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More than a few are saying what is happening now is the wrath of God.

It is not.

What it is something that has happened as a result of human carelessness.

Across the street from me is a FRESHCO. For those who don’t know what that is, it’s a supermarket.

Yesterday I picked up cat food and important supplies for the house. I went early. I stood in the line-up the required distance from the person in front of me.

Then a person stepped into the space between myself and that person.

When I spoke up that person said, “I don’t speak English.”

Maybe they did. Maybe they didn’t.

What the person did do was stand a very short distance behind the person in front of them.

This is what I mean by human carelessness.

That person if what they said is true had not cared to learn the language of the part of this country they now live in.

If that is not true then that person used not knowing English as their excuse to ignore what all of us are asked to do.

We are now paying the price for that carelessness.

The word “sin” carries a lot of emotional weight. That weight obscures the true meaning of the word. What is that meaning? It is “to miss the mark.” It is an archery term. Most of us when we shoot an arrow miss the mark. There is no shame in that. The shame comes from allowing fear of failure to cripple us from trying.

I have failed at everything I have done.

It might look like success to others but everything I have done has fallen short of the mark I aimed at.

That’s how it is in life.

Am I a sinner? Yes, of course I am. The word “sin” means, as I said, “to miss the mark.” I have missed every mark I set for myself.

Still, I try again.

We are told this virus began in an open air wet market in Wuhan, China. It started when a bat bit a snake. Someone bought the snake. They ate it raw.

As a result this week the entire planet (at least the part of it that is listening) is shut down.

Unfortunately there are still those who choose for whatever excuse they can come up with are refusing to do what must be done.

Paul wrote in Romans, “There is only one sin. Let the excuse die on the lips of the one who speaks it.”

That, to me, makes sense.

Some folks lined up in Toronto to buy a new video game.

The store offering the game knowingly did wrong.

The people eager to buy the game put themselves knowingly at risk.

Some folks elsewhere knowingly ignored the risk and did their annual spring run.

This is foolishness.

Saturday I took the TTC to NOFRILLS to buy toilet paper. For years I have always kept this house well stocked. Right now I’m counting my pennies to make sure my lawyer is paid. The last time the stuff I buy was on sale I said, “You have more than enough, wait.”

I should not have.

Too bad. I had biked over Thursday when the sale started. They did not have it in stock. Thursday I could just walk in.

Saturday morning I was glad to see I could not do that. I had to line up outside. I had to wait my turn.

When my turn came I found they did not have the stuff that was on sale. I paid more one package of 24 of what they did have then I would have paid for two packages of the 30 that had been on sale.

I live with a couple of other people. Why? Because I long ago learned first from my dogs and then from my cats that as long as I have some one to take care of I can take care of myself.

I now understand why Josef Stalin mass murdered those millions.

He did it because they refused to listen.

What did I do about the person who stepped into the lineup ignoring the distance request?

I did what I could do. I did not get angry. That is only going to harm me. I kept my distance.

I have learned that our government, its hand forced by those who refuse to do what most of us are doing, is going to impose heavy fines.

There’s a problem there.

Arrest them?

Then the police officers who have to arrest them, process them and place them in custody are put at risk (not to mention the prisoners already in our detention centers, jails and prisons almost all of whom should be set free right now).

If ever a situation called for kid gloves this is that situation.

The word “pray” at its best means “think.”

This is a time when I am called to think, to think deeply.

Okay, let’s look at that Wrath of God idea.

In Luke we are told angels appeared to the shepherds in the hills announcing the birth of Jesus.

Right from the start we are given a key few understand and fewer use.

Those shepherds were viewed by “good, G*D fearing folk” as unclean as their job kept them from regular religious observance. Note that those angels DID NOT appear to the priests in Jerusalem offering daily sacrifice in the temple nor did they appear to the many religious professionals in the land.

The angels appeared first to the men those folk called sinners, deep sinners, hardened sinners (“Who knows what those men alone in those hills are doing,” said the gossips. Today they would add, “We have all seen BREAKBACK MOUNTAIN).

So it goes throughout the gospels. Few among the professional clergy had room in their hearts for Jesus. But the prostitutes, the people those “good” folk called sinners, those folk rejoiced in him.

So don’t worry that G*D is going to kick your ass ’cause you have not been spending time in a temple as because the person in your bed is the same sex you are. That is not going to rouse the wrath of G*D.

Yes, sin is at root of this by which I mean human carelessness is at the root of this.

The officials in Wuhan, China who ignored the very real danger daily in front of their eyes are at root.

Does it do any good to blame them?

No. In fact it does nothing but harm.

“The title of last week’s sermon from Robert Jeffress, pastor of the Dallas First Baptist Church—an Evangelical Christian megachurch that claims a flock of 14,000— directly addressed the issue worrying most Americans: the novel coronavirus pandemic. The title of the sermon, “Is the Coronavirus a Judgement From God?” expressed a question that might have been lurking in the minds of many of his 90,000 viewers—his largest online audience ever—who often connect modern calamities to the apocalyptic prophesies in the Book of Revelation.

“After 20 minutes, Jeffress reassured his viewers, “The coronavirus is not one of the plagues in [the book of] Revelation.” Still, he cautioned, “All natural disasters can ultimately be traced to sin.”

“Throughout his sermon, Jeffress reminds his viewers that “if you believe the God of the Bible, you believe that God does use judgement against sin, including natural disasters,” and that a God who wouldn’t send people to hell “doesn’t exist.”

“Other evangelists have presented themselves as the solution to the pandemic. LGBTQ Nation reported that Cindy Jacobs, founder of the anti-LGBTQ organization Generals International, said God told her to create a global day of prayer to stop the virus from spreading. Jim Bakker, a discredited former minister the evangelical right, saw the opportunity to make a quick buck. Bakker who, like Jeffress, frequently engages in apocalyptic discourse, promoted an apparent coronavirus cure on his infomercial-like television program. In response, the FTC and FDA demanded that he “immediately cease” making misleading claims about the product.

“Jeffress is not so extreme. Indeed, during his sermon, the pastor echoed CDC directives, warning his audience to wash their hands and practice social distancing. Most important, however, was this advice: “We are to pray,” he said.”

One of Trump’s Favorite Pastors Says, “All Natural Disasters Can Ultimately Be Traced to Sin.” 


Jeffress is right. It is time to think.

We start by standing behind our leaders no matter how much we may not like them.

We in Canada have a leader who is facing the harsh reality of this moment every instant as he is in quarantine and his wife has the virus.

Justin Trudeau personifies everything we are passing through.

That is one huge advantage for Canada. For Trudeau this crisis is personal (as it is for every one of us on earth). He knows personally what must be done.

What do we do about those who refuse to do what must be done?

Unless they are allowed to pay the price of their folly they will insist they were right all along.

We must be strong enough to let them pay the price of their folly.

Thanks to them when we come out of this we are going to be living in a global police state.

Why? Do I really have to answer that question?






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