We have already had a man shoot another man here in Albuquerque over the mask mandate. I saw CH. 13 doing a report last night on people who are exercising in the parks of Albuquerque not wearing a mask. I will tell you this I cannot wear a mask when I run my 3 miles everyday, nobody is around me anyhow. I had a Pastor tell me the state showed up at his Church because of a complaint of people not wearing masks. I continue to pray for the good health of everybody, Sharon and Gretchen are on the front lines, as many of your loved ones.
Our hearts go out to all the businesses hurting so much with this COVID shutdown. Yesterday we got curbside service at Garcia’s here in Taylor Ranch and the lovely lady came out to my car and she had her hopes up that the Governor would allow them to open up at 50%….sadly that did not happen in yesterdays COVID Update.. Over 200 restaurants have closed in the state for good. breaks my heart!
Governor MLG is out of touch with reality in New Mexico. She says we are not there yet with regard to everyone wearing bracelets to track our movements. Governor you are correct. We are not there yet and I’d bet we don’t get there.
This is America, we are free people and you or no one else should think that is a good thing as a leader and as our Governor to track every American everyday of our lives.
I think you have lost your credibility to lead.
I’m tired of your sarcastic remarks about southeast New Mexico and if you think your tired of us….we are really tired of you too.
You have not tried to understand and you are only acting as a dictator. You say your tired of watching small businesses die, then do something about it. Let’s figure it out, did it ever cross your mind that there might be a way to do both or is that more than you want to consider.
Dr, Jim Denison offers this perspective on the state of America:
Why are Americans so conflicted over the coronavirus pandemic?
Many school boards across the nation are debating with local health officials and parents over opening school this fall. Some universities are planning to reopen in-person classes, while others are not.
Some churches are holding in-person worship services while others are not. Some ministers see restrictions on such worship services as an infringement of our religious freedom while others do not. Debates are raging over various therapies and the propriety of receiving an eventual vaccine for COVID-19.
Meanwhile, bad news continues to mount. More than 1,400 coronavirus-related deaths were reported nationwide Wednesday, roughly one fatality for every minute of the day. The total number of confirmed cases has passed seventeen million as of this morning.
The US economy contracted by 9.5 percent last quarter in a record decline. The stock market fell more than two hundred points yesterday in response. The chair of the Federal Reserve has warned that the path of the economy depends on the path of the pandemic. And stimulus payments run out today as Congress cannot agree on next steps to provide economic assistance.
We might think that the worst pandemic and recession in a century would unite us in response, but the opposite seems to be the case. Why?
Explaining our “loose” culture
In an article for the Boston Globe, cultural psychologist and author Michele Gelfand writes: “The decentralized, defiant, do-it-your-own-way norms that make our country so entrepreneurial and creative also deepen our danger during the coronavirus pandemic. To fight this pandemic, we can’t just shift our resources; we have to shift our cultural patterns as well.”
In her view, our nation’s conflicted responses to the pandemic “reflect a broader cultural phenomenon. In a loose culture like the United States’s, people are simply not used to tightly coordinating their social action toward a common goal and, compared with other nations, we’re more ambivalent about sacrificing our freedom for strict rules that constrain our choices.”
Dr. Gelfand cites the US, Italy, and Brazil as examples of “looser cultures” which “have weaker rules and are much more permissive.” She contrasts them with Singapore, Austria, and China as “tight cultures” which have “many rules and punishments governing social behavior.”
The latter have “histories of famine, warfare, natural disasters, and, yes, pathogen outbreaks” and have learned the hard way that “tight rules and order saves lives.” Cultures that have faced few threats, such as the US, “have the luxury of remaining loose. They understandably prioritize freedom over constraint, and they are highly creative and open, but also more disorganized than their tight counterparts.”
She notes that the US shifted “from loose to tight” during World War II and believes we need to do so again by “temporarily sacrificing liberty for stricter rules” so we can “limit the damage from this disease.”
Two additional factors
Dr. Gelfand’s cultural analysis is both instructive and illuminating. As a philosopher, however, I would add a second dimension: The “tight” cultures she describes have been less influenced by the Western emphasis on the individual.
America’s founding document proclaims that “all men are created equal” with the individual right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” These values have been catalytic to the remarkable achievements and progress of our great nation.
However, since World War II, we have also been influenced by existentialism and postmodern relativism. As a result, we are a “post-truth” culture in which truth and meaning are found in our personal experience. “My truth” is not “your truth,” and vice versa.
As a theologian, I would add a third dimension: humans are infected with what Nietzsche called the “will to power.” Because of our fallen nature, we seek to be our own god (Genesis 3:5). This drive for personal power, expressed in a culture that centers on individual rights and happiness, produces the kind of “loose” culture Dr. Gelfand describes.
How does this discussion relate to masks, public worship services, and other pandemic issues that are highly controversial?
A guiding principle we need
Some in our “post-truth” culture question scientific arguments for masks and against treatments such as hydroxychloroquine. Our emphasis on individual liberty leads some to resist governmental authority regarding worship, school, and masks.
