The pandemic has exposed fissures within religions

4/9/2020 9:11:00 PM

Worshippers are suspending rites hitherto regarded as vital

Nothing has prepared believers for the world of covid-19, where gathering for worship has become a public danger

Worshippers are suspending rites hitherto regarded as vital

This year that has proved impossible. It was announced that instead, Pope Francis would move about in an empty St Peter’s square. Two days later, on April 12th, instead of proclaiming the resurrection of Jesus to a multitude, he would officiate almost alone in its vast basilica. Millions could observe, but only electronically.

), the crisis will accelerate a trend. But for more established faiths, reactions have ranged from meek compliance to truculent defiance.Pope Francis has sounded surer: “Thick darkness has gathered over our squares, our streets and our cities; it has taken over our lives, filling everything with a deafening silence and a distressing void.” But the broader response of Western faith has been unimpressive, argues Marco Ventura of Siena University. “Even for many believers, medical officers are the new prophets.”

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shadihamid Nothing has prepared capitalists and stock market foxes for the world of covid -19, where gathering to make money has become a public danger!.. Worshiping does not require gathering. Faith based vs Fact based. It's a tug of war - especially when you have a leader that's neither - so no guidance.

Very superficial article. Que foto tan dura, la de este articulo de From Continue / Murder robbers, anti-Christ pastors of Souh korean and American also evangelists and broadcasters are said to revive their churches and broadcasters by making evil use of the plagues of the punishment of GOD JESUS for their crimes. ......

I feel heart sorry for every faith, but most of us are sensible enough not to risk ourselves or others.

The Deep Loneliness of Having a Baby in a PandemicHospitals on lockdown, quick discharges, no grandparents. This is what it’s like to have a new baby right now.

It's Time For A Revolution In At-Home AbortionThe coronavirus pandemic has exposed the fiction that most abortions need to be performed in a clinic setting. This is disgusting. Abortion is wrong! Eeeeew I think with this pandemic, we should start putting that tax money elsewhere

It's Time For A Revolution In At-Home AbortionThe coronavirus pandemic has exposed the fiction that most abortions need to be performed in a clinic setting.

I'm A Fast-Food Worker. Each Day I Come In, I May Be Signing My Own Death Certificate.'Why, in industries like mine, are minimum-wage workers the only ones forced to keep exposing themselves to the danger of the pandemic?' Who is holding the gun to your head?

'This Is Not Humanity's First Plague,' Pope Francis Says Of CoronavirusPope Francis said the coronavirus crisis is exposing what he calls 'functional hypocrisy' at the highest levels of government — and has shown that many decisions are made solely on economic terms. In 1517, Pope Leo X offered indulgences for those who gave alms to rebuild St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. The aggressive marketing practices of Johann Tetzel in promoting this cause provoked Martin Luther to write his Ninety-five Theses Just saying. He needs to shut it. If anything it is exposing the fact that the Catholic Church, which is worth millions and millions of dollars, is merely existent to enrich old men and has never truly cared about the people it preaches righteousness to. Either donate money or shut up. His Holiness isn't wrong, but, needs to do some house of his own.

I N THE 2,000 years since the story of Jesus was first told in Rome, his followers have never seen an Easter like this.postpartum period that much more difficult.to an abortion clinic.to an abortion clinic.

In Catholicism’s home, the most poignant moment in the Paschal drama comes on Good Friday when the pope leads worshippers on a walk, with 14 stops, enacting the progress of Jesus towards his execution. This year that has proved impossible. They were kind enough to share their perspectives on how taking home a new baby during a pandemic has been uniquely challenging for them and their families, from hospital visitor policies to social-distancing-induced isolation. It was announced that instead, Pope Francis would move about in an empty St Peter’s square. Calls to the confidential helpline have more than doubled in the past two weeks, according to Jill Adams, the group’s executive director. Two days later, on April 12th, instead of proclaiming the resurrection of Jesus to a multitude, he would officiate almost alone in its vast basilica. Here are their stories. Millions could observe, but only electronically. “While we practice social distancing to maintain public health and flatten the curve, people must be allowed to safely end pregnancies at home without the fear of arrest.

Past emergencies, from recessions to wars, have galvanised people to find new meaning in old rituals.m.” The idea of women attempting abortions on their own conjures up a painful history in the U. But nothing prepared believers for the world of covid-19, in which those rituals, the gestures and gatherings at the heart of their identity, have become a public danger. For innovative religious types who already use technology with confidence (see article ), the crisis will accelerate a trend. She had a fitful night of sleep, between her newborn needing to feed and the hospital check-ins from nurses and staff. But for more established faiths, reactions have ranged from meek compliance to truculent defiance. Wade. Covid-19 has not generally widened fissures between faiths.m. The coat hanger is not, however, an accurate representation of what self-managed abortion looks like in 2020.

