Trump classifies houses of worship as essential

Pew Research Center released new data last week that showed a 7-point increase from April to May in white Catholics who disapprove of Trump’s response to the Covid-19 crisis and a 6-point decline among white evangelicals who previously gave him positive marks.

43 percent of white evangelicals and 52 percent of white Catholics think the current restrictions on public activity in their areas are appropriate versus 42 percent and 31 percent, respectively, who think fewer restrictions would be better. Greater shares of white evangelicals and white Catholics also said they are more afraid about their state governments lifting restrictions on public activity too soon than they are about leaving the restrictions in place for too long.

[T]he truth is that conservative Christians may prefer Trump to Biden on issues that matter to them, but his handling of the global pandemic overrides everything else this year. No doubt that many Christian voters would vote Trump no matter how he performed on pandemic response.

As Rod Dreher says, “Read it all”.

This is typical Trump, love him or hate him.

He is trying to DO the right thing by fighting back against overly intrusive governors. He wants to leave it up to the people and parishes. In MOST of the geographical area of the country the infection rate is very, very low and the risk of going to mass is pretty safe.

He, of course, being Trump, shoots from the hip and says the wrong thing, implying that he can override governor’s orders. Well he can’t, but he can have the DOJ look at appropriately supporting our constitutional rights. While Trump can’t trump governors, governor’s can’t trump the Constitution.

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This seems to be a very charitable interpretation. But do you really think he is shooting from the hip? What a dangerous manner of leadership in a pandemic!
There is another perspective:

But none of it is his decision to make. That’s upmto the states.

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That is the strategy of the move. He assumes no responsibility for any bad outcomes because the actual decision making lies elsewhere, he creates conflict that deflects from him, and shores up faltering support in some parts of his base.

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There are no towns that are safe places from the coronavirus. It only takes one infected person to come to some small town and attend a superspreader event like a wedding or a funeral or a church service and cause a huge outbreak that will turn that town into a hotspot. One such example is the town of Albany, Georgia. According to Business Insider:

The 75,000-person town is 40 miles from the nearest interstate, its link with Atlanta, some three hours’ drive north…Yet as the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread throughout the United States, Albany has been thrust into the national spotlight alongside new metropolitan peers.

Cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, hit 967 in Albany on Tuesday, according to Johns Hopkins University researchers. It’s a number dwarfed in size by New York City’s more than 157,000 or New Orleans’ 9,917, but on a per-capita basis the outbreak makes Albany the fourth-worst hit in the country, with 659 cases for every 100,000 people.

How did it get so bad? Two funerals.

On March 12, the state’s fist confirmed coronavirus death occurred. The 67-year-old victim had come to Albany to attend the funeral of a man who died in February of seemingly natural causes…

It took one person, whoever that was, and there was no intent," Scott Steiner, chief executive of the Phoebe Putney Health System in Albany, told CNN. “It shows this virus can quickly spread.”

In the following weeks, cases began to skyrocket. The likely epicenter: the funeral home.

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Catholic churches in our state open this weekend, but our bishop’s plan includes a rule that people over 65 are not to attend. My parish church is a 160 year old cathedral with lots of older people like me. Social distancing will be no problem at all without us old people. I know the choir loft will be missing a lot of us.

I don’t know if we will have to present ID’s to prove our age makes us legal attendees, but I am much healthier that the average person of my age. I have been running errands for people younger than me who have difficulties of many kinds, and I feel fine at 71.

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It’s about time that worshipping God is recognized as essential.

Mr. Trump isn’t ordering anyone to go to church if it’s unsafe for them. He is simply restoring the freedom to attend houses of worship for those who can safely attend and wish to do so, keeping in mind the safe protocols.

And, yes, he does have the authority to step in to protect people’s Constitutional rights when certain governors blatantly and unreasonably violate them. He’s willing to leave the decisions to the governors so long as those governors adhere to the Constitution and refrain from trampling civil rights.

