Monkeypox: It’s Being Spread Primarily Via Sexual Contact

An outbreak of the monkeypox virus in North America and Europe is primarily spreading through sex among men with about 200 confirmed and suspected cases across at least a dozen countries, World Health Organization officials said Monday.

The outbreak has quickly advanced across Europe and North America over the last week and is expected to be far more widespread as more doctors look for the signs and symptoms. Two confirmed and one suspected case of monkeypox in the U.K. were reported to the WHO just 10 days ago, the first cases this year outside of Africa where the virus has generally circulated at low levels over the last 40 years, the organization said.

“We’ve seen a few cases in Europe over the last five years, just in travelers, but this is the first time we’re seeing cases across many countries at the same time in people who have not traveled to the endemic regions in Africa,” Dr. Rosamund Lewis, who runs the WHO’s smallpox research, said in a Q&A livestreamed on the organization’s social media channels.

European nations have confirmed dozens of cases in what’s become the largest outbreak of monkeypox ever on the Continent, according to the German military. The U.S. has confirmed at least two cases and Canada has confirmed at least five so far. Belgium just introduced a mandatory 21-day quarantine for monkeypox patients.

The WHO convened an emergency meeting this weekend via video conference to look at the virus, identify those most at risk and study its transmission. The organization will hold a second global meeting on monkeypox next week to more thoroughly study the risks and treatments available to fight the virus.

While the virus itself is not a sexually transmitted infection, which are generally spread through semen and vaginal fluids, the most recent surge in cases appears to have been spread among men who have sex with other men, WHO officials said, emphasizing that anyone can contract monkeypox.

“Many diseases can be spread through sexual contact. You could get a cough or a cold through sexual contact, but it doesn’t mean that it’s a sexually transmitted disease,” said Andy Seale, who advises the WHO on HIV, hepatitis and other sexually transmitted infections.

Sounds familiar…

Quote of the Century

Christian, I think I see it clearly now: politics has engrained itself in the soil of America as a religion, promising a form of salvation. The political Left & Right are fighting for our allegiance and imagination. But our allegiance is to the Lamb, not a donkey or elephant. – Derwin Gray

Absolutely true.

Now That’s How You Write a Book Dedication

Calvin dedicated his Commentary on Hebrews to Sigismund Augustus on 23 May, 1546.  He begins thusly

calvin49THERE are at this day many foolish men, who everywhere, through a vain desire for writing, engage the minds of ignorant and thoughtless readers with their trifles. And to this evil, most illustrious King, is added another indignity—that while they inscribe to kings and princes their silly things, to disguise, or at least to cover them by borrowed splendour, they not only profane sacred names, but also impart to them some measure of their own disgrace.

Since the unreasonable temerity of such men makes it necessary for serious and sober writers to frame an excuse, when they publicly dedicate their labours to great men, while yet there is nothing in them but what corresponds with the greatness of those to whom they are offered, it was necessary to make this remark, lest I should seem to be of the number of those who allow themselves, through the example of others, to render public anything they please, however foolish it may be.

But it has not escaped me how much it has the appearance of foolish confidence, that I, (not to speak of other things,) who am an unknown and obscure man, should not hesitate to address your royal Majesty. Let my reasons be heard, and if you, O King, approve of what I do, what others may judge will cause me no great anxiety.

And then he does what Calvin does.  He writes exceptionally helpful things.

Remembering Gerd Lüdemann on the Anniversary of his Death

Gerd Lüdemann, age 74, passed away in Göttingen, Germany on Pentecost Sunday May 23, 2021.

For those who knew Gerd: The fact that he chose this date to be called back home, appears to be no coincidence and is just so like him, it is bound to put a smile on one’s face. Gerd lived his life to the fullest. Everything he did, he was PASSIONATE about.

Be it:

his youth and young adulthood joy of playing tennis and chess competitively; his path of diligent study and hard work that ultimately led to his globally successful career path — see:

his lifetime quest for the historic truth in his profession; his love of the “sweet stuff” in life: cakes at Cron und Lanz, apples fritters at Donut Den, cherry ice cream, any kind of chocolate just to name a few; his love of setting records of riding rollercoasters with his daughters and winning endless prizes with his amazing gaming skills at Opryland; his love for classical and country music which he would indulge in loudly and vocally; his love of competitive dancing with his wife; his love of spending time playing goofily with his children and grandchildren; his love of watching sporting events, especially cheering enthusiastically for the Nashville Predators and UT Volunteers; his love for simple pleasures, such as walking in the forest, listening to the birds sing, and feeding ducks and squirrels with his favorite foods.

