85 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 2-19-20

  1. Good morning everyone.
    There was a bit of commotion here this morning.
    Elvera fell out of the bed and I couldn’t get her up by myself. She weighs 140#.
    I called Chuck and he stopped by on the way to work.
    Everything is ok now.

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  2. Chas, I’m glad you have family nearby.

    AJ, I saw some of those ice waterfalls on our Valentine’s Day drive to see sandhill cranes. But I was only able to photograph them as we got by, and you got a better shot. So pretty!

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  3. Good morning! We are getting more rain today. Maybe I will float over to the church for Bible study.

    That is a really striking header with both the contrast in colors and the sharp focus on lines and angles. Well done, AJ.

    I finally purchased the devotional I had asked for at Christmas, New Morning Mercies, by Paul David Tripp. Looking forward to reading it with my reader glasses assisted with a magnifying glass.

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  4. Morning! It is a cold, icy and slippery kind of day around these parts! Truly hoping the sun comes out before the snow hits this afternoon! And that is an oh so lovely header photo up there!! I love the contrasts…
    Chas I am ever so thankful that Elvera is ok and that Chuck is nearby…. ❤️
    Janice my favorite devotional is My Time With God….going through the NT with key OT scripture…15 minute devotional. I also read the Oswald Chambers daily devotions and Alistair Begg’s daily devotions…three very different readings but all so beneficial….

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  5. New Morning Mercies is a wonderful devotional. I used it a few years ago and just recently pulled it out again for this year.

    Re my late-night/early-morning posts from yesterday … I believe our visitor has succumbed. Now for the cleanup, which may involve my bed. Last time I caught a glimpse of Annie, she had something brown in her mouth and she was on my bed.

    Life with cats.

    And I have a fasting bloodwork appt at 9. Since I’ve been awake, more or less, from about 3:15 a.m., I am now starving and have been craving at least a glass of juice or mild.

    I had to make due with some tap water 😦

    One of our photographers got some nice shots of Trump’s arrival in LA yesterday. We have a small (spread too-thin) but very talented staff.

    I have a long day today, after the dr appt I need to track down a school controversy and then in the afternoon I have back-to-back groundbreakings for 2 temporary homeless shelters being provided by the city of L.A. Of course, these were emergency shelters meant to go up quickly to respond to the crisis, but it’s taken more than 2 years just to get to a groundbreaking. Sigh. Government at work.

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  6. We have an ongoing discussion in Idaho. Should parents be allowed to not seek medical treatment for their children? Children and babies die of pneumonia and such that might be helped with antibiotics but not all want to pursue that. There is a group, calling themselves Christian, who believe their children will go to hell if given modern pharmaceuticals. So they don’t. They don’t seek prenatal care etc. I do not know if their death rate is higher than the general populace or more noted. What do you say?

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  7. While praying in the middle of the night, I suddenly remembered one of my godsons worked in Beijing. My husband’s colleagues in that city have been reporting hellacious life and death.

    I just contacted his sister, and the company got him out of Beijing to Tokyo and he’s working remotely. His contract is up in April and he hopes not to return.

    This is the godson who used to work with Save the Children in Yemen . . . .

    Speaking of the coronavirus, my daughter’s company has transported several people with it now. They’re not concerned. The flu, however, has been a much bigger deal for their company. 14K+ have died already.

    I probably mentioned this earlier, but getting flu shot is the most important thing folks can do to protect themselves. But you, logical people, know that.

    She may fly up tomorrow with two colleagues to pick up a new ambulance and drive it back to LA. Her company’s headquarters are just the road about 10 miles. So, I may get to see her long enough to drive them from the airport to work! LOL

    It’s the little things. I’ve been asked to make chocolate chip cookies! 🙂

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  8. Children are not possessions of their parents, to dispose of as the parent sees fit. This is not ancient Rome, where the father had the right of life and death over his offspring and unwanted infants were exposed. Parents are under both human and divine authority and accountable to both the laws of the country in which they live and to God for how they raise their children. Failure to provide the necessities of life is a crime here in Canada and, I assume, in the US, and failing to treat illness with the available treatments is as much a denial of a necessity of life as failing to give the child food or water.

    There is historical precedent for the need to take such a position. From the mid-19th century to the mid-20th century, disadvantaged children from the UK were sent to live in Canada and Australia. Those who took these home children in frequently used them simply as cheap labour, and too many died or were emotionally and physically scarred for life – my paternal grandmother’s father was a home child and a former home child attended my family church, so this is something I have first hand knowledge of. One horrible case led to a woman being charged for murder of a home child, whom she used as a slave to run her farm. The boy had died of illness, but she had done nothing to treat or alleviate his illness. The woman was acquitted, because at that time, the popular view was that these children were defective (see Mrs. Rachel Lynde’s comment on home children in the beginning of Anne of Green Gables for a typical attitude) and so the woman’s lawyers were able to slander the dead child enough to convince the jury, but the fact she was charged in the first place shows how obvious the consequences of her neglect were to even a public not well disposed to the home children. It is easy for us to see how unacceptable it would be for an adult to refuse to treat an ill child with available remedieswhen the child is someone else’s. But it is no different for the children that one conceives.

