March 15, 2020

"Effective as of 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 14, 2020, and continuing until further notice, public and private Mass Gatherings, defined below, are hereby prohibited in the City of Madison and Dane County."

We here in Madison have been ordered not to go to church.
For purposes of this Order, a “Mass Gathering” is any event or convening, subject to the exceptions listed below, that brings together or is likely to bring together two hundred fifty (250) or more people in a single room or single confined or enclosed space at the same time, such as, by way of example and without limitation, an auditorium, stadium, arena, conference room, meeting hall, theater, exhibition center, museum, places of worship and religious gathering centers, and any other space where people are present and they are within arm’s length of one another for more than ten (10) minutes.
This presents a problem under state and federal freedom of religion provisions, especially considering that there is a list of exceptions, including...
Retail food establishments (grocery stores, convenience stores, farmer’s markets);
Shopping malls and other retail establishments where large numbers of people are present but are generally not within arm’s length of one another for more than ten (10) minutes...
Health, fitness and recreational centers (not including meeting facilities, conference rooms, event spaces, or banquet halls);
Restaurants and Bars (not including meeting facilities, conference rooms, event spaces, or banquet halls)...
I'm not offering a legal opinion that banning religious meetings is unconstitutional, just observing that this is a problem. I think the religious organizations should voluntarily stop meeting — even if they draw less than 250 people — but I am disturbed to read that the government is ordering religious groups not to meet. There should be a compelling government interest behind such an order, and I believe there is, but the exceptions undercut the argument that the interest is compelling. If the situation is what you say it is, why aren't you closing down the restaurants and health clubs too?

153 comments:

Sebastian said...

"why aren't you closing down the restaurants and health clubs too?"

Cuz 1. bobos need to be able to eat out; and 2. health is prog religion.

dbp said...

The prohibition on "Mass Gatherings" should have an exception for Mass. Maybe they could skip communion and the embrace/handshake at the end.

tim maguire said...

Great point that they should have thought of. The exceptions don’t just undermine the justification, they nullify it. (Health clubs!?)

Harsh Pencil said...

I agree. The authorities seem to be making the judgement call that working out is a necessity, but worshiping can be dispensed with.

rhhardin said...

why aren't you closing down the restaurants and health clubs too?

Religion is optional, and not that much fun anyway.

Amadeus 48 said...

We could just go with "please stay home if you are sick, and avoid touching other people in public in all cases". That message probably would work as well as this, if effectively delivered.

Slow the plague down? Maybe. But maybe not. You aren't going to be able to see any difference in the ultimate number of infections. I hope no resources are going to be spent enforcing this.

stevew said...

The number of people, 250 in this case, is arbitrary. Question: the exceptions to the prohibition on gathering could indicate the rule is targeted at religious gatherings, even though they are not specifically singled out?

gilbar said...

SO, in Madison; you can go to
a health club
a restaurant
a bar
a shopping mall

BUT!
If, in your arrogance, you try to worship The Lord your GOD; You'll be
Fined?
Imprisoned?
Executed?

I can't see were there would be ANY Constitutional question about that!
DEATH TO ALL CHRISTIANS! THEY ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS PLAGUE!

tcrosse said...

It looks to my non-lawyer eye that this does not prohibit religious groups from meeting in places listed in the exceptions, or even outdoors.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

We here in Madison have been ordered not to go to church.

Or what? Are they going to arrest you while taking communion. Clear out the church with a SWAT team.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Religious meetings of over 250 people are not banned, they just can’t be held in a confined or enclosed space.

Curious George said...

Isn't this the bigger issue professor?

"....or the right of the people peaceably to assemble,...."

StoughtonSconnie said...

Professor, you are applying the wrong type of logic to this. You are applying legal and constitutional logic. You have to apply liberal programmer logic. Banning church gatherings is not certainly not the intent of this order, but it is also not the bug you see, it is a fortunate feature. This will be used in the future in blue states to ban Trump rallies, not unlike the British banning mass meetings in Ireland.

StoughtonSconnie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Josephbleau said...

Obviously the order is written to try to minimize the economic impact of the ban, thus serving powerful political donors. The church does not donate Money to the coruptopols. The church does not create many jobs. Thus the church can be one of the examples showing the pols are saving the public, without really saving them.

I Callahan said...

The prohibition on "Mass Gatherings" should have an exception for Mass. Maybe they could skip communion and the embrace/handshake at the end.

Or maybe it isn’t the city of Madison’s damn business in the first place? This is a full on violation of the first amendment.

Josephbleau said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fernandistein said...

two hundred fifty (250)

I doubt the virus can count that high.

not within arm’s length of one another for more than ten (10) minutes

They had been implying that it could jump about three feet, but now they're saying it takes 10 minutes for it to glide that far?

places of worship and religious gathering centers

Just do them 250 people at a time; after the first bunch get filled up with godliness, chase them out and call in the next bunch.

h said...

Maryland governor Hogan issued a similar executive order on March 12, with identical language.

https://governor.maryland.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Prohibiting-Large-Gatherings.pdf

hombre said...

Do I remember something about “the right of the people to peaceably to assemble?” That in addition to freedom of religion?

Democrats are anti-Constitutional autocrats at heart always looking to destroy the liberty of the people.

R C Belaire said...

Maybe limiting the number of people per square foot is the way to go. E.g., your sanctuary is 5000 sq ft so you can hold a service with, say, 100 people at 50 sq ft/person (~ 7 ft x 7 ft square).

