During my college years my parents held two season tickets to Colorado Avalanche hockey games. I lost count of how many games I was lucky enough to attend in those years, but it had to be in the range of about 50.
On one particular occasion, after years of sitting in the exact same seats, a man came strolling down the stairs in the middle of the play and stopped at our row.
“You’re in my seat,” he said flatly.
“Um, I don’t think so,” I said as diplomatically as I could. “What seat number do you have?”
“Row 13, 1 and 2. That’s my seat.”
I produced my ticket and showed him where I, too, had one that showed row 13, seat 1.
“Are you sure that’s what yours says?”
We went back and forth a couple more times, me not moving and him insisting I was in the wrong place, seemingly at an impasse. The people around us grew annoyed as he stood in the aisle and blocked their view of the ongoing hockey game.
Eventually his wife sheepishly got his attention and pointed back to the signage at the top of the section. He was at the right row and seat number, alright, but he was in the wrong section. Problem solved.
It was at this point he turned to me and said, “You can stay there.”
Not “My bad, man, I had the wrong spot,” or “Oops, my mistake.” The assuredness with which he had told me I was in the wrong seat remained unwavering despite his mixup. In his mind, he somehow remained the authority in the situation and ever so graciously granted me the right to stay in my seat. The one that was mine all along.
It was such a weird interaction that I still vividly remember it, even though it was a decade ago. Who goes through life like that?
Then Covid came to town, and I realized that he’s not an anomaly. No, it’s how the majority of people operate.
After two years of nearly every single covid narrative being proven wrong – “lockdowns work,” “masks work,” “shots protect the people around you,” “if we act right we can make a coronavirus disappear,” “you’re a racist conspiracy theorist if you think it came from a lab,” “natural immunity must not be factored into response,” etc. etc. – the government and media carry on without a single mea culpa. People were banned from social media for saying things that were proven indisputably true, things that even government officials now acknowledge. No apologies are forthcoming.
Vaccine Passports are being retracted all over. Mask mandates are being repealed in some places and flaunted by the people who instituted them in others (hello, LA Super Bowl). Washington Post boldly floats a headline that “Mask mandates didn’t do much.” They have the gall to say the science changed. They have to, because to admit otherwise would be to admit it was all done in vain. It did not change, though.
With all the bravado of the man in the wrong section at a hockey game, they inform you you can take your mask off, aren’t required to get a shot to enter a building, can see people again, can go back to church, and so on. Stop trusting them. Stop letting them tell you what to care about, what to be afraid of, and who to hate.
Further, the religious leaders who lambasted their fellow Christians who have now been proven right in nearly every way have yet to acknowledge this. They called their brethren conspiracy theorists. Labeled us as unreasonable. Said they were embarrassed of those who kept going to church. Ironically, they threw around the accusation that we’re “anti-science.”
Now that the dust has settled, those who threw around such accusations are not acknowledging their missteps and taking those words back.
No, they will continue to carry themselves as authorities and lecture others. As my hockey-watching challenger said “You can stay in that seat,” they say “You can get back to the work of the church” and “You can take that mask off.”
I’m all for everybody getting on the side of truth together. But you don’t get to lead a horde of people in the wrong direction for 2 years, realize you’re wrong, and sprint back to be the head of the pack in the other direction. It’s time to take a step back and figure out what just happened and reflect on those mistakes so you don’t turn on the brethren again.