    The Bible makes clear that children are a) a gift granted solely at God’s decision, and b) that parents do not have a right to their children, they have a responsibility for them. Paul commands Christians fathers, who lived in the Roman culture where father’s had the right of life and death, not to exasperate their children. Paul was contradicting the cultural norms, and telling father’s they had no right to rule over their children absolutely, that they were accountable to God for their treatment of them. Paul is extending the command of Jesus to “Do unto others as they should do unto you” to the relationship of parent and child. If a child denied an ailing parent medical care on the basis of the child’s conviction it would be wrong. It is wrong when the parent denies the child the same care.

    I know of no human being, who when suffering from illness, does not desire to be relieved. I have seen infants gasping for breath from pneumonia and that gasping alone is a cry for help and relief. The infants I saw were in a country with far less medical resources, yet their parents spent their scant money to travel the rough roads to the only available medical care in order to get their children treatment. When parents with so little do so much for their children, then the refusal of parents, in a land with every available medical resource, to provide the same relief for their children is a dark crime indeed.

    I have no patience or sympathy for these so-called Christian parents’ convictions and my lack of patience or sympathy is based entirely on Biblical grounds. The view that children will go to hell for taking antibiotics is based on heretical teaching. All humans are already condemned to hell, and our only source of salvation is Jesus Christ. Those who teach that physical medications are linked to the salvation of the soul are preaching another gospel and are under condemnation for so doing. It could not be made any clearer in Scripture that those who teach such things are false teachers:

    “Be careful that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit based on human tradition, based on the elemental forces of the world, and not based on Christ. For the entire fullness of God’s nature dwells bodily in Christ, and you have been filled by Him, who is the head over every ruler and authority. You were also circumcised in Him with a circumcision not done with hands, by putting off the body of flesh, in the circumcision of the Messiah. Having been buried with Him in baptism, you were also raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. And when you were dead in trespasses and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive with Him and forgave us all our trespasses. He erased the certificate of debt, with its obligations, that was against us and opposed to us, and has taken it out of the way by nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and disgraced them publicly; He triumphed over them by Him.

    Therefore, don’t let anyone judge you in regard to food and drink or in the matter of a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of what was to come; the substance is the Messiah. Let no one disqualify you, insisting on ascetic practices and the worship of angels, claiming access to a visionary realm and inflated without cause by his unspiritual mind. He doesn’t hold on to the head, from whom the whole body, nourished and held together by its ligaments and tendons, develops with growth from God.

    If you died with the Messiah to the elemental forces of this world, why do you live as if you still belonged to the world? Why do you submit to regulations: “Don’t handle, don’t taste, don’t touch”? All these regulations refer to what is destroyed by being used up; they are commands and doctrines of men. Although these have a reputation of wisdom by promoting ascetic practices, humility, and severe treatment of the body, they are not of any value in curbing self-indulgence.” (Colossians 2)

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  9. Also, lack of antibiotics does lead to higher death rates. I have seen that first hand, and it is a historical fact that more people died of infections before antibiotics were developed than of other causes. Only since the development of antibiotics and vaccines have non-infectious disease such as cancer and cardiovascular disease become the leading cause of death in the West.

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  10. Mumsee, that is such a foolish, wrong position about medicine and salvation. Very sad. I am leery of government intervention unless it is a very clear case. Neither parents or government agencies are omniscient or perfect. We see the abuse run both ways, such as the minor given hormone blockers against his mother’s wishes. I do agree that children do not belong to parents or the government. Parents are given the first charge, but never to abuse.

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  11. Catching up from yesterday— I am told I tripped over a metal truck and took out the stitches I already had in my forehead from hitting the wall being chased by my brothers. I don’t remember it.

    I do remember almost being crushed by a huge steel culvert. I joined my brothers in taking a turn trying to walk on it like we would do on small barrels. It started rolling too fast down the slight hill it was on. I fell off in front of it and it started running over me. My brothers managed to stop it and I was more scared than hurt. We, wisely, learned our lesson.

    Chas, so glad you have family to help you.

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  12. No sign of a dead or live rat. Probably dead based on Annie’s much more relaxed behavior and body language. But where? I’ve been poking around in the bedroom for an hour, checking corners, under the cedar chest (where I saw Annie hovering) – nothing. Yet. …

    Roscuro, interesting point about why heart disease and cancer are now so prevalent as the leading causes of death — by comparing it to the years before we had antibiotics which, of course, prevented so many (then) death-causing issues that we now consider rather minor.

    I’ve just started subscribing to Alistair Begg’s daily email devotionals; in fact I listened to a sermon of his on how we should be happy and enjoy life to its fullest at about 4 a.m. today. Think of life as an adventure, he says. Go for it!