Guildofcannonballs said...

I am so sorry Fernandiboystein has to read about God and religion and churches yet again.

How so terribly inconvenient for his atheism to continue untrampled.

Inga said...

Makes me think of South Korea’s mega church Shincheonji and how the leader bowed down in repentance after being instrumental in the spread of Covid19 in South Korea. I am betting that pastors and priests in the US might not want to be responsible for any congregants’ death or illness. Even in Rome, churches are closing mass worship. We’re facing something we haven’t seen since the Spanish Flu. I don’t know if anyone will want to sue because their First Amendment rights are being affected by Covid19 mitigation policies, but one never knows. I guess we have to trust that this is temporary.

Bill Peschel said...

Pennsylvania's governor ordered the closing of state-run liquor stores in the four counties in and around Philadelphia. This seems like the perfect method to spread Winnie the Flu to the surrounding countries. Thanks, Gov. Wolf!

Fernandistein said...

"We here in Madison have been ordered not to go to church."
Or what?


Or nothing. Nobody there in Madison has been ordered not to go to church.

SteveB said...

Cynic in me says that there's no money in it for the government for churches whether operating or not, so no $ consequence to shut them down. Your bar and grill shutting down has tax revenue impacts.

hombre said...

250 people? Why not 249 or 251?

This is why 2020 is important. This is who they are.

roesch/voltaire said...

My health club UW-Madison sports clinic is closing down as of Monday and I assume others will follow.

Laslo Spatula said...

Avoid those places that employ workers who live paycheck to paycheck. The businesses run by owners on a thin margin.

Meanwhile we expect the garbageman to be there to take away the trash from our social distance cocoons.

But that's okay, because no one we know gets within six feet of the garbageman.

Other than his family, of course.

And I wish he wouldn't make so much noise: I'm trying to watch opera.

Marie Antoinette understands.

I am Laslo.

tim in vermont said...

"If the situation is what you say it is, why aren't you closing down the restaurants and health clubs too?”

Bingo.

Ann Althouse said...

"Obviously the order is written to try to minimize the economic impact of the ban, thus serving powerful political donors. The church does not donate Money to the coruptopols. The church does not create many jobs. Thus the church can be one of the examples showing the pols are saving the public, without really saving them."

If the exceptions are shaped around economic interests rather than the interest of controlling the spread of the disease, that undercuts the purported compelling nature of that interest. Religious interests should not be given lower protection than economic interests. But I do see this argument: stores and restaurants need to bring in customers to survive at all and religious interests can be pursued in seclusion.

Jersey Fled said...

"Religious meetings of over 250 people are not banned, they just can’t be held in a confined or enclosed space."

Which they typically are.

SteveB said...

The fun part of the service will be where you greet/bless your neighbor. What to do...long distance "virtual" handshake with a loud whisper?

etbass said...

Curious George has it.

Just how does the Governor of Alabama issue an order closing down all public schools. Where does that authority come from?

Fernandistein said...

I am so sorry Fernandiboystein has to read about God and religion and churches yet again

Thanks for caring, but don't bother feeling sorry for me because I find it all rather amusing, like an astrology column in a newspaper or your nonsensical babbling, e.g. "How so terribly inconvenient for his atheism to continue untrampled."

roesch/voltaire said...

Although not ordered my health club, UW Sports Clinic will be closed as of Monday, and I assume others about of an abundance of caution and CDC guidelines will follow suit.

JML said...

"...and religious interests can be pursued in seclusion."

Hebrews 10:
24. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25. not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

traditionalguy said...

That's a slow virus if it takes 9:59 minutes to communicate. All we need are church members who can outrun the Police Swat Teams dressed in Hazmat suits and holding stop watches.

JML said...

But open boarders are fine. How do the Democrats propose to control social distance when the illegal immigrants are crossing the border? Will they fine them if they are spaced closer than X feet from each other? Will there be exceptions to the distance rule if they are swimming across the Rio Grande OR will that be banned as they are spreading the virus in the water?

Matt Sablan said...

Just start giving a homily while everyone buys toilet paper.

AllenS said...

Rural Wisconsin gives Madison The Big Middle Finger.

Mark said...

In Maryland, if you don't comply, they can throw you in jail.

Narr said...

No gatherings of more than 250 worshippers in the TP aisle!

Narr
Cleanup in Aisle Eight

WK said...

Just how does the Governor of Alabama issue an order closing down all public schools. Where does that authority come from?

Seems like declaring a state of emergency opens up a lot of powers a governor would not normally have. Varies by state but assuming that’s where these extraordinary measures can derive.....

mccullough said...

Only thing I can think of is that religious services tend to have more senior citizens.

Not as many at the gym.

But the Farmers Markets tend to skew older in my experience.

Older people need to be more careful. So skip gym and church for awhile

Oso Negro said...

@Althouse - it's 2020! Uber Eats!

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

So no Easter Sunday surge this year, perhaps. So strange when mass transit, like the buses planes & trains I used this week coast-to-coast remain in operation. Oh, but not the allegedly high speed Acela. That one they shut down.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

All the “experts” are not helping...

chickelit said...

Big win for Annie Laurie Gaylor!

Curious George said...

"mccullough said...
Only thing I can think of is that religious services tend to have more senior citizens.

Not as many at the gym."

Not true at all. Most seniors get free memberships because Medicare will pay for it. My gym, Wisconsin Athletic Club, looks like a nursing home in the morning.

h said...

