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prisonchaplain

Bad Citizens or Religious Liberty Guardians

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To summarize the story: A judge ruled that the governor's (Oregon) extension of a 28-day executive order by 60-days was null and void since she did not get consent from the state legislature. Further, the judge seemed to agree with many of the plaintiff's contentions--mostly from churches.

I first read this in the Epoch Times, a conservative publication. So, I checked to see if the mainstream media had suppressed the story or not. To my positive amazement, both Time and ABC News reported on it. Here's the ABC version: https://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/judge-tosses-coronavirus-restrictions-oregon-governor-70751385

So...were the churches bad actors, protecting their church budgets by threatening members and the community at large with rampant spreading of COVID-19, or were they religious liberty guardians, assuring that the balance between free exercise of religion and state emergency powers be maintained with great care?

Edited by prisonchaplain

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11 hours ago, prisonchaplain said:

To summarize the story: A judge ruled that the governor's (Oregon) extension of a 28-day executive order by 60-days was null and void since she did not get consent from the state legislature. Further, the judge seemed to agree with many of the plaintiff's contentions--mostly from churches.

I first read this in the Epoch Times, a conservative publication. So, I checked to see if the mainstream media had suppressed the story or not. To my positive amazement, both Time and ABC News reported on it. Here's the ABC version: https://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/judge-tosses-coronavirus-restrictions-oregon-governor-70751385

So...were the churches bad actors, protecting their church budgets by threatening members and the community at large with rampant spreading of COVID-19, or were they religious liberty guardians, assuring that the balance between free exercise of religion and state emergency powers be maintained with great care?

I think people will see it both ways.  In one, the churches win. In the other, the long game, unless the second coming arrives soon, they lose.

I think older people and more conservative people will see it as allowing the free exercise of religion and the right to gather together in worship.

Those who are younger and more liberal will see it as a danger to society where churches who should be concerned about the welfare of others, are only concerned about the welfare of their coffers. 

In the short run, it would be a reinforcement for those who believe and are conservative, it will bolster their belief in their version of the constitution.

In the long run, it will turn those who were liberal but religious away from churches, which, as older individuals die off, will hurt the bottom lines.

In my thoughts, of course, which may or may not reflect what will or will not happen.  I think the actions that churches take at times turn many of the younger generation away.  I think there is a little bit of truth to both sides. 

I think there is truth that there are churches that have been pushing this because they need money.  The younger generation sees the internet as a way to have online meetings, allow more flexibility in having sermons when they desire those sermons, and that though it is good to have a church, not a necessity.  Pushing to have a bunch of people meet in a place where contagion can easily spread, to them, is for no real good reason...thus they reason the only purpose is...money.  This turns them off. 

On the otherhand, in places where the virus is non-existent or does not yet have community spread, it makes little sense to many to actually have it so that they cannot go to church.  What purpose does it serve?  For many of these, especially older individuals who do not understand this push for internet sermons and meetings, they desire the opportunity to be fed the spirit weekly at their church by sermon and other religiously uplifting sources.  To spread restrictions on everyplace, even those that are not in the same dire circumstances, would seem to them to be more of a restriction of rights unnecessarily, rather than something that is needed for their area.  In this, finding that there is a constitutional basis and having that affirmed for them probably helps them find peace and hope in these times.

I think there are both ideas (and more) being represented.  I think there ARE churches out there that are doing this more for their coffers than for anything else.  On the otherhand I think there are churches out there that are doing this because they see no reason for their meetings to be stopped when there may not be any danger of the disease in their area (or at least they perceive it that way).  They feel that in this instance, liberty is infringed and the right of the people to worship is being restricted for no good reason.  I also think there are many other reasons out there, both for and against.  I don't think every church is pushing for this (though, unfortunately, they'll get the blowback from the young people just as much as those who are, regardless of their involvement most likely), but that among those that are, there are several reasons for these pursuits varying from nefarious, to very virtuous. 

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It really comes down to what you believe. This really has become a political issue and not a health issue. when all is said and done, individual’s chosen sources of news will be spun to show they were correct.

I, of course, take the conservative side and think this is all slightly concerning hullabaloo. But certainly not serious enough to take such drastic measures.

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I don't consider this an either/or proposition.  You can be a guardian of religious liberty and a bad citizen at the same time.

I actually agree with the court ruling. I don't object to executives having emergency powers that permit them to act rapidly. But those powers need to be limited and subject to review by legislatures. I think a 28 day review is prudent, and since the legislature didn't uphold the emergency declaration, it should be terminated.  It would be nice if the federal government operated similarly (for most emergencies at the federal level, it seems the legislature has to override the declaration, or else it persists indefinitely).

But just because I agree with the court ruling doesn't mean I think it's wise or responsible to meet in large groups.  

