“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.” ― Ernest Hemingway
This post is going to open up a Pandora’s Box. Repeat after me… Dee is not a fan of Doug Wilson…
He presided over the marriage a serial pedophile to a sweet young thing in his congregation. Then, said pedophile developed *feelings* for his little baby boy. No, this is not a joke.
The Real Doug Wilson Encouraged & Presided Over the Marriage of Serial Pedophile
[Updated 2] Pedophile Supported by Doug Wilson ‘Allegedly Sexually Abused** a Baby. Christians: There Is No Excuse. This Must Stop!
He has a rather odd view of slavery in the South which resulted in a lengthy conversation with Thabiti Anyabwile
Why Doug Wilson Should Be Like Jimmy the Greek On the Issue of Slavery
A Final Wrap-Up: Thabiti Anyabwile and Douglas Wilson
He is an HIV/AIDS denier.
I think this is particularly relevant to a discussion about the pandemic which he calls a *shamdemic.*
Doug Wilson and the American Family Association: HIV/AIDS Conspiracy Theorists
There is much, much more including concerns regarding plagiarism and another problem with a different pedophile. His school and church (*Kirk*) have a rather rocky relationship in the town of Moscow, Idaho.
Despite is rather grim background, he continues to be BFFs with members of The Gospel Coalition. Frankly, I’ve only scratched the surface. Here is a link to Wikipedia to read up on him further. Feel free to regale the readers of this blog with the many stories surrounding notorious Doug Wilson.
I bet that Doug Wilson is basking in the limelight of his app being banned by Google.
Before we begin, let me give you my understanding of Doug Wilson. he thinks he is really, really smart; far smarter than just anyone out there. There is an arrogance that, when mixed with his radical Calvinism, makes it very difficult to give him the benefit of the doubt.
It is my opinion that Wilson absolutely adores all the attention that he is receiving so don’t feel too bad for him. So don’t feel too sorry for him.
Please remember this. I do not support Doug Wilson in any way.
So how did this happen?
Caldron Pool posted Red Davis’ Tech Giants Begin the Crackdown on Unapproved Sermons as Churches Are Forced Online.
On Friday, Google suspended Christ Church’s app from the Google Play store after accusing the pastors of a lack of sensitivity and/or capitalizing on the current coronavirus pandemic.
The church received a notice from the platform, stating: “We don’t allow apps that lack reasonable sensitivity towards or capitalize on a natural disaster, atrocity, conflict, death, or other tragic event.
“Your app has been suspended and removed due to this policy issue,” the notice added.
It’s believed Google was referring to Pastor Douglas Wilson’s short lessons on responding faithfully to the COVID-19 crisis, and Pastor Toby J. Sumpter’s sermon calling God’s people to humble repentance in the face of the pandemic.
Davis thinks this may be the first of many such actions by various platforms.
Will the platforms that we now depend on dictate what our pastors can and cannot preach on?
Here are the three sermons which Davis, Wilson and others believe led to this action by Google.
However, Wilson posted Romans 13 and the COVID-19 Virus on April 8 which helps explain his mindset.
What we have been doing at Christ Church thus far, as a church, is to comply with the orders of our governor and our mayor. We will continue to do this until it becomes obvious to us that the orders are an abuse of their legitimate authority to quarantine. We do not challenge that authority of theirs to quarantine, and we have not relinquished our authority as elders to call a meeting of the church. These two positions are currently in tension, but because we are good citizens and not scofflaws, we have resolved that tension by deferring. But there is a point where such orders would be tantamount to commanding water to flow uphill. As such these would be orders that would be unscriptural and therefore immoral, unconstitutional and therefore illegal, and nonsensical and therefore lame.
I do not yet believe we are at that point. But I do think I can see it from here.
He then responded to Google’s actions in This Shambling and Shameful and Shambolic Shamdemic.
He starts with an explanation of sorts.
I don’t want people to die. I am not pretending that somehow many haven’t died. And I am also not in any way making light of the heroics that any number of health care workers and supply chain folks have undertaken on behalf of others during this whole ordeal. Four cheers for all of them.
…Once the rush began, virtually all of our political leaders cascaded over one another in shutting things down. Only a handful have resisted the pressure to be as virtuous as all the rest. But the dilemma for the cascaders now is that they cannot just glibly say “never mind.” They blasted their way out, and so it is now going to be very difficult to tiptoe back in. They now have to figure out how to unwind this thing without provoking a hailstorm of accusations. They have to declare a great victory over the virus, Democrats and Republicans alike, and they also have to declare that the costs associated with the lock downs were a reasonable price to pay for that victory. Some might even be tempted to extend their lock downs so as to prove how reasonable it all was. See? We’re still saving lives!
But if they are going to do this, it is going to require a great deal of control over the post-game analysis, isn’t it? Shut up, they continued to explain.
…When the president says that he wants the economy to be up and roaring again, he is treating explosive economic growth as though it were self-evidently a good thing. He is thinking like one of the old school guys. Joe Six-Pack also thinks that way, because he has a welding shop to run. But not everybody believes that. Not everybody thinks that way. The expert lordlings who are waiting in the wings to rule over our going out and our coming in do not believe that.
And what they could not get Joe Six Pack to do by scaring him with dying polar bears — lay off 20 employees — they have done by scaring him with a virus. Despite decades of lies, the polar bear thing just didn’t work. It was too far away, too irrelevant, and too measurable. Polar bears are big, and viruses are not. So with an invisible and deadly virus, some computer modeling hoojoo, the natural self-interest of people who don’t want to get sick and die, a sufficient smoke screen cover for politicians who wanted to flex on us, and the necessary pressure on the politicians who would have been inclined to resist, they hit on a really great formula. At least for them.
Hats off to them. They won the first half.
In other words, Wilson is miffed off.
He got some unexpected help from The American Conservative which posted Rod Dreher’s post on the matter: Deplatforming Douglas Wilson.
There is an amusing aside to this post. Dreher was careful to say that he is not a big supporter of Wilson. (He’s not.) However, he must have received quite a bit of pushback since he had to post this update to the story.
