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Venty vent vent: "faith not fear"


MercyA
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1 hour ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

This mentality has seriously disrupted our church. This is how it has played out. 

It has been minimized from the top. There were several sermons where people who "feared" COVID were chastised. During these sermons, we were told that people who "feared" COVID were too attached to the physical life. Before the church was closed, people who were "too scared" were told they could stay home. I don't recall any expression of concern for people who were at higher risk. It was said during a sermon that the risks of COVID were exaggerated by the media. 

Some people (not just me) were very offended by this. People who expressed concerns were told they were "divisive." There are several people on the verge of leaving. 

There are several people in the church who are actively posting conspiracy theories on their FB pages like alleging that this is about taking down Trump and that the deaths are being exaggerated so hospitals can collect more money. 

But it's not like this problem began with COVID. Many of these people do not vaccinate even though there are several people in the church who are immunocompromised. There are people who have been made fun of for promoting the annual flu shot. Children have been sick and not kept home and families who expressed concerns about this were ignored. Basically it's been a gigantic "FU" to anyone who was more vulnerable coupled with ignorance. 

I'm ashamed to say that because no one in my family is immunocompromised that I did not realize how bad the problem was before. 

I don't think my church is that unique. I think this is a general problem with communities that base their identity on being contrariarian. Us vs them. "They" think COVID is a concern so it must not be a concern. "They" vaccinate so "we" don't vaccinate. "They" send their kids to public school so "we" don't. 

ETA to how it's playing out here. When you get beyond our small church to the next level, things are much better. People with a much greater responsibility have taken a very different tone. Our problem is local. 

gently - I realize this is your church.  But my impression of the pastors who were doing this that made the news is they were too attached to their collection plates.

 

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30 minutes ago, OH_Homeschooler said:

 

I would venture to guess that in the case of kids as PeterPan discussed, it is because they have limited experiences and to them, this COULD feel like forever. Their sense of future-orientation may not be as well-developed as adults. We've weathered some storms and bad times, but they have not, you know? 

I can also see people with pre-existing mental conditions like depression and anxiety having a harder time with the quarantine. They may need to socialize to feel more human. They may be calmed in the presence of others. So day after day of being isolated can make depression worse, and people with depression are not really capable of rational thought at times. I say this as someone with a long history of depression and anxiety--the thing about depression is that it makes it impossible to see the bright side of things. And when you can't see that light at the end of the tunnel, things seem pointless, and you may decide to end the misery. Personally, I'm lucky in that I've always been more of an introvert so the isolation is not a big problem for me.  

I suppose. 

I have a history of anxiety and depression, too, but, in my case at least, being home does not make me worse, it makes me better. Introvert thing, I guess. I do miss my friends; hell, I miss just being able to poke around a bookstore or an antiques shop, but I guess I just feel like, this won’t be forever. It’s crappy at the moment, but it will get better. 

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Faith over fear, yes, but faith in what?  In Whom?

What promise has God ever made to keep us healthy and free of a painful disease or death?  None!  So our faith in a promise that He has not made would be foolish and actually fairly insulting to Him.  

We trust Him with our lives, our salvation, and our ways.  But, as others have said, we are also told not to put Him to the test.  

Yes, our focus should be on Him more so than on this illness or on anything else in this life. 

But we are not called out of this world.  We are called to be in it but not of it.  We are told that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit.  It follows that we have an obligation to take care of them.  We are told to love our neighbors as ourselves, and it follows that we have an obligation to take care of others, too.

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27 minutes ago, gardenmom5 said:

gently - I realize this is your church.  But my impression of the pastors who were doing this that made the news is they were too attached to their collection plates.

 

In our church, I don't think it's about the collection plate. In fact, what they are doing is actually negatively affecting the collection plate. I think it's about control. 

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I had a long talk with a friend who is a pastor, and she said that she is very, very relieved that her conference closed churches completely and told them to go online, remote, etc  She would have had a hard time closing entirely knowing the number of seniors for whom church is their primary social connection, and how important it is, even when believing it was the best thing for their health and well being. This let her be the messenger, but not the bad guy. 

