Beyond ‘Plandemic’: A Christian Response to Conspiracies

A few scattered thoughts before I get my toddler out of timeout: :wink:

I have certainly parroted the views of people I trust(ed) (Kent Hovind, Ken Ham, etc.), and I bet there are times when I do the same thing today. I think Christy is right about trust playing a big part. Maybe on a similar note, I thought of this quote attributed to Maya Angelou:

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

Leaving aside how “making” someone feel something is maybe more of a two-way street, but I know I would do well to keep this in mind more. If I just put forth an attitude of “I know more about this because I’m smarter than you” then I’m not helping. Plus, I know there are some people who will see any kind of public disagreement with them (like on a facebook post) as an “attack,” so in that case I would probably just stop engaging with them. But some “gullible” or “brainwashed” people have been loving and accepting of me when I didn’t deserve it, and on the other hand, there are many people out there who would consider me “brainwashed” also, due to my religious beliefs. How would I want them to treat me?

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Thank you, Laura. What I’m having trouble understanding is how some of the people on this forum can be so certain of their facts, and that no cover-up is taking place, when it is clear that no one appears to have all the facts at this point? It is also a ‘Fact’ that the CCP has destroyed original samples, and is resisting an independent inquiry into how this pandemic started in the first place:

So for those of you who are so sure of your truth, please enlighten me on this: why are you are so convinced of your truth, and that everyone else that disagrees with you is a crazy conspiracy theorist, when the country from which this originated has resisted any independent inquiry into how this actually started?

And if you say, ‘well because the WHO or CDC or any other org says so’… I’m sorry, that isn’t going to fly with me (and it apparently also won’t fly with the poster above who has now deleted his account from Biologos).

@SonofGodIAm, perhaps it would be good to take one topic or item at a time and examine it rather than lumping them all together in a “your truth” basket which is not helpful. Any particular statement of truth you would like to examine and discuss?

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Personally I haven’t spent a lot of time looking into these specific issues, but I don’t think anyone can be completely certain of many things, and I doubt anyone believes the WHO or CDC are perfect or error free in all this. What I would say is that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and cover-ups on a massive scale are pretty hard to pull off. I think the best course of action is to trust those who are doing the best job they can to gather and evaluate available data, and I would give more credence to a reputable global organization than a vlogger on YouTube if it came down to that.

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What has Christianity got to do with any of this Christy?

Christians are known to be susceptible to and targeted by coordinated disinformation campaigns. Christians are allied in many areas with the alt-right and far right political groups or at least consumers of the narratives coming from those groups.

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Yeah Christy. What makes such of us Christian? How are Christians susceptible? What is it about US fundamentalist Christianity?

Studies have been done and books have been written. I’m not about to attempt to diagnose the problem here in a post or start making proclamations about who the true Christians in the country are and how you know. It’s enough for the purpose of this discussion that we just acknowledge the reality of the situation in Christian communities. I seriously doubt that the roots and fruits of the problem are going to be affected by my Facebook posts in any case.

I feel for you Christy, I do. And all your BioLogos peers. I just don’t see how any of this has got anything to do with what Jesus proclaimed in His first sermon on through the beatitudes.

Yes, could you be more specific? I have varying degrees of certainty about many things having to do with this pandemic. Coverup of what? Is is possible that SARS-CoV-2 escaped from a Chinese lab and the Chinese government covered it up? Yes. I haven’t seen any evidence for that having happened, but it’s a plausible event that could have occurred. What other possibilities do you think are being dismissed out of hand?

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Okay. I don’t see how many of your replies have anything to do with the threads they are posted on.

Yeah. I’m in great company.

I found this to be a good discussion, free of snark and fear, from @pevaquark
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWpjc1QZg84
from the other thread. Have you watched it, or read the post from @Christy on that thread?


