Yves here. We didn’t expect to return to a heated topic so soon, that of conservative Christian resistance to Covid 19 vaccines, which we discussed late last week. As the post described, they have two grounds for concerns. One is the use of fetal stem cell lines. The connection to the vaccines may seem pretty strained to those not sensitive to this issue, but it isn’t fabricated.1
The second is that the proposed vaccine passports sound like the Mark of the Beast. Lambert found the relevant section in Revelation 13:
11 And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon….
16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.
In the last three days, as the post explains below, two heavy handed police actions against Catholic churches, both outside the US, have heightened vaccine concerns in some conservative parts of America. While the plural of anecdote is not data, IM Doc said they were major topics in his part of flyover…when vaccinations had already fallen off sharply.
Biden as a Catholic could speak to his fellow believers and Catholic leaders to try to repair the damage. But is he too far removed from ordinary people in the heartland to have the foggiest idea what is happening?
I am not able to ascertain how prevalent these attitudes are. I don’t see it in Birmingham, but this is a small city where the medical industry is the dominant employer, and Baptists are the largest religious group, followed by Methodists and Catholics. 5% are Pentecostals and we have roughly as many Mormons as Jews, both under 1%. That is a long winded way of saying that evangelicals are not a significant force here, although I imagine that varies widely in cities across the South. Since we are near the dead bottom on vaccination rates (they’ve only recently opened up vaccinations to everyone 55 or over, and distribution outside mass vaccination centers is still pretty limited), I doubt we’ve hit saturation of those keen to get a shot.
More generally, we are in the midst of a collision of religions: traditional sects versus the cult of experts. Economist and Biden supporter Paul Romer warned of the dangers of elite authoritarianism last October, and Lambert thought it important enough to devote an entire post to it. The Covid topic then was contact tracing but the same general principles apply:
6. I wish it were not so, but the evidence seems clear that in the US and the UK now, persuasion by experts is not succeeding. If anything, it is back-firing.
The public is rebelling against “preachy” expert exhortation that they perceive to be condescending.
— Paul Romer (@paulmromer) October 18, 2020
I hope we have a new administration that succeeds.
I am terrified that frustrated experts will send it on a kamikaze mission that gives expert exhortation the force of law.
Claim 4: This use of the law will not restore expert legitimacy and might destroy our democracy
— Paul Romer (@paulmromer) October 18, 2020
By IM Doc, an internal medicine doctor working in a rural hospital in the heartlands
My worst nightmare concerns are starting to come true and the media will not be able to hide this for much longer. Today, I am not concerned about the SCIENCE of medicine – I am concerned about the ART of medicine.
The ART can best be summarized as encouraging patients to do the right thing for THEM. With regard to COVID 19, that would be to meet the patient at whatever level they are and find ways to encourage social distancing rules, masking and to correctly guide them on vaccine choice. It would also include encouraging them to be engaged in the healthiest behaviors possible during this time of crisis. Eat well, exercise, sleep and de-stress.
The ART is often much more important to a physician’s medical outcomes than the SCIENCE – something our society and our medical establishment has long ago forgotten. ART requires as a foundation explicit trust and honesty between a patient and the physician. There is no other way.
Yves, I appreciated your post the other day on the Christian Nationalism aspect of COVID 19. I made a comment on the post about this not just being an Evangelical problem. I even suggested in the comment that there could be issues brewing among Roman Catholics, based on what I had been hearing as a physician.
As of Easter Sunday, there are now multiple videos being widely circulated and they all speak to the issue better than I could ever type out in a comment. I have been seeing this problem slowly brewing for weeks and it has largely been completely ignored by our mainstream media.
These videos have both gone viral on our social media in the past 24 hours:
Police in East London break up Polish Good Friday gathering in church due to it being ‘unlawful’ pic.twitter.com/AZtkYmiPfh
— Charlotte❤️? (@CharlieEmma85) April 3, 2021
This video is from a Polish Catholic church somewhere in London. To say that it reminded me of a Dalek invasion straight out of Dr. Who is an understatement. Also – it appears that Big Brother has now arrived in our Good Friday mass.
