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About this blog: The Raucous Caucus shares the southpaw perspectives of this Boomer on the state of the nation, the world, and, sometimes, other stuff. I enjoy crafting it to keep current, and occasionally to rant on some issue I care about deeply...  (More)

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Point/Counterpoint: Biden’s Catholicism a big deal?

Uploaded: Nov 19, 2020
Blogger’s notes: This exchange is sufficiently off-topic in the Comments of the previous blog that it’s better as a freestanding edition.

I’d also like to note at the outset that bias is usually best judged by its object, who is more finely tuned to its impacts (thus, for example, Caucasians should be very reluctant to dismiss movements like Black Lives Matter). As a non-Catholic, I’ve tried to be conscious of that point, below.


Posted byAmerican, a resident of Danville,

Well, Tom, since you brought up the issue re "priesthood", what is your take on why the media and the Democratic Party, that are constantly celebrating diversity and breaking through ceilings, i.e. first female VP, first African-American VP, etc., have given no airplay to Mr. Biden being only the second Catholic President in the history of our nation, despite Catholicism being the largest religious group in the U.S? Why do you think there has been absolutely crickets from the media and the Democratic party on this fact? I am actually interested in your opinion.

My own belief is because the media and the Democratic party have zero tolerance for diversity when it involves religious views and practice that are not part of the "Progressive's playbook". As we saw during the shameful Judgeship confirmation hearings the last few years, the Democrats and the media treat Catholicism like being a white supremist, with attacks of "extreme dogma", with even Ms.Harris the VP elect claiming being a member of the Knights of Columbus( a charity group that serves the homeless, raises money for the mentally retarded, and does true civic charity for the less fortunate) is grounds for denial of Judgeship, treating them like they are the Klu Klux Klan. We have also seen the Obama/Biden Administration try to force the Little Sisters of Mercy nuns to buy insurance that covers birth control and other services against their religious tenets. We also have the Biden platform on abortion that advocates for late term abortions, even minutes before birth, not due to mothers health or other concern, but just as a matter of right.

Diversity, like unity, is a two way street, and should celebrate all diversity, whether the breakthrough in inclusion is in the Democratic playbook or not.

Blogger’s response:

Am – it will not surprise you to learn that I see things differently: where you see a vast media conspiracy to bury a story, I see little story at all (but one that was covered); where you see the targeting of a charity by an ‘intolerant’ regime, I see a law of general application, applied to all similarly situated organizations – a non-mandatory service to every organization’s individual employees.

America has a sadly rich history of religious bias – hence religion’s inclusion among the protected categories in the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In the periods after Irish and southern European immigration, much of that bigotry was aimed at Roman Catholics by Protestants who’d been here longer.

I recall the whispering campaign against JFK’s candidacy in 1960 – that he would be the Pope’s President. It was conducted not by any liberal cabal, but by Protestant adherents, notably among the Southern Baptist denomination. To his eternal credit, Kennedy ventured into a Lion’s Den (a Baptist convention in Houston), and delivered what I believe is one of the great speeches – ever. This video of it represents 11 minutes very well-spent:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mBNlS8Zg1WA (I am also proud to say it was written by the Unitarian Ted Sorensen, but I digress).

Religion has never loomed large in more recent Presidential campaigns, including when contenders have involved other non-Protestants, e.g., prominent Jews Joe Lieberman and Bernie Sanders. It might be tempting to conclude that America has grown more accepting (I dislike the term ‘tolerant’), but instead I fear the terms of religious bias have simply changed. Witness the tribulations and attempted ‘othering’ of Muslim lawmakers, and imagine the uproar over any avowed atheist candidate for Prez.

Finally, although I’m no Big Data maven, I did a cursory google search of Biden and mass – it turned up almost 12 million responses, the first five of which were videos showing him going to his local church on November 8 (Note: only one of the top ten links related to ‘mass’ celebrations of his election).

Googling Biden Catholic controversy did prominently turn up a recent report of a South Carolina priest denying Mr. Biden the eucharist, which seems ‘unaccepting’ from that side, but I will leave that to your interpretation. Here’s a pretty positive NPR piece on how Biden's faith shapes his politics. https://www.npr.org/2020/09/20/913667325/how-joe-bidens-faith-shapes-his-politics

So, even allowing for my Blogger’s Note reservations, my response is that Biden’s Catholicism is simply no big deal, and not all that newsworthy – it’s so mid-20th century.


But if that’s the case, then why the barely concealed enmity toward Justice Barrett? I believe one issue explains it: abortion.* I do not believe opposition relates to her Catholicism, per se. If she had come to her anti-choice beliefs in some secular way and held them with equal fervor, the concerns on the Dem side would have been every bit as deep.

Now, as to the issue of the Little Sisters disdain for birth control, I think that as a lawyer you know better, but let’s pretend and play it straight. The ACA/Obamacare by its terms requires that no-copay birth control be available as part of any health care plan. This was not aimed at Any religion, but was meant to help prevent unwanted pregnancies (and thus lead to fewer abortions – a good thing, right?). It is what is known as a ‘law of general application,’ covering everybody.

