Letters for the Win

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Grove City Fall Out

It staggers the mind that otherwise intelligent conservative Christians would think for a millisecond that an “office of diversity” is a good thing. Are they so clueless they don’t realize that wokeness is Marxism for modern sensibilities, and as such antithetical to everything that calls itself Christian? Obviously. That office stays, Grove City is done.

Mike

Mike, correct. In all seriousness, there is no way for an office like that to remain at Grove City and for Grove City to remain faithful.

Regarding “Does Grove City Have Worrisome Dark Spots on Her Lymph Nodes?”, as a 2019 Grove City graduate, I would ask you contact the GCC Diversity Office and President McNulty’s office for additional clarification and follow-up, or to update your original post if you have [not] done so already. In the spirit of fairness and charity for a heretofore stalwart Christian conservative college, you should at least hear what they have to say, even if you ultimately disagree (as you already did with the original petition, video link, and previous statements from Trueman and Wishing). Also, all the gentlemen you referenced are friends of mine and they are as far from woke as anyone could be.

Benjamin

Benjamin, as we continue to follow this, I would be happy to link to any responses from the college, as I have already done. I am happy to hear them out. But it has to be said that a homeowner can leave certain doors unlocked in his house, and to do so irresponsibly, and not be a burglar himself.

I posted a similar comment under the American Reformer article on Grove, but I want to reiterate a few things here. I’m a GCC alum, as is my wife, coming up on our 10 year anniversary. I was asked to consider certain tenets of CRT, including our own white privilege, when I was a student. These have long been issues at GCC. Many of my classmates and theatre department friends (shocking, I know) went full woke because of the training they got at GCC, all while claiming they were rejecting the “fundamentalism” of the college. They were wrong. I saw the professors they befriended and knew what they talked about in class. GCC has long been complicit in spreading liberal ideology.

The biggest issue at GCC, though, was a thorough, unspoken commitment to a divorce between academia and faith. It was very obvious that professors (not in all departments, as you emphasize, there are some excellent ones) expected you to leave your faith at the classroom door in favor of “intellectual engagement”. You weren’t really allowed to filter the world through a biblical lens. “All truth is God’s truth” may be valid, but only if something is actually true, and many professors were willing to swallow secular thought as “truth” and pretend it and Scripture were the same. If you attempted to reject secular ideas as incompatible with Scripture, you weren’t “open” enough. Pretty sure Chesterton had some thoughts on open minds . . .

I was once told by a science professor to sit down and stop talking about evolution if I didn’t have a Ph.D. like he did. I was a sophomore in a required class. He won professor of the year when I was a senior.

Another professor of mine confessed she worked at Grove City because she didn’t believe we could know God was real and took solace in the presence of colleagues who were sure. Admirable, I suppose.

The long-time presence of professors who have celebrated liberal ideology (like Throckmorton) should mean no one is surprised that GCC is in its present predicament. We must all be educating our kids classically so that they know what they believe before college so strongly that, no matter if their college is woke, they can spit out the lies better than their classmates. Or, you know, not send them, since their classical education is so stellar that they can shock and awe pretty much any employer out there.

Thanks for your continued ministry, insight, and general spikiness.

G

G, thanks for this.

More needs to happen than the nuking of the diversity office. They need to find out who’s idea it was to form a diversity department. They need to fire them and all the people who approved it. Once again, Christian leaders are showing themselves unfit to lead a lemonade stand.

John

John, right. The mere presence of that diversity office is a standing hazard, and not just an easy joke for critics to make. It is a serious point, not a joke.

Have you seen the parents/alums reply to McNulty? The evidence they present is substantial. Our daughter attends Grove City College. You should take a look at the parents/alums reply to Dr. McNulty. The petition actually understates the problem.

Scott

Scott, thanks for the link.

Re: Does Grove City Have Worrisome Dark Spots on Her Lymph Nodes?

Here is a link to the video which includes a montage of GCC Chapel speakers promoting CRT. The montage is at 31 minutes in.

I am a parent of 2 GCC students and wish to remain anonymous. Thank you.

K

K, thank you

In answer to your request for a collage of Grove City College Chapel messages along the Woke Line, here is one place you can look. This is a fair handed review of Grove City College and Carl Trueman’s Defense. by Jon Harris. Several Videos from Chapel Services are included.

Here is also an earlier article where Carl Trueman defends Tim Keller against charges of being a Cultural Marxist.

Where you can read Carl Trueman write:

“If he is not a Marxist, it does not take a postgraduate qualification in logic to deduce that he can scarcely be a cultural Marxist. “

Scott

Scott, thank you.

Re: Does Grove City Have Worrisome Dark Spots on Her Lymph Nodes?

Imagine the fundraising opportunity if in addition to inviting those speakers to chapel they had them for a conference. Prof. Trueman could moderate the panel discussion. If they wanted to really get wild they’d have you keynote!

Btw, haven’t read it yet but this looks interesting:

Rob

Rob, that wouldn’t work. Having me speak there would reveal that outside speakers like that do have the implicit endorsement of the college.

Josh Abbotoy was on the money. McNulty’s response was limp, canned, PR prose. As such it is very troubling.

It may be a mere ‘misunderstanding.’ If it is not, there needs to be a cleansing of the Temple. It rarely happens though.

Jeff

Jeff, thanks. You are right, it rarely happens.

As a 1975 graduate of Azusa Pacific College (University) I can personally testify that the downfall of that school did not happen overnight or in a vacuum. I saw a disappointing lack of biblical rigor even back then. Consequently, though I am unfamiliar with GCC, I can tell you that what has become visible there in recent years has been going on for a long, long time behind the scenes. It is the same with the Bible Institute Of Los Angeles which assigned a transgender room mate to a young lady from my church this past fall —shocking the parents. Yet I have family who had their faith destroyed at that venerable institution back in the 1980’s. Satan is always the most busy roaming around the Christian community seeking whom He may devour. One last thing: I notice that when the title, “Christ” is substituted for “Jesus Christ,” there is going to be a compelling reason why…

Melody

Melody, yes. And with reference to your citation of Peter, it is said that the devil is a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. He is not seeking someone to bite. He wants to devour, and Christian colleges need to take better heed.

Veritas Scholars Academy

Veritas Scholars Academy requiring COVID vaccines or test results for their “End Of The Year Gathering” event in May 2023.

Dear Pastor Doug,

I thought you’d be interested to know of this plus any advice for my approach to my now existing dilemma as a father of a graduating senior would be most welcome. I am gathering thoughts and suggestions in my preparation to address this with the school. I am utterly disappointed that I have this situation with an organization we had much respect for.

Please keep this in prayer for us and I would appreciate so much any feedback you can give to this. Thanks for ALL you do. God Bless!

Bruce

Bruce, before deciding on any course of action, I would ask questions first. It is possible that they are simply doing this to keep the state off their back, and a disagreement over Romans 13 is very different than a disagreement over public health. In other words, you need to ask questions in order to find out what the actual issue is. But if it turns out that they have bought into the approved narrative on all of this, then it would be good if a sharp decrease in attendance let them know they have misjudged their constituency.

Classical Mission Drift

This morning, I jumped onto your blog to find a pertinent post, by which I could address concerns over the mission drift of our Classical Christian school. This is it! We have not gone to the extent of LGBT or CRT wokeness, but we have become vigilant about the COVID measures within our coercive state. What has come through the school is a flood of “Love Thy Neighbor” shaming, along with certain teachers’ inflated versions of virtue, since they teach the classics. This reeks of the “Love Wins” sermonizing, but I can’t get my finger on why this Northeastern, Unitarian call to love is actually not the love of Jesus. In a cry for universal, classical, virtuous love, we seem to throw out Gospel love, by which Jesus rescued us from the darkness, grim. A secular version of piety is afoot in the school, but I can’t seem to splice the different between the two. I just see a lot of iron mixed into the stone. Can you help?

*We have 5 children in the school, I teach Upper School History, and we have attended for 10 years. Our stalwart headmaster recently resigned for health issues and I am concerned over the search for a new leader. The faculty has been asked to write descriptions of what we see as a good headmaster. For me, vision is critical, but I do not know how to direct that thought.

Kristen

Kristen, from what you describe it seems that there is a tendency to want to define virtue as a thing distinct from what biblical law requires of us—and what biblical grace forgives us for. What is sin, in other words, and what is forgiveness? Is there forgiveness? I think that if you keep to really basic questions like this, you will be able to see if the new headmaster is going to lead the school back, or take you off a cliff.

The Thermostat Husband

A fitting and convicting rebuke to my Christian-husband soul, on many levels…

“You are to be the thermostat in your home, not a thermometer. You are to set the temperature, not record it.” from the post, “Blake and Naomi.”

Thank you for working out the verbiage in such a particular way as to chip away at the shell of ignorance and timidity that has developed. God is using you, Douglas Wilson. In my life at least.

Carey

Carey, thank you, and thank the Lord.

Better Than Nothing, Right?

I am sad to say that one of the “institutes of higher learning” that I attended is celebrating one of the students for winning in esports. The pinnacle of achievement for the current regime and their followers.

