Slavery to the Law

Anyone feel like slaves yet? Just this morning I came across a handful of stories about citizens rallying in their state capitols (my state being among them) to return to work and end the lockdown/ shutdown of the state sue to the Corona pandemic. I too reflect the sentiment of these citizens, since I have felt like in my area at least, the pandemic shutdown has been a bit excessive.

First, the pandemic shutdown was to prevent an overload of the healthcare system. I believe this was a good call. But now the healthcare system I work for has furloughed employees because the number of patients has been reduced. Let me repeat that. The healthcare system I work for has had to furlough employees and reduce the work hours of “essential” employees. We are not overrun. Far from it. In fact, I would like to see us overrun a little bit and get some folks who depend on their bi-weekly paychecks to live on get some work.

Second, in our area we have had one confirmed case. That one case has been safely excluded. Testing has been expanded, so that anyone else who feels they might have Corona can be safely quarantined. Treatments for Corona, though not scientifically proven, have shown promise, from drugs readily available, so that any new cases may potentially be treated with speed and efficiency. The threat that an overwhelmed health system will disrupt life as we know it has been overshadowed by a bigger threat, that our economy has already been disrupted far beyond what we imagined. Basic freedoms are being denied. Though important and significant to stem the initial outbreak, those common-sense measures are making less sense as time wears on. We may need to continue “social distancing” for a while yet, but closing businesses and disrupting livelihoods as we have is no longer tenable. If we have both accelerated testing and treatment, coupled with a low mortality rate (compared to similar diseases) then we ought to resume normal operations.

Three, this incident has become a tool for government overreach. In the name of “abundance of caution” and “unprecedented” our state governors have exercised power far beyond their mandate, even to the overrule of rights guaranteed by the Constitution. Again, those cautions made sense in the face of an unknown disease. But we know more now than we did four weeks ago. Being so educated, I think people will be more cautious with social interaction going forward. Even if we opened things back up to business as usual, I believe people will still have this pandemic mindset, which is exactly what we should do until this disease runs its course. But because of the mandate, many state and local governments have shown their true colors, to the closing of freedom to assembly (to protesters and churches), and freedom of religion, for which the Easter holiday was a severe test. Arresting people in parks for being with their families, taking license plate numbers in a church parking lot on Easter morning, even to arresting people who are standing off by themselves in the woods, just because they are not at home, these are all signs of a state in love with its own power, forgetting that it derives its power from the people, not the other way around. Our rights are not guaranteed by the state, they come from God. Man has the right to life, liberty, and property. When government steps in and overrules the individual, it treads the fine boundary between “safety” and tyranny. Consider also that now the lawmakers are calling for mail-in voting. If you want to have a voice in this coming election, you must fight for in-person voting. It is far too easy in our information age to generate millions of fake votes by mail or internet. We must insist on in-person voting if we are to keep our voice heard in the public square.

Four, since the kids have been home the last several weeks from school, I’ve noticed something peculiar. My kids are still getting an education without being exposed to drugs, excessive profanity, and the other filth that comes from public schooling. Its almost as if we don’t need the physical buildings that exorbitant amounts of money are spent on in order to accomplish the goal of educating our children. I suspect that my kids will be able to graduate this semester without riding a bus. How is this possible? Has this always been possible? And if so, shouldn’t this inform our decisions the next time school funding comes up? Oh, but think of all the things they are missing out on, like sports, theater, school trips, etc. Oh, you mean like the school trips to go see the latest movies, or to go the arcade or the bowling alley? But what if my kids excel at sports? I think there are important lessons to be learned in sports, and I grieve this loss as much as anyone, but do you need the rest of the school building, or even a special field just for the school to make it happen? Do I need to ask my history teachers (or others) to reduce their focus, or completely forget their teaching responsibilities because I want them to focus on coaching? I have had history teachers who are coaches, and it is obvious why they were hired, and it wasn’t for their knowledge of history.

Well, I’m sorry I didn’t have a very spiritual meditation today. But I do want to emphasize that as Christians, we are the most free, and as such, ought to advocate for freedom where we can. We do not want to take the path to slavery again, in any form. We live in the freest nation on earth. We should never tolerate any infringement on our freedoms, for any reason. And if we do, it needs to be very important, and very temporary. I feel we have done the first, but not the second.

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I've been in ministry in the Christian Churches/ Churches of Christ for 20+ years. Finished my doctorate in Biblical Studies in 2015. Serve today as a Hospital Chaplain.

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