Allow me to better explain what I say in that title. I’m not saying that the students support churches being allowed to reopen – they very much want them closed, at least most of them do. I am saying, however, that they recognize, to some extent, that it is hypocritical of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to allow some places to reopen, like college campuses and some businesses, while forcing churches and synagogues to remain closed. So, in all, I am at least glad that they can recognize the hypocrisy of the governor.
At any rate, let’s get to the Campus Reform video (below). In this video, Campus Reform has Addison Smith reporting at, presumably, a New York college (they don’t mention which one).
Smith begins by noting that during this pandemic, particularly during the summer, we have seen plenty of protests (and riots, though he doesn’t mention that) over the death of George Floyd while in police custody, and notes that that was happening while multiple states were simultaneously pushing heavy lockdown restrictions on businesses and other types of gatherings, such as religious gatherings. He then goes on to ask if the protests should have been condemned for being allowed to violate the same orders that other people had to follow, or if they were rightfully exempted.
One of the students said that “You can’t really outright ban the ability to, you know, assembly and protest, but what we believe is that they should’ve, sort of, restricted it in a way… like enforce social distancing.”
So this student believes that, as it is recognized in the constitution, the states cannot outright ban assembly and protest, but the government should have been able to enforce, at the very least, social distancing a bit more. To which I somewhat agree. I do not have an issue with the protests themselves (I have plenty of issue with the riots, of course, since no one has the right to do that), and the protestors have the right to protest. What I have an issue with is the blatant double standard that governors were cool with people not social distancing and, in some cases, not wearing masks (both Schumer and Lightfoot were seen not wearing masks during a celebration following Biden’s “win”), saying that those gatherings are allowed because of the purpose of the gathering being important to those people or important to society.
Gathering for worship is also important for the people who do so/desire to do so, and it definitely is also important to society since Psalm 33:12 says: “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people He has chosen as His inheritance!” A nation which turns its back to God is not a nation blessed by God, so for the sake of the American society, it is important that we worship God, and part of that means being allowed to do so in churches. No, it is not necessary for people to worship God in churches, as a church is wherever at least two Christians gather to worship, but corporate worship of God is considerably better when done in one’s local church building.
The protesters have the right to protest, as it is detailed in the First Amendment. The First Amendment also recognizes freedom of religion, and restricting church gatherings in this way is not only hypocritical but also a restriction of people’s First Amendment rights. If this were a disease like the plague, Christians would know to take the best precautions available and would be willing to forego going to church so as to not needlessly gather. But this virus is nowhere near as deadly as many claim it is, with a 99.97% survival rate for most people. There are more dangerous things out there, but we are willing to go to church anyway despite those risks. So why can’t we be allowed to go to church over the Chinese coronavirus, particularly when others are allowed to gather, in massive numbers, to protest the death of a very troubled man?
This is a constant theme throughout this article and even throughout the overarching argument. The woman who answers after the first student says that the protesters were “rightfully exempted”, but even she ultimately recognizes that if they are allowed to physically attend college, that people should be allowed to go to church.
Another student said: “I think… you should listen to the rules but I also think… if you really believe in what you say and you think… you’re, uh, being treated unfairly, I do think there is maybe some wiggle room with that.”
I also somewhat agree with this student. I think people should listen to the rules (when they make sense, at least), but it is still hypocritical to allow people who say they are being treated unfairly to be allowed so much wiggle room so as to outright JUSTIFY AND DEFEND the very actions which have been disparaged when done by others.
Before the George Floyd protests and riots, there were anti-lockdown protests. The Left disparaged and attacked those protesters, saying they were putting themselves and others at risk by gathering in such a way, even if they were wearing masks (and many of them were). The George Floyd protesters did pretty much the same exact thing, but because it was a favorable narrative to the Left, they were allowed to happen.
I don’t mind following the rules (that make sense), but you can’t expect me to be willing to just accept such blatant double standards. If anti-lockdown protesters aren’t allowed to protest, then neither are George Floyd protesters. If George Floyd protesters are allowed to protest, then so are anti-lockdown protesters.
And according to this kid’s line of thinking, if Christians gather because we believe in what we are saying and because we believe we are being treated unfairly (and we are in many places), then there should be allowed some wiggle room in the rules to allow us to gather together for our cause.
Humans don’t tend to like injustice when we see it. It’s why we have gotten rid of slavery. It’s why we have done away with segregation (though the woke people out there seem to be, at best inadvertently, wanting to go back to segregation of the races for the “benefit” of black people). It’s why looking at Joe Biden be illegitimately called President-elect infuriates me to no end.
