We Are Living in the Dark Ages, and Night May Soon Fall

The Enlightenment, or the Age of Reason, was that time in the 1700s, quoting Wikipedia, that “included a range of ideas centered on the pursuit of happiness, sovereignty of reason, and the evidence of the senses as the primary sources of knowledge and advanced ideals such as liberty, progress, toleration, fraternity, constitutional government, and separation of church and state”.

And here we are: Much of the world is struggling too much just to survive to worry a great deal about happiness. Sovereignty of reason has given way to “alternate truths”; the evidence of the senses no longer informs almost half of the US population; the ideals of liberty, progress, toleration and fraternity are not at all shared – not in this country, and nowhere else that I can think of. And our constitutional government was within a few feet and a couple of gunshots from crumbling just over six months ago. As far as the separation of church and state, this country has never truly done that. Their constitutional powers were certainly separated, but Protestant ideology has always influenced American politics. And now the Bible, at least briefly, has been used as a prop by a President who very successfully folded fundamentalist Christians into his antisocial, anti-science, intolerant mob campaigning against the principles this country was built on.

As we face a pandemic of a rapidly mutating virus, almost half our population is more afraid of the vaccine than the disease that has killed 637,000 Americans as of this writing. And a small, however imperfect measure, of wearing a mask in public has become a matter of pride and a symbol of individual freedom by selfish people who won’t even try not to be spreaders of disease.

The conspiracy theories suggest vaccinations and vaccination identifiers will be the actual manifestation of the biblical Sign of the beast, part of a grand scheme to annihilate scores of people.

This did not happen with smallpox, and nobody I’ve talked to harbors such grand delusions about flu shots, even if they don’t like them.

Just a few years ago we marveled at a pill, albeit an expensive one, that cures hepatitis C. Before that, we got drug cocktails that stopped HIV from killing its victims. We have, during my career, seen cancer cure rates thought impossible in the 1970s. Genetic deadly diseases like Phenylketonuria (PKU) don’t exist anymore, except in very small numbers of surviving patients born in the years before screening was introduced.

I am no friend of the drug companies’ business tactics, but I acknowledge and respect the cures they have brought us.

Indeed, here we are: We live in a country where a sizable minority is going backward, rejecting science and common sense. They drive their motorcycles to tightly packed rallies; they harass store owners who ask patrons to wear masks; they lock themselves out from the “established” sources of news – to be sure they hear only what they want to hear.

Things are looking pretty dark. Because science has become a dirty word in the minds of almost half our population. Because more people than necessary will die from this disease. And because we are more openly divided than we were just a few years ago.

There are many cultures in this country who “do their own thing”, but when we face the biggest threat to mankind in generations, half of our citizens are not finding enough common ground with the rest of us to do even the basics.

God help America, God help us all. Raised Protestant, I write these words, because we as a nation are clearly not united in helping ourselves. And that is what it would have taken to avert what I’m afraid is likely to happen in the coming months.

I am not worried about myself. I am worried about our larger community and our nation. If things go better than my worst fears, it will be in spite of the naysayers; it will be due to dumb luck or divine intervention, not because everybody did their part.

12 Responses to “We Are Living in the Dark Ages, and Night May Soon Fall”

  1. 1 msdonnarl August 30, 2021 at 7:47 am

    Thank you.

  2. 2 cweaver August 30, 2021 at 8:03 am

    I would say I couldn’t imagine it, but I am from and live in the South . . . That said, I couldn’t imagine the absolute fawning of politicians and their refusal to work to protect their own constituents.

  3. 4 marc lippman August 30, 2021 at 8:49 am

    this is the best blog of your career. truly noteworthy. well done

  4. 5 Allen W Ditto, M.D. August 30, 2021 at 11:17 am

    Perfectly summarized and written about our current predicament. Thank you!

  5. 6 Christina ,B. August 30, 2021 at 3:40 pm

    Thanks for this. Wish I could share it.

  6. 9 Tasl Medical September 1, 2021 at 12:07 am

    Good editorial–grounded in logic and sensible direction. Sad but true.

  7. 10 Mr. Johnson September 2, 2021 at 12:23 pm

    I would encourage you to do the unthinkable. Listen to these people. Challenge your own assumed intellectual superiority. Separate the rhetoric from the dialectic (and if you don’t even know the difference, you have really got to start listening rather than forming opinions).

    This is not a vaccine. In the case of Pfizer and Moderna it is experimental mRNA technology. The vaccine terminology does not apply. While conventional vaccines work by applying the human immune system, this not-vaccine essentially works by hijacking the immune system in primitive fashion. You are relying on human hubris rather than the awesome power of millions of years of evolution to create the near perfect immune system. There is no telling how this could affect us long term. Maybe it will cause DNA damage (which could then negatively affect the entire gene pool forever). Maybe it will lower fertility (which could lead to economic and civilizational collapse). Nobody really knows. It would be wise to prepare for the worst.

    Western civilization was always a place for science, but the Enlightenment principles carefully eroded that. The Enlightenment brought us free speech which allowed us to blaspheme. Freedom of religion put Christianity on the same level as every other religion and gave us a more relativistic society. Christianity was the cultural institution which gave us the incentive to speak the truth, serve the good, the beautiful and true over materialism and earthy things, to have a stable population growth so that the economy would run smoothly and encouraged us to continually cleanse our souls of depravity. The Enlightenment principles were extremely dyscivilizational in that regard, and history will show that the people behind it (the bankers, the Freemasons and other secret societies) really aimed to destroy what we had carefully built over the last 2 000 years.


  8. 12 Daniel September 29, 2021 at 8:48 am

    I think it’s totally reasonable to not want to be an “early adopter” when it comes to revolutionary healthcare therapies.

    The mRNA therapies are amazing, yes.

    But why the rush to impose them on people… before even the Phase 3 trials are complete? Why are the sample sizes we are drawing conclusions from so small? Why are high vax rate countries seeing epidemiological results so contrary to our original expectations?

    Why does even asking about these things invite censorship and condescension?

    With any new medical therapy there are always “known unknowns” and “unknown unknowns.” Normally we test vaccines for several *years* because adverse effects appear with a lag, and it can take a long time to learn about efficacy.

    It is not “rejecting common” sense at all to be hesitant in the face of a radically new vaccine technology that people are clearly being pressured into when we know so little about it.

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