Frail and faltering follower of Jesus

Unpopular Causes - Opposing Covid Passes

By Gavin Davies

A mere 400 souls attended the Senedd protest against Covid passes, but here we stood.

I was at the protest at the Together Declaration protest at Cardiff’s Senedd against Covid passes. I was disappointed there were only about 400 people there, but also glad to feel just a little less alone, seeing 399 other people resisting what I see as tyranny.

I already know how such activity will be framed. There are reductive smear words. “Antivaxx”, “anti science”, “selfish”… None of these were true of anybody I spoke to or any of the speakers at the event.

Why feel so strongly? It’s just a jab, bro!

Lots of reasons, and no it is NOT “just a jab”! I am not talking about the vaccines in isolation - I am speaking very specifically about the “Covid passes”, which take various forms.

First, the notion of medical status being a dividing line in society is deeply insidious. “Medical apartheid” sounds a bit hysterical until you read about what’s happening in Lithuania (which may be exaggerated in some reports but for sure is pretty extreme). People are losing their livelihoods around the globe.

Second, the demonisation of refuseniks in the media seems really vicious and one-sided. There is one approved narrative, and that just smells bad to me. I am not saying there is explicit collusion, more, there’s a tide, a current, that is flowing in one direction. “It’s just a mask bro” became “It’s just a vaccine, bro” becomes “it’s just an app, bro”. What then? “It’s just a social credit system, bro”. “It’s just a chip in your hand, bro, it makes life easier”. “You’ve just had all your assets frozen, bro”. Again, if you think that’s far-fetched, read about what’s been happening to people in Lithuania.

Third, it is ineffective. Even Boris Johnson has acknowledged that the current vaccines are non-sterilising. So, by extension, how does having your medical status scanned in a venue protect anybody? There is some argument that the vaccines may reduce viral load in transmission. I’m not getting into that, it’s not the point, and I’m not arguing on those grounds primarily - I’m mainly arguing it is wrong to issue Covid passes - but it must be acknowledged that just because someone’s vaccinated does not mean they cannot catch or spread Covid-19.

Fourth, a Covid pass puts us in a “papers please” society, which is inconvenient at the very least but certainly more sinister than that. Like the lockdowns, it will damage small businesses (imagine being a small club having to scan people on the door, this could put a club out of business adding an extra member of staff), but not affect powerful global firms like Amazon. Their scale means they can lobby for huge taxes and heavyweight measures and it will actually BENEFIT them. Covid passes also means petty tyrants have leverage to bully and discriminate.

Fifth, there’s no room for prior immunity from natural infection. It’s artificially levelled. “Just shut up and get the shot”. Well, some reports suggest that natural immunity confers better protection. Maybe that’s so, but this pass has no room for that. Medical interventions (tests and vaccines) only.

Sixth, it’s hubristic. Trying to control an airborne virus using the means of social control is like Canute trying to tell the tide not to come in.

Seventh, it’s a social credit system by the back door. “Oh sorry you haven’t had your seventeenth booster jab, you can’t buy crisps”. I’m extremely concerned that this Covid pass will converge with Government-backed crypto (CBDC - Central Bank Digital Currencies) - then you could be locked out of the economy on the basis of your medical status.

Eighth, my rights (and duties) are not conferred to me by society, but by God. Get bent with telling me you’re “giving me rights”! I obey the law of the land as best I can because the New Testament tells us to, but I will not disobey God to obey the law of man.

Ninth, the whole Big Pharma question. How many lawsuits have there been over the years against Big Pharma, and all of a sudden, they’re these shining heroes or something? Please. Combine this with objection 5, and some of the leaked contract documents between Big Pharma and governments, and we get a suspicious picture, certainly from my viewing angle.

Tenth, the level of coercion is something I haven’t seen before in my lifetime. “We won’t force you, we’ll just take away everything until you give in”. I forsee this arriving in Wales eventually, if this keeps up. It’s the clearest example of manufactured consent I’ve seen.

Eleventh, it is a univariate analysis - the Covid and the health service is all that matters to our society. This is what led to lockdowns and the removal of so many freedoms.

Finally, and most importantly, and I hope I’m wrong, but the notion of a Covid pass seems to me to be outright satanic, in every sense of the word.

The theology of refusal

In the Bible, the book of Revelation chapters 12 and 13 talks of the “Beast”, which seems to represent empire. Empires have arisen during history, promising safety, stability; a form of unrighteous peace bought by giving up our consciences.

The picture, to my mind, seems to fit - contemporary society lacks hallmarks of Godliness - modernity is a greedy, selfish, vicious, sensuous mess that broadly opposes what God declares to be virtuous in the Bible, yet our culture imperialistically and hubristically raises its rainbow flags around the world, promising stability and prosperity, if only you sacrifice your beliefs, culture, identity and values on the altar of some grey McDonalds sludge of globalism. This is similar to how Satan, who “masquerades as an angel of light”, tempted Christ in the wilderness - by offering him comfort in exchange for worship. Jesus stood firm.

