Why Christians Must Be to Loyal to Truth, Not Political Party or Brand

My thoughts below predate COVID-19, masks, hydroxychloroquine, or churches defying public health emergency orders. Last fall, different controversies were exposing problems in how believers evaluate conflicting claims and decide what to believe.

But those problems are still with us, and the current raft of controversies is exposing them even more painfully.

Many Christians who claim to revere the Bible lack biblical habits for evaluating truth claims and consequently lack skill in judging the ethics of situations in a biblical way. It seems almost ubiquitous now—the habit of putting the political/culture-war lenses on first, and embracing or rejecting claims based solely on source classification (friend or foe). The result is that ideas are accepted uncritically if they’re perceived to be from “our people” and rejected reflexively if they’re seen as from “the other side.”

What’s missing is weighing ideas and claims on their own merits—on things like evidence and sound reasoning. Increasingly, what’s completely missing is any nonpolitical consideration of what Scripture teaches and what sound application requires of us.

More than ever, believers need to meditate on a genuinely Christian view of truth and on a genuinely Christian approach to evaluating truth claims. At least five principles are are fundamental that effort.

Principle 1: Only Scripture is infallible.

Christians understand that God is completely reliable on the subject of reality, which is what I mean here by “truth”—what actually is.

  • let God be true though every one were a liar… (ESV, Romans 3:4)
  • in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (Colossians 2:3)
  • “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.” (John 14:6)
  • God, who cannot lie (Titus 1:2).

It follows that God’s word is completely reliable in all that it represents as truth.

  • Therefore I consider all your precepts to be right; I hate every false way. (Psalm 119:128)
  • Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. (John 17:17)
  • And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place (2 Peter 1:19)
  • All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction (2 Timothy 3:16)

By contrast, human beings are extremely unreliable as sources of truth, not only because we’re deceitful creatures (Jer. 17:9, John 8:44) but because we’re so often wrong even in what we genuinely believe to be true.

How should this shape our habits? It should lead us to view all truth claims as suspect, regardless of how much we want them to be true or are afraid that they’re true—or how much we like the source.

Principle 2: Truth is more powerful than human leaders.

Leaders come and go. Some lead well for years and do a lot of good, only to catastrophically fail and make us question everything they ever taught or supported. Movements and institutions come and go much the same way.

Truth, on the other hand, continues along, unaffected by what we think or claim. And its inherent power is undiminished.

  • How much better to get wisdom than gold! To get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver. (Proverbs 16:16)
  • and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. (John 8:32)
  • Forever, O Lord, your word is firmly fixed in the heavens. (Psalm 119:89)

In the end, truth wins. Given enough time, it tends to win in human history, but even when truth loses the battle for minds in human history, it is, itself, unaltered and will eventually be known to all.

  • Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. (Luke12:2)
  • So also good works are conspicuous, and even those that are not cannot remain hidden. (1 Timothy 5:25)
  • if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. (Philippians 3:15)
  • For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. (1 Corinthians 13:12)

Principle 3: Our sources aren’t always right.

We’re all easily misled into prizing a person or group more than we prize the truth. It’s not hard to see why. We’re wired to adore and bow before a Person who makes no mistakes. But since Jesus Christ is not physically present to respond to current events, we tend to look to other human authorities to tell us what to think—and we take their word as gospel. It’s understandable, but it’s still idolatrous.

Relying on trusted sources is unavoidable, to some extent. Where it goes off the rails is when we forget that “our team” is capable of error, and we fail to examine and test truth claims before accepting them as certain or echoing them as facts.

But even the best of “our guys” are wrong sometimes.

  • Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that he meant taking rest in sleep. (John 11:13)
  • [Apollos] began to speak boldly in the synagogue, but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately. (Acts 18:26)
  • But Peter said, “By no means, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean.” (Acts 10:14)
  • I said to Cephas before them all, “If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews?” (Galatians 2:14)

Principle 4: “Their” sources aren’t always wrong.

When “us vs. them” thinking takes over, we not only tend to value group loyalty above truth, but we also tend to value defeating the other team above truth. Both of these are species of idolatry, because pursuing truth is part of our loyalty to Christ. Anything we allow to interfere with that is a displacement of Christ’s agenda for someone else’s agenda.

