There is an eternal ethical question for the Christian at the bottom of the current debate on the News Block of the covid.
We have it in our hands “an unvaccinated pandemic. “The fundamental question is whether to organize our society, or should I say ‘reorganize’, to do everything possible to protect the unvaccinated by causing enormous suffering in the economy and the education of children, after more than a year of so much suffering or not. Does everyone take care of our business, urge, even help the unvaccinated to get vaccinated at every opportunity and watch over those who do not suffer?
It is not an easy question because there is no perfect answer. On the one hand, we are ordered to take care of the “the least of these“And when we face our enemy to give him not just our robe, but our mantle. This would argue that a Christian should want to continue the massive disruption of our society that we have suffered and the horrible consequences of that disruption that are still being discovered for the sake of the unvaccinated.
However, the consequences of the disruption we have created are practically incomprehensible. They are much more difficult to focus and almost impossible to measure, but they are a bad in and of themselves. We all know the statistics – drug addiction has risen, suicide has risen, we have yet to understand the medical consequences of the disruption in screening and testing, and I haven’t even made it to the economy – jobless people out of work. work to return to, businesses closed forever, supply chain disruptions…. The inflation that we are beginning to suffer is an evil that destroys wealth, at all economic levels, that only old people like me can remember or understand.
Things are not as simple as declaring the sick as “the smallest” and then caring for them. Efforts to control the spread of the pandemic socially create entirely new kinds of “minuses.” The choice I have just made is clearly a choice between two evils. There is simply no straightforward biblical guide on how to choose an evil. The choice here is virtually impossible for the Christian based on straightforward Christian ethics.
There are ways the Christian can untangle this Gordian knot, but it is not where I want to go this Sunday morning. I want to add a complication to the mix, which is that many in our society do not care about Christian ethics, so appealing to it is of limited help in solving social problems. That is why freedom is so important: it respects the integrity of the individual to make their own ethical determination in a situation where there is no well-defined ethical right.
Our Christian faith matters a lot in the face of such freedom. We must respect the integrity and humanity of those with whom we disagree. (It can be argued that allowing an unvaccinated pandemic to develop is a way of respecting their decision making, given that there are no barriers to getting vaccinated, but rather a discussion for another time.) What has to happen is that as Christians we have to behave decently in our daily interactions and not let the policy debate overwhelm our humanity and decency. This makes our faith practical regardless of our position on the broader issues.
As you go to church this Sunday morning, depending on where you are in the nation, you may be faced with all kinds of political situations. Depending on who you are and where you are, you might love them and you might hate them. They can make you smile or make them act like a burr in your saddle and just irritate you to the point of wanting to explode. We should not smile or yell, gloat, or pout.
Let’s pray for decency.