Guys! I am not defending Doug Wilson’s teaching or his behavior as leader of the Kirk. As I said at the top of this post, I got into a big online argument with him a few years ago when I criticized him for the way he handled sexual abuse within his community. I am only defending here his right to be heard, and in so
Dear reader, please remember this in my case as well. I am not a fan of Wilson which should be be evident by the many negative posts which have appeared on TWW though the years.
Doug Wilson is the kind of pastor who preaches and writes as if he believes that pugnacity is next to godliness. He is a powerful rhetorician, and can be quite funny — but humility is not his strong suit. One his blog, which is how I know his work, he comes across as someone who is more interested in owning the libs heretics than in converting hearts and minds. I tell you this up front to let you know that I am the sort of Christian who, though a conservative, is not favorably disposed to listen to a message from Doug Wilson.
…So what probably got Wilson in trouble? In this sermon, he condemns, and condemns in strong language, abortion and gay marriage as sins that require repentance. Now, I wish he had listed sins that are more likely to be committed by people in Moscow, Idaho, and in the rest of Red America. God is no doubt angry over the widespread use of pornography in our country. Think of all the pridefulness, the selfishness, the hardness of heart towards our neighbor — all things that you find in Red America too. Think of all the disordered heterosexual lust. And the warmaking this country has fostered on innocent people
…My point is this: whatever my conflicts, theological and otherwise, with Doug Wilson and his circle, I profited from hearing these sermons. I was challenged by them, in a good way. Did I agree 100 percent with them? No I did not. Do I believe that these sermons ought to be freely available on Google’s platform for people to hear? Absolutely.
We don’t know precisely why Google booted Wilson’s church’s app, but listening to Wilson’s sermon (more than Sumpter’s), it’s not hard to guess why. So, even though it probably makes him cringe to have Rod Dreher stand up for him, and believe me, it makes Rod Dreher cringe to do it … I’m going to stand up for him.
…This, by the way, is not the state’s doing; it’s Google’s, which, as a private company, has a right to decide who it wants on its platform. But dissident Christians, and political dissidents of all kinds, should be aware that this is an incredible amount of power to wield. Those who control access to Internet platforms control what can and can’t be said on there.
…We should want to protect unpopular speakers and unpopular speech in the public square. It hardly needs saying that people in the Bay Area who censor Google’s platform are bound to be more eager to silence right-wing radicals than left-wing radicals. But what if those right-wing radicals happen to say something true and important? Something that only they can see, and say? (The same is true of left-wing radicals
Doug Wilson responded to Dreher’s post: I Am Not Sure I Have Ever Been Damned with Fainter Praise.
I told you he would be flattered by all of this attention…
Throughout his piece, Rod makes the repeated (and very correct) point that the weapons that are being used on people that you might not happen to like may well be weapons that are going to be turned on you in about ten minutes.
He expressed his appreciation to Dreher.
Disagreements and all, jabs and all, I actually really appreciated it.
Then he kills it in the humility department. He really thinks he is being funny here.
The only jab I took really strong objection to was this phrase—“humility is not his strong suit.” Simply unbelievable. Humility is my strongest suit. For all his thumb-on-the-pulsing work in reporting, Rod has apparently not been informed of my upcoming book—Humility and How I Attained It.
Wilson is a problem as evidenced by the many posts I have devoted to him. However, I am a bit concerned by this action by Google. But I am far more interested in what you think.
Hahahaha, “Humility and How I Attained It.” Sounds like Gilderoy Lockhart in the 2nd book of the Harry Potter series.
Who was quite wonderfully and annoyingly portrayed to great effect in the 2nd movie.
If your business depends on someone else’s platform, you don’t really control your business.
He should just stick the mp3s on the church website. I don’t believe that ISPs are allowed to censor content that doesn’t break the law.
The thought occurs that maybe Pulpit and Pen is trying to imitate DW.
I have the impression that DW is a climate science skeptic as well. Google’s action might be an early hint of the “menace to public health” interpretation of the churches that I speculated, in a comment on a prior post, might eventually come to pass. I’m not dismayed by the action, any more than when I find one of my own comments, as happens from time to time in various venues, deleted or never released from quarantine. I don’t have the right to express myself in any way I wish on another entity’s platform. and I’m not upset when I find myself restricted.
Is Google too big? Perhaps it should be broken up. Antitrust enforcement has been flacid in recent decades (on the theory that monopolies and monopsonies can actually reduce costs to consumers by squeezing profit out of other parts of the supply chain). But concentrated corporate power is worrisome, and I agree that that is a lesson in this episode.
I’ve been idly following this story from afar, but I’m convinced there is more going on than Wilson is either aware of or wants to reveal. Perhaps some sort of harassment campaign hosted by a third party? Or an element not noted by Wilson publicly?
There are multiple ironies here, as I pointed out to Tom Ascol yesterday.
First, Google is a private business and is not required to carry any application it doesn’t want to carry. In other words, it’s not a First Amendment issue, not in the least.
Second, I noted that all the sermons mentioned were hosted on YouTube, which is also a Google-owned and operated channel. I mean, if Doug wants people to look at the sermons, give them the YouTube links.
Which leads me to a point I didn’t make to Tom Ascol: It’s entirely possible that Doug’s application was canned not for the content (as he claimed) but because the app violates one/some of Google’s rules for applications and it has nothing to do with content. Since I am not an app developer myself, I can’t speculate on what that could be.
My personal opinion is that Doug Wilson is perpetually offended and I don’t believe him when he said he got a note from Google. Especially since the sermons are apparently still up on YouTube. Again, Just My Personal Opinion.
per your invitation to readers to contribute DW retrospectives, readers may find this
item, “Meet the Theonomists”
of interest. There is a section on “Christ Kirk” titled “Spaceship Moscow”. I think this is a fine piece of writing and the author appears very well informed on the subject.
From my reading about CC (which is a bit dated now; after I departed the evangelical thought collective I felt less keenly interested in the cutting edges of the pathologies of the movement and paid less attention [I interpreted them to be Romans 1 style “wrath of God” and reckoned if that if God were giving them over to darkened understanding, I may as well consent to that — I admit that’s a cynical “take”; OTOH the reality is that these people tend to be immune to feedback, so my interest accomplishes little]), it had a reputation for pretty heavy-handed control of the flock. Mobile devices can report location data and could serve “control” agendas if upgraded (a Dr Who shout-out; be upgraded or exterminated) with suitable apps.
