27 August 2021

 A year ago, then-president Donald Trump’s declared that religious gatherings are “essential,” and so were exempt from any regulation aimed at slowing the spread of the Corona virus.  I guess that, sometimes, I’m too cynical: my thought at the time was that this was one more way to endear himself to the Christian Right, and maybe eke out some additional votes the following November.

  Then again, I may have been wrong. Jesus talked so many times about giving to others: a cup of cold water, the shirt off your back, a helping hand, a little love. Considering that admonition, what could be better than to all get together in a packed church, to hug and shake hands, and then go forth into the world and – just like with the Gospel – spread the virus to believer and non-believer, alike?

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   Okay, my tongue may have been somewhat over in my cheek when I wrote the above. But, really, doesn’t it make you wonder a little bit? Pretty much every person in the world qualified to have an opinion said at the time that the virus was a very serious threat, and “social distancing” was the best way to stop its spread. Why would people risk their own lives and the lives of family and friends by purposely putting themselves in the kind of situation most likely to increase that vulnerability? Why would “religious people” – and almost every religion has its version of The Golden Rule about treating others as you would like to be treated – purposely take action that could spread the disease far beyond their own church gathering? It goes against both common sense and the principles they are supposed to embrace.


   Of course, religious people are not the only ones who can be stupid and selfish. A year later, here we are in the embrace of another deadly round of the Corona virus. Hospitals across the country are full (to overflowing!); people are dying; those who don’t actually die are suffering long-term debilitating after-effects; and the rate of disease spread is in many areas greater than at the time of the original crisis. The expert advice remains the same: wear masks, and “socially distance.” Despite this, people (large numbers, with a great preponderance of them being “Christian” and “Conservative”) are refusing to be vaccinated, are protesting the wearing of face masks, and are actively fighting to “open up” the country again – all in the names of The Economy, and Constitutional and Religious Freedom.


   So, maybe both the Bible and the Constitution are both urging us to share what we have?




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