Mississippi now has highest COVID per capita rate in the country. And how is the Magnolia State taking it all? Well, according to their Republican governor Tate Reeves, as he told an audience in Tennessee (a cynic might suggest that Reeves felt it safer to be in a state other than his own…), southerners are “a little less scared” of the coronavirus because of their religious faith.
No, I’m serious.
Gov. Reeves actually said, "When you believe in Eternal Life -- that living on this earth is but a blip on the screen then you don't have to be so scared of things," And then he added, just to be safe perhaps that he didn’t come across like a total lunatic,: "God also tells us to take necessary precautions."
Yes. Necessary precautions. Like vaccines and masks. And listening to doctors. And listening to experts. Necessary precautions like that.
By the way, left out of the Most Reverend Gov. Reeves sermon on Eternal Life and not being scared of the coronavirus is any mention of his Gulf Coast Mississippi faithful not being scared of Hurricane Ida. No doubt, though, he’s telling them that what with Eternal Life and that blip-on-Earth thing, it’s okay to not worry about the 160 MPH winds and storms and just go on as if it’s business as usual. Though, of course,, take those...well, necessary precautions.
Other necessary precautions that many people take, apparently because God thinks they’re good ideas –
Heavy winter coats.
Child safety seats.
Guard rails on bridges
Hepatitis A and B vaccines
Because, and this is just a guess, God doesn’t want people just relying on Him to protect them about everything, but having personal responsibility and social responsibility. So that people know not to jump off a skyscraper and think they’ll be fine because they have “religious faith.” Or not get out of a moving car on the highway and think they’ll be fine because they believe in God. That’s why God created “necessary precautions.”
And why God created doctors. And created vaccines.
But no, Tate Reeves – and remember, this is the elected Republican governor of the State of Mississippi, sworn to protect the people of his state. This is not your local pastor giving his flock the annual Easter sermon (though how many of those have we already seen die of COVID-19 after telling their parishioners not to take “necessary precautions” because if they believe in God, they’ll be safe) – the governor of Mississippi is saying that the people of his state are less afraid of the coronavirus because they have “religious faith.” Telling the people of his state that life on earth is just a “blip” – so, hey, why not take that leap off the building and enjoy the exhilaration of it until you hit the ground because it’s all just part of Eternal Life.
Mississippi has the highest COVID-19 per capita rate in the country. I’m going to make another pure guess that people in his state are a whole lot more scared that Gov. Reeves (R-MS) thinks. And if not, probably a whole lot more stupid.
Seriously, and this can’t be repeated enough, this is the Mississippi governor saying you’ll be safe from an infectious disease causing a worldwide pandemic if you only have religious faith.
This reminds me of the parable.
A man is in his house when a police car drives by and tells him that a flood is coming and he should take cover. The man says he believes in God and so he’ll be safe because God will protect him.
Later, the flood swells the area so deeply that it fills the streets, and a neighbor paddles by in a canoe. The neighbors says that the flood is rising, come in his canoe. But the man says he believes in God and so he’ll be safe because God will protect him.
The water gets so high that it’s filling his house, and the man has to get on his roof. A helicopter flies overhead and drops a rope. The pilot calls out that the flood is out of control, grab the rope, and they’ll fly off to shelter. However, the man says he believes in God and so he’ll be safe because God will protect him.
Eventually, the flood rises so much that the man drowns. When he’s in heaven, he goes to God and says, “God, I believe in you. I told everyone you would protect me. Why did you let me drown??” And God said, “I sent you a police car, a canoe and a helicopter. Why didn’t you get in any of them?!!”
The Very Reverand Tate Reeves, governor of Mississippi says he and the minions of his state have total faith in God protecting them because they believe in God and Eternal Life. What he and they are missing is that God has sent them doctors and vaccines and masks.
Why didn’t they all use any of those gifts from God??!
And just to show the whimsy of life – Eternal or otherwise -- it’s not Tate Reeves (with the highest per capita infection rate in the country as he relies on faith), but rather Gov. Gavin Newsom of California -- whose state is the only one in the union where infections are decreasing over the past 14 days -- who is the facing a recall election.
It turns out that God does indeed work in mysterious way. Though at the same time, He also tells us to take necessary precautions.
Like about the blip you elect governor.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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