I regret my foolish and ill-considered remarks about masks and mask wearing on Twitter on Tuesday, May 14. Masks are clearly indicated in many situations. I used over-heated rhetoric and false analogies. It was wrong for me to impugn the intentions and motives of others, for which I apologize.
As a World War I buff, I was honestly gobsmacked by this. The Germans first used poison gas at Bolimow on the Russians; it didn’t work out very well because it was winter and the gas mostly froze. The Germans got better with it, as did the Allies, although on Western Front the Allies had the upper hand because the Germans were on the wrong end of the prevailing winds. Soldiers on both sides had good reason to wear gas masks.
World War I was an especially nasty business, but until armies broke under the strain the men who fought were courageous. Their courage and devotion to duty in the face of an awful situation inspired J.R.R. Tolkien in his portrayal of the hobbits heading to Mount Doom in the Lord of the Rings. Reno’s “over the top” comments (another World War I expression) deserved the gas attack they got on Twitter, which led him to can his account.
As an aside: trad Catholics should celebrate these people too, the Catholic soldiers of France, Italy and Austria celebrated Mass under difficult conditions ad orientem.