On Doctrinal Differences

“Blessed are the peacemakers: they shall be recognised as children of God” Matt 5:9

“For we know only imperfectly, and we prophesy imperfectly; but once perfection comes, all imperfect things will be done away with. When I was a child, I used to talk like a child, and see things as a child does, and think like a child; but now that I have become an adult, I have finished with all childish ways. Now we see only reflections in a mirror, mere riddles, but then we shall be seeing face to face. Now I can know only imperfectly; but then I shall know just as fully as I am myself known.” 1 Cor 13:9-12

“With all humility and gentleness, and with patience, support each other in love. Take every care to preserve the unity of the Spirit by the peace that binds you together.” Eph 4:2-3

Coronavirus, Masks, & Religious Exception

2 Timothy 1:7 declares that “God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

I agree with Jesuit priest James Martin’s position that quarantine, suspension of mass and social distancing are self-sacrificial acts of charity and love of others. But I slso agree with Pope Francis that it is wrong for government to thwart access to the sacrements.

Here in America, however, we have a supremely powerful First-Amendment. Of all Constitutional amendments, our founders thought it to be the most necessary—even more necessary than prohibitions of cruel and unusual punishments. Religion and speech proceed hand-in-glove, for how can one practice religion without also being able to speak of such religion in the exercise and apologetics thereof? The First Amendment, therefore, is the very thing that carves out exceptions to public law and public policy for denominations and assemblies such as Amish and Jehovah’s Witnesses. While it might be hard to perceive from the outside why adherents would eschew vaccinations which we as a society believe to be safe and necessary, it is nevertheless necessary to recognize that their beliefs do not directly harm us if we ourselves vaccinate in accordance with our policies. In other words, if we vaccinate ourselves against measles, we have no basis to fear measles infection from an unvaccinated person.

Faith is both a practice and an exercise. One practices faith by attending religious services, but one exercises faith by exalting God’s omnipotence above mankind’s limited understanding. As much as wearing a mask is an act of charity, wearing a mask is just as easily an act of cowardice. When all is said and done, I come down on the side of civil liberty that the burden lies with individual responsibility rather than with social duty. For me, refusing a mask declares my reliance on God to protect me from disease and pestilence. And if I am protected—by virtue of the immune system which God gave to mankind, by virtue of my stewardship in maintaining a healthy body, and by virtue of God’s sovereign hand—then it also follows that I cannot spread disease to others. Wearing a mask is a self-defeating act which weakens my faith and makes me psychosomatically more vulnerable to disease. Moreover, refusing a mask is both an evangelistic statement as much as an invitation to speak of my faith when asked about my unmasked visage.

Internal Paradox

I find myself in a special paradox where my higher self observes my lower self. It’s like I am simultaneously the parent of my inner child and the child of my inner parent.

Alternate DNS Servers

If you want to cut down on the data that your ISP collects and sells regarding your web browsing, use an alternate free (and probably faster) DNS service.

Provider IPv4 IPv6
Cloudflare 1.1.1.1
1.0.0.1
2606:4700:4700::1111
2606:4700:4700::1001
Google 8.8.8.8
8.8.4.4
2001:4860:4860::8888
2001:4860:4860::8844
OpenDNS 208.67.222.222
208.67.220.220
2620:119:35::35
2620:119:53::53
OpenDNS
Family Shield
208.67.222.123
208.67.220.123
::ffff:d043:de7b
::ffff:d043:dc7b