Archives For superstition

What the past 18 months has revealed to the world is this:

In the post-modern era there’s an extremely thin line between an “expert” and an activist.

I’m in agreement with Peter Hitchens, “these past 18 months have been a major turn back towards what looks like superstition.”

Discussing mask mandates, and “mantras,” Hitchens told TalkRadio’s Mike Graham, “I wish more people would pay attention to the evidence.”

“The way in which people wear masks [for example], flapping around their chin, gaps in either side, putting masks in pockets, and taking them back out again…Anybody who knows anything about hospital mask wearing knows, you mustn’t touch them. As soon as you take them off the mask has to be replaced.”

For masks to be affective, “they have to be tightly fitted to the face, quite uncomfortably,” Hitchens explained.

 “It’s a simple point: even people who understand this must know these tokens people are wearing can’t do much good.”

Despite claims, “we know that there’s no proof masks protect from infection. If an infection can get in through a mask, why shouldn’t it be able to get out?”

Hitchen’s, paraphrasing Graham Brady, concludes, “masks are much more of a political symbol than an actual protection; people wear them as a sign of compliance with the new regime.”

Asked for his thoughts on the lifting of all COVID restrictions in Britain, on what was styled as “Freedom Day,” Hitchens replied, “it doesn’t feel all that different.”

Hinting at the lax attitude towards reason, in favour of a narrative, Hitchens stated,

“Nobody examines COVID statistics in a particularly rational of forensic fashion, because there’s this huge desire, both from the COVID Zero lobby, the people who want us permanently under control, and parts of the public living in fear.”

This fear, Hitchens asserts, “has gone in so deep; but fear is irrational, it’s completely immune to reason.”

For instance, offer any reasoned opposition, and “very rapidly the response turns to anger because the mob is safer in their certainty and fear than they would be in a reasoning world.”

Hitchens adds, “That’s what we’ve come to. Damage has been done to reason in politics, public life, broadcasting, universities, and elsewhere – which were already quite badly damaged.”

This is why, he argued, July 19 (aka ‘Freedom Day’) will attract attention from a lot of “COVID Zero people and the rest of the militants who want to permanently control [us] for “health reasons.” They’re waiting for their opportunity to say opening up on the 19th was wrong.”

They’ll “use figures obtained from tests looking for COVID numbers, that don’t necessarily indicate any actual illness. Then they’ll point to hospital admissions.”

Hospitalisation numbers are problematic.

Hitchens explained: “The last time I tried to look up the numbers of admissions, it showed people connected with COVID, had tested positive, but you couldn’t state that’s simply why they were in hospital, when they had been in hospital with something completely different.” 

Addressing the controversy over Dominic Cummings breaking his own lockdown rules, Hitchen quipped, “The people who devised these policies don’t believe their own propaganda. They don’t behave the way they tell us to behave!”

In June, Cummings, who is the former aid to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, alleged the Ministry of Health’s bureaucratic ineptitude had hindered Britain’s early COVID response.

Cummings also laid blame on Boris Johnson’s reluctance to buy into COVID hysteria. Accusing the Prime Minister of not acting early enough to lockdown Britain.

Hitchens recognises the importance of “really strong precautions.”

Precautions should be weighed and measured by sober-minded experts, not pathos driven activists posing as professionals.  

Left in the hands of the latter Western society will be set further adrift. Even if capable, it will not be able to reconnect with its moorings.  

Such as Thomas Sowell illustrated in his 2004 Empirical study of Affirmative Action,

‘Any “temporary” policy whose duration is defined by the goal of achieving something that has never been achieved before, anywhere in the world, could be more fittingly characterised as eternal.’

WATCH:


First published on Caldron Pool, 7th September 2021

©Rod Lampard, 2021

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Image credit: RL2013

I am attempting to grasp for a truth here. A quest for a deeper sense of reality. One that surpasses superstition (i.e.: fear as opposed to faith).

 ‘the more you fulfil yourself the less you will seek God…seek, and you will find…” Get to work – narrow your focus and interests to this one…Experience is a doorway, not a final goal. Beware of building your faith on experience, or your life will not ring true and will only sound the note of a critical spirit. Remember that you can never give another person what you have found, but you can cause him or her to have a desire for it’

(Chambers, June 10, ‘my utmost for His highest’).

This message in my devotional this morning prompted me to ask the questions:

‘Do I treat Jesus as a crutch?’

More importantly:

‘If I do, isn’t this superstition and idolatry?’

Look at the meaning of the word “crutch”. It is defined by ‘the sage’ – (great program b.t.w) – as:

‘anything that serves as a means to an end. An object, wooden or metal that fits under the armpit and reaches to the ground; used by disabled (or if you prefer the PC term ‘differently-abled’) people while walking’

I am not sure about you, but I don’t think I like the image of putting Jesus under my armpit just to prop me up when I need to move around. Sure, if Jesus chooses to be like a crutch and help me than that is His gracious and FREE choice. I am grateful when He does.

Just as Karl Barth wrote: ‘His reconciling being among us with and in us…is always His movement’ (CD IV.4:88)

Jesus the Christ is NOT my personal slave and I should NOT “use” Jesus as though he was. If I viewed my FREE access to God in this light it would be a response of ingratitude-as-superstition, and not an act of gratitude-as-faith. I cannot take Christ for granted, or hold to assumptions over a faith grounded in the knowledge of Christ’s self-revelation.

This raises further questions:

a)      Do I see Jesus as a means to an end?

Or

           b)      Do I see that Jesus IS the end of all means?

As Christians we must endeavour to raise Jesus out of this ‘’utilitarian-situation’’ ethic. This is because the tendency to perceive Jesus as a “tool” is superstition.

Jesus is not an object, a commodity or a pharmaceutical band-aid. He is not a superstitious myth that we cling to for comfort and reassurance. He is ‘the way the truth and the life’, wholly human, yet wholly God. In other words He is reality par excellence. Because of Christ we are heirs of ‘eternal hope’ (Barth, CD:IV.4:114).

In my observations, it is true that we reflect not just what Jesus enabled, but what He enables and is enabling. This involves God’s ‘yes and no’ to us in Jesus Christ. This in no way exposes a flaw in my argument,  because saying that Jesus enables, places the focus on Christ’s action, and not on any attempt to conjure Him up in order to meet my own self-fulfilment.

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Image credit: RL2013

Being enabled is evidenced in Creator God’s extraordinary act in redeeming the ordinary. You are chosen. WE are chosen; elected because of the election of Christ (Barth).

Take for example Barth’s statement that

‘Baptism is a going forth to Jesus Christ. It is not a movement into the unknown. It is encircled by the light of promise shining from the goal. It is not a chaotic or arbitrary movement; it is commanded and ordered’ (CD. IV.4:94).

If you are like me, you are a Christian who desperately needs to ‘narrow their focus and interests to seeking the God who seeks us, and less on seeking our own fulfilment’ (June 10, ‘my utmost for His highest’).

The reminder is this: by focusing our efforts on seeking God, it presupposes trust in the God of promise, who, by His Spirit chooses to enable, empower and join us to His will through Jesus the Christ.

This becomes a real and tangible act of faith, that is in contra-distinction to an artificial act of superstition which is ultimately, only based on fear.