The Methodist Bishop in the Washington-Baltimore conference asked all (Methodist) churches to cancel services. My church is live streaming through facebook with four celebrants (pastor reader organist singer). And 20 or so regular church goers tuned in for a shortened service. I have a vague idea that some conservative Jewish congregations have a minimum number requirement (not sure if that's for regular worship or only for funerals); I wonder how they are dealing/interpreting.

rcocean said...

Churches don't pay taxes. Hence, the Ban. I assume the Churches will just turn the other cheek and give in. Assuming there are any Christians in Madison.

rcocean said...

I'm not sure why the IRS can take away a Church's tax exempt status if it engages in politics, when everyone else can do it. But if they don't care, neither do I.

rcocean said...

My wife went to the local grocery store to get some eggs and bacon and guess what? All the TP is gone. Per the clerk, when the shipment came in at 5 AM, there was a line of people waiting to get into the store. They cleaned out the hand cleansers and TP - in half an hour.

Damn people are stupid. Ever hear of bar soap?

doctrev said...

If you don't know that the legal profession -hates- just about all signs of overt religious faith, and sees no compelling interest against banning it (despite the obviously unconstitutional nature of the provisions when selectively enforced), you might have slept through the last 50 years of American jurisprudence.

Put another way: there are elite American interests that love money and hate Christianity. It really is as simple as that.

tim in vermont said...

I bought an extra month’s worth of TP a couple of weeks ago after seeing the pics out of China. I figured that this would happen, but I didn’t take more because hoarding is antisocial, and I may be a Republican, but I am not antisocial.

Lucien said...

Pan-handling revenue must be way down. Let’s send around unionized government employees to give free (taxpayer) money to them — on a “temporary” basis of course. That wouldn’t be political at all.

Guildofcannonballs said...

Babel of The Holy Bible Book of Genesis is a trigger, for some. Maybe we all ought to measure our words more carefully.

rehajm said...

If the exceptions are shaped around economic interests rather than the interest of controlling the spread of the disease, that undercuts the purported compelling nature of that interest.

It's disturbing the quantity of anecdotal evidence that there's a political bent to the directives, at least to my eye. More 'you must' in leftie controlled areas, more 'please refrain' in others. Schools shut down in Clarkston, open in Lewiston. Shut down in Boston, open in South Carolina. Close down the churches in Madison, attend in Savannah.

I suspect that church ban will linger long after the other 'needs' of Madison are satisfied...

Phidippus said...

AA asked: "If the situation is what you say it is, why aren't you closing down the restaurants and health clubs too?"

Being both erudite and selectively obtuse on occasion is part of Our Hostess' unique charm.

Clearly there is no rational basis for the distinction. The Order is drafted as it is because of the subconscious bias that leftists have against religion. It's just another opportunistic slap at the competition.

Honestly, there's no need to overthink it.

Greg Hlatky said...

Father John Zuhlsdorf of Madison suggested having more services than usual to keep the numbers below 250.

Tina Trent said...

Yes our taxes subsidize all seniors’ gym fees.

Living near Sun City Center for a few years can make you pretty cynical about Medicare abuse, especially when you’re paying 13.9% of your income to cover all those $700 prescription sunglasses and monthly trips to every specialist to chat, and gym freebies, and unnecessary scooters enjoyed by people whose payroll taxes were a fraction of that.

gilbar said...

But I do see this argument: stores and restaurants need to bring in customers to survive at all and religious interests can be pursued in seclusion.

There you have it! Our Beloved Professor Althouse, has NO PROBLEM with you BEING a Christian
Just as long as; you do it by your self, in seclusion, and don't tell Any one

Oh! and make sure you keep Patroning restaurants, bars, and health clubs;
because those are part of HER Religion

Big Mike said...

I may be an atheist, but I still think it says something about Madison that churches are explicitly asked to close but bars are explicitly permitted to remain open. But I don’t see how the bars are going to turn a profit if UW-Mad is not in session!

daskol said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
daskol said...

The Rabbi at our synagogue, which has voluntarily cancelled services as of this weekend, sent a sad email from his office Friday evening right before the Sabbath. For the first time in his 35 years leading the congregation, he was alone in the sanctuary at this hour. I would be shocked if they tried to enforce this social distancing in as heavy-handed a manner here in NYC as they've done in Madison. Not necessary, probably not even helpful, and reminds people that govt is always there to encroach as soon as a crisis gives it the opportunity. Also people are way more cognizant of the role religious institutions play in day-to-day lives especially of lower income people in the city, so the church, speaking ecumenically, is not to be fucked with.

Char Char Binks said...

This order will not be enforced, at least not for churches. Would anyone ordinarily notice if the Public Health Officer “worked” from home, or a Princess Cruises ship, and telecommunicated by telepathy? Now is the time she’s compelled to pretend to do something useful.

Wince said...

Effective as of 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 14, 2020, and continuing until further notice, public and private Mass Gatherings, defined below...

Taking the mass out of gathering, or the gathering out of mass?

They have been doing "on-line" mass since the beginning of TV.

Unknown said...

stores and restaurants need to bring in customers to survive at all and religious interests can be pursued in seclusion.

Churches need to bring in people to survive, too.

In China people have to worship "in seclusion."

Your first instinct was right--this is blatant hostility to religion. And not just hostility to religion but to the Catholic church specifically. Obviously unconstitutional. And ugly. Using fear of COVID-19 to attack the Catholic church specifically?