 

I know I felt the same when they finally closed schools for the year here. It let me tell my parents "I'm keeping music lessons online until fall, because I follow the school district for closures" instead of making the call 100% by myself.

 

I think some of the churches who are trying to reopen in small ways, or struggled to close entirely and tried to find a way to do communion, or to do some sort of Easter service physically, are those who have traditions of rejecting government authority, and don't have anyone else to be the bad guy.

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23 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

In our church, I don't think it's about the collection plate. In fact, what they are doing is actually negatively affecting the collection plate. I think it's about control. 

It's a hard thing when your eyes are opened and you realize what you grew up in or came to faith in has serious issues. There are a lot of imperfect people out there doing works that are good, but sometimes the issues bog down and people in the pew realize it and move on. I grew up in a church probably like what you're describing, and while I look back on them very appreciatively it's certainly not what I'm choosing now. 

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50 minutes ago, gardenmom5 said:

gently - I realize this is your church.  But my impression of the pastors who were doing this that made the news is they were too attached to their collection plates.

 

Because my husband is the pastor of a tiny church, I am the one who ends up being defacto church secretary. I answered the phone the other day and it was a “Christian telemarketer” wanting to tell me how to increase our haul during this pandemic. I don’t often do this (cuz telemarketers are often poor with few job choices) but I gave him an earful and hung up on him. 

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This Faith not Fear concept was addressed at Mass over the weekend (live streamed). Father said that 'Faith not Fear' is a comforting idea. We should always turn to to God when we are afraid. BUT wearing face masks, practicing social distancing and protecting our most vulnerable IS NOT fear, it is RESPECT. It is the very cornerstone of His commandment to Love one another. 

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Maybe they need others to tell them, "Faith, not fear!"  when they complain about the consequences of maintaining the quarantine.

I do think people are using that statement different ways.  Some are using it as a rallying cry to resume the old normal while others are using it to calm themselves during this transition to the new normal.

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I totally get your frustration.  I volunteered at a community helping function at my church a few weeks ago, and behind closed doors there were no masks worn and very little social distancing.  I felt like I had to explain myself for wearing a mask.  No, I'm not fearful (most of the time) BUT,  I am trying to love and honor others. who I will come in contact with.

I will say that  "Faith not fear" was my quiet mantra when I was teaching my oldest to drive.  It was scary.

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1 hour ago, Jean in Newcastle said:

Because my husband is the pastor of a tiny church, I am the one who ends up being defacto church secretary. I answered the phone the other day and it was a “Christian telemarketer” wanting to tell me how to increase our haul during this pandemic. I don’t often do this (cuz telemarketers are often poor with few job choices) but I gave him an earful and hung up on him. 

good for you.   telemarketers are profitable, or they wouldn't be doing this.

back when this started - they guys (multiple places, there were people in Canada too) who went around buying up all the PPE they could get their hands on then selling it at huge markups (and whining when amazon kicked them off) . . . same mentality.  it's profitable, and they care more about dollars than morals.

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2 hours ago, dmmetler said:

I had a long talk with a friend who is a pastor, and she said that she is very, very relieved that her conference closed churches completely and told them to go online, remote, etc  She would have had a hard time closing entirely knowing the number of seniors for whom church is their primary social connection, and how important it is, even when believing it was the best thing for their health and well being. This let her be the messenger, but not the bad guy. 

 

I know I felt the same when they finally closed schools for the year here. It let me tell my parents "I'm keeping music lessons online until fall, because I follow the school district for closures" instead of making the call 100% by myself.

 

I think some of the churches who are trying to reopen in small ways, or struggled to close entirely and tried to find a way to do communion, or to do some sort of Easter service physically, are those who have traditions of rejecting government authority, and don't have anyone else to be the bad guy.

I don't see it as being "the bad guy" by going online/cancelling in the midst of a pandemic.  I see it as being the responsible one that actually cares about people lives.  But we have ways already set up for contact between members outside of church.  (everything is online/phone.)