@Dee – I believe you are absolutely correct. We need to stand up for the right of others to express their opinions even though we don’t agree with them. Others those holding the power can continue to chip away until only we are left and there is not support. I’m sure you remember the saying – this is a free translation – something to the effect that “they came for the Jews, but I wasn’t a Jew so I didn’t say anything. They came for the Catholics and I wasn’t a Catholic so I didn’t say anything. And then they came for me and there was no one else to join me in the fight.” I find this hypocritical that attempts are being made to force cake bakers and other artists to support ideas they cannot in good conscience and quite a ruckus is raised. But these companies can do pretty much the same thing from the other side. I appreciate your post.
Topic-adjacent: a radically alternative view to what I think DW prefers, which is relaxation of the “distancing” restrictions.
The gist is that stronger and earlier restrictions are better, because they prevent the problem from becoming large in the first place and permit sooner relaxation while simultaneously continuing to pursue containment. This is more or less what the Chinese appear to have done (provided that one can trust their current reported numbers — new daily cases in the low 3 digits and new deaths in single digits.)
Since you asked, for me it is a mark of intellectual honesty if someone is willing to defend speech that is really offensive to themselves. This seems to qualify and you, Dee are unsurprisingly, honest.
I absolutely agree that it’s troubling what Google did. I think Doug Wilson is a buffoom of the highest order, but I will fight for his right to express his opinions just as much as I will fight for mine. That is what this country is all about.
This issue will only get hotter in the coming days as cyberspace platforms attempt to police content, in lieu of federal intervention. IMO, FCC (or a new agency) will eventually be prompted by national leadership to step away from its primary position of net neutrality and bring down the hammer on Internet weirdos. In my understanding of this, FCC currently has no authority to regulate any Internet provider’s network. “If” this were to change … when it comes to “religious” material, the problem will be who will judge the message and who will determine if it is weird or not. Will the powers-that-be put someone in charge who is “spiritually” competent enough to sort out truth from error? How will they categorize the good, the bad, and the ugly. What theological flavor will those in charge of the purging be? What agenda will they have? Would Doug Wilson pass the test?
Considering the source – which (he) is not always honest, forthcoming. Ex.: past issues of plagiarism, accuracy of history, etc. Faith in God is not an excuse for making things up, bending the truth, bullying, etc.
Along with everyone else here (so far), I find Doug Wilson to be a…well…donkeyhat might be the most polite term I can use. It is a failing of mine, and I beg forgiveness.
That said, I also hold in tension two things – one, Google is a private platform. It can host what it wants, but 2, it holds enormous power in public trust and as such, should not be restricting what Doug Wilson.
I do wonder, as Muslin pointed out, that since his sermons are still on YouTube that DW might doth protest too much, as it would seem awfully disingenuous of Big Google to slap down DW in one area of its platform but not the other.
You went exactly where I was trying to go. So, as an experiment, I found and installed the ChristKirk app on my work iPhone to see what it would do. (Why yes, you made me get up on my day off, find and turn on my iPhone to see if the app was available in the App Store. It was. Normally, when we’re on paid time off, we can turn off our phones because we’re not backup oncall.)
First of all, it’s NOT a homegrown app. ChristKirk has basically gotten an app from Subsplash, which is a white-label developer of church apps. This actually is important. It’s doubtful that Subsplash would/could put something on Apple’s App Store that was harmful in that way. Apple’s App Store has a reputation as being a “walled garden,” more difficult to get into. So it’s not the app that’s the problem.
The problem is the attitude that Doug Wilson and Christ Kirk have towards all sorts of things, starting and ending with authority. Basically, Doug is like so many leaders among the extreme Calvinistas–he doesn’t want ANYONE telling him what to do. He’s Lord and King over his church, and he resents being told by the governor, the mayor and the city council what to do. He’s not the only one in this bunch who is doing this–the “church”/cult that was meeting in my neighborhood up and moved 36 miles away to northwest Phoenix so it could continue meeting after its (possibly former) landlord was apparently uninterested in turning its building into a coronavirus Petri dish. The guys who run that “church”/cult have expressed some respect and admiration for Doug Wilson in the past.
Now, do I think Google did wrong here? Nope. I do not. The Google Play store is not an arm of government. Google is not required to accept or keep apps on the Play store. Just doing a very cursory search in the news found that Google removed 600 apps in February over annoying ads in the apps. (Annoying: Full screen ads popping up when you’re trying to unlock your phone or make a call.) This week, Google removed 49 apps that were stealing crypto wallet keys. So apps get removed for all sorts of reasons.
I did go and look at Google’s policy regarding inappropriate content, which can be found here:
I would note that Alex Jones’ Infowars app was also banned from the Google Play store late last month for apparently violating this requirement.
I took a cursory look at the recent sermons on the ChristKirk app. I noted that in addition to the sermons, apparently Doug Wilson is posting a “COVID Catechism.” And I also see that Toby Sumpter preached “A Message for the Mayor and City Council of Moscow” last night. I didn’t listen to it, but I went over to YouTube (a fully owned and operated subsidiary of Google, I might add) and pulled open the transcript to see what Sumpter is saying.
Basically, Sumpter is questioning the wisdom of shutting down the city in order to protect from the spread of the coronavirus. He bashes the models used to predict issues, goes into a spiel about relativism, hints broadly that relativism is at the heart of what’s going on here with the shutdown, then proceeds to bash science in general and evolution in particular. Then he launches into a liberty argument, quotes from the Declaration of Independence, recaps the Ten Commandments, asks why they believe the science over COVID-19 but don’t believe abortion is the killing of a baby, and in general just makes it clear that they don’t agree with the city leaders, despite, at the beginning, kinda sorta paying lip service to the notion of magistrates being in authority.
So yeah, if you look at Google’s requirements, I’d say that Christ Kirk stepped over the line.
