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If the pandemic mask mandates and lockdowns we’ve endured since March were ever really about science and public health, they are no more.

“Trust the experts or science,” we’re told, but which experts, what science, and why trust them at all if indeed mask mandates and lockdowns don’t accomplish much other virtue signaling or destroying economies?

Multiple, credible medical scientists and even now the WHO say lockdowns are not effective in stopping the spread of the Coronavirus and, on top of this, are creating other collateral damage like greater negative impact upon impoverished people.  

Scientists are saying, “’Coming from both the left and right, and around the world, we have devoted our careers to protecting people,’ said the declaration. ‘Current lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health.’ They include ‘lower childhood vaccination rates, worsening cardiovascular disease outcomes, fewer cancer screenings and deteriorating mental health—leading to greater excess mortality in years to come.’”

‘Keeping these measures in place until a vaccine is available will cause irreparable damage, with the underprivileged disproportionately harmed.’”

Yet still, state governors like Michigan’s Governor Gretchen Whitmer and California’s Governor Gavin Newsom persist in introducing new draconian measures mandating statewide masks, even outdoors, keeping churches closed, and pushing schools to keep tens of thousands of students at home.

Gov. Whitmer’s 160 plus executive orders were tossed out by the Michigan State Supreme Court, which said her use of emergency powers was unconstitutional. She, of course, merely shifted her argument to other state laws and accused the court of partisanship. 

Gov. Newsome’s latest attempt to play doctor occurred last week when his office tweeted a reminder to those going out to dinner to “keep your mask on in between bites.”

WHO weighed-in, finally, stating, “We in the World Health Organization do not advocate lockdowns as the primary means of control of this virus.” To say this is late to the party is an understatement.

There is no end in sight to governors and mayors acting as health czars, unless the presidential election brings a change.  First, masks, stay at home, and lockdowns were necessary to “flatten the curve.” Then these measures would “save lives.” Then it was “until there is a vaccine.” Then it was no longer just C-19 but “flu season,” meaning any rationale will do. Meanwhile, doctors worldwide are recording more deaths due to lockdowns than to the virus.

The economic impact of the unnecessary lockdowns has been devastating. “About 60 percent of US businesses closed since the beginning of March will never again reopen.” 

Many of the consequences listed here will take years to analyze and document, but we’ve seen glimpses of more immediate unintended consequences already: rampant suicidesurging drug overdoses, increases in domestic violence, economic destruction, and many others.

None of these consequences were intended when lawmakers passed sweeping lockdowns, but that does not make them less real. Nor do pure intentions absolve lawmakers of responsibility.

The famed economist Milton Friedman once observed that perhaps the greatest threat to liberty comes ‘from men of good intentions and good will who wish to reform us.’

In this case, the well-intentioned seek not to reform us but to protect us. But as Friedman noted, ‘concentrated power is not rendered harmless by the good intentions of those who create it.’” 

The problems with mask mandates and pandemic lockdowns now form a long list. Yet political leaders continue to argue vigorously and at times self-righteously that this show—their show—must go on. Why?

  1. Trust the science – but scientists and medical professionals are not in agreement, and many now argue against masks and lockdowns. Yet political leaders and much of mainstream media ignore this.
  2. Mask and lockdowns do not work – they have not actually stopped the spread of the virus, have not appreciably reduced infection or death rates, and do not accomplish what proponents claim with religious fervor.
  3. Mask mandates and lockdowns are arguably not needed for a virus, that is yes deadly for some, still moving through populations with a 95-99% survival rate.
  4. Lockdowns are destroying businesses, peoples’ livelihoods, entire economies, and they are creating other negative social and health side-effects, confounding variables, and unintended consequences like increased suicides and greater mortality due to lack of medical care.
  5. Lockdown restrictions may be more about partisan advantage than public health. 
  6. Lockdowns are in numerous instances unconstitutional and have violated Americans’ civil liberties. 
  7. Lockdowns and the mentality they create are a threat long-term to political liberty.

Masks and lockdowns don’t work, cause other problems, may be leveraged in biased ways, and are a threat to liberty, so I strongly recommend states and localities stop the lockdowns now. 

No more cherry-picking scientific data to reinforce one’s biases. 

No more mask mandates, just people with information using common sense to care for their own health and that of others.

No more closed businesses and fines, just businesses functioning in a free economy.

No more political leaders acting like public health czars to further their careers or party politics.

