Singing vs. Free Speech?

Courtesy of clipart-library.com

It’s just off the top of my head, you understand, but I tend to think singing in church is a WHOLE lot different than the “right to free speech.”

Anyone agree with me?

I recently read about some church leaders that don’t …

Churches Sue California Governor for Banning Singing in Church 

Yup! Three EVANGELICAL church leaders are very unhappy with Governor Newsom because they contend his closure ban violates their First Amendment rights and that it’s an “unprecedented attack” on the freedom of worship. In their view, singing and praying aloud as a body of Christ is a biblical mandate. 

Question: Does a biblical mandate override a State Governor’s mandate?

It’s been well-documented by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention that singing is a proven way to spread the COVID-19 virus. Yet it seems these pastors (along with scores of other people) prefer to ignore medical advice and instead follow the instructions put forth in a book that is several thousand years old.

Further, what these individuals seem to overlook is the governor also mandated that all bars across the state must close and that restaurants, wineries, tasting rooms, family entertainment centers, zoos, museums and card rooms must suspend indoor activities.

Contrary to their objections, they are not being singled out. The governor’s action is not discriminatory, nor is it persecution. It is a desperate attempt to reduce the number of cases and deaths that are occurring everyday in his state from the spread of the coronavirus.

And finally … a few absurd words from Jordan Sekulow (one of the plaintiffs) whose father is Jay Sekulow, a member of President Trump’s legal team: “Banning singing in California churches is an unconstitutional abuse of power, and to do it in the name of a pandemic is despicable. This ban is clearly targeted at religion.”

A quote from Isaac Asimov seems an appropriate closing for this post:

There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.

72 thoughts on “Singing vs. Free Speech?

  1. Nan, Asimov’s quote speaks volumes. We have a president who has so badly mishandled the pandemic, misinforming people from the outset and continuing to this day, that more Americans have gotten sick and died. I think a class action suit by those who have lost loved ones against the president for malfeasance would be justified. They can even sing the accusation.

    When briefed by intelligence people that the pandemic is coming to our shores, the president, who craves being presidential and considered a great leader, could have been the leader we needed in January (or even early February), and forewarned us and asked Congress, states and hospitals to do what is needed to prepare. Yet, he chose to misinform, nay say and call it a hoax. The ball was sitting on the tee for the president to lead and he whiffed. And, more Americans than should have got sick and died.

    That is sadly, the truth. Keith

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I have to say, I’m really sick and tired of these Christians who want so badly to be persecuted! Let em sing!

    But first, the fools should have to sign a death waiver, relieving the local and state government from any liability, and a clause that states: any medically proven death from COVID 19 that can be duly traced to the church gathering will incur a criminal charge of manslaughter against the leader of said gathering as well as the initial spreader of the virus, should that person and the above mentioned “leader” survive the illness.

    Liked by 6 people

  3. Do believers enjoy the freedom of speech non believers have?

    I understand freedom of speech to be the expression of ones thoughts, of allowing opposing views in an open dialogue, seeking to understand another’s points of view.

    It is a primary right we enjoy in this country, and is driven by the conscience of each man or woman.

    Free speech is the ability to communicate ideas that may be offensive, but in the heart of this right, I understood that open debate and free speech would provide education to the masses, and provide information to make proper decisions for all.

    If these believers are communicating a message that offends you, be careful. Your message may offend someone. No one wants that. Diverse opinions are what makes for great discussions.

    Regarding your question

    Does a biblical mandate override a State Governor’s mandate?

    The Bible seems to say so. Acts 5:29 has the apostles saying that they must obey God rather than men. (There are other verses to answer this but I am on a phone and this typing is difficult.)

    I suppose this question depends in who is the greater authority.

    Governor Newsom or Jesus the Christ?

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    • In regards to your last question … in MY book, the answer is obvious that it’s the former. Primarily because I don’t put any faith in the words of J.C. or any other individual that is mentioned in the “Good Book.”

      Further, freedom of speech is far different than singing in church — especially when reputable sources have stated quite plainly that singing spreads the COVID-19 virus. However, if the faithful are so intent upon following the “biblical mandate,” then I support the suggestion offered by Paul in his comment.

      In the meantime, thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. You’re always welcome even if we don’t see things eye-to-eye.