Oh but this one is even better – This is from Calgary Alberta Canada. And in my rural parish this Easter morning, this was the main event being talked about by everyone.
Canadian police tried to shut down a POLISH church on Easter. The Polish have a PROFOUND understanding of totalitarianism (fascism, communism) and sent the police away! #COVID1984 pic.twitter.com/TYMDYrujhC
— Geopolitics & Empire (@Geopolitics_Emp) April 3, 2021
At the time I put this tweet here – there were 1.2 million views – and I am certain many of them were at our Easter Mass this AM. There is a phrase used here to express the people’s reaction that is so apropos – “whomper-jawed”.
I will state for the record officially today – the public health authorities have lost the narrative. They apparently have also lost their minds. If they think this type of behavior on the most Holy Days of the Church is not going to go unnoticed – they have rocks for brains. This kind of thuggishness is not going to help their cause in any way; rather, it will make these people dig in more. And trust me – as of this Easter Sunday AM – they are digging in. Bunker-style. A clarion call has gone out and it could not be more clear. And I am talking about Roman Catholics – not my Evangelical family – they went off the reservation long ago. Now even my Orthodox friends have taken notice.
As I have been stating over the past few days – the authorities have repeatedly allowed discredited, hypocritical and lying Hoohahs to be their voice in the national media. Outside of our big blue cities and states – NO ONE AMONG MY PATIENTS COULD GIVE A RAT’S ASS WHAT THESE PEOPLE HAVE TO SAY ANYMORE ABOUT THIS PANDEMIC. I hear this refrain constantly every day. The lying, dissembling, crying, misstatements, backtracking and hypocrisy have taken their final toll. If they are not careful, they will soon be public enemy #1.
We have made many errors as a society in the past 12 months, but probably the most important mistake is hardly ever mentioned. One which our forbears in public health, like my father, worked to eradicate for decades. It is very simple – national “one-size-fits-all” narratives and plans in public health do not now nor have they ever worked. Never have. Never will.
There is a very good reason we have local health departments with trusted and elected figures to run things and to communicate. These people have their ears to the ground in their communities. They are trusted neighbors, often elected. That means there is accountability.
Over the past generation, we have largely decided that this is a system that we could no longer afford. So instead we have installed a national “one size fits all” bureaucratic octopus – and this fiasco is what has been wrought. And obviously not just in the USA. Combatting a pandemic in urban blue America is very difficult to do as we have all seen this year. But combatting a pandemic in the Rockies, or in the South is not even closely the same.
As just one example of many, who in rural America could forget our hospitals standing empty for a good 6 weeks last Spring with zero patients in many places while NYC was in a crisis? It was just a sign of mass disorganization which likely would never have happened a generation ago. Trust me – I could go on and on with examples for an entire novel-length discussion. The centralized bureaucracy “model” has been a complete bomb. I am not suggesting there should not be a CDC or an NIH. I am however suggesting that my people in my county should be much more attuned to their local authorities rather than Rachel Maddow or Dr. Fauci.
The tenor of what I am hearing from the MSNBC types, the UMC, the professionals, has become deeply disturbing. To wit, just call these stragglers names – yeah – then they’ll take the shot and willingly comply with orders. They’re just stupid after all. Or better yet, just let the dullards die. “Science” is telling us to take the vaccines – and only morons don’t get it. I have absolutely had to remove dailykos.com from my toolbar because it is obvious those people really do not have a clue. The partisans in our country have completely lost the gift of empathy for the other side. Those of us in the middle are left to just shake our heads and “fan ourselves” as my grandma used to say.
One of the founding tenets of public health is that shaming and name-calling have no place, certainly not in an emergency. I hope we are all beginning to understand this simple concept. I had the opportunity to speak with someone from the CDC this week. He asked me about vaccine hesitancy and loss of stringency in social distancing and masking that is becoming apparent in my area. I told him – and I will tell you all – the strategy must change and do so now if there is any hope of salvaging this situation. The MSNBC crowd have largely been the ones lining up to get vaccines. Most of them have now gotten their shots. Our agencies must immediately yank the HooHahs off the air – and get someone else to reach the rest of this country without all the backtracking and theatrics. I just do not know who that would be, nor do I know if the damage is already permanent. In my opinion, a big move like firing Dr. Fauci would likely do wonders. At this point – who cares what the MSNBC crowd thinks?
