A Sunday Sermon

Recently, a respected botanist we know and used to admire was photographed and quoted at a fascist anti-vax march against public health measures here in NYC. He wore a large yellow star on his clothes in a brazen attempt to align himself with Jewish victims of Christian European anti-Semitism over the centuries, but particularly in the 1930s and 1940s. That was when the Nazis humiliated, beat, tortured, and raped Jewish people in Germany and then across occupied Europe before systematically murdering them by the millions with bullets and gas simply because they were Jewish. 

By wearing the yellow badge, he told us he thinks he’s experiencing the moral equivalent of the Shoah for refusing vaccination. He’s claiming to be suffering the same treatment because he selfishly demands to be a public health risk.

That those resistant to helping their family members, neighbors, co-workers, and strangers in the street by taking commonsense public health measures against an infectious disease should paint themselves as victims is, in of itself, remarkable, and a telling comment on the way the pernicious ideology of libertarianism has morally-maimed so many in this country.  

That they should do so by appropriating the symbols of Nazi persecution is more than remarkable, however—it is monstrous. Particularly since the side they ally themselves with is avowedly fascist and in some cases actually Nazi.

As others have pointed out, as the Nazis intentionally let people die of typhus, some anti-fascists struggled to—wait for it—get vaccines into the the Warsaw Ghetto

Republicans/fascists/white supremacists manufacture persecution fantasies over and over again — they’re coming for your collection of 15 assault rifles; they’re coming to replace you with brown people; they’re coming to prevent you from celebrating Christmas; they’re coming to lurk in your bathrooms; they’re coming to indoctrinate your children, seduce your children, steal your children, etc, etc.

These fantasies are all about the violent capture and maintenance of power. For that you need foot-soldiers, since there are never enough plutocrats do it themselves. The freelance freikorps of our day call Anthony Fauci “Dr. Mengele.” They assault mask-wearers. They threaten school board members with assassination. They massacre people in synagogs. And then they insist they themselves are the victims.

Note, too, that these people also compare themselves to African Americans during the Jim Crow era. How fucking dare they?

18 Responses to “A Sunday Sermon”

  1. 1 msdreger December 5, 2021 at 8:12 am




  2. 4 Charles McAlexander December 5, 2021 at 9:45 am

    They dare because nobody stops them. As an element of the Roe v. Wade decision I, too think the government has no business meddling in my medical decisions. That said, neither do I think the unvaccinated should be allowed to endanger the rest of the population. That means if you choose to not vaccinate you also are choosing no public school for your children or yourself, no visits to shopping locations to purchase anything, no trips to the polls to vote, no access to public parks or beaches, no anything which would allow your “freedom” to endanger anyone else, even your doctor. Make the wrong choice if you wish, but don’t make anyone else pay for your stupidity.

  3. 5 Linda Musial December 5, 2021 at 10:01 am

    Well put!!!!!! Thank you. I always love your posts.

  4. 6 Murray Fisher December 5, 2021 at 11:35 am

    Beautiful as always 👊😍👍

    Murray Fisher BIllion Oyster Project http://www.bop.nyc


  5. 8 Daniel A December 9, 2021 at 7:38 pm

    You are a childish fanatic for the globalist powers-that-be, sputtering epithets as a form of argument. You are a disciple of scientism that worships the fraud Fauci, torturer of puppies and murderer of foster children.

    I dare you to watch this video of the Holocaust survivor Vera Sherav talk about this pandemic. I dare you to call her a right-wing white-supremacist fascist.


    But like my previous post with scientific counterarguments, I’m sure you will delete this without even considering an opinion other than your own narcissistic delusions.

    • 9 Charles McAlexander December 10, 2021 at 12:33 pm

      What is childish about wanting to preserve, protect and defend the only biome we know from the wanton destruction that is almost always the result of greed, ignorance, stupidity and indifference? My dog has more understanding and concern for where he lives than Matthew’s attackers.

  6. 10 Daniel A December 9, 2021 at 7:39 pm

    I dare you to post Vera’s video for your audience. Or are you too much of a coward?

  7. 11 Daniel A December 9, 2021 at 7:43 pm

    Fuck you! I stand by my beliefs and convictions against anyone and any argument. You hide behind your anonymous blog spewing epithets. You are a chickenshit coward and you are on the wrong side of history. Piece of shit!

  8. 12 Daniel A December 9, 2021 at 7:51 pm

    At least I was “once respected”. You were never respected. Everyone I know thinks you are an asshole!

  9. 13 Daniel A December 9, 2021 at 8:08 pm

    Be sure to get your fourth booster! And if you live long enough, history will catch up with you and you will apologize to me. I will be tempted to knock your teeth out, but hopefully God will intervene and fill my heart with love instead.

  10. 14 Quercus Velutina December 9, 2021 at 10:20 pm

    How does attacking and defaming other people help with the study and conservation of of nature? Your allegations about this person are absurd.

    • 15 mthew December 10, 2021 at 7:34 am


      I believe politics are inseparable with the study and conservation of nature.

      The irrationalist attack on science represented by the anti-vax mob is very much a piece of the fascist assault on democracy we’re undergoing. Trump’s four years showed how dangerous the Republicans are to our lives, our water, our air, our food, our fellow earthlings. Their agenda is unabashed: ignoring radical climate disruption; increasing pollution; killing more animals; destroying more habitat. Their assault on public heath — in fact, their ideological assault on all aspects of community and society — is a part of this. (Democrats are marginally better, but consider Biden’s campaign promise to ban oil and gas leasing on public lands: in fact, he’s now selling them as fast as he can.) People who align themselves with this agenda, for whatever fringe beliefs, are as much a problem as the plutocrats funding their movement.

      As to defamation and allegations, are those not his words in this article: https://gothamist.com/news/tyranny-nyc-municipal-workers-march-city-hall-protest-covid-vaccine-mandate? Is that not a photograph of him wearing the yellow star? Holding a sign proclaiming “Medical Apartheid is Medical Tyranny”? with a sticker saying “This is child abuse”?

      It’s what he’s proclaiming that I respond to, in the larger context of a movement across the country attacking school boards, threatening public heath authorities with death, assaulting hospital staff, beating up store clerks, and working to defund public health.

      His responses here to my post also speak for themselves.

      • 16 Charles McAlexander December 10, 2021 at 7:59 am

        behind you and support you all the way, Matthew.

      • 17 Quercus Velutina December 10, 2021 at 10:08 am

        Much as the natural world is composed of diversity beyond our comprehension, our human family is beautiful because of our diversity of thought and experience. We need all of us. All of our perspectives our necessary, especially those that in the true traditions of science question the hypothesis and challenge the easy answers.
        The conservation community is not only bipartisan, but perhaps the one issue that can be most unifying. As an example, the membership of the Audubon society has traditionally been almost 50/50.
        Your personal attack on this member of our community is so terribly damaging to the spirit of free thought and speech that should be engendered among us. If you had actually engaging in dialogue with this person, you would know that your “larger context” word salad has nothing to do with their position or beliefs. When you silenced his responses, he was understandably outraged.

      • 18 mthew December 10, 2021 at 1:26 pm

        His threatening, vitriolic comments are right here for you to read. I posted them when I saw them this morning, so there was no silencing of his nastiness.

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