In a 1990 decision involving ritual use of peyote, arch-Conservative (and Catholic) Justice Scalia wrote for the Court that when a ‘law of general application’ presents a conflict with a religious practice, the practice loses. In response, Congress enacted RFRA, a law requiring that in such instances, there must be a ‘compelling state interest’ served by the law, and that it only impose the least possible burden on the religious practice.

So, the Obamas were not forcing pills down the throats of defenseless nuns – they were trying to make sure that the employees of that organization had access to birth control … if they wanted it. The Court even found the required ‘compelling state interest’ (in the similar ‘Hobby Lobby’ case) but simply thought there might be less burdensome ways to go about the birth control access.

The upshot? Those employees are denied the kind of birth control access that most other women get under the ACA – they have to pay for it separately. It is difficult for me to see how that serves ANYbody’s interests in the abortion debate, but it certainly presents a nuanced issue that can easily be distorted to make a liberal look like a tyrant. He’s not – I’d be Much more concerned about abyssal flaws and continuing tyrannical tendencies of his successor.

Am, I expect that this conversation will continue in the Comments. If we do this again, I hope you will agree to come out of this particular closet and ‘own’ your content.


* While it’s also true that there are other tenets of her fringey Catholic community that, to me, suggest a retrograde belief in female subservience in general, the clear and dominant focus was on the future fate of Roe v. Wade.
We need your support now more than ever. Can we count on you?

Comments

 +   16 people like this
Posted by Michael Austin, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Nov 19, 2020 at 8:30 am

Michael Austin is a registered user.

Biden and Pelosi are not truly committed as practicing Catholics.

They live a double standard with supporting abortion while stating they are good practicing Catholics.

Abortion is against the teaching of the Catholic church.

Biden and Pelosi are not in good standing with the Catholic church.


 +   19 people like this
Posted by America, a resident of Danville,
on Nov 19, 2020 at 4:17 pm

America is a registered user.

Tom, I think you at least made an effort to be open minded and not just automatically default to attacking things not in the Democrat's playbook, which I appreciate. But unfortunately before you concluded, you couldn't help yourself from spinning backwards, into the "progressive" predictable personal attack mode that is anything but "inclusive", and is surely divisive to our country.

Try to look at this from a practicing, proud Catholic framework, which I know is difficult for you. But just try a little harder.

Your comment that "religion does not loom large in most recent Presidential campaigns" certainly may be a logical statement from Progressive's who do not attend weekly church service, who do not raise their children in a religious manner, and simply view organized religion as a bunch of b.s. But to those of us who attend weekly church service, whether Catholic, Baptist, Jewish, or any other faith, religion is always a fundamental part of who we are, and we celebrate our Constitutional rights of freedom of practice of religion. We certainly see this in California, where the Progressive politicians opened marijuana dispencaries and tattoo parlors before they allowed us to attend in person church services, even if we followed the same protocols of other establishments, with wearing masks, social distancing, no singing, no shaking of hands, open pews between families, etc. I am not defending those few places of worship who ignored basic safety precautions and thumbed their noses at local restrictions. That is clearly wrong. But to make places of worship literally the last "essential service" to be allowed to be open is anything but inclusive, and shows a failure to understand not only our Constitutional rights, but a real lack of empathy for those who do believe so strongly in the right to practice our religion.

Your comment about Justice Barrett belonging to a "fringey Catholic community" is completely outrageous, hurtful, and demeaning to a woman who should be celebrated for being the first female Justice ever in our country to be raising children while serving on our highest court. She practices what she preaches, and even adopted two orphans from Haiti. Her law students at Notre Dame voted her several times Professor of the Year, which shows she is not some Stepford Wife, but rather a truly good and caring person who gets along with all types, whether liberal, or conservative. Her husband gave up a very lucrative law practice in Indiana, and is following his wife to her new job. Does that sound like she is a subservient fringey Catholic, or a true trailblazer, who should be celebrated. How many "Progressive" male attorneys do you know who would give up their career to allow their wife to pursue her dream?

You note your empathy for Muslim lawmakers facing bias, and I appreciate that, so do I. But if you are going to be a truly inclusive person who celebrates diversity, you are going to have to have empathy for all groups facing bias, including those, such as Catholics, who the media and Progressives, and yourself continue to attack and degrade. As Mother Teresa said, "If you judge people, you have no time to love them".


 +   29 people like this
Posted by MichaelB, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Nov 19, 2020 at 5:23 pm

MichaelB is a registered user.

"Your comment about Justice Barrett belonging to a "fringey Catholic community" is completely outrageous, hurtful, and demeaning to a woman who should be celebrated for being the first female Justice ever in our country to be raising children while serving on our highest court."