Ken B said...

Hoboken has a curfew. This is not just stupid but counterproductive. It’s better that anything still open be open longer to allow less crowding. Plus, on its face, what has 10 pm to do with a virus?

cf said...

Glad you brought this up, Althouse, goofy, revealing choices.

Someone ought to be broadcasting that if you are in a grocery line, space yourself out!

Yesterday i did stop at our neighborhood Safeway for a couple of things, ert. the lines had 3-5 folks waiting and they all hugged close as usual. I tried setting my own standard and stood way apart from the fellow ahead of me, but the couple that came up behind crowded in like I was their nana. i breathed shallow breaths and aimed away.

according to SKorea point of view we are "missing the Golden time"

"The golden time for wide scale social distancing is before you have a crisis."

if you HAVE to stand in a line, spread those lines out NOW!

https://twitter.com/DFisman/status/1239135643080499200?s=20

Matt said...

According to Worldometers.com, there are 3,083 active coronavirus cases in the US as of this morning. With a population of ~327,000,000 people that's .000009% of the population.

First US case was nearly 2 months ago. Won't reach 1% of population affected till we reach over 3 million cases.

I'm not a scientist. I don't know what this means. Just sayin'.

gilbar said...

I'm not a scientist. I don't know what this means. Just sayin'.

IT MEANS WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE (within 70 years, or so)!!!!!

0.000009% of the population is EXACTLY the SAME as 100% what ARE you? Innumerate??

robother said...

The War of the Nerds on normies opened up a new front today in Colorado as our nerdy governor has banned downhill ski areas from operation for a week (bound to be extended, as spring break season has just begun). If there's one thing nerds have more contempt for than organized religion its sports activities. Too many Coloradoans started escaping their screens to engage in outdoor activities.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

religious interests can be pursued in seclusion.

No, they cannot. Being Christian means being part of a community.

If the "crisis" is so small and the risk is so slight that health clubs (which are gross and unsanitary) can remain open, then clearly there is no reason that churches should not remain open as well. The fact that health clubs need patrons to stay in business is no reason to let them stay open if we are in the midst of a dire health crisis and it is imperative to slow the spread of a potentially fatal disease.

cf said...

Here's what our church has explicitly instructed with our new rules for worship. The note that went out offered compassionate guidance and instruction, accepting that many might best stay home, but worship will be held, pared down to essentials: all MUST sanitize hands upon entering the building, and avoid all touching. worshippers & families are instructed to sit a distance from other worshipers, there will be plenty of room. No choir, because of the closeness it calls for. no coffee cookies kitchen utensils etc.
Me, i am staying home, holding my beloved church family in grateful, joyful prayer. May All be Well.

Michael The Magnificent said...

They cleaned out the hand cleansers and TP - in half an hour.

I remember the sustained run on .22 ammo. It was silly. People began hording .22 ammo because...other people were hording .22 ammo. No other reason than that. Supply had not been cut (in fact, it was increased), and no rational reason existed for increased demand.

So it is with TP. I am sure there are garages in the suburbs that are being filled floor to rafters with TP as if the zombie apocalypse were upon us.

Me? I bought an 18 roll pack a week ago. Since I am a dude, that should last me about 18 weeks.

If this nonsense keeps up I'll go buy a bidet attachment for my toilet.

cf said...

SteveB said...

The fun part of the service will be where you greet/bless your neighbor. What to do...long distance "virtual" handshake with a loud whisper?

last week at our church we were trying different strategies, I most enjoyed spock's hand sign, funny to try, but perfect sentiment for the times,
"Live Long and Prosper"

Tommy Duncan said...

Echoing StoughtonSconnie:

So Bernie and Biden can hold campaign rallies, but Trump cannot?

Caligula said...

"Shopping malls and other retail establishments where large numbers of people are present but are generally not within arm’s length of one another for more than ten (10) minutes ..."

And this is based on ... what? Somehow I'd feel better about all of these precautions if I thought they were actually evidence-based, rather than apparently the result of a "lets just do something even absent evidence that what we're doing is likely to be effective" bias toward action.

What about spending more than ten minutes in a ... medical facility (where one might be for some reason unrelated to this coronavirus)? Aurora Health (and I'd guess other health systems) is already telling people who have symptoms consistent with this coronavirus to use the phone or video visit app, but whatever you do, stay away from our facility!

Yet if you're having difficulty breathing you're not likely to take that advice, are you?

(Not that I think any unit of government it's at all likely any government official would actually go to a church (or other place of religious observance) and order congregants to disperse.)

Yancey Ward said...

These people will just gather somewhere else, like a restaurant, a bar, the mall........

Char Char Binks said...

Spock hand makes sense for church. Nimoy said he got the idea from synagogue. He peeked when he was supposed to be praying with his head down and saw the rabbi doing something like it.

I used to go to a Catholic church (it wasn’t members only), and I hated the communal practices of dipping fingers in holy water, shaking hands afterwards. Either of those would have been fine, but the combination brought out my germaphobia, if not the fear of God.

AlbertAnonymous said...

My church cancelled masses because the County made it a misdemeanor to have any gathering over 100 people.

AYFKM?

This is bullshit!

AllenS said...

Do you know where else the elderly hang out? Indian casinos, that's where. Tony Evers, the lib governor of WI would never even think about closing them up, because the Indians would give him The Big Middle Finger, that's why, and Evers knows it.

Steven said...