    But I’m so tired …

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  13. K, the minor given hormone blockers is an extreme case and exceptions do not prove the rule. The problem of giving hormone treatment to minors to treat gender dysphoria does not negate the necessity of every other kind of medical treatment. That hormone treatment is considered a viable treatment for gender dysphoria is, in the overall picture of medical treatment, a case where the culture of the day is dictating what is medically correct, rather than scientific inquiry. Medical practitioners, as humans, have always been unable to fully separate themselves completely from the surrounding culture and that can result in foolish culture based decisions, such as the surgical creation of eunuchs in Eastern empires, or the treatment of homosexuality, when it was illegal in the mid-20th century by giving male homosexuals female hormones (there is a direct link from that hormonal conversion therapy to the current use of hormone therapy – something some homosexual rights activists have pointed out). But using the comparatively few cases of wrongly applied medical treatment to argue against the much more frequently rightly applied medical treatment is unfair. If there is an outbreak of food poisonous ng due to contaminated food or drink, we want people against consuming the contaminated food or drink, but we do not want them against consider ng all food or drink. As morally distressing as the misapplication of modern medical treatment can be, I see that Christians are failing to heed the cautions of their Lord to not fear. The growing anti-medicine movement within the Christian community in reaction to the limited cases of wrongly applied use of medicine is deeply concerning, as it displays a panic that is wiping out the ability to reason logically. We know from history that medical progress can be delayed and set back by false philosophies. Luke, as a physician in the Roman Empire, had more sound knowledge about medical treatment than the physicians of apparently Christian medieval Europe. Paul’s warning against those who used philosophy and vain reasoning to forbid consumption of the good things in the world was not very well heeded by Europeans. It was a different matter for the Christians of the East. The Assyrian Christians of the Islamic Abbasid Empire had a medical school around what is now northern Iraq and several Assyrian Christians served as personal physicians to the Caliph of Baghdad.odern science and medicine owes much to the preservation of knowledge that took place in the Eastern Muslim Empires when Europe turned its back on the innovations of the Greeks and Romans (the works of Aristotle, for example, were preserved in Arabic writing), and a good deal of that preservation was at the hand of Christians embedded within those empires.

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  14. Kathaleena, Agreed, that is why I mentioned they called themselves Christians. And they may be, I don’t know, but that is definitely a false view of Christ’s work. That it could be so limited by our decisions for our children.

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  15. A little thought experiment: Jehovah’s Witnesses are against blood transfusions. They condemn them on the basis of the statement “the life of the body is in the blood” and believe some kind of transference of one’s life can take place by receiving another’s blood. Jehovah’s Witnesses are completely outside the pale of Christianity. Their rejection of Jesus Christ as God the Son condemns them. They have been prevented from imposing their convictions regarding blood transfusions on the treatment of their children when the lives of their children could be saved by a blood transfusion. They are not forced as adults capable of informed consent to receive transfusions themselves, they simply cannot make that choice for their children. Does that seem so extreme or a danger to parental rights? For a thorough exploration of the ruling on JW children in multiple countries: https://adc.bmj.com/content/90/7/715

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  16. Idaho has a wide range of people, not all are worried their children will go to hell if they use any modern meds. Some don’t trust the meds. Some think alternatives are better and pursue those. The religious ones love their children as does anybody else. They just don’t agree with modern medicine. The alternatives don’t either. Modern medicine is educated guessing. If you had fifteen doctors in the room, they might have ten or twelve different ideas on how something should be treated. There is room for argument.

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  17. I figger God gave man the ability to use the brain He gave us to come up with treatments for things that used to kill us. It’s all part of His design.
    Think of the babies who died from starvation before formula was developed. Would a mother refuse a bottle to a baby if her milk didn’t come in?
    Think of the people who bled to death before we learned to stitch them up from a cut.

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  18. Mumsee, modern medicine is not educated guessing, and it is not true that fifteen doctors might have ten or twelve ideas on how something should be treated. Few illnesses even have so many options for treatment. There are only three available for cancer: surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy, used in different combinations certainly and with different doses, but only three – we wish we had more. The average lifespan has been extended by modern medicine. In West Africa, where medical treatment is severely limited, one out of every five children dies before the age of ten. The West has much, much lower rates of infant and child mortality. These are facts, not exaggerated statements made up on the spur of the moment.

    As for loving one’s children, I don’t doubt those refusing to seek medical treatment do love their children, but not perfectly. They are fearful, and as John said, those who fear are not made perfect in love because fear has torment. We saw such superstitious fear make people delay medical treatment until it was too late many times, or cause people to seek out marabouts with familiar spirits for charms to cure the sickness. Fear leads to death.

    There are alternative treatments and alternative treatments. No right thinking Christian would agree that charming spirits to cure illness is a proper alternative treatment, but there are many people in the world who think, many more than who even live in the West. Herbal/natural remedies are simply an archaic form of modern medicine, as many modern medicine are derived from the natural world, including antibiotics. Surely everyone has heard the story of how penicillin was discovered, from a piece of mold that blew into a petri dish from an open window. Those who hold that ‘natural’ herbal remedies remedies are better than modern medicine are creating a false division. It is like saying we should wear sheepskins instead of wool cloth – the wool cloth is simply a processed form of the sheepskin.

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  19. My slightly jaundiced view of modern meds comes with the baggage of nearly losing my daughter and one of two grandchildren due to the use of antibiotics and the saving of same by the quick response of dedicated medical people.

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  20. Roscuro, Educated guessing. They are educated and they guess what the infirmity is and treat it according to education. Unless they have a lab report indicating precisely the problem and then they choose from the options that their experience tells them is the best treatment for said problem. The human body is a very complicated thing and no one person knows or understands it all.