In the midst of this cultural conflict, Christians should adopt Jesus’ command to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39) as a guiding principle. Here’s how I understand this command to relate to the pandemic.
I always wear a mask whenever I am around non-family members. I am persuaded by the science that says masks protect others and myself, and I want to do nothing to harm my neighbor. If there is even a chance that not wearing a mask could infect others, I choose not to take that chance. And I choose not to give offense to my neighbor (cf. 1 Corinthians 10:32) who believes that my mask-wearing protects them.
In-person worship is more contextual. At the chapel where I preach on Sundays, we have chosen to offer virtual worship because we do not believe we can keep our “neighbor” safe at in-person gatherings. Your church may feel differently about your congregation and safety protocols. My point is that you should make loving your neighbor central to your decision.
In a “loose” culture driven by individualism and relativism, loving our neighbor as ourselves is a privilege that will make a greater difference than we can imagine, one life at a time.
Who are your neighbors today?
Pastors Must Lead in Pandemic Response by Asking Most Basic Questions about Authority and Law, Separation of Powers, Says American Pastors Network
Rohrer: ‘Only Lawmakers Have the Authority To Make Laws. Our Middle Schoolers Know This — But Do Their Parents? Do Their Pastors?’
PHILADELPHIA — As states experiencing increases in the number of patients testing positive for coronavirus, reprisals of mandates arising out of limited duration and questionable executive branch ‘emergency powers’ threaten to become the new normal. Although pockets of Americans continue to dispute the sweeping regulatory powers that non-legislative bodies are wielding, many are blindly yielding to these unlawful demands. Others are asking if resistance is possible or how it should be done.
Pastor and statesman Sam Rohrer says that’s because they’re asking the wrong question.
“The question each human being should start with precedes questions about the efficacy, consistency with medical science and basic truth regarding face masks, church and business closures or social distancing — although asking substantive questions about these policies will certainly illuminate whether mandating those measures is even justifiable.” Rohrer said.
Rohrer, a 9-term former Pennsylvania state representative and the president of the American Pastors Network (APN, www.americanpastorsnetwork.net), says Christians must find the courage to ask — out loud — the most basic questions about the source of civil authority in our American Constitutional Republic and about the foundational moral authority outlined in the Bible which undergirds the duties, extent and limitations of all civil authorities and the basic structure of our civil law.
“Any individual — man, woman or child — who wants to emerge from this pandemic with their health and freedoms intact must start by asking, Who or what is the source of authority behind civil orders or directives coming from civil authorities? Where does authority come from in this matter? What is the actual law? Christians know from the Bible that all authority is not merely ordained, (established, ranked and ordered) by God but subject to God — obligated to obey God, and will give account to God including acting in accordance with Natural Law.”
Conveniently, America’s federal and state governments were founded and designed specifically to ensure that elected and appointed officials recognize the existence of Revealed law, and the reality of sinful hearts which lead civil authority to become tyrannical and deceive themselves into believing they are the law.
“Separation of powers is one of the obvious and essential principles in recognizing the Rule of Law and preventing tyranny (exceeding lawful restraints),” Rohrer continued. “According to our Constitution, only lawmakers- the Legislative Branch – possesses the authority to make laws. The executive branch is intentionally restricted and therefore lacks this authority. Judges lack this authority. The power belongs exclusively to the legislative branch in all 50 states and in Washington, D.C.
“So-called ‘laws’ not passed through the constitutionally prescribed legislative system are therefore unlawful and illegitimate , regardless of what the executive or judicial branches say. . Most middle schoolers know this — but do their parents? Do their pastors? Do our government officials?”
Rohrer says the preservation of religious liberty hinges on whether America’s pastors will speak up and stand up against unlawful actions imposed on them — in disobedience to the highest civil laws of man and highest moral laws of God.
“The law is the law. Just law starts of necessity with Truth. When Truth is ignored or redefined and the proper lawmaking process is usurped or violated, it is our duty to morally and constitutionally resist that law or order and to seek a re-calibration to the truth and law,” Rohrer said. “We as pastors, teachers and defenders of the truth, are urging that our legislators and all people begin asking the right first questions: ‘What is the law?’ And ‘What is the authority behind the civil order or directive?’”
Rohrer, co-hosts, and guests explore topics like these on APN’s popular, live, daily radio program “Stand in the Gap Today.” Rohrer also hosts the daily short radio feature “Stand in the Gap Minute, and “best of” shows from the week are broadcast on “Stand in the Gap Weekend.” Likewise, “Stand in the Gap TV” considers transcending complex and divisive cultural issues, seemingly difficult to navigate, from a biblical worldview perspective.
View the media page for APN here. For more information on APN, visit www.AmericanPastorsNetwork.net, its Facebook page or follow APN’s Twitter feed, @AmericanPastors. For information about forming a state chapter of APN, contact email@example.com.