Cooper Stuff, a cultural commentary from a traditional Biblical perspective produced by Skillet lead singer John Cooper, tackles Arnold Schwarzenegger and Beth Moore's remarks on "individual rights, vaccines, and masks" - and dares to ask the question, "would Jesus wear a mask?"

For Cooper's Stuff August 16 episode, Cooper defined the line between dogmatism and Christian grace by saying that in important decisions such as whether or not to get vaccinated, one's own conscience before the Lord must be weighed.

Cooper's reflections are in response to statements made by Beth Moore and Arnold Schwarzenegger that went viral due to their apparent condescending tone.

Beth Moore's tweet earlier this week castigated Christians who are skeptical about vaccinations to be at least considerate by wearing masks as precautions to protect people who are susceptible to illness.

During a CNN interview, Arnold Schwarzenegger, on the other hand, told anti-mask and anti-vax protesters, "Screw your freedom."

Cooper emphasized the need for fairness in assessing people's statements, citing Schwarzenegger's remarks that "with freedom comes applications and responsibilities." He clarified that Schwarzenegger was not necessarily saying that he despises people's "freedom," but rather that it is a question of being principled enough to be responsible for that freedom.

Cooper, on the other hand, believes Schwarzenegger is just "misinformed" about why many people refuse to get vaccinated.

Moving on to Beth Moore's post, Cooper said that he agreed with the portion of Moore's statement about not being selfish and that she is entitled to her own opinion. Nonetheless, Cooper warned against a "pharisaical" mentality, which he defined as taking one's interpretation of a Biblical passage or principle and turning it into some sort of "law" that if others don't buy, it becomes the yardstick for whether or not they are really in Christ.

Cooper went on to say that although influential people use their platforms to "nuance" issues like "abortion," they fail to do so on issues like "masking" and "vaccines."

Some food for thought

However, Cooper did more than simply express his views on Moore and Schwarzenegger's statements. He also offered some recommendations to consider before trusting or dismissing anything heard or read online. He based his premise on Proverbs 18:17, which says, "The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him (ESV).

The first is the use of "single factor analysis." In terms of the COVID problem, Cooper claims that the single factor analysis exaggerates the damage caused by COVID while neglecting other more harmful, if not as fatal, variables such as suicide rates.

The second factor is the reinforced faith in "the government, the medical establishment, big tech, and big media." Cooper said that both big tech and the medical community have taken down rival research statistics and scientific studies that contradict what the "overlords" tell them.

But would Jesus wear masks?

Cooper also addressed the question of whether "Jesus would wear masks" in the name of neighborly love, explaining that there is much more to be concerned about than the virus. That is, tyranny and totalitarianism in action in the public sphere.

"Where Arnold and Beth seem to think, 'This is just a bunch of stubborn, I don't care about anybody else, all about my individual rights,' here's what I would say," reasoned Cooper.

"I can't think of anything more loving in this situation than to protect those individual rights. Not because we're a bunch of braggarts, not because we don't care about anybody else, but because people fought and bled and died in order for us to have some sort of individual autonomy in a biblical sphere of authority," he said.

Cooper believes that if totalitarianism and tyranny go unchecked, they will destroy countries and civilizations. He said that during the past century, different dictatorships and totalitarianism murdered 50 million people.

"Mark my words," he argued. "You will see incredible oppression if people are willing to give up everything they have in order for the government to take care of them."