Courage to Stand

Do not let your fear overcome your faith

We are currently in Las Vegas in the midst of a five day trip that has me attending and speaking at five different events, as well as meeting with several politicians, business owners, and philanthropists.  I originally was scheduled to speak at First Baptist Church Las Vegas. One of their deacons met me at CPAC, where he was searching for a conservative speaker to come visit their church. After meeting him and speaking with their pastor on the phone, it seemed like a good fit.

Or it was a good fit until the church started getting political pressure and threats about my upcoming visit. Just a few days before Tim and I were scheduled to travel, we received notice that unfortunately, their concerns over security and growing political interest in our appearance had outweighed the desire to have the congregation hear our story during their worship service.

In other words, they lacked the courage to stand up to those wanting to suppress a story about how God led us to stand up for liberty and freedom. Hard to believe it, but there are still parts of this country where churches remain shackled by government mandates and ordinances.  Tim and I ended up attending services on Nellis Air Force base instead, but were stunned to find out that singing out loud was not allowed by order of the base commander. 

“Do not let your fear overcome your faith.”

I have seen quite a few variations of that statement over the past year. It seems like a pretty simple concept, although it is much harder to actually put into action than it is to just say it. If you wanted to say it with less of a religious connotation, maybe you would say something like this:

“Do not let your ignorance overcome your common sense.”

I had the pleasure of speaking to a group of conservatives on Saturday morning at Stoney’s Rockin’ Country. The bar owner, a wonderful conservative businessman, was explaining that while the local government was opening businesses back up to 80% this weekend, his business was still going to suffer. Even though capacity limits were up, social distancing measures were still being enforced by the county, and people would need to remain three feet apart, including on the dance floor. If Tim and I wanted to come in and two-step, we would have to do so individually. There would be no dancing together. For a venue that is primarily known for their dance floor full of two-steppers and line dancers, there was still no “business reopening.”

Where is the common sense in that? A married couple can’t dance together because of the government’s concern over a virus with a 99% recovery rate? It is hard to believe, but we saw it Sunday night, when a couple celebrating twenty-nine years of marriage was asked to sit down and not dance to their wedding song that they requested in the piano bar. They were endangering the public by being the only people standing by the stage.

In some places, huge crowds of people were gathered, oftentimes mask free to take pictures with costumed characters, or to eat, drink, and smoke; however, if we stopped for longer than five seconds to look at performers on a stage or observe people gaming, we were quickly hustled along by resort employees, being reminded to not congregate anywhere.

It reminded me of a year ago when I was sent to jail. You could shop at a big box store, get an abortion, have a breast augmentation, have Botox injected into your skin, get your pet groomed, get food and liquor to go, but you couldn’t get a haircut. 

“Do not let your ignorance overcome your common sense.”  That is the nice way of saying: don’t be stupid.

Let’s have some real talk for a minute. We went into town on Sunday night to see what a reopened Las Vegas looked like. Like I mentioned earlier, it was the first weekend that capacity was raised to 80%. Along with the raised capacity limits, social distancing requirements were to remain three feet apart and wear a mask at all times, unless drinking, eating, or smoking.

That’s right, if you want to blow smoke all over everyone else, feel free to unmask and light ‘em up. Meanwhile, Tim and I were reprimanded over a dozen times, employees telling us to pull our masks up further over our noses. We finally resorted to just carrying a glass with some ice around in it, and somehow magically we were ignored by “mask enforcement.”

In the piano bar, the entertainers wore masks, sometimes pulling them down to sing, sometimes not. We were reminded by the performers that even when seated at tables we should wear our masks, only pulling them down to sip a drink. Some people complied, some didn’t. Sometimes a server or manager would wander by and require people to pull masks back over their faces, but it wasn’t done consistently.

There was no rhyme or reason to what the rules were, how they were going to be enforced, and what the consequences would be.

What happened to common sense?

When we were finished with our activities Sunday evening, I saw news out of Washington D.C. saying the mayor was banning dancing and standing at weddings. Seriously, a local government wants to dictate when people can stand or sit. Even more concerning, they want to tell a couple that’s most likely going to consummate their marriage in a few hours not to dance together on their wedding night.

When will enough be enough? When will we all start demanding people use common sense? When will we all let our faith overcome fear? When will we all have courage to stand?

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