But I do see this argument: stores and restaurants need to bring in customers to survive at all and religious interests can be pursued in seclusion.

First, on a purely financial level, many congregations rely on passing the plate at meetings to bring in the money necessary to continue to do things like pay the rent, and thus have the same survival interest in staying open that restaurants and stores do.

Second, on the question of individual interests, whether you're talking the Jewish need for a minyan or the Christian doctrine that "For where two or three are gathered together unto My name, there am I in their midst", traditional religions absolutely require gatherings to be properly pursued. On the other hand, an individual's interests in exercising or eating can be met with calisthenics and cooking at home.

So, no, the argument doesn't hold water. The best argument the issuers have is that they're so wrapped in a left-wing bourgeois cocoon that they didn't notice they were unintentionally being hostile to religion when they exempted their own personal lifestyle elements under the delusion that personal is the same as important. That doesn't justify the order-as-issued, but it does justify not personally sanctioning them for it the way conscious and deliberate hostility to religion would.

Narayanan said...

Q: will anyone test it by breaking it?

Does Wisconsin have history of disobedience in DNA?

FullMoon said...

250? What a bunch of sissies! In Santa Clara California, world renown Silicon Valley, home to millionaires, billionaires and best and brightest:

"The County Health Officer on Friday also banned gatherings of 35 people or more "unless certain conditions have been met."


Not sure what certain condition are. This is beyond ridiculous now.

FullMoon said...

Interesting situation for those who imagine a revolt if government were to ever attempt to take away 'our guns'. Government, forced by media hysteria, has shut down the country and most of us follow the rules without revolt.

May take longer for virus to pass but two weeks or less on lockdown should be enough for our govt and business leaders at every level to claim victory and say enough is enough".

Naturally, Trump will be blamed for over reacting and spreading panic.

FullMoon said...

Q: will anyone test it by breaking it?

What would Nazi Germany do?

Kentucky patient under 24/7 armed guard after REFUSING to self-isolate...

Bob Boyd said...

I wonder if the snake handling sects will do anything special for the Coronavirus pandemic?

Achilles said...

This will be over in a month or so. We might break triple digits in deaths. The lawnmowers are mowing now and temperatures are going up. The sun is out.

And a bunch of sheep are going to bleat this was all necessary.

They will bleat and bleat to avoid the humiliation of being a sheep.

And nobody will ever take the media or the little boy seriously again even if the wolf actually comes.

This is doing real damage.

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...


“Pan-handling revenue must be way down. Let’s send around unionized government employees to give free (taxpayer) money to them — on a “temporary” basis of course. That wouldn’t be political at all.”

Which raises an interesting question. Ever seen a homeless shelter? And the shit they drag around with them? Let’s take a random assemblage of people without access to regular sources of hygiene, pen them closely for ten hours, and then release them. Repeat nightly.

Narayanan said...

I most enjoyed spock's hand sign, funny to try,
_____&&&&&
Vulcans don't suffer arthritis or carpal tunnel injury!!

FullMoon said...

This will be over in a month or so. We might break triple digits in deaths. The lawnmowers are mowing now and temperatures are going up. The sun is out.

And a bunch of sheep are going to bleat this was all necessary.

They will bleat and bleat to avoid the humiliation of being a sheep.

And nobody will ever take the media or the little boy seriously again even if the wolf actually comes.

This is doing real damage.


I expect two weeks until victory is declared and Trump is blamed for loss of jobs and income for over-reacting. If Biden cannot escape from tonights debate, expect him and Bernie to get their shots in early and blame Trump for waiting too long and taking draconian actions.

Of course, I also predicted Romney and Hillary to win..

Narayanan said...

Nobody so far has brought up : Democratic undercutting recent Republican ?success? To Restore religious freedom protection.

chickelit said...

And nobody will ever take the media or the little boy seriously again even if the wolf actually comes.

I agree. Before I was merely annoyed with the media. Now I despise them and would sincerely like to find a way to short sell or otherwise damage them financially. It's just not enough anymore to ignore them.

exiledonmainstreet, green-eyed devil said...

Churches in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee remain open and continue to offer Mass. Dispensations have been granted to any parishioners who feel uncomfortable attending. No handholding or hand shaking during Mass. Communion in the hand only, not placed on the tongue. No Communion wine. I went to Mass this morning and there is no problem keeping 6 ft. away from other people, since the church was half full rather than packed as it normally is. Mostly families with kids but a surprising number of elderly.

I think that's a sensible policy. We're open. If you want to come, do so. If you don't, that's OK. Use your own judgement.

chickelit said...

AllenS said...
Do you know where else the elderly hang out? Indian casinos, that's where. Tony Evers, the lib governor of WI would never even think about closing them up, because the Indians would give him The Big Middle Finger, that's why, and Evers knows it.

Out here the Indian casinos also allow smoking -- probably the last place in California where people smoke. Here's the math: large numbers of elderly people with already compromised lungs. I'm surprised it can't hit yet.

exiledonmainstreet, green-eyed devil said...

"The fun part of the service will be where you greet/bless your neighbor. What to do...long distance "virtual" handshake with a loud whisper?"

We were told to nod our heads at each other and smile.

I prefer this to handshaking.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

"The fun part of the service will be where you greet/bless your neighbor. What to do...long distance "virtual" handshake with a loud whisper?"

When I did go to church and they changed the Mass from Latin to a kumbaya hippie sort of meeting I hated that part. The first time that happened I was all..... WTF is this bullsheet!!?! "Don't TOUCH ME!!!"

