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Would Jesus Wear a Mask and Get Vaccinated?

Would Jesus Wear a Mask and Get Vaccinated? July 29, 2021

These are tough questions to answer, especially for a former pastor turned freethinker like myself. There are just so many variables to consider like these:

  • Was Jesus anti-science?
  • Would Jesus have rebelled against the advice or mandates of the “health officials” of his day to wear a mask or get a vaccine?
  • Or would Jesus have done what any thoughtful citizen might have done to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and to set a good example?
Image by Jeyaratnam Caniceus from Pixabay
For many Christians, refusing to wear a mask and getting the vaccine is a symbol of defiance. / Image by Jeyaratnam Caniceus from Pixabay

“What would Jesus do?”

As many of us know, the fundamental question “What would Jesus do?” is often used as a guide by many believers to help them decide what to do when tough decisions need to be made. And it seems to me that these three questions are among the most important that believers must wrestle with in choosing whether to wear a mask and get a vaccine themselves.

Yet, how believers answer these questions and act upon them is crucial for the rest of us. Because given that there are roughly 2.382 billion Christians in the world, what they decide to do—or not to do—has far reaching implications for humanity.

Making water into vaccines

As the miracle is told . . . Jesus once turned water into wine at a wedding in Cana. He also made a few fish and loaves of bread multiply in a way that fed thousands. He’s also rumored to have healed many individuals of various illnesses. Yet, nowhere in the Bible is it said that Jesus either healed himself or humanity in mass.

Presumably, (if COVID-19 was raging during his days on earth) Jesus could have turned the waters of the Jordan river into a potent vaccine, or healed any victim of this virus, or just simply eradicated the virus altogether with a simple command. I’m not being facetious. There were limitations to the miracles Jesus could or would do back then, and since he is long gone there are limitations as to what believers can expect the power of God to accomplish now.

Most believers intuitively know that without the power of science today any number of viruses and diseases could have wiped out humanity a long time ago. These believers have been able to successfully integrate their faith with the practical application of science into their lives. Yet, there are many believers who think God is still orchestrating every event and facet of life on earth, and they are willing to let all hell break lose by rebelling against any intervention from man to curb the spread of death caused by the latest coronavirus.

Meaning, they view rebellion as a test of loyalty to their faith, and they have turned the actions of not wearing masks and not getting vaccinations as symbols of their rebellion. Of Course, Christians have the right to be callous with their own mortality, but not the right to endanger the lives of millions of people just to prove their allegiance to a mythical, supernatural being.

You see, to the non-believers of the world these reckless actions don’t prove the level of one’s spirituality. To the contrary, these actions reflect of level of narcistic self-interest and contempt for humanity.

Which brings us back full circle to the question of whether Jesus would wear a mask and take a shot in the arm for the team. And if I use my definition of what it means to be spiritual, I believe Jesus would wear a mask today and he would also get the vaccine.

Jesus put it like this in Matthew 7:12

“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”

Secular folks like me know this as the golden rule. To explain this rule in the proper context . . .
My mother taught me when I was just a kid to cover my mouth when I coughed. Even at that tender age I understood I could prevent someone else from getting sick if I didn’t—spit in their face so to speak. So, when health officials recommend that people wear masks to prevent people others from dying that’s advice even a child can understand.

Besides, what’s the more spiritually minded action a person can do? Refuse to wear a mask because it’s an inconvenience, an infringement of one’s civil rights, or to prove one’s faith in a God? Or to wear a mask and potentially save hundreds of lives?

As far as getting a vaccine goes . . . first the obvious: It’s true, there are individuals who because of their age or heath conditions should not get a vaccine. For the rest of us, thought, the benefits far out weigh the side-effects. I’d even go so far as to say that it’s quite miraculous that we live in an age when advancements in science permit us to create vaccines that save millions of lives.

And while there is a little more inconvenience to getting a vaccine than wearing a mask, the same spiritually minded logic applies. Getting a vaccine to save yourself, your loved ones, and your neighbor is just the right thing to do.

About Scott R. Stahlecker
Scott Stahlecker is a former minister and now writes for Thinkadelics about the joys and benefits of living as a freethinker. He is the author of the novel Blind Guides and Picking Wings Off Butterflies. You can read more about the author here.

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8 responses to “Would Jesus Wear a Mask and Get Vaccinated?”

  1. Vaccines didnt exist when Judaism transitioned to christianity. I dont even think they bathed back then.

  2. There were a few hypotheticals in my post. Another one was that there were probably no public health officials.

    And nobody back then had any idea why sickness existed from a scientific standpoint. They probably believed all illnesses originated from God as a form of punishment.

  3. Silly boy, you think that today’s MAGAs and far right wing evangelicals care about the Golden Rule?

  4. “In theory” is a good way of emphasizing my point. I mean, it’s yet to be proved that Jesus even lived. He could just be a mythological figure. But I’ve read the NT numerous times, and it’s hard not to walk away from the impression the NT gives that Jesus’ compassion and selflessness would have compelled him to protect the health and wellbeing of others.

    MAGATs as you put it, are not interested in this kind of transformative power; of following Christianity to seek the kind of spiritual ideals that might make them better people and the world a better place. To them, it’s about politicizing and weaponing religion to suit their selfish interests.

  5. My own personal belief is the man/god known as Jesus never actually existed, but instead was an amalgam of various non-conforming Jewish rabbis running around the area, mixed in with some of the mythology circling around that entire region for centuries. I could be wrong, but IMO it really doesn’t matter, wrong or right.

    The church I went to while I was growing up was of the “be good and try to live like Jesus said” variety, and I’ve tried to follow that even though I’m not a Christian. To quote the late Christofer Reeves, “When I do good, I feel good.”

    I saw something on Youtube this week: an episode of Mr. Rogers played (and translated) for a group of Middle Eastern tribal folks (2 men, 1 woman). They all agreed that Mr. Rogers was a remarkable man who modeled kindness and compassion as well as curiosity in the world around him and respect for those who knew more than he did about any particular subject. (My side note; he clearly labelled make believe as make believe and taught that it was fun to pretend, but that it wasn’t real.)

    I say we should do as Mr. Rogers does because–unlike Jesus–he absolutely did live and we have 30 years of his life on film, plus scads of people who knew him well, so we have a really good idea of his personality. I’m pretty sure Mr. Rogers would have taken the shot and encouraged others to take it to help protect those who medically can’t.

  6. Can you find and post the link about Mr. Rogers? That’s a great story I’d like to watch myself. The lesson I take from it is that it illustrates how people from around the world can recognize and value a good person when they see one. Which makes the adoration of Trump by evangelicals and Christians all the more perplexing.

    Is it that some individuals are simply poor judges of character and lack the ability to discern good moral behavior from the bad? And what does this tell us about the power of Christianity (or lack thereof) to empower people to lead noble lives?

    I’m guessing there are a lot of Christians who are questioning their faith at this moment. Who are reevaluating their commitment to Christianity because of the way it is turning into a political force.

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