In my April post I proposed coerced face masking contained an intentionally and intrinsically dehumanizing element:
There is something inherently dehumanizing about masking the human face. A crucial channel of communication and existence is denied when the human face is hidden. True, eyes are the windows to souls, but faces are windows to human personality.
I then went on to equate the masking of the human face with the masking of God. Though the notion struck me as somewhat histrionic at the time, I felt the need to communicate it all the same. Since then I have come to understand that - far from being exaggerated or stilted - my intuitive assumptions about the pernicious implications of face masking strike at the very core of the current spiritual onslaught that has been unleashed upon us. Face masking is certainly an attack on individual rights and freedoms, but many fail to see that it has also morphed into a direct and prolonged siege against the Divine - that the prime objective of masking the human face is the total removal of God from the public sphere.
Of course, this only makes sense if one considers the human face to be conduit of the Divine - as a potent spiritual force through which the Divine continuously communicates - rather than simply a material component of the human anatomy. One thinker who recognized the divine implication of the human face was Nikolai Berdyaev, who noted the following in his Slavery and Freedom:
The face of man is the summit of the cosmic process, the greatest of its offspring, but it cannot be the offspring of cosmic forces only, it presupposes the action of a spiritual force, which raises it above the sphere of the forces of nature. The face of man is the most amazing thing in the life of the world: another world shines out through it. It is the entrance of personality into the world process, with its uniqueness, its singleness, it unrepeatability. Through the face we apprehend, not the bodily life of man, but the life of his soul.
This "action of a spiritual force", this "other world" that shines through the face of man, this "entry of the personality into the world process" are exactly what mandatory face masking conspires to obscure and deny.
Even worse, masking has inimically inverted the very sight of an unmasked face in public. Rather than perceiving the life of a soul in the human face, many now regard the sight of the mask-less human face with trepidation and terror. The unmasked face is now viewed as source of potential harm and danger. Many go out of their way to avoid encountering it all costs, and in situations where they are forced to confront it, they react to it with fear and scorn. Nowhere is this more true than within the walls of Christian churches, where the very act of mandating face masking during services borders on outright blasphemy.
Berdyaev once noted that the elimination of the perception of God in the world would signify the end of the human being on earth. I propose the reverse holds true as well.