I’d also note that Google is NOT out there looking for apps to remove. They have 3 million apps on the Play store. One of the complaints about the Play store is that, unlike the “walled garden” of the Apple App Store, Google approves of too many apps that are obnoxious, steal information, are pretty much useless, etc., etc., and then it has to remove apps en masse (see above for the 600 apps removed in February for having obnoxious ad screens). No, someone (or a lot of people) reported the app to Google.
I just want to reiterate again that Google is not required to give a platform to Christ Kirk. Google is not a governmental entity. When you use someone else’s service, you have to abide by the terms of their service, and Google has made it clear it’s not in the mood to host an app promoting a position it has deemed as “lacking sensitivity” etc. It’s not a First Amendment issue. Doug can host all these things on his own website. He has no right to badger Google into letting him use their platform to promote his own special brand of crazy.
Now I’m going to turn off my iPhone because just while having it on to download the Christ Kirk app and write about it, I got a page for an issue and frankly, I’m going to enjoy four days off without having my phone sounding off at me at me because something got broken.
Muslin, fka Dee Holmes,
I am so impressed with your research into this. Thank you. Want a job?
It seems like this issue is related to the recent controveries over bakers refusing to bake certain types of cakes.
No, I don’t believe it is related. Remember, the Google Play store is private. It is not required to take any application. It could decide tomorrow, for example, that it is not going to have a kids’ application section because they’ve had issues with app makers stealing kids’ information in contravention of law, inappropriate content, or it’s just too hard to police in general. (This popped up in my head because I read an article about kids voting down an app used by teachers in this time to assign homework in an effort to get it removed from the Play store. It didn’t work.) That, in my mind, would be economic suicide, because it’s my understanding that kids apps are a huge chunk of what Google Play. But it’s always possible.
Again, I want to point out the irony of Doug and Christ Kirk complaining about this when their sermons are still quite available on YouTube. That is all.
Ken F (aka Tweed),
Alternatively, Google might regard incitement to defy public health advisories to be an existential threat (see the discussion of “tail risk” in the Automatic Earth item I linked above) to its business model — that model requiring a healthy and vibrant population of content consumers — and wants to suppress such viewpoints in its own corporate interest. It might just be “business”.
This doesn’t offend me.
Now, Covidien purchasing a developer of low cost ventilators (working on contract for the US govt to build the strategic pandemic stockpile) and then shutting down the project — that offends me.
To put it another way, Google (motto: “Don’t be evil”, which I’m confident that it usually lives up to) might be working in the public interest in this case, the adversaries in effect asserting “Don’t be live”.
The distribution of pandemic outcomes is a “fat-tailed” distribution. Conventional cost-benefit analyses don’t work when you cannot reliably quantify one side of the equation.
That should, of course, be “not confident”. What it is with me and skipped negatives?
Not related in the sense of there being a direct connection. Rather, related by similarity. In both cases a private company allegedly refused to provide a service that violated a standard of that private company.
I completely agree. What surprised me was the amount of court fights over business decisons by cake bakers. How is Google different, other than arguably being a near-monopoly?
The big issue here is that Google is effectively a monopoly. If it can do this to Doug, it can do this to sane content. There are significant problems here.
Progressives, — and I am NOT a conservative — recoil in horror when I opine that the courts have over-stepped their bounds when they order small business people to violate their religious mores.
I lean in this direction too. It’s amusing to find DW basically raising the same objections as a group of people (the would-be cake buyers offended at the religious scruples of the owners of some bakeries) he vehemently criticizes in other contexts.
But there is a case to be made that Google is too powerful. The solution IMO is not to force Google to host viewpoints it doesn’t like, but to apply antitrust law (some of which might need to be re-legislated; there has been a lot of deregulation in recent decades) with the kind of vigor with which it was applied prior to the neoliberal (“unfettered markets know best”) takeover of government policy that has been ongoing for decades.
This has brought up something that I have been talking with my friends with this week over Skype: how do we eventually return to a place where our churches will physically meet once again without those meetings being epidemiologically unsafe? My best friend told the recent pre-Easter story of how his church just crashed its public reputation with a thunderous crash. He is an elder at a church in the southeast greater Phoenix area. The church is big because of the charisma and speaking ability of the head pastor.
Two weeks before Easter this pastor preached (online) a sermon about how the Sunday morning service had become an idol to many in attendance and repentance means that they need to make some changes so that that stops being one any longer. My elder friend agreed with what was said. However some of the people were very unhappy with no physical meeting, being lonely and socially isolated, especially for Easter, and began to pressure the head pastor to have one that could be considered safe. Their property includes a park like area, so he decided to move the service outdoors, place the chairs apart for social distancing guidelines and go overboard on security and cleanliness for their bathrooms. He tried to bend over backwards to figure out a way to safely do this with a compromise.
However, this did not sit well with my elder friend at all so he communicated with the pastor that he was making a big mistake as what he was doing was the exact opposite of the message he had just delivered a few days before. So he was strongly opposed to the idea and what happened next showed just how right he was. The physical meeting made national news and the worst was assumed by the press and reported by it. The attempt at compromise was not reported, only the fact that they wanted to meet physically. This resulted in a firestorm of death threats left on the churches phone recordings and people vandalizing the churches social media websites, leaving the most rude and disgusting threats with great paranoia. The church’s reputation, which my friend was going there because of their outreach programs into the neighborhood, crashed like a meteor. The pastor called the whole thing off as it looked like any physical meetings were now going to be unsafe, more due to threats of violence from outsiders than the virus itself.
The next day I talked to another friend who is a director in an international Christian ministry. I told him this story and he told me the point of view he had heard from famous preacher Rodney Howard-Browne. This man had tried to do a similar compromise, spending considerable money on tech to rid the air in his church of pathogens and change the seating inside, and the way people were greeted so that a physical meeting could happen that would be safe enough with social distancing. But the national press did not report those things, just that physical meetings would be occurring, and the same result happened with death threats and a firestorm of ugly comments on his church’s social media websites. He too has backed down more from public response than from governmental bullying.
Now, just as Dee said, I am not defending Rodney. I agree with a comment Warren Throckmorton left on his blog that Rodney was likely doing this because he needs to be the center of attention and narcissists in ministry hate losing their live audiences. However, for everyone here who has been going to a physical meeting somewhere, how is that going to happen in the future and when? There is no guarantee that the current threat will ever disappear. The original SARS virus had a 60% mortality rate. Even if we get this new version under control there is going to be fear that lingers and the way we have been doing business in this country is not epidemiologically safe. It has never been safe, which is why the Spanish flu killed so many people.
