Paul's Passing Thoughts

The Church Lie, The Gospel, Men, Marriage, and Millstones

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on May 4, 2020

ppt-jpeg42I would like to begin this post with ground zero on marriage. This is from the perspective of children. In a marriage with children, the children find all of their security and trust in the family unit. A child’s worldview is formed by what he or she sees and experiences regarding the parental marriage.

I speak from firsthand experience, and I believe my experience speaks to a common rule. A child’s security comes from seeing the love, commitment, and trust between their parents. When parents divorce, certainty collapses within the children. Nothing, and no one can be counted on when the chips are down. Children of divorce will see the world through the eyes of pessimism.

With that said, sometimes divorce is necessary. In those rare cases, the circumstances should be used to show the ideal contrast. An ideal second marriage can rebuild a proper worldview within the children and a contrast to the first.

Susan and I did a series on marriage some time ago and it didn’t focus on fixing a bad marriage, it focused heavily on doing marriage right the first time. A large and very important part of parenting is equipping your children with knowledge to do a marriage right the first time. We should know what marriage is, and why we get married. Few people know the real what and the real why of marriage. The wedding vows are mere words spoken for tradition like the part where we feed each other cake.

In our day, marriage has become almost irrelevant. Primarily, the church is at fault for this. I became a church member in 1983, and even that far back, “members in good standing” who lived together out of wedlock was commonplace. Our society has vested most of its marriage etiquette in the church and looked to the church for all of the important principles.

But, the church had other priorities. Good marriages do nothing to increase the control churches have over people. Indeed, what church emphasizes is the “Bride of Christ” doctrine. The church is supposedly the bride of Christ, so, your faithfulness to the church makes you a faithful spouse to Christ. Marriage between you and your spouse is merely a “picture of the church,” and golly gee, it’s a plus if you have a good one. But, if it doesn’t work out, oh well, after all, “we are all just sinners saved by grace.” The important marriage is your marriage to Christ judged by your commitment to the church. In vogue of late is divorcees pointing to their wedding rings as now symbolizing their marriage to Christ. That’s just another church lie.

While the Bible dismisses under-law marriages that are terrible, but somehow commendable because “God hates divorce,” the fact that the Bible strongly applies a legal element to marriage cannot be denied. And, why is that? We will apply another example  using children.

Growing up, my brother had a friend from a very dysfunctional family. He was always spending the night with us and eating at our house and he was always welcome. I am sure he appreciated our hospitality, but how much security could be found in it? You have heard of people overstaying their welcome, right? How often did this young man feel like he was imposing on us? But, let’s say our family had adopted him legally; that changes the  ballgame totally, no? Now, the parents come forward and offer to be committed to him as much as their own children. Now he is secure, but the security comes through a legal commitment. Officially, my brother’s friend becomes my brother; this changes everything. Before, our family was his friend, now he is our family. In that, he is now secure. In that, he knows his presence is not imposing on us.

It’s really about commitment. And what I described above is little different from the gospel. Being adopted into God’s family goes way past God supplying your needs out of compassion, God is now committed to you as a child. God is love, but his love must be qualified. “Adoption” encompasses God’s mercy, compassion, and COMMITTMENT. The doctrine of adoption makes you secure as God’s literal family member.

The apostle Paul had a primary objective in his ministry; to make the Gentiles understand they were not mere guests of Israel’s house, but family. Paul wrote, “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.” Paul also Calls Him the “Spirit of adoption” because we (Jew and Gentile) are baptized into the one body of Christ by His power.

This doesn’t mean that salvation comes by the law. Salvation is issued by God through believing The Promise. The new birth saves you, but like in the world, when you are born into the world, it gives you certain legal rights. However, remember, birth in this world gives you legal right to the world’s laws, the new birth into God’s family gives you legal rights to the laws of heaven and the commonwealth of Israel.

That’s what the Old Testament is. It’s a will. The will didn’t save you, but you obtained it by believing The Promise. The Promise is the good news. The Promise is the gospel. Nevertheless, the details of your inheritance are documented therein. You are now a legal citizen of God’s kingdom. And God has not only showed His love towards you, He has adopted you into His family. You are secure, and your security is documented in the courts of heaven with the Holy Spirit testifying. He stands there with you before the throne of God.

God truly loves the world, but for those who would be part of His family, he adds the force of law. You are not merely a recipient of His love and mercy, He petitioned the courts of heaven to adopt you.

There is no family apart from a legal commitment. You may very well help a beggar and that is an honorable thing, but you have not committed your life and belongings to that beggar. When you die, he will not receive your inertance.

Loving words and loving acts are indeed sweet, but going past the words, and even the actions, and committing your whole life to others is a whole other matter. It is a signed confession that there is no exit when the going gets tough. It is also a commitment to that person when you find out you cannot control them. It’s a funny thing, people avoid marriage because they don’t want to be controlled, but marriage is about the opposite. You have committed to that person whether you can control them or not.

