Let us worship

Regardless of recounts and recriminations, pandemics and panics, one inalterable truth remains from beginning to end - Christ is still King. This last Sunday was to be a celebration of that biblical fact for those of us who reckon according to the ancient calendar. But our temporal oligarchs saw fit to lockdown the province by leaving everything open except churches. I guess the coronavirus is particularly fond of pews, altars, hymnals, choirs, incense, and holy scripture.

I’ll politely ask my detractors to hold their vitriol and actually consider the matter. On the face of it, the rules for this second lockdown do not make sense: if a bar, theatre, restaurant, or shopping mall can be open, which will see thousands a week, why not a house of worship which will see at most a few hundred for a day? If we let people breathe the same air for hours inside airplanes, albeit masked, why can’t we stand, kneel, or sit far apart in masks at our holy places?

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There is no way to square this inconsistency without resorting to slurs as well as circular reasoning. Ironically, in the secular West today, the world has turned on its head, with the faithful citing empirical evidence and skeptics shouting them down with articles of faith: all life begins at conception, biology is directly related to gender, freedom of speech (born of religious liberty) is essential, only God can create “something from nothing,” and governments often abuse power.

This novel coronavirus is simply the latest winnowing fork thrust upon us for sorting chaff and wheat. Again, there is no way to logically argue the shuttering of churches while places of commerce remain open during what is supposedly a second lockdown to stop the increase in cases. Any and all who support this policy decision are, knowingly or not, making a profession of child-like faith in the pronouncements of fallible technocrats and the benevolence of the State.

I will make the necessary caveat here that incompetence and ignorance, by both rulers and the ruled, explains more than enough of the current suspension of our most basic human as well as constitutional rights. Citizens that are scared easily when paired with authorities eager to intervene in our affairs make short work of our poorly understood democratic heritage. Yet as mentions of the “Great Reset” increase, it becomes hard to not impute motive to policy choices.

True, my own words from earlier this year can easily be thrown back at me, for I also demanded that our current crisis not go to waste. Of course, even the least charitable reading of my columns from the spring would not support an increase in centralized authority. My primary political tenet is still the Catholic principle of subsidiarity: the vast majority of discretionary power in both policy and actions ought to be left to the smallest, lowest, and nearest authority possible.

Instead, the opposite now greets us: on the corpses of those who died of COVID-19, with much of the economy in a smouldering ruin, all while our civil liberties are suspended, those in charge have declared now is the time to build Utopia. The fact that this appears opportunistic, craven, and completely lacking in democratic legitimacy does not seem to dissuade the loudest supporters among the ruling class calling for an even faster manifestation of the “Great Reset.”

It bears repeating that from Magna Carta to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, those who believe in a higher power have been instrumental to securing civil liberties, ending tyranny, and advocating for the oppressed. This is thanks to, not in spite of, the tenets of the faith which demand an unwavering commitment to fundamental notions of justice and truth. In this moment, while those in power attempt to run roughshod over our basic rights, we must stand our ground.

People of faith have a right to demand that the protocols required to end the pandemic be applied equally. The longer this blatant hypocrisy and inconsistency continues, the more those who claim to be our saviors and the new authors of history look like usurpers of Christ the King.

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