Stay-at-home orders: have they gone too far?

Caleb Pollema — Staff Writer

“Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”  

OPINION.Stay-At-HomeOrdersHaveTheyGoneTooFar__Mark J. Terrill AP Photo-1

These words uttered by Benjamin Franklin nearly 300 years ago have drastic application today as our nation continues to fight the coronavirus and resulting societal and economic impacts 

Let’s cut to the chase.  

Do the stay-at-home orders suggested by the President and put into practice by governors of each state violate the constitutional rights and personal liberties of the individual outlined by the United States Constitution? 

The short answer: YES, ABSOLUTELY! 

I would like to preface this answer by stating that I am not a medical expert or political science expert, but rather an average American trying to gather facts about the current situation so I can come to some conclusions on our present circumstances. 

Having said that, I have come to the following four conclusions about our present situation regarding our constitutional rights and the future of this country as we know it. All of which I believe can be generally agreed upon regardless of political affiliation.  

First, individuals have the right to freely assemble, express their religion, and publish information.  

This is specifically outlined in the First Amendment of the Constitution. I understand that governors and the President have the authority from various pieces of state and federal legislation to impose these orders; however, if a citizen believes their rights are being violated they should not be punished for disobeying such an act. 

For example, in recent weeks you have seen news of churchgoers fined and arrested for attending church while social distancing in their vehicles. There have been mothers arrested while taking their children to local parks.  

This is ridiculous. Fundamental freedoms are being denied to the individual, which is not only unconstitutional, but denies Americans their right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. 

Second, it is deeply disturbing how the medical community has responded to this current pandemic.  

I am not talking about the response of the federal government or individual state governments in this case. I am specifically looking at the “independent” medical community. 

I must preface this by saying that I understand that each state and region have experienced varying degrees of severity regarding the coronavirus. 

However, I find it deeply concerning that medical professionals are saying two completely different things.  

Some say that we must socially distance and stay at home because this will reduce the spread of the virus. Others say that we need to be out in public in order to gain immunity to the virus. These are polar opposites.  

The media portrays nurses emotionally distraught and physically demoralized from the fight against this pandemic. Conversely, some nurses are claiming that they are being laid off because no surgeries are occurring and patient totals are astronomically low.  

This is frightening. Neither of these can be completely correct. Someone must be wrong.  

This brings me to my third conclusion. Regardless of your political leanings, media bias in this country continues to soar higher than I ever thought possible.  

It seems all too coincidental that as soon as Trump’s impeachment hearings end that there is a virus that knocks out his main claim for reelection, a booming economy.  

The United States government has been affecting what the media reports and writes about for decades. Operation Mockingbird was the primary campaign used by the CIA to influence American media.  

The media as we know it is not unbiased. They are not reporting the truth. This threatens the very roots of our republic.  

I implore you. Seek the truth!  

Do your research. Research the things I have written above. Do not let the media tell you what to think. Think for yourself. Come to your own conclusions. It is the backbone of this great country! 

Finally, I believe that the solution to this pandemic has truly become worse than the problem.  

The thought of impending death has created an unparalleled fear in the hearts of people. Unbridled fear has threatened to take our country. FDR was right. We do have nothing to fear but fear itself.  

Numbers aside, our country has not had such a drastic reaction to a health issue like this before. What if we had the same reaction to cancer, heart disease, obesity, abortion, mental illness, drug addiction, and alcoholism? Imagine how different our world would be if we reacted with such vigor against these other issues. 

How much liberty are we willing to relinquish in the name of safety? This is the question that our country has been faced with since its inception. We relinquished some of it following 9/11 with the resulting Patriot Act and the list continues. 

We face another fork in the road with how we come back from this virus.  

As Christians I believe that fear is the last place we can turn to during this virus. This virus is simply another reminder that death is imminent regardless of the disease that gets one there.  

I take comfort in John Piper’s comments regarding the current pandemic.  

“The same sovereign God that could stop the coronavirus, yet doesn’t is the very sovereignty that sustains the soul in it.” 

This gives hope amid this storm. We have been given freedom is Christ Jesus. We need not live in fear. 

Thus, I return to my original proposition. Are these stay-at-home orders too much? Yes.  

We must never prioritize our safety above our liberty. For when this occurs, we will have neither. 

I side with one of our great Founding Fathers, Patrick Henry. 

“Give me liberty or give me death.”  

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