Mr. Trump trusts the American people to use common sense and do the right things, for the most part. The strong-arm governors don’t trust their citizens, and don’t credit them with having any kind of common sense. Instead, they want to be dictators, because absolute power can be intoxicating – and toxic.

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There is something fundamentally wrong when the government decides when Churches should open or close.

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But people often don’t use any common sense as can be seen from the news story I posted above about a church that decided to hold a Mother’s Day service in violation of state and county public health orders. As the news story reported:

It was a popular service after having been unable to gather for so long. Members were shoulder to shoulder. According to photos taken during the Mother’s Day service (that no longer appear on the church Facebook page) masks and social distancing were not observed.

Does it appear to you that the people attending that service were using common sense by sitting “shoulder to shoulder” and not wearing any masks or practicing social distancing? And because someone attending the service turned out to be infected, all the other people attending (more than 160) will now be required to self quarantine. And all those people who attended and could have been exposed to the virus have undoubtedly gone out and potentially exposed other people in town who didn’t even attend the service.

Do churches have the right to do anything they want even if it endangers public health?

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On the contrary, Trump seems very political on the issue of religion. It is apparent he wants to make sure that some of his base, that is, religious people, do not slip away from him.

You, on the other hand, are wise in refraining to go back to church too soon, given your age and precondition.

There are exceptions, but for the most part, I believe people can and DO use common sense and do the right things. And that includes scrutinizing rules which are contradictory and don’t make sense, and calling out the hypocrasy of such mandates. Sensible folks generally go along with sensible rules.

As much as I am all for religious liberty, I don’t think churches should have that right. The public welfare comes first in a widespread health emergency such as this.

In regard to this, I am angry at Mayor de Blasio of New York for not cracking down on the Shavuot gathering of Hasidim in Brooklyn (and possibly elsewhere) next week outdoors to celebrate the giving of the Torah. Most will be without masks and in large numbers outside. They singlehandedly might reverse the progress New York has made in lowering the number of cases and deaths due to the virus by their reckless and so-called religious behavior. Shame on them and on the Mayor.

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I am talking about South Florida. Consulting with people who own restaurants and small business.
We got hit harder than many. But we are one of the population centers as well.

If this was not a crisis you are right.
If they are in a crisis, or imminent disaster, that temporarily supersedes.

To clarify, I mean he shoots from the hip when running his mouth, thus consistently saying things people interpret as stupid.

His policies and decisions are, generally, well thought out and effective.

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No one was prohibited from worshiping God in my state.
There were restrictions about on the place and manner of public worship, the details of which were enacted by the bishop.

In reality, he has no such right, under the Constitution.

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The executive branch is responsible for enforcing the law, with the Constitution being the highest law of the land. So if the executive branch sees states violating people’s Constitutional rights, they are responsible for protecting those rights. President Trump isn’t sending troops into states to ensure churches remain open, but rather using his bully pulpit to ensure governor’s know that the DOJ will back churches right to practice their religion as the see fit.

No, just like there are no towns that are safe places from auto accidents, influenza, parainfluenza, meningitis, escherichia coli, etc ad nauseum.

There are almost 100 thousand US deaths from Coronavirus so far. HALF of them are confined to NY, NJ, MA, and CT.

So the other 46 states have had 50,000 Covid-19 deaths.

Realize 2,800,000 Americans died last year of all causes.

It was understandable to shut down everything everywhere when projections were to lose ANOTHER 2.2 million Americans due to Covid-19, meanwhile overwhelming our healthcare systems.

Meanwhile both the daily death rate and the daily infection rate are starting to trend down (despite increased testing).

Like most things, our response to COVID-19 pandemic should be managed mostly at a local level. If I went to NYC I would wear a mask, and I would not attend mass. Where I live the risk of COVID-19 is extremely low, I do not wear a mask, and I will go to mass as soon as I can.

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Correct.Yet Trump continues to take the blame for abysmal decisions of certain governors.

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