There’s a wartime saying, ‘There are no atheists in a foxhole.’ Since we are hunkered down in our ‘foxholes’ in today’s war, it seems appropriate for the times. While prayer/religion is not the same in lives as it was 60, 70 years ago, I imagine that in the last couple months, it has taken a rapid rise in popularity.
If for no other reason than the one W.C. Fields used when on his deathbed a friend walked in and caught Fields reading a Bible. Surprised, the friend asked if Fields had gotten religion. Fields answered, ‘Just looking for loopholes.’
Religion has been a hub in the lives of Mankind since before they warmed their hands over a fire. It comes in all shapes and sizes…From a simple Thank You looking at your baby sleeping in the crib, to a lengthy pilgrimage that culminates in an elaborate ritual.
We have reached a point in this war where even the biggest scientific naysayer, the President of the U.S.A., has accepted that this is not a political hoax that will evaporate by April 1st and by Easter we will be back to normal. We must listen to the medical scientists, hunker down, wash hands, and practice social distance. The later directive has evolved into everyone who is not in the Front Lines of this war should stay within the confines of their homes.
And even with this life-preserving quarantine, ordered by almost all the state governors, 14 refused to declare any type of shut down, people ignored it in the name of prayer/religion, especially in states where Trump reigns supreme. One gov said she would not obey that ‘Draconian’ law. One woman declared that nothing can happen to her because she has been washed with the blood of Christ. A preacher said if grocery stores can be open, churches can also.
Last Sunday a church in Louisiana played to a SRO crowd in spite of a state directive outlawing it. Louisiana is a hot spot already because the celebration of Mardi Gras was too ‘important’ to be canceled, and the Federal Government had not told them to shut down. Louisiana is one of the states that rejects the government’s recent suggestion to shut down.
Criticized, the Louisiana pastor declared that the next Sunday he would send out 27 buses to pick up and transport people to his service.
In Florida, a megachurch pastor held services in spite of a local ban against it. He was arrested and jailed, released on a $500.00 bail. $500.00 bucks…Not even a drop in a KFC bucket they pass around in his church instead of collection baskets.
He vowed to continue and to take the case to the Supreme Court if necessary. Only the case will have to wait a long tine because the Court is closed due to the Virus.
In this war we have a multitude of media services on the Internet, the TV, and the radio. The faithful who think their prayers will not be heard unless they are said in a congratulation in a certain building should be call the faithless…Not enough faith in their God to think he demands a certain ritual and place to be heard.
If your pastor makes such demands, perhaps you should stay home, obey the rules, and come the light again, turn to the Yellow Pages under Churches and play Pin-The-Tail-On-The Donkey for a new place of worship.
Human sacrifice did not prevent the Aztecs from the wrath of Cortez and his gold seekers. On-line, TV, even radio preachers have ways of getting your money…PayPal, personal checks etc.. The difference is those methods of payment are harder to skim off the top like buckets of cash collected in person. First count on the collection buckets is their #1 perp.
Prior to when the Federal Government and Fox hinted that we might be in for some problems from the Virus, there were many innocents who attended funerals. Here’s three documented disasters.
In tiny, rural Martin county, Minnesota they packed the church to say goodbye to a beloved man. Shortly afterwards the county, far from any big cities, became the hot spot of the Virus in the state, quickly recorded the most infections and the first 2 deaths.
After a funeral in a small town in Georgia, the Virus exploded and spread like wildfire.
A funeral in the Four Corners section of the Navajo Reservation brought the Virus to the tribe. Because the tribe is physically susceptible to disease as a whole, life style, obesity, poverty, and the policies of the Federal Government, there are estimates that the entire Navajo Nation is at great risk. The Virus is the Small Pox of our time.
There are a multitude of ways to send your condolences upon a death of a friend or relation without attending the funeral in person. Use them. If that seems cold, just remember if you don’t attend your friend’s funeral, it is tit-for-tat. He won’t be attending yours either.
And with every disaster comes the scam artists. Remember Jim Bakker, the Big Time TV evangelist who became a Hard Time convict? Heeee’s back. And outside of a different wife, he hasn’t changed. He just got ordered to stop selling his elixir to cure the Virus.
Another pseudo-preacher and conspiracy spreader was selling tooth paste that cured the Virus.
The President is going against all medical/scientific advice and is promoting using a malaria/lupus medicine as a cure. He has said in spite of the fact he does not have the Virus, he might just take the medicine himself to prove it cures the Virus that he doesn’t have.
In the second week after we were in a shut down mode, things got worse. More churches offered in-person attendance. Jealous that Florida and California beaches had been big money makers during Spring Break, the governor of Georgia reopened a popular Georgia beach. Rumor has it, he tried to get Chris Christie to bring down his beach chair and promote the grand opening. The money wasn’t bad, but Christie asking for all the free food he could eat, nixed the deal.
The third week will bring Easter, and perhaps Trump’s hinted- at- declaration that the shut down will be lifted to attend Easter Services.
The T.S. Eliot line, ‘April is the cruelest month’, might take on a deeper meaning this April. All major religions have important happenings in the month of April. Some will take place in the safety of the home, others in crowded places of worship.
Our heroic Front-Liners can’t stay at home. If we are not Front-Liners don’t add to their danger. Obey the rules of the shut down.
And for those of you who believe your faith in God will overcome any dangers, consider:
The man sat on the peak of the roof of his house and watched the raging flooded river rise higher and higher toward his temporary place of shelter.
A boat stopped and the man was told to come and jump in the boat.
The man refused, stating, ‘Don’t worry about me. God will save me.’
The waters rose higher and the boat reappeared and again the man was asked to get the boat.
And again the man refused, stating his belief that God will save him.
The water was soaking the man’s feet when a helicopter hovered above and lowered a rope ladder.
And once again the man refused because he had faith and God would save him
And the river rose and took the man to his inevitable end.
And standing in front of the Pearly Gates, waiting to be sorted, the man asked in a pleading voice, ‘Wasn’t my faith strong enough? Wasn’t my prayers sincere enough? Why didn’t God save me?
And the sorter gave him his answer…
God sent a boat, twice, to pick you up and even sent a helicopter, and you refused all three times. Just what more could he do to save your stubborn ass?
God helps those who help themselves
Obey the rules. Keep safe.
The lives you save maybe the lives of those you love the most.