Actually, it sounds like the typical reply/reasoning from the "tolerant" left for anyone who doesn't agree with them - on a variety of issues. They can be as "fringey" as they want as it relates to wealth taxes,"free" government programs, open borders, benefits for illegal immigrants, gun confiscation for the law abiding, getting rid of fossil fuels, etc. and anyone questioning it is dismissed as "greedy", "racist", a "gun nut", or a "climate change denier".

Barrett is "fringey" because she's a conservative and doesn't believe in using the court system to legislate.


 +   17 people like this
Posted by MichaelB, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Nov 19, 2020 at 8:54 pm

MichaelB is a registered user.

"I'd also like to note at the outset that bias is usually best judged by its object, who is more finely tuned to its impacts (thus, for example, Caucasians should be very reluctant to dismiss movements like Black Lives Matter)."


Members of any race, for example, should be very reluctant to support a movement that wants to defund the police, harasses innocent people because of differing political views, and feels "justified" in vandalizing/rioting/looting/burning down cities.

Web Link


 +   6 people like this
Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of another community,
on Nov 20, 2020 at 7:27 am

Tom Cushing is a registered user.

So, we are going to play 'context' games here? Okay.

Your high dudgeon begins with a phrase you have willfully misinterpreted. The sentence about 'religion not looming large' OBviously refers to the particular faith of the candidates, as the rest of the sentence makes clear. I stand by it, although a few voters might've stopped considering Mr. Romney at 'LDS' - just a guess, and not an attack.

The term "fringey" that sparked such 'outrage' (Outrage!) is a simple fact of proportion: the People of Praise are 1700 adherents, out of 70,000,000 Catholics. The mere rounding error on that total number is bigger than her community, which comprises 0.0024% of the American Church - 12 minutes out of a year, by comparison.

If you prefer 'minuscule,' I'm okay with that. 'Nanoscopic' works, too.

Now, where you get personal is where you deign to presume that you know this Progressive's beliefs, child-raising and worship habits. You are fundamentally out-of-line, as well as incorrect, in your assumptions. The tactic is called 'othering', attempting to marginalize me and others by your caricature of my profile. You'd be much better-off sticking to your own experience - as Chandrama might say: "I" messages, not "you" messages.

Then you head-off on some rant about discrimination against worship services - and use as your comparitors dope dispensaries and tattoo parlors?? I will admit that I do not know what goes on in Your services, but they are simply not comparable gatherings in my experience. One is retail, one is two people, albeit in proximity. I am guessing that you believe that the state should've been guided by what you think is sinful, but the public health impacts of such a system appear dubious, at best.

In fact, if one were to design an activity that will maximize super-spreader potential, it'd be hard to do better than hundreds of people in close proximity, meeting for an hour or more, indoors, singing and reciting, embracing, etc. The deity has not seen fit to grant immunity to The Faithful - do you Want to get sick?

You also defend Justice Barrett, which she does not need, against an attack that never was. There is much to admire in her achievements, and her husband, like many others including progressives (Doug Emhoff comes to mind), has subordinated his career to hers. All of which has been well-recorded in the MSM, and certainly was never disparaged by your blogger.

I do find her politics and some of her beliefs to be retrograde, which, as long as we get to maintain the separation of church and state, I am still allowed to do.


 +   15 people like this
Posted by Malcolm Hex, a resident of San Ramon,
on Nov 26, 2020 at 10:35 am

Malcolm Hex is a registered user.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday night blocked New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo from reimposing strict attendance caps at worship services in areas hit hard by the novel coronavirus. LOL!!!!!!

Web Link

Here is what Cushing said about The People of Praise Church vs dope dispensaries and tattoo parlors: “I will admit that I do not know what goes on in Your services, but they are simply not comparable gatherings in my experience."

Number one: it's quite obvious Cushing sees religious services as non-essential. What Cushing doesn't get is that church services play a big roll in a parishioner's mental health. Is that not essential?

Number two: There are plenty of churches across this nation that can seat people 20 to 30 feet apart during service. Plus, in many of Those services, people do not sing, walk around, or dance. Cushing used only one example where people were doing just the opposite.

Number three (and here is where I have a little fun): Hey Cushing, do people at Costco and Walmart stay more than 10 or 20 feet from each other? Nope, folks move around, talk, cough, and place items back on shelves they have already touched!

Fortunately, the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday night - with help of Amy Coney Barrett - blocked New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo from reimposing strict attendance caps at worship services in areas hit hard by the novel coronavirus. 

Hey Cush, maybe you and your governor can meet up at the French Laundry to console each other.

X






 +   5 people like this
Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of another community,
on Nov 26, 2020 at 3:05 pm

Tom Cushing is a registered user.

So, this is your best use of a holiday for Thanksgiving?

Good for you. Not my idea of a celebration. 55 days. Much to be thankful for.


 +   3 people like this
Posted by Malcolm Hex, a resident of San Ramon,
on Nov 26, 2020 at 8:03 pm

Malcolm Hex is a registered user.