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Fear and uncertainty, which are very much a part of this time, give rise to conspiracy theories. Did you know that many in China and Russia blame the US for Covid- 19? https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2020/3/15/1927741/-China-Blames-US-for-COVID-19
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-51413870
https://www.ccn.com/china-tries-to-dodge-blame-by-doubling-down-on-coronavirus-conspiracies/

Conspiracy theories like this are not new. Healthcare workers overseas often are accused of seeking money and power. My father, a general surgeon who gave up a potentially large salary to receive the average missionary’s pay in Niger, was told he came there to make money (all the fees went to support hospital staff, though I recall that someone paid him in chickens a few times, which we did get at home). Conspiracy theories have led to attacks against vaccine workers in Nigeria. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-21381773

Another reason I trust Fauci, the CDC and the WHO to not be interested in murdering people via Covid is that I have followed them some time. Over the years in medicine (I am a primary care physician with interests in HIV and infectious disease because I grew up in Africa), I have listened to Fauci arguing passionately for saving the poor HIV sufferers in Africa and elsewhere who could not afford drug therapy to stay alive. He gave up a lot to do what he has done. Such men do not turn around and try to kill people by letting loose viruses and ruining economies.

If you want more details, I strongly recommend reading the rebuttals.

Thanks.

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Knowing one personally, my distinct impression is that people who buy into every conspiracy theory that comes down the pike want to believe in conspiracy theories.

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Steve, yes. This is exactly the scenario I am proposing: That COVID-19 escaped from a Chinese lab and the CCP government covered it up. I also believe it is quite possible that it was ‘worked on’ before escaping. I believe this is all quite plausible and that the wet market origin is quite unlikely (Note that this wet market did not even sell bats or pangolins). We have evidence that the lab destroyed evidence and quite possibly changed records:

On top of this, the government refuses to allow an independent investigation into the origins:

There is also a good amount of other circumstancial evidence to support the ‘escape’ theory. If you would like for me to post it here, I would be happy to. But, some of that might be sensitive to the readership here, so I want to respect that, unless otherwise requested.

On the other hand, I do not believe the virus epidemic was planned, nor do I believe that it was a bio-weapon, nor do I believe it was leaked with malicious intent. These scenarios are far too extreme, in my opinion.

I am not really considering any other possibilities besides this.

Thanks,

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Phil, please see my response to Steve above. Thanks,

Randy, thanks for your response and that is a nice story about your father and your upbringing in Africa. Very interesting!

At this point, I am not interested in discussing the situation with Dr. Mikovits because I believe this subject is too touchy given the close connection between her and the WHO/CDC etc.

I agree with you that Fauci was not trying to ‘kill people by letting loose viruses and ruining economies.’ That is not my claim, nor is it the claim of many others. In fact, it sounds ridiculous.

My claim is that perhaps these people who accidentally leaked the virus were indeed attempting to work on something beneficial to society, perhaps a vaccine for HIV? In fact, this is precisely what Luc Montagnier, who won the Nobel Prize in 2008 for his work on HIV, claimed, that they were trying to find a vaccine for HIV:

“We have arrived at the conclusion that this virus was created.” He accused “molecular biologists” of having inserted DNA sequences from HIV into a coronavirus, “probably” as part of their work to find a vaccine against AIDS.”

Is it true? We don’t know, but we can’t say for certain until an independent investigation is allowed. Until that happens, I don’t think it’s too outlandish to think this theory is out of the realm of possibility. My issue is that even mentioning this theory will get you shut down in many forums or in the public or mainstream media.

Why is this?

Thanks,

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Is what the French Nobel winner is claiming about HIV insertions true? No, it’s been pretty much universally dismissed by everyone who understands how virus genomes work. Plus, he’s citing a paper that was taken down by its authors (who had no expertise in virology or genetics as I understand it, they got a hold of some genetic data and drew some wrong conclusions about what it meant.) when multiple issues with it were pointed out.

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Thank you. I was blessed to be there–most of both our neighbors, and the missionaries I was with, were salt of the earth.

I don’t understand. I don’t know of any connection to WHO/CDC; perhaps you can clarify. The rebuttals above were very kind and non-inflammatory; they may reassure you. They don’t make ad hominems against Dr Mikovits, I think. Both the writer and “Dr Mike” are measured and kind.

I am sorry I misunderstood. That’s great! Close friends and family of mine do believe it.

Please see Christy’s note above. To my understanding, there is excellent genetic evidence that it was from the wild. But I don’t understand–if it wasn’t intentional, who really cares? What difference does it make in terms of what we can act on, whether it even could have come from a lab by accident or not?

Thank you.

Thanks.

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How can you tell which conspiracy theorists to believe, and which to ignore?

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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