement is an assertion of what I believe to be true, it cannot be dishonest. The concept that government has any authority should be fought.

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” the First Amendment says in part. It would seem that James Madison and the First Congress, and 11 of the 14 states (at the time) ratified the ten amendments which became the Bill of Rights by 1791. The Bill of Rights did not originally apply to the states, but subsequent incorporation, including all of the provisions of the First Amendment, had them apply to the states.

    Perhaps you find the formulation “shall make no law” confusing.

    The Dana in Kentucky (4a7d62)

  110. Ragspierre wrote:

    Say, DanaInK-Y, I can put my tithes in the mail, or even pay on-line. Which comports with the idea of paying in secret, rather than in the pew with your neighbor watching how much you drop.

    And that would be perfectly within your rights. I never said that you couldn’t.

    Of course, the only point I addressed on that was that the Church of England was supported by enforced taxes, tithes and rents when the King James version was published. I’m not sure what you are trying to argue here.

    The Dana in Kentucky (4a7d62)

  111. You guys, if you are not minions of the Antichrist helping the First Horseman spread pestilence, the only other explanation is that you have a lot of sins, heavy sins, and you want to be sure you have God’s ear by showing up at His House in person. That’s the only way I can figure it.

    nk (1d9030)

  112. Just remember, when you sing “Nearer My God To Thee”, it now has a meaning.

    nk (1d9030)

  113. Gah! … it now has a *new* meaning.

    nk (1d9030)

  114. Perhaps you find the formulation “shall make no law” confusing.

    Perhaps you find reality confusing, because your argument is irrational, ahistorical, and just plain wrong.

    Given that my statement is an assertion of what I believe to be true, it cannot be dishonest.

    Sure it can. A lot of liars fully believe their lies. And you ARE dishonest. One of the worst.

    The concept that government has any authority should be fought.

    As we’ve shown, you are in the wrong nation and the wrong century. There have been laws and regulations touching on religion since BEFORE the Constitution, and ever since.

    You can lie about all this further. It won’t change a thing. The courts don’t and won’t support your nuttiness. They didn’t in Kentucky, and they won’t anywhere else.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  115. It seems that two federal judges disagree with you, stating that the Governor’s orders were invalid, noting that grocery stores and building supply stores could remain open, yet the Governor imposed greater restrictions on constitutionally protected churches than those other businesses.

    Did the two judges rule that the people of Kentucky were not able to practice religion?

    Put up where either or both said that, because I’m calling bullsh!t.

    Show us where either judge said the governor had no authority to limit church attendance, because I’m calling bullsh!t on your whole crazy argument.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  116. I got a swift breeze from how fast Raggy move ld those goalposts.

    NJRob (20264a)

  117. I got a swift breeze from how fast Raggy move ld those goalposts.

    No, Roberta. That’s another of your expulsions of gas. Lighting.

    You’re full of it.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  118. Perhaps you find the formulation “shall make no law” confusing.

    Under that standard, please explain why a jihadi who engages in freedom of religion by killing a nonMuslim in the name of Allah should be unable to escape prosecution by claiming his First Amendment rights.

    Kishnevi (bb4469)

  119. DanaInK-Y, is this going to be like the other night when I invited you to name all the ways our constitutional rights were being violated? (I think that was the question.)

    And you went silent…never did put up any. Which stands as an admission you couldn’t.

    Admit that you’ve been misrepresenting the facts about the two court cases you’ve been flacking, or step up to my challenges. If you just go silent again, that will tell us all we need to know.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  120. Ragspierre wrote:

    Given that my statement is an assertion of what I believe to be true, it cannot be dishonest.

    Sure it can. A lot of liars fully believe their lies. And you ARE dishonest. One of the worst.

    So, you are saying that I must be lying when I make a statement of my own beliefs? What kind of f(ornicated) up logic is that?

    That you don’t like my beliefs is obvious, but that’s OK: I don’t like yours, either. You have decided to subject yourself to the authoritarian control of the State, like a good little sheep.

    Admit that you’ve been misrepresenting the facts about the two court cases you’ve been flacking, or step up to my challenges. If you just go silent again, that will tell us all we need to know.