      Liked by 4 people

    • It is a primary right we enjoy in this country, and is driven by the conscience of each man or woman.

      Hello CTBT,

      I have to disagree with your above statement, especially the 2nd half.

      To clarify what our U.S. Constitution dictates—i.e. the Law of the Land which protects EVERY single American’s freedom of expression—versus what your Bible dictates could not be further apart or opposed. The founding documents of the United States revere and protect freedom above all else. The Bible worships and demands the opposite: obedience, submission, and servility to God/Christ. And it secures that obedience through fear. Fear and obey God, or else.

      The First Amendment protects the freedoms of speech, press, and association and the free exercise of religion by ensuring a secular government. Or to put it in the correct context of our core Founding Fathers’ wishes, the federal and state governments were to favor no one single religion, ESPECIALLY Christianity with its multiple, ambiguous denominations… several of them bitter enemies within Christianity against each other.

      Hence, if your above statement were true CTBT, then there’d be never-ending bickering, fighting, law suits, and gross inefficiency galore in every level of government! To be more clear (and socially efficient), that right of free expression is driven by the fact that our laws and Constitution protect the full-spectrum vista of diversity IN THE PRIVATE SECTORS, i.e. at home and on/in private property only. If most Americans are indeed religious, they are free to be only because there is no government-endorsed religion that devours religious freedom. Christian Nationalists here are required by their Bible to believe in eternal punishment and Noah’s ark; and they are free to believe such things simply because of our secular Constitution. Judeo-Christianity is not concerned with freedom or liberty—quite the opposite.

      On the topic of singing or the freedom to sing, it is NOT a question/debate of the violation of our 1st Amendment rights, it is purely about the health and safety of the general public. THAT is what our government is LEGALLY obliged and charged to do for ALL Americans on private or public properties regardless of any individual’s “faith.”

      Best regards CTBT and have a good weekend. 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

    • If we accept your theology and your (questionable) reality that He even existed and has the power you claim, “Jesus the Christ” enabled, no caused, the death of up to 1/2 the adult population of Europe during the Plague. He enabled/allowed the Holocaust. He enabled/allowed the horrific centuries long religious wars in Europe. He empowers “prophetesses” in Africa directly responsible for murdering young children in Nigeria for “witchcraft”. Given his record, I think I will go with Newsome, to be honest. Newsome never drowned the entire world in a snit because He screwed up his own creation so badly.

      Liked by 6 people

    • Do believers enjoy the freedom of speech non believers have?

      Yes, obviously. They don’t have the right, which they are so arrogantly claiming, to be exempt from public-health laws which apply to everybody else. See my comment below.

      Does a biblical mandate override a State Governor’s mandate? The Bible seems to say so.

      If a superhero comic book said that its readers have the right to break the law, that statement would not have any legal effect or validity in the real world.

      …..who is the greater authority. Governor Newsom or Jesus the Christ?

      Well, I think we can all agree that governor Newsom actually exists.

      Liked by 4 people

    • The bible also says “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s”. And I think that laying down rules to protect the public health during a plague is definitely an issue for “Caesar”, and that christians should comply, along with the rest of us..

      The Government can’t tell you what to believe, or which holy books to read, or when or how to pray. And when it comes to meeting in groups, they can’t single out religious groups for different treatment. And they haven’t, the restrictions on churches are exactly the same restrictions as there are on everybody else.

      As a non-believer, I’ve replaced the community of the church with the community of my chorus. I sing, I love singing in groups, and have done it for years. It’s my social life and my stress relief. But I have to be willing to set that aside for now, because “Love they neighbor and don’t infect them” has to take priority over my personal desire to do the hobby I love. And because singing results in much more viral transmission than just being in a room with someone, my chorus has resigned ourselves that we won’t be able to resume gathering for a long time, even as other activities are able to resume.

