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USA: GOP Strategist Dismisses COVID Masks as a “Secular Religious Symbol”

God and Masks

Sunday 5 July 2020, by siawi3


GOP Strategist Dismisses COVID Masks as a “Secular Religious Symbol”

By Val Wilde

July 3, 2020

Maybe you thought you were wearing a mask to protect yourself from contracting or spreading COVID-19, but Alex Castellanos is pretty sure he knows better.

As far as he’s concerned, that mask serves only one purpose: You’re trying to prove you’re better than him.

A longtime Republican strategist, Castellanos described the mask as politically symbolic, a claim that’s hard to refute when Trump supporters are eschewing the mask that Trump himself has written off as “politically correct” (rather than, you know, potentially life-saving). But he also brought the language of religion to the table:

“Mask-wearing has become a totem, a secular religious symbol,” Castellanos said. “Christians wear crosses, Muslims wear a hijab, and members of the Church of Secular Science bow to the Gods of Data by wearing a mask as their symbol, demonstrating that they are the elite; smarter, more rational, and morally superior to everyone else.”

In a way, that claim is hard to refute, given that wearing a mask is actually smarter, more rational, and morally superior to the alternative (contracting and spreading a potentially lethal disease). But that’s a scientific fact, not a belief, and the mask isn’t symbolic. It serves a concrete, literal purpose that has been demonstrated through extensive testing, and we wear the mask because of that evidence, not because it’s a fashionable status symbol.

Or, as Stephen Robinson of Wonkette put it:

There is no “Church of Secular Science.” Also, “Gods of Data” sounds like a 1990s electronica band. Nothing Castellanos says makes a lick of sense. If masks were an elitist “symbol,” we wouldn’t waste time begging everyone to wear them.

Typically elitists don’t go around begging other people to please, please, pretty please, join their elite.

Castellanos isn’t just some right-wing pundit or Trump-era shill, either. He’s worked with prominent political figures, including five presidential candidates and three United States senators, dating back as far as 1984. Castellanos is so deeply immersed in the media landscape and the world of political symbolism, he’s become incapable of recognizing a genuine action not motivated by partisan bias.

Either that, or he’s making a calculated play to deepen already-existing cultural divides for political gain. Writing for Washington Monthly, journalist Martin Longman called Castellanos “a sophisticated and cynical operator” who sees profit and power in stoking the resentment of everyday people:

I do not for a second believe that Castellanos feels this way about scientists or the people who look to scientists for guidance in the middle of an emergency. But he obviously sees a political advantage for the Republican Party in fueling resentment against anyone who might be considered smarter and somehow “better” than the Average Joe.

Neither option is a particularly good look.



God and Masks

July 4, 2020

by Jonathan MS Pearce

“We don’t live in a Communist Country! It’s an individual choice. There’s been nothing scientific that says masks are effective. I choose not to wear it, but I don’t let thousands of people breathe on me.” [Source]

Yes, and indubitably so, people are stupid. Not only is there ample scientific evidence to support wearing masks to hinder the virus spreading, but also…Jesus wept.

What was even more stupid, and I mean as pejoratively dipshitty as I can possibly muster, were these comments:

Video here

Florida has its reputation, but seriously…

“And they want to throw God’s wonderful breathing system out the door.”

I wonder what her opinion of glasses are. I mean, they are throwing out God’s wonderful seeing system, right?

“Where do you derive the legal authority to regulate breathing?”

I wonder what her opinion would be if the next time she went out, everybody was naked. Or perhaps if her children caught measles because no vaccinations were made mandatory. Or polio. Or…

“You, doctor, are going to be arrested for crimes against humanity.”

Okay, let’s get this straight, is this on the same level as the Holocaust? You know, requiring people to do things in order to save the weak and vulnerable in society…

And the hilarious contradiction of: “We will get together and do a citizen’s arrest on every single human being that goes against the freedom of choice.”

And, “knowing that mask is killing people. It literally is killing people.”

How the hell are masks killing people.

“You cannot escape God, not even with the mask of six feet.”

I mean, she throws in 5G for good mentalist measure. I won’t go on because every single one of those people is a total douche. Though I will add:

“Vote Trump 2020. I hope every one of you gets voted out who votes for a mask here today…. I also heard you say that this is a democracy and I’m sick of tired of hearing that. This is a Republic!”

Actually, the US is arguably a democratic republic or a representative democracy. But there you go. As Wiki states:

Common definitions of the terms democracy and republic often feature overlapping concerns, suggesting that many democracies function as republics, and many republics operate on democratic principles, as shown by these definitions from the Oxford English Dictionary:

Republic: “A state in which supreme power is held by the people and their elected representatives…”[1]
Democracy: “A system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives.”[2]

Eugene Volokh of the UCLA School of Law notes that the United States exemplifies the varied nature of a constitutional republic—a country where some decisions (often local) are made by direct democratic processes, while others (often federal) are made by democratically elected representatives.[3] As with many large systems, US governance is incompletely described by any single term. It also employs the concept, for instance, of a constitutional democracy in which a court system is involved in matters of jurisprudence.[3]

As ThoughtCo. states:

Key Takeaways: Republic vs. Democracy

Republics and democracies both provide a political system in which citizens are represented by elected officials who are sworn to protect their interests.

In a pure democracy, laws are made directly by the voting majority leaving the rights of the minority largely unprotected.

In a republic, laws are made by representatives chosen the people and must comply with a constitution that specifically protects the rights of the minority from the will of the majority.

The United States, while basically a republic, is best described as a “representative democracy.”

I wonder why Trump voters get such a bad rap.