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  21. So Mumsee, an allergic reaction to one antibiotic makes you jaundiced to modern medicine, but the dedicated work of modern healthcare professionals to save not only your daughter but also her two children who would have died if they were born at that age without modern medical treatment. It reminds me of Youngest in-law, who refuses vaccines for his children on the ground that modern medicine is corrupt and not to be trusted, but who has a younger brother who was born with only half a heart and is alive today because if modern medical treatment. Or my friend from the city church, who regularly shares anti-vax posts and other critiques of modern medicine on FB, but has a grandchild who was born with Spina bifida and hydrocephalus who is now walking and talking and reading and writing thanks to modern medical treatment. In each case, the negative is unreasonably being allowed to outweigh the positive, and modern medicine is being criticised by the very people who have greatly benefited from it. It is very impossible to predict allergic reactions before a new medications is given to a person, because healthcare practitioners are not omniscient. For that very reason, we closely monitor those who are given new IV antibiotics for the first dose (the reaction happens much more quickly with IV treatment, while it could take days to appear with oral antibiotics) and send people home with information sheets listing the signs of an allergic reaction and what to do if they appear. We recognize our limitations, but the public simply curses us for our failures and rarely thanks us for our successes.

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  22. I was not comparing the death rate of children in these special cases with that of any other country. Merely with their fellow Americans. Good nutrition and shelter and sleep go a long way in fighting many of these illnesses, not to mention living in an area not conducive to many of the killing diseases. There are many children who have never been to a doctor in this country, beyond the vaccination ritual, and they do fine. Others, not so much. Many children go regularly and regularly need antibiotic treatment or other. Others go regularly and all they ever see is well child checkups.

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  23. In this case, it means I am less than enamored with the medical professions perfection. But I have repeatedly said over the years that I am delighted to have been placed in this time where medical treatment is so successful and so available.

    Jaundiced: mom died of ovarian cancer at fifty two though she went to the doctor religiously and had great confidence in her doc. Sister went for check ups every six months and followed every bit of advice and died under the knife for endometriosis treatment leading to sepsis (her widowed husband became quite wealthy). I do not go to the doc unless I believe they can help me and then generally go with a nurse practitioner or some such. People call me stupid or careless for not making the annual trip to the doc which at my age, becomes much more than annual. But so it is.

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  24. Mumsee, ovarian cancer has the highest death rate of any kind of cancer for women, just as testicular cancer has the highest rate of any kind of cancer for women. Cancers involving the sex hormones are agressive and fast growing and modern medicine has not been able to catch up with the body’s natural hormones when it comes to treating them. It is not medicine’s fault that nature can kill faster than medicine can heal.

    The sepsis post surgery is a problem that is a fault of the medical practitioners involved. Efforts to keep the surgical field entirely sterile are never 100 percent effective, but certainly sterile technique has greatly reduced the risk – the gruesome surgeries of the 1800s are a thing if the past. Surgery was once performed by barbers, not physicians, as if was considered so antithetical to the physician’s role of healing to cut someone open deliberately. Now that more people survive surgery than die from it and it actually can save lives without entirely maiming them (most surgeries in the days barbers did them were amputations of limbs that were to infected or damaged to be saved). Ever patient going for surgery is informed of the risks, including infection. Sadly, sepsis is once again, one of the cases where nature often moves more quickly than medicine can.

    I have, in all this discussion, been acknowledging the faults and flaws if modern medicine. So, the implicit indication that I upholding its perfection is at the very least inaccurate. I have more reason than anyone to know about how imperfect medicine is, but I also have seen what it is like with little to no modern medicine. My siblings needed no more than vaccines and we’ll child checks, but from infancy I have needed antibiotics and other modern medical treatment to keep me alive, and came close to death when they were limited in availability. My mother now has several autoimmune conditions that cannot be easily treated (treating autoimmune conditions involves the use of chemotherapy and hormone steroids, two of the most dangerous types of medicine, both derived from natural substances, chemotherapy from poisons and steroids from the body’s own hormones) and so chooses not to seek out a doctor unless absolutely necessary. Nevertheless, she also doesn’t insult my choice of profession by making snide remarks or unfairly criticise medicine for failing to cure her of conditions which occur naturally.

    If I express myself strongly on the subject of the public perception of the failures if modern medicine, it is because I am seeing where the discontent leads. It has become commonplace for the public now to demand that if modern medicine cannot cure them if the diseases that nature imposes, than modern medicine must then kill them so that they need not suffer from nature. Yes, both conservative and progressive are becoming discontent with modern medicine, and whether by rejecting beneficial treatment or demanding deadly treatment, the end result is the same.

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  25. Roscuro, was I snide or critical? I am assuming you meant testicular cancer for men, as I don’t believe women get that all too often. In my mom’s case, I have often wondered if it came about from her use of early birth control pills or talc. But it was what it was, nobody blaming anybody. The idea is that people can go to the doc all the time but still die young. Only God knows the number of our days. And brother in law became wealthy due to suing the doc because it was believed to be his fault for not doing clean enough work. Not sure I would have done that as I admire those in the medical profession and think they generally do good work.

    Back to the question at hand: should the state have that much control over a family? Should a family be forced to seek a certain type of medical treatment or should we concede that in a population of three hundred thirty million more or less, there will be differences of opinion for medical treatment? Should the parents be charged in the deaths of their children? Where is the line?

