Survivors Will Envy the Dead
What kind of world will emerge from the coronavirus shutdown?
People have gleefully surrendered amazing new powers to governments. We have erected barriers between ourselves and all other humans on the planet. We have surrendered all of our rights, including the First Amendment. We have abandoned religion. The Catholic Church has ordered its priests to disobey Christ’s Great Commission by prohibiting baptisms. We have shut down every business that isn’t part of a global enterprise. Small oil companies that were the engine of low energy prices are going under and will likely not come back. A Christian in pre-Constantine Rome had more freedom.
It’s possible that once the coronavirus panic ends government and its bureaucrats will voluntarily surrender the vast powers they’ve been given.
It’s also possible they won’t.
When in history has an all-powerful government voluntarily surrendered its power?
I can’t think of one. Maybe the Soviet Union, but, even there, Boris Yeltsin had to stop a tank.
All of this made me think of Our Lady of Akita’s warning to the world.
Our Lady of Akita
While this is not primarily a Catholic post, one of the three messages given by the Blessed Virgin Mary to a simple nun in Akita, Japan in 1973 keeps playing in my mind. Most prominently one sentence worthy of a Steven King novel:
The survivors…will envy the dead.
Let’s put that sentence in context:
As I told you, if men do not repent and better themselves,[God] the Father will inflict a terrible punishment on all humanity. It will be a punishment greater than the deluge, such as one will never have seen before. Fire will fall from the sky and will wipe out a great part of humanity, the good as well as the bad, sparing neither priests nor faithful. The survivors will find themselves so desolate that they will envy the dead.
Just how horrible would the post-coronavirus world have to be for the living to envy the dead?
We are no longer free to express opinions that contradict official medical advice. You will be banned from YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for expressing such opinions or even for questioning the official medical opinions of the day.
Why not extend that prohibition? Why not ban speech that questions the official economic position or the official foreign policy position?
And what could be more dangerous than an opinion on the rights of man that contradicts the official government position?
We don’t know how this moment in history will play out. And, before we get too carried away, remember that in 1918 Americans had it far worse. Woodrow Wilson banned newspapers from printing stories about the Spanish Flu, which is why it was called the Forgotten Epidemic for decades. At the same time, cities imposed shutdowns and curfews similar to those we see today. And America emerged from that epidemic into the Roaring Twenties under silent Cal Coolidge, one of the best presidents in history.
When this is all over, America could emerge into a golden age of liberty and prosperity like no one’s ever seen before.
Or, it could emerge into a cold dictatorship of experts where human bonding is banned.
Either way, we will be left our ultimate freedom: the freedom to to become slaves to Christ.