Rather, it has widened those within the ranks of all great religions. They were already squabbling over how far old beliefs could live with modern views of Earth’s origin. “I remember thinking, ‘That’s strange, they were just here at noon,’” she says.” (The term is a misnomer, as medication abortion actually involves two different drugs, usually taken about 24 hours apart, which cause a miscarriage. The pandemic exacerbates the rift between science-defiers and those who respect the laboratory. For some, the bafflement is palpable. That meant no one other than her husband was allowed to visit her or her new daughter—a blow to Despathy, whose mother had just landed in Atlanta from Minnesota to meet her grandchild. Russian Orthodoxy’s Patriarch Kirill declared on March 29th: “I have been preaching for 51 years. are done via this method, which is approved for use up to 10 weeks of pregnancy. are done via this method, which is approved for use up to 10 weeks of pregnancy.

. She accepted..I hope you understand how difficult it is for me to say today, refrain from visiting churches. “When we left, they had a security person and a nurse at the door, blocking it off and turning away visitors unless you had a wristband [indicating you were a parent of a newborn]. Unlike virtually every other medication, it can’t be dispensed at a local pharmacy or through the mail.” Among eastern Christianity’s followers, many will not: clerics in Georgia, for example, continued to offer the faithful consecrated bread and wine, by which it is impossible, they insist, to be harmed. Pope Francis has sounded surer: “Thick darkness has gathered over our squares, our streets and our cities; it has taken over our lives, filling everything with a deafening silence and a distressing void. In the weeks since Despathy’s birth experience, hospitals across the country have adopted similarly cautious policies in an effort to protect laboring folks, health care providers, visitors, and new babies. Now, reproductive health experts expect to see a rapid increase in such purchases as people are stuck indoors and can’t travel to clinics.

” But the broader response of Western faith has been unimpressive, argues Marco Ventura of Siena University. Ultimately, the pandemic may expose the fact that current restrictions on medication abortion aren’t actually necessary at all. “Even for many believers, medical officers are the new prophets. As an example of how these new recommendations play out in practice, Mary Jane Minkin, M.” Not all Christians agree. Some American evangelicals, including vocal supporters of Donald Trump, have been reckless denialists of covid-19., a clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Yale University, describes the policies that Yale has implemented: “We have strict isolation rooms for women who have been exposed or are ill.” Managing It Alone It is difficult to know the extent to which people are self-managing abortion, as it occurs outside the formal health care system. A preacher in Florida, Rodney Howard-Browne, was briefly arrested on March 30th after busing people to worship, insisting he could neutralise the virus. A recent study in Texas, where abortion access has been eroded dramatically since 2012, found that almost 7% of patients seeking an abortion tried to end a pregnancy on their own.

Some politicians seem half-sympathetic.e. Two days later the state’s governor, Ron DeSantis, listed religious activities among “essential services” that could continue (without crowds) despite a lockdown. Most bought pills in Mexico. In at least a dozen other states, such activities were left unimpeded. Beyond that, most of the women I spoke with mentioned that their partners were screened before entry, meaning that hospital staff asked them about their symptoms and travel history and took their temperatures before allowing them in. Secularist rage has been rising since early surges in the epidemic were traced to religious recklessness. In South Korea hundreds of members of the secretive Shincheonji Church of Jesus contracted the virus at packed services and spread it. Jenny Lentz, of Mount Kisco, New York, delivered her second child on March 16.” A 2018 study of 18 websites that sold abortion pills online found that the drugs were and often cost less than from an abortion clinic.” A 2018 study of 18 websites that sold abortion pills online found that the drugs were and often cost less than from an abortion clinic.

The government complained that the church was not co-operating in tracing them. Its leader later apologised. Gone were the floorwide breastfeeding and discharge classes she remembered attending after having her older son. An Islamic gathering in Malaysia in February helped spread the virus to neighbouring countries.” Only five states explicitly criminalize self-managed abortions ― Arizona, Delaware, Nevada, Oklahoma and South Carolina. Elsewhere, liberal clergymen, rabbis and imams have heeded calls to suspend gatherings. We could hear the babies, but that was it,” says Lentz. But among ordinary people, the order to stop their cherished rituals feels like a dark conspiracy. Still, it remains uncommon for women to be charged with self-inducing an abortion, according to Adams of If/When/How.

“Not even the communists completely forbade Easter services” is a refrain in eastern Europe. “My husband had to go home to take care of our son, so it was just me and the baby. To date, she said, there is no known example of someone in the U. Within Judaism, many have reacted creatively, accepting, for instance, that a minyan , the ten-strong quorum for worship, might assemble electronically. The ultra-Orthodox, or Haredim, however, have dug their heels in. The isolation triggered an intense protective instinct over her newborn. In Israel the Haredi stronghold of Bnei Brak has been a covid-19 hotspot. “Importation of drugs is technically prohibited under federal law, but in practice it is not enforced against individuals for personal use,” Adams said. People have insisted on gathering for prayers, weddings and funerals, defying a lockdown and exacerbating chronic tensions between the Haredim and the state. The doctors and nurses would come in and be like, ‘Can we take him to the nursery for this?’ And I’d say, ‘I’d rather the doctor come in here. “However, we know of three cases where people who ordered abortion pills online were later charged with crimes for having an abortion, and in their trials, the fact that they had ordered abortion pills online was used as evidence against them.

