On Saturday, Business Insider reported that a church in Oregon is planning to move forward with a large, in-person Mother's Day service — even though the church has been linked to dozens of cases of COVID-19.
"According to data published on May 5 by the Oregon Health Authority, 74 people associated with the People's Church in the city of Salem contracted COVID-19 between April 6 and April 29," reported Will Martin. "During that time the church has continued to hold in-person services, according to videos and photos posted on its Facebook page. In a number of videos, worshippers can be seen without masks and not observing social distancing. The church's website indicates in-person services and events will include Mother's Day services scheduled for Sunday, AP reported."
People's Church was one of 21 Christian churches, assisted by multiple state lawmakers, that sued Oregon Gov. Kate Brown in May of last year, seeking to force the lifting of orders restricting in-person church services as an infringement of religious liberty. That lawsuit was unsuccessful, although in recent months the U.S. Supreme Court has taken a harder line against restrictions on religious gatherings, enabled by the appointment of Justice Amy Coney Barrett.
The church appears to be aware that its Mother's Day service poses a health risk.
"In a video posted to Facebook on April 15, one of the church's pastors, Tom Murray, encouraged anyone who has a 'contagious illness' to stay home, while emphasising that the church remains open. In the video, he also stressed the church's hygiene measures, including frequent cleaning," said the report. "'If you or someone in your household is sick with a contagious illness, please seek the medical attention you need. Stay home, watch online, and return when you are feeling better,' he said. 'We encourage those who choose to attend in person to take advantage of physical distancing,' he added. In the video, Murray does not mention COVID-19 by name, but does talk about an 'increase in positive tests.'"
The Obama family mourned the passing of dog Bo in an Instagram post signed "Michelle, Barack, Malia, Sasha, and Sunny."
"This afternoon was a difficult one for our family. We said goodbye to our best friend—our dog, Bo—after a battle with cancer," Michelle Obama posted. "On the campaign trail in 2008, we promised our daughters that we would get a puppy after the election. At the time, Bo was supposed to be a companion for the girls. We had no idea how much he would mean to all of us."
"For more than a decade, Bo was a constant, comforting presence in our lives. He was there when the girls came home from school, greeting them with a wag. He was there when Barack and I needed a break, sauntering into one of our offices like he owned the place, a ball clamped firmly in his teeth. He was there when we flew on Air Force One, when tens of thousands flocked to the South Lawn for the Easter Egg Roll, and when the Pope came to visit. And when our lives slowed down, he was there, too—helping us see the girls off to college and adjust to life as empty nesters," she wrote. "This past year, with everyone back home during the pandemic, no one was happier than Bo. All his people were under one roof again—just like the day we got him. I will always be grateful that Bo and the girls got to spend so much time together at the end."
"As a family, we will miss Bo dearly. But we are thankful that he lived such a joyful life full of snuggles, games of fetch, and evenings spent lying on the couch," she explained. "We also know we weren't the only ones who cared for Bo, and are grateful for all the love you showed him over the years. Please hug the furry members of your family a little closer tonight—and give them a belly rub from us."
Today our family lost a true friend and loyal companion. For more than a decade, Bo was a constant, gentle presence… https://t.co/hJS8TzqBNW— Barack Obama (@Barack Obama)1620500496.0
He was exactly what we needed and more than we ever expected. We will miss him dearly. https://t.co/CHweCxwJ7a— Barack Obama (@Barack Obama)1620500501.0
Republicans have so thoroughly bought Trump's conspiracy theories that they are now questioning elections conducted entirely by their own party.
"The Arizona Republican Party is allowing two GOP activists to inspect ballots and other records from the party's Jan. 23 elections after they sued over the methods used during what they deemed was a "chaotic" election process. The inspection of an estimated 1,300 ballots cast by state committee people is limited to two committee races, It does not involve the results of the state party's chair, another challenged race that has attracted the most attention," The Arizona Republic reported Friday.
Now a state legislator in Virginia is threatening an audit if she loses the nomination for governor, which is conducted entirely by the Virginia Republican Party.
"I have been the frontrunner of all seven candidates in every single poll that has been done. Every single independent poll. There was recently one that was released several days ago and I'm still the frontrunner," Sen. Amanda Chase said. "So if I come out of this election as anything other than the victor, of course, we are going to have a full audit."
Radical right-wing Virginia state senator Amanda Chase says that if she does not emerge from the GOP's nominating c… https://t.co/GQeCyNBDgI— Right Wing Watch (@Right Wing Watch)1620493145.0
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