 

 

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So sick of it.  It is all over Facebook.  My church is not acting this way in fact the Pastor did a talk "Love not Fear" explaining why shut down before we were required.  We may sort of be re-opening soon as drive in church's will be allowed.  They would still post online etc but they would like to find a safe way to offer communion.

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2 hours ago, jpinal205 said:

This Faith not Fear concept was addressed at Mass over the weekend (live streamed). Father said that 'Faith not Fear' is a comforting idea. We should always turn to to God when we are afraid. BUT wearing face masks, practicing social distancing and protecting our most vulnerable IS NOT fear, it is RESPECT. It is the very cornerstone of His commandment to Love one another. 

Love this. ❤️

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I go to a very, very conservative church. Most people would think we are backward and would probably assume we are rabidly Republican when it comes to politics, and in some ways they would be right. 

But even my backwards highly conservative church is taking this very, very seriously. We are going more slowly towards re-opening than our state's guidelines allow and most of the congregation supports this. I have heard a few in the congregation use the "faith, not fear" line in a disparaging way about state and federal guidelines (only on social media, as we are not assembling in person and haven't for 7 weeks), but definitely not from the pulpit in our online services.

But I have heard the phrase a lot and even used it myself in a very different sort of way. Mostly people I know are using it in a way that means we have to keep in mind our goal and our calling and not get caught up in all the "what if's". Yes, we want to do what we can to protect the vulnerable and put others ahead of ourselves, but we want to do that out of a heart full of love and self sacrifice and obedience, not out of fear. And we have to discipline our minds to keep our anxiety from running away from us in times like this and to trust in Christ's total sufficiency and sovereignty, not our own actions. So often in times of distress and fear I think if I can just control all the minute details of the situation (in this case, who I see and how often I shop and how thick and well fitting my mask is and how well I wipe off the groceries and on and on and on), then I can maintain an illusion of control over the situation. But while all those actions I take may be well and good and right, I am doing them not because they are well and good and right, I am doing them to stave off my own fear. And that is when the mantra "faith, not fear" is helpful for me to repeat to myself.

I know this was supposed to be a vent, so please feel free to disregard 🙂

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I liked this article about differing views: https://ftc.co/blog/posts/navigating-different-covid-19-recovery-convictions?fbclid=IwAR25DiGqScOtSSFzxCQEJtOYdwMZl3HJ6ivFHZC5gyK8O6ihTahGnsLJX9g

I found this quote particularly good:

"People matter more than my opinion. Being in healthy relationships with people is a privilege that requires me to love others above myself. When I am highly opinionated, I can needlessly hurt others."

Kelly

Edited by SquirrellyMama
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14 minutes ago, SquirrellyMama said:

I liked this article about differing views: https://ftc.co/blog/posts/navigating-different-covid-19-recovery-convictions?fbclid=IwAR25DiGqScOtSSFzxCQEJtOYdwMZl3HJ6ivFHZC5gyK8O6ihTahGnsLJX9g

I found this quote particularly good:

"People matter more than my opinion. Being in healthy relationships with people is a privilege that requires me to love others above myself. When I am highly opinionated, I can needlessly hurt others."

Kelly

Giving people a deadly virus can also needlessly hurt others.  Of course it's not good to just argue for the sake of arguing.  And it's good to show others grace.  But I can show others grace from a distance when there is a contagious global pandemic going on.  I hope that people who are more cavalier about this virus don't get it.  I would actually love to be proven wrong.  And statistically speaking, a number of people who take no precautions will either show no signs (asymptomatic) or might not even get it.  But I am not going to put aside what I know of biology etc. just so that we can all get along.  And since there are plenty of ways to get along with people while still staying safe, I really don't have to.  But I have the luxury of having a respirator that many don't have so that I can be around unmasked people (still at a distance) without having to worry too much about them getting me sick. 

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The term 'faith not fear' is not some phrase I have ever heard in my religion.  Not surprisingly, because we are not mainstream.  But of course the concept could mean many things....that is why I asked for clarification on what it mean exactly.  Of course we trust in God ultimately but he also commands us to have good sense.  ')  Not saying that is a commandment actually worded that way...but you know...he wants us to use the brains he gave us.  I would say 'faith not stupidity'....it is very stupid to ignore public health warnings just to make some point about how righteous you are.  And how much you support some conservative political person.  But again we are politically neutral so I really have no frame of reference for what some of these churches are telling people.  

