Editor, Casa Grande Dispatch:
In a column in the July 29 Dispatch, Steven Roberts wondered what would Jesus do. Would Jesus get the vaccine? Unsurprisingly Mr. Roberts is certain that Jesus would do what Steven Roberts would do and that our Lord would urge us all to be like Steve. To support his modest conclusion, Mr. Roberts references God’s second law, to love thy neighbor as you love thyself. Loving one's neighbor as oneself requires extending to that neighbor the same respect you hope to have extended to you. That involves mutual respect for one another and allowing one’s neighbor the dignity and freedom to educate themselves on matters of concern (a difficult task in this day of tech censorship) and to reach their own decisions. It allows for respectful disagreement and honest discussion free of personal attack and irrelevancies (I am looking at you, Mr. Roberts). It does not mean demanding that your neighbor agree with you and condemning them for not agreeing because, of course, Jesus agrees with you.
There are a lot of facts about COVID and the vaccine and there are even more politically motivated stories from both sides of the aisle that attempt to mislead rather than educate. Mr. Roberts presumably educated himself on the facts and made his decision. What would Jesus do? Unlike Mr. Roberts, I am not a prophet so I do not know if Jesus would get the vaccine but I am certain that he would respect your decision and expect that we would all respect one another’s decisions even if they differ from ours.
If you are wondering, I will soon be fully vaccinated (and hereby waive my HIPAA protections in this instance) and, in addition, I will trust you to be an adult and respect your ability to exercise your discretion as you see fit.