Saturday, August 29, 2020

Mask Choices

      Many years ago, in my rebellious late-thirties, I chose to defy the law requiring me to carry insurance on my car. According to the law, if I didn't carry a specific type of insurance, I could be arrested and sent to jail for several months.

       Being a libertarian at heart, I objected to being forced to buy something. My money is my own; whether or not I spend it on car insurance should be my choice. I was willing to face the financial consequences if I had an accident.

       Also, putting someone in jail because they didn't pay for something, felt a lot like debtor's prison to me. (Didn't England get rid of that two centuries ago?) Jailing a person because they don't pay a bill deprives them of the livelihood to pay any bills. Also, they become a drain on social resources, rather than just a drain on a debt collector. It is completely counter-productive, which is why debtors prison was abolished.

       For these reasons, I did not carry vehicle insurance.

       In the course of time, I was stopped for speeding – well, okay, the third time or so --  (Remember, this was my rebellious period.) and ticketed for not having insurance. The police officer was not interested in my views on debtors prison.

       Neither was the judge. When I told him why I didn't carry insurance, he listened politely, then told me the fine I would need to pay and the deadline to prove I'd purchased it.

       Of course, I had a choice: pay the fine or go to jail.

       Also, I could have challenged this law in the court system, maybe even taken it to the Supreme Court!

       E gad! Years and lots of money.

       As so often happens, my family was the deciding factor. I had little kids who I preferred to be with than being in jail. Our finances were adequate but not for a lengthy legal battle based on a perceived lack of freedom of choice.

       I paid my fine, bought insurance and continue to do so.

       I understand the desire to not wear a mask, the irritation with authority, the disbelief that this is happening.

       However, I obey traffic laws, tax laws, and obscenity laws whether I like them or not.          

       Wearing a mask is another kind of law, or at least a social etiquette rule; it is addressing a much more serious issue than car insurance: a world-wide infectious disease.

       I believe, in my heart of hearts, that by choosing to wear a mask I am saving people's lives. I hope you do too.


 This gorgeous psychedelic cats mask is available at, a shop in Minneapolis run by a friend of my daughter. The masks are two sided, so you get two for the price of one. Many designs to choose from. (No one paid me to talk about these masks, I just want to.)

I've received many compliments on this mask, which is an interesting upside. 😏

Also printed in the First United Methodist Church of Alamosa, Mid-Week Message.


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