Protesters are allowed to protest (not riot, and don’t let anyone tell you there is no difference); the cause should not be what determines whether one kind of protest is allowed and another disallowed.
At any rate, the woman who earlier said the George Floyd protests were “rightfully exempt” also went on to say: “I think the reason for pandemic lockdown is because people are dying and, like, prioritizing the group of people dying that includes white people versus just black people is… I think you kind of have to put pandemic regulations on the same level as protesting for George Floyd.”
Now, I don’t know what her point is in bringing up the white people vs. the black people in relations to the Chinese virus, but basically she is saying that protesting for George Floyd is just as important as the regulations, meaning that the regulations should not prevent those protests.
But again, how is it fair to allow the George Floyd protests over the anti-lockdown protests or the church gatherings? Why is it okay for one group of people to gather for one reason, but another group of people cannot be allowed to gather for a different reason?
And if the protests and regulations are important, and the regulations exist because “people are dying” then doesn’t that mean that allowing the protests to happen means those are acceptable deaths? Do their lives no longer matter in terms of protecting them from the virus because they want to go out and protest what they perceive to be racial injustice?
Of course, the vast majority of the protesters will live because the virus is very survivable, but that’s not a point liberals tend to make. When talking about the virus, they view it strictly through the lens of it being deadly (thanks in part to Cuomo himself saying that “the virus is death” in one of his press conferences). So if the virus is so deadly, then why allow for “grieving black people” to gather and protest, risking catching this deadly virus?
When the protesters are allowed to protest, that means that their right to protest supersedes the lockdown orders. It’s not true, at all, that they are “on the same level”. Lockdown orders and protests are antithetical to one another, and when one is prioritized over another, that leaves an imbalance. By their very definitions, they cannot be on the same level.
It’d be like saying that planes are allowed to fly, but can’t be allowed to take off. If you’re allowing the planes to fly, by definition, you have to disregard the take-off restrictions.
At any rate, getting to the question of Cuomo banning religious gatherings but allowing other things like liquor stores and other businesses to open, many students noted how hypocritical Cuomo was and how wrong it was for him to do that.
One of the students pressed the issue of thinking about others and not just ourselves, which does not really answer Smith’s question and does not answer why churches should be closed but George Floyd protests should be allowed to happen. Again, if the virus is as deadly as they say it is and we should be thinking about others and not just ourselves, then why allow protesters to gather? Don’t their lives matter? Doesn’t their safety matter? Are they selfishly thinking about only themselves when they gather in such a way? And if not, then why am I thinking about only myself for wanting to go to church but they aren’t only thinking about themselves for wanting to protest? Why is it different for the two situations?
If it’s because of the cause, that’s an awful reason. It means that only *certain* kinds of people have rights and others do not. It’s the Animal Farm quote of “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” It’s bullcrap inequality and anyone with a brain could recognize that.
The cause of “racial injustice” should not supersede my cause of worshipping the Lord and growing His Kingdom. The cause of Joe Biden’s “victory” should not supersede my cause of wanting to reopen so that people don’t starve to death.
Now, interestingly enough, that very same student also went on to say that the governments should NOT be forcing churches to close, and it should be up to the churches themselves whether or not they wish to close or remain open, which I 100% agree with. If a church’s leadership thinks that there is a great risk for the people in the congregation (one of the churches I used to frequent in Florida was almost entirely comprised of older people, so I suspect they chose to close down at least for a while), then they have every right to decide to close. But that decision should not be taken away from them. If a church’s leadership does not think that there is great risk to the congregation, and the community around them, then they should be allowed to remain open.
It's about weighing the risks versus the benefits, and that decision should be left up to church leadership, not the government, regardless of whether or not they are well-meaning.
To end things, since this article is long enough as it is, Smith asked if Cuomo overstepped the boundaries of his power, and the students pretty much all agreed, and that churches have the right to remain open with proper Chinese virus guidelines.
So I am glad to see that the students of this New York college (whichever one it is) can recognize that, even if they still support lockdowns, churches should not be forced to close down particularly when other things such as college campuses and businesses are allowed to reopen.
Here’s hoping they further develop their reasoning skills and come to recognize how utterly hypocritical and damaging the Leftist ideology is.
“Blessed are the people of whom this is so; blessed are the people whose God is the Lord.”
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