What have we learned in the COVID panic? Or, closer to the point, what have some of us learned, and what should the rest of us be learning shortly?
We have learned that the establishment is bankrupt. We have seen that the scientific establishment is bankrupt. The public health system is bankrupt. The media is bankrupt. The educational system is bankrupt. Our politicians are bankrupt. The end result is that the general public has been fed the most shameless lies, and (thus far) are still largely willing to have it so.
There was a time, early on, when the lies had at least a veneer of plausibility, but now, the whole mendacious scam is out in the open, naked and covered with goose bumps. The falsehoods are now so apparent that we are in a position to count the goose bumps.
The stupidity has grown to epic proportions, and I believe that as time goes on, we will discover that we are just now beginning to catch a glimpse of merely the half of it.
It is time to drop all references to coronavirus or COVID-19, but not because the virus was imaginary. It was really there, but it was not really doing what the authorities said it was going to do. Rather, we should start referring to this tangled series of events as simply the Panic of 2020. What set everybody off is not the central item of interest right now. The main thing is for us to recognize that it was in fact an irrational panic, and not an apocalyptic pandemic. What set the chain of unreason off in the first place is a matter of lesser importance. This is because the real story is found in why we were all so spookable — when a people are that spookable, pretty much anything might do it.
A Climate of Lies
I think we all understand what goes into the making of an individual lie. Someone does something he ought not to have done, the voice of authority asks an awkward question, and the easiest way out appears to be that of lying about it. But what are the ingredients when we find ourselves living in a climate of lies? When lying appears to be as natural as eating, or sleeping, or walking? When lies and lying are the very air we breathe?
“Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.”
Eph. 4:13-15 (KJV)
“But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.”
James 1:6–8 (KJV)
Reading these two passages together, it appears to me that a climate that is conducive to lying is one where the people are immature, where they are unstable, and where they do not love the truth of God. They are immature, and so Paul longs for the day when they are “no more children.” They are unstable — tossed to and fro, carried about, driven with the wind and tossed. They panic easily. And because they do not have faith in God, they are not speaking the truth in love, and they are not growing up into Christ.
This kind of immaturity and instability provides us with the kind of black soil chaos in which the big weeds, the great lies, the mega-con, can all grow readily.
As has most certainly happened.
What Do I Mean by “Lies”?
I am referring to both little lies and the big ones. Whether big or little, they are the common ones.
Say, for example, that you are the administrator of a hospital that cannot get new N95 masks for your hospital personnel to wear. The masks are intended to be thrown away at the end of the day, but you aren’t going to get new ones for a week and a half. Do you tell the staff to wear the old masks, even though that would be more objectively unsanitary, or do you tell them to wear no masks, although that looks more unsanitary? In short, would you rather be more responsible or would you rather look more responsible? Because we are a lying people, led by liars, we go with the latter.
Say, for example, that you were told that the lock downs were in order to flatten the curve, so that the hospitals would not be overwhelmed. When the hospitals were in fact underwhelmed, and even in a hot spot like New York, they had to send the relief hospital ship away because they didn’t actually need it, did the announcement then come that we have “good news, we flattened the curve, you can all come out now”? No, the lie morphed as it went along. Lock down until we flatten the curve, until we have a vaccine, until we have three vaccines, until Biden (or his replacement) is elected. Because we are a lying people, led by liars, we go along with it, acting as though moving the goalposts is part of the game, included in the rule book.
Say, for example, that you got people hunkered down into their lock down corner by predicting mega-death. Hundreds of thousands dead in Seattle by this weekend! Over a couple million in the United States! Over 500K in the UK! Spectacular numbers indeed. And what did we get? If you were to gather up all the fatalities from all respiratory air-borne illnesses, and put them on a twenty year graph with the years unlabeled, you wouldn’t be able to pick 2020 out of the line-up. When it comes to respiratory air-borne illness taken all together, we had a year, well within the average oscillations. But if you did the same thing with bankruptcies, business closures, unemployment, the stock market, or GDP, you would be able to pick out the year 2020 from fifty yards, even if the graph was a small one,
Our Christian Leaders
In the meantime, where have all our first-tier Christian leaders been? You know, the kind who headline the main conferences? If not entirely feckless, it must at least be said that they have not exactly been displaying any great amounts of feck. We are not exactly running surpluses on our feck.
When given a choice between actually caring for their people, and looking like they are caring for them, the choice is naturally an easy one. The camera is over there, champ.
This is the perfect storm. As such has been a time of great chaos — most of it deliberately and unnecessarily induced by blind leaders in the grip of a blind faith. But contrary to their foundational pagan belief that chaos gives birth to the gods, we find that chaos actually gives birth to more chaos.
So bear with me for a moment as I explain the deep sources of what has brought us to this dire dumpster fire of a spring.
The world is currently divided between two fundamental faiths — the Christian faith and the secular faith. For purposes of this discussion, I am leaving Islam out of the picture, as Islam is at bottom a Christian heresy. So these two faiths are characterized by two words — event and process, respectively.