  • We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, (2 Corinthians 10:5)
  • test everything; hold fast what is good. (1 Thessalonians 5:21)
  • But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil. (Hebrews 5:14)
  • The spiritual person judges all things, (1 Corinthians 2:15)

The Scriptures remind us that sometimes truth comes from unexpected places—sometimes from sources that, from our point of view, aren’t reliable.

  • Children: “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children” (Matthew 11:25)
  • The Pharisee, Gamaliel: So in the present case I tell you, keep away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or this undertaking is of man, it will fail; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You might even be found opposing God!” (Acts 5:38–39)
  • Pagan poets: as even some of your own poets have said (Acts 17:28)
  • Rhoda: They said to her, “You are out of your mind.” (Acts 12:15)
  • Women who reported the resurrection: … but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. (Luke 24:10-11)

Principle 5: We should seek genuine understanding, even of what we reject.

  • A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion. (Proverbs 18:2)
  • If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame. (Proverbs 18:13)
  • The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer, (Proverbs 15:28)

The current state of public discourse is only a recent expression of a long-standing human problem—also a long-standing Christian problem: in our fondness for strife and winning, we don’t go to the trouble to truly understand opposing views. We don’t listen. Listening involves seeking to understand why people think what they think. We often assume their reasons, but how do they explain their reasons?

Two things can happen when we gain understanding of opposing views.

  1. We may find points of agreement we didn’t know existed.
  2. We may more effectively refute those views because we’re no longer distorting them or lobbing distraction fallacies at them (“Oh yeah, well what about…”?).

When we understand, we argue less, or we argue more precisely, or both. And this is a desire of all who love truth.

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There are 42 Comments

Ed Vasicek's picture

Like fresh cold water for a man crawling out of a dessert on all fours.

"The Midrash Detective"

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Thanks for the encouragement, Ed, and glad it's helpful.

I made the mistake of visiting Facebook yesterday and this morning, to followup. I'm seeing lots of antagonism (to understate it) toward Wisc. gov. Evers for the face mask order, and lots of praise for MacArthur for openly defying California's laws.

I just have one question for both of these points of view: If the gov. of Wis. was still Walker or some other conservative and likewise in California, would you be reacting this way? Given the many attempts by Pres. Trump to reach beyond his legal (Constitutional) authority, I have to follow up with, really? Would you?

If the church leader in Calif. who is saying disobey the law were, say, ol' Robert Shuller at the Crystal Cathedral rather than John MacArthur, would you be lauding his "courage"?

This is just emotion and not reality... I guess... but lately, I feel like I'm seeing the "falling away" of 2 Thess 2:3... and feel like Elijah in 1 Kings 19:14. Like Elijah, I'm probably wrong. Would like to hear more from the 7000 who aren't bowing to the Baal of right or left wing politics, though!

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

Don Johnson's picture

Aaron Blumer wrote:

I just have one question for both of these points of view: If the gov. of Wis. was still Walker or some other conservative and likewise in California, would you be reacting this way? Given the many attempts by Pres. Trump to reach beyond his legal (Constitutional) authority, I have to follow up with, really? Would you?

If the church leader in Calif. who is saying disobey the law were, say, ol' Robert Shuller at the Crystal Cathedral rather than John MacArthur, would you be lauding his "courage"?

I get what you are saying, but Walked isn't the governor of Wisconsin, who knows what he would do? And Shuller isn't making the statement, and likely wouldn't, given what we know of him.

Your questions are just hypotheticals and are part of the emotion laden argumentation going back and forth.

We should rather be doing our best to dig out real data, letting that form our opinions and actions, and wait on the rest.

BTW, I appreciate that about what John Ellis said in his article (other thread). The hydroxy issue is uncertain at best, but the way to find out is to actually go to well researched testing, not just opinion pieces. We will still have our opinions, but we need to try to inform them as best we can and refrain from the emotional argumentation we are all to prone to use.

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Ed Vasicek's picture

Here in Indiana, even though we have a Republican governor, when he tried to enforce mask requirements as law, there was so much push back that he ended up with a greatly diluted/weakened mandate without penalty.

