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Where Is the Silver Lining?


The last few years we have been groping in the dark, wading in despair, and clutching for the truth in an uncertain world. But we have been deceived. It is time for us to tear up the counter-narratives, it’s time to create communities of light, and reshape our lives with self-revelation, truth, and freedom. Today, we fight darkness with our eyes closed, our hands tied behind our back, and the curtains drawn. These are the conditions they have set for us. We are given our scripts, told what battles we need to fight, and where to put the last of our energy. 

But we need to do more than fight; we need to live, and in living we see clearly, and the enemies of truth will wither and die, for we sustain them; we give them oxygen, we enable them to thrive in our own minds and in the world. The election of the next American President is far from the most critical event in our lives. Rather, we are the ones in our lives, in our relationships, who will bring about genuine change. Light not only shines in darkness, but the light also ends the darkness. 

The legacy of the Covid response is unjust, but it is also a revelation, and a blessing. As revelation, it forced us to rethink the nature of freedom, our place in our nation, the clarity of our cause, and the obstacles to overcome. Our liberal, open society is fast vanishing in real time.  

In a liberal, free society, an open debate on Covid-19 would be welcome, but those days are gone. Today, the state calls this self-revelation the path of a conspiracy theorist, social agitator, and domestic terrorist. The new terrorist is the person who holds a different and unacceptable worldview. In America, this rhetoric is now fully-grown. 

This is fascism. The good thing about fascism is that it never worked and never will. It is a disease of the market system. It kills competition and emasculates freedom. Look at what fascism did to Spain and Portugal. Fascism is the last whimper of old empires. Enough said. 

The Covid response was a catastrophe, a nightmare, and a disaster. It was a tsunami of corruption, nepotism, idiocy, criminality, fraud, deception, and suffering. It still is. But it was also a blessing because it brought clarity to millions, it reinvigorated the need for freedom, it reignited a desire to better our world and those around us, and it brought millions together, drawn from all walks of life, who now see with their eyes open. We are better for it. 

Covid-19 revelation was significant because it hurt us. It brought personal pain. We have been roused from our slumber, our indolence, our laziness, our indifference, and our complacency. Covid Hysteria was a blessing because we suffered, and it became real. Watching your loved ones die alone behind masks and closed doors, losing your pension or job because you refused to take a dubious injection, and being demonised and cast out of churches because of your beliefs; these are violations of the most basic of human rights. This was suffering we have not experienced before. We trusted the wrong people for years. We thought that they were worthy of our trust, but we were wrong. Now we know. 

We were betrayed by our governments who stole our democracy and replaced it with tyranny. We were betrayed by our faith communities who stopped us at the door and demanded vaccine passports, while gleefully accepting millions in government handouts. We were betrayed by our friends who judged us, mocked us, and ridiculed us. 

We were betrayed by many who once promoted freedom, only to see them ditch their rhetoric and side with tyranny. We were betrayed by our companies who fired us for not being vaccinated or not accepting martial law. We were betrayed by the media who denied the truth, promoted lies, and acted on behalf of their corporate sponsors. We were betrayed by our security agencies, who called us enemies of the state. We were betrayed by the medical profession who said that we were ignorant if we asked questions, checked for evidence, or suggested alternative points of view. 

Many people died, whose lives could have been saved, had corruption and stupidity not reigned in the circles of power. Instead of leading, governments whipped up hysteria and fear for the purpose of control and the pursuit of their own personal delusions of grandeur. The politics of Covid-19 was easy. Tyranny is easy. It is simple to toss out democracy and usher in fascism. All you need is fear, lies, someone to blame and a lazy and indifferent population. It is a simple formula. Freedom is more difficult to promote, more difficult to understand, and more difficult to protect. That’s why history has seen so little of it.

Liberalism was the great accident of history in a world of tyranny. It’s a complicated story, but while the English created it, it flourished in America and parts of Europe. We need to reach back to the Founding Fathers for the great declaration of freedom, and followers of Jesus need to reach back even further to the writings of Paul to read of Christian freedom. Those guys were inspirational, and their words are an antidote to tyranny. 

Tyrants write nothing; they just kill people and hold people in fear, much like today. Heard a good political speech recently? Inspired by your leaders? Unlikely. This is because liberalism is dying, the ideas of freedom are fading, and our market system is fragmenting. Liberalism made sense of the shifting economic currents that created the free market out of the idiocy of mercantilism and the misery of feudalism. It was an enlightened philosophy. It still is. Fascism is about the past, socialism is about utopia, but liberalism is the only philosophy to speak of a path from darkness to light. 

Covid-19 revelation was for many deeply personal because the suffering was our own. It was our own pain. It was our own misery. It was our own exclusion. That is why during the last year or two so many have written so powerfully about Covid Hysteria, for it was real. There is nothing more powerful than personal experience. 

Revelation is also essential for freedom. Without discovering our true condition, we do not desire freedom. I am a Christian, and I try to follow Jesus. I am also enriched and encouraged by the values, beliefs, and lives of many who are inspired by others. In an open society we can stand together against tyranny. Many of us want an open and free society, free from the insanity of religious sectarianism, free from the evils of fascism, and free from the brainwashing of corporate power.