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4 hours ago, MarginOfError said:

But just because I agree with the court ruling doesn't mean I think it's wise or responsible to meet in large groups.  

This is the problem. The 10 churches will probably react responsibly by practicing social distancing, etc. However, since the governor's authority was stripped, others will go back to partying. Then, when even one person gets COVID-19 it will be those selfish churches that endangered us all.

Edited by prisonchaplain

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The appropriate response to those accusations is, "No, it is the fault of 1) the legislature for not extending the order, and 2) other idiots who misbehaved"

Of course, to prove 2), you have to be willing to participate in contact tracing.

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17 hours ago, prisonchaplain said:

I first read this in the Epoch Times, a conservative publication.

Hah!  No, it is not.

They're an anti CCP publication which bleeds into anti-big-government anti-corruption pro-US-Constitution (limited government).  These are not necessarily conservative positions - not classical conservatism (it is very classical liberal) nor American conservatism (American liberalism is currently lost in the forest) as conservatives are pro-government-expansion when it comes to morality laws.

Edited by anatess2

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10 minutes ago, anatess2 said:

nor American conservatism (American liberalism is currently lost in the forest) as conservatives are pro-government-expansion when it comes to morality laws.

My knee-jerk reaction is to say this is untrue. On reflection, I think maybe it is indeed true. Of course, as every high-school-level philosopher realizes, all laws are "morality laws". Certainly the political left is all about forcibly imposing its morality (or lack thereof) on others, but maybe the right shares in that guilt, though certainly not to the same degree.

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1 hour ago, anatess2 said:

Hah!  No, it is not.

They're an anti CCP publication which bleeds into anti-big-government anti-corruption pro-US-Constitution (limited government).  These are not necessarily conservative positions - not classical conservatism (it is very classical liberal) nor American conservatism (American liberalism is currently lost in the forest) as conservatives are pro-government-expansion when it comes to morality laws.

small-c conservative. :-)

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50 minutes ago, Vort said:

My knee-jerk reaction is to say this is untrue. On reflection, I think maybe it is indeed true. Of course, as every high-school-level philosopher realizes, all laws are "morality laws". Certainly the political left is all about forcibly imposing its morality (or lack thereof) on others, but maybe the right shares in that guilt, though certainly not to the same degree.

I am amazed at how quickly the left abandoned the "You can't legislate morality" mantra that was so prevalent not so long ago. Today they oppose free speech, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly/association--well, just freedom in general. Why? They wish to impose anti-racism, anti-genderism, anti-capitalism, anti-classism, etc. They are more than happy to also impose racial/gender/orientation preferences. We on the right might be guilty of wanting to use government to protect unborn lives, etc., but our inclination towards liberty restrains our totalitarian impulses (power does corrupt). Liberalism offers no such qualms or hesitations.

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1 hour ago, Vort said:

My knee-jerk reaction is to say this is untrue. On reflection, I think maybe it is indeed true. Of course, as every high-school-level philosopher realizes, all laws are "morality laws". Certainly the political left is all about forcibly imposing its morality (or lack thereof) on others, but maybe the right shares in that guilt, though certainly not to the same degree.

I've explained this before - albeit a long time ago - about classical liberalism and classical conservatism and how this applies to the USA.  I'll try to be succinct without muddying waters.

So, George Washington, et. al., are classical liberals.  The British Monarchy is classical conservative.  Classical liberalism is about freeing the individual from societal mores codified in law or established in common law.  Classical conservatism is about conserving societal mores and traditions established in common law and codifying it for strength so the individual can't easily change it in the name of progress.

In the USA, this paradigm changed because George Washington, et. al., CODIFIED classical liberalism in the US Constitution.  So as the USA progressed, the tradition of liberty and limited government (classical liberalism) became the societal mores and traditions as far as Federal governance goes - so to be conservative to the US Constitution in the USA is classical liberalism anywhere else outside of the USA.  And therefore, the Whigs in the USA and in Britain are classical liberals both fighting to give more power to the people and limiting government (USA) and empowering Parliament over the Crown (Britain).

Today, strict adherence to a limited government by strengthening the US Constitution is a conservative position but strengthening State Laws to impose moral control over the people is ALSO a conservative position in the USA - anywhere outside of the USA, this would be two opposing ideologies and this is why classical conservatism and classical liberalism does not apply to US politics.  E.g. you can't equate US conservatism to Nazis, for example.

And this is also why I believe the US Constitution (without equal anywhere else in the world, not even the Philippine Constitution that is patterned after it) is divinely inspired.

Edited by anatess2

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18 hours ago, anatess2 said:

I've explained this before - albeit a long time ago - about classical liberalism and classical conservatism and how this applies to the USA.  I'll try to be succinct without muddying waters.

