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A Message From Our Priest-in-Charge

Friday, July 3, 2020


I read an article recently about a number of restaurants around the country whose owners closed because their employees were being verbally, and in some cases physically, abused by customers.  Why the abuse?  Because the restaurants had mandatory mask policies and some of the customers violently objected to wearing masks.  Granted, they’re not the most comfortable things to wear, but the research I’m reading shows that they are an effective means of slowing the transmission of COVID-19.  They don’t do much to protect the wearer, but they do protect other people.  I wondered why some people are so opposed to wearing a mask that they resort to such behavior.  I suspect that one of the principal reasons is an intense aversion to authority. 

I recall an Air Force assignment as commander of a school squadron, 500 or so young airmen fresh from basic training.There were always a few, it seemed, who were in the process of being discharged because they could not tolerate authority and acted out.  I can understand chafing at being “bossed around,” but that is an issue of application rather than the substance of being under authority.  I’ve never been bothered by working and living under authority.  In fact, it’s usually beneficial.  But I have certainly known people who, by reason of personality or experience, refused to acknowledge any authority, often to their own detriment.

One thing I do see in common in the people I have encountered who resist authority is that their behavior affects other people, not only themselves.  I am again reminded of Paul’s words in the second chapter of Philippians, “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves.  Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.”  Paul sets this statement in the context of having this attitude toward other people because this is the attitude Jesus had toward others.  If we desire to become more Christlike this is a great place to start.  Even in the midst of pandemic and societal turmoil we can keep others in the forefront of our thoughts and actions.





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