Blessed are the Courteous by Vince Cornell

“Practice the Virtue of Courtesy.”  That was the message written over the picture of a face mask on the sign taped to the entrance door of the church.  As far as COVID-19 weddings go, it was not as bad as I had anticipated.  The wedding party, praise God, chose at the last second to not wear the face masks during the ceremony, although they did whip them on whenever they were seated, and the presiding priest never used one, although his two assistants did.  It was the sign, though, that was most offensive.

That face masks are terrible is a case to be made on many fronts.  Yes, they are demeaning.  Yes, they are ineffectual as numerous studies have shown and the simple fact that everywhere they’ve been mandated the cases of Coronavirus only increase, never decrease.  Yes, the way in which they are used is the same as any other superstitious talisman, as if a lucky rabbit foot keychain might also protect one from the dreaded COVID.  Yes, they are leading weak-minded people to develop bizarre neurosis and likely impacting the social development of young children.  Yes, they are a symbol of submission that tyrannical governments are forcing on a cowardly people because they’ve not yet got up the gumption to outright stamp the human face with a combat boot for all eternity.

All this is true, but it was the sign requesting courtesy that broke this camel’s back.

It’s an argument that has been used by the social activist/humanist Christian crowd, from NIH Chief Francis Collins to practically all of the American bishops – in order to practice charity one must wear the face mask!  Like so many other things in this humpty-dumpty world of modern man, words are used to mean their complete opposite.

Sitting in a church filled with perfectly healthy people all wearing masks, I could not imagine anything more divisive and uncharitable.  How can it be charitable to tell everyone within proximity that, whether they are sick or not, one will assume they are little more than a disease-infested threat and will take preemptive action to protect one’s own self from their pestilence?  Is it charitable to say, without exception, “I refuse to breathe the same air as you”?  Is it virtuous to refuse to share one’s smile with others?  Can anyone imagine the great saints that waded hip deep into human misery and illness, such as St. Damien of the Lepers or St. Virginia Centurione Bracelli of Monte Calvario, demanding their convalescents put on their face masks before agreeing to come within six feet of their persons?  Should we take seriously pleas for charity from medical directors who peddle vaccines created from aborted fetal tissue and bishops who fall all over themselves to congratulate pro-abortion Catholic politicians when the ascend to power?

Yes, prudence is a virtue, but courtesy is not.  And prudence must be governed by fortitude and authentic charity.  Whatever the future holds, I wish everyone a very Merry and very Mask-less Christmas!

FF

FF

The Fleming Foundation

5 Responses

  1. Avatar Jacob Johnson says:

    To the extent I have been privy to discussions on how the churches are deciding how to handle the Wuhanathon, it seems as if the primary concern is the typically modern practice of optimizing the “CYA move.” Whenever there is an annoyingly arbitrary rule designed as a deterrent to something, in this case to going to church, I am always interested to see what happens when the rule is followed. I think the unions used to call this malicious compliance.

  2. Avatar Vince Cornell says:

    Mr. Johnson – I agree, there is a tremendous amount of “CYA” going on, but I am startled and dismayed by the large number of “true believers” I run into, especially in the younger crowd. I try to explain to them that, based on all the data, they statistically are more likely to be struck by lightning or die by a cow falling on them than to have any significant illness from the Wuhan Flu, and the just sort of nod from behind their mask and say, “Thanks but please go away.” It’s like trying to argue a toddler out of a security blanket – impossible. I’ve had some folks earnestly try to convince me that it’s the height of charity to “mask up” and to not do so makes one a bad Christian. It has all done much to enhance my already anti-social inclinations. Now I do my grocery shopping at 9PM on a Saturday in the vacant Food Lion with the few other mask-less dregs of society but, to be honest, I think I prefer it that way.

  3. Avatar Dot says:

    Mr. Cornell: Haven’t you heard? We are now worshipping at the altar of coronavirus 2019 and Fauci is the country’s guru. We now live in a virtual world. Even churches must comply or else…..

  4. Avatar Sam Dickson says:

    Mr. Cornell:

    The masks serve an additional purpose – to demoralize opposition and thus to promote unanimitiy.

    I don’t believe in what some wag called the “argumentum ad Hitlerum”, i.e. refutation by proving that Hitler said the same thing or something similar. (I think it was The NY Times a couple of years ago that solemnly informed us that Trump was criticizing the media just like Hitler did…with the inference that Trump must be like Hitler. That kind of goofy argument.

    However, I read a statement by a German that the psychological effect of what was called “Der deutsche Gruess” (“The German Greeting” was very powerful.

    I had seen in movies and read in books about people greeting each other in Germany by giving the Roman salute and exclaiming “Heil Hitler.” This seemed rather odd and ridiculous to me and very much not in keeping with the personality of most Germans I know.

    But I had never considered the impact on hold-outs of being confronted over and over again in day to day life with a situation in which other people were enthusiastically greeting them with an expression of support for the government and then being put in the uncomfortable position of either returning the greeting (being forced to publicly declare support for a government they opposed) or standing out as hostile to the government.

    People have told me that the pressure of the German Greeting was intense and helped reinforce community unanimity by forcing public expression of support.

    Masks seem to me to be serving the same purpose in America nowadays. We are all under constant pressure to conform and to affirm the message of the authorities.

    And as someone who hates the System in America and wants Regime-Change here I can far more understand what these Germans were describing when they spoke of the psychological pressure imposed by the German Greeting.

  5. Avatar James D. says:

    “I had seen in movies and read in books about people greeting each other in Germany by giving the Roman salute and exclaiming “Heil Hitler.” This seemed rather odd and ridiculous to me and very much not in keeping with the personality of most Germans I know.

    But I had never considered the impact on hold-outs of being confronted over and over again in day to day life with a situation in which other people were enthusiastically greeting them with an expression of support for the government and then being put in the uncomfortable position of either returning the greeting (being forced to publicly declare support for a government they opposed) or standing out as hostile to the government.

    People have told me that the pressure of the German Greeting was intense and helped reinforce community unanimity by forcing public expression of support.”

    Mr. Dickson,

    Watch “The Sound of Music.” The power of the German Greeting is on full display in that movie.