[Douglas Wilson] If you want to start with a little background information, here is an article for dentists on the efficacy of masks in preventing infection, written about four years ago. It is recent enough to still be relevant to the discussion, and old enough not to be affected by any of our current fantods, willies, hypocrisy-hype, or left-eye twitches.
In the reasons that I would like to outline below, some are independent and others are interdependent. Some are part of a Venn diagram and some aren’t.
The Danger of Hypocrisy
Our word hypocrite has an interesting origin, one that has to do with masks. In ancient Greece, the actors wore large, over-sized masks to indicate which character they were supposed to be playing. The word literally means “interpreter from beneath,” and apparently referred to the fact that the actor had to interpret his character from beneath the mask. Over time, it acquired our modern meaning of hypocrite, in that one image is presented to the world, while quite a different reality can lurk down below. In short, masks make hypocrisy easy. Masking is the game hypocrisy plays. This does not mean that masks create hypocrisy automatically, of course not, but it does mean that a time of universal masking is a time when hypocrisy has abundant opportunities.
So how might this apply in the time of a pandemic? How could it apply to masks that help prevent the spread of disease?
I want you to work with me here on a thought experiment. Let us say that the reasons I adduce in this post fail to persuade you. That’s all right. All I need for you to do for a moment is pretend you have been persuaded, and I will explain to you how this came about. Suppose you read an article from a credible source, one that you trust, and this article proves to your satisfaction that wearing a mask drastically increases the risk of spreading the disease. You and the author of the article are the only two people who know this.
Now you have to go out in public. Do you act as though you were caring about the health of others by wearing a mask? Or do you actually watch out for their health by not wearing one? Would you rather be seen as caring for others, or would you rather actually care for others?
Just conducting this thought experiment, whether or not you come to agree with this position, should help you to understand how a person could go out in public without a mask without it being a declaration of undying enmity to all mankind. One of the subsequent reasons below will give an understandable layman’s take on this
As long as we are speaking of hypocrisy, let us take off our hats in silent tribute to the chutzpah that was involved in the whole COVID/BLM thing. One doesn’t agree with it, of course, but the sheer effrontery involved with this one was so brazen that a sort of majesty crept into it.
The lock downs were draconian and severe as they affected ordinary people, and their small businesses, and we were solemnly assured by our public health officials that large gatherings were absolutely hazardous to the public weal. But then, presto!, as the Black Lives Matter protests erupted, public health officials fell all over themselves to subordinate what they had been saying about public health to their politics. Not only so, but some of these lock down maestros even marched in big parades in violation of their own rules.
Okay, then. Can we play? This seems like a simple enough game. All I have to do is subordinate what they are saying about public health to our politics. Well, it turns out that this was pretty easy, and comparatively painless.
As The Federalist notes, the turning point was June 4. At that time, it was made manifest to all careful observers, not to mention more than a few casual observers, that the lock downs and restrictions were political. They were simply a form of partisan crowd control. This realization extends to the masking mandates, which are being driven by the same political agenda. This whole thing was high hypocrisy. It was hypocrisy on stilts. Consequently, our conclusion ought to be no more lock downs, no more restrictions, no more masks. The people dictating these things to us are not sincere. They are not telling us the truth.
Let us have a little back and forth here. Is it all right for kids to pee in the city pool so long as they have their bathing suits on? Do you keep mosquitoes out of your yard with a chain link fence? Do fishermen use nets with one inch squares in order to bring in a haul of amoebae?
To which the comeback is that “of course we know that the masks won’t stop a solitary virus.” But, they continue, a mask will stop an aerosol sneeze, the elements of which would otherwise be sprayed all over the room. And if someone walks through that cloud, or touches a surface that the spray has settled on, then that’s a problem.
To which my reply is that a bunch of these jury-rigged masks won’t stop that kind of thing, point one, and point two, if it does, where are all these stymied germs collecting? Right. In the face mask. And so what training regimen has the American public been put through on this, so that they know how often to change their masks, when to throw them away, how often to wash them, how to determine the masks rating, and how not to touch them in the course of the day, and so forth?
So here is the layman’s test I promised earlier. You are walking into an establishment, and the prior 25 people who walked in there were all wearing masks. How many of them touched or handled their masks, into which they have been breathing, coughing, and sneezing all morning, prior to touching the doorknob that you are about to touch yourself? You don’t know, do you? So guess. How easy is it to fidget with a strange mask on your face? So before you enter, ask yourself this. Would you go in if the previous 25 had all been required to lick the door handle? Okay, sorry. Suppose they had been asked to lick the door handle in order “to help us halt the spread of COVID-19.”
And also suppose — jumping back up to my earlier point about hypocrisy — suppose you are one of those Americans who has some medical training, and you know that the face mask sitting there in your front seat is by this point a veritable disease farm. You are going to throw it away when you get home, and probably use some plastic gloves or a pair of tongs to do it with. And then your wife calls and asks you to pick up a jug of milk on the way home. Should you squeeze one last “wear” out of the mask, signalling your virtue to all and sundry, or should you do the principled thing, and get the jug of milk unmasked under the disapproving stares of your fellow patrons.