No more planned economies, just American people acting freely in the best interests of themselves, their families, and communities.

 

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2020    

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com/, or connect with me at www.linkedin.com/in/rexmrogers.    

Truth seems up for grabs in our confused culture.
 
It is possible to speak truth in a nasty way or for improper motives, which is why Scripture reminds us to speak the truth in love.
 
God is the ultimate source of truth. Actually, he is truth, so he defines reality and he never said, "Don’t speak the truth." So, speaking truth is not an act of hate, as incredibly some now claim.
 
It may seem harsh, for example, to call something error, wrong, sin, but if true, it creates an opportunity for change, correction, forgiveness, redemption > hope.
 
Without truth, there is no hope.
 

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2020    

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com/, or connect with me at www.linkedin.com/in/rexmrogers.    

Deep thoughts Saturday afternoon:
 
1-Politics is not what’s most important in life, yet politics can be constructive or destructive to individual and social well-being.
 
2-Political parties are useful, but like denominations, party labels matter less than what proponents actually believe.
 
3-Ideology, Left-Liberal-Moderate-Conservative-Right, is now more socially influential than partisanship.
 
4-Left and Liberal are not synonymous, nor are Conservative and Right, but four distinct, diverging political philosophies.
 
5-The Bible is not a political handbook but speaks to foundational issues that find expression in politics, e.g., created order; origin and purpose of life; liberty; good and evil; work and property; family; sexuality.
 
6-American society and politics are not secular, meaning irreligious, but postmodern DIY religious with no moral calculus but feelings, meaning doing what’s right in your own eyes.
 
7-I am blessed with political liberty by virtue of my birthright. Like most Americans, I did nothing to earn it. God forbid that I would ever take it for granted.
 

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2020    

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com/, or connect with me at www.linkedin.com/in/rexmrogers.    

Celebrities, politicians, and media use euphemisms as handy deflections to questions they don’t want to answer or don’t know how to answer or don’t want to answer in historically understood moral categories. These euphemisms pass for excuses or even erudition, but they don’t really offer anything substantive and can be misleading or downright wrong.

Consider these:

  • I was lucky.

This comment is regularly made by entertainment stars on late night TV talk shows or by sports figures when they are asked about their success. In an effort to sound, or maybe to give them the benefit of the doubt to actually be, humble, the accomplished star does not say, I am great (unless they are Muhammad Ali); I am enormously talented; I worked hard and by hook and crook clawed my way to the top; I am blessed – especially not this one because this implies there is a God who distributes talent and grace and admitting this in public media isn’t politically correct. 

Problem is, taken at face value, this means that the star is saying I did nothing, I have no talent, did not work hard, and am not responsible for anything I’ve accomplished. Pretty bleak view of themselves, humanity, and existence. It’s all dumb, blind fate.

  • I just want her/him to be happy. 

This comment usually comes when a former spouse or girlfriend/boyfriend has left the person behind. Or it comes when parents hear of their son or daughter’s decision to pursue some odd sexual expression. 

Problem is, does the person’s happiness trump all other considerations?

  • I’m not really religious but I’m a very spiritual person. 

The celebrity making this statement may be honest or may just be dodging the deeper meaning of a question, but either way, the idea is that it’s not really socially kosher anymore to be overtly religious, but it’s apparently OK to be “spiritual.”

Problem is, spiritual can mean anything and nothing.

  • He’s/She’s dealing with his/her demons. 

This is a frequent media comment when some celebrity or politician has gone off the deep end but the media doesn’t want or know how to talk about the person’s choices in moral terms. Certainly, sin is not in the mix, so a reference is made to demons.

Problem is, demons can mean anything and in particular can mean that whatever is going awry in the person’s life, it’s not her or his fault. It’s the demons. So, this is a great way to duck accountability and blame something, anything but one’s own moral choices.

  • Mistakes were made. 

This is the time-honored non-apology-apology. It’s a way of saying something so it sounds like you took responsibility but in actuality you did not take responsibility. Corporate CEOs say this when their company is struggling with a bad product; celebrities and especially politicians say this when they want to sort-of-own-but-not-own bad press. 

Problem is, who made the mistakes? The person saying this rarely says I made mistakes. And if what happened was actually a mistake, then it perhaps was without intent or culpability, so you blame frail humanity. This may be accurate. Humans are frail and we make mistakes. But usually, this comment isn’t referencing actual mistakes. It is referencing premeditated choices. Someone acted and knew what and why they were doing what they were doing. This is not a mistake. It is willful forethought with intent.

