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OPINION: I heard a so-called Pastor try to justify his position against the vaccine policy of the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines by reference to the Bible. Ironically, he made the statements during the course of the homily at the funeral of an unvaccinated elderly woman who died after contracting COVID-19. He was “pampasetting” from his bully-pulpit and made a number of outrageous and outlandish comments. In the process, he demonstrated a high degree of biblical ignorance.
Pathetically, the Pastor attempted to contrast the approach that the government has taken with respect to the vaccine requirement for certain categories of public servants with what he described as the “free-choice” we have in relation to salvation. He basically said that the government is putting a gun to people’s head to compel them to become vaccinated and that Christ’s approach to us is different.
In reality, someone who does not “freely-choose” salvation faces the prospect of an eternity in Hell – that might reflect a scenario far worse than having a gun placed to your head. This Pastor is bringing Christianity into disrepute. He should simply shut up and stop doing a disservice to our great and noble faith.
The Pastor also said that if we love our neighbours, we should never try to force them to do anything and should restrict ourselves to polite entreaties and humble petitions or requests, ultimately leaving the decision up to them. I accept that it is desirable to avoid offending personal sensitivities to the extent possible. However, if we see our neighbour’s life at risk, shouldn’t we exert ourselves to the fullest extent possible to try to save his or her life? and what if the actions of our neighbour endanger our own lives and more generally the lives of the people in the community? Shouldn’t we be able to take reasonable and proportionate actions to protect the interests of wider society?
Plainly speaking, it is sometimes necessary for us to take bold and courageous actions in the public interest. This is the rationale behind the Police having certain powers to restrict and restrain individuals in carefully defined circumstances despite our commitment to the ideals of freedom and liberty. This is why our Constitution and laws make provision for the government to implement measures on public health grounds in the circumstances of a pandemic.
It was reported to me that this same Pastor on a different occasion said that if someone is unvaccinated and does not have COVID-19 he or she is not a threat to anyone. This statement exposes and lays bare the foolishness of the Pastor’s reasoning and logic. He seems to be exceedingly obsessed with himself and his own thoughts, ideas and apparent divine revelations. Is he really a Pastor or an NDP politician in disguise? News Flash: the point is that the unvaccinated person has a high risk of getting COVID-19 and can spread it! The whole idea of the vaccine is to prevent people from either contracting the virus, getting sick from it, dying from it or spreading it.
What I would like to know is this: where in the Bible does it say that the government should not implement a vaccine requirement for certain categories of employees on public health grounds in the circumstances of a pandemic? If the Bible is silent on that point, we should simply leave the Scriptures out of the vaccine debate. We could of course express our opinion on vaccines but ought not make it seem like a matter of theology or an article of our faith.
By ULP Supporter