Guest Column:

Did our governor and other governors and governmental figures, when ostensibly trying to save lives in the coronavirus pandemic, ironically, hypocritically or purposefully or, trying to give them the benefit of the doubt, inadvertently kill people by shutting down businesses, especially small businesses.

I, nearly every morning, read a chapter of the Bible, from the Jerusalem Bible given to me and my husband by my Catholic father as his wedding present to us 52 years ago.

For too many years, it simply sat on the bookshelf. But last year, I decided that as a challenge to myself I would read it from chapter 1 of Genesis all the way through to the last chapter of the Book of Revelation. I succeeded, but it has become a habit to read a chapter every morning, before I sit down to work.

As those of you who are believers that Jesus Christ died for our sins and thus gave us the opportunity to spend eternity with him and his father, when you read or hear scripture from the Bible you take it to heart.

Yesterday morning my chapter was Ecclesiasticus Chapter 34. I was reading through it when the first line of verse No. 22 leapt out at me.

It reads in my Bible: "A man murders his neighbor if he robs him of his livelihood."

Other versions that may be familiar to you are the King James Bible version: "He that taketh away his neighbour's living slayeth him;"

Still another version I found online is: "He that taketh away the bread gotten by sweat, is like him that killeth his neighbour."

So why am I writing this editorial? I'm certainly not a minister or priest, but I can read and think.

My question is: Were the governmental officials wrong to close down everything and limit access to consumers that provide the livelihoods for these small businesses? Might people die as a result of their draconian actions?

I fear the telling will be in the loss of more small businesses, which are the heart of our economy, and perhaps their owners and employees to illness and premature death.

Perhaps more people should pay attention to the Word of God?

—Mary Alice Murphy

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