 

I was surprised at this.  But,on the other hand, ever since the Baby Boomers, Americans seem to have real problems with authority. They believe in it as long as they agree with it. But the real test of submission to authority is when you don't agree with it.  The caveat, of course, is when we are clearly asked to violate Scripture.

"The Midrash Detective"

Bert Perry's picture

My take, if we're going to talk about COVID restrictions, is that personal economics are as much at issue as politics.  I'm not doing badly as a desk jockey/office worker sans office, but a lot of people whose jobs involve more movement are struggling with mask/distancing mandates.

There is also the reality that Christians all too often are willing to believe nonsense if it suits their purposes.  OK, lots of people suffer from that, but "my tribe" is the one where I theoretically have more influence.  (maybe)

It doesn't negate Aaron's thesis altogether, just another set of angles, really.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Mark_Smith's picture

On the national stage, there is no way I am going to criticize Republicans to death and let Democrats take the reigns, no matter how much I disagree with what some Republicans do. Why? Because Democrats nationally seek to redefine America in a way I oppose. Period.

Jim's picture

My choices (in very liberal Minnesota):

  • GOP for Senate : Incumbent, DFL, Tina Smith was Planned Parenthood's Executive Vice President
  • GOP for house: Incumbent, DFL votes in lockstep with Nancy Pelosi
  • GOP for state Senate and for state house. House rep is DFL. Senate incumbent not running for re-election. Virtually every chance they have, the DFL raises taxes
  • Our county commissioner ward  is open. Hennepin county is so liberal, even a conservative voice here is outvoted.
  • Our city government is non-partisan but basically conservative, Plymouth is very well run!
  • The President. Probably won't matter how I vote. Has gone DFL for years!
Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Your questions are just hypotheticals and are part of the emotion laden argumentation going back and forth.

We should rather be doing our best to dig out real data, letting that form our opinions and actions, and wait on the rest.

On that second statement, hear, hear!

On the first, the hypotheticals are only to illustrate the argument. One could plug any number of variables in there.

It's true that Walker has shown some of the same Trump bedazzlement as much of the rest of so-called conservatism and might well have not ordered masks. In Wisconsin he might have tacked more like Georgia's Kemp. But the fact remains--and this part is not hypothetical, several Republican gov's have issued mask orders.

  • Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson
  • Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine
  • Indiana Gov. Eric Holcombe
  • probably others...

But if Evers does it, it's an appalling abuse of power... because he's a Democrat and a liberal.

I've seen it more times than I can count.... the double standarding is so rampant these days, I wonder how people don't split in half.

The MacArthur situation is just a variant: rather than applying principles across the board, no matter who it is or what the political alignment seems to be, we filter by human loyalties first, then decide what to believe. It's backwards.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

Don Johnson's picture

I think it is almost impossible to have any public discourse these days. A contrarian view is simply shouted down. It happens (or used to) a LOT here at SI.

Asa Hutchinson ... well, he's a BJU grad, so you know how they are going... (heh, heh)

To be serious, I've read MacArthur's statement and Leeman's two pieces in response. I've read a few other pieces somewhat related. I am a bit torn. I think MacArthur's statement is actually better than what it sounds like his sermon was. I haven't had an opportunity to listen, don't know if I will ever...

Leeman's first rebuttal seemed somewhat lame. The second one was better. I think I am actually somewhere in the middle on this, but I haven't worked it all out in my head as yet.

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Dan Miller's picture

Mark_Smith wrote:

On the national stage, there is no way I am going to criticize Republicans to death and let Democrats take the reigns, no matter how much I disagree with what some Republicans do. Why? Because Democrats nationally seek to redefine America in a way I oppose. Period.

Socialism is evil in a very core way. 

Re: resistance to masks

It isn't just boomers. Are you old enough to remember when seatbelts were mandated? One of my high school friends (I was class of 87) - his father bought a used car old enough that it was grandfathered simply because he refused to wear seatbelts. People hate being told what to do. 

