Publisher's note: This post appears here courtesy of the The Beaufort Observer.
We just posted the article "Statement on Gov. Cooper's absurd religious meeting order." As we proofed what we had posted it suddenly dawned on us that we have fallen into the same logical trap that we have come to disdain in the reporting on this virus mess. As we reflected we came back to the real issue: This thing is not about health issues or nonsense like "social distancing." It is about liberty vs. politics.
Let us use the religious meetings issue. First, let's agree that every person in this country has a right to practice their religion as they see fit and the government may neither prescribe or proscribe how they do it. That is, except when the exercise of that right presents a likely danger to others. It is just like saying Americans have a Second Amendment right to bear (use) arms. But that does not mean the government cannot restrict where you can shoot a gun. Most reasonable people would agree that shooting deer in a school yard, while school is in session, is not protected by the Second Amendment.
The exercise of our liberties comes with responsibility to not infringe on other's rights as we do so. We may have a right to shot our gun but not on someone else's property if they object. The government may certainly object to someone target practicing on school property. You right to shoot is not being denied, only that you cannot shoot at certain places.
As applicable to religious meetings we start with what we think most would agree to. The government can protect those who are not sick from being infected by those who are sick. But, you might say "how does everyone know whether they are sick or not?" The answer is: They don't. Any more than the governor knows that if he limits to group to 10 and they stay 10 feet apart and wear masks and gloves that no one will get sick. It is all risk and chance.
So who decides about the risk and whether the chances make it an acceptable risk? That should certainly not be the Governor in Raleigh for everywhere in the state. The decision to take a risk is that of the person taking the risk. The Governor's duty is to give the people the best information they have. They then make their own decision, or the decision for their family or those in their custody.
It about liberty. When the government makes decisions for us we have lost our liberty.
And this may or may not be consequential. If we decide we will participate in a "drive-in service and that meets our needs, all is well and good. But if it was like a friend who was denied to be with his wife of 45 years while she was dying because of a stupid "No Visitors" rule then it is terribly consequential. The hospital had a moral duty to accommodate his right to be with her when she passed away. It was his decision whether the risk of his catching what she had was greater than the desire to be together in those final moments. The risk was my friend's. Therefore, it was his right to decide. Not Roy Cooper's or Vidant Health System's.
Having said all that we then come to our second contention.
What all these Executive Orders and not about protecting out health. If that was the objective they would be giving us the best information they could give us and then the one taking the risk would be free to make the decision.
No, what is going on here is that these government restrictions are actually designed to wreck our economy. The people making them don't really care about health issues. They just want to keep Donald Trump from being re-elected in November, or if he is, set him up for another impeachment circus.
Politics, pure and simple.
The same charade was played on us with the Russian Collusion circus. These people were not concerned about what the Russian did. They simply wanted to undermine Trump. Now, they are using the Virus the same way.
Furthermore, what is driving this travesty is the Elite Media. It is good for ratings. If they did not run their "Get Trump" mantra they just might have to report of the good things he has made happen. Of course, they will never ever do that.
But We The People have a right to turn the radio and TV off, or switch it to a station that is not part of the Left's Agenda. And that is exactly what we should do.
Our liberties depend on it. And the risk of ignoring that is totally unacceptable. We should all now understand what Patrick Henry meant when he said: Give me liberty, or give me death.
"It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, "Peace! Peace!" — but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!"
— Patrick Henry
Those words were spoken by Patrick Henry in the Virginia Convention in Richmond, Va. on March 23, 1775. That was a month before the Battle of Lexington and Concord as the Convention debated whether to declare independence from Great Britain. Henry knew what he was doing. He knew that if the colonies did not win their independence the British would no doubt hang him. It was not pious words he spoke.
Speech in Virginia Convention, Richmond, Va., 23 Mar. 1775.