Trading freedom for fear

As we view the COVID-19 situation, we do not need conspiracy theories to bolster concerns about the curtailing of freedom. We just need to look at the facts before us. In no time in history has this nation been shut down for a flu. Since March 15, all people—carriers, the sick, the well—have been essentially locked down. It has changed our lives. The facts are that state governments, especially those with Democratic governors, have, in the very least, temporarily taken away freedoms. Fear has ruled over the hearts of many and still does. The question we must ask as Americans is: “How much freedom are we willing to trade for fear?”

The Centers for Disease Control, in its latest model has lowered death estimates and infection rates. In fact, the latest CDC statistics indicate fatality rates at 4 per 1,000, down from previous estimates of 10 per thousand—and those were estimated on data compiled before April 29, a month ago. Given the CDC infection rate vs fatality rates, the actual figure is less than 3 per 1,000, and this is 13 times lower than World Health Organization predictions. In other words, less that ¼ of 1% of Americans are dying from this pandemic. One death is one too many, but based on facts has there been an over-reaction? Perspective: In 1918, for example, a worldwide flu epidemic attacked about 20% of the global population, leaving 675,000 deaths in the US—nearly 7 people per 1,000.

There are many news reports indicating that death tolls for this pandemic have been inflated, especially for states to money grab from federal government relief efforts. There are also reports saying the death estimates are too low. There are reports that the CDC’s latest estimates are politically motivated. There are reports that Democratic governors, in collaboration with the Democratic National Committee, are purposely keeping lockdowns in place as long as possible to scuttle the economy in hope that President Trump can be defeated in November. More reports reveal another agenda: to put in place substantial socialist programs that expand government and its authority over citizens like you and me.

There are no sunset provisions in these new laws and regulations that are being passed at the state and federal levels. At some point, just based on the facts—not wild-eyed conspiracy theories—Americans need to decide how much freedom they are willing to trade for their fears. We are at a turning point in our Constitutional Republic. Freedom is difficult because it takes vigilant responsibility and constant care to preserve as people are always trying to take it away. Fear is often a lever to pry open the protective vault of liberty. As Christians, we are not to be swayed by silly doctrines and ear tickling. As in 2 Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love and of a sound mind.” We, above all, should not be trading freedom for fear.

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Bill Wilson

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