But my line in the sand has always been.....am I being fed some  advice that is harmful with no real scriptural backing?  Like if your church leader tells you it is ok for them to have sex with your children or to thumb your nose at a pandemic...yeah there might be a problem with that advice. 

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20 hours ago, Scarlett said:

I am not seeing this in my religious community at all.  We are not reopened and I don’t expect it anytime soon.  We are doing zoom and being encouraged to continue social distancing as much as possible.  

Yes, this is my experience too. It is hard, but I am so thankful that our leadership takes the Biblical commands to love our neighbors like ourselves and to obey rightful authority seriously.

 

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6 hours ago, SquirrellyMama said:

I liked this article about differing views: https://ftc.co/blog/posts/navigating-different-covid-19-recovery-convictions?fbclid=IwAR25DiGqScOtSSFzxCQEJtOYdwMZl3HJ6ivFHZC5gyK8O6ihTahGnsLJX9g

I found this quote particularly good:

"People matter more than my opinion. Being in healthy relationships with people is a privilege that requires me to love others above myself. When I am highly opinionated, I can needlessly hurt others."

Kelly

Thanks for sharing this, Kelly. I understand the author's point, and I've been doing my best to tread carefully and preserve friendships.

That said, this is what I would say to the author: people's lives are at stake. More people have died from covid 19 in the past 6-8 weeks than died of the flu in the 2019-2020 flu season--and that with everyone staying home!  This is not like having different views on, say, the end-times or the age of the earth. The longer people can keep up social distancing and unnecessary trips out, the fewer people will die. It is not that complicated. Love your neighbor, even when it's hard.

Edited by MercyA
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16 minutes ago, MercyA said:

The longer people can keep up social distancing and unnecessary trips out, the fewer people will die. It is not that complicated.

This is the part that doesn't completely make sense to me. If eventually everyone gets it, and if everyone's response to the virus is driven by their comorbidities and genetic predisposition to cytokine storm, then the only REAL thing that makes a difference in outcome is the *development of treatments*. Since a potential vaccine is still January, I'm not including that. So the effect of the distancing and stay at home was to slow things down enough to allow them to develop medications and treatment protocols. It sounds like they're finally getting there. But it still spreads even with staying home.

And frankly, the high cost mentally, emotionally to the most vulnerable isn't always a price they're willing to pay. How long should my dad, who is able bodied and likes to be able to travel, be imprisoned in his assisted living??? Ostensibly he is imprisoned for his good, but at some point it's no longer for his good. There is a high price people are paying.

So it doesn't make sense to me. If everyone is getting exposed eventually, then slowing it to develop treatments made sense. But extreme isolation in the hope you won't get something, well I have friends doing this and support their choice. I think other people want another choice.

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42 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

This is the part that doesn't completely make sense to me. If eventually everyone gets it, and if everyone's response to the virus is driven by their comorbidities and genetic predisposition to cytokine storm, then the only REAL thing that makes a difference in outcome is the *development of treatments*. Since a potential vaccine is still January, I'm not including that. So the effect of the distancing and stay at home was to slow things down enough to allow them to develop medications and treatment protocols. It sounds like they're finally getting there. But it still spreads even with staying home.

And frankly, the high cost mentally, emotionally to the most vulnerable isn't always a price they're willing to pay. How long should my dad, who is able bodied and likes to be able to travel, be imprisoned in his assisted living??? Ostensibly he is imprisoned for his good, but at some point it's no longer for his good. There is a high price people are paying.

So it doesn't make sense to me. If everyone is getting exposed eventually, then slowing it to develop treatments made sense. But extreme isolation in the hope you won't get something, well I have friends doing this and support their choice. I think other people want another choice.

no. we do not have effective treatments. We have doctors losing their minds (figuratively) because they feel so helpless and baffled by this disease. They are freaking out and hating how powerless they are. We do NOT have treatment protocols yet that work well. We just don't. 