  • Just have faith.

This comment is a favorite of celebrities on late night TV.  It’s an all-purpose way of providing some kind of optimism and sometimes the full phrase is “Just have faith in yourself.”

Problem is, faith in what? Faith is as good as what it trusts. Faith in yourself may be good pop-psychology and perhaps helpful self-confidence, but as a religious or moral philosophy capable of dealing with life’s greatest challenges, it’s a non-starter.

  • I have to follow my heart.

This celebrity comment is sometimes presented as “You can’t help who you love,” which usually references some sexually progressive idea, i.e., I am pansexual, or I cheated on my wife because, well, I had to.

Problem is, once again, this comment seeks to side-step individual responsibility because it is saying that somehow the person is doing what they are doing and can’t help doing so.

Euphemisms may not all be bad or wrong. Saying someone “passed away” rather than he or she “died” is often used to soften the sad news. But euphemisms that obscure and deflect accountability ultimately do not serve the speaker well, let alone anyone else.

 

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2020    

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com/, or connect with me at www.linkedin.com/in/rexmrogers.    

SAT-7, the largest Christian satellite broadcasting network in the Middle East and North Africa, often speaks of its “holistic” ministry.

Holistic means we believe our Christian faith requires us to actively care for the whole person: spiritual, emotional, physical, intellectual, social. 

Yes, SAT-7 regularly shares the Gospel, the Good News of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.

In addition, SAT-7 works to bless people in their everyday circumstances.

Programs address building marriages, nurturing children, adoption, women’s issues, substance abuse, freedom of religion and human rights, employment training. Other programs address children and youth issues like trauma healing, bullying, dating.

With some 15 million children out of school in the Middle East due to conflict or crisis, SAT-7 ACADEMY produces educational programs offering instruction in English, Arabic, Mathematics, and the Sciences.

Social concern is a means of loving our neighbors and demonstrating the Gospel.

SAT-7’s ministry is holistic, teaching the “whole counsel of God” for the whole person.

 

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2020    

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com/, or connect with me at www.linkedin.com/in/rexmrogers.    

When culture rejects the idea of objective truth all that’s left is irrationality. 

American culture is now not just embracing but celebrating irrationality. What else explains abortion-on-demand all the way through even post-birth, gender fluidity, freedom of speech only if we agree, rejection of evidentiary rule of law in favor of rule by feelings?

Our irrationality is rooted in our embrace of moral relativism, which is now the basis of American culture’s worldview. This is perhaps most obvious in matters of human sexuality.

Doing what’s right in your own eyes sexually, that is, with public approval, cannot happen as long as religion, specifically biblical Christianity, is influential in people’s hearts and minds. So sexual progressivism in all its forms has become the point of the spear pushing total rejection of Judeo-Christian values as the historic basis of American public morality and culture. This push is organized, aggressive, and in the name of tolerance the most intolerant silence-opposing-views movement at work today.

This moral chaos shows up in, among other things:

  • Abortion
  • Huge percentage of homes with no father in the home, i.e. kids growing up without male parental influence
  • LGBTQ+, same sex marriage
  • Debt complacency- Living not just beyond our means; living beyond our children’s means
  • Dividing walls of hostility between groups: gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, language, culture
  • Loss of civility, morality, optimism replaced by a coarse and obscene culture, hysterical politics

Francis A. Schaeffer’s phrase “true truth” foresaw our current “your truth vs my truth,” subjectivism and relativism, “truthiness,” feelings-the-measure-of-all-things, and the mess we have now with “fake news” and “alternative facts.” 

Along with the phrase “celebrating irrationality” to describe our culture I’ve used the phrase “sophisticated ignorance,” like Athens in Acts 17. The superstition and D.I.Y. religion is evident in rejection of moral absolutes and the idea of objective truth, then an embrace of chance, feelings, and subjectivity over reason, and an inclination toward new forms of paganism. 

If you think abortion is “life-sustaining” as does the governor of Michigan, so it is. If a baby in the womb or even born alive is not wanted, it’s not a human baby. 

“War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.” Celebration of irrationality.

Irrationality is now a way of life for more and more people.

 

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2020    

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com/, or connect with me at www.linkedin.com/in/rexmrogers.