I have a compromised immune system and I have been wearing a mask pretty much everywhere except my own house during the pandemic. I attend a local church but only about half the congregation wear masks. Because of this I don't feel safe there. How can people pretend to even respect my wishes and my health if they won't wear a mask?
Dear Safe Space,
This may come as a shock to some but I will attempt to answer this question without interjecting humor, sarcasm or belittlement because this has become a serious situation that I’ve personally experienced. Not as much the effects of this virus but the division that’s been created by people’s reaction to it.
A short answer is this: Respect goes both ways. You're asking for respect by them wearing a mask against their wishes, when you are not giving them the same respect by giving them room to act on their own wishes.
But here's the long answer, (and probably the one that won't be disliked as much--maybe)
I am a married man, I love my wife, we agree on most things but not everything. I have an obligation to her and trust her with my life. I made her a promise that I would be with her through thick and thin, even if we didn’t agree on everything. There are things I’m sure we both do that the other wishes we didn’t, we’ve learned to get past those things, had we not learned we would most likely not be married. The biggest reason I am able to get past our disagreements is because I know she would never purposely put me in a situation to harm me or try to harm me in any way herself. These differences are just that, differences. We both have the choice to dwell on these differences or learn to live with them and look at all the common ground we have.
I can already hear someone say that “she doesn’t put your life in danger like someone not wearing a mask does”, and if you’ll give me a second I’ll get around to that.
In any relationship, be it a marriage or perhaps being a member of a church, there are boundaries. There are things we all deem acceptable or unacceptable, some are tolerable some are deal breakers.
Let’s say I was married to someone who started abusing drugs and would not stop or even try, I would not be able to overlook this, she’d be gone. Now let’s say I was married to someone who started smoking, I for one can’t stand it, its not healthy but I want to think I’d be able to tolerate it rather than getting divorced. Both examples I’ve given could be life threatening to her or me. If I were faced with these situations I would first have to take into consideration a few other things. I made a promise, not just to her but God Himself, for better or worse. Secondly, does the good outweigh the bad? Finally, will we be better off without each other?
I assume you see where I’m going with this. I can’t even get my wife of many years to agree with me 100% of the time and she’s just one person, but we do agree on the important things. You will never get an entire church congregation to agree on everything all the time but if you are a member at said church you must agree on the important stuff. Remember the 3 things, did you make a promise, does the good outweigh the bad, will you be better off without church and will the church be better off without you?
There is no right or wrong answer, every individual has to do what they feel is right for themselves. I can say this with 100% certainty, if you skip church because a few aren’t wearing masks and go to Wal-Mart on Sunday morning instead you probably need to go a lot higher up the ladder than Mongoose for answers.
Dang, almost made it without being snarky…
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