These are not the exact words my daughter said to me the other day, but in essence, “The whole family knows you are insufferable, but we also know who we can count on when the chips are down.” I’m totally ok with that. In fact, I would love that to be on my epitaph. Nevertheless, in my endeavor to be more wise when people do come to me, when they do, which means they are in some really deep stuff at that point, I listen very carefully to what they say, and also others who share what they have said.

Let me share a reoccurring theme that I hear: women seem to think, by virtue of being the birth mother of a child, that the absence of marriage leaves her in total control of the child’s welfare. In other words, the lack of a marriage commitment is all about being in control by not being in a legal commitment with the father. Lack of trust much? Am I saying that a person who doesn’t want to be legally committed to someone might have baggage that is a red flag? That’s exactly what I am saying. Granted, the experience of a childhood divorce may foster trust issues. That’s why, if divorce is necessary, there must be a strong emphasis on repairing the damage to children. But the point here follows: commitment is all about giving up control, not obtaining it.

On the other side of the coin, Susan and I have counseled many men who became fathers because they are clueless. They are even content with being part time fathers on the weekends. At any rate, in many cases, we have children growing up in an uncommitted relationship. They are guests in an uncertain household. Love is more about personal politics for an individual agenda than commitment.  You piss me off, and all I have to do is pick one of Simon and Garfunkel’s “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover.” You see, a lover is a much different thing than being a family member. Commitment is what makes love more than a convenient action to pad one’s self-esteem. True love isn’t always fun. True love can be very messy.

Though love always has demonstrably more benefits than the cheap versions, playing the love game without commitment invariably puts one on the wrong side of the law. In the Old Testament law, our will, all sin is imputed to that law. When we are adopted, the law is executed and all sin imputed to the will is cancelled. All condemnation under the law is eradicated, and the law is now our guidance for loving God and others. Of course, no one would say we can love God with no commitment. No one respects a “fair weather friend.”

Whether you are a true child of God or not, putting children in a volatile, unstable, and uncommitted environment is very ill-advised. Christ put it this way: it would be better to have someone tie a millstone around your neck securely, and then jump into a lake. Don’t mess with children, God will hold you accountable and it won’t be pretty. Having children is a matter of liberty; please be sure of this: choosing to not have children is NOT immoral and does not in any way cheapen the value of your life.

But also be sure of this: jumping into parenthood without wisdom is a death sentence. Please don’t confuse the slow death of a miserable life with some dramatic formal execution. If you find yourself in the former; fix it, like yesterday. It is fixable. If you find yourself way in over your head, it may mean adoption in some cases. And by the way, by no means do professing Christians have the market cornered on wise parenting for reasons previously discussed in this article. Does that offend you? Then the only other choice is to step up to the bar. You can do it; God will help you.

Commitment is about being all in with no exit door. Even God thinks it’s important to do that in writing among witnesses. Don’t be fooled…

…a family without marriage is NOT a family.

paul

 

To My Fellow Healthcare Workers Protesting During the COVID Controversy: You’re Embarrassing

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on April 28, 2020

24273584_1148800408585892_1473850469409031960_oBy Paul Dohse, TANC Publishing author and healthcare worker.

It’s Time to Remember What a Healthcare Worker Is 

Let’s talk about nurses dressed up in scrubs protesting against those who are protesting the lockdown. As healthcare workers we receive a lot of training on professional boundaries, but like all rules, they usually don’t include commonsense rules, which should be assumed.

This article is about how these protesting nurses have plowed over commonsense boundaries, particularly commonsense rules about hypocrisy.

Let’s first examine the specific argument and how the argument is communicated, which is surprisingly consistent, as if from one playbook. I initially ignored this nonsense in the beginning because the first protests of this type were obviously staged by political shills.  Real nurses have followed suit, and are using the same talking points. It goes like this:

“Today I stood on the Rhode Island State House steps, with just a few of my coworkers and other front line workers, to take a stand for health care, against those protesting to have the “stay-at-home” order lifted in Rhode Island.

I stood up today for my patients, my coworkers, my parents, my grandparents, my relatives, my friends and other loved ones.

I can proudly say we stood in silence, standing 6 feet apart, and we let our blue scrubs and face masks speak for us.”

Condescending much? News flash: scrubs, if they symbolize anything, symbolize care and treatment focus, not caste knowledge that ends an argument. But unfortunately, a smug, arrogant attitude, under the guise of love, is just the beginning of what makes this whole deal fraught with ignorance, self-aggrandizing, and over-the-top hypocrisy. As an STNA/MA-C that has invested heavily in advanced education and training to be the best I can be for serving nurses, I was first ashamed, now I am offended and ready to call them out.