And yes it spreads when we stay home, but it spreads MORE when we don't. 

No, he can leave if he wants, assuming he isn't commited there against his will. He just might not be able to go back in. And that isn't for his good, it is for the good of the other people that live there and don't want him bringing it to them. 

We don't want EVERYONE getting it. Too many will die. Hence the protect the vulnerable thing that people seem to be ready to drop. And we don't have treatments yet. 

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I'll be honest that the "opinionated" people I know right now are the "this is ridiculous, this is tyranny". I believe their opinions are harmful. How much would it hurt for them to wear a mask? 

I just thought the article was helpful for me to help understand people a bit more. I'm in the middle. I'm not staying in my house all the time, but I am wearing a mask when I need to go in places.

Sorry, I didn't mean to offend anyone.

Kelly

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1 hour ago, SquirrellyMama said:

I'll be honest that the "opinionated" people I know right now are the "this is ridiculous, this is tyranny". I believe their opinions are harmful. How much would it hurt for them to wear a mask? 

I just thought the article was helpful for me to help understand people a bit more. I'm in the middle. I'm not staying in my house all the time, but I am wearing a mask when I need to go in places.

Sorry, I didn't mean to offend anyone.

Kelly

You didn't offend me! I thought it was an interesting contribution to the discussion.

I do admit that I thought you were coming at this from a different perspective than you actually were. I don't know why I assumed that and I sincerely apologize. I agree with you that calling common sense precautions "ridiculous" and "tyrannical" is harmful. 

I've changed my response to your post to make it clear I am responding to the author of the article, not to you.

Thank you again!

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3 hours ago, SquirrellyMama said:

I'll be honest that the "opinionated" people I know right now are the "this is ridiculous, this is tyranny". I believe their opinions are harmful. How much would it hurt for them to wear a mask? 

I just thought the article was helpful for me to help understand people a bit more. I'm in the middle. I'm not staying in my house all the time, but I am wearing a mask when I need to go in places.

Sorry, I didn't mean to offend anyone.

Kelly

I am another one who responded a bit negatively to the article and not to you.  This subject is very much on my mind because I am calling each of my staff and invariably I am getting their take on COVID19 and restrictions.  I try to avoid politics and to just lay out what is required of us by law but I do find myself tensing before placing those calls.  Fortunately no one has tried to get me to circumvent the law so that's a good thing. 

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Sorry if someone already said this.... I don't have time to read all the comments; but do those people buy insurance?  Life, health, property, etc. ?? If they follow the same logic, they shouldn't buy insurance either. They should have faith. They also shouldn't have any money set aside for an emergency. They should have faith that God will take care of them. Did they get any vaccines? Do they seek medical treatment when they have a health problem? At least be consistent.

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8 minutes ago, mom@shiloh said:

Sorry if someone already said this.... I don't have time to read all the comments; but do those people buy insurance?  Life, health, property, etc. ?? If they follow the same logic, they shouldn't buy insurance either. They should have faith. They also shouldn't have any money set aside for an emergency. They should have faith that God will take care of them. Did they get any vaccines? Do they seek medical treatment when they have a health problem? At least be consistent.

Yes, the people I know have money saved, have insurance, and get vaccines. In fact, some say that not doing these things would be sinning. They are also the ones that say taking depression/anxiety meds is not having enough faith.

ETA- the sin (in their opinion) in not having insurance etc... is because of ending up needing government help if you end up with a medical emergency which you can't pay.

Kelly

Edited by SquirrellyMama
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1 hour ago, SquirrellyMama said:

They are also the ones that say taking depression/anxiety meds is not having enough faith.

This makes me crazy!!! Then they also need to say that diabetics shouldn't take insulin and people with heart problems shouldn't take blood pressure medication. The brain is an organ just like any other organ. They are harming people tremendously with this kind of teaching. 😞 

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22 hours ago, PeterPan said:

It's a hard thing when your eyes are opened and you realize what you grew up in or came to faith in has serious issues. There are a lot of imperfect people out there doing works that are good, but sometimes the issues bog down and people in the pew realize it and move on. I grew up in a church probably like what you're describing, and while I look back on them very appreciatively it's certainly not what I'm choosing now. 

