Early in the morning around 3am on March 24, 1603, Queen Elizabeth I died after ruling over England for more than four decades.
Her successor was proclaimed only hours later– James Charles Stuart, who at the time was serving as King of Scotland.
James was known as a religious hardliner. He became obsessed with hunting down witches during his reign in Scotland, and even personally supervised the torture and execution of young women who had been accused of witchcraft.
And almost immediately upon being crowned King of England, he issued harsh warnings to anyone who wasn’t strictly following the faith.
England had established its own church back in 1534– known as the Church of England– and James (as the titular head of the Church) made it clear that he would not tolerate any religious dissent.
Yet there was a growing movement of people across England who had become disillusioned with the Church. They believed in the principal tenants of Christianity, but they didn’t believe in the Church’s rituals, politics, or hierarchy.
These people called themselves Separatists, and they were forced to gather and worship in secret.
One large group of separatists was based in the small town of Gainsborough in central England. Coincidentally, one of them was my great-great++ grandfather, a local noblemen who held secret worship services in his home.
They were eventually caught. And in late 1607, the Separatists had to flee England.
This was no small task at the time; emigrating required a special permit, which they were unable to acquire.
But eventually the Separatists were able to sneak into Amsterdam, which had a great deal more freedom. And after gathering people and resources over the next decade, they ultimately hired a ship– the Mayflower– and sailed across the ocean to build a new life for themselves.
I thought of this story when I read a few days ago about various religious groups in the US and United Kingdom being forced to gather in secret to hold worship services.
One group in England congregates in a barn. Another gathers in open fields, the location of which is revealed by SMS only an hour before the services begin.
This sounds like some underground church service in China or North Korea… or the harsh restrictions under King James more than 400 years ago.
As one churchgoer told the Guardian newspaper, “The fact that we have to sneak around to worship God, in fear of criminal prosecution, is alarming.”
It’s similar in the Land of the Free. If you belong to the Catholic church or Jewish faith in states like New York or California, for example, the governor-dictators there have decreed that you are no longer free to worship.
Such is life now in western civilization: you can now be considered a danger to the public for what you believe.
If your faith requires that you gather to worship, you’re considered a danger to public health and subject to arrest–
— unless, of course, you belong to the Holy Church of Black Lives Matter, in which case you are free to burn, assault, loot, and riot your way to salvation, mask-free, with no restrictions whatsoever.
And it’s not just religion.
If you’re one of the tens of millions of people who did not vote for Joe Biden because you have different ideological beliefs, the new ruling political elite considers you an intellectual danger to society.
Not only that, they “have a list” and want to ban you from serving in office, on company boards, and from “polite society”.
Similar hate is reserved for those who express different opinions about social justice issues. For example, if you dare to commit the blasphemy of saying that everyone’s life matters, people will claim to feel ‘unsafe’ around you, i.e. you’re dangerous.
Talented people have been fired for this, or canceled by the Twitter mob. Or had their businesses ruined, or their property torched.
The big tech companies have also resorted to extreme censorship to thwart the free flow of information that they deem, in their sole discretion, to be dangerous.
And we can already see the writing on the wall with regard to Covid vaccines.
There are dozens of vaccines in the works, and a few that have already received provisional approval.
To me, this is also an individual choice: if people want the vaccine, good for them. But there will be countless citizens who have concerns about an unproven vaccine devoid of any long-term studies.
These concerns are completely reasonable. Yet we’re already seeing signs that you’ll be regarded as a public danger if you don’t get vaccinated.
There’s even a term for it already: “vaccine resisters”.
Joe Biden told George Stephanopoulos in last month’s softball Q&A love-fest that “we should be thinking about making [vaccines] mandatory,” though he acknowledged that enforcement would be difficult.
Not really. Enforcement of mandatory vaccination will come down to the private sector closing ranks and refusing to serve anyone who doesn’t get pricked.
Australia’s Qantas Airlines is the first to say that you won’t be able to fly certain routes unless you’re vaccinated. Based on their policy, Australians won’t be able to leave the country without being vaccinated.
The airline industry is notoriously monkey see, monkey do. So it’s likely only a matter of time before Delta, Air Canada, British Airways, etc. follow along.
More importantly, an old Supreme Court precedent from 1905 (Jacobson v. Massachusetts) established clear authority for the state to mandate vaccination, or severely penalize those who refuse.
(“Pro choice” apparently only applies to abortions, not to the Covid vaccine.)
At a minimum, anyone who doesn’t receive a vaccine can at least expect to be ridiculed and shunned by people who you thought were your friends; they’ll say you’re ‘endangering’ them.
Who knew you could be so dangerous without even trying?
But this is the world we’re living in. And as I frequently point out, why it’s so important to have a Plan B.