In the face of the coronavirus crisis, real leaders should help establish the seriousness of the threat. Nevertheless, in many places, they are failing miserably. Their misguided decisions provide ammunition for corona-skeptics to question unfairly applied restrictions and fuel conspiracy theories about hidden agendas. In many jurisdictions, COVID pandemic measures appear to be biased against virtue and in favor of vice.
Indeed, many officials act as if sin, unrest and vice help contain the virus. When it comes to religious gatherings, however, they are automatically labeled super-spreader events, a threat to public health. Such unfair treatment undermines the credibility of efforts to control the pandemic. Worse yet, no one seems to care about such an obvious conclusion.
Opening Strip Clubs as a First Amendment Right
For example, California Christians were perplexed by the recent ruling of a San Diego judge who said that strip clubs cannot be closed during COVID restrictions. They must be allowed to reopen “to provide live adult entertainment” as an expression of their First Amendment rights.
Places of worship presented identical arguments to state officials. Yet, for months, churches remain closed or are subject to arbitrary and absurd restrictions on indoor and outdoor services. The First Amendment explicitly mentions worship, but authorities could care less. Strip clubs, however, matter greatly to them.
Bias Against Worship
This government bias is not new. It seems to be a reoccurring precedent. Early in the lockdowns, churchgoers were shocked to find religious worship shut down as “non-essential,” while abortion clinics and marijuana dispensaries were classified as essential services. “Mostly peaceful” protests/riots also appeared to be exempt from COVID restrictions. Public officials even attended marches and other events where compliance with social distancing and masking norms was not observed. The Portland, Ore. nightly riots were deemed an expression of First Amendment rights. Rioters there were not reading Bibles but burning them.
Decisions like the San Diego ruling highlight the unfair and arbitrary nature of the virus restrictions. Moreover, the criteria for judgment is not revered science so often cited by liberals as the justification for everything. Officials are giving free rein to sin and vice. Their assessments just happen to coincide with the hostile attitudes of liberal judges, governors and other “enlightened” officials toward religion.
A Swinger Convention in New Orleans
Another example of liberal bias is the recent swingers’ convention in New Orleans. Hundreds of “swingers” descended upon the city to swap partners and potentially expose others in close sexual proximity. The four-day affair called “Naughty in Nawlins” took place as a surge of COVID-19 cases nationwide prompted many communities to enact more restrictions.
Nevertheless, the program of the event is a marathon of opportunities for exposure and close contacts. It includes a clothing-optional cruise, rooftop pool parties, matchmaking events, an “Erotic Ball,” and seminars on flogging. The group will also visit and party on Bourbon Street in downtown New Orleans. Organizers insist that masks will be worn and activities will be divided into smaller than normal groups.
However, the event occurs when city officials warned of a troubling spike in COVID-19 cases in the city, which they blame on Halloween festivities and university parties. They said there is a “short window of time” to take measures before implementing stricter rules that would prevent large gatherings like the swingers’ convention from happening.
Vice appears to enjoy “Most Favored Status” in the city as it struggles to recover from COVID. The most immoral activities are considered part of the city’s recovery program. In early November, an open-air concert by Christian social media influencer Sean Feucht drew 400 attendees who were not adequately masked. Unlike the university parties, the event drew outrage from the mayor’s office.
Sending the Wrong Message
Such favoring of sin undermines the credibility of the anti-COVID effort. It sends a mixed message: Promiscuity will be promoted at a time when citizens in other sectors face death and sacrifice.
Officials ask the population to physical distance and avoid unnecessary contact while at the same time promoting the most intimate of contacts. People are told to change their daily lives radically, while others can gratify their vices as if there was no pandemic at all.
Restricting Mass, sacraments and church prayer while allowing a swingers’ convention and strip clubs is contradictory. The key to containing COVID is a spirit of restraint. Swingers and strip clubs channel unrestraint and a disregard for all rules of morality. Allowing such events and activities that incite the passions is to provide obvious conditions for a super-spreader explosion.
Excluding and Scorning God
Finally, the official response to COVID is a naturalistic and atheistic attitude that excludes God from any containment strategy. God is deemed non-essential. The response goes one step further by facilitating sins and vices that offend God and destroy society. These officials undermine their efforts and scorn Christians, giving them reasons to doubt their impartiality.
How can people take the coronavirus measures seriously when it excludes out of hand the supernatural means through which real solutions come? A proper response would be to call upon God, Who can do all things, to mitigate the virus’s devastation. Ignoring God is a foolish policy. It always ends in disaster.
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