This is me. I can see the good they’ve done, but now that I’m older, I’ve changed and am not longer as dogmatic as they are and I’ve gently broken away from the church of my past. Not angry, am appreciative of what they taught me, but I can no longer agree on too many issues so it’s best for me to move on.

The leadership at my new church seems to be taking things seriously. But some of the parishioners aren’t so much.  Not in a church setting, but in their own lives. One posted a picture of her son in Lowes with his facemask tied around the top of his head like a bonnet and she thought it was hilarious She wrote that some older people In the store were not amused, but she thought it was funny.  She got 45 likes and 7 encouraging comments like, “I love it!”  I see that and think, “Is everyone in my church like this?” But it’s a church of over 1000 members, and she’s just one member.  The leadership has been very appropriate about distancing, etc.  Time will tell when we officially reopen as a state. I think they’ll probably re-open, but be supportive of anyone who doesn’t want to come in.  

Like a PP said, the reaction of a lot of Christians feels like a knee-jerk us vs them reaction.  If “they’ say this disease is dangerous, then “we” will not believe it. If “they” say to wear a mask, then “we” will not. It seems based on nothing.  I see a lot of sharing of dodgy videos or emotional articles with lots of adjectives, and I see a lot of dismissing of science articles.  The beliefs all seemed based on a fear that the “liberals are out to get them”.  (Which is fear.). It’s not everyone, but it’s enough to be upsetting.  Right now most of my FB friends are from the old church, so it’s harder for me to tell exactly what the people in the new church are thinking, but if I go from the leadership alone, they seem to be following all the guidelines set out by the governor and aren’t preaching about “faith not fear” at all.

Edited by Garga
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2 hours ago, Garga said:

Like a PP said, the reaction of a lot of Christians feels like a knee-jerk us vs them reaction.  If “they’ say this disease is dangerous, then “we” will not believe it. If “they” say to wear a mask, then “we” will not. It seems based on nothing.  I see a lot of sharing of dodgy videos or emotional articles with lots of adjectives, and I see a lot of dismissing of science articles.  The beliefs all seemed based on a fear that the “liberals are out to get them”.  (Which is fear.). 

This is EXACTLY what I am seeing. I don't understand how or why such a large percentage of the people in my circles seem to be thinking like this. It's honestly scary that there is so little critical thinking. 😞 

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On 5/4/2020 at 6:02 AM, Quill said:

@PeterPan, I don’t wish to seem crass, but I have a hard time understanding suicide prompted by Coronavirus. Or by social restrictions due to Coronavirus. Like - it just doesn’t make sense to me how someone could decide that life is not worth living because there exists a virus/pandemic OR that not doing social things is just so bitter as to feel death is preferable. 

Maybe it is my future-orientation coming into play again. Even with massive uncertainty - which is not my favorite circumstance - I still have a hope for the future, both collectively and individually. 

 The actions resulting from mental illness rarely make sense. But the hopelessness that accompanies depression and anxiety can be exacerbated by social isolation and hyper-focus on news of the spread of infection and tanking economy. Many have been separated from therapists (online therapy not the same). It's already tough to find care and if you need new care now, good luck. I've got one daughter in that precise situation right now.

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On 5/4/2020 at 10:02 AM, Quill said:

@PeterPan, I don’t wish to seem crass, but I have a hard time understanding suicide prompted by Coronavirus. Or by social restrictions due to Coronavirus. Like - it just doesn’t make sense to me how someone could decide that life is not worth living because there exists a virus/pandemic OR that not doing social things is just so bitter as to feel death is preferable. 

Maybe it is my future-orientation coming into play again. Even with massive uncertainty - which is not my favorite circumstance - I still have a hope for the future, both collectively and individually. 

