School Board meetings do appear to be a place where the deeply deluded come out to play. This latest example concerns a Nurse who not only labelled the School Board she was addressing as “Demonic Entities” and also cited Jesus and deployed profanities.
Before we dig into what is going on here, let’s first cover the event itself.
How it played out
The following tweet comes via Ron Filipkowski. He is a former state and federal prosecutor, and a lifelong Republican, who quit all that when he discovered the legal abuses taking place and is now a democrat. He, along with others, monitors what the right-wing extremists are up to, and tweets out examples of the extreme rhetoric that now manifests within the public square.
This is Ron’s tweet with a clip …
Here is a transcript …
My name is Melissa, I have two daughter in the school system.
These are demonic entities and we need to stick together. Remember, we have authority in Christ Jesus. These are demonic entities in all the school boards in all the United States of America. And all of us Christians will be sticking together to take them all out. All the police officers that take us out for our First Amendment right will also be going down with them. Do you understand?
I’m a nurse, infectious disease, 13 years. Masks don’t work. These doctors that sit up here that were sneering at us like we’re scumbags, they need to go back to fucking medical school …
(She is ruled out of order and is told that this is her last warning … she starts talking again and discovers her Mike is off … they turn it back on, so she continues …)
… You need to remember, natural immunity is best. You are all demonic entities. You are going to be taken down …
(They cut her off telling her that she has already had her last warning and she cannot speak anymore. You can see her yelling at them as she is escorted out)
Some initial observations – Masks and Fucking
Clearly she is not a fan of masks. I’m intrigued to wonder why she thinks all the doctors she hates needs to go back to “fucking medical school“. They have already been to medical school, passed their exams are are fully qualified. Since she is not paying any attention to them at the moment, I don’t grasp why she thinks a second pass would change anything.
More or less every medical school on the planet has been practising the wearing of masks, both during surgery and also within any and every infectious disease context since at least 1910 – See here for a history – European Journal of Medical Research (June 2020) – The history and value of face masks.
I do also have to wonder about a “Christian” who calls doctors “scumbags” and says they need to go back to “fucking medical school “. The doctors are striving to keep her kids safe, so I do wonder if she misread the bible and thought that Jesus said in Luke 6:28 “Curse them that bless you”.
Is she really a Nurse?
Permit me to start with a quick primer. You probably know this next bit, but some don’t.
There exists what is known as a Registered Nurse (RN). This is a licensed medical professional who provides hands-on care in different medical and community settings. For example drawing blood, and inserting IV drips, giving out the correct dosage of medications, performing diagnostic tests, operating and monitoring medical equipment, etc…
There is also what is known as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). These are the folks who do the feeding, dressing or bathing of patients. All of that is done under the supervision of an RN.
Guess which she is?
Yep, you got it.
Somebody dug into her background and got her details …
Her name is Melissa Rose. She lives in Lehigh Acres, FL. She is not an RN; she is an LPN. She claims that she is a nurse in infectious medicine, but that is not on her license and the State has her listed as unemployed
Why oh why am I totally unsurprised to discover that she is not currently employed as a nurse anywhere?
Is she just crazy?
That is a very tempting and easy answer, but unfortunately it is most probably not the right answer.
She might indeed come across are deeply weird and completely delusional, but she is not crazy.
When you deeply embrace a religious belief and adopt that identity, then you are working with a set of values that drives a specific behaviour. Part of the belief is that demons are real. (Hot side tip: in movies yes, in our reality, nope). When some with that belief encounter actions by others that appear to be at odds with their values they then attribute it to demons.
She lives in a bubble. Her micro-community believes the same and so they will view her as a hero for standing up against the demons. They will tell her that she was very brave and did a good thing. This positive emotional reinforcement will cement her firmly into that role, and so she will continue to go about doing more of the same elsewhere. She will sincerely believe she is David facing Goliath, while everybody else will simply see an obnoxious asshole.
Not all Christians
I really don’t need to say this, but I’ll add it in for completeness. Christianity is vast and diverse. Most who practise some variation don’t go full Westboro Baptist like this, but sadly these days many fundamentalists do.
One Last Word – Masks Really do work
That’s not an opinion, nor is it a belief or an “atheist” or “democrat” bit of dogma, it’s a scientific fact.
The very latest insight into this comes from a massive randomized research project in Bangladesh. They tracked more than 340,000 adults across 600 villages. The result is conclusive, real-world evidence that mask-wearing has a significant impact on limiting the spread of symptomatic covid-19, the disease caused by the virus.
Will Melissa and all those within her community ignore or dismiss this scientific data?
That’s a yes. It directly attacks their identity, so would be branded “demonic”. That label alone would be sufficient justification for such a dismissal.
Perhaps somebody should tell Melissa that the bible explicitly tells her to wear a mask and socially distance …
45 “Anyone with such a defiling disease must wear torn clothes, let their hair be unkempt,[a] cover the lower part of their face and cry out, ‘Unclean! Unclean!’ 46 As long as they have the disease they remain unclean. They must live alone; they must live outside the camp.Leviticus 13:45-46
I do now seriously wonder if she would also label the Bible as “Demonic” because it tells her to both socially distance and also wear a mask.