It’s been a minute, hasn’t it?
I’ve sat down to write a blog post I don’t even know how many times over the last few weeks. What am I going to say, though? Right now there’s a global dumpster fire being fed by ignorance and misplaced defiance. You’ve got one side that refuses to acknowledge that:
-This isn’t about them…
-or what they think they know…
-or who they pray to.
They’re being cattle prodded by a narcissistic cheeto who sees a global pandemic as some weird hit piece on him, egged on by a group in congress who want to twist this into a squeeze for their own pet projects, lied to by media outlets and corporations afraid their cheap labor force will wake up and realize that “essential” actually means “expendable”, and preachers who have literally told their congregations that in this time of physical, social, mental, and financial crisis they better not dare stop tithing.
And then you have the group who are beating their heads bloody against the wall trying to get that group to see reason.
Anyone who has ever read any of my blog posts can probably guess which group I’m in.
I know it’s Easter. I know I “should” just let people have whatever holiday they can scrape together in these incredibly difficult times. But today people will gather. Today, in spite of all of the scientific evidence that it’s a monumentally stupid idea, the mandates that were necessary because people wouldn’t do the right thing on their own, the body count in the United States at 20,000 confirmed with piles and piles of bodies that didn’t make the official count because they died before they could get tested, people will still go to church. They will go to a family dinner. They will have a picnic, outside on the picnic table, their bodies crammed on the bench together so tightly that even Mother Nature can’t conjure up a wind fast enough to stop the virus from entering a new host.
The way to stop a pandemic is to just stay apart for awhile. That’s it. That’s just flat out science. There is no political spin to this scientific advice. There is no push to inhibit religion, and certainly not a target at any one religion in particular. This is just what human beings have discovered of the natural world in our endeavor to figure out the safest way to get our fragile little bodies to thrive on this relatively inhospitable planet.
It’s not a global conspiracy. People from nearly every country in the world have died. The economy is tanking. The only people making bank right now are toilet paper manufacturers. Now, I’m not saying the company responsible for all those commercials of bears singing about their hinies isn’t run by lizard people. Clearly it s. But, toilet paper lizard people getting on the board of the New World Order? Seems fairly unlikely.
It’s not a target at a particular demographic. Here in the US, poor people are dying at a much higher rate. However, in nations that have single payer healthcare systems, the poor are treated as well as the rich in the hospitals. I just happen to live in a society that hates the idea of helping The Poors.
It’s not a target on women, or men, or people of color, or gay people, or transgender folks. None of this is about your ethnicity, gender or sexual preferences.
And most importantly today in this country when defiant preachers will be trying to whip people up into a frenzy of “righteousness,” I cannot stress enough that this has absolutely nothing to do with religion.
We have two things: a virus, and the best response to the virus we as humans have figured out through centuries of dealing with pandemics.
Until we have developed a vaccine, the very best way to deal with it on a mass scale in order to protect the largest portion of society possible is to just stay home. Stay away from people. Wear masks and gloves whenever you must be out, both for personal protection but, more importantly, to do our best to keep our fluids to ourselves and reduce our chances of infecting others.
I cannot be more clear about this. These measures have nothing to do with any god. They are not the work of satan. They are medical practices that will save lives. Maybe not yours. Maybe you’d be fine. But would your grandma?
What is justice? What is righteousness? Isn’t it just and right to do your level best to keep those you love safe?
You might be looking at this as a law against your freedom. I’m looking at it as a law to protect mine. Your right to swing your fist ends just before my nose. You can’t shoot or stab me. We have already drawn a line and said you and I can’t cross it because doing so would harm the other.
How do we do that when the threat is a viral fist?
We wouldn’t need these laws if there was widespread testing and we could isolate those who are ill. There should be, but that’s not the country we live in right now, is it? We wouldn’t need these laws if the people who gathered would then stay gathered and not mingle in society after. They aren’t voluntarily secluding themselves away from the rest of us after their group meetings.
It’s not all the religious leaders thumbing their noses at the rest of the country. In fact, I’d say it’s not even most. Many religious leaders have embraced the science and adapted. Many have put into place a way for their people to still practice, but to do so safely. Many have said, “Okay, folks, this is different, but if we stick together and follow these guidelines, it’s just temporary.”
How that can be considered a tool of satan is beyond me. How preachers who have taken the responsible route to keep their people safe can be considered “less godly” than those who are flipping off science is just baffling. It’s dangerous. It’s irresponsible.
I think today, of all days, the preachers who are behaving like this need to take real hard look at themselves, at their motivations, at the words in their holy texts attributed to the one they are celebrating in the first place.
I want everyone to have a good day. I want you all to be here to have many more good days to come. This is temporary. If we do the right things we can get through this. Pass on the physical churches today. If you want to pray and celebrate, do it one on one with your whole heart. In ANY religion, isn’t that what it’s really all about? Do you honestly think any god would be disappointed in you for that? Please don’t let a preacher with an agenda convince you they would.
Thus concludes a Musing for Sunday, April 12, 2020. If I have caused offense, stop, reread what I’m saying, and just think about it. Please. If you believe there is a god that made you and loves you, then you have to believe that god would want you to do what is right to keep yourself and those around you safe.