A few data points to consider out here in flyover country.
My wife has decided to take the J&J vaccine. I have too. We are going to take them on separate weekends so someone will always be well to take care of the kids. The J&J vaccines are available in our county. My wife called the pharmacy early thinking there would be a wait for an appointment. Not at all, just show up anytime. And we were there yesterday AM. The pharmacist informed us that this was only the 10th COVID vaccine of any brand administered the whole week. They have boxes of vaccines – and no one is taking them. The rush about a month ago is long over.
During the homily this AM, the guest Roman Catholic priest, an emigre, showed the above videos on the monitors and informed the crowd to be prepared to “fight for the faith”. He never thought he would see behavior like this in the West – behavior that was very common when he was a young priest in his home country.
He also suggested to think twice before taking the vaccines – they had all been tainted with fetal abortion cells. I know this is true of the J&J vaccine.1 I am also aware the Catholic Bishops have said it is OK to take the vaccine. In the minds of the majority of Catholics out here in the netherlands these days – they also remember that the Catholic Bishops vehemently said that raping boys by priests was supremely uncommon and when found would be taken care of with an iron fist. We all know how that worked out.
In brief – I am finding it ever more fascinating to live in a culture where everyone is trying their best to do the right thing – but the level of trust in our institutions is now approaching ZERO. That includes political, health, medical, media/entertainment and now sports – just about everything. I never thought I would be living in these days in America – but here we are. Our elites have been working diligently on this banquet for decades – now, the feast of consequences is being served.
1 On J&J and the Catholic Church, see Catholic Church has moral concerns over Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine from WXYZ:
Catholic leaders in Michigan released a letter calling the Johnson and Johnson vaccine — as well as AstraZeneca (which is not yet approved in the US) — “morally problematic.” At issue: the use of fetal stem cells….
The letter contends that while Pfizer and Moderna used the fetal lines in their “confirmatory testing” Johnson & Johnson used it in their “design, production, development, and confirmatory testing” making it more morally “problematic.”
“This connection to the abortion is very remote,” the letter says of the Pfizer and Moderna use of the cells, adding: “however, and it is important to keep in mind that there are varying levels of responsibility.”
Still despite the warning, the leaders explained that if individuals have only the Johnson and Johnson option they should take it.
On whether Pfizer and Moderna used fetal stem cells. From KSDK:
So we wanted to verify: Is it true COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna contain aborted fetal cells?
Our source is Dr. William Moss, executive director of the International Vaccine Access Center at Johns Hopkins University.
Dr. Moss says understanding the involvement of fetal stem cells starts with a history lesson.
He says fetal cells were taken from two aborted fetuses in 1973 and 1985. A researcher in the Netherlands obtained these cells. Dr. Moss does not know the circumstances as far as the mothers and the abortions.
But over decades, those original cells have multiplied millions of times into new cells, in laboratories around the world, creating what are called fetal cell lines.
“Although their origin was in an aborted fetus, they’re really just this independent cell that’s been grown in a laboratory for decades,” said Moss….
The two COVID-19 vaccines currently being distributed in the United States come from Moderna and Pfizer. Moss says both companies used a fetal cell line in the very early stages to test the vaccines, not to create them….
He adds that beyond that testing stage, fetal cell lines were not used, meaning there are no fetal cells in the vaccine and they were not used to produce the vaccine.
“I want to make it very clear that the the Pfizer vaccine and the Moderna vaccine. These two messenger-RNA vaccines do not use these fetal cell lines in their development. They do not use the fetal cell lines in their manufacturing. There were no fetal cells included in the vaccine,” Moss added.
And in case you wondered about the videos, Newsweek has reported on both incidents.