Elsewhere zealots already at odds with the state or with established religious powers have found in the virus a fresh battleground. In Iraq Muqtada al-Sadr, a fiery cleric, has challenged Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, a Shia leader who has denounced those who spread the virus as murderers.’” Advertisement Interactions with health care workers like this are frequent, and new parents often develop bonds with the nurses taking care of them and their babies as a result. Changing The Status Quo. On March 5th Mr Sadr prayed at the entrance to the Imam Ali shrine in Najaf until caretakers opened the teak doors. It remained open, and mourners carry their dead around the shrine in coffins. “I’d been up the whole night before we were discharged, feeding my baby, and the nurse who had been helping me the most just looked at me as we were leaving and said ‘I want to give you a hug!’ And instantly I was like ‘No, don’t hug me!’ It was such a sad moment,” she says. The radical preacher has called coronavirus a punishment for gay marriage, as have some fundamentalist Christians.

Where the state broadly controls Islam, as it does in the Gulf monarchies, orders to suspend Friday prayers have been obeyed. “It was like walking into a funeral with a newborn,” she says. The Saudis have told pilgrims to defer any plans to make the haj in July. But when Ramadan begins around April 23rd, authorities in all Islamic lands will struggle to restrain communal meals to break the fast. Everyone tries to say, ‘Oh, she’s so cute,’ but the conversation turns to coronavirus concerns in two seconds. In Iran, one of the first- and worst-hit countries, the religious authorities wield ultimate power. Their decision on March 16th to suspend pilgrimages to holy places, including those in the city of Qom from which infection had spread to other countries, was criticised as too late by secular liberals, too harsh by the ultra-devout.” Tending to a new baby at home while social distancing Unfortunately, that feeling of isolation doesn’t improve for new parents once they make it home and out of the foreboding hospital environment.

India is one of many places where politicians must collaborate with religious forces. In Ayodhya, claimed as the birthplace of Rama, officials tried with mixed results to limit celebrations of the Hindu god. Not only are new parents concerned about their own health and their baby’s health, but they’re often worried that their recent hospital stay could put their parents in danger as well. It was left up to the Hindu organisers to encourage restraint; they obeyed reluctantly. On the spectrum of reactions, the Catholic one stands out as respectful of science. Kristin and her husband had asked her parents, who live locally, to stay with their older child while their baby was being born, but what to do after they came home was a huge question mark. Today’s Holy See differs from the one which in centuries past persecuted astronomers.

But some critics, including conservative American Catholics, see in its meek response the church’s broader weakness. “The day before we had a really intense conversation: Should they just leave after we get back from the hospital? It was absolute tears. The contrast between cautious Catholics and gung-ho evangelicals has been sharp in Brazil. Catholic bishops and politicians have co-operated with the suspension of services, while President Jair Bolsonaro, an evangelical who has called the virus “just a sniffle”, has joined co-religionists in legal battles to keep churches open. We decided to have them stay at our house for a while,” she says. In the end, the survival of religions may depend on their finding a way of explaining to followers, in their own terms, why their spiritual duty now lies in suspending rites hitherto regarded as vital. As Shadi Hamid of the Brookings Institution, a think-tank, notes, Muslim jurisprudence has accepted that human survival can trump other norms: a Muslim can eat forbidden pork rather than starve. “I’d hoped that my mom would be able to be available, just to have an extra person to like come over and be like, ‘Oh, you go nap, or take a shower!’ But we’re kind of all by ourselves.

For liberal-minded Jews, the ideal of tikkun olam , or repairing the world, is higher than rules governing prayer or diet. Communion, during which Christians consume bread and wine which some believe to have been transformed into the body and blood of Jesus, throws up particular challenges. So it’s been a little much on us,” she says. Rule-minded Christians find an electronic Eucharist untenable: the ritual has to be physical. And yet traditional Christian teaching may also have hygienically helpful things to say. “I found it’s been harder to recover physically this time, plus I’m trying to stay positive for my toddler, and I have the postpartum anxiety that everyone gets: Am I doing things right? Feeding is always difficult. It affirms that the entire world is mysteriously blessed every time bread and wine are sanctified, regardless of how many are present.

That helps explain the determination of Greece’s bishops to celebrate “behind closed doors” this month the services leading to Orthodox Easter. I know it’s heartbreaking for them to not see our baby. James Alison, a radical Catholic priest, proposes a solution both revolutionary and traditionalist. He is encouraging households to practise “Eucharistic worship” at home: to bless bread and wine and invoke the presence of Jesus.” Advertisement Beyond family members and friends for support, new moms often need other kinds of help as well—like, say, a visit from a lactation consultant if nursing is difficult. His approach, he says, affirms the intimacy and mystery of classical worship but challenges the idea of a caste of celebrants. As he points out, a lack of manpower in some parts of Christendom is already prompting a rethink of the role of priests: the virus could be the coup de grâce . “I only got one lactation consultation in the hospital since we were released early,” says Despathy.

Pope Francis has called the pandemic “a time to separate that which is necessary from that which is not”. Some may take him at his word.” Despathy’s hospital is launching virtual lactation sessions, which she is considering signing up for. ■ For our latest coverage of the covid-19 pandemic, register for The Economist Today .