“I trust the science.”
American popular political culture is replete with short sound-bite statements like this one. They are deceptive and dangerous, because the subtly polarize large groups of the population to adopt views they probably never would accept if presented directly.
For example, if a priest in the Orthodox Church were to tell his congregation, “I no longer trust God, nor do I believe in Him, but instead, I urge you to join me in believing only in Science. This is our salvation”, what do you think would happen?
Probably a big scandal with a lot of people leaving the church or complaining about the priest, and going to another priest who doesn’t say such things.
But in the last year, most Orthodox Christians and indeed, a very large group of Christian believers of all confessions have failed to recognize this precise abdication of faith, largely because internally, they had already done it themselves. They are not jarred by “I trust the science” coming from their religious leaders because they themselves no longer (or perhaps never) really believe God or trust him themselves.
In this context, “I trust the science” is potentially reassuring. Unfortunately, in America with regard to COVID-19, the science has not been worth a speck of sand for anybody to trust, tangled as it has become with politics and cultural wokeness, both of which are anything but scientific.
To understand this, one has to consider what expectations we place on “scientific consensus”, “facts”, “research” and other similar terms, all of which come into play in all things COVID. We got a really primo example just this week, when after weeks of having his feet held to the fire about directing funds to and supporting gain-of-function research on coronaviruses at the Wuhan Virology Institute, Dr. Anthony Fauci made one of the most arrogant statements he has yet put forth:
“It’s very dangerous, Chuck, because a lot of what you’re seeing as attacks on me quite frankly are attacks on science, because all of the things that I have spoken about consistently from the very beginning, have been fundamentally based on science,” Fauci told host Chuck Todd on MSNBC. (Excerpt from www.thehill.com piece, linked here)
This statement attracted a lot of attention, reflected in a rather balanced way in the video segment from EWTN (Eternal Word Television Network, a Roman Catholic news network):
It also really aroused the ire and mockery on Fox News and other network programs as well.
But look at what the hierarchs use as the basis of opening the Churches again. We noted this in Part I of this series, but we must look at it again:
From the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America’s website (emphasis added):
In light of the announcement by the CDC yesterday saying that people who have been vaccinated no longer need to wear masks and social distance, whether indoors or outdoors, and in light of the reality that most every adult who wants to be vaccinated has had the opportunity to be vaccinated, we are lifting all requirements to wear masks and social distance in our churches in the United States of America…
Additionally, in light of the new CDC recommendations, choirs, church schools, coffee hours and social functions, hall rentals, meetings, etc. may also resume as each parish determines it is the appropriate time, but no later than the beginning of the new ecclesiastical year in September.
In other words, “based on the science…” There is not a single word about trusting, praising or even simply thanking God in this entire statement.
This is stunning, considering the nature of dealing with a global pandemic that has been the cause of so much turmoil all around the world. But for many of us, no one probably even noticed.
Now, some may offer the criticism that “blind trust in God without acknowledging medical science is fanatical and foolish.”
To that end, I would actually agree. It is for this reason that I have maintained a refusal to condemn or judge people that are wearing masks in church or social distancing, at least for the most part (I stand very strongly against the notion of priests wearing masks while distributing Holy Communion, though – this to me appears to be a direct affront to Christ, Who is in the Chalice), but even where my opinion is defined and sharp, I am forced to acknowledge that this year’s descent of the Holy Fire in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem happened with a crowd who were all vaccinated. The Fire came anyway.
This shows us something of the mercy of the Lord Himself, and it also shows that these events are not apocalyptic but “very relevant in our present time”, and that when the pandemic has finally gone for good, life will go on. It is not the End. Not yet.
Certainly, medical science, properly followed and developed, is a blessing from God, a way for us to cope with the fallen world. In fact, had the COVID-19 matter been honestly dealt with according to the “scientific method”, which is founded on the basis of “no fact is for certain; we must test and see what works and why” – well, had this been actually employed on all levels – research, messaging to the public, dealing with ecclesiastical matters – I would be writing a piece praising the handling of the crisis.
However, the supposed “Science” is really turning out to be posturing, lies, deception, political power games, election meddling, propaganda and mind and crowd control. Dr Fauci blew it when he said attacking him was the same as attacking Science, because he made this all about himself as THE Authority on all things health, especially COVID, and yet, he was the man wildly swinging from pole to pole on opinion without ever admitting the fundamental fact “Hey, folks, we have a real problem here, and we do not know how to solve it, but we are doing the best we can. Here is what we think we know now…”
That never happened. In fact the opposite happened: “Do what you are told, you m-f-er! Get vaccinated, you stupid f***!” If you do not believe me, look at this video that made the circuit in the US, supposedly from a comic perspective:
That is not scientific at all. And for those of us who are worried about the scientific fact that at least 4,000 people (estimated) have died after receiving the vaccine, or that are worried about our spouses’ miscarrying because of “protein shedding” attributed to the genetic therapy variant of the vaccine, or to those of us who simply do not like or trust the government telling us what to do (remember Kamala did the same thing when asked about taking the vaccine she later got – after she “won” the election, even though the vaccine was developed under President Trump’s watch), or those of us who are Christian believers that see what is going on as evidence of faithlessness…
Being cursed at for having a different point of view is also not scientific.
Being threatened by hierarchs or other clergy who insist on “trusting the science” is also neither scientific nor is it in any way Christian that I can see. Insofar as what has been paraded to the public as “science” goes, the notion that anyone involved in helping people find their way to salvation would trust our present crop of messengers and their attitudes is very faithless, indeed.
However, this episode does serve a purpose. It appears to have been a test, a cleansing of the Church perhaps, a “separation of the sheep from the goats…” Here is how:
- I would speculate that overall, attendance in Church is down now, even if the temples are fully open. This is because many people only needed the threat of a bad sickness to complete their retinue of excuses not to go. They know no one will say anything to them, COVID sort of has their backs because they can even attack others, saying “why are you endangering each other?” (following the “science” that said this was so.)
- The people that do go to Church are probably a bit more dedicated than before, and in some cases, maybe a great deal more dedicated. For these, who have tried to never stop going to services in the first place, and / or referred their whole lives to God, praying at home, opposing the regulations where possible or even flagrantly defying them for the Lord’s sake – these people are energized, having gone through a very real and perceptible “persecution for the sake of Christ.”
- Attendance at various temples will shift, according to the point of view of the serving clergy: If they are mask-mongers, they will probably lose some people and, in all fairness, they may gain others. It is further possible that this will lead to some parishes looking fairly populous, but when the crisis pattern resumes (as I think it might), it may spell the end for those groups that have still not come to believe God. The “science believer” parishes will be highly discouraged when this virus comes roaring back (as it already appears to be doing in Russia right now), and they may abandon their posts completely the next time closure orders come.
This whole pandemic is a watershed moment. The unpredictability of the SARS-CoV-2 virus by “the experts” will cause them to flip-flop around in their messaging because they will refuse to come clean about the fact that they really have no idea how this thing is supposed to be handled. (Bio-engineering apparently made it unstoppable – that was the purpose!) And with that, more and more of us are going to have to face the fact that science is no help at all, and only faith in God is worth anything in this struggle. Many who have already sold out to science will not make it back to faith, and that is very sad.
in Part III of this series, we will attempt to illustrate the changes that should be evident in us an in our places of worship if we are indeed repenting of our lack of faith in God.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.