The narrative being proffered suggests that hundreds of ICUs are a COVID apocalypse and the national lock-down is the only hope of ending the apocalypse. Granted, I don’t believe this is the flu, and I don’t believe it only kills people with underlying conditions. I agree, notions that downplay COVID annoy me; however, not commonsense discernment. Though the percentage is small, it kills people who should not be at risk at all. That’s what makes this virus scary. Couple that with the fact that it is highly contagious. I was told by one nurse, “Oh yes, by all means practice good standard precautions, but if it’s in this facility, you are going to get it.” I believe it is Russian roulette. Yes, you would have to imagine a very large revolver, but would you play if the cylinder held 1000 rounds instead of six? And, some ICUs are, in fact, a medical apocalypse because of this virus.

With that said, these protesting nurses are basing their protests on the idea that a COVID apocalypse is in full swing everywhere. Here in Ohio, where I live, two days ago, there were thirteen COVID deaths in the whole state, if they were COVID deaths. State and federal protocols for classifying a broad spectrum of deaths as COVID cases have been widely publicized. Yet, in Rhode Island, where these protesting nurses live, there have been 200 deaths out of roughly 7000 cases, and the deaths are almost entirely confined to nursing homes.

That makes this protest very cringeworthy, and pretty much indicative of the rest of the like-protests as well. ICU medical apocalypse, primarily the reality in New Jersey and New York, and certainly a horrible reality, is hardly the case in Rhode Island. Their protest, like many others around the country, suggest that they are driven by experiencing a New York like ICU experience. In their case, practically all cases are taking place in long term care facilities where our low-wage brothers and sisters have fled. That is, nurse aides (STNAs) making 12 dollars an hour. I speak personally to what kind of PPE you get in those places, and no in-house service on special precautions for this virus. All in all, this makes the nurses on the Rhode Island courthouse steps a “Paul and the hat moment.”

When I was a young boy, during the holidays, our family stopped by a friend’s house on the way to a large family gathering. I observed a candy dish in the foyer, and while no one was looking removed all of the contents and placed them under my hat (those goofy looking hats parents used to buy for their children in the 60s). We arrived at my grandparents’ house in Oakwood, Ohio and the family all gathered around in the foyer to meet us. At that moment, a phone call was received from the friend who complained that all of the candy was taken by someone. I was accused before the whole family standing there in the foyer, while I denied the charge profusely. The family looked at each other and shrugged their shoulders, and I was vindicated. My grandmother then asked for coats and hats to hang up, and without thinking, took my hat off resulting in the candy crashing to the floor. You could have heard a pin drop. Have you ever seen those “Want to get away?” Southwest Airlines commercials? Well, you have never seen one that good. I remember my embarrassment that night like it was yesterday, and regarding my embarrassment for protesting nurses, you can multiply it by ten. They have egregiously misrepresented what a healthcare worker is.

The narrative is furthered by a meme that shows a mob of people celebrating a nurse with a number of scissors sticking out of her back. It said something like: “Don’t praise us and then stab us in the back by protesting the lockdown.” This proffers the idea that while a total lockdown is the only hope against the ICU apocalypse, a bunch of fly-over hicks want to end the lockdown so they can go to WWE events which will invariably increase the carnage experienced by healthcare workers already on their way to dealing with post-traumatic stress. While the latter may be true of some healthcare workers in several ICUs, to protest according to that narrative on behalf of all healthcare workers is a perverted fraud.

Beside that, since when have healthcare workers not been sheep led to the slaughter by the healthcare system? Come now, we all know the best of us are totally expendable and always have been. It’s part of the job description. Yes indeed, what a shame that we would be “stabbed in the back” by people who have lost everything they have worked for all of their lives. What a shame that people who have lost their spouses to suicide are angry and frustrated. Future patients are now our enemies because, you know, the government and the healthcare system have always held us in the highest regard! Now, we must take sides for those who do so much right by us. Middle America Trump supporters are our enemies because they won’t swallow everything the government is handing down. You know, the same government that cannot even supply us with enough paper masks for a worldwide pandemic. Because, you know, pandemics are such a novelty.

This is healthcare: it is a singular focus on care needed at any given moment by any given human being. That can be a problem for us, because those in charge of our supply know we will bitch a lot, but ultimately we are going to treat people with whatever we have available because that’s what healthcare workers do.

We treat with whatever we have, and the reason the need is in front of us is completely irrelevant. As an STNA, the invalids I treat who are invalids because of their stupid choices get the same care as those stricken with cancer. We make life as good as it can be for individuals to the best of our ability with whatever we have. That’s what we do; that’s who we are. The end of a lockdown will overwhelm us and we are already overwhelmed? Even if that is true, what of it? That’s nothing new in healthcare. If not a premature lifting of a lockdown, it will be something else.

