In my last article in this series, I argued for why I think that, for many, the current COVID-19 vaccines could easily be equated to an idolatrous modern-day Golden Calf upon whom the power to free, deliver, and save has allegedly been bestowed.
Whilst idols, new and old, are countless, there are not too many of them that have managed to gather around themselves a whole, well-organized, global religious system in such a short period of time. Although the sentence before can sound a bit funny in some ways, try asking yourself this question: what are some common components you see present in most religions out there?
- A deity (or deities) who provides in specific ways for the needs of the worshipers.
- Priests/prophets/evangelists/oracles who carry the responsibility to convert and communicate to the people how they are supposed to live their lives as per the moral code and teachings of their religious system. They usually are trusted representatives of said religion.
- Rituals (initiation, purification, sacrifices, graduation, etc.) that allows worshipers access to specific areas (physical and/or spiritual) in the religious life of the community.
- A set of worldviews, moral codes, and teachings that are designed to affect deeply how worshipers live their lives and interact with others in the immediate and broader communities.
The rise of a new worldview
A worldview is a thought process and a way of understanding and relating to the world which shapes a person both internally and externally. Every person on this planet, knowingly or unknowingly, spouses a worldview that determines virtually everything when it comes to how that person perceives and interacts with the world around him.
It goes without saying that religion permeates almost all if not all, that is related to a worshiper’s worldview. People who seek to live by the teachings and moral codes of their newly found or well-established religious association will find themselves constantly reassessing their lives and making the necessary adjustments to make sure their daily living is in line with the requirements handed down by the religious order and its deity.
We see that reality portrayed in a more dramatic fashion when a person goes through a drastic experience of conversion, usually later in life. Almost all of us can remember at least one or two people in our lives who underwent a massive transformation after a religious experience of conversion. It was as if, suddenly, we were dealing with a totally different person.
The change is usually palpable and uncomfortable for those who use to know that individual before. In the blink of an eye, old habits changed, language, interests, friendships, dress code, etc. This is, in fact, an experience that is seen by some religious groups as a type of new birth, so revolutionary is the nature of the changed that can be witnessed.
Now, I must confess I was hugely surprised when I started to see this same religious-like behaviour rapidly taking place in the lives of many who, so quickly, decided to cast themselves upon the mercies of the vaccines as a means of salvation from the deadly effects of the pandemic.
Here, once again, it is important to clarify that this religious euphoria didn’t happen in the lives of all who ended up getting vaccinated, but it certainly happened in the lives of many who ended up going down that path. We are not talking about people just simply receiving a vaccine with thanks and carrying on with their lives – as it has been the case virtually with all other vaccines in the world up until before this pandemic – but, rather, we are talking about people starting to organize themselves around this new identity, ‘vaccinated’, which started to shape much of what was going to happen in those people’s lives going forward.
That’s when we started to see the Facebook avatars going up, the many selfies with masks and sleeves rolled up, the increasing hostility towards those who were choosing not to be vaccinated, and so on. It is not only that there was a new gospel in town saying that if you want a future worth having, you should get vaccinated, but it is also that people were quickly listening to and believing in that message, to the point where they were becoming less and less able to understand and relate to themselves and to the world apart from this new set of information being released on an almost hourly basis advocating for the wonders of this newfound treasure: the vaccines.
The rise of a new priestly and evangelistic classes
Both the Protestant Reformation and the Age of Enlightenment represented a significant rupture in the way western, and, even to some extent, eastern individuals relate to one of the most ever-present classes on the face of the earth: the priestly class.
Whilst to this day priests are still seen as an important class of people in most societies, it is important to note that, especially in the west, things are definitely not what they once were. Priests used to have the monopoly on the knowledge of the divine and, in most cases, even seen as actual mediators between God and the people, but this is now seldom the case.
In a post-modern world, spirituality continues to present itself more and more as a private matter, with each individual being in charge of interpreting the divine clues with his or her desired measure of assistance from a member of the “official” clergy. The days when people used to say “trust the religious experts and just do what you are told” are behind us.
Well, the paragraph above was what I used to think up until the beginning of this pandemic anyway. Oh, how things have changed so quickly!
With the rise of a new priestly and evangelistic class, we have also witnessed the revelation of a new class of worshippers. The problem is not only that we have a handful of people who are “authorized” to engage in conversations about the vaccines, but mostly that any questioning from the “ignorant” populace has been seen as malign, and there seems to be a desire by many to go back to that dark-ages mentality that produces an intellectual emasculation of the general population.
No questions are allowed without the person questioning being seen as some sort of heretic that should be ostracized. The HTML inquisitional fires are burning hot, cancelling all who wish to speak against this new catholic technocratic religion. Even common folk became, without attending any special seminar on “how to share your faith on the vax using four easy steps”, one of the most organized, outspoken, and persistent evangelistic classes our modern world has ever seen.
To be continued…