Thanks to our brilliant governor decreeing (with his signature significant delay in implementation, because the science and data dictate that he make arbitrary and caprious orders to “protect the health of Washingtonians”) that there can be no more than five people at a table in a restaurant, and now they all have to be from the same household, our monthly men’s breakfast was not held at Denny’s, but at our church.
7 of us brought our breakfasts, and sat at the same table, which still would have made the governor’s eye twitch like Clint Eastwood’s in “Firefox”, but I don’t really care.
After about a half hour of 3 separate conversations, and some general joking, the man who is the bishop of our particular fellowship started asking those present about what God has been saying to them. Because almost everyone else at the table was an official office holder or the lay equivalent, I listened and didn’t say anything…largely because up to that point, I didn’t think that there was anything requiring my input, but eventually, he got to me. “Clint, I come to these breakfasts, but I never hear you say much. Why is that?”
I smiled, and my pastor immediately jumped in and said “You have to be careful about getting him started. He generally has quite a bit to say about politics and current events, and seems to have time to read about more of it than I do. When he starts in with his observations, he brings some thought-provoking stuff to the table.” I leaned back, marninating in the compliment, thinking to myself “NEVER say nice things about the attorney. His head will swell, and he will become even MORE insufferable, if such a thing is possible.”
At this point, the bishop leaned forward, screwed on that wry smile he gets, and asked “So you heard various conversations about all things Covid-related around this table so far. What’s your take?” I paused, and said “I think this is the biggest theft ever perpetrated on the American people.” He smiled bigger, and asked me “What do you mean?” I replied “People have been told that they cannot go to work. For MONTHS now. I have friends who won’t be able to go back to work when the Tyranny of “Experts” that we have subjected ourselves to deem it safe to do so, because those jobs will not be there any longer. I look at the staggering loss of productivity. I look at the lost time and experience that we will NEVER get back. I see government picking up the pace in spending money it does not have, and I am genuinely worried that if we were to have a serious pandemic, one with a significant mortality rate that is easily transmissible and that would perhaps actually call for what has been imposed on us, that we won’t be able to afford to do so.”
From there, various tangents were taken, but one of the more enthusiastic ones was a discussion about the collateral damage being done to society. There was an active discussion on the role of fear, where it originates, and who benefits, how it causes a great deal of division today (I played the clip of the elderly woman confronting the young mother in the grocery store because her small children were not wearing masks, and the woman’s declaration to one of the young children “Well I hope you all DIE!”, which lead to a conversation about what the church’s role should be.
It was observed that too many of our local churches are still closed. There was a discussion about the recent Supreme Court ruling in which Justice Roberts sided with a liberal majority that found that there is a pandemic exception to the Bill of Rights, and the First Amendment, despite the fact that there really isn’t one, and that the case was really about disperate treatment by the governor of Nevada, who allowed casinos to be open, but decreed that churches remain closed. My pastor has been saying for a few weeks now that some of these other churches need to be opening back up (we started up two weeks before our governor “allowed” it, subject to various restrictions). My assistant pastor has been saying for two weeks that the area “mega-church”, which has 5 different campuses is still closed, and their lead pastor is MIA when he NEEDS to be opening back up and providing spiritual guidance. I’ve been remarking that there has been a slow shift to people placing their faith in government for a while now, but I pointed out that current events have accellerated this trend, and in all things, government hates competition.
While nothing was actually resolved by the discussion, I found it helpful to know that I’m not the only one looking at what is going on, and not buying into what we are forever being told on social media, the television, and in the newspapers. The deeper question is why more people aren’t expressing the same. I think that there are several answers, but it is impossible in the current climate to have a serious and honest conversation about them in general.