Those who took advantage of Florida allowing citizens to return to the beaches are now “#morons” on Twitter (FYI, sunlight kills viruses). Meanwhile, nurses out of work because they contracted COVID are getting time off charged against their PTO. Hail to the all-virtuous and all-knowing healthcare system. But the dark turn of events follow: protesting nurses are demanding those protesting the lockdown step-up and decline to be treated if they become infected. Presumably, if you don’t follow lockdown orthodoxy you don’t deserve treatment. Apparently, if you end up in ER with COVID, you better make sure they are aware of your support for the lockdown if you want adequate treatment. Someone has already created, as a meme, a waiver document for lockdown protestors. If you are against the lockdown, you don’t deserve treatment because you have stabbed healthcare workers in the back with scissors. But the fact of the matter is, no real healthcare worker has any room on their backs for an additional pair of scissors to begin with.

How an individual ends up under our care is completely irrelevant. Healthcare workers leave all of those judgments to God. Every one. At work, care is our only religion; care is our only brand of politics. And every care worker should know that only one person has our back: God himself. When the government or a healthcare system does something that shows appreciation for what we do through supply or good management, we are thankful, but since when do we expect it?

Let’s do a summary to this point before we move forward: the basis of the nurse protests misrepresent the reality of the crises, conflates their experience with those who are too busy saving lives to protest, presume to speak for all healthcare workers, and misrepresent what a healthcare worker is. Now we will move on to the hypocrisy of their actions.

Acute Care Versus Long Term Care 

Acute care workers have been the primary focus of accolades for those on the front lines of the COVID pandemic. We have seen the massive display of police and fire department recognitions for nurses and doctors changing shifts at hospitals. Here is where you haven’t seen such accolades involving dozens of police cars and emergency vehicles with lights flashing and the doling out of free food: in front of a nursing home. Yet, as well publicized, hospitals have dumped a lot of their COVID patients into nursing homes to be cared for by LPNs and STNAs. And, undoubtedly, uncertified caregivers who work in nursing home assisted living halls.

Full stop: while a real apocalypse is taking place in ICUs to some extent, there is also a much more widespread medical apocalypse taking place in nursing homes across the nation. Nursing homes, or long term care facilities, are being decimated. One LTC in New Jersey had to store deceased residents in a maintenance shed behind the facility.

Rhode Island is an interesting example. While acute care nurses are protesting on the RI statehouse steps, virtually all of the state’s COVID deaths are taking place in LTC facilities. In RI, this resulted in low-wage healthcare workers fleeing the facilities. If the hero acute care workers are taking time off from doing Tic Toc videos and protesting to fill the gaps in LTC facilities, we have no word of it.

In fact, the RI governor is asking for federal funding to increase the pay of LTC facility workers to at least twenty dollars an hour or more, and scheduling hiring events. Of course, the shortcut would be to hire furloughed acute care workers to fill the gap, but frankly, I believe many acute care nurses think they are above working in a LTC facility. If they don’t, news of their willingness to do so in the middle of this crises is certainly obscure. In New York, where NYC was endowed by the federal government with massive hospital overflow support and a gargantuan Navy hospital ship, COVID patients were dumped into nursing homes while the temporary hospitals were left empty.

If you have been vacationing on the moon for the past 20 years, you are unaware that LTC facilities are chronically understaffed to begin with. With all of the hysteria about “bending the curve” to prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed, how often did you hear about a concern for nursing homes being overwhelmed? You didn’t. But yet, dumping COVID patients into nursing homes was the plan all along. In some LTC facilities, residents have been displaced to make room for them. This is a scandal of biblical proportions, and the point follows: the protesting nurses represent facilities that have done exactly what they are protesting against; ie., overwhelming a healthcare system with foolishness.

But, there is further insult to consider: already, LTC facilities are the focus of government investigations and law suits, because, you know, the government and state healthcare systems have our back, and are always our friends. Meanwhile, to bring acute care under such scrutiny is sacrilegious because acute care is the new 911 era heroes.

While ER doctors and nurses bemoan the difficulty of getting a grip on how to save people from this dreaded disease and proclaim the details of the ICU war zone with sackcloth and ashes, nothing at all was said about dumping COVID patients into ill prepared LTC facilities. In contrast, the outcry is against the lowborn protesting in front of the capital and lectures about staying at home.

Meanwhile, at LTC facilities, LPNs and STNAs ask, “We are now expected to deliver care under impossible circumstances, what else is new? And, after expecting the impossible they are coming after our licenses? That’s not new either.

All and all, the LTC facilities are being held together by the nurses and aides who are the real deal. Some are determined to do the work of two or three aides, others are visibly defeated, but know the defeated are better than nothing right now. I am not surprised there is a shortage of aides, I am surprised anyone would do the job period. Keep in mind, when the federal government shut down mental institutions, where do you think all of those people got dumped? Right, LTC facilities while STNAs received no mental healthcare training. Now we have “behavioral” units in LTC facilities. We also have dementia units, and rehab units for people who receive surgery at the hospital. LTC facilities are asked to do more and more with less and less. What’s the latest? COVID isolation units. It’s just the latest thing foisted on long term care.

