Saturday, May 23, 2020

At some point we need to talk. . .

Not now, as things are beginning their long journey to recovery of what we once considered normal, but at some point we will need to talk about a few things.  I fear that this conversation will never be had or will be had only in so far as we can attached blame.  But it would be a helpful conversation because circumstances like this will come along again -- it is not a matter of if but when.

  • We need to talk about whether you can effectively make policy simply on the basis of models or whether public policy requires something more than an imagination of how things might go.  Models initially predicted millions of deaths here in the US; now we are looking at numbers closer to a typical flu epidemic.  In epidemiology, there is no objective truth or facts until the numbers are written by rates of infection, hospitalization, and death.  If we are willing to put everything we know at risk, we will at least need better models or more prudent leaders.
  • We need to talk about the role of the media in hyping the threat and danger to the point of stirring up panic and hysteria.  Wasn't there something in the courts about no right to call out "Fire!" in a crowded room when there was none?  The media have been relentless in their coverage, repeating false information, treating the so-called experts as deities, using the pandemic in their fight against Trump, and encouraging hoarding of everything from toilet paper to hand sanitizer.
  • We need to talk about the speed with which we have suspended personal liberty, disrupted commerce, closed churches, and restricted access to public property.  Even more we need to talk about the unwillingness to talk about the cost of these freedoms lost for a time and the precedent that they can be suspended at will by our political leaders.
  • We need to talk about the way churches have been arbitrarily designated non-essential and worship labeled social gathering.  We need to talk about the reticence of the churches and their leaders to resist the such characterizations of the church and worship and the way the churches have acquiesced to the will of our political leaders.  We need to talk about the cost not only of this disruption but of the shifting of America's chancels to YouTube and Facebook and what will happen in the wake of it all.
  • We need to talk about the inventive but unfaithful ways churches attempted to replace the face to face gatherings of God's people around His Word and Table.  We need to talk about drive by communions and video consecrations and live streaming services and virtual worship.  We need to talk about the efficacy of these in place of the real assemblies of the people of God around His Word and Altar.
  • We need to talk about what lengths we should go to protect the most vulnerable in our population and whether a nation must be treated the same way as hot spots and urban settings.  We need to talk about the values of a nation which works to save everyone diagnosed with COVID 19 yet considers abortion legal and essential and attaches few rights to the most vulnerable -- the unborn.
  • We need to talk about whether the disruption of our health care system was necessary in order to treat those who never showed up in hospitals and intensive care units (except in a very few areas and cities of our nation).  We need to talk about the average age of the nurses who provide the bedside care of our people and the conditions in which they work even when there is no epidemic.  We need to talk about economic models that make every decision in hospitals and nursing homes.
  • We need to talk the way we spend ourselves out of emergencies and the money that has nothing to do with a health crisis but is attached to spending plans designed to rescue the economy and relieve the burden upon those most affected by the ripple effects of a pandemic.  We need to talk about the accumulated debt we are bequeathing to the fewer and fewer grandchildren and great-grandchildren down the pike.
  • We need to talk about the failed promises of globalism, about brands that apply to parts assembled from low bidders, about the lack of manufacturing here and our dependence upon a supply chain largely from China and Asian providers. . .  We need to talk about American jobs in service industries which can never support the broader middle class like good manufacturing jobs once did.
I do not have the answers.  Maybe no one does.  Who will know unless we talk about these things?  We need to have these conversations but I fear we will not.  We will look for someone to blame or perhaps simply agree to put it all in the past and move on in the hope of restoring some semblance of the day before corona virus.  But the weaknesses that made us targets for all that went wrong during this pandemic will live on, waiting for the next crisis.  And the strengths that we did not realize we had will lie forgotten when we need to address the next big challenge.  And the churches will likely do whatever we are told without much more that some grumbling under our breath.


Anonymous said...

I believe Ross Perot called it “a giant sucking sound.”

William Tighe said...

Methodist bishop apologizes for permitting "online communion:"

(followed by a number of dumb comments on the thread).

Carl Vehse said...

We need to have a better plan ready before the next ChiCom bioterrorist attack comes.... and it will.

Anonymous said...

Maybe we ARE in the last of the Last Days.

John Joseph Flanagan said...

I agree with all of your points. We need to have a national conversation about handling this pandemic, and we need to discuss our liberties and loss of freedom, and also about the wreckage done to our economy. The trouble is that you and I really do not have much of a voice. The powers to be and their supportive mainstream propaganda media have taken away our rights overnight, with absolutely no subtle pretensions. We are among the ruled masses. All we can do is complain, and where we resist, the authorities have decided to bring down the heavy boot of government to dash our mild defiance. The NY Msyor announced that the beaches of the city are open for the weekend, however, you can't go into the water, and you can't sit on a blanket on the sand. What is that supposed to mean? I have said thus before, and I will say it again, most of the blue state governors are of the Democrat communist persuasion by design. Smart voters will remember to vote against every single Democrat in the country during the next election cycles.

Anonymous said...

Pastor Peters says he does not have the answers, but I believe this is only partly true. I think he knows, I know, and many of you know, exactly what the answers are to some of those questions. The simply fact is that we have been grossly misled. This was done in part through simple ignorance with good intention, and in part through malicious intent. What we need to talk about is how to sort the differences, and avoid repeat performances.

Continuing Anglican Priest

Anonymous said...

The lockdown has demonstrated the following to me:

our governors and mayors are crypto-tyrants. They took oaths on the Bible to uphold the Constitution but when the opportunity arose, they showed their true nature by dismissively discarding constitutional rights with the stroke of a pen. See NJ governor Phil Murphy's statement that "the Bill of Rights never entered my mind" when he issued his statewide lockdown orders.

the government at all levels hates organized religion and religious people.

the police motto 'to protect and to serve' means they protect and serve the state, not the citizens.

- there is no accountability for government officials to face justice for the consequences of their actions. Please see the thousands of nursing home residents who died on account of orders issued by the governors of NY, NY, and PA. If any investigations are performed, I'm sure the outcome will be: "mistakes were made, lessons were learned".

Carl Vehse said...

Article III, Section 3, of the U.S. Constitution specifies how we are to treat such treacherous attacks on our Constitution, which give aid and comfort to the enemy.