Bearing False Witness and Using Religion for Political Gain
“Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor” commanded God to Israel. Why is that one of the ten commandments? The first five is our relationship with God and how we should love, honor, and serve God alone. The second five is man’s relationship with man and how man should love, honor, and serve each other. That’s one of the reasons behind the two great commandments Christ stated to the Jews: love God and love fellow man (see Matthew 22:36-4.
Recently there has been a spike in the way people have viewed COVID-19 within the religious community in Utah. I know, I know, not another one of these COVID-19 articles. Yes, it needs to be addressed. Faith leaders are urging congregations to wear masks in public, two dozen of them recently stating that doing so might not be a mandating thing in the scriptures, but the principles of doing so are. How so? “For me as a person of faith and as a faith leader, it’s kind of a no-brainer that people should take care of each other. Self-sacrifice in the name of the better good is easy for people of faith, people who are committed to their faith, to do that,” said Monica Dobbins.
She goes on even further saying that wearing a mask is “so that I can protect other people, and that feels like a religious value to me… This is a value – caring for each other and putting other people’s needs before my own – is a value that’s common to almost every faith that you can imagine” said Dobbins.
Fox News in Utah states that there were two dozen religious leaders signed a letter that was sent out by Governor Herbert’s office, representing almost every religious denomination in Utah. The list of those who signed this was the First Counselor of the Utah Area Presidency in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake, Episcopalian Diocese of Utah, Islamic Society of Greater Salt Lake, Salt Lake Buddhist Temple, Chabad Lubavitch of Utah, Lutheran Church, Christian, Presbyterian, Evangelical, Episcopal, Baptist, Unitarian and Jewish churches. The letter states: “We recall the greatest commandment is to love God, and the second is like unto it, to love one’s neighbor as oneself. One cannot claim to love one’s neighbor while deliberately putting them at risk.”
The rhetoric is changed. It’s no longer “stay home, save lives” as much as it is “Wear a mask to show you love God!” Proverb 14:25 states, “A true witness delivereth souls: but a deceitful witness speaketh lies.” The position they take is that without wearing a mask puts everyone at risk of contracting a virus and that “our actions must accompany those prayers.” Meaning if you are not wearing a mask you have no faith in God or in your prayers, period. Proverb 25:18 states, “A man who bears false witness against his neighbor is like a club, a sword, and a sharp arrow,” meaning false witnesses is just as deadly as weapons. They are meant to destroy.
Why is bearing false witness one of the 10 Commandments? Because in doing so, the intention is to injure the neighbor’s character, punishable by law. To which Moses even gave another commandment later on in connection with bearing false witness, this one: “Thou salt not raise a false report” (Exodus 23:1), which the LXX and Vulgate translate it as “Thou shalt not receive a false report,” meaning not give any credit to it. The church and people are commanded by God not to accept that report as being true or to give any bearing at all to it. The commandment is to not act upon such reports and forbids people from giving any support or action to any false testimony.
These faith leaders “pray for the end of this devastating pandemic” by stating that in wearing a mask we’re showing love for God and fellow men. We are to self-sacrifice for ‘the better good’ and welfare of other people, ones all around us, including grandma and grandpa hundreds of miles away.
First off, finding words to this report that was given is extremely hard to do. Never in my life would I believe that we have actually reached a time when religion is used in Utah for political gain. This is an all-out attack of religion, where there seems to be Marxists, Fascists, and Communists at almost every turn! An example yesterday was Spencer Cox who came out on Twitter showing how masks today are a parallel to the brass serpent Moses raised up. Wear it and live. He virtue signals the Messiah complex stating that we must follow his example and wear a mask to be saved. That we hold responsibility and accountability before God for saving others around us. And like the religious leaders who proclaim wearing a mask is showing love for their neighbor, comes the other portion of it which is to the opposition party: Shame them into wearing masks to buy and sell, to participate in Church, to be accepted by society.