I Defied a Tyrant Sunday, and You Can Too

//I Defied a Tyrant Sunday, and You Can Too

I Defied a Tyrant Sunday, and You Can Too

By |2020-04-22T22:37:30+00:00April 20th, 2020|COVID-19|0 Comments

This past Sunday at 8pm, Governor Tom Wolf’s order came into effect, requiring all Pennsylvania customers to don face masks prior to entering a store. I defied the order on Sunday, then later dug up the root sources on it. As it turns out, there are actually some nuances in place for “critical” stores, but the net effect is still that you and I are not allowed to enter the store without a mask.

For those of us who don’t want to further legitimize COVID-19 propaganda, it puts us in a difficult spot. I don’t believe that the governor has the authority to issue this order, and combined with the other COVID measures, the whole thing seems way overblown for a virus that’s no more damaging than the common flu. As a result, after careful study I decided to disregard the order, as many patriots have done with similar unjust regulation and legislation in the past. A brief examination of the arguments can be seen in my previous post, COVID-19 and Nazi Propaganda.

So I put those ideas into practice Sunday night at the Giant Food Store in Warminster. By way of follow-up, I thought I’d share my experience in this post, as a resource for anyone else who wants to cross the line, and is wondering what to expect.

My Experience Crossing The Line

Giant gets an A+ for how they handled the situation; it was a much better experience than I expected. I actually filmed myself walking into the store so that I could capture any discussion on video, but the conversation went so well that I didn’t get the chance to tell them that I was recording (which is a legal requirement indoors in PA). So unfortunately I can’t share it with you here. In any case, if you are shopping at another franchise that denies you access to basic food and provisions when crossing the line, you should take your business to Giant, at least insofar as they continue to maintain a level head, and protect the rights of their shoppers against civil abuses.

After turning on my camera, I started walking toward the store, where a cart attendant caught me as I was about to enter. I assumed he was going to deny me entrance for not wearing a mask, but he actually just informed me that I needed to enter through the other door. Evidently they were making sure that those entering and exiting didn’t cross paths; fair enough.

So I walked to the other door. There were two young men standing inside the entrance, chatting with one another and glancing at customers as they walked through the doors. Everyone had masks, so they didn’t bother engaging with them.

When I got there the conversation paused and one of the employees reached for a stack of papers, and handed me one.

The conversation went something like this,

“Hey, starting today the Pennsylvania Department of Health is requiring everyone to wear face masks before entering the store,” the manager said, casting me an apologetic glance.

I asked for some clarification, “Okay thanks; is that store policy as well, or is that just the state?”

“Yeah, they’re basically requiring everyone to wear masks now; unfortunately that’s the way it is.”

“Okay thanks; who would I talk to about getting an exemption?”

“Oh, what — like a health thing? Yeah, if you’ve got a health condition, they’re totally not preventing that.”

“It would be more like a religious exemption.”

“Well yeah man, I mean, we’re not gonna stop you from entering the store or anything; we’re just obligated to tell you that the Department of Health is requiring it.”

“Okay, so it’s a PA government thing, not a store policy, got it. Yeah I disregard lots of things they say; thanks guys; God bless.” I then walked past them into the store.

I’ll admit, it felt really weird being the only guy in the store without a mask, but nobody bothered me. Out of respect for Giant, I made sure to follow all their in-store policies insofar as I could, maintained my six foot distances etc. I think after I entered the store, I saw the manager dart somewhere, presumably to tell his superior about the exchange, but I don’t really know. In the end, at the self-checkout, the girl managing it was super-nice to me the whole time, and very helpful. Finally, with my groceries in hand, I left the store.

Why You Should Cross The Line

If you’re a Christian who also believes that the government’s response to COVID-19 is damaging and unlawful, then I want to encourage you to also prayerfully consider crossing the line — to attempt entering a food store for groceries without a mask, just one time at least.