    Show me where I have “misrepresented” them. I stated, “Sadly, the judges did not slap him down by saying that no, such orders are clearly and always unconstitutional, but simply that the Governor placed more of a burden on churches than on Kroger or Home Despot, and it couldn’t be justified.” Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove wrote:

    Tabernacle Baptist Church wants to gather for corporate worship. They want to freely exercise their deeply held religious belief about what it means to be a faithful Christian. For them, it is ‘essential’ that they do so. And they want to invoke the Constitution’s protection on this point. But the governor, by executive order, has put a stop to that. He can do that, but he must have a compelling reason for using his authority to limit a citizen’s right to freely exercise something we value greatly—the right of every American to follow their conscience on matters related to religion. Despite an honest motive, it does not appear at this preliminary stage that reason exists. . . . .

    There is ample scientific evidence that COVID-19 is exceptionally contagious. But evidence that the risk of contagion is heightened in a religious setting any more than a secular one is lacking. If social distancing is good enough for Home Depot and Kroger, it is good enough for in-person religious services which, unlike the foregoing, benefit from constitutional protection.

    Why, I have to ask, does someone who has described himself — if I remember correctly; I didn’t actually copy it — as a free market conservative support the notion that the government can simply order people to stay at home, to not be allowed to peaceably assemble, to not be allowed to practice their religion? The positions you have enunciated have all been in support of state power, not individual liberty. If churches are open, you still have the freedom not to attend, but you, seemingly, would grant the State the authority to tell people that they cannot attend.

    The protesters in Hong Kong are literally risking their lives against the oppressive Chinese government to protect their rights; you, on the other hand, have willingly surrendered yours. Had you been in Boston in 1773, I can easily picture you going up to the redcoats and saying, “You see that guy over there? He was one of the people who dumped that awful tea in the harbor.”

    The Dana in Kentucky (4a7d62)

  121. You said the Kentucky governor denied people freedom of religion.

    He didn’t, and the courts made no such finding.

    You said that govenment has no authority over churches.

    It does, as both courts have noted.

    You said two courts had “bitch-slapped” your governor.

    They didn’t. The language they used was respectful and noted the governor was honest in his motives.

    I’ll just let your silly nonsense about me slide.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  122. …support the notion that the government can simply order people to stay at home, to not be allowed to peaceably assemble, to not be allowed to practice their religion?

    Of course, this is more of you “failing to be truthful”. And note that you’re back to claiming “…order people…to not be allowed to practice their religion”.

    I don’t “..support the notion that the government can simply order…” yada, yada, yada. As we’ve demonstrated, ALL state governments have the power since BEFORE the Constitution to do all you mentioned NOT “SIMPLY”, but under certain conditions. The Kentucky courts held exactly that.

    This puts you out of touch with reality, the law, history, and the truth.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  123. I’ll note again that Ragspierre’s use of the label “liar” for anyone who disagrees with him is extremely rude and counterproductive. My politics are about as far from the Bluegrass Dana’s as can be, but he is unfailingly polite and states and debates his positions in good faith. Always has. He deserves better.

    Leviticus (b3a900)

  124. Here’s another clarifying question: In BOTH courts you cite to, what did the churches commit to doing if granted their relief?

    I’ll help; the churches promised to abide by the measures the authorities set out for health and safety.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  125. My politics are about as far from the Bluegrass Dana’s as can be, but he is unfailingly polite and states and debates his positions in good faith.

    Huh. I guess you missed where Dana has called be a fascist, supporter of tyranny, snitch, and just here a person who has surrendered his rights and would have been a British sympathizer at the time of the Boston Tea Party.

    I don’t apply “liar” to anyone who disagrees with me. Only to people who have demonstrated that they are “truth challenged”. Feel free to confirm that fact.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  126. Given that my statement is an assertion of what I believe to be true, it cannot be dishonest.

    “Sure it can. A lot of liars fully believe their lies. And you ARE dishonest. One of the worst.”

    So, you are saying that I must be lying when I make a statement of my own beliefs? What kind of f(ornicated) up logic is that?

    That deserves some analysis. It isn’t simply logical, it is demonstrable fact.

    There are people who maintain…with complete sincerity…that the Holocaust never happened and is, in fact, a story cooked up by the Jooooooose, in the face of all evidence to the contrary. They believe it to be true.

    May we not observe with complete rectitude that they sponsor a lie and are liars?

    People in pursuit of an agenda often tell untruths that they have rationalized as true, OR tell without regard to the truth.

    May we not term those untruths lies, and the people who aver them liars, regardless of their sincerity?

    I say we can, we do, and we should.

    I have no doubt that Clinton(s), Obama and T-rump often believe their lies sincerely. They have first lied successfully to themselves. How can that excuse the lies they tell?

    I assert they can with rectitude be termed “liars”, and that is simply a debt we owe to reality and the truth.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

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