Pastor's Blog

My wife and I waited for our test results in the sterile little room in the clinic.  After a meaningless knock on the door the doctor entered, uninvited -- a thirty-something gal with a perky ponytail.  She introduced herself jovially and said with a giggle and a clap of her hands, "OK.  You both tested positive for COVID!"  My wife and I pumped our fists and shouted in unison “YES!”.

For us, COVID was a mild head cold.  If it weren’t for the telltale loss of the sense of taste and smell, I wouldn’t have even noticed I was sick.

I’ve publicly expressed that we are quite well.  But some people have privately asked, “How are you – REALLY?”, certain that we are putting a good face on a tragedy.  No.  COVID was a mild head cold, and we really are quite well.

If you look at the numbers, what my wife and I experienced is what most people experience.  COVID, as a rule, is experienced as something between a mild cold and a hard-hitting but brief case of the flu.
As a rule, most people don’t die of COVID.
As a rule, most people don’t end up in the ICU or on ventilators.
As a rule, most people don’t even end up hospitalized.
As a rule, it’s experienced like the cold or the flu.
I’m not denying that COVID can be dangerous or fatal.
I’m not saying that precautions should not be taken.
I’m simply saying that, as a rule, COVID has proved itself not all that dangerous to most of the populace.
The horror stories are the exception, not the rule.

A more dangerous disease in our society seems to be our inability to think in terms of rules and exceptions.  It used to be standard practice, but it now seems an almost lost art.  Instead, attention is focused on exceptions and exceptions seem to be turned into rules and practice and policy are dictated by the exceptions rather than the actual rules.

For example, most police officers are honorable and trustworthy.  Not only do we shine the light on the exceptions – the few bad cops – but there is a loud clamor across the nation to see the institution of policing as a criminal entity, dangerous to society, that needs to be distrusted, defunded, and dismantled.  

Most white people are not cruel to non-white people, and most white people despise white supremacists and Neo-Nazis and want nothing to do with them.  Such “hate groups” exist (always have, always will) but America has made them a microscopic minority – by far the exception and not the rule.  But you’d never suspect that from the way the “threat of white supremacy” is presented in the mainstream media.  You'd think they are poised to overthrow the government and take over the nation!

So many issues and “crises” seem manufactured this way nowadays.  The true rule is ignored and an exception is blown out of proportion.  Then there is a crusade for radical change to the rule for the sake of the exaggerated exception.  But hard cases make bad law, and exceptions make bad rules.

We need to stop thinking this way and return to sanity. 
We need to call people out who confuse rules and exceptions.
The rule is the rule and exceptions are exceptions.
If the exception is a problem, deal with it.  But don’t claim it is the rule.
Lies warp reality, and warped reality ends up destroying good rules and making troublesome exceptions worse.

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