The corruption of Christian freedom and the demise of Neighbor love

I am a Christian who recently learned of a lawsuit by the evangelical Liberty Counsel on behalf of the “religious freedom rights” of nine “religious” medical workers who did not want their resistance to the medical-worker vaccine mandate made public. They lost their case. What’s unnoted in their mandate resistance is a parallel resistance to scripture’s command to love one’s neighbor as one’s self.

Is killing others, even if indirectly, something condoned by God? God punished King David for orchestrating the indirect killing of a soldier so he could be free to marry the dead soldier’s wife. What will He do with “Christians” who, vaccine wise, also want to do as they please even though this may go against the expectations of faith and put countless neighbors’ lives in jeopardy. Ninety percent of the people now dying from COVID-19 are unvaccinated. Aren’t Christians contributing to this, and, by their vaccine resistance, potentially guilty of something akin to the murderous behavior they accuse abortionists of?

Then, there is the reasoning behind Liberty Counsel’s advocacy on behalf of the nine. They argue, “Shielding Plaintiffs’ identity from the public is necessary to protect their safety and the personal nature of their medical and religious decisions.” Isn’t such reasoning arguably similar to that used to defend abortion? On safety (no backyard abortions), personal (its my body) medical (its between me and my doctor).

The “Liberty” folks seem to have ignored referencing sound medical counsel by simply adding a “religious” category to their “freedom ideal” legal arguments as if this validated moral blindness. What all this reveals is: One, the way liberalism’s individual freedom ideal can be twisted to mean anything one wants, and, two, the way the Christian right has embraced abortionist language and “logic” when it suits their ends.

Such Christianity has a long and mixed American history and now its entrapped in moral shallowness. This has corrupted freedom in Christ, a freedom meant for doing good, not harm, to one’s neighbor. Lacking compassion is unworthy of all people, but especially Christians, whose Lord incarnated love for one’s neighbor.

Alan Toth


Thank you Councilor Kalloch

Steve Betts’ Jan. 5 article describing the Jan. 3 City Council meeting was enlightening because of a statement made by recently-elected Councilwoman Nicole Kalloch. Thank you to Councilor Kalloch for stating what some current and former council members, with their relentless barrage of attacks on existing home owners and their neighborhoods, do not understand or simply ignore:

“Zoning can take someone’s rights away overnight.”

In their zeal to fix the housing shortage, the councilors making these proposals see nothing wrong with stepping on the rights of people who have not committed any crime or misdeed, except to purchase a home in a neighborhood to their liking with zoning regulations acceptable to them at the time of purchase. Many of these proposals are discriminatory against existing home owners and will cause them harm. No consideration is given to the impact on property values or existing neighborhood characteristics.

Rockland’s residents should not be fooled by the outcome of the recent Advisory Referendum. Its language was intentionally vague in order to generate the answer desired by its authors. Query — if residents were asked to vote on a referendum asking whether they would support laws to make Rockland’s downtown streets safer for pedestrians, would an overwhelmingly “yes” vote suggest that residents would approve of banning all cars from downtown streets?

When residents have their rights threatened by elected officials, which is what happened with Proposition No. 48, they do what they have to do to protect themselves. In the case of Proposition No. 48, it was a citizens’ referendum and a lawsuit that has left a lasting impression on those whose rights were threatened.

Gratitude for Midcoast business generosity

Thanks to the generosity of several Midcoast businesses, Adas Yoshuron Synagogue’s Annual Christmas Day Community Dinner, served takeout-style at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, was a huge success. I’d like to thank Fred Ribeck, of Ribeck Design in Rockport, for designing our poster. Thank you, Chef Patrick Cazemajou of the Atlantic Baking Co., for donating desserts and salads. Thank you, John Barnstein, owner of Mainely Poultry, for donating the turkeys. And thank you, Melissa Kelly, chef of Primo, and your staff, for not only cooking the turkeys and the entire turkey dinner, but packaging it, delivering it to St. Peter’s, and donating your time and work. Two hundred delicious meals were prepared and distributed to guests who came to the church and to Midcoast hospitals and emergency service organizations.

Linda Garson Smith