      I think this is a challenge to believers: What command are you going to take more seriously: The command of your pastors that you obediently gather in worship services as they direct, or the command in your book to “Love your neighbor as yourself”? Perhaps, if your god is actually up there, this is his challenge to you to test your priorities. How much are you willing to sacrifice to serve your fellow human? Is your focus on your god and how he tells you to live, or on the human trappings of church services?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. The bible tells us god protected Jonah in the belly of a whale, god protected Daniel in the den of the lion, and god even protected Shadrach, Mishak, and Abednego inside the fiery furnace. If their god can protect them from spreading Covid-19 by singing Hosannamhs unto god, I say “Let he who sings the loudest stand closest to the right hand of god, and pass spittle into the lungs of his god, for his shall be the voice that calls his god to eternal rest.” God might protect the man, but the man can never protect the god.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Well … I have a perfect solution. Close the churches just like the bars and restaurants have been closed, and then if people want to hold online church and sing in the privacy of their own home, let them belt out a tune. Just make them keep the windows closed while they’re doing it so they don’t a) spread germs, and b) shatter the neighbor’s eardrums! Don’t let the churches open back up until mask-wearing is no longer required and until bookstores, libraries, restaurants and the like have re-opened safely.

    Liked by 5 people

    • In complete agreement with you Jill! 🙂 Any Believer/Faither who supposedly has a “personal, intimate” relationship with a divine entity can CERTAINLY maintain that in the privacy and SAFETY of their own home. Hell, even in their own shower locked in the bathroom! Those are some excellent acoustics for singing, huh!? 😉 😛

      Liked by 2 people

      • I’ve never quite understood why religion has to be, for some, a group activity. I thought a person’s relationship with their god was just that — personal. To me, I’ve always felt the whole church thing was more for show than anything, or an opportunity to socialize with like-minded folk. All of which is fine, but not in the time of a pandemic that is growing instead of fading. And yeah, a shower is a great place to sing! The acoustics are great and the sound of running water adds background, rather like an orchestra! 😉

        Liked by 2 people

        • To me, I’ve always felt the whole church thing was more for show than anything, or an opportunity to socialize with like-minded folk.

          That’s the sugar-coated Gummy-bears version Church-goers and Christians™ will tell you Jill. 😉 The earliest history and reality of this presumed tradition was actually 1st-century CE Rome’s method of controlling their highly volatile outer Provinces called Syria, Judea, and Nabataea. Those were the regions rebellious, dissenting Homeland Jews (vs. Diaspora or Overseas Hellenic Jews) occupied that Romans had very little tolerance for… hence, the control-the-conquered-peoples via Roman-Greek traditions. This soon became the Roman Catholic Church.

          Many many practices, traditions, and forms of control (thru fear) have not changed for over two millenia. 😉

          Liked by 1 person

  6. Less singing, more sinning!

    Obviously their free-speech rights are not being obstructed. Singing is not an expression of opinion, and they are not being barred from expressing their opinion, only from physical activities which endanger the community.

    Obviously the civil law must take precedence over the dogmas and taboos of religion. If the Phoenician and Aztec religions, which required human sacrifice, were still being practiced in this country, we would not exempt them from the laws against murder in the name of religious freedom. Religions should not be exempted from the rules which apply to everyone else. Yet that’s what these churches are demanding, even though they endanger the broader community by doing so.

    They should pick their fights more carefully. The name of Christianity is already strongly associated with hypocrisy and bigotry in the minds of the younger generation. After this pandemic, it will be associated with the deliberate spreading of disease as well.

    Liked by 4 people

    • 🤣 Three cheers for excessive sinning!! HIP HIP… 😈

      After this pandemic, it will be associated with the deliberate spreading of disease as well.

      Infidel or Nan, or anyone else…

      Don’t I remember not too long ago some man or woman who CONSCIOUSLY knew they had HIV-AIDS or some potentially lethal disease (STD or otherwise) and deliberately went out publicly to f*ck as many people or breathe on them or intentionally spread their contracted disease into/onto as many recipients as possible? Isn’t this the exact same thing?

      Liked by 2 people

      • If you’re thinking of Gaëtan Dugas, that was actually quite a while ago, but your point is well taken. Except in this case it’s a whole sub-population doing it, and the covid-19 virus is one of the easiest viruses to transmit, whereas HIV is one of the most difficult. These Christians are going to brand themselves as the Typhoid Marys of this pandemic.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Indeed. What if Christianity started to demand that they should have the right to hang witches and burn heretics alive, because their religion demands them to? We have to remember that Christians actually used to do those things for hundreds of years (most of Christian history to be exact) and base these horrors on what they sincerely believed their religion demanded them to do.

