I would like to respond to last week’s, Question of the Week “Should churches and other places of worship be allowed to reopen?”
Raising the question seems to indicate that there is uncertainty about the issue. On Jan. 19/21 B.C. issued province-wide restrictions which stipulated that, “By order and direction of the Pubic Health Office all events and social gathering are suspended to significantly reduce COVID-19 transmission related to social interactions and travel”.
It is, therefore, illegal for church members to meet; they also do not have an ethical and religious right to disregard health directives when public safety is at stake particularly with the current corona variants. The virus does not distinguish among believers, agnostics and atheists, nor between young and old.
Despite this, the Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver has clamoured to have their churches opened; a few faith communities in Abbotsford and several social gatherings in Vancouver have been fined.
Most people have some kind of religious aspiration, which may help them, but it does not protect them from disease and death. We need to respect what science can tell us and what religion can do. This also applies to politicians who ignore medical professionals for the sake of the economy. As the Bible states, “Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.” (Mk:12:170)
Health directives such as seat belts in cars and planes and helmets on bikes save lives, as do vaccines, masks and distancing — including not assembling for religious, political and social reasons.
Albert Leering, White Rock