    We have some freedom of education. A lot of people disagree with that and some people misuse that freedom. On the other hand, many people graduate from the public system with little or no academic education.

    We have freedom of location but seem to be losing the freedom of association.

    The right to bear arms. And so on. Just wondered what people thought of the freedom to choose medical treatment.

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  26. James 5 from Enduring Word on confession:

    Public confession must be discrete. Often the confession needs to be no more than what is necessary to enlist prayer. It can be enough to say publicly, “Pray for me, I need victory over my besetting sin.”

    It would be wrong to go into more detail, but saying this much is important. It keeps us from being “let’s pretend Christians” who act as if everything is fine when it isn’t.

    “Almost all sexual transgressions are either secret or private and should be so confessed. A burden too great to bear may be shared with a pastor or doctor or a friend of the same sex.

    Scripture discourages even the naming of immorality among believers, and declares that it is a shame even to speak of things done in secret by the immoral.” (Orr)

    This struck me because our #MeToo movement seems to be zealously going after folks to force confessions and if not, dirty laundry will be aired.

    There’s plenty about people’s lives I’d be happy not to know. 😦

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  27. Amendments nine and ten might apply:
    The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution….are reserved…to the people

    I don’t believe we have the right to kill our children (abortion included) but not sure if we have the power to enforce that everybody conform to a certain standard of education or medical care or work day or diet or a lot of things.

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  28. Mumsee, I pointed out the case of the JW parents, in which it has been consistently ruled that parents do not have the right, in cases where refusing treatment will lead to the death or permanent maining of a child, to decide that their child will die or be permanently maimed. The child has rights too, remember and the right of parents, unlike ancient Rome, does not extend to life and death, as I said before. That is actually a valuable protection when one considers ethical concerns around abortion and euthanasia – we are aghast when mothers are given such a right over a child within the woman (the law itself always has inconsistencies, and the granting of rights is never absolute, not even in America). A child with bacterial pneumonia will either die or be permanently maimed. You earlier noted that lab tests made medical treatment less of an educated guess. It is possible to take sputum samples to test for the kind of bacteria infecting a child’s lungs, while X-rays will show the whitened area where fluid consolidation is. But few outside the medical profession realize that we learned to diagnose pneumonia before lab tests could detect bacteria or x-rays were available, by using our sense of hearing. Listening with the stethoscope to lungs with pneumonia one hears coarse crackling sounds as air moves in and out through the fluid in the alveoli, and before stethoscopes were invented, percussion told the same story (fluid pockets sound dull when the spaces between the ribs are tapped). The reason sputum lab testing is not always done before treatment is started for pneumonia is that bacteria kills quickly (staph has toxins that will kill in 24 hours), and it takes time to culture a bacterial sample, so it is better with serious life threatening illnesses like pneumonia to start treatment right away than wait. Delaying treatment not only increases the risk of death by asphyxiation, as the fluid and debris created by bacteria and white blood cells fighting the bacteria builds up in the lung alveoli, but also the risk of sepsis, as the immune system will ramp up its response to a bacterial infection too far and end up damaging its own body’s cells in a desperate bid to stop the bacteria. The decision made to start treatment is made from reasons not seen by the layperson who is not aware of the layers of study and experience which lead to a decision. When there is disagreement in medicine, it is most often to be found in the outlying cases, where the condition is extremely rare, so there is no prior knowledge or experience to draw on and inference can only be made from other cases with any kind of similarity.

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  29. auto correct…

    Yes, we have taken a stance on blood transfusions and I understand leaving the decision for adults.

    But knowing government, where will it end?

    For the record, we take our children to all of their well child checks, keep them vaccinated, yearly eye checks, and do the every six month dental checks. Not everybody does that. Should they be charged?

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  30. The permanent maining that happens from pneumonia comes from the damage done to the lungs from both the bacteria, which have the capability to eat away body tissues, and the immune system itself at times, which can get confused when under pressure between good and bad. That is why those who have pneumonia once are prone to future infections and permanent diseases such as asthma. I am an example, as I developed a lung infection as an intent, which, thankfully, my parents had treated, but was serious enough for me to be hospitalized under oxygen therapy (when you have been in the healthcare field, you know that oxygen is not lightly applied). Since that time I have both developed asthma and suffered repeated bouts of pneumonia, and my health condition has in turn permanently altered the course if my life. I was not allowed by the mission to return to West Africa because of it. Furthermore, if a parent consistently refuses antibiotics, the child may survive one, or even several infections, but the load on the immune system increases with each subsequent infection, until death may occur from a relatively minor infection. Antibiotics work by helping, not substituting for the immune system, taking the load off so the body has to spend less resources to fight the infection. Before antibiotics, stimulants such as miniscule amounts of strychnine (strychnine is a powerful stimulant that poisons at higher dosrs by causing unending seizures through over stimulation of the immune system) often were given to those fighting bacterial infections in order to keep their body from being overwhelmed with exhaustion from fighting the infection.

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  31. Mumsee, knowing humanity, where will absolute parental control end? We already know the answer: honour killings; emotional, physical, and sexual child abuse; child enslavement; forced child marriages… all things imposed on children by parents where there is little to no government control over parental actions.

