Religion as a brake on mass hysteria?
…and a Catholic Priest’s thoughts
In reaction to my most recent Moment video on religion and resistance to hysteria, a Catholic priest messaged me about his thoughts on the connection between religion and the (Covid) hysteria.
“Few thoughts from a Catholic priest:
1.) I know what religious thinking looks like, and it was clear to me that the same part of the brain that religion activates was being activated by this hysteria. In particular: in the first question in the Summa St. Thomas Aquinas makes it clear that argument from authority is only strong in one science: theology. (The authority is that of the revealer, God.)
2.) Religion involves creed code and cult. In addition to believing the words of the experts on authority, people were engaging in superstitious rituals (masks, purifications) AND rejecting their former moral norms in favor of new ones. Everything about this *looked* like a process of religious conversion, with vaccination looking (for a time) like the culmination in Baptism.
3.) I hear 100s of confessions a year. Sin looks really boring, because it all looks the same. It was evident from the beginning that what was happening was soul-destroying.
4.) Finally, the Gospel provides all the necessary wisdom to avoid mass hysteria. Fear is repeatedly prohibited as contrary to faith. Anxiety is forbidden as a pagan activity. The very act of trying to save one's life is warned as having the outcome of losing it. The desire to fit in with the crowd, even with your closest family, is warned as being contrary to discipleship. The very dynamics were about as anti-Christ as you could get. Indeed, consider the following from the Catechism: "Before Christ's second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the "mystery of iniquity" in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh." The "experts" offered "apparent solutions" at the cost of an apostasy.”