Gerd was enthusiastic about everything that he pursued. He was drawn to the extremes, which contributed to his colorful and unique life.

Gerd was known as someone who “lived outside the box.” He traveled the world, relocating his family multiple times as his career evolved. He easily adapted to new places and new people, needing very little to be content. You could sense his genuine, authentic, free-spirited presence from afar. For example, he spoke from his heart with anybody he met, censored little what he said, and dressed as he pleased (to his wife’s and daughters’ embarrassment).

Gerd lived with Lewy Body Dementia for the past five years. Despite this illness Gerd never lost his interpersonal charm, humor, and love for life. He maintained his famous smile and ‘twinkle in the eye’ until the very end.

Gerd will leave a legacy as a truly remarkable researcher as well as a husband, father and grandfather with a big, generous heart. He will be greatly missed.

He was quite a provocateur and a very, very collegial friend.

At its Heart, the SBC Executive Committee is Now Nothing But a GOP PAC

Too many people at the @SBCExecComm have but a tangential acquaintance with truth, decency, and authentic Christianity. Too many years spent in cozying up to political power have turned them into nothing more than power-questing pseudo-Christians.

They are a disgrace.  They all, to a man, need to go.  Some to prison.  All to jobs outside the Church.

Dear Young Theologians…

Pride and hubris are inappropriate for your field of endeavor.  Grandiose claims about this or that thinker or system aren’t your proper attire because familiarity only comes with time and hard work.

You aren’t a Barthian simply because you’ve read three of Barth’s books.  You’re a Barthian when you’ve read Barth in his fullness AND taken the time to digest and appropriate his ideas.  AND after comparing him to various of his peers.

The same goes for Tillich or Moltmann or Pannenberg.  And Brunner. And Luther.  And Calvin and Zwingli and Sonderegger.  And all of them.  Every man, and woman.

In sum, stop pretending you know more about theology than you actually do and instead do the hard work of reading immense amounts and processing all of it and thereby become a theologian by practice.

When a 20 something says that Tillich was a man before his time the only thing you can do is laugh at the silly hubris and simplemindedness of the inexperienced thinker’s unfounded claim.

Young theologians, don’t make yourselves into absurdities via pride.  Get to work.

Rosemary Radford Ruether Has Died May 21, 2022

The National Catholic Reporter writes

Feminist and liberation theologian Rosemary Radford Ruether influenced generations of men and women in the causes of justice for women, the poor, people of color, the Middle East and the Earth. The scholar, teacher, activist, author and former NCR columnist died May 21. She was 85.

Theologian Mary Hunt, a long-time friend and colleague of Reuther’s, announced the death on behalf of the family.

“Dr. Ruether was a scholar activist par excellence. She was respected and beloved by students, colleagues, and collaborators around the world,” said Hunt, cofounder and codirector of the Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics, and Ritual (WATER).

“Her legacy, both intellectual and personal, is rich beyond imagining,” Hunt said in an email announcement. “The scope and depth of her work, and the witness of her life as a committed feminist justice-seeker will shine forever with a luster that time will only enhance.”

A classicist by training, Ruether was outspoken in her liberal views on everything from women’s ordination to the Palestinian state. She wrote hundreds of articles and 36 books, including the systematic Sexism and God-Talk in 1983 and the ecofeminist primer Gaia and God in 1992.

In more than 50 years of teaching, Ruether influenced thousands of students, first at the historically black Howard University from 1965 to 1975, then at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary as the Georgia Harkness Professor of Applied Theology from 1976 to 2002. She was a visiting professor at Harvard Divinity School, Princeton Theological Seminary, Yale Divinity School and Sir George Williams University in Montreal.

Although she taught many Catholics students, Ruether valued the greater academic freedom of non-Catholic employers. After losing out on a job offer from a Catholic school in the 1960s because of an article she had written for TheWashington Post Magazine titled “Why a Catholic Mother Believes in Birth Control,” she learned her lesson: “Don’t work for a Catholic institution,” she told Conscience, the magazine of Catholics for Choice, on whose board she served for many years.