Relinquishing Freedom and Liberty Is Not Safety by Robert Socha
I have been thinking about the exponential growth of the Coronavirus. It has singlehandedly taken out myriad man-made enterprises; sporting, entertainment, religious and financial. Astonishing barely scratches the surface of my wonder at its possibility. The speed with which we relinquished our liberties is alarming.
Why would we surrender our way of life so quickly to the dictates of the governing authorities? Is it because we fear the spread of this new virus? Fearing an illness that, to this point, has resulted in a 0.5% global death rate for those who contract it, is understandable, but why did we not engage in the same worldwide panic for SARS, Swine Flu, Ebola, or Influenza’s annual attack? Is it because we fear death and the possibility that Covid 19 will bring us to an untimely one? This fear is also understandable, but why do we not initiate the same panic for alcoholism, automobile accidents, or other factors that can kill us prematurely?
A quote from Benjamin Franklin has been echoing through my mind during this time: “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty or Safety.”
The premature death of anyone is tragic, whether it be thru accident or murder or war or malnutrition or starvation or illness or disease or suicide. And I do not take the extreme nature of this pandemic lightly. Please understand, my wife and I are staying home keeping our family secure, especially through Passover, but not because of our governor’s stay-at-home order. We are doing it because it is our responsibility. To shut down the global economy because of any one of these is absurd.
For example, consider the extended consequences of just shutting restaurants. First, of course, the restaurant itself is closed and its employees laid-off. Second, the restaurant suppliers now have a glut of inventories their clients are no longer purchasing, which they are now trying to offload at cost, or at least for as little loss as possible. Third, the growers and producers of the foodstuff and supplies the restaurant suppliers utilize will have lots of unsold inventory. Fourth, the growers and producers suppliers will sell less and less to their customers; and on and on. Everyone’s cash flow will come to a trickle, if not a halt, and how long will they endure without cash flow? How many people, especially those working on commission, will lose their income?
And our response is supposed to be thankful the government is coming up with a paltry sum to help stave inevitable bankruptcy (and where does this money come from)? And what happens once that money has been distributed and spent? Another government hand-out?
I say no to these despotic lock-downs. Precautions, yes, warnings, recommendations, yes, shut-down, absolutely not; not for a free people! Do we have a responsibility to be smart about our activities and daily function? Yes, especially if we have flu-like symptoms. It astounds me that more have not sounded the alarm and have consented to the stay-at-home demands. What precedent has fomented while Coronavirus spreads? With the nature of government to grow, how might this be misappropriated in the future?
So again, the question remains, why have we acquiesced to these government dictates so readily? I submit to you the answer is simple: we fear death, and Coronavirus has brought the finality of it to the forefront of our thoughts, which engages survival mode. Fear has gripped the world in an unfathomable fashion, and we have thus submitted.
There is though an alternative—one which, if properly engaged, produces Hope and eliminates fear. It provides an opportunity for perfect peace in your heart and deep-seated joy. The best part of it is the identity that forms when you choose this alternate path.
So, where can we turn in times where we would freely trade our liberty for three-plus weeks of safety? We can turn to Christ, for ‘He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”‘ (2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV) We can look to Jesus with the knowledge that “God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” (John 3:17 ESV) We can “trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV) “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7 ESV)
As we navigate this Coronavirus storm together, may this time not be one of isolation and fear, but one of reflection and growth. May we choose to grow so that when we emerge from the crisis, we will be strong and courageous to help our community, our state, our nation, and the world recover.
About the Author
Robert Socha, BIO Robert Socha (so-ha), was born in southern California. He served 5 years 3 months active duty in the United States Air Force; honorably. After his service he took an Associate’s Degree in Practical Theology, where, through his studies, developed a deep love of God and Country and sincere appreciation of the value of Liberty. Robert and his beloved wife of 21-plus years are raising 4 beautiful Texan children. They moved to Hillsdale, Michigan, in 2013, to put their children in Hillsdale Academy. Robert is a sales professional. He and his wife consider Michigan a hidden gem, and absolutely love this city and state (current political environment notwithstanding) they’ve adopted.