Our churches are following business practices for that is what we have made them with our own idolatry. Businesses of all types must change, and quickly, to become safer with permanent social distancing guidelines as a readiness for the next pandemic, which will be more deadly than this one. Churches will follow suit instead of lead the way in this. Will they ever be able to meet again without the public shaming, death threats and vile abusive comments left on social media? The church must change and that idolatry of the service must go away. We must stop merely going to church and must take our place as priests who are The Church.
Some news sources are starting to report on this point I brought up like this one in regards to the politics behind it: https://www.foxnews.com/us/california-coronavirus-newsom-churches-sue-lawsuit-stay-at-home-order-social-distancing-first-amendment
From my daily devotion, What does God’s love look like? as described by God Himself in Mal. 1:2,
“‘I have loved you,’ says the Lord.
‘But you ask, “How have you loved us?”
‘Was not Esau Jacob’s brother?’ declares the Lord. ‘Yet I have loved Jacob, but Esau I have hated, and I have turned his hill country into a wasteland and left his inheritance to the desert jackals.’
Edom may say, ‘Though we have been crushed, we will rebuild the ruins.’
But this is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘They may build, but I will demolish. They will be called the Wicked Land, a people always under the wrath of the Lord. You will see it with your own eyes and say, “Great is the Lord—even beyond the borders of Israel!”
“A son honors his father, and a slave his master. If I am a father, where is the honor due me? If I am a master, where is the respect due me?” says the Lord Almighty.
‘It is you priests who show contempt for my name.
‘But you ask, “How have we shown contempt for your name?”
‘By offering defiled food on my altar.
‘But you ask, “How have we defiled you?”
‘By saying that the Lord’s table is contemptible. When you offer blind animals for sacrifice, is that not wrong? When you sacrifice lame or diseased animals, is that not wrong? Try offering them to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you?’ says the Lord Almighty.
‘Now plead with God to be gracious to us. With such offerings from your hands, will he accept you?’—says the Lord Almighty.
‘Oh, that one of you would shut the temple doors, so that you would not light useless fires on my altar! I am not pleased with you,’ says the Lord Almighty, ‘and I will accept no offering from your hands. My name will be great among the nations, from where the sun rises to where it sets. In every place incense and pure offerings will be brought to me, because my name will be great among the nations,’ says the Lord Almighty.”
‘But you profane it by saying, “The Lord’s table is defiled,” and, “Its food is contemptible.” And you say, “What a burden!” and you sniff at it contemptuously,’ says the Lord Almighty.
‘When you bring injured, lame or diseased animals and offer them as sacrifices, should I accept them from your hands?’ says the Lord. ‘Cursed is the cheat who has an acceptable male in his flock and vows to give it, but then sacrifices a blemished animal to the Lord. For I am a great king,’ says the Lord Almighty, ‘and my name is to be feared among the nations.'”
My questions for the day: “Does God love us today enough to tell us plainly what we are doing that is displeasing and disrespectful to Him?” “In what ways are our priests today showing contempt for God?” “If we are called a nation of priests in the N.T. are we the ones showing Him contempt?” “What kind of offerings do we bring when we used to go to physical churches?” “Is God pleased with them?” “Are we offering to God what He requests or a cheap substitute that the tax man would balk at?” “Has God shuttered our services all over the world simply because He is displeased with them?” “Do we want the Lord’s name to be feared among the nations or is He a powder puff?”
Doug may be assuming he’s so important that Google sought him out for persecution.
And yet anybody can report anything online as offensive, illegal, spam, etc.
There’s always a shortage of moderators, or so we hear.
Keyword algorithms take down salacious content along with medical information.
“Review bombing” can result in apps being booted from online stores. (South Korean students resisted distance learning by posting one-star reviews of their educational platform on the Apple Store.)
So maybe this wasn’t a clash of titans between the almighty Doug and the code-named “people in the Bay Area.”
This one-thousand times.
I could go on, but I’d find myself in time-out (customs) for another spell.
So it’s best for all concerned to just let it go.
And I will remind you that if private businesses could do that based on religious reasons, more than a few would go back to discriminating against women and people of color based on their religious beliefs. You can call them “not Christian,” but they see themselves as Christian.
Sometimes, to be a part of a functioning society, you have to give up your rights. As much as I would LOVE to blast REALLY LOUD music after 9 pm, I can’t, because I respect my neighbors’ right to peaceable enjoyment. And I put up with the kid next door practicing his saxophone during the day (since school is out) because he needs to practice and school isn’t open. That doesn’t mean I don’t wince sometimes. And then I hope the people I’m working with on the phone aren’t hearing this.
People have to realize that it’s not all about MUH RAHTS.
Coast to coast, “government schools” are closed. This ought to suggest that covid-19 is not a conspiracy to silence holy men like Doug Wilson.
I’ve been shaking my head about the situation in Pennsylvania, where the governor accidentally restarted Prohibition by closing the state-monopoly liquor stores. Pennsylvanians have been mobbing liquor stores in neighboring states. Now they are banned from buying booze in parts of Ohio, West Virginia, and Delaware. As the descendant of Women’s Christian Temperance Union activists, I cannot see this as a premeditated assault on rights. It is just a set of decisions made under huge pressure, sometimes with good scientific advice and sometimes not.
Is that fair?
I guess it’s as fair as any private business being able to decide who they will do business with.
“A monopoly” is another issue.
The cake baking and flower lawsuits were brought initially by the gay community and involved government entities applying “non-discrimination” laws. There does appear to be a greater propensity of the gay community to sue over such things than Christians. In the cases I am aware of, gay customers weren’t being refused service anyway. They were just asking for products that those entities didn’t make, such as gay wedding cakes or gay wedding floral arrangements. They could have purchased anything else.
“This exemption from standard libel law is extremely valuable to the companies that enjoy its protection, such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter, but they only got it because it was assumed that they would operate as impartial, open channels of communication—not curators of acceptable opinion.”
