The title is a reminder of a movie I loved when I was 10 years old. It is from a Catholic novel about the Christians during Nero’s rule. The words Quo Vadis are supposed to be Christ’s words to Peter as he leaves Rome. Jesus is calling him back to Rome to be with the Christians who will die in the arena. But I thought of those words as a question to those who in the midst of this pandemic are constantly turning to conspiracy theories to explain what is happening.
Not everyone is into conspiracies, not everyone believes the Democrats started the virus, not everyone believes that Bill Gates is a monster leading to the anti-Christ, but I am seeing far too many, friends, Christians, stating such things as facts. And where this all leads is terrifying.
I saw on Twitter a lady harassing Jonah Goldberg of The Dispatch because of something he wrote. I wasn’t familiar with her until others put up information about her so readers could understand where her ideology is moored. Michelle Malkin, once an acceptable conservative speaker writes “I will not take the Gates Vaccine. I will not bow down to jack-booted globalists. I will question the corrupted public health industrial complex & its financial conflicts of interest. I will use my platforms to share silenced views of whistleblowers & dissidents.” That rant isn’t a lot different than some I have seen on Facebook.
But there is more. Malkin also claims to be the mother of the “groypers.” As columnist Mona Charen puts it in her article in , they are “a group … led by a 21-year-old YouTube host named Nick Fuentes. To get a sense of just how loathsome this figure is, have a look at this in which he wonders, grinning, about whether 6 million “cookies” could really be baked in ovens and how the “math doesn’t add up.”
Charen goes on to note that Fuentes was one of the marchers in the “the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville.” Malkin has linked herself with a group of anti-Semitic and racist fanatics. Using conspiracy theories as a filter to explain events is how many get pulled into places they never intended to go.
There are conspiracies in the Bible. Jezebel conspires with the elders and nobles in Naboth’s city. They accuse Naboth of cursing God and the king. Naboth is put to death so that King Ahab might possess his vineyard (1 Kings 21).
Judas conspires with the Chief Priests and officers to betray Jesus to death.
But these conspirators are named and their exact sin pointed out. There is greed, egotism, envy, malice, pride and deception. Not an elusive attempt to take over the world. There is the possibility of repentance, forgiveness and redemption because the people are known and confronted personally. There is also God’s judgment on those who do not repent. Redemptive history is very personal; there is no place for conspiracy theories.
Dabbling in such slanderous understandings of other’s intents is sinful and leads to further sin. And this is the path that Malkin and others like her have taken. They have compromised their ability to speak truth to power and to offer good news to broken people. They can only bless in a manner that pulls the needy into a deeper darkness.
Don’t go there.