Timothy

Timothy, thanks for keeping us posted.

Sign Language Catechism

Thanks for your work and output—very much appreciated over here on the other side of the Atlantic!

In your forward to Gregg Strawbridge’s paedocommunion book, you mention that one of your kids taught your grandson a sign language catechism; one of the questions was “Are you baptised?” and he patted his head.

Our first daughter is now getting some sign language (“please”) and I’d love to know the rest of that mini sign catechism, if you’d be able to share it!

Thanks,

Peter

Peter, what I remember—and this was twenty years ago—was who made you? Point to the sky. Are you baptized? Pat the head. Is Jesus in your heart? Pat your chest.

What Is Marriage?

What’s your take on the moment two single people become married in the eyes of God? I’ve always taken the position that, “at the time the marriage is consummated.” That’s what Gen 1 (one flesh) would seem to indicate. But it hit me recently that Matt 1 says that Joseph took Mary his wife and knew her not. So Scripture recognizes Joseph and Mary as married even though the marriage wasn’t consummated prior to Jesus birth. The more thought about this idea, the more exceptions to the rule I seem to find. However, I also don’t think a formal ceremony is required for marriage. The story of Isaac and Rebekah does not include any sort of ceremony. Anyways, this all leads up to my final question. When a minister of the Gospel officiates a wedding, he ends it with, “I now pronounce you man and wife.” Is that an appropriate way to conclude the service given our (confused) understanding of when that transition actually happens? Of course any alternative would bring a lot of quizzical looks.


Roger

Roger, at a wedding, I say I now declare that or I can now announce that. I do not make them husband and wife through any power of mine. I am simply the witness who formally declares that the vows have been made. In my understanding, a marriage is contracted when there is some socially-recognized exchange of vows and there has been a sexual consummation. Vows + one flesh union. If both are there, then they are fully married.

Molinism

What is your take on the recent buzz around Molinism? James White has been dishing out a lot of content on the matter, and also had a debate with William Lane Craig on the matter. I understand you are, by God’s grace, Reformed, and I was wondering if you had any books or other resources that address this topic.

Thanks,

Gary

Gary, sorry, I don’t really have any books to recommend, other than standard books setting out a biblical approach to Calvinism. Molinism is the kind of thing that happens when really smart people don’t like a straight up approach to the sovereignty of God.

The Cult

In light of your observation that a proverbial match will soon likely ignite a tinderbox of tensions, I found this piece exceptionally insightful regarding how that has been going down. I.e., for the first time in history, a global cult has formed-up right under our noses. And it makes the Caesar cult look like a bunch of local amateurs. Your thoughts?

Grace and Peace,

Art

Art, thanks. It is manifestly true that we are witnessing a religious spasm of some sort. The fact that it is “secular” doesn’t keep it from tapping into the religious nature of man. And the only answer to such false faith is true faith.

Colportage

My name is Tyler, and I am greatly encouraged and strengthened through the work and faithfulness of Canon Press. This was my first exposure to NQN, and I was greatly encouraged and strengthened by each installment.

As the world continues to change, the need for solid Biblical truth continues to grow. My family and I are interested in starting a bookstore in the SC area, likely starting online and adding a physical location later. We would like to start out distributing preexisting good books, possibly releasing our own if the LORD permits. We are largely inexperienced in this field. I am in no way asking for endorsement, but if you could possibly provide us with any pointers on how to start, what it might look like to start an online bookstore, we would be greatly appreciated. Consider us interested in bringing the Reformation to South Carolina. In Christ,

Tyler

Tyler, I would do two things. The first would be to do something with physical books, like a book table at church. Include books that you know and have found helpful. Second, as a means of starting an online shop, I would start a blog in which you review books. And make the books you review available. Wade in from the shallow end.

I teach a government/economics class. I’ve learned a lot about civic laws from theologians and political scientists. And learned a lot about economic laws from theologians and economists. What I am trying to do is connect those two sets of laws together. So far, this is what I have come up with:

-Law: a description of how God designed His creation to function. As such, there are laws describing human action (economic laws) and laws describing the physical action of the created universe.

-Law: a rule or body of rules for the government of human life prescribed by an authority that citizens or subjects are bound to obey. As such, there is God’s moral law which shows us how we are to be in relationship with Him and His creation (i.e., how He designed us to be). And there are human laws which speak to our relationships with each other. Human laws are faithful to God and His law when they comport with how He designed His creation to function.

-Just like the physical universe, humans will always act as they were created to act, in accordance to God’s design for us. In the case of humans, that means we will always seek what appears to be in our own self-interest. However, because we are creatures with fallen natures, we will not always act in our true self-interest, i.e., act in ways so that we glorify God and can enjoy Him forever. These actions can be personal in nature, such as theft, murder, covetousness, etc. And can also be civic in nature, such as adopting/enforcing civil laws that legalize/support theft, covetousness, etc.

-However, our actions cannot thwart God’s design for creation. Our actions (personal or civic) that violate God’s moral laws always run afoul of God’s design for this world, and thus cannot and do not accomplish what the actor(s) intended. For instance, minimum wage laws designed to increase prosperity of the poor instead increase poverty. The same with laws creating and funding welfare programs. (End)

I know I am not the first person to work on this, but am not really sure of the best sources to help me continue–most folks tend to focus only on one or the other of these two aspects of the law. Any suggestions for books/authors that would be beneficial for supporting this inquiry?

Bill

Bill, this looks like a good start to me. And I think that any books I would recommend you would already be familiar with—from Bastiat to Bahnsen.

A Calendar Thing

Is New Year’s Eve pagan?

I live among brothers who do not celebrate Christmas. Because you know: “it’s pagan.” And: “It’s not in the Bible”.

Ok. I love them, but they celebrate New Year’s Eve with a Lord’s Supper…

And we all celebrate anniversaries.

I bought “God Rest Ye Merry” on Amazon. They promised that it would arrive (In Brazil) before Christmas. But postpone it to January. Haha, I’m anxious.

God Bless

Caio

Caio, hope the book gets there in time. The simplest short argument is that Jesus celebrated the festival of lights (John 10:22), which was not an assigned festival in the Torah.

Women Praying in Church

I’ve been searching your blog and bookstore for anything that might address women praying audibly in a church gathering with men present. The search function on the website doesn’t seem to be pulling anything up. Could you point me in the right direction and to some resources that would expound on what Scripture says on this? It’s a very unpopular topic, and when my husband discussed the Scripture on this topic with our pastor, he agreed with what he was saying from the Bible, but requested that my husband have more than just Scripture as “evidence,” like a podcast, sermon, etc. We would like to study this further for a more solid foundation.

Your help is much appreciated!

Kristine

Kristine, I would suggest that instead of the search function, you go to About on the menu bar, and select Blog Post Scripture Index. That will take you to any post where I cite a particular passage. And as far as the issue goes, I believe that women can pray in a church gathering insofar as they have their hair done in a way covering that demonstrates submission to their husband (and/or a covering).

Going Underground

First, thank you for your ministry. We have found your resources to be a useful blessing in our underground church. In Canada where I am, there is an endless list of regulations for churches which are not compatible with Scripture, including vaccination papers at the door and no singing allowed. Churches here are either cheerfully going above and beyond these regulations, or are submitting silently. We have been meeting for over a year, often secretly as gathering in homes has also been prohibited many times. We are endeavoring to balance wisdom with an openness and boldness about what we are doing and why. Many, or even most true Canadian Christians are in similar situations. Underground church is not coming to the Western world, it is already here for many of us.

The reason I am writing is for advice. Simply gathering has been an important first step, however we desire to organize, grow and reach out. I have studied the underground church for many years, however the stories are often very reactive. They are often about survival and therefore many important aspects of church fall to the wayside. We desire to be proactively strengthening and preparing now. The logistics of starting and maintaining healthy underground churches would be a great subject to discuss in a blog post, book, or series of books. Much of Western society appears to be facing, or near to facing these challenges.

Many in our area are leaving the ‘State’ churches but have nowhere to go. With no leadership many do not gather at all, but would if there was somewhere to go and someone to lead them. So for now, do you have any pointers on finding, measuring, and appointing Elders among unorganized rag tag bands of believers from every different denominational background and spiritual maturity level? There are lots of nuts and bolts resources on how to plant traditional churches, but not much for us. I believe this conversation is one that ought to be bumped up on the priority list.

in Christ,

Caleb

Caleb, you are right about this needing to get to the front burner. In the meantime, you might check out the resources at Relearn.org.

EO and Reformed

The URC published a report on Eastern Orthodoxy which stated that those who attracted to it oftentimes has some kind of wound or trauma that is soothed, in a sense, by the aesthetic side of Orthodoxy, thus attracting them further to it. I think I fall into this camp.

I’ve been studying EO for a few years, particularly Slavic Orthodoxy. I recently discovered that I have some significant Russian-East Slavic ancestry in my family lineage. Our surname is what Moscow was called before it was Moscow. In any case, I think this has added to my attraction to Eastern Orthodoxy. It is the basis of the culture and society of many of my forebears according to the flesh.