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      • Happening right now in Nigeria, among other places. This woman prophetess has become A MILLIONAIRE by catering to the superstitions of her parish. Where is Jesus the Christ to cast the demons out of the seven year olds when we need Him? (He never killed the victims of HIS exorcisms, I might note. Unlike this Prophetess. )

        Liked by 1 person

    • Nobody should base their life on ANY single work of literature, but rather they should turn to the Bible, Shakespeare, Grimm’s Fairytales, and other great works as a way of expanding their worldview, confronting the great and not-so-great ideas of the past, understanding the world they live in, and finding their own authentic selves.

      Liked by 3 people

      • I agree. While the Bible may be fiction, it also contains the distilled wisdom of centuries, no millennia. That doesn’t mean the wisdom is all correct or the best answer to many questions, but I think we atheists can go too far by dismissing ALL traditions.

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  7. So I think it’s weird that many people on here are arguing that singing doesn’t constitute free speech.

    The earliest forms of Epic and lyric poetry in Ancient Greece were accompanied by instruments such as a lyre or aulos, thus they were a kind of song. Are we saying poetry isn’t free speech? Do lyrics stop being expressions of ideas the minute you set them to a melody or accompany it with an instrument?

    Most people would consider artistic expression in its various forms to be free speech. Does cinema, essay writing, blogging, fictional novels, visual arts like painting and sculpture, and all other forms of artistic expression constitute expressions of free speech, but singing for some odd reason doesn’t?

    Various protest songs by Bob Dylan or Strange Fruit sung by Billie Holiday or Losing my Religion by REM, all songs, aren’t examples of freedom of speech?

    Artistic expression is an example of free speech in action. Singing is artistic expression. Singing is a type of free speech.

    So the real question is: can we restrict some FORMS of free speech (like singing) in certain contexts (inside a building) when their is public safety issue at stake? Well, you can’t shout fire in a crowded movie theater!

    Liked by 1 person

    • So I think it’s weird that many people on here are arguing that singing doesn’t constitute free speech.

      I reviewed the comments and I don’t see anybody claiming that. Everyone is merely affirming, as your own last paragraph suggests, that singing can be restricted when it constitutes a public health hazard. None of this limits Christians’ ability to express their opinions. They just have to do so using the many other available routes which do not constitute a public health hazard.

      Certainly the songs you mention such as Strange Fruit (unlike church hymns) could be considered expression of opinion, but they could still be restricted in cases where performing them would help spread a deadly virus. That would not stop them from being performed in other ways such as by radio, internet, etc.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Perhaps I misinterpreted what people are claiming. I understood Nan to be saying singing church music itself doesn’t constitute free speech, but maybe she just meant doing so in the physical building and I misread her. You also made some pretty ambiguous statements when you claimed: “Singing is not an expression of opinion”

        Well, uhm, yes it is. Singing whether it is a political protest song or a praising hymn to God is an expression of an opinion. Singing is not an expression of opinion

        So I do see singing in church being a matter of free speech, but also agree with you that some elements of free speech can be temporarily curbed for public safety and especially if they have other venues to express themselves ( like zoom or going on YouTube).

        Anyway, I am always happy to update my understanding of what someone meant when they elaborate and explain themselves and if I misinterpreted what you meant then I apologize.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Once again … for those who can’t seem to grasp the point of this post:

          Governor Newsom is NOT violating anyone’s First Amendment rights to free speech, nor is he obstructing anyone’s freedom to worship. He is simply trying to control the spread of COVID-19. And since singing in an enclosed area has been proven by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to spread COVID-19, the logical action on the governor’s part would be to “discontinue singing and chanting activities” at locations where it most commonly takes place, i.e., churches.

          When push comes to shove, if singing is as important as these claimants say it is, why not hold their services outdoors where they can sing and chant and shout to their heart’s content … providing they maintain the recommended 6 feet distance from one another.

          As many congregations have discovered, there ARE workarounds. Unfortunately, there is a segment of hard-core believers that feel “put upon” if anyone tries to limit their style of worship … even during a pandemic that is affecting (and killing) people by the thousands each and everyday.

          Liked by 6 people

  8. We can’t sing in the pub? Well, WTF?
    These are the same shitstains who say they are not permitted to pray or read the bible in school (etc).

    No singing in church because it makes people sick. The End!
    BTW, if he allows them to sing that would be preferential treatment of a religion and pubs could get all sober about it and claim the right to sing along.

