You should subscribe to my Substack channel.
I want to address this piece at First Things. It is sad to see a religious publication try to cast the extraordinary effort of stopping a global pandemic “demonic.” But that is what it does. It cheapens the effort to save lives as sentimental and essentially advances a materialistic approach of wanting to make money and let people die because people are always going to die. Now, of course, the writer knows he is doing this so he chooses to denounce materialism while essentially advocating for it.
Alexander Solzhenitsyn resolutely rejected the materialist principle of “survival at any price.” It strips us of our humanity. This holds true for a judgment about the fate of others as much as it does for ourselves. We must reject the specious moralism that places fear of death at the center of life.
Fear of death and causing death is pervasive—stoked by a materialistic view of survival at any price and unchecked by Christian leaders who in all likelihood secretly accept the materialist assumptions of our age. As long as we allow fear to reign, it will cause nearly all believers to fail to do as Christ commands in Matthew 25. It already is.
Sounds fine until you realize he is advocating death for about a million people just so he can get back to the office. That’s the thing all these preening jackasses who hate being stuck with their families are missing on this. And you’ll have to forgive me, but I put the ignorance as intelligence columnists in the category of rank jackassery here.
If this virus spreads like the seasonable flu, it will kill several hundred thousand, if not a million, Americans. The people who write these things have their heads in the sand. They ignore that Great Britain and the Netherlands decided to go with the very approach they advocate of letting people just live their lives. These countries are now rushing to shut down everything as hospitals become overwhelmed and people cannot get access for basic medical needs because there is no space.
That older generation that endured the Spanish flu, now long gone, was not ill-informed. People in that era were attended by medical professionals who fully understood the spread of disease and methods of quarantine. Unlike us, however, that generation did not want to live under Satan’s rule, not even for a season. They insisted that man was made for life, not death. They bowed their head before the storm of disease and endured its punishing blows, but they otherwise stood firm and continued to work, worship, and play, insisting that fear of death would not govern their societies or their lives.
There was this little thing going on called World War I. You might have heard of it. The war didn’t stop for the flu, but two percent of the world’s population did — they fell over dead.
In San Francisco, the situation got so bad the San Francisco government ordered everyone to wear masks and literally arrested people who refused to wear them.
The situations are not really comparable and the “back when men were men” crap puts a Potemkin village worth of gloss on a revision of history.
Look, if you want to go back to work and claim we need to get on with our lives, please go first to your local hospital and talk to the doctors and nurses who are seeing first hand what’s happening. But this rank jackassery with a healthy dose of contrarianism where you pretend it is demonic to stop the spread of a virus is just a bit too much for me.
Yes, the cure should not be worse than the disease. But the cure is sitting on your couch, so shut the hell up.