First Days of a Semi-Lockdown
Where I attend church, as of Friday evening, our normal worship services were still planned as scheduled for Sunday. Our pastor emailed and posted updates. However, by mid-day Saturday, church services were to move online. Our pastor’s sermon will be online by 10 a.m. and we are encouraged to worship and study at home.
This reflects the shifting situation in our local school system. Friday was a Teacher’s Work Day—so our eight-year-old son was at home as state leaders wrestled with what to do.
At first, the governor declared a State of Emergency for Alabama and schools were encouraged to close Wednesday (that’s at the end of business Wednesday we were informed by a phone message from the Shelby County Board of Education.)
Then on Saturday afternoon, the automated phone system called and said that the system and principal’s understood parents’ concerns and absences on Monday through Wednesday would be excused.
This changed again. About two hours later, a new phone message and email informed residents that after consultation with other school leaders and with state health leaders, schools would close immediately.
All of these choices look to be wise.
It isn’t easy to make these types of calls.
Who wants to be the pastor who cancels church services?
Yet, churches regularly do it when road conditions are hazardous.
Still, it isn’t easy.
We are commanded to be together.
As for the schools, we talked to a teacher friend Thursday evening, and she said they’d probably try to get the next full week in because next week was spring break. I predicted that Thursday would be the last day we see school for weeks. Why?
Simply, what bureaucrat wants to be the one who jeopardizes children? The incentive for schools is to play it safe. With colleges already shuttering, it makes the K-12 schools look like they are being careless. Who wants to look careless?
Also, and it is easy to mock bureaucrats, but nobody really wants to put children or parents in danger. So, it was a wise decision to dismiss schools until at least April 6, 2020.
Concerns of a Semi-Lockdown
Yet, there are concerns as we enter unchartered territory for many of us. When was the last time living Americans saw a pandemic? Or, put another way, a pandemic that disrupted their lives?
We’ve grown comfortable, rich and detached from the realities of life in a fallen world.
Disease. Shortages. Chaos.
Those are problems of failed states, or at least, places not America.
We live in a world of modern medicine: vaccines, antibiotics and miraculous technologies.
Yet for all of that, times like these show our limits.
Also, times like these and actions like our new isolation raise new questions.
How will we respond?
Will Americans of today respond with the courage of past generations?
Will Americans of today respond with united vigor?
Or, will we see a greater breakdown of the social trust that we see in the extreme partisanship of the Democratic Party?
The Democrats are playing Identity Politics with the COVID-19 outbreak. At first, they attacked the travel ban and even introduced a bill to eliminate the President’s power to enforce Travel Bans to protect the American people.
Never forget: Democrats love illegals and foreigners more than Americans.
This will only lead to increased dysfunction in the government and society.
Government gridlock during a crisis will degrade our faith in our institutions.
This is the end game for all those who play Identity Politics. They want to destroy America.
Societal distrust will grow with gridlock. And, as Francis Fukuyama warned in his book Political Order and Political Decay, “Cynicism about the government, or expectations that other people are out to take advantage of you, leads to behavior that reinforces these outcomes.”
Identity Politics promotes these very notions. It is why we must oppose them in politics and the rise of these ideas in our churches.
That’s not to say the Trump Administration did everything right in this coronavirus crisis.
Thoughts on the Trump Administration’s Response to COVID-19, the coronavirus outbreak
I have more than a few complaints about the US response to the COVID-19, coronavirus pandemic, but overall I am happy with the President’s response. He showed great leadership in his public speeches and briefings. Trump declared a National Day of Prayer to face the crisis.
I’ve known about the Coronavirus outbreak in China since mid-January when the Council on Foreign Relations first wrote about it and what it could mean for the global economy and health.
About a week later, things started to heat up in Wuhan with China’s response being reported in some online outlets. A week after that mainstream press was writing about it.
So, my main complaint is with planning. Why with all the travel to and from China and to and from the countries seeing outbreaks, were our testing plans so inadequate?
That’s a legitimate question. Though, it is less a question for Donald Trump and his administration that the professionals tasked with preventing these outbreaks. However, holding the Bureaucratic Deep State accountable is the point of democratic elections.
Unfortunately, the conduct of the professional bureaucratic class in Washington and its enablers in the mainstream press through the Russia Hoax and the impeachment scam eroded public trust in the ability to hold Elites accountable via the ballot box.
The Washington Elites in combination with the mainstream press worked to subvert the 2016 Presidential Election.
Every leak reported in the Washington Post and New York Times was like watching a slow-moving coup.
It revealed the utter contempt for democratic norms from the Elite class.
And this contempt is palpable.
All of us Deplorables feel it.
And that’s a huge problem. It leads to the very distrust Fukuyama warns about that fuels political decay.
Political Decline as viewed by an Evangelical
In 1918 during the outbreak of the Spanish Flu, churches closed worship services at the request (or sometimes order) of local health departments. Today, churches are doing the same. However, there is a feeling among a significant number of pastors and laymen that this is a government power grab. That it is an attempt to attack churches or sent new precedents to make it easier to close church worship services.
Why is there such a view of American government?
It is because of the Democratic Party’s War on Christians.
It is because of the Russia Hoax and Impeachment Scam—attempts to invalidate the 2016 Presidential Election.
It is because Democrats continue to attack religious liberty at every opportunity.
If there is a breakdown in social trust in the United States—it is the fault of the Democratic Party. Any Christian who does not have his head buried in the sand, knows the Democrats hate him. They call him a bigot. They would prefer a world without him.
So, when states order churches closed, these actions are viewed through the lens of Democratic hatred for Christianity.
It makes any Christian support for the Democratic Party both immoral and irrational.
Immoral because a Christian cannot support abortion nor the erosion of religious liberty.
Irrational because no sane person can support someone who wants to destroy them.
That’s 2020 America.
The Identity Politics played by the Democratic Party has destroyed the foundation of social trust necessary when dealing with a giant crisis like this pandemic.
Now, more than ever, is a time for Christians to seek God in prayer.
It is a reminder of the dangers of a fallen world.
it is a reminder of the stakes of the 2020 Presidential Election.