Narcissism and selfishness

“Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak” (I Corinthians 8:9, New International Version).

It is a sign of narcissism and selfishness that many protest getting vaccinated against COVID-19, in fear that so doing causes them to lose freedoms or rights: “If I give up my right of self-determination by agreeing to get the vaccine, what is the next step in losing yet more of my rights?”

Do I compromise my rights by agreeing to drive on the right side of the road instead of the left? Why should I not feel free to shout “fire” in a crowded theater, though there is no fire? What has gone awry with our sense of social responsibility?

St. Paul teaches us clearly that one’s exercise of freedom does not permit us to disregard the effects of such exercise on other people. Thus, paraphrasing 1 Corinthians 8:13, “If eating meat causes others to sin, then I should not eat meat.” Why can’t we pursue such concern for others by giving up a half-inch of our “rights” — and get the shot? That ostensibly Christian people carry on such unbiblical stewardship of their “rights” is a witness against Christ and the church.

Karl E. Moyer, Lancaster, Pa

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