I arrived home to a nonsense anti-covid-vaccine leaflet in my letterbox (sorry – my prejudice is already showing in the word “nonsense”…; front image above).

The back page of the above image is even worse! Claiming that the life expectancy of anyone who isn’t killed by the vaccine is “2 years”. At the same time it claims that the vaccine will “lower the global population by 10-15%” (you don’t need a Mathematics degree – I have one – to work out that if the vaccine will kill off most of the planet within 2 years, that would reduce the population by MUCH more than 10-15%!!!).

The brochure gives no indication of who produceds this brochure. Or why.

The quotes are either ripped out of context, without reference, or scientific nonsense. When ripped out of context, they end up actually appearing to say the opposite of what was intended. Bill Gates was concerned that the planet couldn’t sustain our population explosion. He came to realise that it was better to focus on life expectancy than on reducing birth rates. When people feel secure about life expectancy, birth rates drop. The nonsense sheet quotes Bill Gates: “If we do the vaccines right, we could lower the global population by 10-15%”. The nonsense posted sheet wants to give the impression that vaccines will kill off people, when that is the last thing in Bill Gates’ mind.

Our post-modern, post-truth, alternative-facts world is fertile soil for anti-science. Our New Zealand Curriculum, with its minimalist canon and general avoidance of obligating specific truth content doesn’t mitigate this.

And so why might I be blogging about this on a Christian site? Well, firstly, I have written previously about what I understand to be our moral obligation to be vaccinated. Secondly, the whole “this is my truth”, “that is true for you” and “this is true for me” approach doesn’t ultimately mesh with the Christian understanding of Truth. Even, in this Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, the approach that all denominations are simply like different flavours of ice-cream needs serious questioning. The division, within a denomination, even within a parish, into different styles of services should not be beyond questioning.

Finally, there is much need for reflection on the relationship between misinformation, truth, freedom of speech, and hate speech. I saw a Christian fundamentalist anti-Muslim book on the library shelves (in Christchurch of all places!). I laid complaints at several levels and was repeatedly informed that providing this book on the library shelves was in accordance with library policy of freedom of information. I understand the post-modern critique of power and the traditional expectation that a library curates reliable information, but has the pendulum swung too far when there is no limit to the (dangerous) nonsense we can receive (and place) in our letter box or library, let alone expect on the internet and social media?
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