Covid Doesn’t Control My God, My Liberty, My America
Something happened to me on Sunday, May 10, 2020, which has shocked me to the core. The more I think about it, the more upset I become because of its unnecessary, overreaching nature and what it means to future generations.
Our church had not met since the great state of Michigan mandated a form of martial law, I mean quarantine, and closed all non-essential businesses and places of worship in March.
Segue: I do not appreciate governmental definitions of what is or is not essential, for if I am working and the monies I earn in that endeavor provide for my family, that work is essential! It is not the government’s place to differentiate.
Our church decided to meet and hold a drive-in church service. We were going above and beyond to keep the protocols in place for perceived public safety, i.e., social-distancing, masks (more on this later).
To accomplish a drive-in service, we had to bring in a flatbed trailer to act as the stage and reroute traffic through our parking lot to maintain the new aesthetics.
Rerouting the traffic flow required closing one of the entrances to the parking lot, which I administered by using my car to block access and standing there, directing congregants to the south entrance.
While directing traffic into the church, I decided to wave at every car as it passed by. I thought it to be a friendly gesture, welcoming any who would, to come and worship with us.
As the service started, I maintained my position in case some stragglers arrived who would require direction. Lo and behold, about 15 minutes later, one of our city’s finest public servants, a police officer, drove down the road toward me.
He stopped next to me, rolled down his window, and asked me what I was doing. I told him I was directing traffic to our drive-in service and waving at all the cars that went by. The officer explained they received a 9-1-1 call about a man standing outside a vehicle blocking the church’s driveway, waving at people to come in. I responded, “That is exactly what I am doing.”
He shook his head, said okay, and drove away, having to turn around to return to the city. As he passed me on his way back to the city center, he rolled down his window and recommended if I needed anything, not hesitate to call. It was a comfort, that last statement.
To summarize, a “concerned” citizen called the police on me, a fellow citizen, turned me in to the authorities, because I was standing in my church’s parking lot, waving at passers-by and welcoming them to join us.
Fast forward to this past Monday, July 13, 2020. Our governor instituted another executive order mandating the wearing of masks in all public buildings, businesses, and even large outdoor events. Both the business and the offending party could receive a citation, and monetary fine, should the tyrannical order not be obeyed.
I learned concerned citizens inundated our emergency 9-1-1 center with calls turning in non-compliant people. I also learned the operators directed those concerned citizens to call the governor’s office as they did not have the manpower nor the inclination to respond to these calls. Furthermore, I learned that our local police department and sheriff’s office were not inclined to enforce the order and issue fines. Good for them.
I am appalled that the United States’ citizenry so quickly adopted a “brownshirts” mentality. It disgusts me that we have denigrated ourselves to the point of tattle-tail. We have abandoned the precepts of liberty and submitted to totalitarianism. This submission is a terrible miscalculation that will lead to increased usurpation of our rights if left unchecked, and ultimately, good people being detained, arrested, reeducated, or even killed because they choose to defy executive orders, not laws (yet), they deem unjustified.
We have lost sight of liberty. We have clothed ourselves with safety and luxury and cowed into the comfortable recesses of our air-conditioned homes, hoping this latest scare, the Chinese originated COVID-19, will pass over us.
Benjamin Franklin gave an astounding speech on the day the ratification of our Constitution was signed. He said, “For having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged by better information or fuller consideration, to change opinions even on important subjects, which I once thought right, but found to be otherwise.”
I respect anyone’s decision to wear a mask. I believe it unnecessary but would never shame or intimidate someone to not wear one in these uncertain times. If the opportunity presented itself, I would encourage discussion. I expect the same treatment in return for my decision not to wear one.
My decision not to wear a mask, defying my governor’s order, is not solely based on science, but mostly liberty. If I am a free man, then I should be given recommendations and allowed to choose whether or not those recommendations are the best method for my safety. And if you see me not wearing a mask, you should not turn me in to the authorities, but thinking I’m in error, should avoid me or if you must, gently suggest I submit to the order.
Our country built its foundation on the courage of men who, like Patrick Henry, declared, “Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death.”
With this in mind, what is more critical: Health or liberty? Money (comfort) or liberty? Mandates or liberty? Life or liberty? It is my firmest conviction that liberty is more important than all the others combined.
Am I to leave a country to my children where men once were free? Should I teach them that blind obedience to governmental orders is what proper citizenry requires? Or should I teach them to consider all available information, think about the possible outcomes of each decision, and choose which direction to go based on what is available? Should I tell them that freedom requires diligence, forbearance, responsibility, and acceptance of the consequences of your actions, be they good or ill?
I will teach my children the latter. And I will show them that our government’s establishment secured our rights but does not guarantee our health our happiness or our success. These are our responsibility. And I will also teach them to address their fellow citizens with whom they disagree respectfully, arguing the justification for their choices: liberty.
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.