I think I am having a hard time coming to terms with Eastern Orthodoxy. I have met many Orthodox people who have shown me a lot of kindness, welcoming me into their homes and such. I have also met many such Reformed people who have mentored me in the faith. I am pained to think that I am attracted to something that would sever my fellowship with those beloved Reformed people. Often, when I think of Eastern Orthodoxy, it is difficult for me to do so without tearing up or crying. Perhaps because of the beauty of the chant, but perhaps also because I do not want to disappoint or betray those Reformed people who have so loved me.

I am hesitant to send this because I do not want to disappoint you either, sir, as silly as it sounds. Sometimes my heart is heavy and I perhaps have some un-resolved pains from pay relational troubles. Homosexual inclinations from childhood haunt me at times, and sometimes I would honestly like to be in a monastery, quiet and secluded, earnestly yearning to pray, as Dostoyevsky said.

I do not know exactly what my question is, except to ask if you have any insight to these things.

Thank you very much,

Jake

Jake, I am very sorry for your plight, and wish I could be a greater help than I probably will be. But the best thing I can tell you is that you must adopt the belief that is true, according to the Scriptures, regardless of how you might feel about it. Truth is paramount.

Inconsistent?

Oh, come on, Doug. Meta is the tower of Babel, but cell phones are just wealth-tools? Be consistent! Or is this your inner agrarian?

Kevin

Kevin, well, actually, cell phones could be just wealth tools, but the people running the show want to use them as individual portals into their brave new world. So I think my skepticism of the whole thing provides consistency enough.

The Pill

The real issue that has changed the thinking about a pregnancy concern isn’t abortion, but the pill.

Zeph

Zeph, I agree that the Pill was the tip of the spear. But I also believe that it had to come to abortion-on-demand for them. Abortion is their blood sacrament.

Arguing With a Wife

In regards to young Matt and his heated discussions with his wife over the perseverance of the saints I totally agree with your advice to avoid the debate until she’s ready.

Years ago after I had an argument with my wife I was sitting on the floor bouncing a tennis ball off the wall. At one point I threw the ball and accidentally hit one of the large drapes that covered the picture window. The ball dropped to the floor at the foot of the drape and did not come back. At that point I realized the ball bouncing off the wall was like our arguments: whatever was said simply bounced off her and back to me and vice versa. Throwing the ball harder just made it bounce harder: the argument got worse over time.

I learned not to drop the ball, but to let the ball drop. When a discussion/argument becomes heated, emotional, and accusatory don’t respond in kind, table it until both of you are ready to proceed in love. Until then, let the ball drop: never respond in kind to emotional, hurtful accusations.

James

James, thanks and amen.

White and Black

Sir, thank you. I am a white mother raising 8 children, one of whom is black (a term that chronically befuddles her). She is no victim and I refuse to raise her as such. She comes from a nation that has been perpetually victimized and patted on the head and handed a fish. The next day, they’re still holding their hands out for the next fish. Someday I’m going to have words on hand for the folks that give us the stink eye and the ones that put us on a pedestal; maybe I’ll mine them out of your work.

One of my favorite things to collect are nativity scenes from wherever we travel. I often hear racism accusations about blonde-haired-Blue-eyed Jesus depictions. Funny thing is, every single culture seems to make Jesus look like one their own. I have a white set and a (truly) black set and a range of colors between. I think it is wonderful…that our Lord and Savior is so beautifully and perfectly necessary to every culture that we all imagine him to look like the Imago Dei of our homelands. So next time you’re getting crap about white Jesus, feel free to point out the black Jesus in my favorite nativity.

If you like, I can send you a photo of my collection. Anyway, a most Merry of Christmases to you and yours. Praise be to God that He sent his Son!

Alison

Alison, thanks. Keep on being like that.

A Fair Minded Book

I read today (12/15/21) from Kevin DeYoung a recommendation for the book “Survival and Resistance in Evangelical America: Christian Reconstruction in the Pacific Northwest.” I searched for a review or comment by you concerning the book but have not yet found one. Have you written anything about the book for your readers to consume and digest?

Thanks!

Ray

Ray, I have read the book, and the community here gets a fair shake in it. So in that sense, I can recommend it.

A Couple of Narnia Questions

I am so grateful for your ministry. I could write more on that, but just know my marriage, parenting, and Christian life wouldn’t be as vibrant if it weren’t for your faithfulness. I’ve never met you, but I’d love to give you a big olé jolly hug if I ever do have the pleasure.

I love your C.S. Lewis lectures. I’ve re-listened every time I re-read Narnia or the Ransom Trilogy.

Two questions:

-Who is your favorite character in the Narnia series and why?

In the book Prince Caspian, there is the short battle scene with the werewolf, Nikabrik versus the hero’s. Caspian is said to be bitten by the werewolf, does this mean he becomes a werewolf? Please explain.

Hope these are easy and fun questions to answer. May God keep blessing your ministry, and may He return soon.

In Christ,

RJ

RJ, yes, Caspian is bitten in that scene, but does not become a werewolf. This is either because Lewis was simply leaving out that aspect of the folklore, or because Lucy applied her ointment, which countered all the effects of the bite. My favorite character is probably Shasta, and my favorite scene is when he runs back to face the lion.

Yeah, But

Please let me preface this with yes, B.S. are actually the initials of my two last names, and no, I don’t understand why my parents chose that order instead of S.B.

With that out of the way, I’m an ex-biochemist and I would like to discuss a few of the points you made in your recent video “The Mandatorian.” I originally posted this as a comment on YouTube; however, I figured that reaching out via an email would likely be a better way to get your attention. Just to be upfront, I’ll be picking out what, to me, appear to be some logical and factual issues with some of the information you provided, and I hope you’ll do me honor of at least giving this a quick look over.

1) Your point about the shutdown being unnecessary is presented with, what seems to me is, a heavy hindsight bias. I think you actually betray your own argument by saying “we [now] know the virus wasn’t particularly dangerous,” but then proceed to say “the vaccine has unknown long term health effects.” The first comment is made in hindsight, and is dismissive of the (arguably reasonable) caution people had when dealing with a completely novel virus during the beginning of the pandemic, but in the same breath you are defending the caution people have regarding the “rushed” vaccine. Ignoring the issue that the vaccine is explicitly designed to prevent disease, whereas the virus only makes people sick, the reason I say “rushed” is because the technology to make these vaccines has existed for over decade and has already been in use in humans to help prevent Ebola. In fact, we know all the ingredients are nearly always safe, excluding the spike-protein specific mRNA (which is also in the virus). So yes, we technically don’t have the data on the long-term effects of this particular vaccine, but we still don’t know what the long term health effects of COVID will be, if any. Thus, if you’re concerned about the vaccine’s effects, you should certainly be more concerned about COVID’s, as the vaccine has fewer “active ingredients,” so to speak, than the COVID virus itself.

1.5) You say “anybody who confidently tells you the long term effects of the vaccine is selling something”. To address this as a minor point, you’re imputing motive to people, and you later criticize imputing motive in your video. I don’t like imputing motives either, and I think you should give these people the benefit of the doubt, at least a bit, rather than calling what they’re saying outright lies. As I mentioned previously, the vaccine technology used to create the COVID vaccine has been around for at least decade, so while we may not have data on the specific mRNA used in this particular version of the vaccine (which you would be exposed to either way if you got COVID), we do have data on the rest of the excipients (inactive ingredients), and they’re all relatively safe (though the branched PEG on the surface of the lipid capsule can, in rare cases, cause a PEG allergy, hence the monitoring after administering the doses in the event of anaphylaxis).

2) I agree “dissent squashing” was not a good move. In fact, most of the actual research scientists were doing the opposite: COVID research was being published with significantly less stringent peer-review standards to make sure any and all information was available to be sifted through later in meta-analyses. This lead to a lot of sensationalized results, many of which were later determined to be either fabricated, or published in error, but by then the bad information was out there. I’m fine with this, actually, but the way the government, media, and other agencies were taking such a hard-lined approach to squashing “misinformation” was very harmful. I think this was stupid, wrong, and ultimately made a lot of people, such as myself, very hesitant to get vaccinated.

3) As for the variant emergence, it is factual to say the following: the more hosts the virus has in the a population, the more opportunities it has to mutate and spawn more variants which are better at impacting and spreading within that population. Now, impacting does not necessarily mean “more deadly”; as we have seen with omicron, it seems to be more mild. This is because it is an evolutionary disadvantage for a virus to outright kill its host, as this also by definition kills the virus. In fact, most of the deadliest viruses (Ebola, rabies, etc.) all started in animals (bats typically), and without sufficient time for strains to evolve to not kill humans (which have WAY lower body temperatures than bats) they just kill us outright. So this point is actually logically coherent. I think the “all” in the “all because” statement is what inspired your critique. Clearly there are other factors at play that need to be acknowledge and accounted for, but the point still stands that by allowing COVID to have more hosts, it increases its ability to adapt to humans, and more infections likely means more deaths, despite the potentially diminished mortality rate of the newer variants.