But, if you have a generation that has very little hope for the future, because of climate change (in surveys more than 50% of Gen Z plan not to have children because of a fear of climate change), debt (both in student loan form and national form), feelings that the economy is polarized because of multiple generations prioritizing the uber wealthy and stagnant wages with rising cost of living, unaffordable health care; if they see a nation and world increasingly polarized by extremes and decreasing opportunities or mobility for minorities, a generation that has NOT had really any hope for the future since they were old enough to look around or listen to the news, and then you take away the things that give them joy or meaning NOW?  Especially if you have kids who maybe don't have good relationships with their family but are trapped with no interaction with friends with no end in sight?  I'm not saying suicide has a single cause or is rational, but it seems understandable.  

For quite some time, surveys have been showing that younger people and middle aged people expect the future to be significantly worse than the present.  It doesn't really provide a mental health cushion of hope for the future.

ETA:  Studies show depressed people are actually MORE accurate about their self assessments and predictions about the future than non depressed people.  Optimism and denial are important for mental health but not necessarily accurate.

Edited by Terabith
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3 hours ago, MercyA said:

This is EXACTLY what I am seeing. I don't understand how or why such a large percentage of the people in my circles seem to be thinking like this. It's honestly scary that there is so little critical thinking. 😞 

I'm actually seeing it on the other side, up close and personal, all the time.

If you express concern about people who are out of work, it's because you want to kill others.  So kneejerk, and so unnuanced.

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1 hour ago, Terabith said:

... a generation that has NOT had really any hope for the future since they were old enough to look around or listen to the news, and then you take away the things that give them joy or meaning NOW?  Especially if you have kids who maybe don't have good relationships with their family but are trapped with no interaction with friends with no end in sight?  I'm not saying suicide has a single cause or is rational, but it seems understandable.  

For quite some time, surveys have been showing that younger people and middle aged people expect the future to be significantly worse than the present.  It doesn't really provide a mental health cushion of hope for the future.

 

Riffing off of this, Terabith, not really exactly replying to you...

This has concerned me for 20 years or more.  Although we had big problems in the 70s, there was an essential and pervasive hopefulness and optimism that made it more likely that people would dig in and work toward a better future.  That has not been the attitude in broad society for quite a long time, and the strong teaching of fear, downward mobility, inevitable extinctions from a very early age are both pervasive and very unfortunate. 

For example, when DD was 7, she attended a marine biology camp that included (to my surprise) an evening trip to ask the local supervisors to hold the line on conservation measures benefitting the ocean.  It was, I'm sure, intended to set an empowering example of being able to act for the earth, but to her it came through as, "The ocean needs me to show up tonight or else it will be ruined forever, and it might be ruined forever even if I do show up."  That, to me, is a horrendous burden to put on a 7 year old.  Far better to let kids experience the wonders and beauty of wild nature, and later, when they are old enough to take action on their own, gradually let them see that there is work to be done in being a good steward.  But putting that level of responsibility on kids who are far to young to have true agency in carrying it out is a recipe for depression and despair.

Part of the issue is how history and other social studies are taught now.   While the old 'America, always right' thinking was unrealistic and not so good, the new 'America, always wrong and evil besides' thinking is even more unrealistic and actually fairly dangerous.  Part of our optimism came from being taught that there had been problems and they were resolved, sometimes at great cost, but progress was being made.  That progress was being made was accurate, and it's not taught at all anymore.  That takes away optimism and belief in taking action, and again is a recipe for depression and despair.  

I am tremendously sorry that I can't pass on a better future than my own life to my child.  That's a break from the past, and not in a good way.  But I can and did try to pass on the fact that work needs to be done, that diving in and trying to improve things is noble and right, and that improvements have been won in the past and can be again in the future.  I've done my best to pass on faith, responsibility, joy, and secure attachments.  But passing on that essential optimism was not realistically completely possible.

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2 hours ago, Dreamergal said:

... I don't have time for people who say I will go to hell if I do not go to church or end times or how I need to "live out my faith now" or call this persecution...

 ...So everyone of every religion is affected in this from their way of worship to celebrating festivals. All the special snow flakes who want to call this persecution especially make me very mad and I point them out to actual persecution where people get killed for going to church. So they have it in secret in their homes.

I agree.

My church is closed now, and that's how it should be.

This would only be persecution if the churches were singled out for closure.