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  32. Children taken away to be raised by the government, educated by the government, job trained by the government, removed from society by the government….

    Somewhere, in the middle, are all the normal people, just trying to do the best they can with what they know to bring up their children to be good citizens (or, in the case of believers: good Christ followers). Do they have freedom to think for themselves? By giving up the line at the extremes, we do endanger the freedoms of all.

    No, I do not want children dying of preventable diseases,

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  33. Thanx for mentioning us on the prayer thread Mumsee.
    It has been a hectic day. Lots going on but nothing happening, if you understand.
    Somebody stole Elvera’s walker from the back of my car. I don’t know how that happened. But somehow it did. All know for certain is that it isn’t there.

    I don’t know exactly what happened last night. I suspect she was trying to get out of bed.
    That has never happened before. I need to find some way to prevent that.

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  34. Most people, even on the extremes of what we think normal, are not doing honor killings, emotional or physical or sexual abuse, child enslavement, or forced marriages. Most of that seems to just run through all of society.

    I have known home schoolers who have their children help in the garden. Some might consider that to be child enslavement. I suspect, because we have our children spend a good twenty minutes morning and afternoon, taking care of the animals, there are people who believe we are mistreating them with overwork. Everybody has an opinion. But our society has come up with stricter and stricter child labor laws that our chores do not come close to. Still, people will talk…

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  35. According to the rights of the child, any chores done by a child to help the family, the child is supposed to be paid with money for doing. So much for teaching a child a work ethic or the joy of helping family.

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  36. Interesting question, Mumsee. As each person is an individual and all families are unique, I think serious analysis should be done to choose the wisest course of action for the best outcome to save life and to keep the established family intact. I don’t think a banket policy will serve citizens best but what I am suggesting is probably cost prohibitive.

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  37. I am glad we can pray for you, Chas. Is that amazing or what? The God of everything wants to hear from us about each other. Continuing to pray for you.

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  38. My childhood neighborhood best friend’s brother passed away yesterday. He was only 67. I attended the prom with him when I was in the 10th grade, the only prom I went to. He was a year and a half older and therefore in the class ahead of my class. It is difficult to process his death. He and I were never in love or real close, but I am feeling quite sad for my friend.

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  39. Kevin, I agree, the autocorrect on this phone is over zealous (to zealous it suggested Zeus).

    Mumsee, most people can be quite cruel to others when they are not brought up short by rules and other behavioural regulations. They may know no better, having grown up in the same cruelty. The things I listed are more common than not – FGM, for example, is both physical and sexual abuse if girls, and it is rule, not the exception, throughout large swathes if sub-Saharan Africa, and it is parents imposing it on their daughters. That kind of casual cruelty goes completely different unquestioned within cultures. It is just the way things are and everyone accepts it as the norm. I meant child enslavement when I said child enslavement, it was not a progressive code word for something else. Aji suun could tell you a thing or two, as she told me, about what goes on when poor and desperate people have too many mouths to feed and there is no effective legal protections and no social supports for children. The slave trade still operates, and children are still sold into slavery by parents all through what is termed the third world.

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  40. Again, I was talking about the US.

    We live in a sinful world. One of the reasons for the school system that started here was to educate the masses on the Word of God. So people would know how to treat each other. It is why so many hospitals and orphanages were started by Christians. Yes, people will do wrong and think it right if they were raised that way. But, as shown in the comics recently, even when shown, they often choose stupid. (in the comics it was about students getting plastered because there were not enough educational things pointing out it was dangerous, even though the students knew the info was out there, they were wanting to get drunk so ignored it.)
    But generally, I believe a lot of people, when informed, will choose better if they see the wrong as hurting their children.

    Of course then I look at my own family and there you have it. Most people in this country know about drugs and the dangers but still go there, to the detriment of their children. But what have laws done, other than taking dads and moms away for smoking a joint?

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  41. Where that superfluous word *different* came from, I have no idea… This thing inserts entire words into what I’m writing.

    Honour killings have also been the norm in societies with little legislation. The case law of Moses that mandated that a rebellious don had to be put on trial before being killed by the parents was, contrary to popular atheistic interpretation, not a cruel new innovation, but a alleviation of the absolute power of life a death over one’s children that exists in societies without higher legislation. India and Pakistan both forbid honour killings in their legislation but often lack the actual manpower to enforce the laws, leading to the tragedies that Westerners frequently read about. The honour system preexists the Constitutions and so in places where the Constitution cannot reach, the honour system still exists. That has been historically true even in the US, as the vivid scenes of the bloody feud in Huckleberry Finn demonstrate – the narrator of Twain’s story makes clear that the girl who ran away with her lover would have been killed by her family if they could have caught her, a situation which is exactly like the young woman who was murdered outside the courtroom in Pakistan by her family for marrying a man they disapproved of. So no, the honour killings system is not the exception when parental control is absolute, it is the norm, even within the US.

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  42. And the above demonstrates why this discussion cannot be limited to the US, because humans are humans the world over. The libertarian ideal of human freedom does not work because humans are enslaved to sin. Like a dog turning to his vomit, they will, when released from regulation turn immediately to the evil that the regulation forbid. The ideals that the US Constitution was formed on, as I have noted before, were ideals that sought to deny that harsh reality, and thus inherently flawed, a fact to which subsequent Constitutional amendments attests. Laws are imperfect, but the lack of law is anarchy, every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost. Children are among the hindmost.

