It is certainly tempting to simply make the case by saying that a fake pandemic should have fake papers to accompany it, but that would be too easy, far too glib. I already have severe critics who struggle with their tendency to be censorious, and that would frankly not help. So I won’t start there.
This really is a challenging subject, and so for those of you who want to study it more thoroughly, I would refer you to some of the things I have written before on related and relevant subjects.
Here is something on black markets. And here is a piece on righteous deception. And another on the propriety of bribing an official into doing his job. Of course, it is a sin to to take bribes, which would be great wickedness (Ex 23:8; Deut. 27:25)—but there are occasions where it is not a sin to give one (Prov. 18:16; 21:14). And then along comes a piece discussing some of the ramifications of Dreher’s Benedict Option, where all of these issues are in play, and with us now living a lot closer to them. So if questions arise in your minds about what I am going to say below, they might well be addressed and answered in these places.
So I am going to sketch where I believe we are in all this, and then I will conclude with seven principles to govern your possible use of fake IDs. You can jump ahead to that spoiler section if you like.
Where We Are Now
Scripture teaches us that deception destroys comity. This is why we are not to bear false witness against our neighbor (Ex. 20:16). We are not to lie to one another (Col. 3:9). Lying is corrosive. But when the Hebrew midwives deceived Pharaoh, they were not destroying any comity—rather, they were recognizing that the comity had already been destroyed by his bloody decree (Ex. 1:16). Someone else had preceded them and destroyed the comity already. This Pharaoh “knew not Joseph,” and wasn’t the midwives who brought about that forgetfulness.
Consequently, the question before the house is whether we are in a comparable situation to the one the midwives faced—whether we live in a time when the comity has already been destroyed. Are we griping our way through a Truman administration, trying to make it to Eisenhower, but with a recognition that we all share basically the same society underneath? Or are we in an orcs and elves situation? Or somewhere between?
In my evaluation, we are not yet in a hot civil war, with shooting and all, but we are in a cold war/civil war, and nothing is more obvious than the fact that we are in a cold war/civil war. The situation is extremely inflamed, and does not show any indication of improving at all.
I bring this up because there is an optical illusion operating here. There will no doubt be a number of conservative evangelicals who will be horrified at what I argue for as lawful below. But I would argue that our differences are not over the ethics of the thing but rather are differences over a question of fact—just how diseased has our culture gotten? These evangelicals don’t have any qualms about Bonhoeffer’s involvement in the plot against Hitler, or over Anne Frank’s refusal to turn herself in, or Brother Andrew smuggling Bibles into closed countries. They wouldn’t object if a man used fake papers to get his family out of Afghanistan right now. But this is America, they think, land of the free and home of the brave.
America. Where Baronelle Stutzman can have her slam dunk religious liberty case go all the way to the Supreme Court and lose there. Where two dudes can get married, and where another dude who works at their company can get fired because he didn’t want to come to their wedding shower. Where Planned Parenthood can chop babies into pieces, and sell the parts, all supported by tax monies, but the person who gets in legal trouble is the reporter who exposed that particular iniquity. Our horrified evangelicals are those who for some reason still believe they are struggling through a Truman administration, a supposition that is contrary to both fact and reason.
So I would point out at the front end that conservative evangelicals generally don’t differ on the ethics of this. The differences would arise in our evaluation of how dire our situation is. Does our situation call for this response yet? My answer to that is yes. And fortunately (but only fortunate for my argument, not for the country), every day that passes here will only serve to reinforce my case. Things really are that dire.
Defiance or Deception?
About 100 million Americans have refused the vaccine. That is a lot. Non-compliance is not something that is tucked away into a few obscure corners. The reasons for this non-compliance are many and variegated—some are anti-vaxxers generally, some are blacks suspicious of government health mandates, some are pro-vaxxers who don’t want to be experimented on, thousands are nurses and doctors who don’t want it, and others are simply public-spirited citizens who noticed how many lies the government has told over the last year and a half. Once the extent of the non-compliance became glaringly obvious, our intelligentsia then decided to make everything better by calling us all morons, idiots, and poltroons. That helped us all see the error of our ways, and we were all very sorrowful about it.
