Does Christmas matter? – 1

5Thomas said, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going, so how can we know the way?’ 6Jesus replied, ‘I am the way, the truth and the life….’

John 14: 5-6 – REB

51Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed. 52In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

1 Corinthians 14: 51-52 – KJV

As I write this, there seems to be in our Media a growing, strident call for Christmas to be ‘cancelled’ because of COVID. I initially laughed at that – that any government might consider it had the power or the authority to cancel one of the most important Christian festivals! Maybe it shows us how far we’ve drifted from being a Christian country? I’ve found myself being increasingly astounded by some of the things that are being said to us routinely, by the government and the media. I feel I cannot remain silent on this subject, which is so crucial to so many families and people, without maybe tacitly accepting what is being done and said; that Christmas can be ‘cancelled’ by government decree – that the government can somehow stop the arrival of the Christ child at midnight on 24th December.

The questions that follow are some of those that rattle around my head, following reading some very highly qualified people who generally do not have much public exposure. I’m entirely happy for you and others to feel that you have all the answers; I’m afraid that I certainly don’t.

I then intend to follow this up on Friday – one week before Christmas – with my theological view of what Christmas should mean to us, perhaps particularly this year.

Am I the only one who feels that there is a glaring disconnect between what government spokesmen and the media are telling us, and what the official data seems to show? The gap occasionally is so glaring as to be impossible to understand. Some of my questions are these:

  • If severity of lockdown and COVID death outcomes are plotted globally, the outcome is almost the definition of random. So why lock down? There are many learned, peer-reviewed papers insisting that lockdowns don’t work. Nobody seems to know why the WHO changed in early 2020 what had been their guidance for many years up to then, not to lock down or quarantine populations after a virus had started to circulate. The only answer seems to be: ‘Because China told us it worked when they did it.’
  • The vast majority of countries have shown the classic ‘Gompertz’ statistical curve in deaths since March, whatever lockdown and other restrictions were imposed. Why do we think we can ‘control’ a virus which measures approximately 100 nanometres in size? According to the latest government advertising, we can ‘blow it away’ by opening the windows! Is this really the scientific advice?
  • Why are we still being shown the number of ‘Cases’ as one number every single day on all our media, when everyone knows that it’s positive tests per 100,000 of the population or positive tests as a percentage of total tests that are the more informative measures? Why does the BBC insist on showing a graph every day that implies that we are in a worse place than in the spring, when that is demonstrably wrong?
  • Why are we counting ‘Cases’ (and using that word) when most of these people show no symptoms whatsoever? What we’re being given seems to be deliberately designed to maximise the apparent severity of the virus and instil into the population as much fear as possible. Why?
  • In the last 7 days (to 14 December) official government statistics show that there were 2,403,265 tests. 137,876 were registered as positive. If, as suggested, the false positive rate for PCR tests lies on the range of 0.8% to 4%, underlying cases would be between 41,745 and 118,649 – nationally. However, research has also shown that as many as 86% of those testing positive may show no symptoms at all. If so, this would reduce the numbers of those showing symptoms to a range between 5,845 and 16,611 – again nationally; say 0.008% to 0.03% of the total population. Is it right to destroy our economy based on such numbers, or are the numbers wrong? Where?
  • Why are we carrying out more and more PCR tests (more than 45 million since March, apparently and currently running at an annualised rate of 1.25 billion), in view of the rapidly growing body of scientific evidence that these tests can produce high levels of false positives, particularly as the prevalence of the virus falls in the population (which it has done since the numbers in the late spring, despite what you may have heard in the media).
  • Why do we classify any deaths as caused by Covid if accompanied by a positive test within 28 days (even if the person died in an accident)? Surely mathematically, using that measure, the more tests we carry out, the more ‘Covid deaths’ we will see? Someone must know or have a good idea what the primary cause of death is? Why would we want to maximise the published number of Covid deaths by reporting as a Covid death, someone who enters hospital with a coronary and dies, say a week later, having tested as positive after their arrival in hospital?
  • Why has no proper, detailed impact study or economic and health Cost/Benefit analysis ever been carried out, in view of the fact that this has been the most difficult and expensive issue of modern times? Surely nationally, we would want to balance up the risks (health and economic) of locking down, against allowing people to make their own decisions as responsible adults, as to their own level of vulnerability? Or do we actually now think as a nation that the population cannot be trusted with such freedoms? Why?
  • Why do governments everywhere want to vaccinate huge populations, when it has been a principle, almost for ever (certainly since Josef Mengele’s experiments in World War 2), that you don’t vaccinate people, unless there is a genuine and serious risk to their health? What happened to ‘First do no harm’?
  •  Why are genetically modified food crops not grown in the UK, but it’s OK to genetically modify human RNA and inject it into people’s bodies, against a very small risk of serious illness or death?

There are, of course, an almost unlimited number of similar questions. All of these questions are complex, even the ones that sound simple.

Perhaps the hardest question of all is: ‘Are we sure?’

And: ‘Is it right for a citizen to challenge the state, or should we all accept what we are told without question, or even informing ourselves?’

And, maybe finally: What will people say in 10 years? What will you say, if your children or grandchildren ask you in the future: ‘What on earth did you think you were doing?’

Lord, grant us the wisdom to seek out the truth, study the facts and make compassionate decisions. Amen

The second part of this two part post will be published on Friday 18th December

One thought on “Does Christmas matter? – 1

  1. I cannot comment on the Covid 19 facts but I do think that Christmas has been hijacked and become over the top full of expectations and desires so maybe to slow it down this year (for whatever reason) and go back to some more gentle and peaceful Christian values would not be a bad thing. Space to re- consider how we address it?.

    Like

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