I pretty much stopped attending, when the Catholic Church decided that their mission creep included pushing political agendas.

Besides. If you are a true believer, you don't need to go to a place to worship God. God is everywhere. In your heart, in your mind.....Even in your backyard. Worship anywhere.

Darkisland said...

I'm in Bethlehem pa this week and had really hoped to visit the National Museum of Industrial History.

Website, as of today says it's open. Describes various exhibits hours activities and so on.

So I went. "closed until April 1" no reason given. Because of kung flu?

At the McDonald's here they have the touch screen for ordering. So I get all finished punching in my order and they tell me its not working and I need to order at the counter.

Then they tell me no trays, bags, even though I'm eating in. The no trays and ordering from the cashier are because of kung flu. They could not explain why they had the touch screen on if they weren't using it.

I spent an hour driving around the old steel mills and Bethlehem in general. Interesting lookin town.

John Henry

Darkisland said...

My wife has been quarentined for 14 days along with all other teachers at her school.

No particular reason. No suspected kung flu cases. Just arbitrarily confining her to the house.

She's not happy.

And when mama's not happy...

At least I'm in pa not pr.

John Henry

n.n said...

A cough, a sneeze, a rail, a table, a bus, ... A lot of beds that are socially, but not physically isolated. So, no symptoms, no transmission path, but still an arm's length. Perhaps they should advise people... persons... individuals to shelter in place, without exception. Lose your Pro-Choice religion.

Darkisland said...

Adam and John were discussing this on a recent no agenda show www.noagendashow.com

To Fullmon's, achilles'and others point that it will be over in a few weeks, they pointed out that the money in the emergency package must be spent in 30 days. This is why we are seeing all these emergency declarations all of a sudden.

Cities and states have 30 days to claim their share of the govt cheese. Once it's been distributed, the kung flu emergency will be over.

3 days later the story will be that it was a how'd gunned up by pdjt to enhance his dictatorial powers.

John Henry

narciso said...

the tyranny of the bureaucracy john henry,

Darkisland said...

What does "arm's length" mean?

Does it mean @3' as if i were touching your shoulder with my hand?

Or does it mean @6' if we were fingertip to fingertip?

Jus trying to understand the rules here.

And yesterday on both the Phoenix-Chicago and Chicago - Philadelphia legs we got an announcement "we have a completely full flight today so please stow your personal item under the seat in front of you."

Both flights were less three an half full.

What's up with that?

John Henry

Darkisland said...

Less than half full

John Henry

YoungHegelian said...

In the DC area, the Archbishop has shut down Catholic services until further notice.

It's not a constitutional concern when the religious body itself orders the closures.

Achilles said...

chickelit said...
And nobody will ever take the media or the little boy seriously again even if the wolf actually comes.

I agree. Before I was merely annoyed with the media. Now I despise them and would sincerely like to find a way to short sell or otherwise damage them financially. It's just not enough anymore to ignore them.

I guarantee democrats will start saying the economy was already in recession within a month.

I also guarantee they will say the effects of the Coronavirus is overblown.

I can't wait for the media and Ann and Inga to start comparing the numbers of cases and deaths to Swine Flu and H1N1 and say Trump just hyped it up to cover for the economy tanking.

They will say they never worried about this at all. They will say the only reason it was a big deal was because of Trump.

We will be back to xenophobia and open borders soon enough.

Unknown said...

Here is really interesting article with graphic simulations showing the effects of social distancing. It's worth a look.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2020/world/corona-simulator/?utm_source=pocket-newtab

AllenS said...

Yes, chick, the Indian casino at Turtle Lake, WI also allows smoking, and the place smells like an ashtray. Yuck.

Michael said...

DBQ
Going hippie did it for me as well

chickelit said...

I guarantee democrats will start saying the economy was already in recession within a month.

I'll be here to push back in their face. I made a couple of very wise financial decision early this year and have kept a pretty close eye on the markets since. So I have a sense of what happened first. Let them try. I'll shame them like I shamed the guy I saw exiting Costco today with a carload of TP.

chickelit said...

Allen, I forgot to mention that they're all pushing and pulling the same levers on the machines all day. I haven't been to a casino in years, but I doubt the hand-to-mouth sanitation has improved.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

If you only went to church because you liked the worship style, and you think your backyard is the same thing as communal worship, you were missing the whole point the whole time anyway.

I'll shame them like I shamed the guy I saw exiting Costco today with a carload of TP.

What did you say? I'm dying to speak my mind about all of this but for various reasons I can't do that in real life. Can I enjoy your smackdown vicariously?

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

That said I sympathize because I would really struggle if my only worship option was one of those rock band non denominational churches. Give me the Book of Common Prayer and the Anglican liturgy, please.

Mark said...

At Mass today at my parish in Alexandria, we had about 60-70 percent of our usual crowd.

No sign of peace and instead of passing the basket person-to-person, the collection baskets were set up in the back.

We (I) wiped down the door handles and other places people might touch.

Didn't hear any coughs or sneezes or sniffles.

Mark said...

I used to go to a Catholic church (it wasn’t members only)

None of them are members only.

Open to all people of good will who wish to come.

Mark said...

In the DC area [that is, the Archdiocese of Washington], the Archbishop has shut down Catholic services until further notice.

Folks are welcome to come across the Potomac to here in the Diocese of Arlington, where Mass goes on.

