The following letter was prayerfully composed in concordance with Christian principles and then submitted to a governing board for consideration. It is shared here anonymously, with permission, in hopes it will inspire others to assert God-given rights to resist tyrannical government “mandates”:
I have a clear case for a mask exemption; and therefore, I am making my request formally below. I am claiming an exemption for both a health reason and a strong religious objection.
As you all know, I have chronic asthma that is very easily aggravated. My triggers include severe allergies, cold temperatures, physical exertion or other things that elevate my heart rate and breathing, and anxiety from feeling that my air flow is in some way limited. I am on several daily medications to reduce attacks but as you have witnessed on many occasions, I still cough a great deal daily. Masks significantly increase my coughing and anxiety and make it more likely that I will have an asthma attack.
In addition to having a chronic health condition that is aggravated by masks, I have a strong religious objection to the current mask mandate. While it is true that Christians are commanded to obey authority and that the institution of government is created and given authority by God, in each instance of divinely-created institutions, God gives authority, responsibility, and limitations. Within the family, children are to obey their parents, but parents are also required not to provoke their children to anger, thus a limit on their authority. Within the church, congregants are to respect and obey the elders, but church leaders are also held to a high standard of Christian behavior, and when they fail to exemplify those requirements, they are to be removed. With regard to rulers, it states in Romans 13 that the purpose of governing authorities is to be a minister of God to promote good and to punish evil. Because the governing authorities have the responsibility to ensure community godliness in society, they are given the authority to tax and to kill lawbreakers. When our governing authorities are promoting evil and punishing good, our responsibility to follow is lessened. There are a number of instances in Scripture where God’s people have been guided by conscience to disobey government – Shadrach and his two friends, Daniel, Paul, Peter, and others.
Some would argue that there is no direct command in Scripture that would forbid the wearing of a mask in public, and therefore, the Christian is bound to submit to the government. Some have gone so far as to suggest that wearing a mask in public is “loving our neighbor.” However, I disagree with these conclusions.
I would argue that our government has no jurisdiction in the area of public health (and a number of other areas where it has inserted itself). We see examples in Scripture where people are not blessed when doing “good” things that are outside their jurisdiction. For example, in 1 Samuel 13, Saul (the king) decides to make a sacrifice to the Lord before battle because the warriors are scattering. They were to wait for Samuel (the spiritual judge) to make the offering. Because Samuel was later arriving than expected, Saul believed he had a good reason for acting outside his given jurisdiction. Certainly, one would assume that sacrificing to God and seeking His blessing would be appropriate, but Saul’s sin of acting outside his jurisdiction ultimately cost him his position as king.
Not only do I believe that the government is functioning outside its prescribed role, but also, I believe that our government has done much in the last two years to push people toward godlessness, a breach of its duty before God. In recent years, abortion has been protected so that anyone for any reason at any point during the pregnancy, including up to the moment of birth, can kill the baby with impunity. Killing children happens with the protection and encouragement of the government while it also limits our freedoms to lessen potential illness because “every life matters.” Children are subject to child abuse through the forced indoctrination of gender fluidity and sexual perversion while those who teach the biblical truths that there are 2 genders and that sex belongs in a life-long marriage between a man and a woman are threatened with fines and closures.
Our government claims that it is looking out for our welfare despite clear evidence that it is not. While we are supposed to wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19, government officials do not follow their own restrictions. While Black Lives Matters protesters and terrorists are allowed to pillage communities, steal, kill, and destroy property, frequently without wearing masks, churches are shut down to “flatten the curve” of potential spread of illness. Massive numbers of illegal immigrants cross our borders with our government’s unspoken approval without proof of health, while legal businesses and schools are shut down. In response to conflicting information from scientists and doctors about the effectiveness of masks and other government mandates, the government has influenced the media to silence any dissenting views. This censorship is disheartening while we see even children starting to take their own lives due to the extreme stress they experience from the current lifestyle requirements. In its actions, our government has clearly shown that it is not interested in the things of God or the well-being of its citizens, and therefore, has rejected it’s God-given responsibility.
Freedom is a biblical concept, and history clearly shows us the end of tyranny. A tyrannical government is inconsistent, self-consumed, and abusive. As we consider examples from history – Nazi Germany, Mao’s China, the Taliban – we see the blood-thirsty nature of tyranny. It can be argued that encouraging the fear of a virus and subsequent loss of freedom is not loving my neighbor. In fact, as we put more and more faith in government to save us from COVID-19 and every other negative experience of our day, we are actually encouraging idolatry instead of reliance on our Creator. When doing things to “protect others” comes from governmental threats and compulsion, people are deprived not only of freedom but also of charity, a godly trait.
Because government has sought to replace God, because it has forsaken its responsibility mandated by God, because it encourages godlessness and the killing of its citizenry, because I love my neighbor and strive to protect his rights to freedom, and because today’s mask mandates rob people of their human dignity, I have a strong religious objection to the forced wearing of masks.