Healthcare, the State, and Liberty

A few thoughts on the balance between public health and personal freedom:

Exactly five years ago I wrote my first article on vaccinations. I had hoped it would be my last piece – and that for two reasons: I said what I wanted to say in that article, and I was aware that WWIII will ALWAYS break out whenever you dare to broach this topic. Some folks are fully convinced that vaccinations are essential and necessary, and some think they are utterly diabolical and evil.

When major warfare like that breaks out, I tend to want to head for the hills and be nowhere near the action! And there most certainly is real division here. Consider just one indication of this:

A majority of U.S. adults (75%) said in a new LX/Morning Consult poll they’d likely get a coronavirus vaccine, if and when it passes clinical trials. But even as the number of confirmed cases and fatalities continue to climb in America, only 30% of respondents indicated they’d be in a rush to get an FDA-approved vaccine. One in five respondents said they planned to be among the last Americans to get the vaccine (11%) or they wouldn’t get it at all (9%). www.nbcsandiego.com/news/coronavirus/poll-less-than-a-third-of-america-will-rush-to-get-coronavirus-vaccine/2298088/

The truth is, lots of people can get VERY impassioned about this issue! But as I made quite clear in my first article, I am not a doctor nor a scientist, so I have next to no knowledge about vaccines, and how good – or bad – they might be. Instead, I spent most of my time looking at concerns about matters of liberty and statism: billmuehlenberg.com/2015/04/14/vaccinations-the-public-good-and-big-brother/

Two major interests arise here – and they are often competing interests. On the one hand, we have the very legitimate concerns about public health and safety. On the other hand, we have the very legitimate concerns about the expansive state, dictatorial powers, and the erosion of personal freedoms.

We already have all sorts of laws and rules and regulations that seek to make us safer and healthier which also curtail individual liberties, at least to some extent. Not anyone can open a restaurant: various state guidelines must be met and followed to ensure customers do not get sick with food poisoning and the like.

We are required to wear seat belts, which infringe upon our liberties somewhat, in order to help keep us and others safe. Supermarkets have use-by dates on groceries, again to prevent any health risks. That means a lot of food is thrown away. Governments put restrictions (high taxes, etc) on unhealthy things like cigarette smoking.

And some religious groups can refuse what might be life-saving measures, such as blood transfusions. Sometimes these folks will have their religious concerns overridden, sometimes by a court of law. The examples of this are endless. We all accept SOME things, including restrictions on freedom, in the interests of keeping us safe and healthy.

Several recent things have spurred me on in writing this second piece on vaccines. COVID-19 is one obvious item that has everyone talking again about them. Many are speaking about possible vaccines, if and when they are found, for dealing with coronavirus.

And many are talking about mandatory vaccinations – some fully in favour and some fully against. People like Bill Gates are routinely mentioned in all this, with both true and false things being said about him and his intentions, and that of others. Second, I recently heard about some folks who are concerned with new Australian regulations soon to come into effect.

As one gal said on the social media: “I’m a nurse in aged care for 40 years and never had the flu vaccine, but the health department has made it mandatory for all workers in aged care and all visitors to these residences to have it by May 1st, or no work and no entrance! The residents are free to choose whether they have it or not!”

This is in fact correct. As one government document declares:

Although aged care providers have previously been asked to keep records of staff and volunteers who received influenza vaccinations every year, they did not have the power to stand-down staff members who were not vaccinated against the flu – until now. From 1 May 2020, anyone entering a residential aged care facility will be required to provide appropriate evidence of flu vaccination. hellocaremail.com.au/staff-visitors-refuse-flu-vaccination-will-not-enter-nursing-homes/

But then another gal replied to her with these words:

I understand the requirement for the flu needle in this situation. As a health care worker it’s a requirement and has always been so. I had to get my hep B booster to go on prac as I was in contact with high risk people. This protects me and those who are vulnerable in hospital. And honestly, it’s not forced on anyone (there is simply the choice to not visit). If you don’t want a vaccine (and it’s crazy to not want them) then don’t have them and work in a different industry or don’t visit until after the pandemic is over.

So already we have a wide divide here. So, my take on this? Regardless of what one thinks about vaccines and their value or lack of value, the idea of state-mandated vaccines – you WILL submit or else – can always be a worry. Here one will not be able to visit their own elderly family member if they do not go along with the new regulations.