    It is not freedom of speech. Sing pray aloud all ya want at home or in the wilderness (that’s WJWD). 🙂 And there is that little bit in there about going to your room and closing the door to pray. that too.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I am constantly flabberghasted by how the Christians do not know their own book. It is like they have never read the damn book. I have not been indoctrinated and grown in Christian culture. I have read their book once from cover to cover, yet it seems I know it better than any of them. How can this be? Christians know their book so poorly, that both professionals who actually get paid (some of them quite well) and the “flock” alike may be led astray and told what ever nonsense in the name of J.C. Yet, none of them seems to have read the damn book, and have a clue as to what J.C. actually is claimed to have said in the actual book.

    Jesus said nothing at all about free speech. Absolutely nothing. Among the odd 600 commandments from the Mosaic god, there are none what so ever, that mention freedom of speech altough for example tattoos are forbidden. If one is to demand free speech, then J.C. is not the authority to turn to. Infact during most of the few hundred years of history of sublime Christian political power, the exact opposite was in practice. Only the emergence of the secular state has made it possible for people have freedom of speech.

    Jesus is reported to have said, that you should pay your taxes, sell all your property and give the money to the poor. He is also repored to have said that believers should not have any children. None of these seem at all taken at his authority by just about any Christians, exept for monks and nuns. It was not even alledged by the book, that it was J.C. who said that they should obey god over government, it was Peter. So the question is who is the higher authority Peter or some governor. Well, if one wishes to take the advice Peter gives, then one is att odds to become an outlaw and if it is about paying the taxes, they are in direct contradiction with the advice J.C. alledgedly gave. That is a choise the individual can make. Even so, the advice about paying taxes comes from Matt, so it is unlikely that if this Jesus character really lived, he said anything of the kind, because most of what Matt writes, is just an expansion and fan-fiction written decades later from Mark. It is easy to notice when you compare the supernatural add-ons he lists to the resurrection story – like Mark writing about a young man, and by Matt they have turned into angels who stun guards at the holy sepulchre, when Mark makes no mention about any guards.
    .
    While the Christians know their book poorly, so seem most US citizens know their own constitution very poorly. So much so, that they can use their free speech to spout out the most terrible lies about it, and not be even contradicted on what they claim it says. For example, it says absolutely nothing at all about general freedom to bear arms that somehow applies to every numbskull. It says, that a citizen has the freedom to bear arms as a member of a militia authorized by the government to prevent tyranny and an outside threat of tyranny such as imperialistic motivations of the British Empire. That means, if you join the national guard, wich is the type of militia as mentioned in the law, you have the right to bear a lethal weapon within the context of the operations of the militia. Yet, constantly it is presented in the US public arena – almost unchallenged – as if it meant you can carry your personal military grade weaponry everywhere you go, from bars to shops and even schools. So, I guess that speaks a lot to the quote from Asimov. People seem to be able to find room for interpretation, where there is none. So much, that they are able to turn the entire issue to something completely else, and appeal to authority to back them up when said authority has given nothing at all for them to stand on.

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    • The Bible is boring as hell and most of them aren’t very good at reading. They learn the parts that condemn homosexuality and other things they don’t like, but that’s all.

      None of the modern values of our civilization come from the Bible. Democracy and trial by jury originated in ancient Greece, while representative government comes from the early Roman state. Both of them had a tradition of raucous public contention between different schools of thought. Our values come from the original Western civilization, the Greco-Roman civilization, which Christianity destroyed.

      it says absolutely nothing at all about general freedom to bear arms that somehow applies to every numbskull

      I’m afraid you’re mistaken there. The Second Amendment specifies the need for “a well-regulated militia” as a reason why the right to bear arms exists, not as a restriction of who has that right. It states that “the people” have that right, and “the people” means the same thing there as it does in the other amendments — everybody. Also, “militia” in those days was used in a much broader sense. One of the Federalist Papers (documents written by the authors of the Constitution to clarify what it meant) flatly states that “the militia” means “the whole people, except for a few public officials”. One can argue about whether it’s a good or bad thing that the Constitution says this, but there is no ambiguity about what it says. The Supreme Court has always interpreted it this way.

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      • Infidel753, agreed about where modern values come from. Equally alarmed how the Christians pick and choose what suits them from the Bible.

