All my life I’ve seen signs in businesses: “No shirt, no shoes, no service”. And yet I’ve never heard anyone screaming about their “constitutional right” to go barefoot or shirtless into a grocery store or restaurant.
I was told these restrictions are for hygienic reasons – though I suspect it is as much about our cultural sensibilities. To this day we all just go along with this rule. As far as I know no one has ever died from someone else’s toe jam or underarm odor.
Though reality acknowledges that we all fudge on traffic laws from time-to-time, we all accept the wisdom of them; no one goes tearing through a school zone at 60 mph. because, “Nobody tells me what to do!” We willingly obey for the sake of everyone’s safety.
Until something better comes along to curb the deadly effects of COVID-19, I will sublimate my desire to go bare-faced, and for the sake of your health, wear a mask when I am within six feet of you.
The theological aspect of this is God’s “first use” of the Law (any law, moral, natural or statutory): To keep order in the universe and protect us from ourselves and each other. Law’s other use is to prove to us our imperfection so that we throw ourselves on God’s mercy and grace — commodities we desperately need these days.
Pastor Doug Campbell, ELCA Retired