My son in CO said it was decided there that liquor stores and marijuana dispensaries were “essential” businesses, and people “freaked out” at the idea of them closing!
As usual, Lydia has linked to a brilliant article. Everyone should read it, and it’s short.
Fascinating article, but there’s a switcheroo in the notion that “it was assumed that [companies] would operate as impartial, open channels of communication—not curators of acceptable opinion.” Communication implies a utility and/or information, and reliability—rather important things during a worldwide pandemic.
The “acceptable opinion” phrase implies that the huge platforms squelch one point of view. I think they are far more random, often disastrous product developers. Google is still tagging photos of African Americans as gorillas; that’s not viewpoint discrimination.
Restaurants here in California are allowed to deliver liquor with your dinner. I’m not Carrie Nation, but coming from a family of alcoholics and drug users, I don’t see it as a positive at all. The dispensaries here also deliver.
I might as well be, lol. My belief is that it is currently labeled a necessity because of the failures of Prohibition.
Here’s a brand-new guideline against drinking alcohol during the pandemic: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/15/drinking-alcohol-can-make-the-coronavirus-worse-the-who-says-in-recommending-restricting-access.html
Drinking alcohol can increase the risk of catching Covid-19 and make it worse if you do get it, the World Health Organization said, recommending that government leaders around the world limit access to alcohol during coronavirus lockdowns.
… Alcohol consumption is associated with a number of communicable and noncommunicable diseases that can make a person more vulnerable to contracting Covid-19. It can also exacerbate mental health issues and risk-taking behavior and stoke violence, especially in countries that have implemented social distancing measures that largely keep the population quarantined in their homes.
The WHO also published a fact sheet dispelling the “dangerous myth that consuming high-strength alcohol can kill” the coronavirus.
Wow, using gin to disinfect the body from the inside…!
Does Doug Wilson allow people whom he disagrees with to preach at his church or post comments/ content on his website?
Great seeing you back Lyds!
As you can see by my upstream comment about cakes and coercian, I’ve adopted a somewhat libertarian view regarding the same.
This is an overly broad statement and factually incorrect concerning the first lawsuit that got National news coverage.
Happened in my neck of the woods. Might want to check out this:
Alcohol sales have skyrocketed nationwide during the pandemic … and it’s not only grain alcohol for making hand sanitizer. Our populace will still party when all Hell breaks loose.
“Before the great flood everyone was carrying on as usual, having a good time right up to the day Noah boarded the ark. They knew nothing — until the flood hit and swept everything away.” (Matthew 24:38)
Little pulpit kings function in their church kingdoms as god’s chosen lord(s) – setting their own rules and bristling at what they perceive as infringement by others. Too bad their focus is their personal power trip instead of using their authority to clean house, banish predators, and save children’s lives. Pulpit kings waste power & opportunity for greater good – their power trip is all for naught.
Sales are indeed up, but many bars and restaurants are closed, so people can only drink at home. In some states, people can newly get alcohol with takeout food. Folks are stockpiling alcohol, not necessarily drinking much more.
Google is banned in a number of countries. Also, in some countries, Google prohibits access to some of its platforms or services.
Online services are more [country or continent] regional than ubiquitous.
Not in a billion years! He’s the boss of his fiefdom.
There’s been a pastor down in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, who has been holding church in defiance of stay at home orders. Well, apparently the inevitable happened. One of Tony Spell’s elderly members died of coronavirus. When Spell was contacted by the press, he said they were lying.
And then it turned out that Spell’s attorney, one Jeff Wittenbrink, who had been out to the church on a number of occasions, has been sick with coronavirus, had spent time in a hospital and was now on oxygen (it’s unclear as to whether he is still hospitalized).
On Monday, Spell also claimed that he had 1,200 people for church on Easter, but the cops were out there and counted people. The cops said he had around 500 people spread across two services.
While there is an order in place where the state can shut down meetings of more than 50+ people, the local police chief was clear he didn’t want to enter the church, so as to not put his officers at risk of catching coronavirus. Now that we know two people associated with the church were sick, and one has died, it wouldn’t surprise me to find out there are more sick people, and the chief was wise not to seek a confrontation.
Regarding purchases of alcohol, my brother and I discussed getting some Everclear and other ingredients to make hand sanitizer when I was having to go into the command center to work. Since I started working from home five weeks ago (omg it really has been five weeks), we’ve not had to resort to that, but instead have made use of good old soap and water. That said, he was so pleased when he scored a 12-pack of toilet paper earlier this week, he texted me. (For the record, I live six miles away, but I’m my mother’s alternate caretaker and we have a plan where I would move in with my computers, monitors and other stuff in case mom or my brother gets sick. If I get sick, I get to isolate myself with my cat. I stop by there every couple of days anyway to see them.)
I’m really wondering what’s going to happen in the future. I know there’s a real desire to open the country up again, but with no vaccine and no guarantee yet that recovering from coronavirus has a prophylactic effect, I’m not sure how that’s going to play out. There has been almost a 180 regarding work at home at my evil too big to fail employer. Prior to the second week in March, it was full speed ahead with a plan to consolidate workplaces and ask people who worked at small sites to either pick up and move to a larger site (which could also necessitate moving cities or states) or they’d have to find another job. Those people had to make up their minds by April 15.
But, as I said, that changed the second week in March. First it was, “if you are sick or have a preexisting condition, go home.” So I went, due to preexisting conditions. Then the next week, everyone else who could was pushed out of the command center to home. Then management got laptops for those people in the command center who normally worked from fixed desktops and they went home.
Over the last few weeks, a lot of people who would have normally worked in a call center or other close-in working conditions have been sent home with laptops, and more are being sent home every day. We’re talking about thousands upon thousands of laptops and headsets being purchased and deployed. Obviously you can’t send home the people who work in the cash vaults, directly with the equipment, or in some other areas, but where it can be done, people are being given laptops and headsets and sent home to work. Even some branches are closed, other branches only have drive throughs open, and other branches, you have to use an appointment tool to set up time with a banker at a branch so they can practice social distancing.
