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We Used to Sacrifice Lives to Preserve Our Freedom. Now We Sacrifice Our Freedom to Preserve Lives
As I was entering my teenage years, the Vietnam War was still going on. I assumed then that this would go on indefinitely and that when I turned eighteen my name would go into the lottery and I would be called. Although I dreaded the prospect, I could understand the logic of conscription and why my father supported it so strongly. Our society was built on democratic principles that included fundamental human freedoms. Those freedoms were under threat from the godless ideology of Communism (or so we were told) and so it was only right and proper that we stand together to defend our country and protect those freedoms, even if it meant countless of our youth would die, perhaps including me!
Times have changed. I thank God I didn’t have to go and fight in Vietnam, and I am now openly opposed to conscription. Because I no longer believe in the way our wars are sold to us – as noble causes. The The ‘Domino Principle’ Used to justify the stand in Vietnam turned out to be empty. We had no business doing it in Vietnam any more than we did in Iraq, Afghanistan or Syria. I don’t trust conscription anymore because I don’t trust government. Nevertheless, I accept the basic principle, that there are things worth dying for, and that we must be willing to pay the price to protect our freedom. So… what happened?
I remember when the lockdown was first announced, I posted a video on it Facebook, expressing concern and suggesting that we should consider where we draw the line. If we accept social distance And Stay at home orders, is there a point where we draw the line? When we are no longer allowed to hug our children – do we draw the line?
I posted it in March 2020, and immediately got a call from my bishop, asking me to take it down. he said, “No one says we can’t hug our kids”, as if I had entered into a stupor. I took the video down. Within weeks of that phone call I saw news footage of a man getting off a plane in Darwin where his young son ran to hug him. Dad stepped back with his hands in the air. Lockdown rules were in place while he was on the flight and indeed, the man was forbidden to hug his son.
Not long after that my position as parish priest was terminated – a position I had held for thirty years. At least that means I can repost my video. Yes, since then I have been able to speak freely, no doubt denying me the platform, many hoped that I would continue to preach.
I have never accepted and still do not accept what led to this response from our government ‘The Great Epidemic’ It is purely a public health concern. This is largely because statistics do not, and never will, justify the level of autocratic response we have endured.
Yes, people have died. Actually, a good friend of mine died of covid 19. He died in Syria, not Australia, but I don’t deny for a second that this virus is real and deadly. However, there are many things in this world that can kill us, and of course governments have some role to play in protecting us, but it’s a matter of balance.
Roads can be deadly. Car accidents kill people every day but we don’t lower the national speed limit to 40 km/h, even though we know full well it would save over a thousand lives every year!
We know that allowing families to build ground bridges in their backyards will inevitably increase the number of domestic drownings. Yet we let them do it.
We know that for a full thirteen years (between 1920 and 1933, street deaths, domestic violence, and street fights would decrease). However, not only do we ban the sale of alcohol, but the sale of alcohol has been considered an essential service even in the most severe lockdown!
I do not believe that public health was the sole and sufficient reason for locking down large numbers of healthy people, and if it was, the health costs of the lockdown would certainly have been given more weight.
Lockdowns destroy small businesses and people lose their jobs, leading to stress, poverty, depression and domestic stress. Moreover, while the lockdown may only be a minor disruption to comforts and those who are recovering, for those who are on the brink, the lockdown threatens to push them over the edge.
As I mentioned, I lost a friend to covid. However, I know of seven people who have committed suicide in this lockdown. A boy at my boxing club told me one night how he went to visit his father only to find he had hanged himself. How do you recover from something like that?
I read that youth suicides increased 180% during the Melbourne lockdown. I’m surprised it’s not more.
I have not been self employed since I lost my position in the church and I am struggling. Lockdown is suffocating. The universe doesn’t seem like a friendly place anymore. Ending the pain through self-destruction seems like a reliable way. Of course it isn’t. It never is. Despite this, I have felt the bottomless pull and weep for those for whom the pull is too great.
We thought freedom was worth dying for. what happened Well… the story changed.
In today’s official narrative we are indeed at war, but the enemy is Covid and we are all standing together to fight it.
Yes, we will all suffer some hardships and inevitably, some will have to sacrifice more than others, but once we defeat the virus enemy, all these hardships will soon be forgotten. The economy will rebound, small businesses will flourish again, the government will relinquish all emergency powers, and electronic tracking and surveillance will disappear forever. All those who commit suicide will be resurrected. And we don’t even remember what social distancing is because we’ll all be busy hugging each other in celebration!
Does this sound right?
The only thing that makes the official narrative seem plausible is that the counter-narrative, which mostly points to secret gangs plotting the destruction of the human race, seems even less plausible. Personally, I don’t accept any of these stories. Instead, I believe that the worldwide response to the virus is driven by the same dual forces that drive everything else in this world – that is, the lust for power and money, both of which feed on fear.
Fear sells newspapers, it’s easier to control a fearful population, and of course, in this incredibly litigious culture, both companies and governments fear whether they should be held responsible for someone’s death because they didn’t do enough to protect them!
Institutional churches work in exactly the same way. I remember when I was in seminary a bishop warned us that we (the church) must be careful not to apologize to our local population or we would be sued like the church in Canada, which seemed to be going bankrupt then! Then I said to the bishop, “But shouldn’t we do what’s right and let the chips fall where they may?” I don’t think I got the answer.
In any big company or government or organization, the bottom line will always be the bottom line, and so we can’t risk being honest about ourselves for the same reason that a church can’t risk allowing people to worship. History
We cannot pave the way for many petitioners to come forward and say “If you had closed the church doors, my grandmother would still be alive”. No! We must do what is necessary – close the doors, stop singing, talking, hugging people, if we want to reject faith … just protect the bottom!
There are alternative ways to get out of this mess.
For our leaders, we need to guide them with love rather than fear. As the apostle John said, “Perfect love casts out all fear”. (1 John 4:18), if love is too much to demand, only basic respect for human dignity will do.
For the rest of us, we must be willing to take personal responsibility for our own health and leave the government to focus on their real job – protecting our liberties!
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