With all of that said, NO LTC worker in their right mind would deny the paramount need for acute care nursing, I am just uncertain that the respect cuts both ways. It’s beginning to look like, to me, that acute care nurses need to get over themselves a little bit. Before now, I never gave that any consideration for a second until people started dressing up in scrubs to suggest that receiving care is only deserved by those who agree with the government. Please do it in brown uniforms with armbands instead; you don’t speak for those who know what the heart of healthcare is.

Furthermore, there is much irony in nurses lecturing the public about good health choices. There is much irony in nurses lecturing people about anything. I know many, many nurses in LTC and other venues. You are all awesome on the halls, but being a nurse does not qualify you for lecturing people about life in general and politics in particular. A lot of you smoke cigarettes regardless of the physiology classes you took, I really enjoy listening in on all of your boyfriend/girlfreind fails at the nurse station while I am charting, and I don’t mind working harder to bail you out when you are hungover, but let’s be honest, that’s why you need to focus on care.

That’s what you are good at; tyranny does not become you.

Paul Dohse

STNA/MA-C

 

The COVID Political Fray; Meanwhile, In Long Term Care Facilities, Heaven is a Place on Earth

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on April 22, 2020

ppt-jpeg42“At least in some cases, the way long term care facility lockdowns are being practiced is causing more deaths than the virus, and proliferating the spread of the virus in other facilities. I wonder if this isn’t true of the national lockdown as well.” 

I am a STNA/MA-C and I don’t talk politics at work. Even if someone agrees with my political opinions, I would never discuss it with them at work. I know a lot of nurses and respect them, and I don’t know what their politics are, and I don’t want to know. I was texting back and forth with a nurse the other night that I used to work with at a facility. She was my charge nurse for several months. I have no idea what her worldview is about anything other than resident care. When we talk, our politics are resident care; our religion is resident care, and so it is.

My reality on the facility unit floor is a world I keep separate from my normal life with a single focus: resident care. I work with gay people, I work with straight people, I work with transgender people, I work with those who like me, and I work with those who don’t like me, and I could give a rat’s behind (sanctified version) about any of that. However, if an aide or a nurse is just a clock-puncher, I do care about that, but to tell you the truth from my perspective, that’s pretty rare. And from my perspective, most aides and nurses share this same obsessive focus that separates our lives into two realities.

With that said, most aides like and respect nurses, but really don’t care for other aides that much. You would think, given how tough the job is, one of the toughest jobs in the world hands down, that there would be a brotherhood/sisterhood thing going on. Um, not so much. As far as eating their own, lions have nothing on them. If you are a decent aide in their book, they will allow you to live. Aides are fiercely competitive and want to believe they love the residents more than any other aide. Think about four mothers having the same children and ponder how that works out, and then toss male aides into the dynamic who have no nurturing instincts. But it’s ok, if  they think they are a better than you, and you become a better aide, that forces them to become better as well. And in many cases, that works well in a lot of facilities.

Then, there is my other world made possible by technology. On my Twitter account, I follow nurses who are Trump supporters. That’s a whole bunch of fun. Would I follow them if they were local and I worked with them? No. Facebook is much trickier. Its got the “friend” thing going on. While Twitter is primarily religious/political/philosophical, Facebook is a mixed bag. Facebook crosses many boundaries between personal life, family life, work life, religion, philosophy, worldview, and politics. And, as the director of a philosophical/religious think tank involving three authors and an educator, my views are often posted on my Facebook account where nurses I have worked with see what I post. For me, that’s a metaphysical minefield.

One thing I have noticed, for reasons I cannot explain, I find aides somewhat apolitical. Nurses, not so much. And regarding the COVID pandemic, nurses have joined the political fray. The most vocal nurses are in favor of continuing the national lockdown. In fact, I saw a meme posted by some the other day. It showed a mob of people celebrating a nurse with a number of scissors sticking out of her back. It said something like: “Don’t praise us and then stab us in the back by protesting the lockdown.”

I saw it, and I thought: “Holy cow Lord, bring the mountains down on me to hide me from this fray!” Those who know me will tell you I have never backed down from a fight, except for this one. This one I will run from every time. Dear God, find me a refuge.

I have also seen a meme that pictures a shell-shocked nurse with PPE lacerations all over her face with the caption, “We go to the frontlines for you; please stay home for us.”

Yikes!

This is hard for me, because regarding nurses, I am respect-driven. It is my honor to serve them. In all honesty, my mentality on the unit hallways is, “The nurse is always right.” I was recently certified by the Ohio Board of Nurses to pass medications in long term care facilities, and on any multiple choice question for the schooling or state test, if “The nurse” is one of the choices, that’s the right answer in every case. Laugh if you will, but the second you see a question that says, “What do you do if…” your eyes immediately look for “The nurse” among the answer choices. Aides make it a point to argue with each other, but they will rarely argue with a nurse.