 

Mark_Smith's picture

Yes they do, but flying through a car windshield just because you were supposedly "uncomfortable" wearing a seat belt, or didn't want "the man" telling you what to do, is, well, foolish. The same goes for masks. They are so simple to wear. The risk is minimal. The benefit is great. Why not wear one in this situation? Stop being argumentative and act rational and reasonable. Smile

 

Bert Perry's picture

I'm still of the opinion regarding both that the big reason people push back on both is that the science behind both really isn't made clear to people.  For seat belts, it's that it allows the car to take the peak force instead of your body against the steering column, and for face masks, it's that they filter and divert a portion of whatever viruses are in the air you breathe in and out.

Never have seen, as far as I can remember, a graph of peak force on the crash test dummy with and without a seat belt, but I'm certain those graphs exist.  Similarly, as long as the argument is "wear them, it's the law", you need to expect any good American to ask "why?".  I'd argue the efforts for both ignore most of what we ought to know about our nation's psychology.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Mark_Smith's picture

As a science teacher at a university, who mostly teaches non-science majors, the average American, no, not 2/3, perhaps even more, couldn't properly read a graph of force in an impact, even if their life depended upon it.

Lack of knowledge is not why too many Americans resisted wearing seatbelts.

John E.'s picture

The 80s-90s PSAs starring the crash test dummies were effective for getting the point across about seatbelts (and car seats for small children) without drowning non-scientists in technical language. Likewise, there are plenty of memes and articles that distill the science behind masks into accessible language/images. I rarely hear or see the argument to wear masks because it's the law. I agree with Mark, although I'd tweak it a bit: the reason people refuse to put on a seatbelt or wear a mask isn't owing to lack of availability to accessible information that leads to knowledge. 

Bert Perry's picture

...nada regarding actual data.  Now perhaps Americans are too stupid to look at data....which explains all those news articles sharing exactly the same that I see every day?    Maybe we should give it a try for pretty much the first time since the 1960s?

Come on, brothers.  Look at those old ads.  How would we prove that the issue is not lack of knowledge of we've never even tried to present the data in recent memory?  Same basic thing with face masks--we present the results, not the process, and then we wonder why people these days seem incapable of comprehending the intermediate data points.  Maybe....they haven't had any practice doing it since high school?

And maybe a lot of the cynicism about both is that too many people, instead of seeing actual data, are seeing legal requirements and emotional manipulation, and it gets under their skin.  I know it's an argument I've seen quite a bit.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

John E.'s picture

I don't know what your perspective is; it's obviously different than mine. But, from my vantage point, the data and research is being presented. The anti-maskers simply do not care. I have shown anti-maskers the data and research and they shrug their shoulders and then invariably begin their rebuttal with, "Well, I feel ..." followed by some variation of a Bill Gates conspiracy or so-and-so doctor on FOX News or my next door neighbor's cousin is a nurse or you're a Marxist who hates America, John. 

Also, I have friends with graduate degrees in physics and engineering who dismiss the data and research while talking a lot about liberty and freedom and America's way of life is being destroyed. 

I continue to contend that for many anti-maskers it is ideological and no amount of data and research is going to sway them. And this gets to the heart of much of what Aaron wrote about in his article above.

It should also be noted, recent polls seems to indicate that the majority of Americans now favor (and wear) masks (certain states excluded - Indiana and Mississippi being the two worst from the poll I'm thinking of). It seems that the 30-35% who would continue to support Trump even if he shot and killed someone on Madison Ave. are impervious to facts. 

Robert Byers's picture

John would you please be kind enough to link me to the double blind clinical study that proves wearing masks is effective to stop the spread of COVID 19?  That would be really helpful since you've argued that anecdotes don't prove anything and stories that indicate success should be viewed with extreme suspicion if not outright disdain.  I wouldn't want you to look down on me as a simpleton for believing your declaration without scientific proof.  Thanks.

John E.'s picture

Robert, based on your comment, it's apparent to me that you have zero interest in having a good faith discussion, so, no. 

Robert Byers's picture

Removing my tongue from my cheek and asking seriously.  You said that you've shown people "data and research" that demonstrates the effectiveness of masks.  How much of that data and research supporting masks meets the same standard you insist on for reliability of proof that HCQ works?  If supporters of HCQ can't use clinical studies and reports (like the one you specifically cited from the Ford Medical System), what exactly are you using to back up your support for wearing masks?  