All the social events are cancelled though. Including the donut sales, so we wouldn't be able to use the store/restaurant exception if Governor Coonman Northam (D) tried to lockdown Virginia.

WK said...

Ohio just announced closing all restaurants and bars starting at 9pm tonight. Carry out only. No congregating.... interesting times....

Mark said...

Besides. If you are a true believer, you don't need to go to a place to worship God. God is everywhere. In your heart, in your mind.....Even in your backyard. Worship anywhere.

I love you DBQ, but you do realize that that is a kumbaya hippie way of thinking?

Once in a while, it's good to join together in communion, and once in a while it is good to receive those outward visible signs that confer grace upon us, which we call sacraments, particularly that which is the Blessed Sacrament, the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Himself.

God is indeed everywhere, but you can't get the sacraments everywhere. You can achieve spiritual communion with Jesus right at home. But it is only with Holy Communion that you can be one in God and with God in the entirety of your being, not only spiritually, but bodily as well.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

If you only went to church because you liked the worship style, and you think your backyard is the same thing as communal worship, you were missing the whole point the whole time anyway.

I don't think my backyard is the same as communal worship. I don't want to be in a commune. The best part of the Latin mass was that you could be meditative. I worship how I want. Quietly, thoughtfully, meditatively, in a peaceful serene setting. I suggest that you can do the same in the style and place of your choosing.

My Grandmother was Quaker. The family had been Quaker since the 1600's in Vermont and then Philadelphia to begin with They still are Quakers in Indiana. I liked the 'meetings' that I went to with her when I was young. Group yes. Small group. Silent. Meditative with just a small reading by one of the participants or occasional comments. Mostly silent though. No Priest. No altar. Just you and thinking about God, religion, and the words.

Marc said...

Haven't yet read the comments but that <250 limit is what is imposed during Oregon's 'state of emergency'.

The Archbishop of Portland has responded by asking parishioners to attend less frequented Masses and telling pastors that if necessary they should celebrate more Masses to accommodate the numbers of parishioners. Entire classes of people have been dispensed from the obligation to attend Mass and encouraged not to do so (people over 60, those who have compromised immune systems, '[anyone] who sincerely and seriously think[s he] might be at risk' etc).

I went to the second Mass this morning (am beyond 60 but haven't succumbed to any 'flu within memory-- not since 2002; haven't had even a cold since early December 2018: searchable diaries are a useful tool) and the congregation was perhaps somewhat diminished from its usual size.

Kudos to Mons Sample, so far as I'm concerned.

Mark said...

This was posted by a local commenter --

I believe my family and I all may have it now. It started Friday for the kids. Now my wife and I are getting it. So irresponsible for Arlington Public Schools to stay open as long as they did last week. Arlington is far too international not to have tens of thousands of cases by now. This thing is really scary. Temperatures, unproductive cough attacks, GI issues. We are so unprepared as a COUNTY and as a COUNTRY for this. There is absolutely no way even to get a test. We are just forced to wait and watch as it gets worse and worse with Tylenol and Gatorade. We had 2 months' warning to get ready and our leaders did NOTHING AND HAVE UTTERLY FAILED US.

Mark said...

I'm not a hypochondriac, but there are times when I can worry/imagine myself into various symptoms.

I'm sure if they had "enough" test kits, that we would see a run on them as we've seen with TP. Plenty of otherwise healthy but anxious people would use up all the test kits in a day or two.

Browndog said...

The female nazis that run Michigan are going to town. Friday our great governor banned all visitors from all healthcare facilities.

Today she amended her nazi decree to allow parents to visit their children, and "partners" to be at their child birth.

Black and White said...

Mass gatherings: happening today at an airport arrival hall near you.

Browndog said...

Drive through testing is now open in several locations in Michigan.

Achilles said...

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

What did you say? I'm dying to speak my mind about all of this but for various reasons I can't do that in real life. Can I enjoy your smackdown vicariously?


I am referring to TP as sheep food.

Purell is sheep shampoo.

Bleach is Wine Stock for the new Sheep Wine.

You have to be careful with the last one though. If you told these people drinking bleach would keep you from dying of Corona Virus they would do it.

They do what they are told without really thinking.

Mark said...

Meanwhile, the NFL just expanded to a 17-game season.

Mark said...

The Roman historian Eusebius recounts that there was a great epidemic in Rome in the third century. As the nobility and others who could fled the city, the Christians stayed behind to care for the sick.

Sorry, we cannot abandon our post. The church doors stay open.

Browndog said...

Universities and K-12 schools in Michigan are closed, but new recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest the disruptive measure will have "no impact" on the spread of coronavirus.


The guidance came a day after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer called off classes through April 5.

StoughtonSconnie said...

And now Dane County expands the ban of mass gatherings to cover groups of 50 or more. Must’ve been more people at church today than can be accepted, because the Sick Map (arcgis.com) doesn’t show a particular spike of cases in Wisconsin.

narciso said...

there are many passages in the old and new testament, that speak to the need for frequent participation in a community of believers,

Marc said...

We here in Madison have been ordered not to go to church.

I'm not not going to Mass because the state tries to forbid it; let them cite me if they like. However, there were no state police outside the doors of St Mary's this morning, counting, and so it remains for the time being a hypothetical conflict.

(Of course, what is to be done about prelates who subject entire nations and provinces to what is effectively interdict out of worldly concerns-- that's an entirely different kettle of fish.)

