Feb 19th, 2021
John Carpay, The Interim
What drives some religious leaders to ignore the harm and suffering that lockdowns are inflicting on their congregations, and on all of society?
We are now ten months into the daily and ongoing violation of our human rights and fundamental freedoms. Depending on what province you live in, it’s illegal to spend time with friends, to benefit from working out at the gym, to hold the hand of a dying parent, to visit a lonely senior in a nursing home, to take your wife out to dinner, to play hockey outdoors, to go outside after 8:00 pm, or to leave your own home without being ready-and-able to provide a good reason to government authorities. Canadians are receiving fines of $1,000 or more for attending church, carpooling without covering their faces, and assembling peacefully to express their opinions.
Meanwhile, governments refuse to devote their massive human resources (about 500,000 federal and provincial civil servants) to investigating, measuring and monitoring lockdowns harms.
How many of the 200,000 Canadians whose surgeries were cancelled by lockdowns have died? How many Canadians learned of their cancer diagnosis too late, because governments cancelled over 500,000 MRIs and CT scans? What is the short-term and long-term impact on the physical and mental health of children who have been prevented from participating in martial arts, ballet, theatre, church youth groups and team sports? How many Canadians have killed themselves due to the isolation, loneliness, stress, anxiety and despair that has been caused, not by any virus, but by lockdowns? What will happen as interest payments on the growing federal and provincial debts gobble up more and more of the budget, leaving less money for the health care system and for seniors’ care homes? What financial, emotional and mental health impact is unemployment inflicting on millions of Canadians?
Governments don’t know the answers to any of these questions. They don’t know because they’re not trying to find out. I know that governments are wilfully blind to lockdown harms because the Justice Centre’s researchers have spent literally hundreds of hours trying to obtain government documents that might show that governments are actively seeking to obtain information about the full extent of all lockdown harms. These documents simply don’t exist.
In spite of the governments’ unwillingness to explore lockdown harms seriously and comprehensively, those who fail to oppose Canada’s new police state (and its blatant suppression of religious freedom) can be readily found amongst religious leaders.
The Reverend Erik Parker of Sherwood Park Lutheran Church in Winnipeg is just one example. He wrote a letter publicly chastising Pastor Leon Fontaine and Springs Church for not submitting to the Manitoba government’s violations of religious freedom. Reverend Parker claims that for Pastor Fontaine to insist on the right to worship “is not in keeping with Christ’s command to love our neighbour.”
After calling on Pastor Fontaine to repent and publicly apologize, Reverend Parker goes on to quote Martin Luther, writing in 1527 about the Black Death: “I shall avoid persons and places where my presence is not needed, in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance infect and pollute others, and so cause their death as a result of my negligence.”
Luther’s declaration was apt in relation to the Black Death, which killed between 75 million and 200 million people world-wide, including children and young adults, wiping out 30% to 60% of Europe’s population. In contrast, COVID-19 has killed 0.04% (that is four percent of one percent) of Canada’s 38 million people. This makes the Black Death at least 750 times more deadly than COVID-19. Comparing the two is blatant fearmongering, devoid of intellectual honesty.
Moreover, the scientific evidence tells us that asymptomatic (healthy) people contribute little to the spread of the virus, which means that the government’s lockdown measures produce more harm (isolation, loneliness, stress, anxiety, depression, unemployment, poverty, etc.) than good. Politicians have not yet put forward credible evidence to show that locking down millions of healthy people for months on end (something never tried before in human history) has actually saved lives. Speculation is not science, and conjecture is not evidence.
Too many religious leaders blindly accept the daily “case” numbers proffered at news conferences by fearmongering politicians and chief medical officers, not realizing that PCR tests are unreliable and have false positive rates as high as 90%. Too many religious leaders have not looked at the government’s own data and statistics, which tell us that roughly 90% of Canadians have nothing to fear from COVID-19. Too many religious leaders haven’t bothered to consider the fact that today’s virus is harmless to children, and has a very minimal impact on life expectancy.
Reverend Parker’s public letter is disturbingly silent about the suffering of Manitobans whose lives continue to be harmed every day by soul-deadening, joy-killing, loneliness-creating, economy-destroying, poverty-producing lockdowns.
Ignorance is bliss, as they say. But at some point ignorance turns into willful blindness, as some religious leaders follow in the governments’ footsteps by failing to consider lockdown harms.