John 9:1 And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.
2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.
E. Michael Jones has written a piece: The Coronavirus and the Culture War. It is very long, and very far-reaching, covering a broad sweep of the disease, possible sources, suspicious elite actions, data and facts, narrative manipulation, etc. I will cover one aspect of it: that of the culture war, specifically the role of Christian church leaders during this time.
Pestilence is portrayed in scripture as a punishment for sin.
This is how Jones opens the piece. I opened with this passage from John for a reason: I am not going to get into “is this punishment from God” or any of that talk – I won’t speak for God. Jesus has indicated that calamities befall us for reasons other than punishment; these give opportunities for God’s works to be seen.
Before I get to the interesting perspective offered by Jones, it is worth understanding the foundation he builds regarding the reaction by many Christian church leaders:
…the Church had internalized the Enlightenment’s command that science determined “ultimate reality” and had become as a result irrelevant.
Such a determination makes sense if the Church accepts a solely materialist universe. Now, before anyone accuses me of preferring blood leaching to modern medicine, I offer a quote from N. T. Wright (as I recall it from his Gifford Lectures): I don’t want to return to premodern or advance to postmodern dentistry, thank you very much.
As Christian leaders have given ground at ever-increasing rates to the State and willingly ceded subordination of church to State, Jones offers today’s reality:
Pornography, abortion, and drugs are now available to those in quarantine but not religious services. …Abortion clinics did not close during the lockdown in California, but that state’s Catholic churches did.
Not all Christian leaders have fallen into such decay and decadence:
Catholic reaction to this remarkable state of affairs depended largely on the writer’s relationship to the state in general and the American Empire in particular.
He offers examples to the contrary:
“The ecclesial events of these hours,” [Archbishop Carlo Maria] Vigano tells us, “have manifested clearly — if there was still any need — the tragic subjection of the Church to a State that is striving and doing all it can to destroy the Christian identity of our Italy, by enslaving it to an ideological, immoral, globalist, Malthusian, abortionist, migrant agenda that is the enemy of man and of the family.”
Raymond Cardinal Burke, former ordinary of the Diocese of LaCrosse, Wisconsin and former head of the Rota in Rome, stated that because “our first consideration is our relationship with God,” primary consideration in times of crisis must be given to having “access to our churches and chapels to the Sacraments, and to public devotions and prayers.”
What better time to close down churches than during the time leading up to (and likely to include) Palm Sunday and Easter. More than the birth of Jesus, the events of His death and Resurrection are the ultimate foundation for the existence of what we know as Christianity.
Now for his interesting perspective:
…the coronavirus pandemic signals the end of the American Empire and the era of Globalization, as practiced by oligarchs like George Soros. Globalization is both the perpetrator and ultimate victim of the current crisis because it “destroys space and pulverizes distances.” But because God is in charge of history Globalization finds itself subjected to the cunning of reason which has created “social distance, the isolation of the individual and quarantine,” all of which are “diametrically opposed to the ‘open society’ hoped for by George Soros.”
The doors are being slammed shut on globalization, open borders, and the like. Unfortunately, the reaction could be as equally detrimental for liberty as was the globalization and open borders that came before.
According to de Mattei, “the great sin which has brought down God’s wrath on our heads is the apostasy of the men governing the Church, who failed, either culpably or not, to denounce the schemes which the oligarchs have used to ensnare the entire world in sin.”
Again, I will stay out of the idea that God has brought this wrath down – there is no doubt that such episodes are evidenced in the Bible, but I will not promote or deny anything of the sort. I do agree that there has been a failure by church leaders to call out the evils of the state and the elite oligarchs who pull the strings.
As Jesus has shown, this does not preclude God from making His works manifest.
Yet, God remains the master of history and in spite of the machinations of the wicked, God continues to use the coronavirus to bring about His intentions, one of which is using it as the “killer of Globalization.”
I am quite comfortable with this wording, and I pray for this outcome – albeit not the likely over-reaction.
John 11:1 Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha.
2 (It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.)
3 Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.
4 When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.
5 Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.
6 When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was.
Is this coronavirus from God? Above my pay grade. But could God use it for His purposes? It has happened before. So, what does this have to do with the perspective, what Jones has built up to through his 11,600-word essay?
With each historical cycle, the distinction between Logos and its opposite becomes more apparent. Because the distinction between Logos and anti-Logos in our day has never been more obvious, its victory has never been more certain.
I have seen the discussion of the meaning crisis lead to the same place. Too many people are seeing the shallowness of a solely materialist worldview. Such a worldview offers no meaning, and even no possibility of free will and freedom. If we are nothing but the result of random atoms randomly smashing together, what’s the point; what can we be “free to choose”?
Further, countless millions are losing and will lose their jobs. The St. Louis Fed projects up to 47 million with a 32% unemployment rate. On sports radio, they are talking about the possibility of no baseball and no football – all year!
What happens to people when they find themselves fully dependent on the state for sustenance, for months or even a year or more?
Globalization may have precipitated the current crisis, but its real source is a Church which is either too corrupt or too befuddled to address the forces which are now destroying the entire world.
I agree: many Christian leaders are corrupt (count the war mongers and Christian-Zionist worshippers among these), while others just don’t know what to do. From the latter group, there may be hope that once this episode is behind us, they combine with those who had already see the treachery of many western leaders.
Let’s pray that this current crisis brings just such a backlash from honest Christian leaders. If the crush of the State is to be broken, it will take an institution – specifically this institution – to do it.
In the middle of his essay, Jones offers:
After Foucault made his pact with the devil in 1975, he began teaching Austrian School Economics….
Foucault might be the poster-boy of post-modern deconstructionism. This is too involved a topic to dive into here. I may do so in a future post.