4) Myocarditis is actually quite common in a number of viral infections, including mild ones such as the flu. In fact, it is typically caused not by the viral load itself, but the immune response to the virus. As for the blood-clots, these are unlikely to occur after vaccination, and much more likely to occur during the actual COVID-19 infection itself. In the event your body responds poorly to the vaccine, it is also quite likely to have responded similarly to COVID, excluding a possible PEG allergy (which I don’t believe causes clots). The difference is the fact that the vaccine is a controlled and fixed dose, whereas the virus is a variable dose, with exponential growth your body has to try to destroy before it’s too late. To use an analogy, would you rather be in a car traveling at a speed which is unlikely to cause harm, let’s say 20mph, toward a wall, or in a car that accelerates without your control while you’re blindfolded? In either case you can get in a crash and get injured or killed, but the latter case makes the injury and its severity significantly worse for you, and whoever you happen to crash into, if anyone. It’s all about mitigating risk, since there is a risk either way, and I know which one seems less risky to me.

5) As for your comment about the masks, the reason they “don’t work unless everyone wears them” is because they only reduce the spread from infected individuals by capturing larger exhaled droplets, not the dried viral particles themselves which are much too small to be filtered by the mask cloth. However, since many people with COVID are asymptomatic, the safest method to help prevent transmission while allowing for a semblance of normalcy is via masking people. Speaking of which, masking while sick is very common in other countries such as Japan (and is effective), so I’m honestly not sure why this has become part of the issue.

6) I 100% agree that certain mandates are ridiculous from a governmental overreach perspective. However, I do think that the easiest way to love those around you is to do no harm to the, and even better if you try to act in their self interest. If taking a small risk to myself gives reduces the risk others face greatly, then it seems to be the more loving thing to do to take the small risk. From the Christian evangelistic perspective, we send missionaries across the globe, often to hostile countries, to take the much bigger risk of their life to bring the Gospel message to those who need to hear it. We all would agree that embodying the apostle’s example of risking life and limb to spread the Gospel is a wonderful and necessary thing to do so that as many as possible have the opportunity for salvation. With the vaccine there is at least a minor parallel: if I take a small risk to myself that may save someone else’s life this is good, noble, and virtuous; similarly a risking my life on earth to bring someone the message that eternally saves their soul, is one of the most good, noble, and virtuous things a person can do, I would argue.

To conclude, I appreciate the video and your perspective, and I really hope you have the chance to read my letter. I hope this provides some insight into why many people who don’t like government overreach and coercive control, and who are Christians, (such as myself) decided to get the vaccine anyway. I did it for my asthmatic wife, and my overweight parents/sister, because I love them and don’t want to be the one who potentially gives them a infection that I could have prevented. I did it out of love for them, and I think recognizing loving others as a valid motivation for getting vaccinated is a reasonable perspective.

Best,

John

John, I want to thank you for a most reasonable letter. I agreed with much of it, and the parts I differ with were parts that you brought forward in a reasonable way. This is the way conversation about all of this should have gone. One of the places where we agree is with the ill-advised use of censorship. If the vaccine had been rushed into production, but no mandates, a lot of this controversy would not have occurred. As it stands now, millions of Americans don’t believe a word their public health officials say, which is not a good place to be. I agree that we should act out of love for others, but what has happened is that if a trained specialist in infectious diseases puts out a video that says wearing masks actually increases the risks to your loved ones, he will not be answered, but rather censored. And that makes a lot of people think that this is about power, not health.

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Dave
Dave
5 months ago

On January 9th, Canadian preachers are going to preach against government intervention into Christian worship and life. Please ask your preacher to join others preaching on the 9th against government intervention against Christianity, including how to worship, how to share our faith, and how Christians may interact with others in our daily lives and businesses. Canadian churches are already facing severe restrictions and penalties for worshiping together as scripture tells us to do. In a manner more suited to Communist countries, some Canadian churches are meeting underground to be able to worship and avoid the authorities. On December 8th, the Canadian Senate passed… Read more »

Benjamin Vroom
Benjamin Vroom
5 months ago
Reply to  Dave

Hello from Canada, Replying to Caleb from the letters and Dave from the comments. I live in Prince Edward Island Canada. We have been part of a “Covid Church” when the church we were attending locked us out. We have been meeting for a year and a half. We met in peoples yards and living rooms. We were able to rent a community hall until we were fined and lost the use of it. The Lord has provided. He opened the door for us to be able to rent a local church building. We meet every Sunday… and ignore the… Read more »

Caleb
Caleb
4 months ago
Reply to  Benjamin Vroom

Benjamin, great to hear your story. There are many of us so I hope and pray more networking and organization comes to strengthen the brethren. I am in NB.

Caleb
Caleb
4 months ago
Reply to  Dave

Dave, is there a group organizing this, or website/social media group for info?

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
5 months ago

Did I miss something? What is it that’s supposed to be shameful about winning in esports? What article was this responding to?

I missed whatever context it is outside of this very short letter, but just at surface value, if you think baseball or volleyball are great achievements, but Hearthstone is not, I have dire concerns that you might have the IQ of a potato.

Carson Spratt
Carson Spratt
5 months ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

It is an achievement of sorts (and I say this as someone who used to play avidly, but gave it up), but it is not a great one. Imagine we all had vast games league to determine who could wiggle their fingers the fastest. Training, strategy, playoffs, the works. No matter how much we worked at it, we’d still be a bunch of people in a room wiggling their fingers. So, in the end, there’s something unbodied about video games that make them less great than the bodied achievements of sports – and sports themselves are less great than bodied… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
5 months ago
Reply to  Carson Spratt

While I’m not a fan of esports and don’t play video games in general, your logic diminishing the value of esports would mostly work to diminish the value of, say, chess or bridge.

demosthenes1d
demosthenes1d
5 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

To me it is more a case I’d values and aspiration and honoring what you want more of. Do we want kids playing sports and trying to win physical competition? If so then honor athletes. Do we want young people to work hard to master strategy and show their intellectual dominance? If so then honor chess and bridge. Do we want young men to spend hours and ours playing video games? Then honor e-sports. I out that somewhat polemically, but OK sober reflection I’m not sure I’m a big fan of any of those things. I once was a big… Read more »

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
5 months ago
Reply to  demosthenes1d

” If so then honor chess and bridge. Do we want young men to spend hours and ours playing video games? Then honor e-sports.” The implication here, based primarily I would have to assume on ignorance, is that video games inherently cannot be strategy games. This is…… at a bare minimum a deeply ridiculous assessment. Hearthstone, the game in question, requires hundreds of strategic decisions be made before you even sit down to play. My point at the beginning though was a comparative one. If your position is that recreational competition itself is a waste of time, I’m not interested in… Read more »

Last edited 5 months ago by Justin Parris
demosthenes1d
demosthenes1d
5 months ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

Justin, I don’t think you read me particularly closely. But I put it in an intentionally provocative fashion, so you can certainly be forgiveness for taking it in that spirit. Of course I know that video games are often strategy games. They can also develop a number of other skills. As I said above, I spent a lot of time in the 90s playing video games, I played things like warcraft that requires strategic thinking/decision making, I played a lot of online chess (obvious), I played purely text based games that can be quite good for your typing skills/vocabulary/etc., I… Read more »

J.F. Martin
J.F. Martin
5 months ago
Reply to  demosthenes1d

Hi Demo…I don’t think we’ve interacted directly, so greetings! I think your points above are helpful. I’ll start by saying I’m a parent who has let the tide rise too high, so pushing back is doubly needed. I have four teenagers – two girls who are fans of IG and TikTok, two boys who are fans of Ark, Overwatch, Fortnite, Minecraft. They are all involved in High School Sports/Dance, A/B students (difficulty in math for the girls), and (most importantly) believers. I see one of my boys in particular exerting leadership in some of the online games. I probably make… Read more »

demosthenes1d
demosthenes1d
4 months ago
Reply to  J.F. Martin

J.F, Thanks for the thoughtful comment/question. First off, I would be pretty uncomfortable giving advice or direction from afar, and I would probably be uncomfortable from up close, unless we were quite close and I knew your family well. So take the above as some general principles and as the way I have worked through things, not as prescription. However, I wil say that as much as I’m concerned about video games gluing young men to their couch, giving then false and counterfeit experiences of mastery, and often just exposing them to the demons, I am much more concerned with… Read more »

Dave
Dave
4 months ago
Reply to  demosthenes1d

Demo, I agree that sports help build character both physically and mentally. I am not in favor of the high pressure children’s sports seen in our public schools from T-Ball up as there is too much emphasis on playing rather than on academic learning. I am in favor of clubs, church and city leagues. Additionally, I am not in favor of professional sports at all. Video games, while they can help some are not all they seem to be. I worked with a guy who had one function in the business and when he was done, he played various video… Read more »

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
5 months ago
Reply to  demosthenes1d

“Of course I know that video games are often strategy games. They can also develop a number of other skills. As I said above, I spent a lot of time in the 90s playing video games,” No, I read you fairly closely. Having played video games and understanding that what you’re doing is a strategic process are not mutually exclusive. I had considered the Warcraft example specifically because of your post, and disqualified that as an example to use because my own criticism of the Real Time Strategy genre in general, and blizzard’s specifically is they place a huge emphasis… Read more »

Last edited 5 months ago by Justin Parris
JohnM
JohnM
4 months ago
Reply to  demosthenes1d

As far as video games are concerned, I am among the righteous. Okay, really I’m just too old to have grown up on video games. At any rate they don’t/never did hold any appeal for me. However, I wonder how we ought to compare that obsession to sports fan obsession? At least the video gamer (just gamer?) is a participant, rather than a mere spectator. On the other hand, the football game does involve real people, rather than fictional characters. But then, so does fiction literature. How do avid fans (if there’s not a better word) of a particular author,… Read more »

demosthenes1d
demosthenes1d
4 months ago
Reply to  JohnM

JohnM, You can be forgiveness for not understanding my point because I’m not laying out my thoughts very clearly or systematically. I am actually a big fan of sports, I think they have a bunch of positives, people learn to use their bodies effectively, they learn to lead and follow, they learn to coordinate together, they learn o push for a goal in a (hopefully) low stakes environment. So I am a fan of the young (and old, I like to play sports and wish I did more of it) playing sports. But. Sports as spectacle has a lot of… Read more »

JohnM
JohnM
4 months ago
Reply to  demosthenes1d

A bit clearer. Your objection seems to be partly about the obsessing, and partly that if someone is going to be interested in sports they ought to be interested in participating, not just watching.