I’m telling you, this is a serious 180 from “everyone must work in the office because the synergies are better” of not even six weeks ago. And a lot of money has been spent to get people moved out of the offices. And that “you must decide by April 15” has been pushed back to July 15. I wonder if it’s going to just disappear by then.
If this is a matter of public safety, Google has their own liability to be concerned with, perhaps? I’m not tending to put much faith in Doug Wilson as far as how he is reporting this. He’s a disingenuous man, a manipulator, and a lover of controversy.
Bing, startpage, duckduckgo… there are others
If there is any judgement it is the removal of the faithful congregation from the wayward pastor.
How can people be so mean to poor Doug?
Don’t you know that – according to John Piper – he gets the gospel.
(Chuckling) Oh My! Well, I suppose part of the answer depends on how you define “gospel”.
In Richmond,Virginia, yesterday, a picnic took place to protest stay-at-home orders. A 54-year-old American man explained:
Nesbitt said if the elderly are more vulnerable, it doesn’t make sense to shut down the entire economy to save them. “If we can ask young men to go to the desert . . . to die for America, why can’t we risk old people?” Nesbitt said. “Because this country will be flattened if people aren’t allowed to make an income and feed themselves.”
It is not clear whether Nesbitt’s mother is proud.
Muslin, fka Dee Holmes,
TS’ pre-occupation with “numbers” seems to resemble David’s in a moment of hubris (2 Sam 24:1)
“Folly” is a self-limiting condition. Unfortunately, there are spill-over effects.
If TS had the heart of King David, he would be appalled by the angel standing with a sword outstretched over his congregation, and would lament that “these are only sheep — the guilt is mine”.
Somehow I don’t expect that to happen.
Piper was really saying “He gets Calvinism.”
Muslin, fka Dee Holmes,
I think that TS’ church, “Life Tabernacle,” may be misnamed.
Everyone knows that viruses are not actually alive.
I expect to see boxes of alcohol and mountains of toilet paper lining the walls of garages if/when I can start doing garage sales again looking for vintage fishing items that I collect.
“Nanny Nanny Nah Nah! I can’t hear you.”
Actually, that is up for debate in biology.
Thank you for making me laugh this morning.
Article says Tony Spell is asking people to donate their stimulus checks to evangelists, including himself:
“On Wednesday, Spell urged Americans to donate their coronavirus stimulus checks to American evangelists including himself, posting a video to YouTube asking for the money and attempting to popularize the hashtag #PastorSpellStimulusChallenge.
“I’m donating my entire stimulus, $1,200,” Spell said. “My wife is donating her stimulus, $1,200. My son is donating his stimulus, $600.””
Does he have any understanding of why people NEED their stimulus checks??
Thank you for both the laugh and the reference. Doug Wilson reminds me of the Captain Kirk. Hit first, ask questions later.
This is an interesting topic to me. Dee Homes is correct. Google is a private company and is not required to post anyone’s thoughts in theory. On the other hand, what happens when a company becomes so powerful that it become a basic necessity? I have often joked with my husband that Google and Amazon combined will be the SKYNET of the future (for all Terminator fans.)
I have a feeling how my business professors would have answered this. If a powerful company steps on too many toes, a new company will rise out of the ashes and give it a run for their money. However, is that possible in this case? When I was nine business Schoo, this stuff was in its infancy. I would love to go back and see how they would answer now.
I struggled to be honest in this case, if truth be told. Over the last 5 years. or so, I’ve seen a tendency to try to restrict the expression of others if they don’t agree with the current acceptable expression. Just the other day I heard from a friend who offered an opinion on the current pandemic which apparently was not acceptable within his group of friends. I disagreed with his thought but was not happy with the way his thoughts were handled on a larger scale.
I used to love politics. I enjoyed the debates on issues. It has changed drastically over the last decade.Now, you are Satan if you don’t see it certain way. And that is on all of those on both(or more) sides of the issue.
I lost one friend who found out who I voted for. I lost another friend who voted the same was but became angry and unreasonable because I wanted to be friends with those who voted differently.
You asked so many difficult questions.You obviously seem what I am seeing in this instance. It has become so complicated.
He is an example of the arrogance that I see amongst this group whom I have labeled Calvinistas. They are warriors for their limited doctrine more so that they are Christians that understand they are members of the broader church. None of us live up to their arrogant take on being the right kind of Christian.
Agreed. Wilson loves the attention.
Yeah, sometimes I praise the Lord for free speech and freedom of the press … other times, I want to cuss! Then I’m reminded “Praise and curses come from the same mouth. My brothers and sisters, this should not happen!” (James 3:10)
I studied monopolies which getting my MBA. The thing that impressed me about monopolies is this. If they get too out of line, other services will rise up to compete and will do so effectively. However, that presupposes that a significant number of people become fed up and demand more.
Investopedia has a good section on monopolies as well as monodies which failed. https://www.investopedia.com/insights/history-of-us-monopolies/
I listened to the governor discuss this. Take liquor stores. He said that substance abuse groups were concerned that alcoholics would go into a tailspin of detoxing and flood the local hospital Eds in withdrawal. I hadn’t considered that. What say you?
The problem with stopping liquor sales is the possibility of a bunch of people going into withdrawal and flooding the emergency rooms. This is what the governor of Colorado said.
You wanted these so here are Catholic churches allowing masses of up to 5 people! I wonder what kind of death threats they will receive? How simply dreadful! https://www.foxnews.com/us/new-mexico-diocese-mass-coronavirus
Great comment! This applies to Google which is a private concern. However, it is more concerning with Google than someone like Doug Wilson who few people give a hoot about!
Many people think the same way.
Good for you for remembering this. Piper also said the same thing about Mark Driscoll…which says a lot about Piper.
You guys are making me laugh!!!
Once again, I’m laughing!!!
The barriers to entry of competitors are very high. “First mover” advantage is a real thing and the effect is probably getting stronger with the passage of time.
Maybe antitrust law will come back into vogue. The ability of powerful industry-dominating firms to quash innovation by purchasing start-ups in order to suppress their new products has been an issue for a while. The Covidien / Newport fiasco (“inexpensive ventilators for national stockpile” project terminated after the innovator was acquired) may rouse enough attention and outrage to focus our rulers’ minds on a real problem.