How hard is the rock between me and the hard place here? Very. As one who does other things aside from healthcare, I have studied religion and philosophy, and their relationship to politics, for more than 11 years as the director of the aforementioned think tank. Before the Enlightenment Era gave birth to America, the world was not a very nice place to live in. If this pandemic unseats America from being the leader of the free world, as far as death, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

And this virus is the perfect agent for Russian misinformation meant to divides us. It poses itself, to a large degree, as a common cold and asymptomatic nuisance, while on the other hand, it bludgeons ICU nurses with watching people die slowly and inevitably despite efforts that leave them physically and emotionally exhausted. How much of that is the COVID gruesome reality? Enough to make nurses political. Enough to make me want to hide and say, “No, I can’t watch this.”

This seems to be their argument; granted, a handy argument presented by politicians. If the lockdown isn’t done properly, the healthcare system will be overwhelmed and there will be no economic recovery and you shouldn’t put lives before money anyway. That’s immoral. Meanwhile, no one has figured out what the balance is, and the last thing you want to do is throw gasoline on the fire by arguing with these nurses about statistics; that’s just going to piss them off and understandably so. The second you start talking about statistics, they are going to see the patient that defies all of the statistics that they did three full codes on, and failed.

Here is what I see, even from great thinkers like Tucker Carlson on statistics, and the argument is both ignorant and annoying. There is a healthcare norm, which is a statistical curve, and then pandemics, which are healthcare spikes that get underneath the normal statistical curves (which healthcare systems are based on) and drive them up. This causes the whole system to implode. Such and such pandemic is not that bad because even this that or the other kills many more people. Really?

I am going to suggest what the problem is before I move on to the main point of the post. Government is way, way overrated. There has been pandemics coming out of Asia every twenty years since Eve ate the bad apple. Yet, this country has no adequate pandemic protocol. Here in Ohio, everyone waits with bated breath for the Governor and Director of Health to give daily briefings at 2pm.

But here is the problem: their all-wise government lockdown is not an intelligent lockdown and it certainly is not based on any science. For example, and for the most part, healthcare workers are coming up with their own protocols. The Director of Health for Ohio didn’t tell frontline workers to quarantine from their families when they go home to their home lockdowns, they are doing that on their own. Who thought it a good idea for correction facility workers and long term care workers to go home to an isolated locked down household?

So, the government dropped the ball on stocking N95 masks? Well, with all these people out of work, the federal and state governments could not have rounded up a bunch of sewing machines, material, sweeper bags, people who can sew, or train people to sew, and crank out a ton of N-95 masks? That’s what we did during WWII for what we needed. We found a way to put the unemployed on the frontlines. While government brainiacs have called COVID a war, they have doled out cash for people to stay hidden in their homes. We even flew to China, where the freaking pandemic came from, to pick up equipment to fight the war. Folks, these people are not the sharpest knives in the drawer. What is becoming more and more clear follows: we needed a science based intelligent lockdown, not the lockdown that occurred.

This brings us closer to the primary point of the post. Long term care facilities (nursing homes) are in lockdown. And, the kind of lockdown in place is indicative of the national lockdown which is loco grande stupid. At least in some cases, the way long term care facility lockdowns are being practiced is causing more deaths than the virus, and proliferating the spread of the virus in other facilities. I wonder if this isn’t true of the national lockdown as well. Let me be clear: I am not saying a lockdown should not have occurred; rather, I question the kind of lockdown that we got.

Let me explain. My information comes from frontline experience and information from nurses that work in long term care facilities. At least in some facilities, mortality is up, not from the virus, but residents being cut off from their families. At any rate, aides talk often about the one’s who have “given up.” It’s usually a death sentence. When you have had everything taken from you; ie., your health, the home you raised children in, etc., and the only thing you have left is family, and you are cut off from that, the results are not good. In fact, per our training, the family is part of the care team for that very reason. Family as part of the care team is LTC official protocol. So, who was the brainiac who came up with that lockdown idea? I was working in facilities that had their own proactive protocols that limited family visits to one family member at a time. There were other precautions taken as well; the family member’s temperature was taken and they had to wear gloves, and were given a short lesson on standard precautions. Then came the total lockdown ordered by the government. All of a sudden, the family is no longer part of the care team. That’s a really bad idea for many reasons.

But the brilliance doesn’t stop there. I am an agency nurse aide. I get a list of facilities that have open shifts. And here is where I will break some news to you. Nurses worry about our healthcare system because though it is the best in the world, it is fragile due to understaffing and lack of training. Nurses I talk to worry about the system being overwhelmed. Well, in the case of long term care facilities, that has already happened.

Let me further the point this way with conversation I have with other agency workers: “Yes, I saw the list of openings at that facility and that’s why I won’t go there, they must have next to no staff and I can’t do two or three halls by myself.” Not only that, being overwhelmed invariably leads to taking shortcuts on standard precautions.

