On Monday, I was at the DMV, doing the things one needs to do when you move to a new state, getting New York plates, a New York driver's license, that sort of thing. It was a pretty successful morning all things considered... it only took me two trips!
While I was there, I got to hear the clerk explain that she had resisted getting the Covid-19 vaccine because she didn't like government control. The irony that she was a government employee was lost on her. The argument that other government employees were just like her, doing a job, going home to families, counting down the days until vacation, didn't get much traction either. Of course, she explained, it didn't help that Anthony Fauci was corrupt and getting rich from the vaccines...
At the next window was a young man who explained to the clerk that if you put a magnet up to the arm of someone who had been vaccinated, it would stick because of the embedded microchip.
I do wonder how all of us vaccinated folks got past the metal detector to get into the building.
Just hours earlier, as we gathered at Park for our Lamentations event, anti-vaxxers, anti-government protesters, and other extremists were gathered in the park next door. Anti-intellectualism is not new in America, and though Ayn Rand may have perfected a particular form of sociopathy, “me first” has always been deeply embed- ded in our national character.
The problem, of course, is that these particular lies are killing people. In the spring, scientists estimated misinformation and mismanagement had caused over 150,000 unnecessary deaths in the United States to that point in the pandemic. That number is far greater today, as the Delta variant tears through the South.
Truth matters. It makes it into the Ten Commandments. It is a matter of great urgency, life and death, for Jesus. It got him killed.
Truth is hard-coded into Congregationalism too, the belief that there is “yet more light and truth to break forth from God's Holy Word.”
In a time of lies and misinformation, how might we be advocates for truth?