But overarching everything was the obvious and naked nature of the power play that is being run. The Biden regime has already floated the idea of restricting interstate travel for the unvaccinated, and how would you do that without “papers please” checkpoints? Checkpoints everywhere a road passes from North Dakota into South Dakota. Don’t tell me I have a feverish imagination—I wasn’t the one who brought it up. Bans on interstate travel for the unvaccinated wasn’t my idea.
If you don’t see the power play that is being run, and which is the central point of all of this, that is because the power play has already been run on you, and has already worked. You have already been digested, and so I am not writing any of this for you.
Runaway Truck Ramps
Now at the same time I suspect that the maestros who orchestrated this global panic, and all for nefarious purposes of their own, have gotten themselves into a bit of a tight spot.
Just a few miles south of where we live here in Moscow, there is a big altitude drop of about 2000 feet down into Lewiston. That means there is a long, steep grade down the side of the hill, and periodically along the way are curated gravel ramps for trucks to plow into after their brakes have gone out. Truck drivers are helpfully reminded through the signage that there is no charge for availing oneself of this option when needed.
Now the powers that be arranged for the brakes of our societal truck to go out, and all they needed to do was to use the appropriate gravel ramp, and then be acclaimed as heroes for having saved the day. “Here’s the vaccine, ta da, and isn’t it great? Aren’t we great?” All their new controls would have been in place, which they had successfully used in the lock downs and masking orders and whatnot, and then they could wait just a bit before rolling out the next big manufactured crisis (rhymes with climb it)—in which they could exercise all their new-found powers. They could then, at their leisure, pour all their new mandates over our ungrateful heads. All they would have to do is pace themselves.
But their problem was that they spooked everybody way too well, and so we just blew by the last escape ramp. It turns out that the panic porn is addictive just like other forms of porn are. Some people need to be scared, and they need to wear masks, and they need to feel all trembly in the knees. So we are now confronted with a very long line of VARIANTS, which will also be as deadly as the FIRST ONE, which is to say, not very. But in the meantime the Kings of Science have successfully persuaded millions of people that it is necessary to ACT as though these variants were way DEADLIER. And so, as I have recently observed MYSELF, the gullible will stroll through town, all by themselves, on a sunny day in August, with a MASK ON, acting as though that might even be an approximation of reasonable behavior. Sorry about that caps thing. I am DONE.
But keeping all the normal people living in a constant state of emergency is not tenable, as a brief glance at New York and Los Angeles (or way to go, Melbourne) will tell you. There will be a pile up of some sort at the bottom of the grade.
Or . . .
Mudslide or Meltdown
I do not know the future, and so I am not predicting anything specific here. But I think we can discern what the broad and basic options are. I think we are at the place where there will either be a large scale and successful revolt, or there will be a large scale catastrophe of an epic magnitude.
If there is a successful revolt, it will likely show up in places like the California recall election, the election audit battles, and of course the midterms. The party out of power generally registers gains in the midterms, and this year that prospect may be something of an understatement. But if it is to do any good, it can’t be just any old landslide—it will have to be a massive mudslide involving half the mountain. To do any good, it will have to be the kind of thing that makes Mitt Romney put a Gadsden flag decal on his pick-up truck in order to claim that he was with the people all along. And if this kind of thing happens, then there is a better than even chance that Trump declares his candidacy for the presidency in 2024, just to keep things festive. I am not cheer-leading here, just observing. And if you get a chance, make sure to read The Revolt of the Public.
And sticking to the theme of this post, if something like this happens, then the issue of faking vaccine papers will be made moot. You won’t have to worry about it.
The other option is that the current pilots will be able to fly this thing into the side of the mountain before we get the cockpit battered open. They have proven themselves adept at remaining in power this long, and they could well hang on to power way past the point of no return. If that happens, then, well, there will be no returning. We won’t all die, but we will be living in shattered enclaves in what used to be a very different world. We will have to make our decisions about what to do then based on the situation on the ground, taking into account the large smoking craters, the over-sized scorpions that live down in them, the clouds the color of antifreeze that waft just above our heads, and the latest edicts from Kamala Harris, erstwhile-president-for-life—with Obama behind her, pulling the wires. But that’s another post.