So, George Washington, et. al., are classical liberals.  The British Monarchy is classical conservative.  Classical liberalism is about freeing the individual from societal mores codified in law or established in common law.  Classical conservatism is about conserving societal mores and traditions established in common law and codifying it for strength so the individual can't easily change it in the name of progress.

In the USA, this paradigm changed because George Washington, et. al., CODIFIED classical liberalism in the US Constitution.  So as the USA progressed, the tradition of liberty and limited government (classical liberalism) became the societal mores and traditions as far as Federal governance goes - so to be conservative to the US Constitution in the USA is classical liberalism anywhere else outside of the USA.  And therefore, the Whigs in the USA and in Britain are classical liberals both fighting to give more power to the people and limiting government (USA) and empowering Parliament over the Crown (Britain).

Today, strict adherence to a limited government by strengthening the US Constitution is a conservative position but strengthening State Laws to impose moral control over the people is ALSO a conservative position in the USA - anywhere outside of the USA, this would be two opposing ideologies and this is why classical conservatism and classical liberalism does not apply to US politics.  E.g. you can't equate US conservatism to Nazis, for example.

And this is also why I believe the US Constitution (without equal anywhere else in the world, not even the Philippine Constitution that is patterned after it) is divinely inspired.

Though how you relate it could be somewhat questionable and argued, I'd say that is surprisingly correct. 

Historically, conservatives were about conserving the traditions and such while liberalism was about change and disrupting the societal codes and such. 

In the US, when I was younger, we were taught that Conservatives were for smaller government and less Federal Power, while the Liberals were for stronger and more centralized government.

Today, however, I see very little difference in this idea between Republicans and Democrats on a large scale (on a smaller scale I see it at times).  Republicans seem to want to increase the power and control of the Federal government just as much as Democrats, they just have different and favored areas of control from each other in some (but not all, some areas they are exactly the same...for example the patriot act extensions they just passed allowing web searches and such) places. 

Spending is still out of control for both parties (spending 2 Trillion to give many companies a get out of bankruptcy free card...etc), and I don't see either one really promoting that conservative idea of the past of limiting the Federal Government anymore. 

It's a strange situation.  I think libertarians may be at least on ONE side of limiting the Federal government in one of their areas, but are just as pro strong Federal government in another.  They may be the closest to the Conservatives I was taught about in grade school decades ago.  Overall, both Republicans and Democrats appear to be more towards a strong central government than the forbears of either party were.

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2 hours ago, JohnsonJones said:

Today, however, I see very little difference in this idea between Republicans and Democrats on a large scale (on a smaller scale I see it at times). 

Republicans <> C/conservative

Democrats <> L/liberal

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On ‎5‎/‎19‎/‎2020 at 9:36 AM, anatess2 said:

Still doesn't apply.

Okay...I get that there are narrow definitions by which the Epoch Times might not be considered conservative. However, an anti-Communist, pro-Traditional Values, pro-Trump, Anti-China paper qualifies as conservative (or Right) on my book. Apparently, I am not such an outlier: https://www.allsides.com/news-source/epoch-times-media-bias says they initially labeled Epoch Times as "leans right," and now label it as full-on Right.

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On 5/18/2020 at 5:00 PM, prisonchaplain said:

So...were the churches bad actors... or were they religious liberty guardians...?

I don't really know much about this particular case except what you've linked to.  So, I can't make an informed judgment here.  But speaking generally...

Why can't they be both?  Just because it's right, doesn't mean it's legal.  And adamantly violating the law isn't really a sign of a "good citizen."  Sometimes defending liberty means violating the law.  In fact, sometimes it may mean overthrowing the government.

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21 hours ago, prisonchaplain said:

Okay...I get that there are narrow definitions by which the Epoch Times might not be considered conservative. However, an anti-Communist, pro-Traditional Values, pro-Trump, Anti-China paper qualifies as conservative (or Right) on my book. Apparently, I am not such an outlier: https://www.allsides.com/news-source/epoch-times-media-bias says they initially labeled Epoch Times as "leans right," and now label it as full-on Right.

Yes.  Because AllSides labels anything anti-establishment as Right (which doesn't make sense, especially when both pro-Trump and pro-Sanders are anti-establishment, but oh well).  They also label anti-abortion and pro-guns and anti-illegal-immigration as right (which also doesn't make sense because everybody from Kennedy to Obama ran on these rhetoric, but oh well).  And what makes even less sense - they label pro HongKong/Taiwan and pro-Israel as also right (that's two completely opposing positions by the way)...

So yeah.  The word Right is basically... whatever the establishment Republicans say is Right, whatever the establishment Democrats say is Left regardless of the content of what they're saying.  So Right and Left according to AllSides are not ideologies - they're campaign slogans.

Edited by anatess2

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