A couple of days ago on one of the news channels I heard a priest or vicar trying to argue that churches should be allowed to remain open and that, despite the pandemic and the omicron variant, services should be able to continue as normal. He was arguing that faith gave people so much comfort and strength, it would be wrong to suspend church services because of the pandemic. Of course, this rather got on my wick: how arrogant or self-important do you have to be to think that your ability to preach to people should take priority over people’s health? As I’ve said on here before, I hold religion to be nothing but a collection of myths and stories which people use to give themselves authority; they then tell others how to think and act, claiming to speak for an omnipresent deity. Of course, they dress it up as a force for good – love thy neighbour, feed the poor etc – but religion is nothing but a form of (often highly conservative) social control, and a scam.
Now, of course, the pandemic is hindering that authority: if people cannot go to church, the priests have nobody to preach to, and so they lose their influence and cultural position. They can’t allow that to happen: they can’t allow threats to people’s health threaten their centuries-old, totally undemocratic means of influencing society. The clergy will thus do whatever they can to argue that churches should remain open, irrespective of how many people might get ill, because the moment they close, the preachers have no way to influence society. Allowing churches to remain open perpetuates the fiction that religion is as fundamental an aspect of society as a state-run service, rather than a paternalistic, anachronistic form of social control which we could easily live without.
It really gets to me how other people don’t seem to see this: priests etc are treated with authority and reverence, when they ought to be treated as conmen or charlatans. When you think about it, they obviously just feed those who listen to them a bunch of myths and stories about an omnipresent creator being in order to award themselves the authority of that being, the better to control others. This is perhaps illustrated most dramatically by American televangelists, spouting all sorts of ludicrous bullshit while swindling millions of dollars from the people they dupe. Those who listen may feel comforted, but they don’t realise they are being controlled.
If the churches shut due to coronavirus, priests and vicars would have no-one to preach to, however, and that authority would evaporate. They thus have a vested interest in maintaining the fiction that normal rules should not apply to religion, and they should be able to preach no matter what, even if it means putting people’s lives at risk. If religion is seen as special, they are special and treated with reverence, when in fact these preachers are just normal people trying to control and dominate others by taking authority from a set of ancient myths.