CT and a Pandemic Amnesty


Echoing a piece from The Atlantic last fall, Christianity Today has published an appeal to evangelicals, asking them to extend grace to one another over the hard decisions that were made during the COVID emergency. Now that the state of emergency is over and done, we should be able to look back, reflect on how confusing it all was, and agree that the time for an amnesty has now arrived.

To his credit, Paul Miller, author of the piece, does recount a number of the points that were made by those who were resisting the various mandates from Officialdom. He notes how ineffective the masks were, more or less. He notes the legal victories won by the churches that sued to stay open. He does not cast the difference between Christians as being one between those who wanted to obey Romans 13 and those who wanted to disobey it, but rather as a choice between those who called for us to obey Romans 13 and those who summoned us to obey Hebrews 10. All in all, it was a pretty even-handed piece.

Except for one significant and very glaring omission. And that omission wrecks the entire point. That omission gets in the way of any possible amnesty.

What You Should Do When You Are Ignorant

Now that the facts are coming out, many of those who were hard in favor of all the draconian COVID measures are now acknowledging the obvious. There was a great deal of over-reaction. More is required in establishing sound health policy than adrenaline and panic. Why can we not just be grateful for that acknowledgement and move on?

But those who now want to “let the healing begin” are leaving one important fact out of their recital of all these events. And it is a crucial fact, one that colors absolutely everything else. When the scare first hit (the scare, not the virus), it is true enough to say that nobody knew about the efficacy of masks, or of lock downs, or of the vaccines, or of Ivermectin, or of Hydroxychloroquine. Nobody knew if it was caused by a wet market bat, medium rare, or by a lab leak. The whole thing hit us from behind, and none of us knew anything. Fair enough.

But we knew then, and we know now, with absolute clarity we know, which side wouldn’t let the other side talk. We know who was censoring, and we know who was censored. And we also know who has not yet sought forgiveness for shutting down all discussion, all debate, and all scientific investigation.

Forgiveness can certainly be extended, as it should be. But before that can happen, if we are operating biblically, the sin needs to be named and repented of. If the actual offense is not named, then we have absolutely no assurance that the same thing won’t happen in Round 2. If no one acknowledges what the fault was, where the mistakes were, and what protocols were abused, then we are simply signing up for the same thing to happen again next time.

Those who want an amnesty now are pleading with us, saying, “It was uncharted territory. We just didn’t know.” But this cannot be reconciled with the hard orthodoxy on all these related issues that formed within weeks of the outbreak. The people who are claiming that they did not know at that time are the same people who claimed at that time that they did know. So if you thought it was a lab leak from Wuhan, you were a racist. If you wanted scientific trials for Ivermectin, you were an idiot, and moreover, you were an idiot who found himself kicked off various online platforms. If you were a world-class epidemiologist who had doubts about the official narrative, you were summarily banned, regardless of your credentials. And if you were a shill for the CDC, however mendacious and ill-informed, you were allowed to go on at length. Air time was yours for the asking.

There were the enforcers of the official orthodoxy then, and there are the professions of ignorance now. Which is it? It cannot be both.

This means that the precondition for any amnesty has to be a statement to this effect:

“We acknowledge that in the face of this public health panic, we did not know the right thing to do. But we also acknowledge that we acted as though we did know. Moreover, we acted with such confidence and hubris that if anyone questioned the official narrative that we were insisting upon, that person was effectively silenced. We promise never to act that way again. We will cooperate with any efforts to establish safeguards to prevent anything like this from happening again.”

Okay . . . now let’s talk about an amnesty.

Why This is Important

The people who were silenced on lock downs were the people who were correct about the lock downs. The people who were censored over masks were the people who were correct about the efficacy of masks. The people who challenged the vaccine mandates were right about the hazards of those untested vaccines, and they were the people who were not allowed to talk.

Refusal to deal with the actual issues is why the central issue remains. The central issue is the threat of “government by emergency.” Confronted with any crisis, we should want to find out what the truth is. We don’t need to find out what the official narrative is, especially when the official narrative is the only narrative allowed. In the pursuit of truth, when only the official narrative is allowed, then what that does is make the official narrative useless.

And if the government is going to be granted unlimited powers that cannot be questioned during any time of emergency, who cannot see that it is in the interests of the power-hungry to see to it that we are always in a time of emergency?

When you say now that you “did not know,” you need to remember that a bunch of us heard you claiming that you did know. You said that you were following the silence when you were only following the television. You legislated as though you knew. You arrested as though you knew. You fined as though you knew. You censored as though you knew.

And until that glaring fact is acknowledged, and rejected, any kind of patched-up amnesty would be simply criminal. So no.

The post CT and a Pandemic Amnesty appeared first on Blog & Mablog.






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