Yes one can pull them out, but that would be a big hassle. And where would one be able to put this family member? If all the centres must follow these rules, that takes away a whole lot of choices. So the pro-vaxxer will have no probs here, but the anti-vaxxer sure will.

And one must ask: How many other such things will arise? What other compulsory rules will be pushed? Will people not be able to get access to health care, send their kids to daycare, or be allowed to get various government benefits? As far as I know, all these things are already happening in various jurisdictions.

So what will be next? Will the State insist that unless you get various vaccinations, you will not be able to buy basics, like food and clothing? Some may say that this is a bit far-fetched. But is it? Christians at least will immediately think of things like the “mark of the beast” as found in the book of Revelation.

Revelation 13:15-16 speaks about no one being able to buy or sell without having a mark on their right hand or forehead. What exactly this means is not clear. But with talk of implantable microchips and the like (again, some of it true, some of it bogus), various ideas come to mind.

I have already penned pieces on how political correctness and increasingly secular left Big Brother government can see the sort of things discussed in Revelation being realised now, or very soon. So all this is something worth considering. See here for example: billmuehlenberg.com/2015/09/19/babylon-its-fall-and-the-mark-of-the-beast/

The truth is, I am not a gung-ho anti-vaxxer. And I am not necessarily a gung-ho pro-vaxxer either. As I say, I am not an expert on such things, and I am always wary of various wild conspiracy theories. So I cannot say that all vaccines are good or that all vaccines are bad. The truth might be somewhere in the middle.

And I do not think every government is full of diabolical dudes out to enslave us all. Yes, there are many who are happy to use the totalist state for their own evil ends. Many of those pushing things like vaccinations may well be good people with the best of intentions.

But again, life is all about trade-offs. We want people to be healthy and want to be able to move about freely without undue fear of getting all sorts of viruses and disease. But of course the only sure-proof way this can happen is to have everyone locked down – permanently.

Otherwise life will always have its share of risks. Someone with a cold might sneeze nearby me, and I might get a cold. So there are degrees of risk, and there are degrees of trade-offs we might be willing to make in terms of restrictions of freedom.

I am worried about both matters to be honest. I think the State must have a modicum of provisions for public health and safety. But if it comes at the risk of most or all freedoms being lost, then that is a real concern as well. Getting the right balance here is always going to be a tough ask.

But I realise that all I did here is probably just stir up the old hornets’ nest. I will be hated on from all sides! Those who want to send me dozens of videos proving this or that are advised to reconsider. As is often the case, I am just raising some concerns here and asking some questions out loud.

Much more could be said on all this. The truth may well be out there, but we all see through a glass darkly! So those who are ready to come here to kill and destroy, please take it elsewhere thanks!

[1524 words]

10 Replies to “Healthcare, the State, and Liberty”

  1. For me, the issue is about the source/maker of any vaccine and what’s in it. I am not against a properly-made authentic vaccine, but quite frankly I’m not going to allow myself to be micro-chipped like an animal. It should be sufficient to simply mark the vaccination as “being done”, on someone’s medical record. Microchips imply tracking and control, and that doesn’t sit well with me or indeed many millions of others. We need to know that any vaccination is genuine, reliable and not being used to further Big Brother. I am not afraid of risk, or the virus. But I am concerned about the dangers of dividing society based on a vaccination; they are too horrible to contemplate. Of course it won’t be “mandatory”, but the psychological manipulation to force people to have it is beyond cruel.

  2. Hi Bill, Well worth considering what you say in this article. There is a fine line here where personal liberty can be overridden by the state. In relation to this topic, one interesting response that I have received from a person who was opposing one of your recent articles about Covid 19 was that our current governments are just enacting the same kind of restrictions that they had during the Spanish flu pandemic in Australia in 1919.
    I did some checking into this and came up with the following info which I have tried to summarize which I thought you might find interesting. Apologies if it is too long!

