I always knew the day would come when conservatives, Christians, and patriots of all stripes would have to rise up and push back against draconian measures. That day has come.
The onslaught of new laws that affect millions of Americans is so pervasive, it’s difficult to keep track of them all. These are “Coronavirus Laws” that started spawning since the COVID-19 crisis began, laws that are supposedly intended to keep us safe. But hidden behind many of these laws is a nearly universal ulterior motive, one that resides mostly in Democrats but has also manifested in some Republicans. This is cover for rapidly rising authoritarianism.
Think of it like a case study on the willingness of Americans to give up our rights. Some give them up willfully, even gleefully, as Big Government tells us what we can and cannot do whether they are working within the constraints of the Constitution or not. I believe this would account for the majority of left-leaning Americans, though anecdotally I’ve seen some leftists speak out. I’ve also seen some fearful conservatives who reconcile their support of the intrusion of Big Government by believing it’s all temporary.
Others are against the government overreach and oppressive new laws, but are either unwilling or unable to do anything about it. I’d put most right-leaning Americans in this category. It would be great if more of these people were able to stand up and push back, even if only by complaining to their representatives in some form or fashion, but I understand that the fight against authoritarianism isn’t for everyone even if they agree with it in principle.
The rest of us—the limited number of patriots who recognize the draconian policies being forced on us and are willing to fight them—must be the voice for everyone else. We must be the ones to stand up and tell government that they’re going too far.
We must be the ones committing “Coronavirus Crimes.”
No, I do not mean breaking laws that existed before the crisis. But many of these new laws are so ridiculous, so over-the-top in their use of COVID-19 caution to promote their authoritarianism, that we must speak out. At times, we must even act out. Can that be dangerous? Yes. Can it get us arrested or fined? Absolutely. Is it necessary in order to draw attention to the legal travesties that are happening across the country? You betcha.
Case-in-point: The Philadelphia man who was forcibly removed from a bus by law enforcement because he committed the “Coronavirus Crime” of not wearing a face mask while using public transportation. He could have worn a face mask, and to be clear, he probably should have. But perhaps he couldn’t get one. They’re not exactly easy to find these days. Perhaps he desperately needed to be where the bus was going to take him. Or, perhaps he had no reason to stay on the bus without a face mask at all other than being an American citizen practicing civil disobedience against an oppressive and unnecessary law. We may never know why he did what he did, but it worked. The rules were changed as a result of his actions and the subsequent viral video.
Another example of a “Coronavirus Crime” is getting a little play in the press, though not nearly as much as it deserves. A 12-year-old girl playing basketball by herself was approached by city workers who removed the rim to prevent people from gathering in Little Rock, Arkansas.
In Social Distancing Frenzy, Little Rock Suburb Takes Little Girl’s Basketball Hoop On April 6, my 12-year-old daughter was playing basketball alone at the court, as she often does, when a city truck drove over to her. She quickly came home to get me. I headed down to the court to talk to the city workers, who told me that they were taking down the basketball rim to keep groups from gathering. I was really conflicted by this news. On the one hand, I am really glad that our city is still employing the folks who work for the Parks and Recreation Department. On the other hand, this basketball court is seldom used by anyone besides my three children and is never used by a crowd. It is a public court that my tax dollars pay for. I called the mayor to discuss it with him, and he said he considered basketball courts closed because all playground equipment in city parks had been roped off about a week and a half before. It was brought to his attention that children were still playing on basketball courts, so he had the rims removed.
Perhaps the most widespread way we can act out as conscientious American citizens participating in civil disobedience against repressive government mandates is to participate in religious activities. In many states, it’s now a crime to go to church. It’s even a crime to do so from the safety of our own vehicles. “Drive-in” church services have allowed many to participate in worshiping as a group without endangering ourselves or others. But that’s just not good enough of a precaution to many, particularly Democrats who believe any form of in-person activity that doesn’t fit into the government’s idea of “essential” should be banned.
There may be gray area when it comes to government’s ability to control public transportation or public parks, but there is no gray area when it comes to our 1st Amendment right to practice our religions freely. Government restrictions can be enacted for the public good as it pertains to religious activities as long as those restrictions do not unfairly target the religious activity.
For example, government can block off an area that includes a church if there’s a dangerous chemical spill. As long as all buildings in that area are blocked off, then that’s not an example of depriving us of our freedom of religion. But mandates in many states to prevent people from worshiping, even in a parking lot, but allowing the same people to park at Walmart in even more-condensed circumstances is an unambiguous attack on the Constitution.
I summed all of this up in a Tweet earlier today.
One of the things we’ll be covering during the Saving America Conference next Saturday, April 18, is how patriotic Americans can take action in an effort to defend our Constitutional rights. The coronavirus crisis is the biggest challenge we’ve faced as a nation in decades. But just because we are fighting an invisible enemy doesn’t mean our freedoms must be subverted. We can be safe and still retain our liberties.
To the conservatives who are latching onto the notion that this is all temporary, I will remind you about the Patriot Act and its current manifestation, the USA Freedom Act. I will remind you that we’re still engaged in a war in Afghanistan. I would point to some of the insanely bad laws that spawned during the financial collapse over a decade ago that are still in place today. Gun laws enacted in the wake of the assassination of President Kennedy are still on the books. As a nation, we have become very reactionary and the authoritarian left knows how to take advantage of these situations. They are fast to grab new powers and slow to relinquish them. Even after the coronavirus crisis is over, there will be remnants of these new “Coronavirus Laws” that are left intact.
Law and order must be maintained. But many of these new “Coronavirus Laws” are smokescreens for creeping, permanent authoritarianism. Civil disobedience is a drastic step reserved for times of crisis. We’re in the midst of such a crisis right now.
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