Opinion: On the Exodus comparison

I normally try to avoid tit for tat when writing my columns. Reacting to other columnists does little to make life better for the people of Idaho. That being said, I could not let go unanswered the comparison of Lt. Gov. McGeachin to Moses that a member of the Bonneville Central Committee made in a column on this page earlier this week.

The account of the Exodus of Moses and the people of Israel out of Egypt is well known, and as with many stories in the Bible, it is about submitting to authority and sacrificing for the betterment of others.

It is easy to pick and choose which parts of the Bible fit what we are trying to say. People have been doing it for thousands of years. So, while I can concede that, yes, the people of Israel were freed from slavery by God working through Moses, let’s not forget (as a famous radio personality used to say) the rest of the story.

While wandering the desert for 40 years, the Israelites were provided all that they needed from God. Everyone was equal and received an equal share. Those who tried to hoard more than they needed were punished with food stores containing worms and maggots. Those who were unable to gather manna themselves depended on others to help them. All children were provided for and taken care of. No one went hungry.

And perhaps in one respect, the comparison to Moses is valid. I mean let’s look at how the story ended. Moses, in a self-serving political stunt, struck a rock and commanded that water flow from it. He took it upon himself to demonstrate his power and ability. He did not do what was in the best interest of the people, which would be following God’s command, and instead simply gave the people what they wanted. He paid a dear price for that. Moses was not allowed to enter the promised land.

As a Christian, I cannot understand those who would oppose the mask mandate on — especially — religious grounds. Science has shown and, in fact, decades of medical practice have confirmed that the point of the mask is to protect others from your germs, and, secondarily, you from theirs. And considering that Jesus took every opportunity to put others before himself, I would think that the man who told us to turn the other cheek would certainly find it appropriate to make the small sacrifice of wearing a mask if it meant even the possibility of keeping someone else safe.

As you drive around in your van with only your handgun and the Bible to protect you, I may suggest that you take some time to understand the meaning of the book that you are holding. It is not about the object, it is about the message. God’s message is clear, “Love one another as I have loved you.” It is a pretty simple concept. It is amazing how often it is forgotten.

David Roth is the Legislative District 33 vice chair for the Bonneville County Democratic Central Committee.