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The Dangerous Seeds of Division





Mark 7:21-23 reminds us of the inherent sinfulness that is shared among all human beings: “For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile a person.”


It is therefore unsurprising that, in a world of spiritually fallen people, there is significant conflict and strife.


Akhil Amar, a Yale Law School professor, writes in his book The Words That Made Us that one of the oft-overlooked inciting factors of the American revolution was the deeply personal disdain that permeated the British approach to Americans:


Amar writes, “Because of British class hierarchy, British snobbery to-ward Americans in general, and brute British indifference—worsened by the sheer physical distance between Boston and the ultimate British power structure—[some] feared [they] had no pathway to prominence, no chance to rise to the top of a heap dominated by ‘shoelickers.’” [1]


Of course, this was not the main factor driving the revolution, but the disrespect shown to the American colonists did nothing but add fuel to a fire ignited by philosophical and geopolitical conflicts of interest.


This tale from history ought to be heeded as a cautionary example of what happens to tone-deaf politicians when the desires of “the people” are ignored in favor of unilaterally condescending attitudes expressed by their governing class.


We stand at a moment in history where a uniquely interconnected world has become incredibly volatile. A clear example of this volatility is provided by the Canadian trucker stand-off. In late January, a blockade was set up by truckers crossing the US-Canadian border in order to protest the vaccine mandate issued by the Canadian government. This mandate requires that truckers either get vaccinated or face quarantine after crossing the border. [2]


In a time when the Centers for Disease Control have begun to recognize prior infection as a source of stronger COVID-19 antibodies toward variants like Delta, it is utterly unreasonable and condescending for national leaders to stubbornly demand universal vaccination as the only way to conduct international commerce. [4]


This international incident is truly cause for concern because it demonstrates just how little faith these truckers have in their national leaders. No matter which side you are on regarding the COVID vaccine mandate, you should carefully consider how your personal sense of indignation on this matter feeds into the social instability faced by our world.


More than anything else, those in positions of power and authority should carefully weigh the wisdom of taking a “let them eat cake” approach to the valid concerns of the common people who are forced to live under their mandates.


Certainly, the American revolution gave the world the gift of government by-and-for-the-people. But also remember that the provocations which led to the French revolution gifted its people indiscriminate execution with each swing of Madame Guillotine. [3]


This moment in history is reminiscent of the parable of the farmer whose good seed was tainted by weeds in Matthew 13:24-43 because it will be impossible to tell the good from the bad consequences until the seeds have sprouted and their fruits are visible.


As Christians, it is important to remember that all of us are deeply flawed human beings who each do according to what they think is right. Our moral sensibilities are invariably tainted and cannot be trusted blindly without the guidance of the Holy Spirit.


To save our societies from gambling with another “revolutionary” moment, Christians on both sides of the COVID vaccine mandate would do well to recall Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:9: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” The more we allow ourselves to be polarized by this issue, the more uncertain the future becomes.


Both sides of this conversation must meet each other in good faith to find a solution that will move our society back to normal.


Foundations of Truth hereby waives all claim of copyright (economic and moral) in this work and immediately places it in the public domain; it may be used, published, edited, and distributed in any manner whatsoever without any attribution or notice to Foundations of Truth.

 

[1] Akhil Amar, The Words That Made Us, Hatchett Book Group (2021), pp. 33.

[2] Rich Calder, “Trucker ‘Freedom Convoy’ protests Justin Trudeau’s vaccine mandates,” CNN (January 29, 2022), https://nypost.com/2022/01/29/trucker-freedom-convoy-set-to-protest-justin-trudeaus-vaccine-mandates/.

[3] “Reign of Terror,” Britannica (n.d.), https://www.britannica.com/event/Reign-of-Terror.

[4] Julie Steenhuysen and Manas Mishra, “Prior COVID infection more protective than vaccination during Delta surge -U.S. study,” Reuters (January 19, 2022), https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/prior-covid-infection-more-protective-than-vaccination-during-delta-surge-us-2022-01-19/.

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