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  • Godwin Cotter

Once upon a time there was a farm run entirely by animals. Its elected leader promised "sunny ways" and a heart for all the animals, regardless of the size or species. While the leader did seem to play favorites, the farm plodded along, carried forward more in spite than because of its current leadership. The roosters, whose job it was to inform all of the day-to-day farm events, began to become a fan club for the leader and with time became louder and shriller mouthpieces for the same. Suddenly tragedy struck. There came on all the local farms a devastating disease, Woevid-19. Many animals died.

The animal farm weathered things as best it could. Animals were isolated to their pens and work-spaces. Productivity suffered but the leader, as he was prone to do, said, “Worry about that later.” Then there came a vaccine and there was great rejoicing. But some animals feared the vaccine and didn't want it. Others said they had recovered from Woevid-19 and didn't need it. The leader said, “Worry about that later, let's get herd immunity with 75% or so." The farm got 90% immunized but still, the leader would not relax any rules. The goal had shifted from herd immunity to herd vaccination. The leader continuously blamed the unvaccinated animals for the problems on the farm, and where he was able, he took away their jobs and confined them to their pens. Some animals complained that the leader was acting like a tyrant, was robbing them of their Charter rights. The roosters crowed, “Worry about that later. We are in the midst of a pandemic.”

Then a new variant of Woevid-19 came, one that the vaccines didn't work well against. The leader who had shown leadership by having himself vaccinated three times, tested positive with the new Woevid-19 variant. Still, he insisted on herd vaccination. Many other farms in the region removed their isolation and vaccine mandates. They allowed things to return to normal. Still the leader insisted on herd vaccination. Suddenly, a large group of animals went to the leader’s quarters on the farm and started to make noise, asking the leader to remove the mandates. The leader changed his quarters to a secret location and continued to insult the noise-making animals from a distance, calling them stupid and hateful. The roosters parroted the leader's voice, and earned their keep by continuously crowing, "Stupid and hateful, stupid and hateful." Then in a surprising turn of events, Go-Fund-Me shut down the protesters' Go-Fund-Me-account. Big media, big government and big tech were entering a new trinitarian alliance. When none of these measures had any effect, the leader call the situation a national emergency. He assumed unheard of powers that none of his predecessors in recent history had ever seen the need to call upon.

My fictional comic book Repentance, got delayed when I woke up in the midst of what seemed to be a humanized version of Animal Farm, George Orwell’s dystopian novel disguised as a children’s book. I became glued to the computer screen, watching the raw footage and news reports of rapidly unfolding developments of the Freedom Convoy 2022.

I could write at length but will restrict my comments to just one aspect. It was like my mind just got ran over by a big lie the size of an 18 wheeler truck. It wasn't like those lies when I tell myself I'll only eat one more potato chip, or I'll only just do one more tap of the snooze button. Well, maybe slightly, but orders of magnitude worse. There was this intense internal battle going on in my head. Was I going to give up, submit and believe what government and big media kept categorically telling me? Or was I going to side with my eyes, mind, and heart? I couldn't help feeling an affinity for people who had been fired from their jobs for refusing the vaccine. In my brother-in-law’s case as well as another friend's situation, both had been working from home for two years, and both had already survived Covid. My brother-in-law provided laboratory proof of immunity. Still, it was like Justin Trudeau had morphed into Trump, the reality TV star (of the Apprentice years, not the presidency). Justin Trudeau said, “You’re fired” and it was received like it was an applause line.

Then there was the infectious joy of those who braved bitter cold to wave flags and cheer on the Freedom Convoy, and a great diversity of people joined in solidarity on parliament hill. There was a surprising number of fully vaxxed people among supporters, and including the two main organizers. Justin Trudeau and the main-stream media called them "a small fringe minority holding unacceptable views", anti-science, anti-vaxxers, racists, haters, Nazis, misogynists, wearers of tin foil hats, etc. Trudeau declared himself and the vast majority of Canadians disgusted by the protesters and refused to meet with them. I couldn't help feeling disgusted by the orchestrated misrepresentation of ordinary good people. It would take too long to dismantle the big lie line by line, stanza by stanza. I was trying to do that but this blog posting was becoming a novel, I had to stop. People either are on the same page, or it seems they are like grownup Teletubbies waiting for the electronic belly message massage from the authorities and the mainstream media.

I do realize that desperate times sometimes require desperate measures. One could argue that the times we are in justifies the last two years of government lockdowns and mandates as well as the Freedom Convoy disrupting the tranquility of the nation’s capital. Covid-19, particularly the Delta variant, packed a devastating wallop. I understand Pope Francis referring to a vaccination as “a small act of love.” While I still can’t abide the mandates steam rolling over the human rights of citizens, perhaps you could make a case for temporary measures brought on by dire necessity. I don’t think so, but maybe you could. But with the Omicron spiking infection rates into the stratosphere, infecting both the vaccinated and unvaccinated alike, and at the same time proving itself much milder than what came before, locking down and stealing jobs from the unvaccinated is just mean-spirited. Why does the Canadian government commit itself to herd vaccination which is virtually impossible, even with a massive violation of human rights? This is coming at a time when herd immunity is coming anyway, riding the Omicron variant which is virtually unstoppable. Lockdowns will only delay it. Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark, the United Kingdom are all ditching all restrictions and vaccine passports. It is hard to see why the Canadian government is doubling down on such painful freedom cancelling measures when the science is saying so loudly that they have outlived their shelf life.

This whole situation got me thinking about the martyrs of the Roman Empire. Was martyrdom motivated solely by love of the Lord or was there also a refusal to affirm the lies of state? Did some merely refuse to affirm as truth, obvious fiction? Current or past emperors were not God, whatever tools the state could employ to compel attestation. Many resistors to Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot and the many lesser imitators, were summarily liquidated. When they died for the love of truth, did they also die for Christ who referred to Himself as, “the way, the truth and the life”? Are they now in the company of the saints?

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