Yup. 6 mile run at a very cold zero dark thirty. Practiced my 2nd Amendment right at the range. Read Trey Gowdy's book: It Doesn't Hurt to Ask. Wife and I did a little kitchen prep before the big feast. Enjoyed a great whiskey with family members. Oh, a great time!

Yup. Much to be thankful for.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by jacktenben, a resident of Avila,
on Nov 26, 2020 at 10:20 pm

jacktenben is a registered user.

Internet security is a basic necessity for users to remain secure, protected from online threats.
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 +   4 people like this
Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of another community,
on Nov 27, 2020 at 9:24 am

Tom Cushing is a registered user.

The Brooklyn Diocese case is interesting in several ways. First, it currently impacts precisely nobody, and second, it reaffirms a constitutional principle that is easy to say-grace-over: that the government should be neutral in applying restrictions between secular and religious contexts.

Ultimately, it's a case about line-drawing, in which the Court majority was unusually ‘activist' in substituting its judgment for the Governor's public health officials' prior order, which is no longer in effect. Apparently not all species of judicial activism are created equal.

As to the first point, the Court granted a preliminary injunction against enforcement of a prior rule, pending the Court of Appeals rendering final judgment on that appeal. It's a ‘prior' rule because it was earlier rescinded: the worshippers are not under the complained-of restrictions now. So, there's no immediate effect. The real import of the ruling is to suggest to the Appellate Judges what the Supremes might do, if later asked.

Regarding the second point, the impact of the two Religion clauses in the First Amendment is to try to maintain government neutrality in matters of faith. That's harder than it sounds, as these two primary institutions often rub elbows. But this case reaffirms the goal.

Where reasonable minds may differ is in how government actions that impact Both the spiritual and the secular should be interpreted. The Public Health-based restrictions imposed on society generally must be founded on the best Public Health science available, with a neutral and crucial goal of ending this plague scourge. Know-nothing non-professionals may attempt to heap scorn on the experts, but I'll take ol' Doc Fauci et al. over ‘some guy on the internet' every day (twice on Sundays, even).

In contrast to the different CA and NV orders the Court declined to second-guess from the bench earlier, this Court reached pretty far down into someone else's weeds to substitute its judgment on where the lines were once drawn in New York. The Court majority ruled discrimination against those houses of worship, whereas one of the dissents suggested worship was actually treated Better than similar gatherings like concerts and sports events. I say let the experts decide.

If the impact of this case means that all Public Health line-drawers must be ever more assiduously precise in their judgments, I am okay with that, as long as the Public Health goals are met. If the experts become timid, however, and kowtow to Any special interest: be it religious, commercial or otherwise, then Americans will suffer and die unnecessarily.

That seems to be how it is with this virus. Covid doesn't care Why you exposed yourself to it. It will happily climb aboard anyone careless, or unfortunate, or trusting enough to do so.

Let's be careful out there folks! Cavalry's comin', but it ain't here yet.
_____

Hexie, the more your posts are about me - or worse, your errant assumptions about me, the less valuable they are to this blog community. Most readers can recognize ‘othering' when they see it. Indeed, I'll guess that many of them even stop reading at the first juvenile ‘LOL'.

Focus on the Material, son. The Messenger's not your business.


 +   8 people like this
Posted by Malcolm Hex, a resident of San Ramon,
on Nov 27, 2020 at 11:59 am

Malcolm Hex is a registered user.

Let's do a little comparison shopping from my last post. You said: “Covid doesn't care why you exposed yourself to it. It will happily climb aboard anyone careless, or unfortunate, or trusting enough to do so." So, You think that all that bumping and grinding in a strip club is safe? Breathing becomes a tad more in response to physical exertion - ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU WEAR A MASK. Oh, did I mention that all of this takes place indoors? Now, compare that many church services.

Church services vary, but many a parishioner sit down, stand up once in a while, and listen to the good word. Oh, I forgot to mention that folks in church do not generally eat during services. And as far a communion goes, many churches use individual cups as a safeguard. On the other hand, I believe quite a bit of drinking, and eating takes place in a strip club.

Lastly, you stated that the more my posts are about you - or worse, my errant assumptions about you, the less valuable they are to this blog community. What?? My posts are in response to what you post. Is that not the point of a blog?

BTW, who are You to judge me about how less valuable my posts are in “this blog community." Maybe you should look at the “likes" I get vs the “likes" you get.

Lastly, if you don't want me posting on your blog, then just say so.






 +   5 people like this
Posted by American, a resident of Danville,
on Nov 27, 2020 at 12:24 pm

American is a registered user.

Tom: I think the fundamental difference between us is on the issue of separation of church and state, that to me means the government can not favor one religion over another, and also can not favor non-religion over religion. Hence, in my prior post, I mentioned that if my Catholic church was to implement similar safety protocols that secular institutions had in place, i.e. no singing, no shaking of hands, social distance at least one pew between families, all wear mask,etc., than the government would be violating our constitutional rights in not allowing us to gather. There is no constitutional right to get a tattoo, or purchase marijuana, but there is a constitutional right to practice religion, and the so-called "compelling" reason to shut our places of worship should also shut down tattoo parlors and marijuana shops.

