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Cognitive Dissonance


Over the last couple of weeks my wife and I are receiving an increased number of messages from some of our Christian friends – particularly from the German speaking regions – that seriously make me scratch my head about the cognitive dissonance I am witnessing (my apologies if this hits to close to home, I am not writing this with any particular person in mind).

For here is the crazy thing: The same people that bombard us with requests to rally up ‘prayer warriors’ send us – often within the same hour – information from often questionable sources, that claim that the current crisis is either a hoax or a conspiracy (or both), followed by alleged ‘prophetic’ utterances about avoiding the upcoming vaccination of the entire population (from equally questionable sources), often accompanied by the argument that this is all aimed at either killing or controlling us all . Not only does that sound like the old scare of the government trying to implant us all with microchips etc. based on a particular reading of certain apocalyptic texts, that most of the sender’s of the these messages would deny to my knowledge, but it also doesn’t fit with what we know about this current health crisis (and I have family members and know several Christian’s who work in this field, all agreeing that there is no 100% fool proof medical solution yet - so much to the vaccine scare), and is an insult to those who have either suffered from the virus or even lost loved one’s because of it. These same messages are often accompanied by warnings against fear and paranoia (as if fear and paranoia are the only reason for physical distancing – and yes, the irony should be obvious). Simply limiting our exposure to large numbers of people doesn’t automatically mean we don’t care for them (quite the opposite, I’ve seen quite a number of folks going to great lengths to help the vulnerable during this time), but can also mean that we do this, because we do care for others – more than about our ‘rights to assemble’ etc. (Can you imagine people would have insisted on their ‘right’s’ during the black plague?) Besides, the admonition not to fear is not meant as a mockery of the anxious (which is simply delusional pride), and certainly not based on there being no real threat – that’s not faith, that’s denial – but as an encouragement to trust in our ABBA’s loving care in the midst of such chaos and suffering. Anything else is just as much a fearful reaction to this current crisis as the panic driven hording of toilette paper - even if we cover it up under the guise of spiritual superiority. In fact, ABBA is not disturbed by our fear and anxiety, but wants to comfort us in the midst of them. Sure, there will be some who are trying to take advantage of a crisis like this, but let’s be honest, even though these are crazy times, it’s not as if everything was wonderfully normal before all of this happened. Now is not the time to show off our spiritual superiority, looking for conspiracies or bombarding our circle of influence with contradicting messages. We don’t need more noise, there has been already enough of that before. Maybe it is time to shut up and simply remember what is really important, bringing real comfort to those who are on their own right now etc. Anything else doesn’t interest me, and I seriously hope that all the other nonsense would disappear from the face of the planet, better sooner than later, because it doesn’t really help anyone – and that’s the reason why most people are not interested. Stay safe and healthy and know you are loved, no matter what is happening.

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