If anything like that happens, then fake vaccine papers or IDs might well be necessary if you want to drive over into Oregon, and so check with me. I might know a guy.
Seven Principles Regarding Fake IDs
I do realize that the subject is enormous, and that a lot is involved in it. But I also realize that an enormity is being thrust on us. Believing Christians have three basic options—compliance, non-compliance with a guilty conscience, and non-compliance with a clean conscience. I am urging you all to the third option, and I believe that these principles below can help with that.
So with that said, here are seven principles to help you navigate all of this.
First, if you are in a position to resist openly, do that. Don’t go straight to the fake documentation. If at all possible, resist openly, in concert with any others in your same position. Sen. Rand Paul is exactly correct—however tyrannical they are in their hearts, they can’t arrest everybody. If massive numbers of people simply refuse to take the vaccine, there is nothing they can do. Better yet, for example, if thousands of nurses in a hospital system simply refuse to take the vaccine, there is nothing they can do. This kind of open “strike” is much to be preferred, especially in the medical field. If they isolate one nurse, and demand that she take the vaccine or get fired, they’ve got her. But if 300 nurses say no thanks, and everybody knows about it, they’ve got the hospital.
This is not rebellion against lawful authority. This would be an example of a free people refusing to go along with their own enslavement.
Second, if you are not in a position to resist openly, then feel free before God to resist in this clandestine way. This will get you through your particular moment, and it also has the effect of helping to make all the different kinds of vaccine IDs into a joke. If that happens, there will be demands for a national vaccine ID, and that should be relatively easy to prevent Congress from adopting it—even in this Congress. And any controversy that would escalate up to a national vaccine ID battle would likely not be joined until the next Congress, when the odds will likely be much better.
Third, the legitimacy of using such IDs is not limited to gospel issues only. Don’t assume that you could only use such an ID if you were engaged in smuggling Bibles into Connecticut or New York City. These are liberty issues, and any kind of lawful liberty is never a trifle. That said, rank the situations where you would be willing to go this route in order of importance, starting with gospel and worship, then your livelihood, then buying groceries, and so on, down to which restaurant you go to on your anniversary. Just go to the restaurant that doesn’t check IDs, and enjoy your date
Fourth, the ethics of the thing are clear enough, meaning that you can be right with God and use a fake vaccine ID. But that doesn’t mean you should risk going to the federal penitentiary in order to take your family to Disneyland. There are wisdom issues involved also, and so you should do a reasonable cost/benefit analysis with regard to whatever it is you are doing. But if nobody at the ball game cares about whether your ID is genuine or not, and they are just going through a formality at the gate, go ahead. You probably could use the practice.
Fifth, if you are a Christian elder or pastor, and you can’t see your way clear to do this kind of thing yourself, at least have the decency not to rat out Christians who do have that liberty in their conscience. In other words, do not even think about requiring vaccine IDs in order to come to church, and do not dare to discipline one of your members who uses fake ID in order to retain his ability to feed his family. You don’t want to be the kind of pastor who would discipline a church member for using fake papers to get his family away from the Taliban. So if you don’t ever want to be that kind of a Christian leader, then don’t start becoming that kind of leader now.
Sixth, don’t be a chump, meaning that you shouldn’t have your cousin draw you a fake ID on the back of a napkin. If you are going to use a fake ID, then don’t settle for less. Use only the best. Use only genuine fake IDs.
Seventh, imagine yourself telling stories to your great grandchildren. Imagine that this nightmare period is past, and the true nature of “the troubles” has become obvious to all. Behave in such a way now as that you will not be ashamed to talk about it afterwards. If we win this thing, make sure you have some good stories. And just for the record, resigning from Hitler Youth the moment it was safe to do so does not constitute a good story.
I am going to open the comments on this one because I suspect there may be more than a few comments and questions, and I don’t want to clog up the letters feature tomorrow.