    As for how far to take the regulation of what medical treatments parents can refuse, I have already suggested the line between life and death. If the child will die without treatment, the parent cannot refuse on the child’s behalf. This gets tricky in the case of cancer treatment, but the very limitation of cancer treatment options allow for the possibility that the uncertainty as to whether the treatment will actually work or not can give room for refusal, and has indeed, at least here in Ontario, allowed refusal if further cancer treatment (though in the cases I know, the child themselves were able to also have a say). But antibiotics are not chemotherapy, and do not carry the same dangerous effects and uncertainty of efficacy. Vaccinations – I do not think they should be absolutely mandatory, but parents must receive thorough education about what they are refusing for their child, and, in cases of outbreak, the child will either have to be quarantined or receive the vaccine for their own protection. Not attending well child visits are not of concern unless the failure to attend such visits is part of a wider pattern of neglect and possible abuse. It is pretty simple really, when common sense is used.

    Marijuana, like alcohol, can cause permanent brain damage and a young child is particularly vulnerable to such damage. We would all be outraged at a parent who gave alcohol to their two year old.

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  43. Oh, I believe people giving illegal drugs to children are harming the children. Much as i dislike the drug trade, the once week smoker of mj probably does not need jail or prison. Adult smoker.

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  44. I am not calling for jail time for a casual smoker of marijuana. I am not sure that Canada’s total legalization is really that effective, but I am not outraged at it either. But smoking marijuana, or tobacco for that matter, is not a totally autonomous activity. Smoke does not stay confined to the lungs of the smoker. As the Seconds could tell you, who endured fellow tenants smoking both substances in the same building and having the smoke come into their apartment through the ventilation system. Hence my comparison giving actually making a two year old drink alcohol. The parent who smokes around their child is making their child smoke. The former employer of Youngest had COPD, an awful chronic lung disease caused by chronic lung damage. She had never smoked a day in her life, but her parents had. Just growing up in the same house as two smokers had destroyed her lungs.

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  45. Actually the US constitution is based on the knowledge of the sinfulness of man. Thus, the checks and balances. No government is perfect nor their decisions. It is only flawed humans making those decisions.

    We have a Christian family that fought a battle years ago when they brought their son for alternative treatments for cancer and rejected what his doctors here wanted. It was a big story around here. That child is now an adult and healthy. Many predicted death and there’s the rub.

    I am alive because of modern Western medicine (not to mention God’s will) and get irritated when it is run down. However, there is a balance as mumsee suggests.

    I also delivered my first baby with two doctors arguing about whether or not I should have a C-Section. Doctors are also fallible human beings. By my age, it’s obvious.

    I thank God for the good medical personnel and those who discover cures etc.

    Liked by 3 people

  46. Roscuro, this may be anectodal so not admissable but as far as I know, I know nobody in the US who has ever participated in an honor killing and I do not believe you are correct in saying it is the norm in this country.

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  47. K, the statements that Jefferson made in the Declaration of Independence are a near restatement of John Locke’s Second Treatise on government. Both Locke and Jefferson believed men in a star of nature were naturally good and that only when men came together in larger groups did there need to be a system of checks and balances. Other Founding Father’s, such as John Adams, had a more realistic view of human nature, Hence Adams’ observation that the system of government would only work with a moral and religious people and would not work with any other.

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  48. Mumsee, I am saying it would be the norm in the US if parents had absolute power over their children without any interference by government. The feudal system that existed historically in the US in places where the law had less power is evidence for my assertion.

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  49. Mumsee, regarding your question, I believe that parents gave authority for a child to his or her parents, not to the state, and the state should intervene with the greatest caution, and rarely. It should be illegal to deliberately kill or harm your child. I personally do not believe it should be illegal to choose not to give life-sustaining treatment, at least in most cases. Antibiotics have saved many lives, but I think they’re nearing the end of their usefulness–in the last year I have heard many, many cases of antibiotics causing side effects, some of them serious.

    I think that parents have authority and responsibility for their children–and with that authority and responsibility comes a “right” to be wrong. Many actions against children are crimes, and should be crimes, but deciding that the treatment for this cancer is likely to be effective but comes with such extreme side effects (worse than the cancer itself) that it is greater kindness not to pursue treatment: parents have the God-given right to make such choices, but doctors and governments do not.

    Parents do not have the God-given right to kill their children, mutilate them, use them sexually, or sell them into slavery. The law can and should step in in such cases. But the presence of a medical treatment does not bring with it a moral requirement to use it, or even to use it for one’s children. I think the JW’s are wrong about blood transfusions–but then, much of America thinks that Christians are wrong to spank, or to homeschool their children, or to refuse to let them become the other sex or to engage in sexual activity, and so forth. I lean toward saying that the JW’s are wrong–but that they have a right to be wrong. They have been given the responsibility for their children, and choosing against medical treatment is not actively killing or harming their children, and I’m inclined to say that medical people should communicate what they believe to be the best interest of the child, but no one cares more about the child than the parent does, and no one else has been given authority to care for the child. The law exists to punish wrongdoing, NOT to enforce “doing good.” The law can say “You must not give your child alcohol”; it cannot say “You must give your child orange juice” or “you must give your child a blood transfusion.” That is beyond its authority. That’s my own leaning.

