I have begun to read stories of people who are actually losing their jobs because employers are mandating COVID-19 vaccinations, or who have tendered their resignations because of such an edict and are now actually without a job or income. In reading those stories, I found a serious amount of respect for those people but not for the reason that you will see screamed about in social media.
I had respect for them because they actually followed through with their statements they would give up their jobs for their convictions.
Now, let me be clear for those of you who will actually read this column and haven’t already jumped to social media to spew your chosen position on the vaccine and vaccine mandates which has nothing to do with what I’m actually talking about in this column. This has nothing to do with COVID-19 at all. It has nothing to do with the mandates, or anything else related to the nuts and bolts of the COVID related debate.
It’s about a principle that someone would have the intestinal fortitude to say ‘I believe in this, and I believe in it enough to make my life and that of my family more difficult to live by that belief.’
The last few decades have seen America, in my mind, turn into the land of compromised principles. Things that we will say matter so much to us when we’re chatting at a dinner party or backyard BBQ or in the 60 seconds of commercials on a change of possession during an NFL broadcast, but in reality, we don’t risk our comfort, our status, our image, our marriage, or our family to stand up for those things.
The vaccine quitters are actually doing it. They drew their rhetorical line in the sand, and many of those who disagreed with them took great enjoyment in disparaging their “opponents” with claims no one would actually quit their jobs when the moment of truth loomed large over their family budgets. These critics were dead set sure that the people who said they would rather quit their jobs than take the vaccine would back down at the last minute.
Some did. I can’t deny that. A surprising number of people followed through on their stated convictions and left their jobs.
It made me think of my life, and the things that if they were called onto the carpet as something I would have to give up if I could do the same thing. I would like to say that I would stand up for my principles, but until you’re face-to-face with that choice, you can’t really say that you wouldn’t give in to avoid the negative consequences.
I made this decision once. I was living in a county in New Mexico that at the time had the highest rate of alcoholism per capita in the United States. In what will likely not be a surprise, it also had the highest rate of drunken driving in the United States as well.
I was working for a radio station that sold a remote live broadcast to...wait for it...a drive-thru liquor store.
I’m not making a joke. They sold a live broadcast inviting people in the highest county in the USA for alcoholism and drunk driving to drive in and get their booze for the weekend.
I told the boss that basically inviting people to risk their lives and take action that could harm other people in that manner went against my faith in Christ, and I refused to do it. I was told I could do it or be fired.
(God came through, by the way, and the day I was originally told to do that live broadcast, I was starting a new job many states away.)
Now, as I look back, I have to be honest in that I knew if I quit my parents were there to help, and I wouldn’t have been out on the street. Now, without any safety net, I wonder if I could make that same call.
Some of the people who didn’t want to take the vaccine made it, and they’re dealing with the fallout of it. And I say, good for them, for standing up for their beliefs.
What would you stand up for?
For example, if you are someone who is vehemently opposed to forced labor and child labor, and you found out your employer was using sweat shops in Kuala Lumpur, would you quit your job if your boss refused to move their production to an ethical supplier?
What about if you’re someone who is a strong voice against domestic violence? You never miss a protest, you never fail to sign a petition, and you’re always on social media sharing stories of abuse with a stern “we must never have that again!” above it.
Would you actually call 911 if you knew your cousin was being abused or is family harmony more important?
What about those Kansas City Chi....oh, look, I’m out of column space. So I’ll just end with this:
What’s your line in the sand that when your time comes, you’ll take your stand?