So, you have hundreds of agency aides moving in and out of several different facilities. Anyone see a problem with that? The aides do. Many only take open shifts three days on, and four days off to see if they develop any symptoms because we can’t get tested unless we get sick. Others stick with a single facility so they know where they got infected if they get sick. But again, this isn’t a government protocol, or even an agency protocol, or even a facility protocol, these are individual protocols. I work for two agencies, neither has had a COVID in-service training except for, “Remember to be careful out there!” And like everyone else, they can’t get their hands on the right PPE equipment.

Here is the paragraph I have been wanting to get to. While it is true that the long term care system has collapsed, it is still floating, because of the unsung heroes, that is, the nurse aides. Yes, I am one, but I mostly hangout with them and help out. It is true that a lot of them fled the facilities out of fear; it is true that many quit because they will make more money with the stimulus package for not working at all (more government brilliance).

But, those who are left are taking care of business because of who they are. So to speak, the men have been separated from the boys. They are enough. I got my start in healthcare by starting with a small home healthcare agency in Dayton, Ohio. The RN who was supposed to orientate me after being beckoned off the street was a Muslim women who spoke broken English. It was a short “orientation.” She turned the pages one at a time saying, “Sign here on bottom that you agree.” I signed, and to what I don’t know. I was not very impressed as a retired business owner that ran a pretty tight ship, and I think she knew that. At the end of the “orientation,” she took her hand and started touching  her chest saying, “If you have heart you make it; if you don’t have heart, no. We will see.”

That isn’t lame, she was right. Even though long term care facilities are woefully short staffed right now, the one’s left have the heart. Long term care is much different than acute care, sometimes the aides and nurses are the only family a resident has. I used to think that was a sentimental cliché. I remember when I used to hear aides tell residents they loved them, I used to think, “Oh please, just shut the hell up and do your job.” Since then, I have become a lot less construction worker and more aide.

As a Christian, I know every human being will have to do business with God at some point. But in heaven, there will only be love and no judgment. There won’t be any politics, there won’t be any religion, and everyone’s identity will be without controversy.

I find that most aides in long term care facilities do have a single focus. And that single focus is love. Aides don’t ask how someone ended up in long term care and it doesn’t matter. With the opioid epidemic the way it is, we care for many that are there by their own doings. They get the same care everyone else does. I have never heard an aide judge a resident. Judging other aides? Well, ok, that’s another matter. But, the judgement is always about your ability to deliver care.

Clearly, when acute care nurses say, “I hope the lockdown protestors get the virus and stay home and die,” such nurses have lost their focus. Perhaps the one’s that are furloughed should relieve the shortages in LTC to regain the right healthcare perspective.

Where, for at least the time being, heaven is a place on earth.

paul

 

The Home Fellowship Gospel Versus the Church Gospel

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on April 19, 2020

HF Potters House (2)

We don’t meet together in private homes for some practical matter; it’s a statement about our gospel. It is a statement about the new birth. The new birth makes us literal members of God’s family, and this is what makes us righteous, the new birth, not perfect law-keeping by anyone including Christ. In addition, church is an institution that speaks of authority and functions on authority. Home fellowships are a family functioning as a body.

Live Link for Sunday 4/19/2020 @ 6pm. 

More Church Folly Exposed by COVID-19: The Recognition of Days

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on April 15, 2020

ppt-jpeg42As a new Christian in 1983 I did something out of the gates that put me at odds with the church inside of six months: daily Bible reading. I didn’t understand a lot of what I was reading, but on the other hand, a lot of what I was reading was pretty clear and objective. Then, I would go to church and hear one contradiction after another while church claimed the Bible as its authority for truth. I remained faithful to church for many years following, but knew something was fundamentally wrong with the entire concept.

This post is about one example. Really, a major example. One of myriads of inner-church quarrelling is the whole, “Which day should we ‘worship’ on, Saturday or Sunday?” Of course, a single church quarrel is always fraught with false premises to begin with. Worship is not on any given single day, worship is all of life A-Z. And don’t forget this: there is so much debate in church that no reasonable person could believe the church knows anything objectively.

Should we worship on Saturday or Sunday, and should Christians recognize the Sabbath, and is Sunday the church Sabbath under the New Covenant? So, I attempted to do a Bible study and come to a personal conclusion, and with many such debates like this, it was a fools errand. Why? While church disingenuously encourages parishioners to read the Bible for themselves, it has never taught legitimate principles of epistemology. In contrast, it only supplies a foundation of false presuppositions that result in the following: the more people read their Bibles, the more church falsehoods will be reinforced. Church infuses a prism into parishioners which will determine what they see in the Bible.

Regardless, the whole argument bothered me for reasons I couldn’t put my finger on. My daily Bible reading could not recall a biblical emphasis on days of the week or the naming of days of the week; weekdays were always referred to by their order, not a name.

