That is, quite literally, the claim that Pat Boone makes in his latest column announcing that he, for one, will “refuse to be quarantined”:
The beautiful island of Molokai used to be called the Leper Island. Actually, one tip of the island still houses a “leper colony,” a treatment center and refuge for people afflicted with Hansen’s disease, which has been called leprosy for centuries.
Leprosy is a dreadful, wasting, flesh-destroying affliction. It is contagious, and it has called for quarantine — separation of the afflicted from the rest of society — dating back to Bible times. If a leper had to move among other people, he was required to cover the face and body and exclaim loudly “unclean, unclean” as a warning to normal healthy people.
The life of the leper is a lonely, desolate, isolated existence.
Well, guess what? Right here, in the land of the free and the home of the brave — the nation that Christians founded, on Christian principles, with the expressed intent to secure freedom of worship for all — people who still are willing to be identified as Christians are becoming the new lepers!
As I read the papers, watch and listen to the news, and read the constant stream of newsletters from conservative groups fighting to preserve the liberties we’ve always taken for granted, I can hardly believe what’s happening in what has always been referred to as “a Christian nation.”
On and on Boone goes, wailing how religion is being treated as “backward, dangerous, and toxic. Like leprosy” and how kids who think Jesus is a hero are being treated as if they “should be ashamed and kept away from the other kids. Like a leper.”
Boone recalls the good old days back in 1988 when he was in the Oval Office as President Reagan signed legislation that permanently established the first Thursday in May as the annual day of national prayer … but those days are long gone and now “sordid, maniacal [left wing] groups now see me as a leper, a carrier of a noxious infection. And they want me and all other Christians to be silenced. I, Pat Boone, American, refuse to be quarantined.”