    I got most of this information from NSW state government archives and from the National Museum of Australia. Newspaper articles and accounts by individual survivors of the era also provided supplementary information.
    Most information that is available about the flu pandemic of this period focuses on New South Wales and Victoria. It appears that NSW and Victoria had more restrictions on public activities than the other states and territories.
    The Commonwealth government had a meeting with the states on the 26-27th November 1918 and took responsibility for all maritime quarantine matters – ships coming into port and coastal trade between states.
    In 1919 , the states were left to initiate their own border closures and their own containment policies including quarantine camps on the borders and restrictions on the public gatherings, train travel.
    They closed certain places – cinemas , theatres, dance halls, libraries etc and limited public assembly. It should be noted that these types of restrictions on the public varied between the states though they all initiated border closures.
    In NSW from end of January 1919, there were closures of schools , cinemas ,theatres, dance halls , libraries and hotels were closed although some information indicates hotels were open to patrons for short periods of time during a day. Restrictions on public meetings were also prohibited.It is around this time that fines of 20 pounds for people who broke these restrictions is mentioned in the literature though it doesn’t indicate that the practice of fining the public was widespread. This is in NSW and there isn’t much information about the matter of public fines in other states and territories.
    Churches were initially allowed to have outdoor services for a period of time in the first phase of the pandemic but this later changed to not allowing services at all. Victoria seems to have followed this process as well.
    Doctors were able to place isolation and movement restrictions on affected people and individuals who had been in contact with them. People could be fined for breaking isolation /quarantine directions.
    The NSW government further mandated the use of face masks to be worn by the public though evidence shows that it was mainly people in Sydney who complied with this order and not all of the state. Although, except for health staff and volunteers helping the sick, it doesn’t appear to have been mandated by other state governments.

    Inoculation was requested by a large proportion of the populace but not mandated by the government. They set up more than 1260 centres in Sydney alone and more than 440,000 people in Sydney were inoculated in about 6 months. All up , around 819,000 were inoculated in Australia. Medical opinion was generally that the people who were inoculated experienced a less severe attack and a lower death rate but were still not less likely to contract the disease.

    The NSW government encouraged outdoor activity away from crowds for the populace. Later in April of 1919 the closure of racecourses and hotels occurred in NSW. People were also restricted from travelling from Sydney on trains to the country areas of NSW.
    At the end of May 1919 a lot of these restrictions were lifted by the NSW government and restrictions became more region specific. Sydney was the main population centre that was effected.
    Victoria appears to have had some differing regulations concerning public health initiatives then NSW. Like NSW they had closed borders, restrictions on long distance train travel and the populace were encouraged to wear face masks in shops. Victory parades for the returning soldiers were also cancelled.
    However, hotels were able to operate but with restrictions of no more than 20 people allowed in the premises. Some public gatherings were allowed but numbers were not allowed to exceed 20 people. Horse racing was cancelled but not football matches. Churches were permitted to have outdoor meetings – 20 or less people though this appears to vary as well.
    In Queensland there were restrictions on public gatherings, crowding on trams and trains and legislation preventing gatherings in enclosed buildings like theatres, dance halls etc. The Brisbane Exhibition was also cancelled in August 1919.
    Information on the actions of other states and territories is not as specific or readily available but more investigation would probably garner more detail .

    So unlike todays situation , parliaments continued to sit, general trade and business activity continued , excepting the ones previously mentioned, and funerals and weddings could proceed. It does appear that governments actually encouraged outdoor activity but not in crowds, and highlighted the need proper nutrition and hygiene for individuals. Inoculation was available but not compulsory.
    So large fines for people engaging in ‘non essential ‘ activities doesn’t seem to have existed. Threats of 6 months jail terms for certain ‘offenders’ didn’t exist. People were not told to stay at home except for traveling to work , attending medical attention, to buy food etc.
    So when people suggest today that we should not be alarmed by the current level of state overreach and that our governments are just implementing and enforcing the same kind of restrictions as was done during the Spanish flu pandemic they are not quite correct!

  3. Hi Bill,
    According to the National Museum of Australia, the Spanish Flu caused “about 40 per cent of the population fell ill and around 15,000 died as the virus spread through Australia…and some Aboriginal communities recorded a mortality rate of 50 per cent.” Therefore, it is obvious that the current Australian governments haven’t wanted to repeat the Spanish Flu strategy for the COVID19 pandemic within Australia. The Spanish Flu didn’t take away the Australian way of life, but the LGBTIAQ activists and supporters are definitely trying to take away religious freedoms including freedom of speech. However, the World Health Organisation haven’t recognised the LGBTIAQ identities including intersex for COVID19 deaths because they’re only recording a person’s death as male or female.

