Saturday, March 28, 2020

Dealing With the “Roads They Have Made Crooked”

Their feet run to evil, 
and they hasten to shed innocent blood; 
Their thoughts are thoughts of wickedness, 
violence and destruction are on their highways. 
The way of peace they know not, 
and there is no justice on their paths; 
Their roads they have made crooked, 
no one who walks in them knows peace. 

— Isaiah 59:7–8 (NABRE)

Can you imagine carrying on with the struggles of partisan life in the midst of a crisis? Unfortunately it's not unusual for people to put self interest above the common good, even in the worst of times. This was actually the premise of a British crime series—Foyle’s War—where the lead needed to solve murders instead of working to defeat the Nazis because the criminals were acting despite—or sometimes taking advantage of—the time of national crisis. It certainly was necessary, but since it required diverting resources from the main goal, that led to an added sense of irritation in dealing with these cases.


This is about how I feel when I encounter certain people who take advantage of our current crisis to push their own agendas. We see pro-abortion supporters saying that even though there is a crisis going on, the “human right” of abortion needs to be “defended.” Or the atheist who takes advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic by saying that the Pope should be donating money instead of calling for prayer. And when the Pope purchases 30 respirators to donate to places most badly in need, they respond by saying “Why didn’t he do it sooner?”. That’s not to mention the usual antics of Anti-Francis Catholics who use this crisis to attack the orthodoxy of the Pope and bishops for responding to the pandemic by calling the Church closures as a “lack of faith,” or do the “business as usual” accusations that the Pope is a heretic or “confusing.” Or the usual antics of the “you’re only anti-abortion, not pro-life” crowd who confuse Catholic social teaching with whether the plan is sponsored by someone with a -D or an -R after their name.


Adding to that, we are often faced with the challenge of “why are you worrying about that at a time like this?” when we do respond… usually by the one who started the attack in the first place.


Yes, it’s necessary to refute their attacks. Error does not cease to be error in times of crisis. But the irritating thing is that we shouldn’t have to be dealing with it. There’s a battle going on and, in this time of self-isolation, those who blog or make podcasts or use other means of Catholic outreach, would rather work to help comfort those who are dealing with the fear of what might happen with COVID-19, and encouraging them to act faithfully and trust in God. 


Yes, People will continue to spread their “thoughts of wickedness.” We’ll have to address them. But, if we get a little annoyed at people who take advantage of this time to push their agendas, it’s understandable.



(†) As a matter of statistics, the Vatican (population ~1000) purchasing and donating 30 respirators would be the equivalent of the United States (population ~327 million) purchasing and donating 9,810,000 respirators (based on the fact that the Vatican purchased an amount equal to 3% of the population.)

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