Settled Constitutional Law
I am writing following as a CFM, a clandestine free man. I somehow slipped the leash, and once off the leash I obtained a copy of the Constitution and read it.
Under our Constitution, and under our legal codes and traditions, there is no authority to do two things that have been done throughout this mess.
First, there is no authority to declare states of emergency simply on the “say so” of the one making the declaration. We have been told that this is a pandemic, and it is not. It might have been an approaching pandemic, but then it turned out not to be. The Spanish flu was a pandemic. This was a pandemic by definition. When civil authorities assume emergency powers (which I do not object to at all), there had better be asteroids falling out of the sky, or dams breaking, or aliens climbing out of their spacecraft, or something. I need something more than a weird disease that spreads at Trump rallies and which is beaten back by a BLM protest.
Second, when a genuine crisis is a disease, the appropriate (and constitutional and legal) response is to quarantine the infected. It is a gross violation of our civil rights (recognized by our highest authority, the Constitution) to simply assume universal infection, and to make everybody wear a mask. Our response should be to demand that we be shown in the law where made-up emergencies can be declared, and where healthy people can be quarantined as if they were diseased.
The politicos who feel like they are running this show think that they have the authority to just issue decrees, diktats, and dumber-than-dirt efforts at manipulating us. They do not have this authority. They are wrong on the facts, and they are wrong on the process.
Such illegal orders may be disregarded, and they should be disregarded. Where people comply, it should be out of necessity, and not because there is any Romans 13 basis for it. When you give a mugger your wallet, you are responding to coercion. You are not granting any moral authority to him. It is the same here. These orders are transparently hypocritical, unconstitutional, illegal, and immoral.
Politicians Like to Encroach
Not only do politicians like to see how much they can get away with, once they have gotten away with it, they almost never want to relinquish the power they have just succeeded in grabbing. If a power grab is followed by acquiescence, then that power grab can, over time, become part of a society’s unwritten constitution.
Put another way, our response to this travesty is going to be a precedent, one way or another. If we let it go, then when the next power grab happens down the road, they will have this one to appeal to. But if they get stiff resistance, if they get non-compliance, if they get godly civil disobedience, then that also sets a precedent.
An Electorate With ADHD
It is as though the people running this scam expect us to have just enough intelligence to follow what they are requiring us to do right this minute, but not enough intelligence to remember what they were telling us to do a month ago, and why.
Remember when the point was to flatten the curve, so that the health care system wasn’t overwhelmed? Well, if that were the point, we succeeded. We achieved it. But that wasn’t the point, which can be seen in the fact that as soon as we achieved it, the goalposts were moved. Next, they said, we have to wait for a vaccine. Anything that would prevent them having to let go of the hand grip they got on your shirt collar.
And we are even further down that road. We have shifted from counting hospitalizations and deaths to counting new cases. But in the old metric, when someone needed to go to the ER or if someone died of COVID (not with COVID), there was no disputing what the problem was. The problem was caused by the sickness itself.
But now we are counting cases. And the reason the case count is going up so radically is because our infrastructure for testing is now on line. If you test a massive amount of people, as we were not doing before, then of course the case count is going to go up. And if, at the same time, the hospitalizations and deaths are radically decreasing, as they are, then this is unmitigated good news.
It is, however, being treated by our Mainstream Manipulators as ominous news at best. But it is good news for regular people with regular lives. Lots of new cases and plummeting death rates means that the disease is not as fatal as previously thought. It means the curve is flattened. Go back to work, everybody.
Stop letting them spook you.
Worship Is the Ultimate Target
California is requiring churches to not sing in their worship services. The governor of Illinois has said that churches might not be able to meet for a year. Yeah, right. We can see what you are doing, you know.
As far as Christians are concerned, this really needs to be the tip of the spear. If there is any place where we disregard their requirements, it should be here, under these circumstances, in this time. This is the moment.
In previous installments, I have already acknowledged that when the sanctuary roof is on fire, the fire chief should have authority to clear the building, and nobody resents it when he does so. Christians are not scofflaws, and we do not bridle at lawful exercises of civil authority, even when they overlap with ecclesiastical jurisdictions.
But when the orders are based on a series of trumped up lies and manipulated data, transparently bogus, and we are told, on the basis of these manifest untruths, that we may not meet to worship God, our response must be that of meeting and worshiping God. On top of this, we need to worship God as free men, women, and children. Nobody can be told they must come into the throne room of God wearing a secular burka. No free Christian should obey an order from the civil magistrate to put on their servility badge as he or she offers the worship of a free Christian.
And so what should Christian worship look like? It must not look like they are trying to make it look. No singing? Are you kidding? Cover your face to interrupt the Spirit-wrought transformation from glory to glory? Why in Heaven’s name would we do that? Why on earth would we comply? You know, I don’t think we should be listening to you guys.
[Publisher’s Note: This article was written by Ps. Doug Wilson and first published at Blog and Mablog]