When coronavirus hysteria began sweeping the nation over a year ago, conservatives were ridiculed for warning that the so-called pandemic might permanently alter, if not outright eliminate, liberty. During that time, however, a group I refer to as coronavirus Christians have decided that submission to government tyranny is more desirable than religious liberty, thus making this warning prophetic in its accuracy.
As we approach 14 months of “14 days to flatten the curve,” coronavirus tyranny can no longer be written off as the fearmongering tactics of constitutional conservatives, nor can there be any doubt that socialism and tyranny have grown during this so-called pandemic just as many predicted.
Still, coronavirus Christians have openly embraced unconstitutional and arbitrary government mandates that directly threaten religious liberty and our God-given rights spelled out in the Declaration of Independence and guaranteed by the Constitution. Instead of taking a stand for righteous liberty, these “Coronavirus Christians” have turned government tyranny into a new kind of theology where refusing to wear a mask and/or not being vaccinated for COVID proves that you’re not a Christian, and you’re not pro-life.
Some in this camp have gone so far as to defend COVID vaccines and masks on eschatological grounds, accusing those concerned about the abuse of government power of being peddlers of end-times conspiracy theories.
In a March 2020 article, I shared how coronavirus hysteria could be the mother of socialism and government tyranny and where, based on an excellent article by John Whitehead (the founder and president of the Rutherford Institute), things were likely heading:
“This coronavirus epidemic, which has brought China’s Orwellian surveillance out of the shadows and caused Italy to declare a nationwide lockdown, threatens to bring the American Police State out into the open on a scale we’ve not seen before.
“If and when a nationwide lockdown finally hits — if and when we are forced to shelter in place — if and when militarized police are patrolling the streets — if and when security checkpoints have been established — if and when the media’s ability to broadcast the news has been curtailed by government censors — if and when public systems of communication (phone lines, internet, text messaging, etc.) have been restricted — if and when those FEMA camps the government has been surreptitiously building finally get used as quarantine detention centers for American citizens — if and when military “snatch and grab” teams are deployed on local, state, and federal levels as part of the activated Continuity of Government plans to isolate anyone suspected of being infected with COVID-19 — and if and when martial law is enacted with little real outcry or resistance from the public — then we will truly understand the extent to which the government has fully succeeded in recalibrating our general distaste for anything that smacks too overtly of tyranny.
“This is how it begins.” (emphasis mine)
The First Amendment, specifically Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Religion, are indeed under assault. In a live-streamed keynote address to the 2020 Lawyers’ Convention sponsored by the Federalist Society, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito noted how coronavirus tyranny has “resulted in previously unimaginable restrictions on individual liberty.”
Concerning the threat to religious liberty, Alito pointed out how coronavirus tyranny has “blatantly discriminated against houses of worship” and has put religious liberty “in danger of becoming a second class right.”
“It pains me to say this, but in certain quarters, religious liberty is fast becoming a disfavored right.
“Whatever one may think about the COVID restrictions, we surely don’t want them to become a recurring feature after the pandemic has passed.”
Alito also made it clear that no one should “twist” his words because he wasn’t “diminishing the severity of the virus’ threat to public health”, he was merely raising a red flag that the First Amendment should be protected in America.
Sadly, Alito’s warning has not only come to pass, it has come to pass at the hands of the Christian community itself — even in so-called “red states.”
Deirdre Hairston, who recorded a video of the incident on her phone, told Catholic author and podcaster Taylor Marshall in an interview that she had just taken communion at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Dallas and was kneeling down with her 1-year-old child when a police officer approached her and told her that the church didn’t want her there and she was trespassing.
Hairston, who’s also pregnant, said parish priest, Father Milton Ryan, contacted police to report that she wasn’t wearing a mask, according to CBS’ DFW affiliate.
“You’re more likely to get treated with Christian charity and grace at a Taco Bell than you are at church, unfortunately,” Hairston told Marshall. “Because if you don’t wear the mask and they allow you not to wear the mask, they still treat you like a leper. They still treat you like you’re a bandit. And I’m not a bandit. I may be a sinner, but I’m not a bandit.”
It would be nice if preachers of the gospel were more like Calgary pastor Artur Pawlowski — who had been previously fined for feeding the homeless in violation of social distancing rules — when he demanded that Canadian police officers leave his church when they tried to disrupt a service during Holy Week.
This is how you handle police who enter a church without a warrant. They’re lucky they only got a tongue-lashing: s. 176 of the Criminal Code makes it a crime to disturb a church service. Those @CalgaryPolice thugs were breaking the law (and knew it). pic.twitter.com/0XhAuwv0yg
— Ezra Levant 🍁 (@ezralevant) April 4, 2021
“Nazis are not welcome here! … Do not come back, you Nazi psychopaths. Unbelievable sick, evil people. Intimidating people in a church during the Passover! You Gestapo, Nazi, communist fascists! Don’t you dare come back here!
“Passover. The holiest Christian festival in the year. And they’re coming to intimidate Christians during the holiest festival. Unbelievable. It’s beyond me.”
I’ve mentioned this over the past year, but it bears repeating: Coronavirus Christians who parrot talking points about vaccinations, mask wearing, and submission to government tyranny aren’t motivated by the gospel, nor are they concerned about protecting liberty. They’re motivated by guilt; the guilt they feel for bowing to government tyranny and oppression, and the guilt they’re trying to inflict on others who refuse to bow with them.
We are witnessing what could be the last days of religious liberty and freedom in America, and coronavirus Christians are doing all they can to help it along.
David Leach is the owner of the Strident Conservative. He holds people of every political stripe accountable for their failure to uphold conservative values, and he promotes those values instead of political parties.