If we are wrong, we are to be pitied among all people, but we are not wrong. We are the discerning, and what came out of this nightmare was that liberty and freedom are worth fighting for and defending, now and in the future. Covid Hysteria created a new class of people, the discerning class, a new class of people from all political persuasions, from all ages, from all educational backgrounds, from all creeds, and from all places, who walk with their eyes open in a world where everyone is telling us to sit down, close your eyes, and shut up. 

In fact, the worst thing they ever did was to give us Covid Hysteria. The worst thing they ever did was betray us, cast us out, and cause us to suffer, for suffer we did. For in suffering and in pain, we understand, we see clearly now. They have mobilised a generation of people who walk with their eyes open. We were blind for a long time, but now we see. 

Now that we see more clearly, where do we go? We must do two things: settle the past and leave the dark behind, walk in the light. Five things are needed for settlement. We need restitution. Those who were cast out of society need to have restitution. This is a recognition of failure on the part of authorities and institutions. 

We need restoration. Many have been psychologically and emotionally scarred by Covid Hysteria, and relationships have been destroyed. There needs to be reimbursement. Those who lost income need it back again as proof of this renewed commitment to a ‘new normal.’ Those who lost need to regain what was stolen from them. There must be reinstatement. Many were cast out of their jobs because they were told that they were morally inferior and not good citizens. These lies need to be repudiated. The loyalty of millions needs to be reaffirmed. 

Finally, there must be repentance. Vaccine mandates, vaccine passports, police brutality, lockdowns, and martial law were all evil. The end doesn’t justify the means, and so many people and institutions showed how corrupt they were. The pandemic was driven by the language of deceit, covered by institutional and political failure. 

Like many of you, I don’t expect government to act on any of these proposals, though many people have in their personal lives come to terms with things done and said that were unacceptable normal behaviour. Generally, this reckoning will remain undone, to the shame of many. The wicked will stay wicked, and it is their choice. Hell is warm this time of year I heard. 

How then, do we respond to darkness and wickedness? We need to respond to darkness with light, a renewed sense of community, which is where most of us live, not drowning in darkness, prejudice, and suspicion, but communities of light. There are a lot of things wrong with our world today and there are many usual suspects: fascism, digital currencies, war, the WHO, the WEF, the rise of the corporate state, Covid Hysteria, Climate Hysteria. 

They are awful and terrible things, but not as bad as awful things in the past – the Gulag, the Pogroms, the Holocaust, the poverty of pre-Industrial Europe, the Great War. In pre-modern England, most kids didn’t survive to adulthood. Even in the 19th century, modern medicine was in its infancy. Most people lived in filth and squalor. We need to see things in perspective. After all, we could be living at the time the church ran the world, and most of us would be dead because we dared to ask questions. 

Paul said that whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. This is such good, timely advice for our times. It is time to read great poetry, delve into good stories, reflect on theatre, ponder great words, speak about good things. We need communities of light. Gather with other like-minded people, talk, share and encourage, and let the light shine. Let us see again the freedom we have in God and the freedom we have in life. Let’s grab our candles, open the curtains, get the torches, and shine that light.  

There is a deep darkness to many institutions today. Maybe it is the shadow they cast in the sun, maybe it’s the traditions they have inherited, or the secret meetings with hushed voices. Maybe it is their emphasis on guilt and shame instead of hope and love. Maybe it’s their focus on sin and not the presence of the Saviour, maybe it’s the double standards and the hypocrisy, or their demands for frugal living while they drive around in their Maseratis. There is their expectation that we ought to fight in their darkness, wade in their filth, dive into their despair and sing songs of sorrow. 

But why should we? They had orchestras in the concentration camps, they held onto hope in the Gulags. They didn’t count the barbed wire or the cold nights, but rejoiced in the rays of the sun, danced with the hope of freedom, and held onto the memories of light and truth. 

Now we are being tempted to come up with a counter-narrative, but only on their terms, to meet them on the streets, to engage them in the public sphere, to fight the battles with them, idea versus ideas, and use their weapons against them. But there is another agenda.

They want us to be them, to copy them, to mimic them, to imitate them, so that by fighting darkness on their terms we become darkness ourselves. There is an evil today and it tells us that if we want to fight for freedom, then we need to embrace evil ourselves, that we need to climb into the sewer and be like them, that to fight for freedom we need to debate the narratives of darkness with darkness. 

We are free people, so let us live freely. Let us create communities of light, where all are welcome, where debate is normal, questions are accepted, people are brought together, and darkness is cast out. Evil will always be evil, but we need not fight darkness with night. We walk in the day, in the sunlight and we bask in the warmth of a bold, new life, free from their madness. Let us take their narrative and the script they have written for us and put it up to the heat and to the light and watch it crumble and turn to dust for all evil dies, all darkness falls, and a new day is dawning.

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  • Michael J. Sutton

    The Rev. Dr. Michael J. Sutton has been a political economist, a professor, a priest, a pastor, and now a publisher. He is the CEO of Freedom Matters Today, looking at freedom from a Christian perspective. This article is edited from his November 2022 book: Freedom from Fascism, A Christian Response to Mass Formation Psychosis, available through Amazon.

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