• Phony ‘Religion of Safetyism’ Robs Life of What Makes It Worth Living

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    Surge Summary: The Left’s approach to COVID and other life-risks could be called the “Religion of Safetyism”. It drains life of those features that make it worth living and must be rejected as immoral and unworkable.

    by Steve Pauwels

    Some have taken to calling Leftists’ hysterical, two-year reaction to COVID-19 a manifestation of their “Religion of Safetyism”. The “religion” part of that phrase encapsulates the nearly fanatical devotion they have to the cause. “Safetyism” defines the cause itself: the use of whatever omni-controlling, liberty-smothering State power is necessary to eliminate all risk from life.

    Economy-destroying Lockdowns? Creepy mask requirements? Chilling Vaccine mandates? You name it, the tremulous priesthood of this new faith are all for it — regardless of consequences — if they’ve decided it might shield one person from the Wuhan Bug. For these flu-fascists, nothing else matters. If the lives of individuals — their livelihoods, hopes, dreams, free agency, dignity — are crushed in the quest to save lives, that’s the price that must be paid to bend the knee to this demanding new deity called “Safety”. God-rejecting secularists many of them, this is the transcendent purpose they’ve concocted as a replacement.

    But it’s not just the pandemic uncovering the worst in these Coronavirus Czars. In the introduction to his newly released “National Roadway Safety Strategy”, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg recently deplored what he terms a “crisis” on the country’s roadways and announced: “Zero is the only acceptable number of deaths and serious injuries on our roadways,”

    Now, if the former South Bend, Indiana mayor’s goal is strictly a notional one (“It’d be nice if nobody ever died while driving on America’s roads, ever”), that’s all well and good. Every life is precious, and in an ideal world nobody would ever perish behind the wheel. That said, last time I checked we don’t live in an ideal world, do we. We function, point of fact, in a broken place; those of us who are Christians would use the descriptor a “fallen” place. This regrettably means bad things will sometimes, unavoidably, intrude upon human experience; that is, until one day the “age to come” is fully unveiled by the Creator. Then? No more “death … mourning … crying, or pain” (Revelation 21:4) — but only then.

    Reasonable steps to minimize roadway fatalities? A worthy effort, for sure; “reasonable” being the indispensable qualifier for that objective. There are, recall, other values to be considered alongside eliminating traffic deaths. Driving happens to provide a cornucopia of good for millions of people, every day. Incomes are earned, relationships deepened, diversions enjoyed, lives often saved(!) partially because folks can gas up their vehicles and move expeditiously from point A to point B. Again, unfortunately, that does entail some comparatively minor level of risk — but risk nonetheless. It’s a grubby reality of existence; one that cannot be exhaustively scrubbed without cramping and suffocating human beings with restrictions; without draining their pilgrimage of what makes it worth the pursuing in the first place.

    I suppose if he’s genuinely serious about his utopian musings regarding inviolable automobile protection, Secretary Buttigieg could move to decree a draconian, unbendingly enforced top speed limit of twenty-miles/hour; period. In an October 2021 speech in Scranton, PA, the Trans-Sec’s boss. President Biden, had already avouched his commitment to “take, literally, millions of automobiles off the road” through increased use of passenger and high speed rail. Bluntly, though, if the literal objective is never a traffic victim ever again? All automobiles, trucks and motorized conveyances of any kind would need to be outlawed altogether, forever. After all, even diminishing the raw numbers of vehicles or forcing drivers to putter around like old ladies would certainly fail to eliminate absolutely every fender bender. On the other hand, no cars? No car accidents, no auto deaths. Voila! Easy-peezy.

    Admittedly, that solution is self-evidently preposterous. Americans wouldn’t abide it, nor should they.

    Guess what else is preposterous? The proposition that businesses should have been shuttered for months on end, in-person schooling cancelled, families barred from spending time together for weddings, funerals, even on major holidays because, perhaps, some might contract a respiratory tract infection that, in an undeniably miniscule percentage of sufferers, can lead to hospitalization and, yes, occasionally demise. No disputing, COVID-19 presented one of those risks which constitutes the downside of inhabiting this cracked planet. There are manifold others just like it, and societies have heretofore consistently managed to negotiate them without shutting down activities essential or elective; without consigning everyone to a bubble-wrapped fate.

    A truly pro-life person speaks up for preserving innocent life — weather in or outside the womb.  A truly, comprehensively pro-life person also stands for freedom; for permitting others to pursue their lives in all their fullness. He or she is not just “pro-life” but pro-living. Beyond merely guaranteeing hearts will keep beating, blood flowing and lungs inflating, they advocate for individuals’ right to invest the time they have in whatever facets of existence they cherish: building a business, expanding a career, developing talents, connecting richly with others, celebrating family, visiting favorite restaurants or entertainment events, traveling the world, worshipping God alongside one’s fellow man; on and on the choices beckon.

    Pro-lifers oughtn’t be fans of quarantining God’s highest creation — humankind — in the stultifying shadows of a risk-free fantasy realm. Needlessly courting hazards? Dumb. Yet, the stuff of legitimate living, even approached with exquisite sensibleness, ineluctably generates potential exposures. Those who value both life and the dignity of those partaking of it need to take a deep breath, settle that challenging reality in their hearts and minds, and then plunge ahead into the world; and let others do the same.

    The evangelists of the “Religion of Safetyism”, meanwhile, will continue their efforts to co-opt the instrumentalities of government to spread alarmism — whether applied to Covid, or the next virus, or child-rearing, or automobile use, or climate change.

    Come to think of it, wouldn’t they normally gripe that violates the “separation of church and state”?

    The views here are those of the author and not necessarily Daily Surge

    Image: https://www.piqsels.com/en/public-domain-photo-fseii.


    Steve Pauwels

    Steve Pauwels is pastor of Church of the King, Londonderry, NH, Managing Editor over at dailysurge.com and host of Striker Radio with Steve Pauwels on the Red State Talk Radio Network. He's also husband to the lovely Maureen and proud father of three fine sons: Mike, Sam and Jake.

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