First, remember that there have been violent mobs of people burning and pillaging American cities for months now, including the latest onslaught in Louisville, Kentucky.
Now also remember that large crowds of people have been gathering in the last week to lament the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Then ask yourself this: Under what absurd constellation of civic consciousness could it be deemed just with such a backdrop to arrest a man, merely for singing psalms outside in a town square with his fellow churchgoers?
Well, when the national religion is the mask, my country tis of thee, sweet land of tyranny. Signed, Moscow, Idaho.
That’s where Gabe Rench was handcuffed and hauled to jail this week for protesting the city’s mask mandate, which requires them to be worn in all public spaces — inside or out — where no social distancing is possible until January. Rench, who is running for county commissioner and also hosts a podcast called CrossPolitic, said he emailed the police chief earlier in the week to remind him that his duty was to the citizens — the vast majority of whom spoke out against the mask mandate at a recent city council meeting — and their liberties above all else.
But that same police chief was pleased to look on, though, days later while his deputies arrested Rench as he stood next to his mother and at least 100 others.
“They kept telling me ‘I don’t want to arrest you’,” Rench said of the deputies. “I told them ‘You don’t have to.’ I can’t believe how they are blindly going along with this. They know how dumb this is but they care more about their job and their status and their security than doing what is right.”
And just to put an exclamation point on the preposterous frivolousness of all this, the very same deputies who arrested Rench for not wearing a mask were seen by him after his two-hour stint in jail hanging out in the police station — with no concern for social distancing and not a mask worn in sight.
Example 666 that the mask isn’t fundamentally about public health or science, but raw power and craven idolatry.
In the face of that, Rench sees a powerful Old Testament story of deliverance playing out. Sure, the feeble sheep are everywhere, but amidst that Gideon’s army of 300 is forming. There is no place to hide now. There is no simple box-checking or lip service about what it means to be a Christian or an American.
“God is exposing our cowardice,” Rench said. “As a nation and as individuals. But we can see the 300 now. We can see who will fight. We can see who is faithful. Our police chief needs to be shaken by them. Our city council is obtuse and stubborn and stuck and doesn’t fear the people. But it should.”
In the service of truth and righteousness. And therein lies the rub of all this. The pagan progressive hordes have no qualms about putting their ghastly stamp on the things of this world, whether it be science, education, entertainment, the law, and on and on and on while most of us simply bend the knee and beg to finally be left alone.
But you must know by now that you will never be left alone, not if singing psalms outside of your town square can get you thrown in jail while the anarchist next to you lights things on fire and is celebrated by the press and the NBA.
Not unless you find the Gideon inside of you. Not unless the levers of power come to fear you and your unapologetic pursuit of the good more than all else.
Here you must stand, like Gabe and the brethren refusing to cower. You can do no other.