Steven said...

Besides. If you are a true believer, you don't need to go to a place to worship God. God is everywhere. In your heart, in your mind.....Even in your backyard. Worship anywhere.

Um, no.

Look, I'm an atheist, so I have no dog (or god) in this fight. But it's incredibly explicit in Christian scripture (Matthew 18:20) that that God is present in group worship in a way that he is not otherwise. Similarly, Jewish teaching has the Divine Presence show up for a minyan. The group can be anywhere, sure (even your backyard), but having a group together is important to a true believer.

Marc said...

Even the weekday Masses at the local parish can count more than 49 people in the congregation, occasionally. Hmm.

roesch/voltaire said...

The Art of Living and Sufis in Madison have switched to Zoom meetings as of last week, and Bethal Church among others has had televised services for years, and collected on-line contributions so this howl to have public worship rings hollow to me. Yes perhaps the spirit is increased in community but many have prayed and meditated in solitude—it is a long tradition.

FullMoon said...

Next up, no more than two people together at a time:

Coronavirus: Austria bans all gatherings of more than five people

FullMoon said...

California is closing down all bars and asking residents over the age of 65 and with chronic health conditions to stay home in an effort to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Sunday.

(Newsaome's) order applies to bars, nightclubs, wineries and brewpubs. Restaurants have not been ordered closed, but Newsom said the state will require them to reduce capacity by half and practice social distancing by separating patrons by about six feet.

"We are doing so with our eyes wide open at the magnitude of what that means," Newsom said of the order.

Meanwhile, Newsom also announced new plans Sunday to protect the state's homeless population, considered especially at risk of contracting the virus. Newsom said the state will convert hotels and motels to house the more than 100,000 unsheltered homeless people in California

ga6 said...

they now get to exercise their "inner dictator".. which is why they went into politics in the first place.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Steven at 3:54

Look, I'm an atheist, so I have no dog (or god) in this fight. But........

For someone who doesn't believe in God or a higher power (I assume) you have some pretty specific ideas about how I should be conducting my internal spiritual life.

Achilles said...

Steven said...


Look, I'm an atheist, so I have no dog (or god) in this fight. But it's incredibly explicit in Christian scripture (Matthew 18:20) that that God is present in group worship in a way that he is not otherwise. Similarly, Jewish teaching has the Divine Presence show up for a minyan. The group can be anywhere, sure (even your backyard), but having a group together is important to a true believer.

Are you claiming that because you are an atheist that you don't have a personal religion?

AlbertAnonymous said...

The County ban on groups over 100, punishable by misdemeanor, that was the cause of our parish cancelling masses apparently has exceptions. Not for church services, mind you, but for “classes, hospitals, dormitories, airports and.. homeless camps”.

No exception for church services. But exceptions for homeless camps. Because when our county leaders issue edicts, your religion doesn’t matter but don’t touch the third rail of politics... “the homeless”

Rusty said...

rcocean said...
"My wife went to the local grocery store to get some eggs and bacon and guess what? All the TP is gone. Per the clerk, when the shipment came in at 5 AM, there was a line of people waiting to get into the store. They cleaned out the hand cleansers and TP - in half an hour.

On my weekly trip to Aldi for supplies-we're not stocking up. All the flour was gone but the yeast was untouched. No toilet paper, but plenty of paper towels. no hand sanitizer but plenty of soap. No canned soup but plenty of the boxed broth and stock. Plenty of breac and milk. Most of the water was gone except for the purified kind and the water in gallons.
People are goofy.

tcrosse said...

The Telegraph shows a scene outside a Costco in England. Carts full of as much toilet paper as they will hold. So it's not just the US.

Mark said...

Thinking about it, though, you can understand why some Catholic dioceses might give in and shut down.

If only one person attending a Mass tests positive, then there would be a @#$% storm of people condemning the Church as wanting to kill everyone.

Before there was Trump Derangement Syndrome, there was Anti-Catholic Derangement Syndrome and it has been much worse and lasted much longer.

Mark said...

On the hoarding --

There gets to be a tipping point where the supply of something will start to get low, and things which normally are purchased once a month or every other month, people will now panic and think, "I better get it now because it's going to be gone if I don't."

And it doesn't take people buying an extra one or two of something "just in case" for the entire supply to be gone.

Mary Martha said...

Here in the Archdiocese of Chicago all public Mass is suspended. As I understand it the Cardinal was pressured heavily by the Mayor and the Governor.

Mass is being said behind closed doors and the livestreamed to the faithful.

My parish church building is open for those who want to pray, confession is available, as is holy water in individual containers (no more dipping in the font).

Most people are taking is well. This is Lent after all, this just happens to be a very, very strict Lent.

No guarantees that people will be as docile if this lasts all the way until Easter.

Unknown said...

worldometer.com has gone crazy and is showing 892,000 deaths. At least I HOPE it has gone crazy...

Unknown said...

For a minute there it had 89,000,000 plus dead, all in vatican city WTF...?

gadfly said...

Attending church is a social endeavor but it is no longer a requirement in larger churches where church services are streamed for the elderly, sick and handicapped. When the Dane County Executive, Herroner the Mayor or Governor Evers gets around to banning the serving of meals in Madison's fine restaurants, the Lord will no longer be in charge.

Scott said...

The difference between religious gatherings and all the exceptional classes is the effect on the economy and revenue for the state. If religious organizations paid a head tax for those in attendance, I bet they'd get an exemption, too.