Judging from your response to Jonathan is seems you believe there ought to be a strong social aspect to interests and activities. Am I reading you correctly there? Are you fairly extroverted?

demosthenes1d
demosthenes1d
4 months ago
Reply to  JohnM

JohnM, Yes, my objection is based on a couple of assumptions: 1. We live in an age that is increasingly passive. People pour their passion into realms where they are impotent – like politics and sports fandom and escapist entertainment, and spend less of their energy and attention on areas where they can obtain mastery and promote the well being of others. 2. We live in an isolating age. The average person has a smaller number of friends than any time on record. It is especially acute among young people. I don’t have the statistic in front of me, but… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
5 months ago
Reply to  demosthenes1d

I generally agree with all of that. I wonder about those who think I waste too much time commenting there – while they’re right, all my comments in a typical week don’t add up to the time investment of a single NFL game. While I enjoyed playing football and think it had a very positive impact on who I am today, and while I enjoy watching it as well, the actual time spent watching it is almost always largely wasted outside of the occasional get-together with good friends. Thus once I got my own home after college I chose to… Read more »

Last edited 5 months ago by Jonathan
demosthenes1d
demosthenes1d
4 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Jonathan, I feel much the way you do about sports and video games. I am glad I played sports, but at a certain point of my life baseball probably took up too large a share of my time and attention. I enjoyed watching sport/bonding with my father over sports (though other things could easily have replaced that and contributed to shared mastery). But the time I spent watching sports or ESPN or whatever alone is dead weight loss. And the shoulder injuries from baseball and football aren’t great either! But the best sports moments for me are all playing football… Read more »

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
5 months ago
Reply to  Carson Spratt

 Imagine we all had vast games league to determine who could wiggle their fingers the fastest. Training, strategy, playoffs, the works. No matter how much we worked at it, we’d still be a bunch of people in a room wiggling their fingers.”

There’s no wiggling your fingers in Hearthstone. Its a strategy based card game. Its just played digitally rather than in paper for practicality reasons.

R
R
5 months ago

“I learned not to drop the ball, but to let the ball drop. When a discussion/argument becomes heated, emotional, and accusatory don’t respond in kind, table it until both of you are ready to proceed in love. Until then, let the ball drop: never respond in kind to emotional, hurtful accusations.” What to do when one spouse attempts to do that, and that attempt to diffuse the situation just enrages the other spouse even more? In my experience, sometimes one spouse just likes to push the buttons of the other spouse, and when an attempt to “let the ball drop”… Read more »

JohnM
JohnM
5 months ago
Reply to  R

That’s a good question and I don’t know if I have a satisfying answer. James’ advice is sound, but not a one size fits all guarantee to maintain or restore harmony – personalities and all that. Remember though, not responding in kind to hurtful words and angry accusation is the right thing to do regardless of how the other reacts. Also realize that some things in life are to be endured rather than handled.

Ree
Ree
5 months ago
Reply to  R

Perhaps you can tell your wife, when fellowship with her is restored, that you’re trying to avoid sinning by stepping back from heated exchanges in which you’re having trouble controlling your tongue and ask her to allow you to do that. Assure her that when these occasions occur, you’ll be willing to have a conversation at a later time when tempers have calmed down. But if your wife tends to want to avoid conflict and difficult topics during peaceful times, and then during a moment when the conflict is finally being addressed openly, albeit in a sinful and destructive way,… Read more »

Mike Freeman
Mike Freeman
5 months ago

If someone were to make the claim that Christianity is fascist, the obvious inference would be that the speaker doesn’t know a lot about either Christianity or fascism. That is also the obvious inference when someone claims CRT is cultural Marxism: Oh, you don’t understand either CRT or Marxism. I grew up in the South in the 1950s. I well remember being told that it was Marxist to allow blacks to vote, Marxist to allow blacks to live in white neighborhoods, Marxist to end segregation in places of public accommodation, and Marxist to integrate the schools. And of course, none… Read more »

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
5 months ago
Reply to  Mike Freeman

And you’ve just shown that you don’t know what critical race theory, or Marxism are….. Critical theory is by definition Marxist, being invented by Marxists towards explicitly Marxist ends. You can go read its history yourself, but I’ll give a very short summary. Critical theory was invented in contrast to regular theory for the explicit purpose of showcasing how the way society is ordered in inherently terrible, and we thusly need Marxism. The distinction being, critical theory starts at the outset presupposing that all of society is broken for the stated reason of that theory. So critical toothbrush theory starts… Read more »

Last edited 5 months ago by Justin Parris
Mike Freeman
Mike Freeman
5 months ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

Justin, at the beginning of the CRT debate months ago, I read a half dozen books on CRT, some of them by CRT theorists and some of them by people attacking CRT, so that I would at least know what I’m talking about when the subject comes up. What you just said has so little to do with the actual tenets of CRT that you could equally as well have claimed Christianity teaches reincarnation. Your mind is made up and nobody is going to change it, but for those who are actually interested in knowing what they are talking about,… Read more »

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
5 months ago
Reply to  Mike Freeman

Nothing I said in any way discussed the content of critical race theory, so I’m not particularly concerned with my failure to describe its tenants, since that wasn’t what I was doing. Though I would strongly suggest you not start conversations by insulting people on their inability to connect CRT to Marxism, and then have nothing to say when someone takes you up on your challenge. Here is the opening of the top search result I get for Critical Theory. “Critical Theory has a narrow and a broad meaning in philosophy and in the history of the social sciences. “Critical… Read more »

Last edited 5 months ago by Justin Parris
Mike Freeman
Mike Freeman
5 months ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

“Tenets”, not “tenants”. And those “Stanford whackos” took careful pains to distinguish “critical theory in the narrow sense,” which may or may not apply to critical race theory in the broader sense. Again, you’re making a category error. Are you claiming that “emancipation from slavery,” cited from your quotation, is a Marxist idea? Or that “liberating influences” are Marxist? And the quotation then goes on to say that this narrow sense led to “critical theories in the broader sense that have been developed.” You found a quote on google, congratulations. I’m far from convinced that you understand it, or its… Read more »

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
5 months ago
Reply to  Mike Freeman

““Tenets”, not “tenants”.” My deepest condolences on my typo early in the morning while looking after four children. I’m sure you correct all the typos on the board, not just here so that you can look superior while not actually making your original point, yes? I will preserve the typo without edit for for all time. “And those “Stanford whackos” took careful pains to distinguish “critical theory in the narrow sense,” which may or may not apply to critical race theory in the broader sense.” I like how you quote Stanford whackos as though I was belittling them rather than… Read more »

Mike Freeman
Mike Freeman
5 months ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

Justin, a great many theories have their roots in unsavory places, but we still evaluate them on their merits. To quote someone or other, the fact that Mussolini made the trains run on time does not mean that making the trains run on time is a bad thing. I don’t agree with you that the theory has Marxist roots, but even if it does, it only has traction because blacks have legitimate grievances. If there were no racism, there would be no race hustlers. Any why do you keep changing the subject from critical race theory to critical theory? I’m… Read more »

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
5 months ago
Reply to  Mike Freeman

“Justin, a great many theories have their roots in unsavory places, but we still evaluate them on their merits.” This is completely valid and I agree with it. The problem is that you’re making a generalized complaint against no one in particular. Whether or not someone is evaluating something purely on a label or discussing the thing itself is dependent on that particular statement. Naturally, some people do this and others don’t. It would in fact be completely impossible to get all people to do one or the other. By making a generalized complaint against no one, you’re shielding yourself… Read more »

Mike Freeman
Mike Freeman
5 months ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

Justin, I have some real work I need to get done today so I’m just going to hit a couple of the high points and that will be it for me today. First, I never made the claim that “any opponent of CRT, anywhere, were alleging that racism didn’t exist.” My comment was a foundational premise to what I then went on to say. Arguments commonly start with foundational premises, even when it’s not a premise that anyone disagrees with. So, on the substance, my point remains that if you want race hustlers to go away, try going after racism.… Read more »

Dave
Dave
5 months ago
Reply to  Mike Freeman

Mike, are you suggesting by going after racism that we should get the government to stop Affirmative Action which is racist?