The Apostle John records that this “Beast” requires people to buy in to it to the point of being “marked” by it:

11 Then I saw a second beast, coming out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb, but it spoke like a dragon. 12 It exercised all the authority of the first beast on its behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed. 13 And it performed great signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to the earth in full view of the people. 14 Because of the signs it was given power to perform on behalf of the first beast, it deceived the inhabitants of the earth. It ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived. 15 The second beast was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that the image could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed. 16 It also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, 17 so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name.

18 This calls for wisdom. Let the person who has insight calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. That number is 666.

This would have spoken to John’s readers of tyrant Nero. It has spoken to the faithful under oppression throughout the centuries to keep going, to hold fast.

Please read me carefully on this one - I am not specifically calling a vaccine the “specific, definite mark of the beast”. What I am saying is that, typologically, the Covid pass fits the pattern of beastlike manipulation - a corrupt “empire” offering safety and economic success, in exchange for one’s “head and hand” (representing, perhaps, thoughts, beliefs and deeds) aligning with the Beast, and those who refuse being shut out of the system. There may be a literal “mark” on the horizon as a final fulfilment of this, or the Apostle may be speaking typologically - theologians differ. I tend to the former position, personally, but the important thrust to me seems to be - I must not wilfully align with a corrupt regime to protect my own skin.

So, I might be totally wrong about all this. I hope I am! Perhaps the Covid pass is the best idea ever, and I’m mistaken about everything, in which case, may God convict me and set me right. I may be misapplying this text, if so may God have mercy on me. However, I cannot go against my conscience:

But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and whatever is not from faith is sin. - Romans 14:23

The principle Paul lays out here, I receive as “do not butcher your conscience”. Because I see a Covid pass as ineffective, morally wrong, and worse than that, as collusion with an ungodly controlling picture, I cannot use a Covid pass, even if I must starve to death. It would be butchery of my conscience.

Facing Consequences - Is there any societal solidarity any more?

One lady, Tanya, spoke movingly about the miners in 1984, how the wives would stand outside supermarkets and beg, and local people would fill trollies with food for them in loving solidarity. I wonder if we have that today in Welsh society in general, should Lithuanian-style social excision come for Covid pass refuseniks? Our societies are so atomised through modernism, political tribalism, solipsistic identitarian ethos, non-integrating multiculturalism, and loss of faith that I don’t have any confidence the general society will provide for each other if the time comes, especially after lockdowns cruelly choked communities unconscious if not dead. Grand narratives of faith, duty and national identity have been replaced by “trust the science” and thin “woke” gruel in society at large, the lowest common denominators to attempt to unify a fragmented atomised populace. The zeitgeist hid away everything beautiful and gave us Netflix and iPads.

In some local subcommunities, thankfully, community remains alive. Perhaps it’s always been that way and the idea of national cohesion is a reactionary projection into the past? I trust that if my refusal to consenting to being identified by medical status leaves my family destitute, God’s family will provide food and shelter for us, should it come to that. That’s been the pattern of the Church for 2000 years. I trust God and by proxy trust His people. Suffering may come for me last because I’m a high skill remote knowledge worker, but if it doesn’t come I’ll be genuinely astonished. Still, I’ll play to the whistle. One guy quoted Luther “here I stand, I can do no other” (which brave Martin may or may not have actually said, but the point is well made). Nothing can destroy the church entirely - Jesus said so.

Who are you hoping to persuade?

I’m not; I am hopefully not so proud as to think my argumentation can persuade anybody, like I’m some amazing sage who everybody should listen to! Instead, what I hope is that anybody reading this will have sympathy for my position, to understand as a human being that I’ve thought this through, and I have my reasons and am not the cartoon bad guy the media would suggest about people in this movement. I’m laying this out for the sake of conscience.

In the past, I have supported popular causes - environmentalism, for example, but this one is unpopular. In a culture where one must have the correct set of opinions to be accepted, it’s scary to speak out against something like Covid passes, that the media/state/academy seems to have manufactured such a degree of consent for.

If I am judged to have been wrong about this issue by my peers, so be it, but if I am judged by God to have gone against the best judgement of my informed conscience, that is far more serious. I’m here for an audience of one, ultimately.

What can be done?

Not violence. Never violence. Nor lawlessness. Nor hatred of any person. Nor slandering individuals.

Legal routes, in the context of right-relating, are all that are open to me to make my voice heard as best I can.

I tried writing to my MP, the response was a fob-off that didn’t engage with my points, and basically said “it’s not a vaccine pass, it’s a Covid pass, and it’s a good thing actually”.

I signed petitions, for what good that does (I suspect none).

I attend whatever rallies I can, but mostly I only hear about them after the fact (I don’t have mainstream social media).

Ultimately, it’s not about what I do. I have to do what is right, not what is efficacious or expedient. There is no such thing as “the ends justifying the means”, they NEVER do, Christ showed us that clear as day. When something seems impossible, Jesus reminds us that “with God, ALL THINGS are possible” - to “Him who believes”. Alongside a hero of scripture I cry “I believe, help my unbelief!”

And I pray to God to have mercy on me and my nation, to send revival. Because therein is the cure for all our ills - Jesus, only Jesus, nothing but Jesus. I can’t save the world; He already has.

“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” - Jesus, Luke 21:33. That’s something to cling to! Maranatha!