In Judaism and Christianity, the love of God and neighbor is a priority (Deuteronomy 6:5, Leviticus 19:18, and Matthew 22:37-39). According to Jesus one cannot affirm one’s love for God and refuse to love one’s neighbor.

The parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:25-37 is perhaps the best example of this in the Bible. A man traveling the dangerous road from Jerusalem to Jericho was robbed and left for dead. A priest and Levite “passed by on the other side.” A Samaritan came upon the injured man, really “saw” him, and helped him in a number of ways, probably saving his life.

In the story Jesus does not indicate the social status, race or religion of the victim, perhaps intentionally. We do know that Jews and Samaritans had been enemies of one another for hundreds of years. So, Jesus in making the Samaritan the only one who stopped to help the victim, no doubt shocked the Jews who were listening to the story.

Indeed, the scribe who had asked Jesus “Who is my neighbor?” was so stunned that he could not use the name “Samaritan” to describe the correct answer to Jesus’ question (Luke 10:36-37).

As we continue to fight COVID-19, what does Jesus’ parable say to us? It makes clear that those of us who claim to love God must be compassionate to our neighbors in need, regardless of their race, religion, social status, gender or their physical or mental health.

If wearing masks helps prevent the spread of COVID-19, we ought to wear masks (unless there is a medical exemption).

If getting fully vaccinated is the best way to protect ourselves and others, we ought to get fully vaccinated (unless there is a medical exemption). If we care about our fellow human beings, we ought to do everything we can to avoid sickness ourselves and help others to avoid sickness and early death as well.

Will it be “pass by on the other side,” or will we be the neighbors we are supposed to be?

Herbert Hash Jr.


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(3) comments


The very politically biased media, Democrat Party leadership and CDC has given us mixed messages regarding wearing masks and we all agree that distancing, not shaking hands and keeping hands & faces clean/sterilized are the most effective avoidance of catching the COVID virus - masks, not so much! Vaccinations should be a choice, but all must be encouraged to take the vaccine, with exception to a persons medical advice AND IF A PERSON HAS HAD THE COVID INFECTION AND IS NOW IMMUNE TO THIS VIRUS SHOULD NOT BE REQUIRED TO TAKE THESE VACCINATIONS! As a result, millions of Americans are now immune without taking vaccinations! I have taken two Maderna shots and will take a booster as soon as available, but it's still a choice and forcing an American citizens violates our freedoms which should not happen in our country. Much more important is the millions of illegal aligns coming across our southern borders and they 10% to 20% testing positive for COVID-19 and the D variance, AND THEN TRANSPORTED AT TAXPAYERS EXPENSE TO EVERY ONE OF THE 48 CONTINENTAL STATES AND INFECTING TOO MANY OF US! Yes, Jesus told the scribes and priests that the two most important of His Commandments are (1) worshiping God with all of our hearts, minds and strength and (2) loving our neighbors as ourselves. Worshiping God is first and He protects us and for the faithful and trusting, He can give us eternal life, not through our works, but through His grace only.


I would agree that the media is biased, but dude, you have repeatedly in the past said that you get your "news" from the likes of OAN. If you don't think that's one of the most (if not *the most*) politically-biased "news" sources, you really ought to take a course on media literacy. There are actually quite a few courses at AppState that could help you there.

You realize that vaccines are required all the time, right? ex: children are required to be vaccinated in order to attend public school. The only difference here, is that it was initially under emergency use authorization (and even now, the Pfizer vaccine has been FDA approved, so even that's a moot point!) This has *nothing* to do with personal freedoms, no matter how you might try and spin it.

I'm not even gonna go near your take on Christianity, we've been down that road before, and it's pretty clear that you just pick and choose what you want to follow...


On a side note, shouldn't you be more worried about the *~50%* of your neighbors (Watauga citizens) who are currently unvaccinated? You know, rather than fear-mongering about immigrants?

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