skip to “The Eleventh Question” below if you read prior questions already)
Having broached the topic of masks, I want to encourage dialogue between the polarities of the debate. This is challenging given the political climate of uncivil discord rather than civil discourse. With a vision of communities coming together to collectively determine truth and decide on policy, I offer a series of questions. I don’t want to give answers, but questions that re-teach all of us to engage in discourse which will lead us to that vision. Somewhere between the polar extremes, we will find the truth that we all need.
Therefore, let’s unmask the truth whether it leads to “masks or no masks”, “mandates or no mandates”, and more.
The Eleventh Question…
Imagine yourself confronted by someone who expresses an opinion contrary to yours. It could be on social media, in line at the grocery store, in a town hall meeting, a family gathering, or anywhere. Your first impulse is to blast away. Throw your best at them. Pound them into submission. This happens from both sides of the debate.
Sometimes upholding one value requires compromising on another. Consider the commandment to not murder. Then consider a home intrusion where someone is pointing a gun at your family. Can you justify killing that person to protect your family, to prevent loss of life?
Most would agree that self-defense or defense of your family justifies killing another. In the case of COVID or another public health emergency, can we justify breaking laws to protect others from a deadly infection? If we say “never” there will be consequences. If we say it is always acceptable, there will be consequences.
Of course, if we had that magical crystal ball to explore the options and their future consequences, we might determine what is the best choice for now. Since that is not an option and a purely utilitarian process (what works the best for the most people) may be wrong anyway, we need to consider what we think are acceptable compromises to make with COVID.
One of the questions we must ask ourselves is “can we take away people’s freedom to save them or save others?” Our legal system has worked through this question pre-emptively as best it can. It has set up safeguards to allow emergency situations to overrule some laws until time allows a more methodical approach to evaluate the situation more thoroughly.
With that in mind, to remove another’s freedoms in such an emergency, there should be clear and present danger or imminent threat. Vague suspicions are not enough. And then, the restriction should only go as far as necessary. It should be just enough to prevent the danger without overdoing the harm to the one losing the freedom.
Every public policy decision regarding COVID has consequences in multiple directions and in multiple layers. As you debate with others, consider when you believe too far is too far in breaking laws or removing someone’s freedoms. The next time you might be on the other side of the fence being restricted unneccesarily.
As I stated in question 10, we need to love our neighbor simultaneously with seeking truth.
Sanctuary Functional Medicine, under the direction of Dr Eric Potter, IFMCP MD, provides functional medicine services to Nashville, Middle Tennessee and beyond. We frequently treat patients from Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Ohio, Indiana, and more... offering the hope of healthier more abundant lives to those with chronic illness.