It will be interesting to see how President Elect Biden approaches this issue, and my concern is that if he allows the "Progressives" in his party to dictate his policy that more trampling of religious rights will occur. It appears the "Progressives" usually err on favoring non-religion over religion, despite the fact our currency still notes "In God We Trust", and the U.S. Supreme Court still starts each session with a prayer. Even President Obama often ended speeches with "God bless America", and I hope our second ever Catholic President continues the practice.


 +   5 people like this
Posted by MichaelB, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Nov 27, 2020 at 3:08 pm

MichaelB is a registered user.

"It will be interesting to see how President Elect Biden approaches this issue, and my concern is that if he allows the "Progressives" in his party to dictate his policy that more trampling of religious rights will occur."

Count on it.

Progressives run the party, promote secular beliefs, and Biden will not stand up to them. He's already promoting a path to citizenship for the millions of illegal immigrants. This is exactly what "open borders" wing of the progressives want.


 +   4 people like this
Posted by MichaelB, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Nov 27, 2020 at 3:18 pm

MichaelB is a registered user.

"The Public Health-based restrictions imposed on society generally must be founded on the best Public Health science available, with a neutral and crucial goal of ending this plague scourge. Know-nothing non-professionals may attempt to heap scorn on the experts, but I'll take ol' Doc Fauci et al. over ‘some guy on the internet' every day (twice on Sundays, even). "


It is not "neutral" for know-nothing progressive politicians to promote national/state lockdowns for everyone when only a small percentage of the population (elderly, those with preexisting conditions) have difficulty recovering from the virus. The political left wants more people waiting for/being dependent government stimulus checks vs. them getting back to work and becoming self reliant.


 +   3 people like this
Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of another community,
on Nov 27, 2020 at 5:35 pm

Tom Cushing is a registered user.

Am: I disagree. In regard to the Public Health mandates, religion/not should be completely irrelevant. Religious rites and secular gatherings ought to be judged on their respective risks to public health. Period. That outcome represents the true separation of church and state.

I believe that you are continuing to argue for special treatment of religious ceremonies as a 'constitutional right' - my reading of the Establishment clause would say that's an unconstitutional favoritism of religion in general, if not in particular. If you want Free Exercise (as I do), then you need to accept the Establishment clause's symmetry in banning favoritism.

I think both conservative Catholic Justice Scalia and Pope Francis are with me on this. Scalia wrote that if laws of general application affect religious rituals, it is the rituals that must adjust. (Smith v Oregon). The Pope recently opined that public servants are called to “be at the service of the common good" and not place the common good at the service of other interests.

In fact, I don't think that Any of the majority-side opinions take your tack, do they? That would represent a very different basis for the decision. They just found that the state did disagreeable line-drawing, thus substituting their own Public Health judgments for those with actual Public Health expertise.

Am, you consistently demonize "Progressives" as somehow fundamentally anti-religious. I don't think that follows. My sense is that Progressives do not want specific religious tenets read-into secular laws in ways that restrict their American freedoms - perhaps gay/TG rights would be an example. But I know lots of gay individuals who are both Progressive and quite religious on their own terms.

Finally, what's with this "even Obama" nonsense? He and his family were/are quite churched, and live/governed with much more Christian values than the soon-to-be-former incumbent. Obama never used a church or the Bible as cynical political props, for just one example. Or do you think Obama paid hush money to cover-up multiple extra-marital assignations? That'd be big news.
___

Hexie: "... quite obvious Cushing sees religious services as non-essential. What Cushing doesn't get is ..." That's two errant assumptions in close proximity.

"Here's what Cushing said about The People of Praise Church vs dope dispensaries." I said nothing of the sort involving The People of Praise. Nothing.

"Hey Cush, maybe you and your governor can meet up at the French Laundry to console each other." Gratuitous, stupid and personal.

BTW, I think he's done a commendable job on the pandemic - and, his propensity for occasional indulgence is a self-inflicted wound to his further prospects. But his French faux-pas is no excuse for casting appropriate plague caution to the wind, any more than his prior affaire frees-up any husband to pursue that hot new hire over in Accounting. Plus, Newsom and I have nothing to console about, either. 54.
____

MichaelD: if the Dems were capable of fomenting all that evil in secret, they'd be much better at a lot of other things that you seem to think they're incompetent to do. Hard to have it both ways.


 +   4 people like this
Posted by Malcolm Hex, a resident of San Ramon,
on Nov 27, 2020 at 10:15 pm

Malcolm Hex is a registered user.

Another Cushing sound bite:

"Religious rites and secular gatherings ought to be judged on their respective risks to public health. Period. That outcome represents the true separation of church and state." Respective risks?

