The enemy is anybody who wants to take away our freedom, whether he wears a military uniform or a white coat.

By | April 4, 2021 | 0 Comments

The enemy is anybody who’s going to get you killed, no matter which side he’s on.
Joseph Heller, “Catch 22”

This quotation refers to military officers who are either incompetent or seekers of glory, and who endanger their personnel needlessly. Those who engage in dangerous occupations can relate to it, whether they are in the military, police, or other fields. But I would like to offer a paraphrase, one to which we all can relate:

The enemy is anybody who wants to take away our freedom, whether he wears a military uniform or a white coat.

The Canadian police constables and health official who tried to shut down the Calgary church service could offer excellent motives: They sought to reduce the spread of Covid-19. They were only carrying out the orders of higher police officials and health officers. But what of these higher officials? What were their motives? To preserve the health of the people, or to increase their own power? Maybe a little of both?

We can agree to that in emergencies, our freedom may need to be curtailed. But these rules apply to earthquakes, floods, and riots. The emergencies were meant to last days, or at most weeks. Did anyone who put these laws and rules in place imagine that the emergency could last over one year? Then for practical purposes, the Canadian Charter of Rights and the US Constitution are subject to indefinite suspension at the whim of those in power. In effect, these guarantors of our rights exist only as suggestions. In effect, they exist only in our imaginations.

Good intentions prove only one thing: That the person has good intentions. Whether good or evil results is quite independent of what the person intends. Over one year of closed businesses, lost jobs, closed schools, and closed churches have exactly the same destructive effects, whether those who enforced the closures intended good or evil. Sending police to stop religious services has the same dangerous effects, whether those who order such actions wear high-collared military uniforms or white coats.

Dr. Josef Mengele had both an MD and a PhD. He too wore a white coat. But he was the camp doctor at Auschwitz. His attire did not make him admirable, and surely not a role model. After all this time, we should have learned to judge people by what they do, not why they claim to be doing it, and surely not how they are dressed.

 

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