  4. Thank you very much for the article Bill. I really appreciate you taking this topic on.

    One of the interesting questions it raises for me is: who rules the world? Of course we know that ultimately God has all things in his hand but what about passages like John 14:30-1. “I will no longer talk much with you for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me, but I do as my father has commanded me.” It’s clear that the ‘ruler of this world’ refers to Satan. Similarly in the temptation of Jesus when the devil offers Him all the kingdoms of the earth, Jesus does not dispute his claim of ownership. It is a genuine offer, which means Satan did really have the right to offer it.

    So if Satan is the ruler of this world (until he is defeated forever at the last day) what would we expect concerning the governance of this world? Who are his underlings? Who serve him?

    I submit that the higher you go up the chain of wealth and power the more demonic activity you will find until you get right to the top and see Satan himself. Thus when we are considering the advice of various leaders I believe it is prudent to consider how close they are to the Satanic source of world power.

    Just a few thoughts.
    Pat

  5. Good summary David West. The Australian population 1918 was a bit over 5 million, so that means about 16% (or one-sixth) were vaccinated.

    With the current coronavirus pandemic, we are nowhere near that sort of level of treatment, even with quinine, which is supposed to be readily available. Does anyone know how many quinine doses are available in Australia?

  6. I think a challenge we have is similar to the frog in warming water issue. i.e. we measure things from OUR starting point and don’t recognise how much things have actually changed.

    So the concept

    From 1 May 2020, anyone entering a residential aged care facility will be required to provide appropriate evidence of flu vaccination.

    annoys me no end because I don’t like getting flu injections every year but have chosen to get them over the last few years because I have a MIL in aged care, visited different age care location/hospitals for ministry purposes, and visit multiple aged care facilities in my job in the funeral industry. Now I don’t mind getting flu shots, but “have to”? That’s pushing things.

    So my normal is that flu shots are relatively new to me and not necessary, I don’t like getting them, but choose to get them sometimes because of what I do. However for my grand-kids getting shots all the time is just “normal” and they’re probably not hearing that it wasn’t always like this and doesn’t need to be this way. They’ll be pushed further than me, and into what? That is my worry.

  7. Dear Bill,
    Thank you for the article on the issue of vaccination. It has always been a controversial subject. I am nearly 84 so it must have been in the early 1940’s when I remember coming home from my school in England with a form to fill in if my parents wanted me vaccinated against diptheria which at the time was a killer disease. My father didn’t believe in vaccinations and wrote ”No” write across the form. I never found out why he was so vehemently against it. Perhaps he thought it was against nature I don’t know.

    I also remember when I was nursing in my late teens and worked on a geriatric ward many of the patients died from pneumonia especially during winter.Now they have a vaccination against bacterial pneumonia which the elderly can take advantage of if they want. They may still get it apparently but not as bad.I think the human immune system probably wears out with age like everything other part of the body and as we are seeing with corona virus weakened immune systems are not able to fight it.

    A few years ago it was believed by some that the triple antigen injection given to toddlers overloaded some immune systems and caused autism in some children which was strongly denied. Even if it were true I don’t think it would ever be admitted.

    What I do think is they need to be very careful about new vaccinations and test them thoroughly before using them on the public.

  8. I am not an anti-vaxxer per se (in fact I am all for proper, ethical scientific and medical endeavours, which historically have come to flourish in the Christianised western world, as people embraced the truths that God has created an ordered universe, and we are to work in it and love our neighbours which has led to concern for the sick, amongst other things and preventative measures such as vaccines) but I am definitely against the use of the remains of murdered (via abortion) unborn children to create them. Last year the US president cut of federal funding for research using foetal remains, and now there is pressure on him by various nefarious quarters to use the pretext of this virus to change that decision. God bless those standing firm against this evil, such as various US state attorney generals. https://kentucky.gov/Pages/Activity-stream.aspx?n=AttorneyGeneral&prId=894

    There are also reports that the remains of aborted children are being used to created a vaccine for the coronavirus (https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/leading-coronavirus-vaccine-development-using-cells-of-aborted-babies). I see a real danger here that at some point within the next year or two, coercive states may try to force Christians and others to violate their consciences by taking a coronavirus vaccine created with the remains of aborted babies.

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