Unmasked amid COVID-19, Sam Oosterhoff is a politician of faith who has lost face

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Let us forgive Sam Oosterhoff for committing the cardinal sin of hypocrisy. Seriously.

He has been unmasked – huddled alongside 40 people without a mask, in defiance of his own government’s guidelines. A social media revelation for everyone to see – a faith politician losing face on Facebook, until he called off his photoshoot.

The moral of the story? Do to others, and breathe to others, as you would like them to breathe you.

Here, he apologized: “I should have worn a mask when we took a quick photo, given how close everyone was, and I apologize for not doing so.”

Oosterhoff isn’t the first public figure guilty of a breach of faith, nor will he be the last to stray from the true path. Many federal politicians more famous than him – from Andrew Scheer to Patti Hajdu – have come out with two faces, exposing their faces in public places while urging everyone else to mask themselves.

Premier Doug Ford forgave him his sins. But before this episode is forgotten, Oosterhoff has the opportunity to atone – by making amends.

As his faith warns of Antichrist, Oosterhoff can be the antibody that inoculates everyone – the embodiment of an antiviral, a proselytizer in a pandemic, a preacher for true believers, a role model for the companions. journey of the Progressive Conservative movement.

We worry about all those who worship the false idols of immunity and immortality, so who better than the moralizer Oosterhoff – always avowed pro-life – to take a vow of loyalty to save lives in the midst of a pandemic? Surely that’s the moral of the story here.

First elected as an MP in 2016 at the tender age of 19, thanks to the embrace of the Canadian Reformed Church flock in his riding of Niagara, he has long put his faith up his sleeve and put his heart and his soul in his politics. Always chaste, belatedly chastised, he has now seen the light.

From now on, Oosterhoff will go ahead and broadcast the public health mission of saving people from themselves, protecting them from the evil of the virus, the sin of temptation and the insanity of defiance in the COVID era. 19. On this matter of life and death, Oosterhoff could be a true servant of the Lord, not just Ford.

As a man of faith, who better to convince fellow prayers to pray at home and not in a place of worship?

With the inexorable rise in cases of COVID-19, danger is increasing in places where people congregate. This is why you hear public health officials worrying about “collective care” in retirement homes, but places of worship are also places of worship. gather attentive.

This is why they are called congregations. After all, fellowship is part of worship at the best of times.

But the worst times are not ordinary times. Gyms and restaurants face new restrictions, called upon to make huge economic sacrifices to keep people apart.

It is worth asking why churches and synagogues, temples and gurdwaras still allow people to sacrifice themselves in the midst of a plague. Yes, many religious leaders insist that they are faithfully following the path of social distancing, but at a time of heightened anxiety, when public health officials demand maximum restraint – asking people to avoid it. work and stay at home – why risk the peril of prayer in public places?

If people can stay connected to their friends and colleagues remotely using Zoom’s new technology, why not stay connected to God through the timeless miracle of remote prayer? Why risk infecting others with self-infliction in a place of worship, rather than worshiping at home over Wi-Fi?

Faith requires sacrifice, but the life of no human being is certainly worth sacrificing for a supreme being. The church choirs have agreed to step back and be silent, so we can all sing from the same songbook rather than spreading the devil’s bug, but why are all other worshipers free to come together up close and in person?

There have been huge discussions about restrictive restaurant rules, but shaking hands in public prayer is the subject of little discussion in Canada. Across the United States, religious groups have pushed back – pleading and rallying in large numbers against government authorities attempting to curtail or restrict the supposed inalienable rights of evangelical Christians or ultra-Orthodox Jews – but as the charge COVID-19 work increase, remote prayer is surely approaching.

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This is the discussion that people of faith and politicians of faith need to have. There’s no better time than now, after Oosterhoff’s public Facebook photoshoot madness.

We now know that masks save lives – not only for the wearer but also for others nearby. But we also know – now more than ever – that keeping our distance keeps us even safer.

In the midst of a pandemic, no life is worth risking on a wing or a prayer.



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