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Posts published in “Day: August 31, 2021”

A spiritual second opinion


To my Christian brothers and sisters who are not vaccinated against COVID-19, this message is for you. It is neither a mockery nor a condemnation of your choice — it is simply a reminder that rejecting the vaccine is not the only choice you can make as a committed Christian.

I fear the fingers of politics have wormed their way into the church on this issue. Even if your own pastor rejects vaccination, there are many conservative clergy who recommend the opposite: getting vaccinated. I repeat this message not to criticize, but because it’s only a matter of time until someone I love dies from a COVID infection simply because they chose not to receive the vaccination.

To illustrate this point, Pastor George Davis of Impact Church in Jacksonville, Florida says it better than I can. When asked why his church was hosting a vaccination event, he replied that six of his church members died in the last 10 days. Four of them under were under the age of 35 and at least one was a teenager. All were healthy. All were unvaccinated.

“And I’m tired of crying about and burying people I love,” said Pastor George. “So take the political and religious games somewhere else!”

If you believe this must be another “liberal” social justice church, you should have a look at the church’s website. Check out the “what we believe” and “core values” pages, while you’re there. URL:

Yes, I am aware some of you can’t get the vaccine for medical reasons. I understand that — this message is not for you. If you have chosen to remain unvaccinated for reasons unrelated to your faith, same thing. If your reasons are purely political, man, that’s just crazy. But if your decision to avoid vaccination lies within your faith or comes from your church family, I urge you to look at other churches and clergy to see what they say. Think of it as a sort of “spiritual second opinion.” You’ll find a lot of them are also opposed to vaccination. But I guarantee, if you look, you will find socially conservative congregations and parishes with like-minded clergy who nevertheless recommend getting vaccinated.

You do have more than one choice.

Pastor George offered this prayer:

Dear Father God,

Thank you for the wisdom and insight you’ve given to the scientists and medical community to be able to develop a vaccine that is effective against this hideous virus.

For the many of us who have been praying for a resolution, we thank you for providing one. I now humbly ask you to help us all weed through the bickering, finger-pointing, partisan politics, fear, religious extremism and conspiracy theories to see the gift that lies in front of us.

Please speak to the hearts of those who are truly seeking guidance to help them see whether it is or is not your will for them to be vaccinated. And help us to all come together with reasonable hearts to do what is best for one another.

I ask this in Jesus’ name.


All I can add is my own “amen.”

When law enforcement won’t


“There are 100,000 to 200,000 people
walking around America today who
will be dead by the end of the year.....
and mostly self-inflicted.”

Those are the words of Dr. John Moore, Immunologist, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, New York. For the unvaccinated, those words should be a clarion call to get the shot(s). Doubtful.

We’ve all heard a bucketful of excuses from the unprotected. Enough already! Now, when I hear some off-the-wall cretin spouting gibberish, I remember another physician and his prediction: Dr. Anthony Fauci, well-credentialed medical spokesman.

“Facing the Delta variant, without the protection afforded by the vaccine, you will be infected.”

You would think that just about anyone in a position of authority, noting such dour warnings, would be a natural leader in the drive to get people medically protected from COVID and its variants.

Not so, I’m afraid.

While I know of at least a dozen cases of lawmen rejecting the mandate
of Oregon’s Governor Brown, regarding masks and other protective measures, let’s just deal with Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin.

Physically, Hanlin’s a big, square-shouldered guy with a blond buzzcut. A striking physical presence when in his uniform with sidearm. Every bit the specimen you’d want on a recruiting poster.

Hanlin recently notified residents of Douglas County - in an overly long news release - that he will not be enforcing any mandate for anything. Period. While he notes, in his broadside, he’s “responsible for the peace and safety of those in Douglas County,” he demurs when it comes to someone making emergency safety rules for “those in Douglas County.”

Here’s another tidbit from Douglas County. Last week Dr. Martin Hill and his wife were driving through, on the way to the coast. While in Roseburg, Dr. Hill had a heart attack. His wife, a former Douglas County Commissioner, quickly drove to the local hospital.

Hill, who should have been admitted and treated, wasn’t. The hospital was at capacity with COVID patients. Packed in everywhere. So, Hill was treated as an outpatient and sent on his way.

Am I the only one who sees the link between Hanlin and Dr. Hill? Isn’t there some connection to the Sheriff refusing to enforce lawfully issued orders for self-protection from COVID and heart attack victim Hill being turned away from that hospital because COVID patients filled the place?

Several years ago, Sheriff Hanlin loudly took another stand that should be noted as we discuss his being “responsible for the peace and safety......etc.” That time, it was to announce - to all and sundry - he would not enforce any gun control laws coming from the Obama administration. Further, his deputies were ordered to arrest and jail any federal lawmen who tried to enforce compliance.

He’s been roundly elected since.

Many members of the Oregon Sheriffs’ Association have taken the same rejecting “hands off” position as Hanlin. If it’s “peace and safety” you want in Oregon, you might want to rethink calling 911. At least in Douglas County.

I’ve had the Pfizer shots. Both of ‘em. Each took about 20 minutes with 15 of those minutes sitting in my car, listening to the radio, while waiting to see if there were any side-affects. There weren’t.

The politicization of this shot business, and the refusal of the Hanlin’s of this world to do their duties to protect citizens that elect them, makes no sense. Throw in the picking-and-choosing of which laws to enforce and which to ignore by law enforcement leaves you wondering if you really are safe.

Counties - in Oregon and elsewhere - are not political fiefdoms for duly elected sheriff’s to decide which laws - or legal mandates - they’ll enforce and which they won’t.

In the tumult of the last five years, much has changed - with a world pandemic, the tortuous Trump years, Republicans block-voting to nearly bring our national government to a standstill - all that and more has upended our world. Stability has been in short supply.

In Douglas County, Oregon, and too many other counties in that state and elsewhere, the traditional community stability and safety of past years are also..... in short supply.