We recently rented a VRBO, and as we flipped on the lights after trudging up slippery stairs, escaping a frigid downpour, our eyes found no less than five sets of laminated instructions. Friendly how-tos hung on the fridge, by the front door, in the kitchen, and in frames in each guest room and bathroom – just in case we missed the other rules. 

It was ridiculous. They wanted us there, but only if they could control every aspect of our time in that space. 

I thought of these control freaks when I read the following on the Equitable Neighborhoods Initiative (ENI) website

"The Equitable Neighborhoods Initiative Equips Communities To Address The COVID-19 Pandemic-Related Issues Of Today While Building Capacity To Deal With The Health And Quality Of Life Challenges Of Tomorrow." 

While that reads like the relic of a COVID website, it's live. And it's perplexing. 

Backed and run by control freaks at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH), ENI was birthed at the University of Alabama because of COVID-19. These folks deserve an A+ for creativity. They figured out a way to perpetually plan for a pandemic, using the unsuspecting citizens in small towns around Alabama as their pincushions and playthings. And they couldn't be happier because they never have to let go of COVID. 

What could go wrong? 

Before we go to the “HERE’S WHAT WILL GO WRONG” scenario, here’s some further information on ENI that a friend shared with me: 

"ENI connects neighborhoods to resources to improve health equity and the development of each community. 

Twenty Alabama communities will partner with the Equitable Neighborhoods Initiative. ENI communities are dedicated to growing Equity and improving health outcomes in their neighborhoods. ENI aims to help as many people as possible." 

I wish I was joking about this next part

"ENI communities will develop programming for their unique culture and community assets. But the basic structure of the program will be the same for each community. For example, each community will:

●     Develop a local health equity plan
●     Draft a health resource directory
●     Build a ‘healing zone’”               

I suspect you have a few questions. I certainly do, namely: 

-       When did it become our government's job to assure health equity – an illogical and unattainable term? 

-       When did it become a community's job to develop a health resource directory? 

-       When did we become so daft as to not know where our doctors or healthcare providers are, even if we have to travel to find them? Also, social media, anyone? These days, who doesn’t know how to find out whatever they need to know? 

-       Who thinks that building the ludicrous sounding “healing zones” is a good idea? And teaching classes and seminars on mental health and other issues? Whose viewpoint are they using? 

Our health is still not anyone else's business. Ever. 

But as the friend who brought this to my attention noted, all of this is meant to reinforce the narrative that the government knows best and should be trusted above all else: The government is God. 

Which is what makes it such a menace when men and women – even the smiling ones putting on cotton candy-sounding programs – play God. Their programs can't and won't save anything.

They only make things worse. 

I recently saw a great quote by theologian R. J. Rushdoony in an article by Martin G. Selbrede of the Chalcedon Foundation. Men cannot regenerate men when they play God, Rushdoony explained. “They cannot by their fiat will make any man a new creation. They may instead rely on compulsion, from compulsory education to strict controls on every man. The state seeks to re-create man by means of coercion. 

“What God's law offers is freedom from man,” Rushdoony continued. “Man's law has always been one expanding claim to power over man. God's law, however, requires virtue, whereas man's law calls for moral behavior … What churchmen fail to see, the ungodly clearly recognize. God's law requires holiness whereas man’s law requires conformity.” 

Which is why these things always go wrong. Always. 

No matter how many sticky notes, framed lists, or educational programs they offer, conformity is their aim. Surrender is their goal. Freedom is your price. 

Coming soon to a neighborhood near you.

"We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force." – Ayn Rand

Amie Beth Shaver is a speaker, writer and media commentator. Her column appears every Wednesday in 1819 News. Shaver served on the Alabama GOP State Executive Committee, was a candidate for State House District 43 and spokeswoman for Allied Women.

The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of 1819 News. To comment, please send an email with your name and contact information to Commentary@1819News.com.

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