Daily Archives: October 1, 2020

(Politico) Americans Increasingly Believe Violence is Justified if the Other Side Wins

• Among Americans who identify as Democrat or Republican, 1 in 3 now believe that violence could be justified to advance their parties’ political goals—a substantial increase over the last three years.

• In September, 44 percent of Republicans and 41 percent of Democrats said there would be at least “a little” justification for violence if the other party’s nominee wins the election. Those figures are both up from June, when 35 percent of Republicans and 37 percent of Democrats expressed the same sentiment.

• Similarly, 36 percent of Republicans and 33 percent of Democrats said it is at least “a little” justified for their side “to use violence in advancing political goals”—up from 30 percent of both Republicans and Democrats in June.

• There has been an even larger increase in the share of both Democrats and Republicans who believe there would be either “a lot” or “a great deal” of justification for violence if their party were to lose in November. The share of Republicans seeing substantial justification for violence if their side loses jumped from 15 percent in June to 20 percent in September, while the share of Democrats jumped from 16 percent to 19 percent.

Read it all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Politics in General, Violence

(Local Paper) Governor McMaster plans to relax restrictions on South Carolina restaurants, lifting 50% occupancy limit

South Carolina restaurants will no longer be legally obliged to conform to social distancing restrictions designed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Gov. Henry McMaster announced Thursday.

Among the dining protocols that will be made optional by McMaster’s modification of his July 29 executive order are capacity limits and table spacing.

A provision prohibiting guests from congregating at bars will remain in place, along with a rule requiring employees to wear face coverings.

An 11 p.m. restaurant alcohol sales cutoff, covered by a separate executive order, also still stands.

Read it all.

Posted in * South Carolina, Economy, Health & Medicine, State Government

(LA Times) Largest study of COVID-19 transmission highlights essential role of super-spreaders

A team of Indian and U.S. researchers examined data from 575,071 individuals who were tested after coming into contact with 84,965 people with confirmed cases of COVID-19. That’s an average of seven contacts per case, and a cohort more than 10 times larger than in a previous study from South Korea that mapped how the virus was transmitted.

“It’s the largest epidemiological study anywhere on COVID by far,” said the lead author, Ramanan Laxminarayan of the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policy, in New Delhi.

Laxminarayan and his colleagues found that just 8% of people with COVID-19 accounted for 60% of the new infections observed among the contacts. Meanwhile, 7 out of 10 COVID-19 patients were not linked to any new cases.

The finding underscores the essential role of super-spreaders in the COVID-19 pandemic: One individual or event, such as in a poorly ventilated indoor space, can trigger a high number of new infections, while others might not transmit the virus at all.

Read it all.

Posted in Health & Medicine, Science & Technology, Singapore

(SA) Jesus made “a sinner and a killer” in Chinese textbook

Disturbing reports from China say Communist Party officials have rewritten the story of the woman caught in adultery from John 8, claiming Jesus stoned the woman to death.

The incident in John 8:3–11 is a powerful testament to Jesus’ forgiveness and his divinity. The account says a mob had surrounded a woman accused of adultery. After facing down the crowd seeking to stone her, Jesus tells the Pharisees, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her” (v7).

After the crowd leaves, Jesus stands up and says: “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more” (v10-11).

Reports from Roman Catholic sources and carried by the religious liberty group Bitter Winter say this event in the gospel has been drastically changed in a textbook published by the University of Electronic Science and Technology Press. The book is reportedly used in ethics and law courses in Chinese secondary vocational schools.

Read it all.

Posted in Books, China, Christology, Religion & Culture, Theology: Scripture

(RNS) Most congregations are doing all right during COVID-19. But the future is uncertain.

David King, director of the Lake Institute, said the institute surveyed 555 congregations for the study, mostly from a wide range of Christian traditions, along with a few Jewish and Muslim groups.

While not a representative sample, he said, the study gives a snapshot of how congregations have fared during the COVID-19.

Most have done pretty well, with both participation and finances holding steady.

About half (52%) have seen more people participating during the pandemic. At more than half, giving has remained the same or increased, while 41% of congregations say giving has gone down. Only 14% have had to cut or furlough staff, in part because many congregations (65%) had received a Payroll Protection Program loan from the Small Business Administration.

King said he was surprised by how well congregations adapted during the pandemic, especially in the early days last spring.

“Congregations really buckled down and did amazing work, quickly pivoting to online services and responding in a lot of creative ways,” he said.

Read it all.

Posted in Health & Medicine, Parish Ministry

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Remigius

O God, who by the teaching of thy faithful servant and bishop Remigius didst turn the nation of the Franks from vain idolatry to the worship of thee, the true and living God, in the fullness of the catholic faith; Grant that we who glory in the name of Christian may show forth our faith in worthy deeds; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Posted in Church History, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Saint Benedict

Almighty God, give us wisdom to perceive Thee, intellect to understand Thee, diligence to seek Thee, patience to wait for Thee, vision to behold Thee, a heart to meditate upon Thee, and life to proclaim Thee.

–Frederick B. Macnutt, The prayer manual for private devotions or public use on divers occasions: Compiled from all sources ancient, medieval, and modern (A.R. Mowbray, 1951)

Posted in Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

O give thanks to the LORD, call on his name, make known his deeds among the peoples! Sing to him, sing praises to him, tell of all his wonderful works! Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice! Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his presence continually!

–Psalm 105:1-4

Posted in Theology: Scripture