I’m beginning to notice, in my own country, that people living in a propaganda state tend to lose their humanity and become more xenophobic and more, perhaps, “brittle” in their dealings with others.
I first became aware of this as a phenomenon when some friends visited Czechoslovakia during the Soviet era, a number of years after Alexander Dubček’s velvet revolution was quashed. The people they met were on board with the Soviet message and strangely, if passively, hostile to their English visitors. In our own empire examples are many. One is the general compliance with the idea that cancelled people deserve their fate for being “insensitive” even when actual hatred can’t be pinned on them. Another was the demonisation of the unmasked and unvaccinated during COVID. A third is the current irrational xenophobia against Russians and the dismissal of their leadership as mad psychopaths, without having actually listened to them speak (they are censored over here, so how could MSM followers have other than second-hand opinions?).
All these are the direct result of state propaganda and other psychological manipulation, and when that manipulation is all-pervasive the whole population becomes insensibly coarsened. It is only the contrast with normal people that wakes one up to how we have changed in living memory.
This was brought into sharp relief to me (not for the first time) by hearing an interview with the Foreign Minister of Hungary, a nation that is the butt of our propaganda as a far-right, anti-democratic rogue-state. The interview was in Jordan, a tolerant predominantly Muslim nation, and the minister openly, and warmly, said that a major reason for his visit was because, since Hungary has been a Christian nation for 1,000 years it supports Christians across the world, and in particular one Christian charity in Jordan, whose king and government had been so open and welcoming to them.
In the same deeply humane manner, in response to another question he pointed out the complete failure of sanctions against Russia (which is blindingly obvious yet somehow not up for discussion here), their damaging nature to both Hungary and the prospect of peace, and the urgent need to talk rather than, as the rest of Europe and the US are, ramping up hostility towards a world war. What he said was irenic, logical and – surprise, surprise – deeply underpinned by a national Christian commitment. Incidentally, the politeness of the Jordanian interviewer to “His Excellency” and her willingness to let him give full answers to useful questions were also noticeable and refreshing.
What a contrast with any of our western leaders, who invariably speak in cliches and slogans: “Safe and effective”; “unprovoked aggression”; “diversity and inclusion”; sustainable future”; all to shore up some pre-ordained narrative which, for the most part, dehumanises and demonises a designated “enemy.” And all that rubs off on us, the whole population imbibing this cup of madness and vomiting it back half-digested. I have to say the same contrast between sense and logic and strident flag-waving for fashionable issues is evident when I listen to the Russian leaders speaking, in contrast to ours.
Well, that of course is the tragedy of human affairs in this hegemony of deception oppressing the world of humanity. It’s what happens when you put Mafiosi in charge of a superpower. Propaganda sours us to our fellow-man, and that is its main satanic intention. It’s an ongoing tragedy, though totally in line with Scripture’s wisdom, how few people have twigged that they are being deceived about their human brothers and sisters.
But rather more subtle is the way that the propaganda machine is distorting even our view of God, in the same way as it does man. Leave aside for the moment the straight-forwardly anti-Christian propaganda that ostracises as “hate-filled” an Irish Catholic priest simply for telling his congregation to reach out in love to those lost in sin with the gospel of forgiveness. Rather, this impressed itself on me when I had reason to quote Psalm 19 in church yesterday: “the heavens declare the glory of God…”.
I referred to it because my teenage granddaughter inspired me. “I love the stars,” she told me a while ago, “because whatever’s going wrong in life, they’re always there.” The psalm, of course, explains that cosmic stability in terms of God as their Creator, and focuses on what it teaches us about God. Incidentally (as I pointed out in church) the psalm also goes on to compare God’s holy word with the heavens, as a reliable source of stability and truth is a turbulent world – that’s an exhortation for all my readers to dig deeply into the Bible as the antidote to all the surrounding lies. As my pastor pointed out, experts in spotting forged banknotes learn their skills by studying real banknotes, not forgeries.
My message resonated. One of our singers, seeing the passage I was going to use, said it was her favourite psalm for that reason. Another lady accosted me after church to say how helpful it was, since everything had been going wrong for her family and it was good to be reminded of the faithfulness of God in nature.
It has occurred to me since, though, that God’s daily providence in the weather has been successfully undermined for a majority of people (and even too many Christians) by the hubristic story that we have messed up an absurdly delicate climate simply by using fossil-fuel resources to lift the world out of poverty and slavery. As if that weren’t enough, even the stars have been turned by our godless generation from the sign par excellence of God’s constant providence to yet another potential source of extinction.
I refer mainly to NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) project, which impressed the world a week or two ago by nudging a small asteroid out of its harmless orbit into another harmless orbit. This exercise cost US taxpayers $324.5 million, according to an authoritative website: $308 million was spent on spacecraft development, $68.8 million for launch services, and $16.5 million is expected to be spent on operations and data analysis. That doesn’t seem to add up, but who am I to doubt The Science?
Now that amount will have to be multiplied if, as intended, an entire system of detection and destruction is to be kept on standby in case some untracked asteroid suddenly threatens us (all the tracked ones are known to be safe for the foreseeable future). That expenditure is significant, so what are the actual risks of a major disaster arising from an asteroid strike? Cost-benefit and all that outmoded stuff.
When I wrote about this a few years ago, in connection with the Tall el-Hammam event of 1700BC, Wikipedia told me that there was only one person with a verified history of being hit by a meteor, Ann Hodges of Alabama, in 1954, and she survived. Since then, a 2020 article, as well as scraping the barrel of legend and history to find seven instances of injury-by-meteor (including the Tall el-Hammam episode that has made the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah a mainstream scientific event), was eventually able to find one historically confirmed death from a meteor in the nineteenth century, discovered buried in Turkish records of the Ottoman Empire.
But you have to admit that this shows the actual risk from meteors and asteroids to be, historically speaking, vanishingly small. More lives have been lost, and more cities destroyed, through deliberate human action in the eight months of the Ukraine war alone than astronomy.com has been able to find in the whole of human history through rocks from heaven. So what, other than over-easy access to taxpayers’ money by NASA, warrants the nudging of hypothetical asteroids to be given financial priority over actual problems like, say, improving the infrastructure of cities in the developing world? Zapping asteroids is even less cost-effective (to those compulsorily paying for it, as opposed to the rich) than shoving spike-protein mRNA into every man, woman and child in the world.
Whatever the ostensible reasons, one subtle effect is to reduce, by a small but significant amount, our apprehension of the truth that the heavens are an awesome, but ultimately beneficient, part of creation. One that shows us the glory of God more than any other. Instead mankind becomes the focus of our security – or rather, the multi-million dollar government organisations that claim, entirely falsely, to be concerned about our security rather than their bottom line.