The Daily News wouldn’t run my Op-Ed as written. So here’s the original.
Christ Church has facilitated three Psalm sings over the past three weeks: two at City Hall and one in Friendship Square. Other local churches have joined these singing protests, and Moscow’s progressives are losing their minds over it.
Last Wednesday’s event starkly demonstrates the polarization not only in Moscow but around the world. Three hundred protestors sang four classic Christian hymns and one patriotic song. The counter-protesters attempted to drown out the singing by blaring Cardi B’s WAP.
Note the hypocrisy of Moscow’s progressives: they are deeply offended by a group of Christians exercising their right to free speech by singing hymns, yet their solution is to blare a misogynistic song that reduces women to “wet ass pussies.” The lyrics are so vulgar the Daily News cannot even print them (https://bit.ly/2GTodXU).
These protests concerning lock-downs and personal freedom are going on across the world. In Israel, thousands of leftists are protesting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s anti-protest lockdown. Netanyahu calls it being concerned for the safety of his people while protesters label it “muzzling dissent”.
Clearly, those in power believe that there are some causes too meaningful to be inhibited by coronavirus restrictions. There are some groups to whom the rules shouldn’t apply. During the coronavirus lockdown, BLM, Antifa, and others rioted across the country without social distancing and with only Antifa wearing their trademark black bloc masks.
On June 30, Moscow Mayor Bill Lambert ordered Moscowans to mask and social distance or be fined $1000 and jailed for up to 6 months. On July 12, one hundred people gathered in downtown Moscow for a BLM protest. The Daily News reported that few practiced social distancing. There were no police at this event, no fines, and no arrests.
In September, Moscow’s mayor officiated a wedding with 60 people in attendance. Photos show no one wearing a mask nor social distancing. Mayor Lambert is quoted in the Daily News as saying he did not violate the order because it was a private outdoor event on a 3-acre piece of land outside the city limits. “When you’re at a private function, you absorb and take the risk on yourself if you decide to attend that or not to attend it.”
In his own words, Mayor Lambert agrees with the protesters. He evaluated the risk of the coronavirus and decided it was not great enough to keep him from attending the wedding without masking or social distancing. If the Mayor can take this approach while on private property, and since the virus does not distinguish between public and private events, why can we not also take this approach on public property?
The greater hypocrisy involves the Moscow Police, whom I generally respect, being ordered to enforce the Mayor’s order on Christ Church while the mayor heads out into the country with 60 friends to behave the same way. Why is the mayor permitted to use discretion at a gathering of 60 people outdoors while Moscow residents are not allowed to do the same?
The hypocrisy in Moscow needs to end. The mayor should end the mask mandate since he has clearly assessed the risks of a mask-less private life and found them negligible. The citizens of Moscow should likewise stop with the hypocrisy of being offended at honest, respectful free speech while attempting to drown out common sense any vile way they can.
If there’s one thing this crisis should have taught us, it’s that the eyes of history are on our leaders during this pandemic, and history is not kind to hypocrites.