Maybe I’m preaching to the choir here, but since our choir has been disbanded for over a year I’ve lost touch. So, if there’s one person who needs to hear this, here goes: get vaccinated.
There is a mystifying thing going on in this country. We have a surplus of a lifesaving drug which has been proven to greatly reduce your risk of dying on a ventilator after being infected with a respiratory illness. And yet, millions of people refuse to get it because of either something called “personal freedom” or conspiracy theories they’ve read online, or what they heard happened to their cousin.
Let me be clear. This is a moral issue. You should get vaccinated. Doing so protects not just your own body, but the body of your neighbor and your neighbor’s kid. To the extent my voice matters in your hearing and reading, I implore you to listen to it. But don’t just listen to me, listen to the scientists and doctors who actually know what they’re talking about. They are saying get vaccinated.
The difference is: I’m telling you it’s more than just common sense. It’s required by our faithfulness to Jesus’ command to love our neighbor.
To test your moral thinking on this issue, ask yourself: is my objection to taking the vaccine grounded in my faithfulness to God, and is such faithfulness part of the shared values and thinking of my community of faith? Or, is my thinking derived from some other source which is unrelated to my moral and religious center?
Perhaps we need a theology of public health or a theology of vaccinations. I have an idea, let’s use Matthew 22:37-40 where Jesus answers the lawyer’s question about the greatest commandment. Everything “hangs” on this, Jesus said. Put differently, personal freedom ain’t on the list.
I love you. And you matter. That’s why I’m willing to tell you the truth.
[image attribution: U.S. Secretary of Defense, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons]
And the Lord summed up in Himself this enmity, when He was made man from a woman, and trod upon his [the serpent’s] head, as I have pointed out in the preceding book.
There is a fascinating tradition in Western Christian art of depicting the Virgin Mary trampling the head of a serpent which encapsulates this theology. Artists like Ruben, Tieopolo, and Caravaggio all treated the theme in different ways. The painting by Rubens entitled Immaculate Conception is below.
By Peter Paul Rubens - Web Gallery of Art: Image Info about artwork, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15417509