Once again:

On the church side, people are not allowed to attend church service indoors.

On the state side, people are allowed to attend strip clubs and drink indoors.

By Cushing's logic, it appears the state can allow "respective risks" to control religious services. "Respective risks," in this case, are nothing more than cover words for control.

But what about the risks in a strip club -where people eat and drink? What about the risks of shopping for an hour or two inside Macy's? Hey, what about all those folks inside Best Buy during black friday?

Least I forget that those businesses are deemed essential by the state and considered... Acceptable risks? Mask or no mask, there is a risk when entering a building.

So, how is a church service indoors any different from restaurants, stores, businesses, etc?

Thousands of Christians, Muslims, and Jews in this country have every right to practice their beliefs in their places of worship - as long as it's done safely.













 +   3 people like this
Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of another community,
on Nov 28, 2020 at 7:11 am

Tom Cushing is a registered user.

I get it, Hexie - your goal is to attack The System by claiming the incompetence - or worse - of public servants. And you invite me to play along with an example you claim to be real. No, thanks - three reasons:

1 - you have done nothing hereabouts to establish your credibility as anything but a rock thrower, and certainly not as a Public Health expert, or even a source of useful information. In short, you are that 'some guy on the internet' with an axe to grind, who wants me to believe him because we all know that e-leets suck. I'll forever side with the world's Faucis, and be grateful he/they exist.

2 - Accordingly, the most operative excerpt to capture my thinking on this topic is this one: "The Court majority ruled discrimination against those houses of worship, whereas one of the dissents suggested worship was actually treated Better than similar gatherings like concerts and sports events. I say let the experts decide." I am willing to concede that all that study, all that experience and battle-testing are more than I have to offer on these policies - expertise has proven its worth and earned my trust, as

3 - the numbers speak for themselves. CA should have been a hotspot from the outset, given our density and demographics. The very prompt and effective interventions you would throw away - and the CA public's willingness to trust them - are precisely the reasons why.

Compare the 'free' and unmanaged Dakotas - 25! times fewer people/sq mi., and a death rate 18! times higher than here (per Johns Hopkins, but what do they know?). If that can't convince you to trade-in your "Don't Fence Me In" warbling for something more like "We are Family" then all efforts are wasted on you.

If you can't be grateful to be alive as a result of good governance, you might at least resolve your cognitive dissonance in favor of expertise. Otherwise, you're simply blowing hard, like everybody's drunk uncle at those one-and-future family gatherings.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Jake Waters, a resident of Birdland,
on Nov 28, 2020 at 9:40 am

Jake Waters is a registered user.

I read this discussion and my eyes rolled to the back of my head as my jaw went to the floor. This is a serious topic pertaining to Biden? Does anybody see the comedy here? Is anybody awake regarding the dangerous attributes surrounding this candidate? When do you address Biden's favorite ice cream or color? Now that would be an intelligent topic to say the least. It's very close to watching CNN when I spot check the channel.

The dumbing down of America is nearing a National Security problem.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Malcolm Hex, a resident of San Ramon,
on Nov 28, 2020 at 1:50 pm

Malcolm Hex is a registered user.

LOL!!!! Ooooh, weeee! A raucous caucus indeed!

Hey Jake, you hit the nail on the head. Mr. Biden is in cognitive decline - which is unfortunate. Unfortunate because his condition will only worsen over the years.

Remember when he said:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident. All men and women are created, by the, you know, you know the thing,"

The thing?

Xi and Putin are going to walk all over this guy.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Michael Austin, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Nov 28, 2020 at 5:38 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

Now that you provide names:

You should note:

Russia's Putin is the worlds trouble maker.

China's Xi is the worlds bully.

America's Trump is the worlds wannabe.


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Posted by Malcolm Hex, a resident of San Ramon,
on Nov 28, 2020 at 6:13 pm

Malcolm Hex is a registered user.

And Biden will be?


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Posted by Michael Austin, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Nov 28, 2020 at 6:33 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

I like to have a conservative congress, a conservative court.

I do not care who is president.


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Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of another community,
15 hours ago

Tom Cushing is a registered user.

Jake - the blog started out as an experiement in presenting two sides of a topic - Biden's religion. It migrated, as happens, to the treatment of religion in Public Health orders. Those are not unserious topics - just apparently not what you want to discuss.

The aol chat-worthy derailing that followed speaks for itself.

Here's a serious topic: I don't often agree with David Brooks, the card-carrying conservative columnist, but today I think he's onto something. Web Link

Now, I predict that you won't get past the title, label him a RINO and party-on, but I think some of his ideas relate to some Dems, as well - as evidenced in some of the finger-pointing Comments. Trumpism was born and nurtured out of no-hope desperation, especially in rural America (not sure what Your excuses are).

If Brooks is right, then I think the way to address the great divide is via outreach to red states - actually BEing everybody's president. The US has been living off 20th century infrastucture investments, which have paid-off handsomely and need updating, bigly. Trump never bothered because 1 - he's no general, and 2 - it wouldn't serve his immediate personal interests to narrow the divide. Infrastructure Week was like Health Plan week - total fiction.