Should we stop the Obama era college scholarships because they only apply to certain skin colors and to those who can’t or won’t study?

Last edited 5 months ago by Dave
Cherrera
Cherrera
5 months ago
Reply to  Mike Freeman

I did similar research. CRT has its own systems of truth (“experiences” of allegedly oppressed groups which can’t be questioned), ethics (real or imagined racism as the original and primary sin), penance, sacraments (just watch any BLM rally), etc. Trying to syncretize Christianity and CRT is as much of a train wreck as combining it with Buddhism, tribal religions or any other train wreck that’s been attempted.

It was obvious where you were going and how wrong you’d be when you started with the false analogy of segregation in the 50s.

Last edited 5 months ago by C Herrera
Mike Freeman
Mike Freeman
5 months ago
Reply to  Cherrera

My analogy was not to segregation in the 50s; my analogy was to the false claim that integration is Marxist. In both cases, the people who don’t want to change think “oh that’s Marxist” is a valid counter-argument.

I’m far from sold on CRT, particularly some of its more radical applications. At the same time, I don’t see how you can argue with its basic premise that the world is a different place for the privileged than it is for the non-privileged.

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
5 months ago
Reply to  Mike Freeman

Mike: “At the same time, I don’t see how you can argue with its basic premise that the world is a different place for the privileged than it is for the non-privileged.”

You’ll get no argument from me on that one. For example, the acronym people (LGBTQRSTUVWXYZ++++++, BIPOC) have more rights than the rest of us. So do criminals, bums, illegal aliens, Democrats, Muslims, and Branch Covidians, just to name a few privileged groups.

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
5 months ago
Reply to  Mike Freeman

“I don’t see how you can argue with its basic premise that the world is a different place for the privileged than it is for the non-privileged.” A convenient edit, leaving out the part the part people find morally despicable. It isn’t the concept that powerful people live a different life to which people object, its how they define powerful people, which incidentally is a very Marxist process of dividing people into very broad groups, labeling all of one oppressors regardless of individual circumstances, and all of the other as victims regardless of individual circumstances. Then of course there’s the… Read more »

Cherrera
Cherrera
5 months ago
Reply to  Mike Freeman

Yeah, the non-privileged who have missed out on untold amounts of fortunes in missed scholarships, promotions (rightly earned by any objective standards), “free” gov’t goodies of all kinds, etc. because we weren’t an “oppressed minority.” Myself, my family and extended family certainly concur there.

Last edited 5 months ago by C Herrera
Justin Parris
Justin Parris
5 months ago
Reply to  Cherrera

That’s why the baseless assumptions are integral to Critical Theory. They *have* to take the superiority of a particular group as universally assumed, otherwise they would have to have an answer for the individual circumstances of a particular family.

Then when you point out that the assumption is even flawed, they claim you’re arguing that racism doesn’t exist, as Mike has just done.

Cherrera
Cherrera
5 months ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

Right. And of course there will always be privileged and non-privileged, which can be based on myriad circumstances–a lot more than race. God could’ve included Critical Hebrew Slave Theory as an addendum to the 10 Commandments. I’m sure the Israelites would’ve loved an excuse for all of their sinful ways after they left Egypt. “This idolatry and harlotry is really about Egyptian privilege which will take hundreds of generations to work itself out.” God would’ve scoffed at that just as much as any other excuse they made.

Armin
Armin
5 months ago
Reply to  Mike Freeman

But all of those things are fundamentally Marxist because they assume that the races are all the same from a biological, social, and psychological standpoint, and thus there is no morally justifiable reason to separate the different racial groups. Once this premise is granted, we have the ideological groundwork for weaponizing certain, let’s say, less civilizationally-inclined populations against heritage America. This is the key to understanding Marxism. It isn’t some set of moral principles to create a more just and equitable world. It is a weapon against White Christians, which very few White Christians have even begun to understand.

Last edited 5 months ago by Armin
Mike Freeman
Mike Freeman
5 months ago
Reply to  Armin

So your claim is that anything less than full on segregation is Marxist?

Armin
Armin
5 months ago
Reply to  Mike Freeman

No, just that a political philosophy that refuses to recognize innate differences between people groups (not just intelligence, though I tend to focus on that), the tendency of all groups toward in-group preference, and how both tend to lead to conflict between groups when forced into proximity with one another is anti-civilizational. Marxism falls into this category in my view.

Accepting this reality of the human condition, in my view, would necessarily lead to some level of segregation, although 100% segregation would not be required. Life and certainly politics do not work that way.

Last edited 5 months ago by Armin
Mike Freeman
Mike Freeman
5 months ago
Reply to  Armin

Armin, suppose I agree with everything you said. I don’t, by the way. The problem remains that conflict between groups exists because groups choose to be in conflict. There’s no reason the races can’t live together harmoniously; they just choose not to. As with squabbling children, they choose not to get along. Why would you give your blessing to that?

Armin
Armin
5 months ago
Reply to  Mike Freeman

I’m not giving my “blessing” to anything, I’m just pointing out how the world works. Any competent, sober-minded political regime must govern according to reality, not utopianism. I believe that this falls under their Romans 13 mandate.

Guymon Hall
Guymon Hall
5 months ago

“As it stands now, millions of Americans don’t believe a word their public health officials say, which is not a good place to be.” I found almost nothing reasonable about John’s letter. It’s important to frame the debate properly. One side will simply chalk these folks up to crazy right-wing Trump conspiracy theorists. The problem with that is there exists verified evidence, and more being uncovered every day, that there is good reason to NOT believe public health officials. Such evidence includes, but is not limited to: We have verified evidence of government collusion with Big Tech to push a… Read more »

Will
Will
5 months ago
Reply to  Guymon Hall

It would have been helpful to see the sources of your “verified evidence” list. That might propel your comments into the reasonable category. Or not.

As for now, if find your comment unhelpful, bordering on unreasonable.

Jonathan
Jonathan
5 months ago
Reply to  Guymon Hall

I thought John explained the actual science that disproves some of your allegations quite clearly. Which specific points do you dispute him on, and what evidence do you have?

Your claim about “population control” is badly misinterpreted. Families in poor nations tend to have many children in part because health care access is poor and child mortality is high. Improving health care and vaccination decreases child mortality, invariably leading to satisfaction with smaller families, which improves life outcomes on almost every measure. Jumping from there to “that means the vaccines are dangerous to health!” is ridiculous.

Last edited 5 months ago by Jonathan
demosthenes1d
demosthenes1d
5 months ago
Reply to  Guymon Hall

Guymon, I would be interested in whatever statistical anomalies you are referring to. One of the great things about covid is that different nations using different policies and having different outcomes, and the enormous number of people who have been infected with covid and who have been vaccinated, give us access to a range if natural experiments and highly powered statistical findings that aren’t usually available. For instance, we can compare Australia and America. To date since January 2020 America has had over 800,000 excess deaths, and over 1,000,000 more deaths than predicted (excess much clear a confidence range). Australia… Read more »

kyriosity
kyriosity
5 months ago

Speaking of looking for Doug’s book reviews, raise your hand if you think he needs to get back to posting on Goodreads.🙋‍♀️

Zeph .
Zeph .
5 months ago

Canadians, is your government persecuting Muslims in the same way as far as Mask mandates, etc. and if so, how are they responding?

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
4 months ago
Reply to  Zeph .

I’m an ex-pat Canadian but I’ve followed this pretty closely. The provinces are responsible for setting their own public health policies as regards masking and houses of worship. There are roughly seven hundred Christian churches that have signed on as officially opposing mask mandates, social distancing, shutting down places of worship, and placing restrictions on reopening. I read through the list and no signatories appear to be Catholic or mainstream Protestant groups. From everything I have read (and heard from my Canadian family and friends), the rules have been applied evenhandedly across religious faiths. Muslims were affected more than most… Read more »

Last edited 4 months ago by Jill Smith
Caleb
Caleb
4 months ago
Reply to  Zeph .

Zeph, I can’t contribute a great deal as any muslims I have dealt with seem content to follow all government regulations. The only exception I witnessed was when there was large protests in several cities in support of the Palestinians. Most who attended were muslims and were breaking a great deal of regulations with no police enforcement. In the same week (or two) Christians were gathering to worship and protest and were accosted heavily by police.

Jonathan
Jonathan
5 months ago

John, thank you for that letter. I hope people take it seriously and that Pastor Wilson, on line with his gracious response, avoids posting any further misinformation on the topics that you addressed.

