This past Sunday in church I was struck by the Old Testament reading in Proverbs 1:20-33. (I know that many Daily Kos readers are non-Christian, but please bear with me.) Even though our medical scientists have developed highly effective vaccines, large numbers of people refuse to take them out of unreasoning fear of vaccines, belief that COVID is a hoax, mistrust of Big Pharma, social sabotage, or right-wing solidarity. Yet the same people are perfectly willing to take Ivermectin, a drug used to treat parasites and manufactured by Merck. Because of this, the delta variant of COVID is cutting a large swath through unvaccinated populations, killing, hospitalizing, and causing organ damage. Add to that the current Republican war on science, critical thinking, and knowledge and you can see why this Bible passage resonated with me.
As far as “fear of the Lord” goes, any person with a large media platform who knowingly spreads false information that leads to the deaths of gullible human beings does not fear God, in my opinion. (The boldface below is mine.)
20 Wisdom cries out in the street;
in the squares she raises her voice.
21 At the busiest corner she cries out;
at the entrance of the city gates she speaks:
22 “How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple?
How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing
and fools hate knowledge?
23 Give heed to my reproof;
I will pour out my thoughts to you;
I will make my words known to you.
24 Because I have called and you refused,
have stretched out my hand and no one heeded,
25 and because you have ignored all my counsel
and would have none of my reproof,
26 I also will laugh at your calamity;
I will mock when panic strikes you,
27 when panic strikes you like a storm,
and your calamity comes like a whirlwind,
when distress and anguish come upon you.
28 Then they will call upon me, but I will not answer;
they will seek me diligently, but will not find me.
29 Because they hated knowledge
and did not choose the fear of the Lord,
30 would have none of my counsel,
and despised all my reproof,
31 therefore they shall eat the fruit of their way
and be sated with their own devices.
32 For waywardness kills the simple,
and the complacency of fools destroys them;
33 but those who listen to me will be secure
and will live at ease, without dread of disaster.