If Biden focuses infrastructure investment on the red states, he may have some success jawboning their Senators, as well as injecting hope and capital where both now languish. If that's deficit spending, then investing in America is the very best, most defensible way to do it (contrast funneling $Trillions to $Billionaires via tax cut effects).

Of course, it's more fun to gleefully label the Prez-Elect via fanciful catch-phrases like 'cognitive decline.' I've certainly seen no evience of that during the masterful management of the transiiton so far. The other guy out playing golf? Well, I can only hope that the Joint Chiefs are changing the locks - and especially the codes, while he's out flailing.


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Posted by MichaelB, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
14 hours ago

MichaelB is a registered user.

"If Biden focuses infrastructure investment on the red states, he may have some success jawboning their Senators, as well as injecting hope and capital where both now languish."


This is it? Infrastructure investment?

Biden is supposedly going to"address the great divide" and be "everybody's president" by calling the nation "systematically racist", wanting to rejoin an international treaty that will cost jobs/raise energy costs, banning guns for the law abiding, and promoting citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants? Just the opposite. He is what some of us saw coming months ago despite spin and political cover from "journalists" - the "moderate" front man doing the bidding of the far left of his party.


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Posted by MichaelB, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
14 hours ago

MichaelB is a registered user.

"Of course, it's more fun to gleefully label the Prez-Elect via fanciful catch-phrases like 'cognitive decline.' I've certainly seen no evience of that during the masterful management of the transiiton so far."


What is "masterful management"? Do you have any evidence of Biden doing all of this by himself? Isn't this the same guy who used teleprompters at voter town halls and refused to take or got softball questions from the press?


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Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of another community,
13 hours ago

Tom Cushing is a registered user.

Michael - this is too easy. Your world may be binary (one thing and nothing else), but thankfully the world outside is not.

Insfrastructure is hugely important and provides much of society's ability to compete. It's a public investment, so you don't see it on balance sheets or income statements, but it's there. Imagine the US without highways, public education, internet capabilities, airports, etc. etc. Hell, when the BART unions struck in 2013 it cost $78Million/DAY in lost productivity (basic BART cost about $1B in '60s dollars). The pay-off is huge, and enduring. Imagine facilitating renewable energy capacity in a hundred ways - it lays waste to your 'expensive power' bugaboo, and it's transformative.

You can throw other rocks out of butt-hurt and fear, but that don't make any of it so. And this one's hilarious:

"Do you have any evidence of Biden doing all of this by himself?"

NO - nor do I want any! But Biden's not giving Trump any oxygen by engaging him over his preposterous little electoral fantasies. Just letting him blow himself out and look tiny - like a loser.

And Biden's doing what leaders do - gathering experts, listening to them and making solid decisions on personnel and process - like Lincoln did, and FDR, even St. Ronnie and any CEO worth her salt. I fear you may be thinking of John Wayne, pilgrim.


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Posted by MichaelB, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
13 hours ago

MichaelB is a registered user.

"Michael - this is too easy. Your world may be binary (one thing and nothing else), but thankfully the world outside is not. Insfrastructure is hugely important and provides much of society's ability to compete. It's a public investment, so you don't see it on balance sheets or income statements, but it's there. Imagine the US without highways, public education, internet capabilities, airports, etc. etc. Hell, when the BART unions struck in 2013 it cost $78Million/DAY in lost productivity (basic BART cost about $1B in '60s dollars). The pay-off is huge, and enduring. Imagine facilitating renewable energy capacity in a hundred ways - it lays waste to your 'expensive power' bugaboo, and it's transformative. "


No, this IS too easy.

Infrastructure is only one item and the world outside is not. You are not going to be "everyone's president" and "bridge the great divide" by doing what the far left of what the Democrat party wants and what Biden has already promised to do. The electorate/voters of this nation are not far left - despite that you think that is so. Sorry, a but spending bill isn't going to make everything better when Biden calls the nation "racist", guts the 2nd Amendment, and wants to reward people who cross our borders illegally.


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Posted by MichaelB, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
13 hours ago

MichaelB is a registered user.

"NO - nor do I want any! But Biden's not giving Trump any oxygen by engaging him over his preposterous little electoral fantasies. Just letting him blow himself out and look tiny - like a loser. "

Not a "fantasy".

There are credible accusations of voter fraud backed up by statistical analyses, sworn statements from witnesses, and states violating the Constitution by changing voting procedures without approval of their respective legislatures. If the fraud disallows or overturns election results, then Trump is reelected. The "losers" don't want to investigate any of the accusations because they want political power and for Biden to win, no matter what.


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Posted by MichaelB, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
12 hours ago

MichaelB is a registered user.

