Fact-free moral compass is immoral

The Book of Proverbs (18:17) says, “In a lawsuit the first to speak seems right, until someone comes forward and cross-examines.” Imagine how absurd it would be (though in history all too common) for an accuser to say, “That man murdered my baby!” and for the jury to go away to decide if murdering babies is wrong, and if so that the man must be hanged.” But nowadays church leaders seem really good at doing just that.

I’ve complained here and in private that the churches have been woefully silent about the slide to forced conscience and loss of bodily autonomy in the newly introduced (at least in England) vaccine passports, and in the hinted “conversation” about compulsory vaccination. When I wrote to the Baptist Union about the latter, I was told that the “conversation” hasn’t yet started, which is true if you don’t count the headlines, the social media protests, the essays by moral philosophers and the protests on the streets. We can’t expect church leaders to stoop to such responses, it seems – they must wait to be asked officially by government, and then officially ignored, before it’s a proper conversation.

Well, according the Mail today, the Archbishop of Canterbury has now boldly spoken up – to say that not to be vaccinated is immoral, as it is an issue of loving your neighbour. That leaves a number of rather important questions unanswered, though they might easily be answered if the Archbishop had remembered the “cross-examination” principle of questioning the facts of the case, and he might even have asked people their actual reasons for not being vaccinated. A good place to start would be the doctors and health workers threatened with loss of career after Christmas, since “selfishness” is seldom best served by losing one’s job, and doctors and nurses may well know something that archbishops don’t about medical matters.

It’s clear, in other words, that Justin Welby has simply swallowed the simplistic government and mainstream media propaganda, that COVID is entirely due to the unvaxxed, and that vaxxination (now gradually escalated to require jabbing 100% of the entire human race) is the only salvation of the world. After that we may have to vaccinate the dead and all the animals too.

This narrative is easily dismissed in two words: “Gibraltar, Omicron.” Gibraltar is famously more than fully-vaxxed and boosted, and here is the latest COVID picture:

They have the same kind of surge seen across Europe, and it has affected, and come from, vaccinated people, not unvaccinated.

As for Omicron, it spread across the world, we are told, from South Africa. And since for many months travel has been strictly quarantined, PCR tested and requiring proof of full vaccination, we may be sure that it was the selfish vaccinated who carried it round the world. That would be so even if research did not suggest that Omicrom is primarily a disease of the younger vaccinated person. In fact, the latest word is:

According to early data published on Tuesday by the ONS, the triple-vaccinated are 4.5 times more likely to test positive for a probable Omicron infection than the unvaccinated. The double-vaccinated, meanwhile, are 2.3 times more likely to have a probable Omicron infection.

But we can go well beyond the two word answer, as the true situation casts light on the total disregard for truth by both journalists and government ministers, who to this day recycle the story that the cases are occurring through the unvaccinated, and that hospitals are overflowing with unvaccinated patients. This is scapegoating, pure and simple – aided and abetted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, sadly.

Regarding the first, not only is it agreed on all sides that vaccination does not prevent transmission, but we know that viral loads are the same or higher in the vaxxed. This is utterly predictable since vaccines only produce IgG circulating antibody, which does nothing to stop the mucosal upper-airways infection of SARS-CoV-2’s early stage. The unvaccinated who have acquired natural immunity, on the other hand, will have IgA that kills the virus even as it seeks to colonise the airways. It’s dead before it’s spread if you’ve had the bug, which a l;arge number of the unvaccinated must have done, since 95% of Bristish people have antibodies to COVID.

The critics cling to the unproven fig-leaf that at least vaccines reduce spread a bit, but Welby’s absolutist moral argument doesn’t carry nearly as much weight if it’s the equivalent of “Driving at 25mph kills fewer people than driving at 30mph so keeping annoyingly below the speed limit is an issue of loving your neighbour.”

On the second accusation, the overloading of (badly managed and resourced) hospitals is a circuitous and sorry basis on which to hang a moral vaccination argument, though it has become all that the government has left to push boosters under threat of imminent lockdown. Archbishops should think more than Prime Ministers facing Cabinet rebellions. The argument depends on blaming the unvaccinated for getting dangerously ill themselves (how selfish!) in such numbers that the NHS is overwhelmed and others more deserving are turned away and die – such as the obese smokers.

Exactly the same logic would apply to an Archbishop taking the risk of being driven to a preach platitudes at a Christmas service during any of the NHS’s regular winter crises. Road accidents being all too common, he might end up on an ITU better occupied by a flu sufferer. If we seriously decided to go there on ethics, we’d spend our entire lives on a kind of intersectional risk assessment – when the governments of the world haven’t even undertaken one cost-benefit analysis of their policies.

So, the most recent official FACTS of the matter show that:

  • 5% of hospital beds are occupied by COVID patients.
  • But we know that at least 40% of those are not in hospital for COVID, but are incidentally tested positive.
  • 57% of COVID admissions are fully vaccinated.
  • Ergo, only around 2% of hospital beds are occupied by unvaccinated people admitted for COVID.
  • Meanwhile 15% of beds are blocked by people who cannot be discharged to care homes because, largely, of short staffing caused by sacking unvaccinated staff on government policy; and 5% of beds are unoccupied. To accuse 2% of patients of bringing down the NHS is… not Christian.
  • Only 1-2 new patients a week are put on ventilation for COVID nationally. Even if both of them were unvaccinated, they would scarcely be blocking the ICU system. But in fact, 52.5% are vaccinated.

Also missing from the moralising is the social contract that has always underpinned vaccination programmes: traditional vaccines carry almost no risk, but clear benefit tothe same extent the recipient and, secondarily, to his neighbour. We accept the tiny risk and in so doing love our neighbour as ourself, and to roughly the same extent. But mRNA vaccines carry a serious set of risks including death, which are of unknown extent because the vaccines are not only still under trial, but are being used outside the criteria of those trials. Furthermore they are being administered to large swathes of the population at no risk from the virus, but of known risk from the vaccine, whose risks to the unborn are even less transparent.

A man has no greater love than to lay down his life for his friends, but nobody should be expected to risk their life, their health and their future offspring for the sake of a vaccine that doesn’t even significantly protect their neighbour. That is a social contract more suited to the expendable peasant armies of tyrants than to health care and Christian morality.

For governments and their SAGE lackeys to misrepresent the statistics because of their strange obsession that 100% of the people must be vaccinated, and that this will somehow benefit anyone but Big Pharma, is comprehensible if warped. For the Archbishop to push the same case on the same spurious “evidence” is, I’m afraid, a rather bad thing, even if Welby was converted through my old London church, Holy Trinity, Brompton. In my day the teaching there was quite good, though young middle-class professionals like barristers were over-represented. What happens on the road to Lambeth Palce from there I’m not sure, but a more critical-thinking approach to public ethics might help avoid condemning the guiltless.

Let me close by a quoting piece today by Will Jones – and remember that it applies to the leader of our national church, the Archbishop of Canterbury, as well as gutter reporters:

Previously the haters-of-the-unvaccinated focused on infection rates and the claim that the unvaccinated spread the disease far more than the vaccinated. Once that claim collapsed they switched to hospital admissions. When the data there is lacking, they either make stuff up, use data from six months ago, or find obscure statistics involving tiny numbers of people to find something, anything, that sounds sufficiently scary to demonise the unvaccinated.

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About Jon Garvey

Training in medicine (which was my career), social psychology and theology. Interests in most things, but especially the science-faith interface. The rest of my time, though, is spent writing, playing and recording music.
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