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Aaron said, “Sir, don’t be angry. You know the people — that they’re intent on evil. They told me, ‘Make a god for us who will go before us because, as for this fellow Moses who brought us out of the land of Egypt, we don’t know what has become of him.’” (Exodus 32:22-23)
The Israelites were worried and scared. Their leader Moses was AWOL, or so they thought. They needed someone to take care of them, someone to tell them what to do. They needed a god, and apparently any god would do, even one of their own making. They were ready to create a god and a religion based on their hundreds of years of experiences in bondage. How very human of them.
Have you noticed how COVID public health policy has taken on mystical religious qualities? The god of this new COVID religion seems to be our president and the administrative apparatus that he represents. Surely he will save us all. The patron saint of COVID is most definitely the “honorable Dr. Fauci,” whose selfless sacrifice and service to our nation is lauded by the faithful. The priests and priestesses of the COVID faith are the media and the politicians who exhort the masses to obey — or face the curse of punishment.
One of these priestesses, the current governor of New York, Kathy Hochul, spoke from a pulpit calling for her “apostles” to carry the message of repentance from sin. Which sin in particular? The sin of being unvaccinated. In a nod to the ancient gnostics, Gov. Hochul claimed that those who aren’t vaccinated are not the ones with special knowledge — “the smart ones.” According to Hochul, these ignorant holdouts — these unwashed sinners — ”are not listening to God.”
Like other devout practitioners of faith, Gov. Hochul proudly displays a symbol of her faith in the form of a necklace. People of faith often wear symbols of their faith. Christians wear crosses. Orthodox Jews wear tzitziyot. This COVID priestess wears around her neck a symbol of what she trusts in: vaccines. Undoubtedly, this golden symbol spontaneously arose from the fire in which the faithful had tossed their golden rings and earrings.
While I could possibly write off this particular woman as an anomaly, a self-absorbed kook seeking adulation and worship, unfortunately I have seen quite similar behavior occurring among a growing number of believers in Christ who appear to be preaching the Gospel of COVID.
To be clear, I am perfectly fine if anyone — Christian, Buddhist, atheist, whatever — has made an informed decision to get the shot or wear a mask. I respect that decision. What I want to address is the ever-growing self-righteousness campaign by fellow followers of Christ who are intent on guilting their believing friends and family into making the exact same medical decisions they have made, going so far as to claim that Jesus would get the vaccine or Jesus would wear a mask.
If they are so concerned about WWJD, perhaps they should consider keeping the Sabbath and the biblical dietary commands and then get back with me. (Ahh, but I digress.)
Then there is the “love your neighbor” tactic. Loving our neighbor does NOT include engaging in behaviors that we believe are worthless or harmful, nor does it include complying with invasive medical procedures forced on us through threats and bullying. I defy anyone to provide a clear biblical directive or even a biblical pattern for this type of submission to public ridicule and force. If there was clear scientific evidence for the efficacy of mass societal masking for this particular virus (carried in aerosols not droplets), then perhaps a “love your neighbor” argument could be made. And if there were not so many potentially negative and dangerous side effects — physical, psychological, and emotional — of masking, particularly to children and to the elderly and the infirm, then there could be a much stronger “love thy neighbor” argument.
And we all know by now that the shot does not keep us from getting or spreading the disease, so clearly, this is not a “love your neighbor moment.” It could be a “I don’t want to get quite as sick as I might without the shot” moment, but medically and scientifically, it is nothing more. As it stands now, masking and vaccine compliance are simply personal medical decisions.
According to any version of the standard Judeo-Christian Bible, vaccine compliance IS NOT a condition of salvation. It does not prove you are a good Christian or even a good person (nor does keeping the Sabbath or the biblical dietary laws BTW; they are love responses to a loving God). However, advertising your vaccine status and proudly displaying your masked face is strikingly similar to the Pharisees wearing their long tassels, trying to signal that they are more righteous than the next person.
If you think it is the right thing to do, go for it. I wish you well, and I respect your God-given right to make that decision.
Now, let me explain why I am making a different choice. I do not currently trust the mainstream media or most governmental leaders, certainly not those who are strong-arming Americans to succumb to an invasive medical procedure they don’t want. That has never been OK in America. It has happened in America, but until about a week ago, it has never been OK.
Here are a few reasons why I don’t trust those who are forcing one-size-fits all medical compliance on every American, ignoring effective therapeutics and God-given natural immunity that comes with actually having had the virus. Those in leadership using this force are the same people who ignore the fact that tens of thousands of illegal immigrants are being granted entrance to our country without even being tested for COVID, much less being required to get the the COVID shot. They are the same people who arrested pastors for leading outdoor prayer services but said it was safe to engage in crowded, violent street protests in the name of combating “systemic racism.” They are the same people who closed down churches and synagogues yet allowed abortion clinics and liquor stores to remain open. They are the same people who tried to force us to stay in our homes wearing masks while they ate maskless at their favorite expensive restaurants. These are the same people who are blaming the unvaccinated for the overcrowding of hospitals but are firing thousands of nurses who choose not to take the shot. They are the same people who censure any information that does not fit their agenda.
It has been relatively easy for me to decide that I do not trust their “science.” I know their agenda, and it has nothing to do with public health. If you think differently from me or make different medical decisions, great! That has been a condition of living in a free country for over 200 years. But please spare me the “Jesus would do this or that” guilt trip. I don’t remember him forcing medical compliance on his followers at the threat of losing their livelihoods. I don’t even remember reading that he wore protective covering around the lepers.
What DID Jesus do?
He healed the sick in a variety of different ways, not using a one-size-fits-all approach, but generally touching or coming close to them as he did so. He did not run from them or label them as untouchable, unforgivable, or guilty of blame for all of society’s illnesses.
That’s what he did.
If you want to argue the wisdom of these behaviors, take it up with him.
But until then, let’s drop the false humility, false love, false selflessness, false repentance, and false religion of COVID. Put this decision back into its rightful place as a personal medical choice and be done with it.Published in