I’m asking you to do this because we have been given a very small, low-risk, medium-reward way to flex a muscle that the evangelical Church has been lax in exercising over the last century or so, namely saying “no” to unbiblical abuses of civil authority. The Church’s failure in restraining wicked civil rulers is one of the key reasons that child sacrifice is still practiced in our nation today, through over 1,000,000 yearly abortions.

The mask is a symbol of fear and propaganda that Governor Wolf is requiring us to endorse, even if we recognize that COVID-19 is no more damaging than the average flu, and his actions have transgressed the bounds of his biblical authority. Stepping over the line doesn’t directly help to end abortion but it makes at least the following three strides:

  1. It helps you to gain experience in disobeying unjust civil authority, in a low-risk setting. You can always just put on the mask later; it’s not like it’s a sin.
  2. Your actions contradict the COVID-19 propaganda. Sometimes people just need someone else to voice (or visualize) their own suspicions before they too are willing to step out. I kept silent about this until Matt Trewhella, a pastor I respect addressed this in a sermon. If you see something, say something; then others might say something too :-)
  3. It restrains the progress of lawlessness in other important areas. Abortion is a huge deal, but the government regulating our ability to buy and sell is pretty big too, something which is typical of wicked governments (e.g. Rev 13:16-17). In and of itself this is not a particularly harmful seizure of power, but the mask sets a precedent for other lockdowns, such as forced vaccinations as a prerequisite of buying food.

Is it right to call Governor Wolf a tyrant? Perhaps this COVID response is merely a blunder of his administration, but the word is an apt one for the general abuse of authority that marks his administration. Pro-lifers in the state almost universally cite Wolf as the primary reason they can’t get any legislation passed to protect the preborn. I fervently disagree with pro-life strategy and legislation, but certainly can agree with them that Wolf is an obvious enemy of life and liberty who needs to repent or be removed from office. In the mean time, we Christians do not need to bow down to everything he pens; to the contrary, we should resist him insofar as scripture allows, calling him to repent of his sin and tyranny, even in the little areas where we can make a difference.

If you decide to take off the mask, here are some guidelines and ideas you might consider.

Guidelines and Ideas
  • Be respectful and courteous. There’s value in assuming that store owners are well-meaning, and are simply trying to make a profit within the guidelines of Pennsylvania law.

  • Asking for a religious exemption can steer the conversation in a good direction, which is why I chose to do so. However “religious liberties” is a trap that Christians can fall in if that’s all we ask for. Our message to and about the civil government is always that it needs to repent — to entirely cease doing evil and submit to Jesus’ kingdom of righteousness, not only allowing exemptions for Christians, but establishing justice for all people.

  • Understand and be able to articulate why COVID-19 regulations are an overreaction. A good line is, “COVID-19 is proving to be no more damaging than the common flu.”

  • Understand and be able to articulate why you have a biblical right to disregard Wolf’s order, and why you believe it is important to do so. You might check out some of the resources at DefyTyrants.com. The sermon and article linked above also help to apply biblical principles of government and civil disobedience to COVID-19 and abortion specifically.

  • Start filming yourself before entering the store. If the store denies access without a mask, let them know that they are on film, and ask their permission to continue filming, and to post on social media. If they deny permission, then delete the film (for legal reasons), and tell them courteously but firmly that you will be posting on social media that [store name] is denying you access to “basic food and provisions”

  • Practice sharing your testimony and a brief gospel presentation beforehand. If you get the chance, share with the store clerk how Jesus Christ casts out the fear of death and gives us courage.

  • Post online about your experience. It will encourage other believers to think critically and compassionately about the COVID-19 scare. If possible, send the store a link to your summary of the experience (whether good or bad), as well as resources on how they can navigate the complex issues of unjust / unbiblical civil mandates.

  • Wash your hands when you get home. Just in case :-)

  • Sow biblical ideas; obey God, and leave the results up to Him.

May God be with you as you go. Love in Christ,
~ Nate

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