"And Biden's doing what leaders do - gathering experts, listening to them and making solid decisions on personnel and process - like Lincoln did, and FDR, even St. Ronnie and any CEO worth her salt. I fear you may be thinking of John Wayne, pilgrim."


I fear you may be thinking his "handlers" and not Biden are in charge. The fact that he basically "hid" during most of the campaign, did not want to take questions from the press, and used a teleprompter during a townhall should give you pause when he confronts world leaders (unfriendly to the United States) who do not ask the scripted and predictable questions. They'll walk all over him - and us.


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Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of another community,
11 hours ago

Tom Cushing is a registered user.

Wow.

"Infrastructure is only one item and the world outside is not. You are not going to be "everyone's president" and "bridge the great divide" by doing what the far left of what the Democrat party wants"

You're going binary again, like anyone suggested infrastructure is the Only thing. That's just Silly. Nor is investing in the red states what the "far left" wants, nor is it what he said he'd do. It's the closest to reality of anything you've written, yet it's still orbiting one of those outer planets.
___

"There are credible accusations of voter fraud backed up by statistical analyses, sworn statements from witnesses, and states violating the Constitution..."

The difference between a press conference or a northpaw commentator and a court is that you have to present actual evidence and tell the truth in court. Even an appellate Judge appointed by Trump, writing for a unanimous court, kicked all those 'credible accusations' to the curb on their collective keister.

EVery one of some-40 ridiculous lawsuits has failed miserably - the dismissals uniformly scathing. The reputable law firms that started out quickly withdrew lest they become a laughingstock. His recent 'elite strike force' has been a parade of misfit toys: solo general practitioners, a medical malpractice lawyer, a divorce lawyer, and a radio host - as led by Rudy 'da Drips' Giuliani (who hadn't been in Court during the 21st century). Not an election law expert in the same time zone, not a shred of credible evidence, and ample recounts - one of which is increasing Biden's 6-million vote margin.

The very best that can be said for his scurrilous campaign is that it has allowed him to cynically fleece the flock, one more time - raising funds he will find useful when he goes on the defense side (if you know what I mean and I think that you do).
___

"I fear you may be thinking his "handlers" and not Biden are in charge. The fact that he basically "hid" during most of the campaign, did not want to take questions from the press"

Whatever serves your false narrative.

And okay, My turn to ask for (credible) evidence that 'his handlers' (hoo boy) are in charge. Where is it?

His campaign was responsible under the Covid circumstances, it included debates he won, town halls and plenty of press interaction. And it worked - he won by Six Flippin' Million Votes! His transition processes have been quite open and inclusive - where, oh Where do you get this crap?


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Posted by MichaelB, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
9 hours ago

MichaelB is a registered user.

"You're going binary again, like anyone suggested infrastructure is the Only thing. That's just Silly. Nor is investing in the red states what the "far left" wants, nor is it what he said he'd do. It's the closest to reality of anything you've written, yet it's still orbiting one of those outer planets."

Projecting again? You were the one who ignored Biden's multiple left wing positions on immigration, gun control,"systemic racism", government health care, court packing, etc. and responded (going binary) that infrastructure was "transformative" and supposedly going to bridge the gap between Biden and Republicans. It's a bit more complicated than that. Republicans won't rubber stamp everything.

"His campaign was responsible under the Covid circumstances, it included debates he won, town halls and plenty of press interaction. And it worked - he won by Six Flippin' Million Votes! His transition processes have been quite open and inclusive - where, oh Where do you get this crap?"

I get it by actually looking. When you're in the tank for someone/something you don't bother looking at all.

Web Link
Web Link
Web Link


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Posted by MichaelB, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
9 hours ago

MichaelB is a registered user.

"His recent 'elite strike force' has been a parade of misfit toys: solo general practitioners, a medical malpractice lawyer, a divorce lawyer, and a radio host - as led by Rudy 'da Drips' Giuliani (who hadn't been in Court during the 21st century). Not an election law expert in the same time zone, not a shred of credible evidence, and ample recounts - one of which is increasing Biden's 6-million vote margin."

Yeah, must nothing at all. Interesting how Biden did so "well" - but Democrats didn't in either the Congress or the state legislatures.

Web Link


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Posted by MichaelB, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
7 hours ago

MichaelB is a registered user.

"Of course, it's more fun to gleefully label the Prez-Elect via fanciful catch-phrases like 'cognitive decline.' I've certainly seen no evience of that during the masterful management of the transiiton so far. "


Yep, it must be just a "catch-phrase" - and nothing else.


Web Link

Web Link

"Something clearly is wrong with Biden's mental acuity, and the magical powers of a teleprompter can only do so much. As we veer wildly toward Nov. 3, Biden sounds increasingly tired"that is, when we see him at all."


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Posted by Sean Brither, a resident of Walnut Creek,
1 hour ago

Sean Brither is a registered user.

It is well written, I want to recommend to everyone who deals with articles or essays an excellent service Web Link that will help you very quickly to qualitatively and inexpensively write an excellent article or essay on a topic of interest to you


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