Saturday, October 16, 2021
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The credulous cult of lockdown

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THE former Supreme Court judge, Lord Sumption, summed the case up with searing clarity: lockdown is a religious cult.

On Julia Hartley-Brewer’s Talk Radio show, he said the government ‘have been preaching the gospel of lockdown for eight months. The fact is they (lockdowns) do not work. If we were all to be sedated, locked in wooden boxes permanently and fed by robots, that might work.’ 

I have tried to argue that lockdown is a neo-Marxist ideology to which real Christianity is the ultimate threat, as it was to Stalinist Communism in Eastern Europe. But actually ‘ideology’ would seem to be too weak a term for the lockdown creed, just as it is too weak to describe the hold that Stalinism had on the hearts and minds of the Soviet Union. The proponents of a political ideology tend at least to try to advance an argument that their principles bear some relation to the real world and would, if implemented, ameliorate secular conditions. Political ideologues are also usually prepared to rebut counter-arguments.

But the devotees of the lockdown cult do not address the counter-arguments. They chant the slogans of their creed and demand blind faith. Has any lockdown worshipper yet given an evidential response to Sir Graham Brady’s eloquent defence of liberty in the House of Commons during the debate on December 1?

Jonathan Sumption is surely right – lockdown is a pseudo-gospel. That is why its devotees want to cancel Christmas, whose essential message about the self-giving love of God for lost humanity is the very antithesis of the lockdown cult.

While it calls for a personal faith in an unseen God, the real Gospel (good news message) of Jesus Christ provides compelling evidence for its truth. The eye-witness, historical evidence that the one true God came into the world in the Person of his eternal Son, Jesus Christ, is there in the New Testament for the inquirer to examine and weigh. Thanks to the courageous and self-sacrificial labour of William Tyndale (1494-1536), we have the New Testament translated into beautiful, poetic English.

The Gospel of St John, whose prologue used to be read at traditional Christmas services of nine lessons and carols (remember those lovely, unmasked, often candlelit occasions?) sets forth that eye-witness testimony: ‘And the Word [the perfect and powerful self-revelation of God] was made flesh, and dwelt among us [his Apostles], (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only-begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth’ (John 1v14 – Authorised Version).

The journalist Malcolm Muggeridge  (1903-1990) observed: ‘It has been said that when human beings stop believing in God they believe in nothing. The truth is much worse: they believe in anything‘ (Muggeridge Through the Microphone, BBC, 1967).

This has proved painfully true for Britain. Does not the prevailing lockdown religion bear witness to the truth that when a nation ditches Christianity it falls into credulity?

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Julian Mann
Julian Mann is a former Church of England vicar, now an evangelical journalist based in Morecambe, Lancashire.

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