 

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2 hours ago, Terabith said:

I'm not saying suicide has a single cause or is rational, but it seems understandable.  

For quite some time, surveys have been showing that younger people and middle aged people expect the future to be significantly worse than the present.  It doesn't really provide a mental health cushion of hope for the future.

Yes, this. I was on the phone with my dad today. I call him EVERY DAY if possible to check on him, make sure he's stable. A couple weeks ago, when the mask mess started, he was like the virus is on the grass and trees, as in he was scared to go out. I'm like Dad, unless you're a COW you're safe even if it's on the grass and trees, please take your daily walk around the building. (allowed, permitted, encouraged by the staff) Now today his thing is handshaking is over, we'll never have pleasant church services or weddings again. 

Now granted he's clinical. But I'm just saying for a segment of the population this is really hard to grapple with. And we have to keep speaking peace to them and truth. The truth is this all went down this same way 100 years ago with the flu pandemic and we figured it out. And we're going to figure this out.

I've been thinking about my own ds' mental health. I think this is wearing on him on a level he can't even verbalize with his ASD2. I don't think he even realizes consciously what he's missing. But in his world, this is permanent, traumatic, unending, horrible. Life as he knows it has been ruined, and he's starting to get angry. We have to keep going back to mental health mode, sigh. It's easy if people know how to do this for themselves. But for the more vulnerable, we have to help them.

Me, I lie to myself. I tell myself my cruise on x date is going. I tell myself anything to be upbeat. And that governor in CA needs to open that stupid state up so it happens, cuz that's about the only positive thing I think about right now, lol. (The cruise is a long way off btw, lol.)

Problem is, I can't lie to my kid or my dad about this. I have to find something to say that is TRUE but is also sort of encouraging. Even my mom is starting to fall apart a bit, and there's nothing wrong with her mental health. The mother's day thing really got her. She thought with things loosening she could have family over, and she just got crushed and wasn't ready for that. And then was like well Father's Day? I'm like no mom, think 4th of July.

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1 hour ago, Carol in Cal. said:

I'm actually seeing it on the other side, up close and personal, all the time.

If you express concern about people who are out of work, it's because you want to kill others.  So kneejerk, and so unnuanced.

I see both sides around me, and I generally just keep my mouth shut, unless I find the information posted dangerous.

Kelly

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8 hours ago, CuriousMomof3 said:

WoolC, 

I am so sorry.  I hope you find resources that work.  I hope you find solutions.  We're also feeling the lack of in person access to therapy this week.

 

 

7 hours ago, MercyA said:

@WoolC, I am so sorry. I will pray.


Thank you, both.

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I am so sorry, Wool C. 

I am considering deleting my posts on that subject because it feels obtuse to me, even though I did not mean to be crass. I was doing that thing again...thinking my experience must be like others’ experiences. So, I apologize for my post. 

I so much hope your family can return to full mental health. 

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38 minutes ago, Quill said:

I am so sorry, Wool C. 

I am considering deleting my posts on that subject because it feels obtuse to me, even though I did not mean to be crass. I was doing that thing again...thinking my experience must be like others’ experiences. So, I apologize for my post. 

I so much hope your family can return to full mental health. 


Thank you, Quill.

That’s ok, and I really do understand; I’ve thought the same way in the past.  My son has opened my eyes to a whole segment of people who are suffering.  
 

I think the scariest part is that you (general) think that when things get bad there are resources, a safety net, but in reality it’s not there.  I called a crisis line for my son 2 weeks ago where they took our intake information and our county was supposed to respond with resources and referrals and we never received a return call.  Our primary doctor prescribed meds though he wasn’t entirely comfortable doing so.  We called 3 clinics repeatedly before reaching a human being.  We won’t have a video conference with a proper specialist until next Friday.   A hospitalization would be traumatizing for him, and we’re trying to avoid it if possible, but that’s our next step.   I’m all for protecting the vulnerable from this virus (of which I am one) but there are definitely people who are mentally vulnerable too, and at this point I think their risk may be greater than my own.  I don’t know how we balance that as a society.  

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