Judas Kiss

Will our governments offer bribes for snitching, as in China?



Betrayal is a part of human nature. If someone determines he may benefit by snitching on a friend, he may indeed give the Judas Kiss, an act appearing as one of friendship but which is harmful to the recipient.

Judas is the model betrayer: weak-willed and full of selfish interest in those 30 pieces of silver. As the Gospel relates, he led the soldiers to Jesus at night, apart from the common folk who supported Him. Judas kissed Him on the cheek—still customary in Israel between men—to indicate the Man.

The annals of history are rife with betrayal. For gold, Ephialtes of Tachis turned on his own people by informing the invading Persians how to outwit the 300 Spartan warriors defending Greece. America has had its Benedict Arnold — originally a patriotic war hero to revolutionaries, who for 10,000 pounds later told the British how to take West Point — and the Rosenbergs and Robert Hanson, who passed momentous secrets to the Soviets.

Betraying one’s own family or nation is nothing new, which brings us to the COVID-related sentiments dividing our nation these past two years.

Joe Biden’s pre-holiday speech implied that unvaccinated American citizens are being unpatriotic, or in other words betraying their country. His subtext suggested that families gathering for Christmas dinner not invite unvaccinated members. Pope Francis said that getting the COVID vaccine is an ethical obligation, and not doing so is uncharitable and idiotic. An opinion piece in the Washington Post even portrayed an anti-vaccine stance as an act of terrorism. No tolerance is shown for those reluctant to get jabbed because of, for example, an underlying heart disease. (The COVID-vaccine side effect of myocarditis is risky for them.)

Such aggressive proselytizing had an effect. In a OnePoll study of 2,000 people, nearly two-thirds of vaccinated Americans said they would likely ban unvaccinated family members from a holiday gathering.

The Canadian province of British Columbia, which previously cited privacy issues as a reason for not sharing private COVID data, recently asked citizens to disclose the names of their unvaccinated friends and family. Jason Woywada, executive director of BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association, said, “It looks like the government is encouraging [betrayal] and creating a social media snitch line for the unvaccinated.”

To reach 100% compliance in pursuit of elusive herd immunity, governments might resort to bribes for snitching. China offers 500 Yuan ($78) to those who identify the unvaccinated. Consider the thousands of homeless and hungry who might betray a buddy to survive another day.

Will it come to this: a son offers his father a Judas Kiss behind an N95 mask, and then notifies authorities?


Richard M. DellOrfano spent ten years on a cross-country pilgrimage following Christ’s instruction to minister without possessions. He is completing his autobiography: Path Perilous, My Search for God and the Miraculous.

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