Ken B
Ken B
5 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

I’m not sure it would be very profitable simply to repeat the arguments about this subject that have been given a considerable airing lately. I will content myself with one comment in this regard which at least ought to be food for thought. I read today that an AfD member of the Baden-Württemberg state parliament, Dr Bernd Grimmer, has just died of covid aged 71 and following a short illness. The AfD is to the right of normal conservatism and contains some very unsavoury characters. He was one of those complaining about the measures to curtail the spread of the… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
5 months ago
Reply to  Ken B

There have been many examples of this, among both conservative politicians and media figures here in the USA. In several cases they said they regretted not getting the vaccine just before they died.

However, while I have seen many sick individuals regret not getting the vaccine, I haven’t seen the internet bloggers spreading misinformation ever say, “I saw their suffering and regretted encouraging them to not get the vaccine.” It’s almost as if they lack enough empathy to feel regret until it happens to them.

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2021/08/phil-valentine-conservative-radio-host-covid-vaccine.html

Last edited 5 months ago by Jonathan
Ken B
Ken B
5 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Epilogue: they had a minute’s silence for Dr Grimmer in the state parliament today. It turns out he was member for the town of Pforzheim, a place which, surprise surprise, has a lowish vaccination rate and a correspondingly high infection rate. The party leader argued for Grimmer’s right to personal autonomy/self determination to be respected – as usual spectacularly missing the point. Grimmer’s successor proposed by the AfD is a man who claimed burning down the accommodation for refugees and asylum seekers was an act of ‘civil disobedience’. I believe he was fined for this as incitement to crime, but… Read more »

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
5 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Jonathan I’m sure you hold me with a certain degree of antagonism, but I genuinely think you’re too smart to fall into this poor of reasoning.

I don’t believe that buying lottery tickets is, statistically, wise. Does pointing out that someone won the lottery yesterday change that assessment? I’m confident you understand the math of large numbers well enough to come up with a reason other than lack of empathy that they wouldn’t change their minds.

J.F. Martin
J.F. Martin
5 months ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

This article makes me think of our comment section:

https://freddiedeboer.substack.com/p/covid-panic-is-a-site-of-inter-elite?fbclid=IwAR29-XU6ByrspzpKdS_nAi4-gOxUjK8DJuEbEHXZsLnYg5MMxX-eJu8Urdw

I’ll admit up front that I inflate my elite-level thinking. I apologize for my uncharitable judgments of my fellow blog travelers.

Jonathan
Jonathan
5 months ago
Reply to  J.F. Martin

I have a hard time believing his hypothesis, mostly because he’s imputing motives and no one I actually know is motivated by that, nor do I see it more broadly outside of the extreme exceptions. A more readily believable theory to me is that anxiety over risk and danger in general has been ramping up remarkably in society. I’ve read several articles in the mid-2010s suggesting that this started in the 1980s and was already negatively impacting young adults who had grown up in an entirely over-anxious, safety-obsessed world. The issue crosses political divides. Some adults are over-obsessed over the… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
5 months ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

I understand math just fine. If we were going by math, I’d wonder why people claim Covid is no big deal while many of the same are freaked out if I tell them I’m going to a place where malaria or dengue are rampant.

But I know few people make their decisions based off the “math of large numbers”. They’re more likely to make decisions off personal experience and anecdotes from those they trust. Which is why, when they see peers or known figures dying, their refusal to take it seriously is more perplexing than their refusal to understand math

Last edited 5 months ago by Jonathan
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
5 months ago
Reply to  Ken B

More food for thought: Just last week, Meaghan McGonagle, aged 41, died after a brief battle with COVID-19. Don’t know what her politics were. She worked as a teacher and coach at a school; the teaching profession tends to be to the left of normal leftism and contains some very unsavoury characters. She was “vaccinated” — an early adopter. I would like to believe that this might just make some jab-happy leftists reconsider their position, but I doubt it. They are too blinded by their own ideological dogma. Schadenfreude would be completely out of place, but the irony of this… Read more »

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
5 months ago
Reply to  Ken B

It wouldn’t make a great deal of sense for his death, or any one death in particular, to change any position whatsoever. Their position is not reliant on the idea that no one dies from the virus. If I argue that a Full Moon is not something that happens every night, and then you point out that last night there was a full moon, you haven’t given me a reason to change my mind. If I argue that the virus is not, statistically, of dire concern for any one person individually, to point out that it was statistically concern for… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
5 months ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

How do you define “dire concern”?

Well under 1 in 10,000 drunk driving trips result in a fatal crash. You could drive drunk 100 times and still have <1% chance of a fatal accident. Is drunk driving not a concern?

Or for a different example, Pastor Wilson has said in the past that any man who is unwilling to own a gun for the protection of his family is failing in his duties as a protector. Yet the likelihood of someone successfully protecting their family with a firearm is FAR lower than the likelihood of protecting them with a vaccine.

Last edited 5 months ago by Jonathan
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
5 months ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

Justin, good reply. I would add that Ken B dancing on Grimmer’s grave — which is downright ghoulish — doesn’t help in changing people’s positions, either. That bit about schadenfreude was merely lip service.

Ken B
Ken B
4 months ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

It wouldn’t make a great deal of sense for his death, or any one death in particular, to change any position whatsoever. That is trivially true. I remember an interview with a British leader of extinction rebellion in which she was challenged on her own use of fossil fuels in that she took her family on a long-haul flight. Her answer was that the usage of any one family on any one flight was insignificant. Again, trivially true, but misses the point entirely, since from their point of view everyone needs to cut down energy use. The incoherence of this… Read more »

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
5 months ago

Oh, with all the hubbub about CRT I forgot I did want to make a point about John’s big letter. ” Your point about the shutdown being unnecessary is presented with, what seems to me is, a heavy hindsight bias. ” I’m not sure how a hindsight bias can be applicable for a position that people were taking at the time. There was always a contingent of people against lockdowns, Doug included, and they always claimed the evidence did not support the decision. The response was, at least in my personal experience, to simply call lockdowns “following the science” without actually citing… Read more »

Last edited 5 months ago by Justin Parris
John
John
4 months ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

Hi Justin, I’m the one who drafted the original letter, and I’d like to try to dispel what appears to be a misconception or two, but first, I’m not claiming anything about the “lock-down argument”. I’m claiming, there seemed to me, the existence of a discrepancy between how Doug was treating the virus vs the vaccine, particularly in light of the current peer-reviewed information on both. Hindsight bias occurs when someone looks back at an event and believes they could have predicted the outcome. Keep under consideration that the video was posted nearly 2 years after the arrival of Covid,… Read more »

Dave
Dave
5 months ago

In reference to John’s letter: As soon as the virus was determined to be SARS CoV-2, it was apparent to all who read the WHO, CDC and other countries reports about the SARS, released after that epidemic, that the SARS CoV-2 was a serious virus, but not one which required the drastic measures imposed on the population. It especially did not require the government to close churches or placing restrictions on worshiping our God. The heavy precautions against the SARS, except washing hands frequently, covering coughs and avoiding prolonged, very close contact with infected individuals dismissed as they were not… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
5 months ago
Reply to  Dave

Your “dead people would be lying in the streets” claim is nonsensical. Just like your earlier claim that dead deer should be everywhere.

The claim that you, with no scientific knowledge of viruses whatsoever, immediately knew how dangerous Covid-19 would be the moment it was identified is absurd.

Your repeated claims that you know all about Covid-19 because you know about SARS are also absurd. Even tiny changes in a virus’s genetic material can greatly affect it’s transmissibility and lethality, while other than being coronaviruses SARS and Covid-19 differ tremendously.

Last edited 5 months ago by Jonathan
Dave
Dave
5 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Jonathan, please ask your preacher to preach on January 9th against the ungodly influence of homosexuals in Canadian and US politics in attempts to cripple and destroy Christianity. “A fool does not delight in understanding, But in revealing his own mind.” Proverbs 18:2 In all the years you have posted here, you have not been able to explain Bible verses but can only cut and past them. When have you posted positive ideas toward improving America in a biblical manner? That would be something more than telling us Christians are neglecting the poor followed by reams of versus out of… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
5 months ago
Reply to  Dave

* Yes, Covid-19 is a coronavirus. That tells you nothing about how lethal it is.

* Your claim about how viruses mutate is a general trend, not a hard-and-fast law. Viruses can easily become more lethal or transmittable after a mutation.

* Your comment about dead folk in the street (like your previous one about dead deer) remains nonsensical.

Your claim about how I use the Bible is false. But why are you even making ad hominem attacks? I asked you last week – if you wish to disparage me, please at least quote me. Enough with unsourced slander.

Last edited 5 months ago by Jonathan
Dave
Dave
5 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

“Likewise urge the young men to be sensible;” Titus 2:6 Jonathan, I am not making ad hominem attacks, but rather I am pointing out that you are the Proverbs fool who delights in revealing his own mind, living for the argument. The only reason I interact with you is because you are a Christian who does not understand scripture and who promotes that which is against scripture. The fact that you take this as ad hominem shows a great lack of understanding. You have a choice. Either continue as a fool with a mouth that invites beatings, which others deliver… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
5 months ago
Reply to  Dave

If you wish to continue to tempt hellfire and call me a fool (Matthew 5:22), then at least source what you are even referring to.

I pointed out three clear ways in which your attempts to make scientific claims were false. As you have done over and over before, you simply ignored correction, fail to ask anyone whatsoever with viral or at least scientific training to help you on the matter, and just go back to value personal attacks.

