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Bruce, I Love Your Atheism But Hate Your Politics

freedom

I have recently posted three articles on COVID-19:

Only the first article was written by me. Before this week, I haven’t written anything meaningful about COVID-19 since November 2020. All told, I have published twenty-eight articles about the virus — a minuscule percentage of the articles posted since March 2020. Earlier this year, I had a comment problem with a reader who was anti-vax and anti-mask. After allowing her to say her piece, I banned her. She took to her blog to denounce me and several readers of this blog. She continues to beat the anti-vax, anti-mask drum to this day.

The aforementioned woman loved my atheism but hated my politics — even though wearing masks and getting vaccinated are science and social issues, not political. Some readers wish I would just stick to critiquing Evangelical Christianity or espousing atheism. They KNOW I am a Democrat, a liberal, a Democratic Socialist, and a pacifist, yet they get pissed off when I write about those things. They KNOW I am a skeptic and a rationalist, believing science is the best way to explain and understand the world we live in. Yet, when I critique one of their pet beliefs, they become offended or outraged. Such is the life of a writer.

After posting the most recent articles on COVID-19, my Facebook page follower numbers dropped by eighty-five. I can think of no other reason for the drop than people getting upset over the content of these posts. Welcome to 2021.

I have little tolerance for people who are anti-vaxxers/anti-maskers (or Trump supporters). I am done playing “nice.” No rational or moral case can be made for refusing to get vaccinated or wear a mask. I don’t buy the notion that unvaccinated people are “vaccine-hesitant.” There is now sufficient evidence for the efficacy and safety of vaccines. We know masks “work.” Most of the people now getting sick and dying from COVID-19 are unvaccinated people. Due to their political beliefs or pigheadedness, unvaccinated people think it is their “right” to expose others to a deadly virus. FREEDOM is their watchword, and they refuse to accept that they have a moral responsibility to get vaccinated and wear masks. Many of these people are also professing Christians. Yet, their anti-vax/anti-mask behavior reveals that they aren’t followers of Christ at all. Jesus told his disciples that they were to love their neighbors. Don’t love your neighbor? Don’t say you love God. What better way to show you love your neighbor than getting vaccinated or wearing a mask?

Bruce, don’t you think you should try to reach these people? Nope. The problem isn’t a lack of knowledge. I could write on COVID-19 every day for a month and not persuade one unvaccinated person. We have reached a place when federal and state governments MUST mandate vaccinations and mask-wearing. No, this doesn’t mean rounding up people and inoculating them against their will. However, it does mean that being vaccinated (or being tested weekly at your own expense) and wearing a mask are the entryway to commerce and employment.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 64, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 43 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

You can contact Bruce via email, Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.

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13 Comments

  1. Avatar
    BJW

    I agree that there should be mandates. A lot of people are wavering because they have only peripherally skimmed the surface (Fox News viewers? people who are surrounded by antivaxxers?) and may have doubts. (I know several.) The mandates will help wishy washy people to get the damn virus, which is supposed to be about half of the adults left. The rest? Well, most of them are evangelicals so if they want to kill themselves, fine by me.

  2. Avatar
    Astreja

    I am 100% on board with restricting the movements and privileges of unvaccinated people who refuse to wear masks.

    I’d go even further than that – a minimum of 6 months in jail for causing any sort of disturbance at a facility that requires masks and/or vaccine passports. Hassle the young guy at the restaurant? Block an ambulance access route while protesting? Lock ’em up.

  3. Avatar
    dale m.

    Using seatbelts, getting insurance, getting a driver’s license ….. a complete nuisance and more interference by gov’t. But it did save countless lives didn’t it ?!? You see, there are people who have to be governed for their own good.

    Now, what would happen if you were wearing that American mask and it read “Patriotic Free American Atheist AND damn proud of it”

  4. Avatar
    GeoffT

    The pandemic has revealed one thing above all others in my mind, and that is the misuse and misunderstanding of statistics. Statistics as a branch of mathematics is a hugely complex and very difficult subject, that does not work intuitively. It’s why bookmakers and casinos rake in money, whilst gamblers file for bankruptcy at an ever increasing rate. Ask a person how many people need to be in a room before the odds are greater than 50% that two share the same birthday (not year), and guesses are likely to centre around the 183 mark. The answer is 23.

    Antivaxxers throw about statistics as though they alone understand them, and that the epidemiologists and others tasked with tracking the pandemic are somehow lost in some sort.of conspiracy. To be fair, there are antivaxxers that are genuinely just hesitant, because they’ve been lulled into believing that there may be safety issues. These people are probably reachable, especially as time goes on and they see that there are no valid safety issues, other than for those few that are medically exempt. One favourite statistic that they throw around is relating to hospital admissions, usually citing Israel, of people who are vaccinated. They don’t realise that where a population is approaching a 100% vaccination rate, given that there isn’t a 100% guarantee that vaccination is protective, then almost by definition everyone being admitted to hospital or dying because of Covid will have been vaccinated! It’s what happens with statistics at a population level (1% of 360m people is a lot!). To quote one informed source ‘anecdotes are the enemy of statistics’.

  5. Avatar
    Sage

    Bruce, I just think this is a good time to tell you that I am offended too. Offended because I’ve never seen you write about cats. Cats are fun. I like cats. I’ve been even been a cat….but we don’t want to,talk about that here.

    I also remember this woman. She had made up her mind and would not listen to others, I remember her dismissal of me, and it was clear she had no desire to hear anything but agreement.

    Since Christianity, right leaning politics, and now Covid policies have all become intertwined there is little reason to,argue. They reason based on belief, not on facts, and willfully choose to remain ignorant. There is no way to change these people. Their only drive seems to be hating anything that is not properly conservative.

  6. Avatar
    PM

    A question for the anti-masking/anti-vaxing anti-social nutbars : Who’s the snowflake now, Nancy? Did your widdle libertarian feelings get hurt when the adults in the room told you that with your freedom comes responsibility to your fellow citizens to GET VACCINATED and WEAR A MASK!!

  7. Avatar
    Dave

    I resent anti vaxxers for a variety of reasons- one of them is that they have stripped me of a piece of my humanity. I see myself as a caring and compassionate person who is saddened by the misfortunes of others. But when I hear about the deaths of these anti vaxxer “celebrities” all I feel is fuck them they deserved it. How many people got fiercely ill or died because of their lies and deceit? My life is threatened and my comfort traveling and interacting in public spaces is non existent because of their “freedoms” so when karma comes to call-fuck them.

  8. Avatar
    Karen the rock whisperer

    Don’t want to be vaccinated? Fine. But I’d like to see difficult-to-falsify vaccination cards that either say you’ve been vaccinated or have a legitimate medical exemption justified by a licensed physician. Then, I’d like to see businesses insist that you need to be vaccinated (or exempted) to be employed there, or to do business inside their facility. Want a job? Get vaccinated. Want to pick out your own groceries, instead of doing pickup? Get vaccinated. Want to eat in a restaurant, or even go in to pick up takeout? Get vaccinated.

    My state (California) just suffered the expense of an unsuccessful recall election, driven by the anti-maskers and anti-vaxxers who don’t give a flying [] about anyone but themselves. Gah.

    • Avatar
      Astreja

      The vaccination cards in Manitoba have a QR code that links to a government database, and you also have to show another piece of ID to prove that you’re the individual on the card, Used it today, in fact, when I stopped at a coffee shop.

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Bruce Gerencser