        Perhaps I stand corrected and the Second Amendment can be put to interpretation. However, I think the interpretation of the Supreme Court you refer to is false, if they think the right to bear arms extends to everybody. There are no constitutional amendmends about owning a horse. Why? Because there were no intent of the lawgiver to restrict the owning of a horse. Yet, a horse can be used for military purposes. It is clear that the intent of the lawgiver was to restrict the right to bear arms and that is the reason militias are mentioned. The US National Guard is the closest modern thing you have, that compares to the militias specifically mentioned in the law. The militia in the contemporary context does not mean any old gun club, but a militia organized for a specific purpose especially mentioned in the law. I see no leeway for interpretation if the contemporary context is understood.

        One can interprete what J.C. said according to a two millenia of Christian literature. Trouble is, what the possible person on whose ideas the Bible was written on can be and have been thus reversed. That is my point. Christians are always demanding, that the inhumane laws in the Bible and Christian churches when they held the supreme political power should be taken within the cultural context of the era, but they never do. They have no clue as to what the cultural context is, and thus the Bible is very often interpreted to mean what ever suits the purpose of the believer. That is how the Old Testament stories are interpreted as if they were predictions about J.C., while they were not written with that intent, even though some of them are stories about a Messiah.

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        • It is clear that the intent of the lawgiver was to restrict the right to bear arms and that is the reason militias are mentioned.

          Sorry, but this is simply not the case. The intent of the Bill of Rights (the first ten amendments, including the Second) was to guarantee certain rights absolutely by making it clear that not even the elected government could restrict or abolish them. The intent was absolutely not to limit those rights — just the opposite. For example, the right of freedom of the press being specified in the First Amendment means that not even Congress or the president can limit that right — any law they pass attempting to do so would be null and void. The most important rights, including the right to own a gun, are given this sacrosanct status in the Bill of Rights to ensure that no future government, even with popular support, would ever be able to limit them. The reason the Constitution doesn’t mention a right to own a horse is that the right to own a horse was not given such special status. Congress was free to pass laws limiting the right to own a horse, if it so chose. The Bill of Rights carves out a few specific rights as being guaranteed absolutely, so that not even the government or majority opinion could ever limit them.

          The fact that the Bill of Rights guarantees freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and the freedom to own a gun, was intended to make sure that neither Congress nor the president nor the voters nor anybody else could ever restrict those rights in the future. Nothing can.

          It is clear that the intent of the lawgiver was to restrict the right to bear arms

          No, their intent was the exact opposite, as I explained above.

          Again, by “the militia” they meant “the whole people”. They said so in plain English in the Federalist Papers at the time. And, again, the the wording says that “the people” have the right to bear arms, and “the people” means the same thing it means everywhere else in the Constitution. I don’t know where you’re getting this stuff, but it’s all completely wrong.

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          • But it also says “well-regulated” militia. Which is where two centuries of debate and vociferous argument come in play. It also implies that the citizens, in their roles as members of the militia, have this right. I would agree that the ammosexuals parading around their modified guns (when they are not shooting their own genitals off) are participating at all in any militia.

            Now…my logic may not be what the court says, but… 🙂

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            • Indeed Basenjibrian. That is my point. The hindsight at the Bible or the US constitution is to interprete these from the position and interpretation of later generations, not from the situation and historical context in wich the original text was written. Of course the Old Testament looks like it was full of predictions about Jesus, since it was written later to fulfil those predictions. Naturally the US constitution looks like it was written to make sure the right to bear arms if it is looked from the point of view of people who do not want to join any well regulated militias, like the National Guard (and adhere to the responsibilities joining one requires), but still want their security to own guns to be secured. If I moved to the US I would aquire a gun to provide me security, because it very much seems the US police is unable to do so and because every other idiot has one. At least I am trained to use a gun, so I would not shoot myself with it and I would not leave it lying about so that my family might have an accident with it.