 

TylerR's picture

Editor

To me, this is quite simple. I'm not an epidemiologist. I have to trust someone. I have no reason to suspect "the government" is trying to kill me or is in league with the Chinese Communist Party, Bill Gates, George Soros, or Satan (or any combination thereof) to take over the world. So, I'm more than willing to accept what the CDC says about masks (see the lists of studies, at the bottom of the page).

If Governor Inslee further restricts churches, absent any (1) discrimination or (2) overt malice, we'll comply. We can do drive-in service and broadcast on FM. We can do outdoor services and use speakers. We can sing. We can worship the Lord. We can tell stories to our grandkids, years from now, about the weird COVID madness of 2020.

Whatever happens, we can go on with the work of the ministry. I think that's better than appearing on Tucker and the Eric Metaxas shows and complaining. A few years from now, when the world still stands, some people will look pretty foolish.

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

RajeshG's picture

In 'Don’t speak for me': Yale doctor battles CNN anchor over effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine, Yale epidemiologist Dr. Harvey Risch makes this noteworthy claim:
 

“No,” Risch shot back. “In fact, the FDA has a huge history of drugs going into widespread use in the medical community for decades that have not been established in the basis of randomized controlled trials. Half of the chemotherapy drugs used in cancer were used without randomized controlled trials.”

If this is a valid claim, especially the last sentence in this quote, using hydroxychloroquine in a similar manner would seem to be warranted, given what some researchers have observed about its effectiveness in treating their patients.

TylerR's picture

Editor

Blah, blah, blah, blah.

'Merica.

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Robert Byers wrote:

John would you please be kind enough to link me to the double blind clinical study that proves wearing masks is effective to stop the spread of COVID 19?  That would be really helpful since you've argued that anecdotes don't prove anything and stories that indicate success should be viewed with extreme suspicion if not outright disdain.  I wouldn't want you to look down on me as a simpleton for believing your declaration without scientific proof.  Thanks.

The double blind placebo controlled tests I've seen myself on mask effectiveness were in reference to other viruses, but a pretty good variety of them. Burden of proof kind of falls on the hypothesis that sars-cov-2 is different.

But if you want an interesting read on the topic, the Lancet metadata study is a good place to start. It references lots of other studies, some of sars-cov-2 and some of other viruses, if memory serves. It's not the same as a double blind placebo controlled or Randomized Controlled Trial, but I think you'll find that it references some. And the advantage of a meta-analysis is that it doesn't rely on a single study but draws from a larger pool of data.  Link to study fixed

I continue to believe we don't quite know for sure about sars-cov-2 transmission and masks, but "don't know for sure" is good enough for me.

I did see another study this morning claiming "the science is clear that..." but after getting past the oversimplified click bait claim in the title, the study itself only showed a strong correlation between countries that used masks aggressively and lower infection and death rates. I say "only," because, of course, correlation isn't causation, and what other factors in these countries might have contributed to their greater success? Still, studies like that are an interesting data point, and more than a little suggestive that masks are worth a serious try.

How much data does one really need to try something simple and inexpensive that might help? Seems simple to me. Cheap + easy + might help some = do it. Why is this controversial?  Only reason I can think of is politics where it doesn't belong.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

RajeshG wrote:

In 'Don’t speak for me': Yale doctor battles CNN anchor over effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine, Yale epidemiologist Dr. Harvey Risch makes this noteworthy claim:
 

“No,” Risch shot back. “In fact, the FDA has a huge history of drugs going into widespread use in the medical community for decades that have not been established in the basis of randomized controlled trials. Half of the chemotherapy drugs used in cancer were used without randomized controlled trials.”

If this is a valid claim, especially the last sentence in this quote, using hydroxychloroquine in a similar manner would seem to be warranted, given what some researchers have observed about its effectiveness in treating their patients. 

It doesn't really matter what they're saying about it on CNN. The ability of MDs to prescribe hydroxy... (someobody give this thing a marketing name!) is determined by FDA and state medical boards... and probably hospital and clinic administrators, etc. 

