You have probably heard it said a hundred times this year - "stay home, save lives". Or, "wear a mask, don't kill grandma". Perhaps you have challenged the new normal and have tried to carry on as old normal, and have been confronted with accusations that you lack love for others and are basically a selfish jerk. Yeah... I've been there. But is this a fair charge? Well perhaps it could be. Maybe you are just a recalcitrant contrarian with a chip on his shoulder. Or maybe not. Maybe you really do love your neighbours, care about Grandma, and have a vision beyond your own nose. Here are some thoughts on why that could very well be the case.
Economy - Love means No Lockdowns
The mainstream idea is that loving your neighbour means shutting down businesses and events to save lives. But I would argue that, aside from the effectiveness of lockdowns for viral-control being dubious at best, lockdowns have such terrible consequences on the well-being of our fellow man. Loving your neighbour means opposing lockdowns because they destroy your neighbour's livelihood. Governments around the world have crippled their economies and destroyed businesses by their over-reaction to Covid-19. And it really has been an over-reaction. Profits for small-businesses are down on average 30%. And 21% of small businesses have closed. This is awful. This is not just about money, this has real life consequences of despair and hopelessness. Indeed, this economic damage has its own death toll. The government must be opposed when they pursue such foolish and damaging policies. If you go along with this, you are not loving your neighbour. If you stay silent about this, you are allowing it to happen. When you push back against their heavy-handed rules and regulations you are standing up for your fellow countrymen. You are pursuing security and prosperity for all of us.
Liberty - Love means Protecting Rights
Do you remember when you would ask someone if you could do something and they would reply, "go ahead, it's a free a country"? Yeah, neither do I. It's been that long! The reality is, it has never been easier to get yourself thrown in jail, or dealt a heavy fine than it is today. Fundamental freedoms are being suspended and indeed trampled on all in the name of public safety, and all for a virus with a 99.8% survival rate. Can I go to the park? No. Can I go to church? No. Can I have friends over? No. Can I breathe? No. By standing up against this rising tyranny you are standing for your freedom and the freedom of all of us. Freedoms are easily lost. We must be jealous to protect them. You do not need the government to give you permission to exercise your basic, inalienable, God-given rights. The American Founders had it right when they said that each of us was endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights. You are men, women, boys, and girls, created in the Image of God. You have the right to be here. You have the right to speak your mind. You have the right to associate with other people. You have the right to shake hands. You have the right to hug your grandchild. You have the right to hug your grandma. You have the right to go to church. You have the right to show your face. You have the right to move about. The government does not give you these rights, they recognize them. Exercise them! Not only for your own sake, but out of love for your neighbour's liberty too.
Loving your neighbour takes backbone. It's not as easy as staying in your home watching Netflix. Loving your neighbour means taking risks, standing up to opposition, and fighting to save our rapidly eroding rights and freedoms. Don't sit idly by while your country falls apart. Consider this ominous warning from Abraham Kuyper,
"In any successful attack on freedom, the state can only be an accomplice. The chief culprit is the citizen, who forgets his duty, wastes away his strength in the sleep of sin and sensual pleasure, and so loses the power of his own initiative."
Remember your duty as a citizen. Fear God. Love your neighbour. Stand tall. And as they say in New Hampshire, "Live Free or Die".