Creation from nothing was an event. Not only an event, but an historical event. The inauguration of history, the beginning of history, was itself historical. And God did it. He spoke and it was there, heaven and earth, big as life. He created all things from nothing through His Word, and then shaped the world with His words, and so there it was, ready for our first parents to live in.
So God is eternal, and the world is not, and the world is the result of a raw creative event. The two existent realities are now therefore two — the uncreated God and the created cosmos. The first result of God speaking at the very beginning was the establishment of these two realities. There was God, and then there was not God, and behold, it was very good.
In contrast, the evolutionary faith is all about process. If there is no eternal God overseeing all things, then all things are the eternal process. If there is no God, then all things are one. Those who argue for the Big Bang have to have the whole operation explode out of “almost nothing,” but it can’t be simply nothing. There has to be a long continuity of something.
So in some fashion, matter and energy must be eternal, and if that is the case, then all things are just one massive Heraclitean river. What is reality but change, fluctuation, evolution, variation, inconstancy, transformation, inconstancy, and process? In this cosmos, anything can morph into anything else, and moreover, did so. On top of that, when everything is constantly changing like this, there is no such thing as a lie.
If we accept the foundational lie that there is no Creator, then this (most conveniently) erases even the possibility of lying downstream. If you are in the service of the father of lies, this comes to you as a great relief.
So either God is eternal, and created matter the event, and the objective truth matters, or matter is uncreated and itself eternal, floating down an endless river of process. And sitting by that river of process, like an aspiring Siddhartha on the brink of enlightenment, a moment of illumination comes to the secularist. A light bulb comes on, but it is one of those new spooky looking ones — a boy is a girl, insanity is best practices, the healthy must be quarantined, ignoring the Constitution is constitutional, none of us claimed what we were all claiming just two months ago, and all the rest of it. As Richard Rorty once put it, speaking for all of our establishment poobahs, “Truth is what your contemporaries let you get away with.”
We are long past due the point where we should develop a radical intolerance for all such shameless lying. But we cannot develop that intolerance without Jesus, who is the truth itself.
The Long War
So what contributed to this perfect storm of chaos? What established this newly-arrived chaos where before there was the order of Christendom?
The factors were many, and so the following list is not exhaustive. And it is worth pointing out — even today — that items on this list have their ostensible Christian defenders. They want to defend orthodox Christianity and evolution, but which is like defending a living patient and his cancer.
This perfect storm of our chaos has been made up of Darwinism, public schools, egalitarianism, feminism, cancel-culture, fault-free divorce, abortion, same sex mirage, recreational sex, secularism, cultural Marxism, transgenderism, rampant pornography, totalitolerance, statism, eugenics, drug use, and a therapeutic approach to just about everything. All of that was thrown into the crock pot, and all of that explains why the stew tastes so rancid. And if you are wondering about my metaphors, and are asking how a storm can be a stew, remember to adjust. Try to get a little more flexibility in your joints. You are living in a time when anything can be anything else, if only it wants to — remember the cosmological context for the big lie outlined above. So if you don’t try a little harder to adapt to our mandatory unrealities, I will have to show you a picture of Dr. “Rachel” Levine, health secretary for Pennsylvania, and demand that you not laugh out loud. Laughing out loud might cause penalties to accrue. Laughing out loud contains an implicit misgendering, you science-denying fundamentalist cave dweller.
The ancient pagan faith is that when the frenzy of chaos reaches its final meltdown, then a new order will spontaneously arise from the ashes. Chaos gives birth to the gods, as Ovid described it. So their hope is that the older order of Christendom will descend into chaos, the final fever will kill all the old vestiges of faith in a Creator, and Nietzsche’s new man, that uber-goober, will stride forth, ready to face the dawn of a new day. That will be the day when man is the god who has fashioned himself. In the sentence just prior to this one, try to focus on the part of the sentence that simply reads that will be the day. This particular Nietzschean wet dream is probably the result of Friedrich getting laughed at in junior high by a couple of the cute girls. But nevertheless, it remains important for scholars to take his insights seriously, and it is important for the high-minded thought-thinkers among the evangelical elite to furrow the brow when we talk about him. Him, and Heidegger the Nazi.
Christ or Chaos
When we turn to Christ, we are turning to the Lord of the event. I am referring to the event of creation, the event of the flood, the event of the calling of Abraham, the event of the Exodus, the event of the Incarnation, the event of the cross and resurrection, the event of the Ascension, and the event of the Second Coming.
This applies particularly to the event of the cross, where all of our lies were crucified in Him. They went into the grave with Him as shabby little lies, and emerged in His resurrection as the everlasting truth.
And this is why we need to turn away in true repentance from our yearning lust for a life of fluctuating process. That life is nothing but an elastic haven for lies, especially the big ones. It is Christ or chaos.
Or, to put it in a nutshell . . . why do you have so many of your leaders lying to you? Because it works.