Hello, dear friends, jumping into the fire of the ongoing controversy again.
I recently received a genuine note from a friend wondering how to discern and make sense of the various responses to Covid vaccination. They also attached a recent paper entitled, The Vaccine Death Report claiming that millions have died from vaccine injections. Someone else sent me another link to an article about the dangers of vaccinations and they claimed they were following God’s will in their actions of protest and resistance. I don’t know about you, but I find the rhetoric mind-numbing and incredibly time-consuming. Here’s my response which of course you have the freedom to agree with or hit ‘trash’; or ‘yes’ to some and ‘no’ to other bits.
Tricky and emotionally charged topic for sure. Personally my spirit does not sit well with the kind of report you sent. I looked at the authors and they are merely two people. I have not read the actual report other than browsed their website. Lots of talk about good people and bad people, bad media, and much pro Trump rhetoric. There is so much on the Internet….
Here are two other sources… that attempt to help weed out facts from fiction…
https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2021/oct/01/blog-posting/report-shares-wildly-unfounded-claims-covid-19-vac/ this claims the said report is nonsense…
We have used this other one ‘Fact Check’ quite often…..
Personally I think we are victims of a technology communication overload with unsubstantiated sound bites all over the place. I fail to understand how people who believe in God suddenly become research experts, medical experts, and vaccine experts? Of course freedom is everyone’s prerogative but in this instance the decision to not be vaccinated impacts the possible health of others. Of course if someone without a vaccination gets Covid they do expect to be treated in the hospitals, treated by the doctors they are challenging – with no word of ‘do not resuscitate until I understand how you will treat me’.
We have no idea what goes into much of what we use on a daily basis, consume, and trust in – when travelling for instance. People don’t throw away cell phones because they can be used by drug dealers, or for pornography, or until they can source every component. We live in a world where the good of the wider society at some points is more important than individual rights and freedoms. So we understand that an individual does not have the freedom or right to shoot others with firearms, or abuse children, or steal, or drive without adherence to rules of the road. We have drivers licenses and passports…. If you object to abiding by the rules you don’t travel or drive. I don’t see people protesting about imposed control by government in such instances. I think Covid is off the rails in terms of political rhetoric and conspiracy stuff that in my humble opinion is nonsense. Of course it is not perfect, neither are those who are developing it and distributing. But I would rather trust medicine and science than the crazy stuff being consumed and peddled – enough to make your head spin. We had vaccines for polio and smallpox and flu, and shingles….. and I’m grateful for them. I don’t see this as different……
And let me be clear. I have great empathy and will cut most slack for those struggling whether to get vaccinated or not because of underlying medical concerns or conditions. I would never offer a simplistic answer but would tend to defer to a medical practitioner familiar with their specific condition.
As for governments… they are always going to be a mixed bag… always have been. I have lived long enough among Christians to have serious misgivings about people with ‘faith’ being in charge…. They can be narrow, cruel, proud, judgmental, rule keepers etc….. same as atheists or agnostics. I believe that God can use anyone and that we have to accept with grace the imperfections and flawed nature of both Christian and non-Christian. In Canada we are still navigating the consequences of Christian Residential Schools… hardly a great advertisement for faith-based leaders and institutions… I’m merely saying that calling oneself a believer or a Christian does not guarantee maturity, humility, character, fairness etc…. Because those who go by the name are also works in progress…. It’s simplistic to divide people up into good and evil in a black and white fashion. The worst time in some ways for the Christian church was when Constantine legalized Christianity in the 4th century… it was the best of times and worst of times…. As faith became politically correct and often watered down.
I don’t think it’s easy leading anywhere today as there are so many voices who are often the loudest when they have no fear of actually leading or having to be accountable. I believe Christians are called to speak and act with courage, grace and humility. If I ran a church it would be only for those vaccinated or masks for those with underlying medical conditions. I would not be persecuting those who make other choices… I also have the choice to be as safe as possible….. The vast majority are being vaccinated and I also take exception to being regarded as naïve, uninformed, or not allowed to exercise my freedom to choose etc. Personally, with many of those I know who are anti vaccination I could predict their position… by and large they don’t like being told what to do or conform. I’m not saying some, like your friend, are not genuine and seeking truth…… but he would be an exception….. Even Saul/Paul was sincerely wrong about the Messiah, and the crowd was wrong about Jesus when crucifying Jesus and setting Barabbas free. So with that in mind, I too can be wrong and misguided. I am ok with that, but so far it seems more helpful to benefit from what the vaccines offer than die of Covid without at least receiving what is being offered.
I think division of opinion obviously is inevitable… I haven’t heard much about Christians getting vaccinated because they care for their weaker brethren. In one church I know there are a whole bunch who wear their stance like a badge of honor and assert their freedom with no sensitivity to others. It is sad…. But I think leaders have to be strong and in a culture of political correctness many lack the courage to show tough love with firm kindness. Your PM maybe wrong or misguided and frustrating you, but at least she sounds like she leads…… The laws that get passed are the pendulum swing of our time and culture… nothing new under the sun…… They are only being passed because the many many years the Christian Church has had the opportunity to shape their culture have been wasted by indifference, self-interest, or no courageous fortitude to live the Christian life in a way that draws people to Jesus. I have great empathy for those who are not Christians which is why I wrote my novel that perhaps a few hundred may read 😊. May as well keep plugging it.
No easy answers….. Of course one has to be discerning and careful… I quite agree… but there are many who claim to speak for God with their ‘God-given’ intelligence that are out to lunch (Merely demonstrating that all of God’s gifts can be misused. Satan having spiritual gifts manifest in the demonic… when they were intended initially for good. It has been the puzzle and challenge from the beginning of creation}. Not clipping wings but overcoming darkness with light….. interesting that neither darkness or light are concepts as much as they are real, non-abstract, and experienced and discerned by any living being….. In other words people will know Jesus by the way they are befriended, loved, served, forgiven, and regarded….. grace undeserved… If we Christians focused there the whole world would be changed… but it’s easier to argue, debate, and stand on soapboxes methinks.
But what do I know….. just prattling on….
Have a nice day and get infected/injected (one letter makes the world of difference)
In such a troubled time here’s an old song with a timeless message of God’s love for all or us however sincerely right or wrong we might be today.