Theological debate inappropriate in paper
Rodolfo Estrada's article, “Birth of a dilemma (Dec. 25),” addressing the uncertainty of where Jesus of Nazareth may have been born was a good brief summary of the topic. Nevertheless, it ignored other portions of Jesus' birth.
For example, Estrada ignores the possibility, as some New Testament scholars speculate, that Jesus actually was not born in Bethlehem of Judea at all, but in Bethlehem of Galilee, which actually was (and still is) quite close to his home in Nazareth, where all Gospels agree he grew up.
Moreover, he left out the Gospels' agreement on one other matter, that Mary was already pregnant before she and Joseph were married. The gospels of Matthew and Luke are unequivocal on this issue, despite their strikingly different accounts of his birth.
These illustrate only two of the ways in which the Gospels' authors tailored their accounts of the birth narrative to support their view of Jesus as the Messiah and the Son of God. But those are topics better suited for sophomore seminary students to debate, not the editorial pages of newspapers.
Coronavirus confounding efforts at recovery
The stimulus bill signed by President Trump was around $900 billion. That is a little hard for us to get our heads around; let us call it $900 thousand million.
There are roughly 300 million of us. Some maybe don't qualify, so about $180 thousand million was going directly to the American people. Where is that other $720 thousand million going?
Where is this money coming from? (I think it is being manufactured out of thin air.)
If both sides of the aisle are willing to spend this kind of money that we don't have, where is the leadership?
We are trying to stimulate an economy that some would say has been destroyed by the coronavirus. But I would venture to say it was more destroyed by our reaction to the coronavirus.
We should have protected our most vulnerable. What we ended up doing is destroying the livelihoods of thousands of people we now have to rescue. We have also destroyed the lives of thousands who have died by not going to the hospital when they should have, or those who have returned to drugs or alcohol.
We are allowing this country to be run by people who went to the most prestigious schools but don't have a lick of common sense. So let us all follow the science.
But the scientist is generally concerned about one thing, in this case one cause of death. So one final question: What wisdom does an epidemiologist have about non-epidemiology things we have to balance when running a society?
Good thing comes in twos for solo diner
On Dec. 8, I had dinner alone at Hall's Hollywood, as I often do. When I went to the cashier, imagine my surprise when I learned that someone had already paid for my dinner. Such a warm gesture to an older man. But then it happened again on Dec.16!
I want to share how such generosity can make someone's day. And I want to thank the individuals who made mine ... twice!