Author: The Rev. Dr. David Bridges, Priest
August 25, 2021

To mask or not to mask, that is the socio-political question. Whether ‘tis nobler to don the mask and be scoffed at, or deny the mask and be otherwise labeled. I have been troubled many a fortnight with this question.

When I was about 8 years old, an aunt that had been a nurse in the 1940’s gave me an old surgical mask. I used to wear it and pretend I was Dr. Ben Casey, or a character in one of my mother’s favorite soap operas, General Hospital.

I wanted to be a doctor because my mother seemed to really admire them. No one made fun of me for wearing that mask, because it wasn’t a socio-political issue then. Most people would ask, “when you going into surgery doc?”, or “lost any patients lately?”

Now I’m not sure if I should feel guilty for wearing a mask or not wearing one! Either way, I will be criticized and labeled. Oh, the horror of it all!

I struggle with all of this. On one hand, there is reported evidence that masks can reduce the risk of transmission of the “evil virus”. On the other hand, there is reported evidence to the contrary. I have even read and heard that masks are dangerous because they can harbor bacteria and cause sepsis.

I am honestly confused. Since I am not a scientist, I am not sure who to believe. Both sides accuse the other of lying. I don’t have the training or expertise to affirm or deny the “facts” on either side.

Meanwhile, I hear people making judgements about a person’s basic intelligence, integrity, or patriotic sentiments, based on whether or not they wear a mask. Some claim to be able to determine a person’s political affiliations or sympathies based on whether or not they wear a mask.

I have even heard a person’s “manhood” questioned for wearing a mask. I feel like I’m in kindergarten again. Children always pick on the kid that isn’t like everyone else. The difference now is that we are all adults and we are all picking on each other.

I don’t remember a time in my life when it was acceptable to openly insult, and even laugh at each other, until now. It seems our most popular national pastime is hating and insulting each other; followed closely by shooting one another.

Does anyone else see where this is headed? If we keep hating and killing each other, we are headed for mutually-assured destruction. Come to think of it, biblical prophecy said we would do this. Perhaps the question is, do you really want to be a part of it?

The Apostle Paul wrote to followers in Ephesus, “Get rid of all bitterness, all rage and anger, all harsh words, slander and malice of every kind. In place of these, be kind to one another, compassionate and mutually forgiving, just as God has forgiven you in Christ.” (Eph. 4:31-32)

Blessings and Peace to You All,
Fr. David+


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