During the apocalyptic days of the bubonic plague, the desperate masses flocked in droves – not to hospitals and medical experts, but to churches and religious leaders. Each chose superstition over science in a futile belief that ‘God’ was the ultimate vaccine.
They wailed like banshees – their hands reaching out to the heavens behind clerical fossils donned in white robes. Chanting rose up daily from the infected towns and cities of Europe. The pestilence-riddled penitent whipped themselves to the bone. And priests strolled solemnly through the streets; their thuribles swinging two and thro on bronze chains like burning pendulums. The end result was the mass culling of the flock – almost a third of the world’s population snuffed out. The same bodies that once piled hysterically into sermons now lie in hapless piles in plague pits across the planet. Infant bones sit scattered in unmarked graves on church-owned lands, dug deep below the sacred grounds they’d wrongly been told would protect them – many of them unwitting victims of the vicar’s Kool-Aid.
You’d have thought that humanity would have learned its lesson. It hasn’t. Today – through blind belief and medievalist arrogance – many thousands of people across the world continue to put the wider community at risk in their weak pursuit of finding anything and anyone to take responsibility over their lives and actions than themselves.
Despite the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, Sunday services continue to be held in religious sites in countries such as America, Pakistan, and Russia. In defiance of science, religious leaders are still opening their doors; passing around shared spoons and cups of wine from one set of lips to another. Evangelical universities in parts of the US have recalled their students. The holy call to prayer can still be heard echoing from within packed-out Mosques, including London’s largest. Others have taken to meeting up in groups to pray in parks.
An estimated 500 people crammed inside the Life Tabernacle Church in virus-hit Louisiana this past Sunday alone.
In St. Petersburg and Moscow, Catholics swarm into cathedrals; with one member of the congregation of a recent gathering, Irina (a Doctor) even telling a BBC correspondent that it is “impossible to get infected in a church because it’s a holy place”.
Irina, of course – as with her many religious counterparts throughout history – was wrong. While positive thinking should often be praised, when it has negative affects, it should be condemned.
Already, selfish acts are showing dire consequences.