I tried. I really did. I stayed to myself. I shared my opinions with a select few. You went about living your reality and I lived mine. I applauded your altruistic nature to “be in this together” and cheered on your ambition to flatten the curve.
Against my own better judgement, I played dress-up with my face and followed your arrows like a grown-up game of snakes and ladders. I split up my family at restaurants because our 7 could only sit 4 at a table. You cancelled my religious obligations, and I treated my family and friends like lepers.
And then you started asking me about my medical history. It was gentle at first. “Have you got your shot?” Although it was awkward, I placated you with a “Not yet”.
One day, you called my bluff and put a deadline on my “not yet.”
Why o’ why did you do that? I thought we had a deal. I’d accept your moral relativism if I could freely operate in society with my beliefs cooped up in my own little head.
I silently tolerated you labelling the murder of babies in the womb as a virtue of reproductive rights.
I suppressed my disgust as you paraded around gender dysphoria as something worthy of aspiration.
But now you changed the rules in the middle of the game. Your relativism only applies when it is diametrically opposed to reason and natural law. Your objective vaccination mandates have now turned all your pawns into queens, boxing me in, until I say “check-mate”.
I get it. It’s obvious to you. Get vaccinated. Protect yourself and others so we can all get back to normal.
I understand your frustration with me. Why won’t he just get the shot and move on? Why’s he’s so lazy? Why’s he so arrogant and proud? Why’s he such a redneck? Why is he so selfish?
You and I may differ completely in our choices but we are united in our dignity. We are both dignified human beings with free will and liberty. Not just animal utilities like beasts of burden. A truly free species of mind, body and spirit. Not slaves that are used for our labour and then chained inside encampments. We have freedom of choice. My Faith affirms it, the Charter reaffirms it. We get to make choices like getting routine vaccinations and choices like not receiving the COVID one, yet.
FREEDOM OF CONSCIENCE
Freedom of conscience is not just a buzz word for me. It is a practical way that I navigate life’s perpetual crossroads of choices. Freedom of conscience isn’t just a loophole. It is an authentic application of the will. Either inhibiting my actions or driving them forward.
As a Roman Catholic, I surrender my life to the wisdom of the Holy Spirit in all things. Sometimes called discernment, this process generally involves pondering a decision, praying to the Holy Spirit for guidance and then staying alert to His prompts.
The prompt usually begins with an intuitive feeling on which direction to go. To be certain that I am not prejudiced, I continue to patiently pray and observe events or clues that will confirm my intuition. I use this method in business, parenting and even which people I want in my life.
For example, I saw a bus stop advertisement promoting vaccinations that said, “Good things happen to those who
wait don’t wait”. I found it disconcerting that the sign was promoting impatience. Since patience is a fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) and an exercise of the cardinal virtue of fortitude, I took this promotion of vice as a first clue that my intuition was correct.
The second, and most illuminating clue, was the barrage of coercion and manipulation to get people vaccinated. Despite the fear laden COVID propaganda. Despite the constant mask-wearing reminder that “something is wrong”, over one million Ontarians still haven’t received their first shot.
The government’s response is to restrict civic liberties in the name of health care. If this extreme measure of coercion sits well with you, let’s just say, thankfully Anne Frank wasn’t hiding in your attic!
Let’s assume that unvaccinated people will cause harm to the general public which is as evidential as a two-week lockdown in March 2020 will end the pandemic. We have many examples in our society which freedom of conscience supersedes the health and safety of others.
A woman’s right to choose supersedes the life of her unborn baby.
A person’s right to medically assisted dying supersedes their own life.
A suicidal patient in the mental health ward is free to leave against their family’s requests to keep them committed.
These three examples allow for one’s freedom of conscience to harm themselves and others. Even when that choice is a 100% certainty of death.
Yet with the possibility of less than 1% infection rate from an unvaccinated person, we throw out the relativity of opinion and state that vaccinations are an objective mandate.
Federal and provincial leaders encourage citizens to coerce each other like something out of a Solzhenitsyn novel. Using an unflattering general term like anti-vaxxer to denounce independent thought. Yet another example of how abuse of language facilitates abuse of power (J.Pieper).
The term anti-vaxxer implies that people who choose not to be vaccinated are against people who do. Vaxxer versus anti-vaxxer in this endless recapitulation of the proletariat vs bourgeoise communist playbook. Tell me, how is someone who has all their routine vaccinations and chooses them for their children termed an anti-vaxxer? But with coercion, the facts don’t matter.
I don’t want to protest. I don’t want to debate. I just want to live my life. Go to work. Teach my children to be outstanding citizens. Recreate on Sunday after Mass and hope to die well.
But you just won’t stop. You keep dragging me back in. You keep forcing me take a stand.