He said the same thing about Driscoll and has never retracted it. Being Piper means you never have to say you’re wrong.
believing that God has from eternity past decreed your every thought and action could lead one to a sense of infallibity (it doesn’t have to, but in people who are already predisposed to narcissism, I can well believe that it does). And perhaps it could deter self-examination and admission that one has indeed from time to time “missed the mark”. But that doesn’t seem to extend into a degree of patience toward others with whom one disagrees, whose thoughts and actions are equally pre-determined.
Paul put it succinctly in Romans 9: “why does He still blame us?”
But it does require getting on your knees once a day to remind yourself you are not God:
It depends hugely upon what you (generic you) mean by ‘Gospel’.
Google dropped the motto.
I’ve been a Christian for 70+ years and never had to remind myself of that! I suppose when you act like the final authority on everything spiritual, you get to thinking that way. But it only takes 10 seconds or so to get over it, I guess.
That’s because Driscoll did a LOT to put New Calvinism on the map. The new reformers stick together to the bitter end, holding on to their black sheep until their transgressions cry out against them (Driscoll, Mahaney, MacDonald, etc). Piper may not have agreed with Driscoll’s potty-mouth preaching style, but he must have been thankful for his tremendous contribution to the movement. I suppose the New Calvinist elite justify occasional bad behavior within their tribe, if it’s for the greater good of the new reformation. Sick.
Wow! The Piperites are going to be very disappointed to learn that!
Actually I think God is going to be disappointed. 😉
What kind of person has to remind himself he isn’t God. Wow.
My grandma, the one who grew up in Hitler’s Germany, says the same thing, that it reminds her of German politics when she was a teenager. Personally speaking, that worries me more than COVID—19.
What ever happened to Markie after fleeing to his own Paraguay (Arizona) of sorts?
Maybe Muslin can apprise us.
He’s still running his little cult up in Scottsdale. Oh and doing things with his benefactors from Texas.
Strange little men who live in theological towers built on shifting sands (Piper, Mohler, etc.).
You guys act like you never read Matthew :
“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.
6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.
8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”
These megachurches go against this very simple precept. So do all the Calvinists, the Orthodox, the Catholics. Do you religious duties, whatever they may be to you, IN PRIVATE where no one can see or hear you. No chance of spreading any plague, of which there were plenty in the time of the prophets. No chance of anyone mistaking what you pray for. Just you and G-d.
I personally prefer to be alone or with a few friends in nature, deep woods, rocks, nature. You do You, and leave me alone!
… and still doing his macho-man thing … this time as a guest speaker in Assembly of God ranks (a new market segment for Driscoll).
You don’t really believe this, because if you did you would 1) avoid this site and 2) not chastise anyone here. You would simply let everyone be themselves, even if the way they do “you do you” is different from yours. If you feel like people here are not leaving you alone the problem is with you because you chose to get bothered by people being themselves.
“…such as gay wedding cakes or gay wedding floral arrangements.”
Oh, come on. What’s the difference between a cake for Bob and Ted and a cake for Dolores and Ted? Absurd disrespect for people not identical to people like the baker. Same for floral arrangement for Bob and Ted vrs Dolores and Ted. Same flour, and butter, roses or lilies.
There is no such thing as a gay wedding cake — cake is cake, flowers are flowers. Putting Bob on the cake with Ted isn’t going to send anyone to Hell…
In my small home town I went to high school with a guy who sang in the chorus, and worked hard at dance. Now he has been teaching dance in town for… lemme think … nearly 50 years now. I don’t know if he’s gay, partly because I left that little town 45 years ago, partly because I don’t care, none of my business.
People who love theater, love flower arranging, love baking cakes, some of those people are gay, some are not — who cares? God will sort out good people from bad people, and some folks are going to be surprised with how that works out.
My money is with the gay former combat medic who saved my wife’s life in the MICU 9 years ago. He no doubt has saved more lives that most people commenting on this well organized blog. She was on a vent for more than 3 weeks, and it took 3 days to wean her to breathing on her own. Now we are staying on our little farm to avoid a new plague.
You all take care, stay safe, be healthy!
At the risk of upsetting anyone, can I just point out that this is funny:
“I’M SILENTLY PRAYING IN THE FOREST, CONSISTENT WITH MATTHEW 6:1-3.”
The Cause So Righteous it justfies any atrocity whatsoever.
Like two centuries of Revolutions from Paris to Phnom Penh.
A little, little man with a BIG, BIG Ego.
Colorado has that many “alcohol-based life-forms”?
If not Bo & Peep behind Hale-Bopp.
I believe it was Kipling who coined the term “Little Tin Gods”.
Well, add alcohol withdrawal to the thousand things that could overwhelm a hospital under strain. Here’s an interactive map that shows how hospitals can be engulfed, depending on the percentage of covid-19 patients needing a hospital bed at a given time:
As I mentioned above, my brother and I had a serious discussion about making hand sanitizer out of Everclear at the beginning of March. Neither of us drink. I also remember a vodka maker from Austin (Tito’s) had to tell people that no, their 80 proof vodka was not strong enough to be a sanitizer after someone posted a recipe on how to make sanitizer.
And yeah there are some people who think that any time is drink o’clock, wine o’clock and beer o’clock. So there is that as well. We joke about it at work when things get stressful. (Y’all get *weird* when you can’t get access to your bank accounts. Just saying.)
And look what the complacent churches did during that Nazi era?
I don’t think that Jesus ever meant to ban all prayer in public, or prayer with other believers. He prayed in public many times, after all. His commands here, as far as I can see, were to warn us not to pray in order to be seen — that is, with the intention of showing off our piety.
I got the impression he was speaking of the churches that try to make you believe you must be there in person in order to worship God, and in the way they prescribe, not of this site. But maybe I am mistaken?
Does the picture of the Cone Nebula at the top of the post remind anyone else of Cookie Monster?
Wartburgers will be relieved (if not surprised) to know that I never have to remind Myself about this sort of thing.
Never mind drinking holidays like St Patty’s and Cinco de Drinko…
Here is a source for all things Douglas Wilson. Buckle your seatbelts.
Guy’s a real piece of work, ain’t he?
(But then if you’ve been around this blog, you already knew that.)