As many of you know, I’ve been a fierce critic of our government based on the fact that it’s completely thrown the Constitution out the window. There are many governors who act like they are kings of their states instead of simply governors whose job is actually to execute the laws of the land, not write them. That’s reserved for the legislative branch. And even then, the laws passed by the legislative branch are required to follow the Constitution of the United States of America.
With that said, we’ve seen a backlash against the government implementing authoritarian and unconstitutional laws, completely stripping Americans of their Constitutional Rights. Police officers have even been recorded telling people that their Constitutional rights have been suspended due to COVID-19. Last I checked, there’s no asterisk designating that our rights can be taken away in certain circumstances.
While we should be protesting these unjust laws, we must also be responsible citizens. We can’t go so far the other way that we simply oppose everything that the government tells us. For example, if I was a pastor of a church, I would more than likely have moved to holding church services online. This would have been done not out of submission to the government, since they don’t have the authority to ban church gatherings, but out of a love for my congregation and wanting to protect them from this widely unknown and most unresearched virus.
Again, there’s a distinction between submitting to unjust laws (which I do not recommend) vs taking advice from the medical community and even our governmental leaders and heeding that advice. As Christians we need to make that distinction and make sure that we are not endangering lives in our attempt to rebel against the tyranny that we are experiencing in America today.
So this leads me to my main question of this article: Are you wearing a face mask? Remember, the purpose of wearing a face mask is not to protect yourself from getting COVID-19, but to protect others from getting it from you. The unique thing about this coronavirus is that the majority of people that have it, don’t have symptoms. Thus, the majority of people that are carriers for this virus have no clue that they have it. This causes those around us to be exposed to COVID-19 if we don’t take the proper precautions.
I choose to wear a mask, not because it is mandated by my local government (which it is). I choose to wear a mask out of love for those around me. I could have COVID-19 as we speak, but have no idea. Because of that fact, I choose to wear a mask and practice social distancing. As believers we are called to care for the sick and the poor.
Remember, 1 John 3:17 tells us, “But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him?” In this circumstance, this could be tailored to be phrased like this: If anyone has the opportunity to keep someone from getting sick, yet closes his heart against him and gets him sick, how does God’s love abide in Him?
I know that it’s dangerous to rework Scripture, which is why I didn’t put it in quotes. What I’m getting at, though, is the heart of the matter. Do you have love for those that are predisposed to have horrific reactions to COVID-19? We know that those with diabetes, cancer, liver disease and respiratory issues as well as those over 60 are most likely to die from this. If you choose to not take proper precautions, you could be the reason that one of those people in need of protection dies.
We must also remember that there are those who cannot wear masks for a variety of health reasons. I'm not condemning anyone who cannot wear a face mask. I'm simply pointing out that if we, as 1 John 3:17 reminds us, have the ability to care for someone and choose not to, that's a problem. If you don't have the ability to take that precaution, this passage does not apply to you.
There's also an argument to be made for those that don't believe that the science supports wearing a mask. This is not a critique on those people. I'm literally focused on those whose argument is that they don't care about whether it's spread or not, but simply that we are doing it in rebellion to the government.
So, when it comes to wearing a face mask and practicing proper social distancing, here’s how I look at it. If you choose to ignore the medical community and not wear a face mask and not practice social distancing, you are being selfish and telling the world that you don’t care whether you get someone sick who could die. Literally, you could be the reason why someone loses their life. How arrogant & self-centered do you have to be to not care about whether someone could die, simply because you don’t want to cover your mouth and nose? I know I’m being harsh and making this statement in a very strong way, but that’s just how I feel.
The other option is to take my route. Fight back against tyranny, all while loving your neighbor as yourself, putting their needs ahead of your own. We can fight for our rights and protect those in need at the same time. So let’s do that. Wear your mask. Stay 6 feet apart. Wash your hands. Love your friends, family, neighbors and even strangers. Your decision could be the deciding factor with whether someone lives or dies.