Like many things with church, there are all kinds of suspicions in the background, but you also have life to attend to, so you really don’t pause life to launch an in-depth investigation. But, then the COVID worldwide emergency happened. And, per the usual, with ANY non-business-as-usual event that takes place in the world or local culture, church has a head-on collision with reality. This, throughout history, has caused church to die on hills of no relevance. Church, in regard to true Christianity, is completely irrelevant with trainloads of meaningless controversy following.

So, here we go, “Easter Sunday” and “Good Friday” were cancelled because of a government lockdown, as well as weekly church services. And trust me, God could care less. He could care less because church, that is, its basic principles, are totally invalid. We will be looking at this from a calendar point of view. God chose a particular calendar for His theology to emphasize basic points. One point follows: His ekklesia is not an institution; it’s a literal family functioning as a body. An institution cannot function on a lunar calendar; institutions have to function on a solar calendar because an institution functioning on a lunar calendar would be very difficult if not impossible altogether.

Why is that? First, the first day of the week (according to the Gregorian calendar), viz, Sunday, would not always be on Sunday. A solar calendar makes it possible for specific days to be named and always occurring in the same order (and position) every week. The Jews, for purposes of God’s appointed days, used a lunar calendar. This means, according to one theory, the Sabbath occurred on the 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th of every month. Let’s take May of 2020 for example, all the Sabbaths would be on Friday. In June of 2020, all of the Sabbaths would be on Monday. This would wreak havoc on institutional “worship” for many, many different reasons. However, in a family setting, just like differing birthdays or anything else, not so much.

I am not going to cover everything I have been studying about this for the past week, but suffice to say that the implications for biblical theology are profound, especially in regard to Genesis, chapter one, and the law instituted on Mount Sinai. Following a particular order of time was part and parcel with the commands themselves, and following any biblical command regarding sabbaths apart from a lunar calendar is not a legitimate observance. The fact that a Jewish day started at evening and ended the next evening also causes interpretive confusion.

Furthermore, first and second temple law protocols were intrinsically linked  with Jewish feasts and other holy days, which were all ended with Christ dying on the cross. The ekklesia was free to meet wherever and whenever it wanted to. Set days for anything were nonexistent. In the first century, the Sanhedrin determined when the new moon occurred, which set the precedent for the month. Obviously, with the destruction of the second temple in 70 AD, any authority to determine the Sabbaths on a monthly basis became nonexistent.

Aside from the Sabbath (and calendar?) protocol established with creation, Leviticus chapter 23 expounds on the instructions given to Moses at the beginning of the exodus. Curiously, these instructions occur for when Israel was in their land, but yet, the instructions pertain to individual family dwellings.

Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, concerning the feasts of the Lord, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts.

Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the Lord in all your dwellings.

Why? Why not the area surrounding the tabernacle or purpose build temples? But curious is how many Bibles translate the same passage:

The Lord said to Moses, Speak to the Israelites and say to them: These are my appointed festivals, the appointed festivals of the Lord, which you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies.

There are six days when you may work, but the seventh day is a day of sabbath rest, a day of sacred assembly. You are not to do any work; wherever you live, it is a sabbath to the Lord.

Note that many translations imply a gathering at a “sacred assembly” wherever the Jews may be established geographically at any given time. No, the focus is clearly private dwellings. You can die on a hill of freedom to congregate for religious purposes if you will; it’s a good American thing, but don’t do it for any biblical reasons because there aren’t any. Just simply do church and Easter (Passover) at home. It was never meant to be a public spectacle, and rarely, if ever, occurred on Sunday. And for that matter, the Sabbath rarely occurred on Saturday which means the first day of the week wasn’t always Sunday either.

According to Leviticus chapter 23, the Sabbath was a “feast,” not a “time of worship.” Passover was on the 14th of Nissan which was the first month of the Jewish year. For some reason, this was a huge point of controversy between the ekklesias and the church established in Rome by the church fathers—Rome wanted the date of Easter recognized for Passover instead. And if my research is any indication, there is defiantly fire where you see smoke. Understanding this issue to a great degree (I have only scratched the surface) would lend gargantuan understanding of your Bible starting with the creation event in Genesis chapter one.

The next day, the 15th day, was a sabbath day and marked the first day of unleavened bread which was a yearly feast that took place with Passover. The seventh day of that feast (the 22nd day) was also a Sabbath. This follows the theory that the Sabbath days were on the 8th, 15th, 22, and 29th of every month. Regardless of what theory you prefer, the following point remains: these days on the present universal calendar would be different days every month. And again, the feasts were always family centered and not institution centered.

Correlating all of this with the death of Jesus would be an insightful study. The Passover was followed by unleavened bread and Pentecost which was about 49 days from unleavened bread. And by the way, the study IS rocket science, but would be well worth the effort.

A biblical day starts at evening and ends the next evening. Darkness came first, or at least was already present. “And the evening and the morning were the first day.” And, God didn’t rest on the seventh day because he was tired. It all means much more than what we realize.

 paul

 

 

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