King County is procuring beer, cigarettes, and marijuana edibles to give to homeless people so that they won’t violate the governor’s COVID-19 stay-in-place orders. The headline is so ridiculous it’s almost too hard to believe, but it was recently reported by Dori Monson and confirmed by King County Health.

Does anyone believe that Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., a Christian minister and the namesake of King County, would support government using taxpayer resources to bribe people with free alcohol, cigarettes, and marijuana in order to get them into free housing?

Something tells me Dr. King wouldn’t be thrilled; this is the antithesis of Christian Social Justice.

I’m not advocating that we should simply allow infected individuals to run around Seattle and infect others. But I am saying that we should be utilizing this shutdown to detox and treat those who are addicted to alcohol and substances, rather than simply enabling their habits, and leaving them to prolonged addiction and death. This isn’t intelligent, nor is it the sort of just and compassionate response we should have towards those who find themselves addicted and in need of our help.

King County is home to Seattle, which qualifies it as the largest population center in the state. Despite enacting some of the most dysfunctional, anti-Christian social justice policies – like heroin injection sites for addicts, the de facto legalization of petty crime, and the rampant spread of homelessness jungles – King County seems to be the driving force behind Washington State’s COVID-19 response policies, leaving the rest of the state to suffer.

If you don’t believe me, just look at the data supplied by the New York Times.

The New York Times reports that 21 of Washington’s 39 counties have had either 0 or 1 death associated with COVID-19 this year. The infection rates in these counties are nearly non-existent, yet, they continue to be forced to shelter-in-place and businesses shuttered for an indefinite amount of time because, well, King County still has a lot of COVID-19 cases.

Remember how well things went when Governor Inslee and King County declared a homeless emergency 4 years ago? Today, despite billions of treatment dollars, things are worse than ever before! If Governor Inslee continues tying Washington’s human service initiatives and economic relaunch to King County, or even worse, California, or Oregon, or any of the other incompetent states he’s chosen to align us with, we won’t reopen for months, if ever!

Say what you will about President Trump and his undisciplined tweets, or his ability to morally lead the nation. But the approach outlined by his Administration – in which the economy, decided by local elected officials, can slowly reopen in the areas not highly affected by illness – is the smart and prudent approach, regardless of who proposed it.

I generally agreed with Governor Inslee early on in regard to a temporary shutdown, with some specific objections (i.e. his decision to allow abortion clinics to remain open while churches were forced to close), because at that point, “flattening the curve” was a bipartisan effort.

But now, even though the curve has flattened, the horizon is muddled, the path seems unclear, and we seem to be stuck in syndrome of tunnel vision. The specified goals are inconsistent, the timelines ambiguous, and the metrics being applied on a county or city are incongruent. While the Governor touts his collaboration with out-of-state leaders, he is rejecting critical perspectives from Washingtonians, such as Republican House and Senate Minority Leaders, faith leaders, and the many local elected officials all across this state, as demonstrated by his unilateral opening plans across the state.

It would have been wrong for President Trump to impose this on all 50 states, and it is wrong for Governor Inslee to decide this for all 39 counties in our state. What was a bipartisan fight against COVID-19 has now become partisan trench warfare.

We need to start acting by what data and Christian morality dictates – reasoned, safe, just approaches that allow healthy people in unaffected areas to resume work and diminish the fiscal burden currently growing among all households. The Governor needs to stop treating responsible adults like children in need of a nanny.

I pray to God that we stop allowing our cities and counties to use COVID-19 as a justification to further entrench vulnerable people into a life of drugs, alcohol, and addictions.

I pray for Governor Inslee, that he would adopt the morality and values of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., and that God would grant him the wisdom and courage to end this crisis in a just and safe manner.