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  50. NB: Honour killing take many more firms than just parents killing children. The killing of people in duels to avenge honour or lynchings to avenge crimes are honour killings, and the US certainly has such killings in its history.

    Cheryl, doing good is mandated in Scripture: “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.” (Proverbs 3:27). The link I shared concerning legal decisions and JWs, observes that the US culturally holds that children belong to parents. It is something I observe as well in the statements I am reading concerning parental rights. That is not surprising, as that is John Locke’s view in his Second Treatise, which was highly influential in early American culture. Other cultures, such as traditional Hindu, Buddhist, and Islamic cultures hold the same view of parents owning children. But, I see nothing in Scripture to confirm that view, and rather I see that with the law of Moses concerning rebellious children and Paul’s command to fathers not to provoke their children, a reminder that children, like all humans, are the property of their Creator. They are given into the care of their parents only for their good, a holding in trust as Moses was held in trust for Pharoah’s daughter by his mother. Jesus observes this inherent benevolence toward the child in the parent child relationship in his statements about fathers, who although being evil, still know to give good gifts to their children. If taken to its logical end, the argument that parents are not obliged to do good for their children would mean that parents are not obliged to feed and clothe said children.

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  51. Roscuro, I didn’t say or imply that parents are not obliged to do good for their children. God did not give parents ownership of their children, but He did give them responsibility for them, and that includes feeding them, clothing them, teaching them right from wrong, disciplining them, and more.

    God gave the state the authority to punish evil, including the right to put an evildoer to death. Did He give the state the authority to compel its citizens to do right? States often have drifted into this, enforcing church attendance for instance. Today we enforce education of children and all sorts of other things. But does the state have this authority? And is the state more likely to do right by the child than to do wrong, and more likely to do right by the child than the parent is? Parents often make bad choices for their children, and some of those bad choices are crimes (and many of those are appropriately crimes). But the more responsibility we cede to the government, the less responsibility we expect from parents–and that’s a bad thing, on multiple levels.

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  52. When I first read the current article in our local paper, I immediately thought, it makes sense to push them into getting the standard medical care. But then I realized how many children are hurt by foster care, with the idea the State was doing good. So I asked for input. I appreciate it all.

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  53. Why does President allow children to be put in “cages” on the border? Why did President Obama allow the same thing? To protect them from abuse and being trafficked. But people are outraged by that. Makes no sense to me. Of course we want to protect them, there are evil people lurking at the door.

    As mentioned, it is all quite complicated, balancing the rights and freedoms to be a family with the rights and freedoms of being a citizen.

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  54. Cheryl, thevargument that giving government power in one area will result in the government taking toouch power is a slippery slope argument and a logical fallacy. I have noted the limitations of any such law compelling medical treatment for children. The attitude that the government will just take more power if we give them any power is again a cultural one and again one that Locke held forward in his Second Treatise. Once again, it is not one upheld by Scripture. As Paul observed, every government is put in place by God and those who resist the ordinances resisted God. He also observes in Roma’s 13 that the laws may be summed up in the phrase, you shall love your neighbour as yourself. One’s children, and one’s spouse are as much one’s neighbour as the person in need in the other side of the world. Having experienced pneumonia, the condition that started this discussion, I can guarantee that any adult who experiences its symptoms will seek out effective treatment, whatever it may entail. The same courtesy should be shown to one’s child. Also, as Second has observed, several accounts we have read of parents whose religious views forbid certain life saving treatment were relieved when the courts stepped in and overruled the leaders of the parents’ religious community. Parents may be being decieved and abused spiritually themselves in such cases and also need the protection of law.

    Mumsee, in the case if the migrant children, many of these children are being separated from their parents. So, do the rights of parents to their children only apply to the parents who are American citizens?

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  55. Janice I am so sorry you lost an old friend. This past weekend I reconnected with a childhood friend. She pondered why those relationships tend to mean so much to us after all these years. I guess there is something about those formative years that relationships just stick with us. Mile markers in life ❤️

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  56. Roscuro, the children coming in with their parents, illegally, are having their parent’s detained. We do not normally detain children in jails so are not set up for that. Mexican jails are set up for that as often the small children accompany their moms. I don’t know the percentage but a lot of the children are unaccompanied or in the company of somebody to whom they are not related. In the interest of getting them safely to their families, it makes sense to protect them.

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  57. An interesting little tidbit from Fox:
    The policy allows school employees to use alternative names and pronouns for children without parental notice or consent. The policy states that the district is committed to affirming each student’s self-designated gender identity, and that the district will strive to “disrupt the gender binary” with books and lessons stating that everyone has the right to choose their gender.

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  58. Exhausting day. Spent hours chasing a school controversy (allegations against a teacher by students who say she’s made racist comments in the classroom) and then was running between communities for groundbreakings on 2 homeless shelters (and having to write the story at the tail end of the day within an hour — wasn’t happy with the story but editor just texted and thanked me for a “very clean” story adding that he needed a story like that today).

    I like working, but it can be really tiring.

    As a friend once said, that’s why they call it ‘work.’

    Liked by 2 people

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