It doesn’t help anyone

Dave
Dave
5 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

“Likewise urge the young men to be sensible;” Titus 2:6 You are not being sensible. Jonathan, thank you for your Matthew 5 reminder. You act just like the fool who must be heard and his mind is correct regardless of what others speak. That is my point and it is a detriment to the Christian. You have a choice. You may continue to act foolishly or you may ask Jesus Christ to help you gain understanding, knowledge and wisdom. “The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom.Though it cost all you have, get understanding. Cherish her, and she will exalt… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 months ago
Reply to  Dave

You compared the care of sick persons and disposal of bodies in 2021 to an epidemic in 1346? Or a natural disaster where everyone dies at once? How is “the Black Death 700 years ago” any sort of measure for Covid response? Why should anyone take that seriously? In places like India there really were bodies lying in the streets, they were literally cremating people on the sidewalks because the ghats had run out of room. But you ignore that… The total # of deaths in America is not in dispute, Dave. You can’t manufacture death certificates out of thin… Read more »

Dave
Dave
4 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

“Likewise urge the young men to be sensible;” Titus 2:6 “I chided him over mocking other people for their predictions, claiming it proved they were unreliable, and then refusing to apologize when they were proven right.” Jonathan above “I suspect that posting correct information is somewhat more Biblical than posting falsehoods.” Jonathan ‘No, I don’t demand Pastor Wilson apologize for “predicted Cov-2 deaths.” Jonathan above Jonathan, you have to help me out here. You say that you chide Wilson because he refuses to apologize because you think your figures are more correct. You say that your figures are more correct… Read more »

Ken B
Ken B
4 months ago
Reply to  Dave

You twice quoted ‘No, I don’t demand Pastor Wilson apologize for “predicted Cov-2 deaths.” Jonathan above

I don’t see anywhere where Jonathan actually said those words. The nearest that comes to this is Your quotes prove that I didn’t chide Pastor Wilson over his Covid death projections. ‘Not chiding’ is not the same thing as ‘not demanding an apology’. Unless I have missed it somewhere you seem to be putting words in Jonathan’s mouth to make it look as though he is being incoherent.

Dave
Dave
4 months ago
Reply to  Ken B

Ken, since the Kung Flu fracas started, Jonathan has demanded corrections and apologies while pointing out that his figures are correct and that Wilson and others are way off. He has demanded apologies and corrections many times over the past 18 months for that which cannot be apologized for. Having watched the entire story does help put things into perspective. There are plenty examples of the exact word, apologize, if you wish to look them up. I attempt to show Jonathan where he is erring. I have interacted with him for years upon years. The only reason I interface with… Read more »

Ken B
Ken B
4 months ago
Reply to  Dave

Dave – I do think Jonathan overdoes it in terms of length and number of posts. That said I think he is right to push back against some of the anti-corona measures mentality that exists here. I see much of the same argumentation used on Peter Hitchens’ blog, and some of it seems to me to be dangerous and irresponsible. Right-wing individualism taken to an extreme. It’s fine for people to have the freedom to express opinions, but I would not go to unqualified laymen, including pastors, for medical advice. You need to exercise discernment even with virologists and medics… Read more »

Dave
Dave
4 months ago
Reply to  Ken B

Ken, history tells us that governments change facts, figures and anything else that they desire to accomplish the government’s ends. Not to the benefit of the citizens. After all, it’s for our own good that they lie to us. Russia, China, the UK, Germany, the US all have told whoppers that are now seen in history clearly, but at the time had multitudes praising the ungodly actions. It is intuitively obvious to the casual observer that not a single government is telling the truth about SARS CoV-2. It is not the killer we were told it was and instead, the… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
5 months ago
Reply to  Dave

The ingredients of the vaccines ARE public information. There’s nothing controversial about their ingredients, as John points out.

The initial vaccine trials were made available to thousands of scientists across the world. But they are hardly relevant now, as the 100,000s covered by vaccine trials have been outweighed by 100,000,000s in public follow-up studies across the globe. As John points out, no one is censoring this.

And if you don’t realize vaccination protects others, you don’t understand viruses. How would anecdotal breakthrough infections change the fact that vaccinated people are far less likely to catch or spread?

Last edited 5 months ago by Jonathan
Dave
Dave
4 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Jonathan, you really and truly lack understanding. You have a choice. Either continue acting as the Proverbs fool or ask Jesus Christ to help you gain understanding.

Don’t forget to ask your preacher to preach on January 9th against the rampant homosexual activity in America’s political and judicial realms.

Merry Christmas.

JPH
JPH
5 months ago

On point 4 of the last letter, I wanted to point out that Dr. Peter McCullough has persuasively (to me) explained why myocarditis from flu and natural COVID are not in the same category as the vaccine induced myocarditis. According to him, it is the lipid nanoparticles in the vaccine that make the heart absorb so much of the spike protein.

demosthenes1d
demosthenes1d
5 months ago
Reply to  JPH

JPH, Do you have a good source you could share on the topic (a written work with detail please – no video or podcasts)? I looked into this quite a bit earlier this year when the myocarditis was first being recognized as a major vaccine side effect (it was recognized earlier as a common covid side effect, especially in young athletes) and everything I could find indicated that incidence and severity if myocarditis is greater for covid infections than vaccines. My current view is basically in line with this report: https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/myocarditis-and-how-to-think-about-it-like-a-cardiologist/ I would like to be corrected if I am… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
5 months ago
Reply to  JPH

I’m also curious, JPH, how you interpret Demothenes’s above comment pointing out there have ~1 million excess deaths in the USA while there are ~0 in Australia and New Zealand, despite both of those nations having stricter lockdowns and higher vaccination rates than the USA does?

It seems that result is only consistent with the vaccine being an extraordinarily life-saving measure with no meaningful negative impact on mortality at all.

demosthenes1d
demosthenes1d
5 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

To be fair, Jonathan, Australia and New Zealand incredibly low death toll is a product of their geography and very strong quarantine more than vaccination rate (so far). They have succeeded by keeping cases very very low, especially prior to vaccines and then delta.

But the data appears to me to rule out the vaccine being very dangerous.

Jonathan
Jonathan
5 months ago
Reply to  demosthenes1d

True, I was talking about multiple things at once and misspoke. The most clear conclusions from the Australia/New Zealand data alone are only:

  1. Vaccines aren’t dangerous at a perceptible level when looking at the population.
  2. The virus is very meaningfully dangerous on a population level.
  3. Australia/New Zealand’s system of quarantine/lockdowns has prevented meaningful spread.

There’s lots of good data on how lifesaving the vaccines are, but the brute force look at USA-Australia-New Zealand isn’t enough for that conclusion.

J.F. Martin
J.F. Martin
5 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Sadly, as soon as obesity was determined to be a comorbidity, I expected the US and other more indulgent countries to be hit hardest.

As for those down under…having the equivalent of 3 Springs versus 3 Falls in the Northern Hemisphere may have had some impact. I’ve also wondered about relative humidity as it relates to viruses.

Jonathan
Jonathan
5 months ago
Reply to  J.F. Martin

Of course obesity is a factor, but Australia and New Zealand, while healthier than the USA (about 15% less obesity) aren’t so healthy as to explain any dramatic difference in deaths. The early data at least (I haven’t followed it since the first year) suggested that higher humidity and higher temperatures reduced viral survival rate. New Zealand should have about the ideal conditions for the virus, and the populated sections of Australia aren’t too far behind. I’d have to spend time looking at how the wave have hit, but I don’t think hemisphere seasons had much impact since 2021 fall… Read more »

J.F. Martin
J.F. Martin
5 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Thanks for the reply Jonathan. I didn’t realize the CDC has addressed this somewhat. It would be interesting to compare this map and Australia’s.

https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/obesity-and-covid-19.html

I recognize shaming isn’t any more effective for obesity than it is for vaccinations – I’d like 1st Timothy 4:7-8 to be my guide.

Anodos
Anodos
5 months ago

My comment here is pointed toward Jake, who wrote the letter under the heading “EO and Reformed.” Hello, Jake. You say that you’ve read that people drawn to EO likely have some kind of wound or trauma that seeks to be soothed. My reply to anyone saying such things would be: Welcome to the human race, where everyone has some sort of trauma or wound that needs to be soothed. People are drawn to every kind of tradition for these reasons: some find solace in EO, Catholicism, Mormonism, or even snake-handling. I want you to know that I sympathize with… Read more »

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
4 months ago
Reply to  Anodos

I think that individual temperament plays a huge role in determining what appeals to our aesthetic sense. My natural preference is for a highly liturgical service with gorgeous music and the feeling that you are alone with God. Gregorian chant makes me “feel” holy but that is clearly a feeling that can lead me astray! Perhaps it is the parts of communal worship that we don’t much like that tell us where we need to be working on ourselves.

Anodos
Anodos
5 months ago

*throes (for the grammar police)

demosthenes1d
demosthenes1d
4 months ago

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Ken B
Ken B
4 months ago
Reply to  demosthenes1d

And a happy New Year!