              interpretations, that seem to misguide even the most clever and good intending people. When the early Christian churches met with critique from their contemporaries, they added a lot of stuff to their stories, that made their message more plausible to their contemporary audiences, such as the entire work of Matt, who made wild claims about discussions between the Romans and Kaiphas, Roman guards and angels at the sepulchre to dispute any discussion about wether the body of Jesus was taken by some of his followers from the tomb (wich is a red herring in itself, because we have no actual verification that he was killed during the extremely short period of time he actually hang on the cross) or about wether he actually died at all. The life and deeds of J.C. is just a story that we can not verify in any way today, but we can tell wich parts of it are much more likel fabricated long after the alledged events, because the early stories do not have such detail and as much supernatural agency, as the early stories. Just as an example, the claim, that the “man of pains” as presented in Isiah is Jesus, is ridiculous, exept if one starts with the preassumption that Jesus was an actual son of the creator entity and that the Old Testament books are a merely a prediction of his coming. Generations of theologians have found similarities between the “man of pains” and Jesus, but if you look at them they are flimsier, than similarities between the “man of pains” and Abraham Lincoln or even Che Guevara.

              When the US constitution was written, there were existing militias, without wich the entire fight against the British would have been futile and hopeless. Some of those militias were not very well organized and some of them might have posed problems for the new government in the future. It was obviously important for the new government to make the militias on wich they dependend upon legal, since such militias were strictly forbidden in the Empire at large. They existed because of the extraordinary condititions in the American colonies, where Native American nations were growing in military power, since both the British and the French had sought their help and armed them to gain their alligeance because these colonial empires had been at each other for decades. That is the historical context where the Second Amendmend was given. If it was just about the freedom of every citizen to own a gun, the entire part about the militias would have been totally needless. It is a legistlation to make sure that the US government can draw upon reliable militias for support in any foreseeable future against any outside agressors, because when it was given there was no future in wich the US army could actually face the wrath of the British Empire if ever The Empire Strikes Back.

              It is often our cultural heritage, that causes us such misconceptions about the old stories. The cultural concepts built around the old stories have grown more significant to the modern mind, than what the original intention of the story ever was.

              Nobody is free from the cultural heritage, we all have our own. I have my biases and misconceptions about the history. It is hard to recognize such, when you have been ingrained to think a certain way about things even when it is not really in your personal interrest to cling on to a misconception. Here in Finland there is this theory about Finland not having a choise during the WWII other than to join with Nazi Germany. I believed in it for ages, as that was what we were taught in school. It seemed like such a simple and obvious explanation to what had happened, but it was more of a truth of convinience. This interpretation of past events was very important to the Finns during the years after the war, because the same people who had led the nation into offensive against the Soviet Union during operation Barbarossa (and thus to war against the rest of the Allied, like Britain and USA) had not been removed from the leading echelons of the society and they needed to explain their deeds. It was utter bollocks. Finland was in cohoots with Germany from the onset of our indipendence, because already during WWI the Finnish nationalists who wanted to separate from Russia had listened to German newsbroadcast to form their worldview, since they did not want to believe the Russian propaganda at the time, as they felt the Russians were occupying Finland. Only in their fervour they had forgotten, that the German broadcasts were propaganda too and so they were ripe for any German propaganda even decades later. Finnish policy was neutrality, but the Finnish military leaders were all trained in Germany and some of them were fervent fascists. When the Soviet Union did the utmost stupid and wrong thing to prevent Finland from becoming a German stepping stone against Leningrad and initiated the winter war against Finland all the biases against it were proven true and somehow to many Finnish right-wingers this vindicated the Nazi propaganda, they had already accepted as supportive of their values. So, in reality, Finland had a choise all the time to remain neutral. To take our losses during the Winter War and ask for justice from the other Allied nations against Soviet Union, but instead the Finnish leadership turned to Germany and relied for it to conquer the Soviet Union. In the endgame Finland lost even more ground to the Soviets, than during the Winter War, not to mention some 200 000 killed or wounded men, almost ten persentages of our entire population at the time. But the theory, that there was no choise still persists. Infact, it mostly persists with politically right-wing people some of whom still think the nazis were right all along.

              Like

            • *SIGH* You’re doing it again, rautakyy …

              I truly appreciate your knowledge of American (and Finnish) history, but …

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            • Thank you Nan for the compliment about my knowledge of history, I am flattered, but what? I know, I know… I write all too long comments and a bit off topic, sorry. Or do you think that the constitution only mentioned the militias for fun, when what they really meant was that any dude should have a right to own a gun and go about with it, even if they did not enlist in a well regulated militia as seems to be the current interpretation of the US supreme court?

