So here's another commentary blog entry from me, the guy that nobody follows. Today's topic: fear mongering among the conservative masses. There is one thing that is somewhat popular among the politically conservative - the approval of conspiracy theories. Here are some of my favorites from the past month or so.
- The new 5G network is spreading the COVID-19 virus.
- COVID-19 was created in a lab as part of a bio-weapons research project.
- COVID-19 is a politically-driven hoax designed to ease us out of our constitutionally protected rights.
- "Stay At Home" or "Shelter In Place" orders by state governors is essentially marshal law.
- Currently curtailed rights will not be returned when the "Stay At Home" or "Shelter In Place" orders are removed.
- China deliberately created this virus.
- The WHO is responsible for the slow US response to COVID-19.
- COVID-19 Is A Marketing Scheme By Hand Sanitiser Companies.
- The federal government is using the pandemic to permanently remove any/all of the following: church attendance, gun ownership, free speech, and many other civil liberties.
I've been a software engineer for 33 years, which means I was around for the wonderfully wacky world of Y2K. Some of you might remember that one. Due to the change in year from 19XX to 20XX all software in the world that runs everything from power plants to your dishwasher was going to stop working and we'd be thrust into a sudden stone-age. Food, electric power, fuel, everything would become unavailable. People created underground bomb-proof bunkers or mountain redoubts and purchased enough food and essentials to last for years. In the two months leading up to December 31, 1999 those people escaped from the world to hunker down and await the apocalypse. It never came. Constitutional rights were not lost. Society didn't collapse. In point of fact, nothing happened. Those of us in the industry tried to explain to any who asked that everything was going to be fine, that there was absolutely no reason to panic or believe the conspiracy theories that were raging like a wildfire all across the world. No one would listen.
So here we are twenty years later in an actual serious situation, but it feels very similar to that crazy time. People seem to be so willing to jump to the worst case scenario with no factual basis to stand on. It's as if they have so little confidence in our country's constitution, the rule of law that we have abided by for over 200 years, that in a matter of months we'll throw it all away and become the same as some third world banana republic and suddenly live in a police state. I don't understand it. Should we pay attention to what's happening in our government? Absolutely. Carefully reading the statements about how to protect ourselves from the virus is something everyone should be doing. But what I'm seeing is people stating extreme extrapolated scenarios as if we were a hair's breadth from a total breakdown of what our constitution guarantees.
In World War II our country, like many others, curtailed all sorts of activities, rationed food, fuel, and other materials necessary for the prosecution of the war. No one was concerned about these restrictions being permanent. Why would they? Once the war was over, things would return to normal. They knew it was for the best that we go temporarily without for the greater safety of our nation. The world is currently combating a virus that while not killing on the order of WWII, is certainly capable of rapid, mass loss of life and it will continue through the better part of the year in other parts of the world. The USA, blessed with technology, wealth, and amazing resources will see through this as a temporary thing, probably within a month or two. During the war years we rationed for years, not months. Why have so many people forgotten what happened last century?
For those of us that call Jesus Christ our savior, there is another aspect of this that should give us pause. We are to be salt and light to the world around us. Spreading fear is antithetical to the cause of Christ in my opinion. If you're spreading unfounded rumors and speculations as fact, what in effect you are doing is spreading fear. Not hope. Not love of neighbor. Is what you say lining up well with Philippians 4:8 and Ephesians 4:29-32? If not, you might want to sit down and think first about what you're saying, especially online.