Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Let's Shut the World Down

Fear has won.  We are shutting down.  All, just in case . . . just in case someone gets sick and dies, or, more likely, someone gets sick and sues the school district or the county or church or business or what ever organization was so irresponsible to actually hold an event where someone might, just might, pick up a virus and pass it on.

Yes, the swine flu is contagious, as are all types of influenza and lots of other illnesses as well.  And yes, there are concerns that the relatively mild version going around now may hit again next fall/winter with a vengeance.  But if that is the case, wouldn't it be far better to get the mild version now and have some immunities against a more virulent mutation that might, maybe, perhaps, show up next fall?  Or would that be too much common sense thrown in the mix here?

Frankly, I think we need to stop driving our automobiles.  Completely.  Because if we keep driving cars, there's a definite possibility that someone, somewhere might have an auto accident and get hurt or fatally injured. I also think we absolutely must stop eating in restaurants.  Because if we keep up with this habit of eating out, someone, somewhere is bound to get food poisoning.  I also think we should all stop cooking.  Because if we
insist on continuing to prepare our meals at home, there's a definite chance that
someone, somewhere is going to get hurt in the kitchen.  I also think we simply must stop getting medical care.  Because if we continue in this pernicious habit of going to physicians when we are ill, there is a definite chance that someone, somewhere is going to get misdiagnosed and will suffer horribly as a result.

In addition, we must, we simply must stop reading books, magazines, journals,  or newspapers that might stimulate our mental activity.  Because if we don't, it is possible that we will disagree with the author and might experience anger and say something unkind about someone else and then be liable for a slander lawsuit.  Or even worse, we might have to change our minds about something and discover that what we've been thinking is true for so long just isn't true at all.

Mostly, we must, we simply must ban the Bible.  No one must read this book.  Way too many people have read it for themselves and have discovered that the perfect love offered by God to all of creation is so freeing that fear is left behind.  What a terrible thing to know the power of freeing love in a world that says, "be scared of everything and live in terror of the possibility that someday, somewhere, you might have to suffer or even die."  Yes, too many people have read the words of hope in the Bible and said, "If Jesus could lay down his life for me, how can I do less for others?"

There are reasonable guessimates that at least 27,000 children die a day from starvation.  That's about one every 3.2 seconds.  At the time of the writing of this article, one person in the US has died of swine flu.  But in less time that it took you to read this sentence, another child just died the horrible death of not enough to eat to sustain life.  That's real.  That's not some bogeyman of "it might happen" out there.  Instead of letting fear shut us down, why don't we let the love of God free us to really follow Jesus? Those who focus on saving their own lives are doomed to lose them, because fear drives that need and makes it impossible to love others.  But love . . . real, perfect love given by God, will drive out all fear and give us the courage to embrace all of life and discover real joy as we willingly lay
down our lives for others so that the least, the littlest, the last and
the lost of the this world may experience the kingdom of heaven.

1 comment:

Angie Hammond said...

Ok don't blame the school districts. They are just following the orders of the Health Department that told them what they should do. And then there is the TEA or Texas Education Agency that the school's answer to as well. They said OK close so they closed. No penalties for the schools so they closed.

You say fear has won. I say no not yet. Are all the closings necessary? The so called experts say yes because they just don't know how deadly this new flu is. You compare it all to things that we understand and can put numbers to and say this is just nuts they are just as important and just as deadly if not more so. All true.

But isn't that more the point? Aren't we always most afraid of the unknown and what our mind manufactures as a possible future? We know that children die of starvation, but does that touch us directly? No most of the time it does not. Do deaths occur in the kitchen? Yes everyday, but again do they touch us directly? Not unless it is our kitchen.

Have people banned the Bible? Yes. And did that touch us directly? Most of us no, but indirectly it touched us all.

So the swine flu is it a threat? Maybe. Do we really know the whole answer yet? I say no we do not.
Is it right to shut down schools and events? You say no it is just crazy. You didn't say it in these words, but your examples say it.

I disagree with your view on the whole shutting school issue. While it may seem extreme measures to close schools for such a virus that so far as of my post has killed only 2 in the US. I think that the closings are more like an ounce of prevention instead of the pound of cure.

Not prevention of the flu itself, but more likely the easiest ,and least likely to upset the economy, way of saying that the CDC is doing all it can to prevent the possibility of a pandemic like that of 1918 or the Hong Kong flu as a couple of recent examples.

It is not the flu itself that we are afraid of, it is instead the bogeyman as you put it of what might be if it is deadly. It is more the destruction of our world and economy as we know it that is at stake. Not just the lives of maybe thousands or gasp hundreds of thousands.

I'll say one other thing in defense of those who say close the schools and cancel some events. Remember Katrina. No one listened then and they could have done something. No one knew how bad things would be, but they had models that told them what might happen if a Katrina hit. Yes a big bogeyman in a city that has lots of them. And yet no one listened. Then Katrina came and changed things forever. And now in New Orleans they listen, because they've seen the bogeyman and he is real to them.

So are we reacting to fear? Yes. Is it justified? I believe that it is. Does it seem ridiculous? Yes.
Only because we haven't experienced the worst that was planned for. Will people complain? Of course because it seemed ridiculous and few have died.

Finally you say that those of us focused on saving our own lives are doomed to lose them. Of that I agree with you. But I ask you this question: Would you consider it possible that some who work to stop the spread of viruses such as the swine flu are not trying to save their own lives, but instead trying to offer life instead of death to the least of God's children around the world?

Are these doctors and lab technicians any different than those who give their lives to feed the hungry children? I say no, they endure suffering and ridicule when what they do seems crazy to us.

In the big picture the real questions that I feel must be answered are: Do we offer those in the CDC and the WHO the same love of Christ that we offer to those we call our neighbors ?
Or do we shut down because of what might happen if we did?