              Like

            • The topic of my post didn’t have anything to do with the right to own a gun … or a well-regulated militia. While I appreciate your input and knowledge, I’m requesting that you (and tildeb) PLEASE try to stay on topic.

              Besides, tildeb has his own blog. Why not visit it and you two can haggle with each other until the sun goes down.

              Like

    • Rautakyy, I could not agree more with you!

      If Christians truly DID know and understand their own Canonical Bible—including its Second Temple Judaism/Messianism seeds and roots!—they’d eventually pull all of their hair out of their scalps just like many MANY former Believers and seminary grads have done… and as I did 29-years ago!

      If you do not have a clue about the contextual Jewish origins of the 4th-century Greco-Roman canonical Bible and its primary sectarian Jewish character/Messiah, then your Greco-Roman New Testament will ALWAYS be confusing, mystical, and open for endless exegesis and redirecting, ad infinitum.

      Why are there over 2,000 different denominations in Christianity/Christology? That answer is simple if one would simply learn and understand its distorted, convoluted, maligned, amputated, and hijacked content by Earliest Roman Church Fathers post-Masada in 73-74 CE and their agenda to fully sever all ties to Homeland Judaism. Easy. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • One mistake is calling it “Christianity”. It is really PAULISM. He never met Jesus, never spent any significant time with those who did know Jesus. It was simply politically convenient, eventually, for the Paul version to be the official church.

        Liked by 2 people

        • It is really PAULISM. ABSOLUTELY! And I bring all of that out in my book because I did the research … which believers consistently fail to do and get all out-of-shape when you point these things out to them.

          But back to the post topic … it was PAUL who said (in Romans): Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. It’s apparent these pastors either (1) overlooked that verse, (2) figured it didn’t apply to them, or (3) are nothing but Evangelical rabble-rousers (no lack of them, that’s for sure).

          Liked by 1 person

        • Totally agree basenjibrian.

          There are a group of university Antiquity and Judaic scholars that show compelling facts and evidence that Saul of Tarsus was of Herodian family blood-ties, suffered from TLE or Temporal Lobe Epilepsy with Simple Focal Seizures, he received a very Hellenistic (Roman) Stoicism education along with Heikhalat Jewish mysticism with the Jerusalem school of Bet Shammai, not Bet Hillel as the Greco-Roman New Testament records. This can certainly be said to be Paulism Christology and nothing at all like what Yeshua bar Yosef, the Homeland, Torah-loving Jewish Rabbi from Galilee.

          These four above components combined make a LOT more sense for Saul’s/Paul’s recorded personality, teaching style, and mysticism (Triune God-head)—a mysticism mixed with Greek Apotheosis that Gentiles understood much better than Second Temple Sectarian Judaism/Messianism—that is recorded in the Greco-Roman canonical New Testament the world has today.

          A very good observation basenjibrian. Thank you. 🙂

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    • Suze, you are so right!

      However, weirder bizarre things have happened in our recent courts and Congressional hearings when Republican lawyers/Attorney Generals, Asst. Attorney Generals, and Repub legal teams get involved and begin convoluting and polluting all the Constitutional laws, Amendments, and the proper spirit/extrapolation of them. 🤪 One can tell when they’re doing it because the maneuvering always favors and/or benefits a “certain demographic group” MORE than others! 😠

      Care to guess who that certain demographic group is? 🙄🐘

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I can’t understand why people feel they need to sing to worship the Lord? What’s wrong with reading the words of the hymns? Good grief. My church has nixed singing for now. The congregation doesn’t have everyone sing even for outdoor services. There is one cantor.

    On the other hand, it does seem to me that this is a law that would be impossible to consistently enforce. Will there be informants in every meeting? Are folks going to be thrown in the hooskaw for singing?

    How could cases be linked specifically to singing if someone tried to sue in court? I don’t know.

    It seems to me that this should be a strong recommendation. Hopefully, for the most part common sense and wisdom will prevail.

    Like

    • While a “mandate” is technically a “law,” I tend to think in this case it’s more of a “hard suggestion” by the Governor — meaning he could definitely enforce it, but I highly doubt he is going to send around the “Stop Singing” police.

      I do hope, however, that you recognize the pure idiocy of these pastors that filed a LAWSUIT related to the matter. Especially since numerous pastors have been willing to “work around” the restrictions. Your church included.

      Like

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