In ancient times when a disaster had occurred (a seven year drought, flooding, diseases etc) people explained it as a “curse of God”. Read the Old Testament: The ancient Jews argued that “God’s people” no longer believed in him and had turned to other gods. Later, Martin Luther argued that sin comes directly from the Devil. In modern times many people no longer believe in God, or at least in a God who directly interferes in human affairs. They also don’t believe that the Devil exists.
Now, for just a moment, replace “God” with “Honesty”, true concern for other human beings and the world’s survival, when faced with environmental degradation, pollution of the oceans and the heating up of the atmosphere.
And, just for a moment, replace the “Devil” with ”Dishonesty”, the spreaders of ‘fake news’ or ‘alternative facts’, racial and other forms of hatred, neglect of the looming environmental disaster – and you get a surprising explanation of the catastrophe, the United States and the United Kingdom are facing just now.
2016 was the year when Donald Trump gained a majority of electorates (not of the voters!) to become the 45th President of the United States. Almost four years later, by early October 2020, more than 210,000 US citizens have died (and more than 7.4 million have become infected) from the Corona virus.
2016 also was the year when the Brexit vote occurred with 17.4 million people voting for it, out of an electorate of 46.5 million and a population of 66.3 million. A narrow majority of 51.9% of voters had believed the half-truths and blatant lies of the “Brexiteers” during the campaign. The architect of Brexit and, later, of Boris Johnson’s election victory in December 2019, was Dominic Cummings. This is a man who has nothing but contempt for “The Establishment” and for his own government’s laws. Just remember his 250 mile trip during the lockdown! Also, remember Mr. Michael Gove denigratingly talking about “experts” who warned against economic consequences of a Brexit vote. And not to forget Boris Johnson’s bus in the Brexit campaign about saving £350m a week for the NHS.
For both Donald Trump and Boris Johnson the moment of truth came after March 2020. The spreaders of fake news, half-truths and blatant lies now faced the spread of the Corona virus. We all know their reactions, or more accurately their lack of timely reactions.
While the virus was already spreading, the UK Prime Minister attended a rugby game and shook lots of hands. Also, he allowed the Cheltenham Festival, a massive horse racing event, to go on with some 250,000 people attending. We know what happened to him and the country thereafter.
Donald Trump’s reactions, or non-reactions, need no further explanation. What can one think about a President publicly advising his people to drink disinfectant to deal with the potentially deadly virus? And recently an infected Mr. Trump turned out to be a “super spreader” of the virus himself, in the White House and possibly other places.
Returning to the old biblical explanation of catastrophes, why don’t we recognize that what has happened in such dimensions since early 2020 has been the logical consequence of dishonesty, our modern day Devil: fake news, racial and other forms of hatred, and neglect of the looming environmental disaster at the top of two governments?