In cities and states around the country, Americans are living a distinctly unAmerican reality. Our culture of excess and entertainment is reduced to scrounging for toilet paper and hand sanitizer, our conversations, activities, almost all of life seems to be revolving around the threat of Coronavirus 19.
As Federal guidelines and state mandates have immobilized the majority of our society– taking it upon themselves to shutdown the livelihoods of families around the country, it has left many asking: is all of this really worth it?
Of course, as Bible-believing Christians, we believe human beings are made in the image of God. Life is a precious gift from God and should be protected. But there are limits to the lengths we go to that allow life to carry on, not only for efficiency, but for human dignity and the protection of human rights.
One example being – as presented by Jared Sichel at the Daily Wire – is that however much safer the highway would be if we all drove 10 miles per hour on it, nobody has that expectation. Or, as I believe it was Thomas Sowell who pointed out – there is a slim chance that someone, under the right conditions, could get a paper cut and bleed to death, yet no one is calling for a ban on copy paper. Each of these examples, as well as our present circumstance – is a question of risk vs. reward.
Unlike the previous examples, the Wuhan flu threatens the nation with a high cost of life from hundreds of thousands into the millions, if not combated by extraordinary means. Yet, the economic cost is also immeasurable. And to be clear, when I say economic cost, I’m not just referring to plummeting stocks and trust-fund managers. I’m talking about the cost to small businesses who can’t afford to pay employees who aren’t allowed to go to work who depend on that paycheck to pay their rent to landlords who depend on that rent check to pay their mortgage to banks who depend on that mortgage payment to give loans to other entrepreneurs and potential homeowners who would go on to hire carpenters and construction crews to renovate who depend on those renovation jobs to buy food for their families from grocery stores and supermarkets... etc.
You get my point - we are all interdependent to a degree that many of us have given very little thought to. And the steps being taken by federal and local governments are likely to wreak havoc on an inestimable slice of American society.
Radio host Steve Deace expressed it well via Twitter, “We are human beings made in the image of God. We are not here to merely survive. We are not statistics. We were fearfully and wonderfully made. Each of us given a purpose higher than simply existing. With the intent of blessing our Creator and His fellow creations with our gifts.”
After weeks to months of no income, businesses will have to be rebuilt, networks reformed, relationships re-established. If the survivors are left with a society which has to be completely rebuilt, we are not wrong to question whether the risk is worth the reward.
Let us consider another cost - the generation who has just been released from their K-12 institutions for several weeks will now have burned into their memories the time that the state and federal governments were allowed to shut down privately owned, non-state-affiliated businesses, with no pushback or remuneration. For the next generation, it will likely be a given that the state has the power to do that. Today’s high school students will eventually fill the seats of power in this country, with the presupposition that that authority will then belong to them.
After all, these extreme measures were used so effectively in our time to limit the affects of Covid-19 – what crisis will arise in their day where totalitarianism will seem an effective solution?
The implications of that are terrifying, particularly from a generation already shamelessly flirting with socialist ideologies.
It seems to be the world’s worst game of would you rather: Would you rather have an unknown number of people die to a disease they have no immunity to or pave the way for a totalitarian state for future generations – which history has shown, by the way, always results in the death of hundreds of thousands to millions of people.
More than ever we must pray for wisdom for our leaders, that they would govern us justly from the place of authority in which God has placed them without violating the authorities and rights that He has given us. We ought also see that we are governing ourselves responsibly, so that the government does not even feel tempted to step in and take over. Let us love our neighbors enough to protect their vulnerability in the face of this virus, to which none of us are immune. Lastly, let us remind our families that the state’s power is not boundless. God has given us rights which they do not have the authority to rescind and which it is our responsibility to defend.
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