FDA is not recommending it but it's not prohibited: https://khn.org/morning-breakout/fda-chief-doctors-can-make-own-decision...  For a while at least one state medical board prohibited it's use (Ohio), but various news sources say that's been reversed also.   I don't know what other states are doing.

So, in short, that situation is pretty much as it should be: MDs are free to give it a try in situations where they judge it to be safe, and I'm sure efforts continue to study it... though NIH is convinced it's a dead end. ... pretty much harmless but not beneficial.

But if you want to believe one Yale doc vs. whole multiple teams of experts, go right ahead. But let's not pretend this is "medical expert(s) vs. CNN." That's not the situation. We have an outlier or two, some interesting anecdotal stuff vs. lots of drug professionals.

But I'm all for studying it some more if funding and volunteers etc exist to do it. What can it hurt?

Edit: here's a better link on FDA chief's comments that Docs are free to prescribe Hydroxy. ... https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/509733-fda-chief-hydroxychloroquin...

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

Robert Byers's picture

Aaron Blumer wrote:

The double blind placebo controlled tests I've seen myself on mask effectiveness were in reference to other viruses, but a pretty good variety of them. Burden of proof kind of falls on the hypothesis that sars-cov-2 is different.

This statement is false.  You have NOT seen any double blind placebo controlled studies on mask effectiveness.  That was the exact point I was making to John.  The reason he isn't answering the question I posed to him (admittedly in a snarky manner) isn't that he thinks I don't want to have a serious conversation; it's that he CAN'T answer it.  There are NO double blind studies of masks.  It is impossible by definition.  If you don't understand why it's impossible, then you don't understand what a double blind study is.  All of the studies on mask effectiveness are victim to the same observational problems and biases that the HCQ studies are.  Yet somehow you and John want us to believe that one set is trustworthy while the other set is cringeworthy.  

I'm not saying that masks don't work.  I have an opinion, but it is not scientifically proven to certainty either way.  I'm not saying that HCQ does work.  I have an opinion, but it is not scientifically proven to certainty either way.  I'm saying that you guys are not using the same standard of approach and evaluation to both topics.

 

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

I'm saying that you guys are not using the same standard of approach and evaluation to both topics.

I don't know what you're reading.

I think I've been clear that...

  • It's not clear to me if masks help with this virus, though it seems very likely so far
  • It's not clear to me if hydroxychl. helps with this disease, but it seems very unlikely so far

Got to both perspectives the same way.

As for mask studies, if the studies on flu viruses and masks I've seen, for example, weren't double blind placebo-controlled tests, they were something similarly rigorous. I'm not sure how you'd placebo control a mask, it not being a substance you can swallow. But the principle is experiments that are controlled for the variables.

Pretty sure you'll find a bunch of those in the references of the Lancet meta-analysis I linked to. It's not like masks as a way to prevent spreading viruses is a new idea! (HCQ as a treatment for COVID is a brand new idea, though.)

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

For Robert, who says I haven't seen these...

Emphasis added.

Methods

A systematic review of randomized controlled clinical trials on use of respiratory protection by healthcare workers, sick patients and community members was conducted. Articles were searched on Medline and Embase using key search terms. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7191274/

I could add a few more, but there's a bunch documented in this one report.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

Robert Byers's picture

This feeble attempt to move the goalposts is transparently laughable.  You claimed to have seen something that doesn't exist.  I pointed out that you were wrong, and why you were wrong.  In response you twist my words (I quoted yours).  I didn't say you hadn't seen clinical trials; I said you hadn't seen what you claimed to have seen--double blind tests.  Now you post a link to something else entirely and claim it proves me wrong.  It doesn't. 

And did you even read past the first two lines of the summary?  Because "appears to be effective" and "suggests protection" is not the standard of proof you've been calling for.  And here's what the summary also says.  "Randomised controlled trials in health care workers showed that respirators, if worn continually during a shift, were effective but not if worn intermittently. Medical masks were not effective, and cloth masks even less effective."  That really doesn't go very far in proving your point.  

It is ironic how much falsehood you're packing into your comments under the post you wrote about being loyal to truth.  Hypocrite is the kindest word that comes to mind.

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