The Religious “[Non-]Exemption”
One thing that is disturbing about these mandates is the so-called “religious exemption” — for two reasons: (1) that the ‘exemption’ is impotent and ineffectual, and (2) that implicit in the system is the subordinating of religious rights to the adjudication of some administrator or bureaucrat — and everyone advising to take the ‘exemption’ seems unable to realize this.
The arrogation of this power to judge what is and is not acceptable religious thought is downright insane. On the one hand, you have people who likely wouldn’t have even the philosophical tools to understand the consequences of the stated beliefs, much less the theological grounding to understand anything but the most direct quotations and constructions from a belief-set — do you think, for example, they would consider what the implications of claiming the body as Temple of the Holy Spirit are? (1 Corinthians 6:19–20)
Moreover, the consequences of the ‘exemption’ have no effect. (At least insofar as NM’s EO is concerned.) …if you take the ‘exemption’ you are still subject to the periodic testing that was always the ‘alternative’, even though we know this ‘alternative’ is really a threat along the lines of the old mafia-threat: “Nice shop ya have ‘ere, it’d be a shame if something were to happen to it…”
Thus it must be asked “then what is the real point of the ‘exemption’?”
Codification of the Appeal to Self-Authority
The obvious answer lies in both the subordination of religious belief to bureaucracy and the useless impotence of the ‘exemption’ in policy, tying them both together: a sort of moral cowardice (giving ‘legal’ excuses, allowing for avoiding accountability) galvanized with an arrogant refusal to abide by (or even acknowledge) the limits of authority.
This refusal to acknowledge the limits of authority is the consequence of a sort of circular-reference logic termed as “appeal to self-authority” which is essentially: (1) Those in authority are good; (2) I am the authority; (3) If I was not good I would not be the authority; (4) Therefore, since I am the authority, I am good; (5) To oppose me is to oppose my authority; (6) To oppose my authority is to be evil, because I am good, as proved by my authority.
— Thus we see why, on the philosophical level, asserting that there is no such authority as they claim provokes such an emotional response: to even question the limits and boundaries is equivalent to denying their goodness and calling them evil… to their emotional-attachment this is the equivalent of declaring your intent to kill them.
And this brings us to “policy” — this is their great scapegoat: by simply saying “It’s policy!” they protect themselves from criticism (after all, they’re following The Rules!). While simultaneously divesting themselves of accountability (“We didn’t make The Rules!”) — again another circular-logic trap: (1) The rules are good; (2) I enforce the rules, so I am good; (3) any objection to the rules is proof of your evil. And just as above, any dissent or disagreement marks you as a horrible person who wants to destroy all goodness.
If this all seems familiar, that’s because the Courts have been using this for decades: they invented ‘Absolute Legal Immunity’ for themselves, then use that as a shield from any criticism of their judgements or overstepping their authority, especially any Constitutional limits despite the Constitution being the origin of their authority.
Normalization of Coercion & Extortion
All this leads to a natural consequence: these ‘policies’ institute a system which is coercive and extortionate, with any dissent being summarily discarded — dissenters obviously being demonized as at least troublemakers, if not ‘lawbreakers’ — in other words: Welcome to Tyranny.
But, even worse, this is exactly what happens in Communism; consider the Soviet Union’s abuses of psychological incarceration: detractors were labeled as having mental illness, such as “sluggish schizophrenia”, removed from society via ‘institutionalization’, and God only knows how many were tortured. — All of this because such a system, established without real accountability, simply cannot exist in the presence of objections of conscience, or the opposition of good men, or true Justice and so must act against them all. In a sick way, the system acknowledges these and works to swiftly undermine, capture, isolate, and neutralize exactly such persons.
It is precisely this system which is being pushed on us, under the guise of ‘rules’ and ‘policies’, which bureaucrats and administrators can virtue-signal as being ‘good guys’ to the system by adhering thereunto rather than making the possibly-risky move of opposing these evil schemes which will be the normalization of coercion and extortion. Just look at the ‘mandates’ and how common it is to see or hear “I have to take the vaccine or lose my job.” — and the ‘alternative’ of “periodic testing”? It’s quite obvious that using a test with such high rates of false-positives, and which cannot distinguish between the various variants, is in-place only for the theater and inconvenience… and this says nothing at all about the invasiveness, discomfort, or possible malicious uses of these tests. (Imagine, if you will, infecting the tests so that the healthy would be contaminated in order to spread the narrative that simply testing does not work, and that the ‘unvaccinated’ are intrinsically a danger to themselves and others as a means to end the ‘alternative’ of testing.)
If these ‘policies’ and ‘rules’ and ‘mandates’ are allowed to stand, then we are as-a-people declaring that the normalization of coercion and extortion are acceptable in our society.
That our government, institutions, and corporations seem dead-set on implementing all of these — especially with the above sections in mind — there is a temptation towards demoralization: after all, who exactly are we?
That is what these people want you to perceive: they want you to think that you are alone, or part of a group too small to make a difference, and certainly not capable of simply saying ‘no’ or, even worse to their mindset, going on the offensive. — This is why they have been trying to control the narrative, via censorship and deplatforming and shadow-banning: they have very little real power, a lot of ‘influence’, and almost no real, actual authority. This is why they have to set up illusions, to make you ‘agree’ to their deceptions, and to keep you ‘controlled’.
So, instead of being demoralized, or angry, pray. Even if it’s only a few friends, family, or neighbors: pray — turn to Jesus — ask for wisdom, and then act.
I guarantee you that such is not the response that the evil powers want: they do not want you to have a community, they do not want you to have emotional or social support, they do not want you to appeal to the Judge about the injustices being pushed, they do not want your voice heard in Heaven (either now or in the hereafter) — I can’t promise you that God will miraculously act to remove these evils, I can’t promise you that you will be either comfortable or well-fed, but I can promise you that for the sake of Jesus, God will hear.