By Kevin Burke, LSW
You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you– St Augustine
It’s easy to get sucked into the Coronavirus rabbit hole. And for good reason. We face daily news of unjust vaccine mandates, struggle to sort through the massive censorship and misinformation, and make the best health care decisions for our families.
But it is all the more important in times such as these, to step back and examine some broader issues that may be feeding the Alice in Wonderland lunacy that has spread, alongside the expansion of “Woke movements” such as Critical Race Theory, with this virus.
The managerial elite residing in all the key institutions in our society, in the permanent bureaucracy in D.C., together with an increasing number of our fellow citizens, have lost faith. They are disconnected from the fundamental values and beliefs that are the foundation of our Judeo-Christian heritage, and the birth of our Republic.
Younger generations of Americans are less connected to formal faith affiliation. While many still report a belief in some sort of higher power or Creator, the lived reality is more of a life of practical atheism.
This loss of faith leaves our nation vulnerable to embrace totalitarian responses to issues of social justice, economics, and politics. This is particularly evident in the response to the pandemic. Faced with an existential challenge like the pandemic, many desperately hunger for a substitute faith that provides order, meaning, security, and safety from primordial chaos.
Before we examine further the Cult of Pandemic, it will be helpful to look more closely at the rise of the “Woke Movements” in our universities and communities.
Woke Culture and the Loss of Faith
Psychologist Jordan Peterson has been trying to understand the rise of the tyranny of “woke culture” in our Universities, and seeping out from those institutions like raw sewage, into the major institutions of our society.
In a recent podcast with Dr. Stephen Blackwood, Peterson examines the consequences of the capture of academia by neo-Marxist analysis (such as found in Critical Race Theory.)
Peterson and Blackwood share the critical importance of education in the humanities to communicate a sense of transcendent truth and beauty, and counteract the deconstruction of language and history by neo-Marxist analysis.
Peterson remarks on the image of Christ as Pantocrator found on the domed ceilings of many Cathedrals. This image represents an ideal metaphysical reality, lifting the mind, heart and soul of the believer to embrace a higher purpose. For the believing Christian, this Jesus is the way, the truth, and the path to eternal life.
As Peterson points out, when a society is no longer anchored to a positive and uplifting foundational mythos, something must replace the power of the iconic representation of the Divine. If it is the state, or some totalitarian ideology, there is the likelihood it will evolve into a beast that will misuse that power, and dominate and enslave over time.
…once your society has heard the Christian promise of resurrection and glory, such pagan half-measures quickly collapse back into the shadows. You’ve learned that your soul was meant for eternity, and nothing less will do…the post-Christian soul, which has heard the promise of Heaven and rejected it with a shrug, is the soul of a natural slave. It believes that death is the end. It can’t muster the old pagan faith in its descendants and its nation. Christianity ruined all that for us. But it tosses aside the Gospel too. So it stares into the void
There is another important factor contributing to the rise of Woke Movements, that will also help us better understand the Cult of Pandemic.
“Your decision [to legalize abortion] has deformed a great Nation”
– Saint Mother Teresa
After 48 years of legalized abortion in the U.S., and close to 65 million procedures, there are few families that have not been directly impacted by the loss of a son or daughter, grandchild, sibling, nephew or niece.
In the after-math of abortion, there is often a deep-seated sense of violating God’s providence over life, and a fear of death and judgment. However, for most this remains buried in the unconscious, and protected by rationalization, distraction and denial.
A nation with such deep seated, and unresolved emotional and spiritual wounds related to abortion, and other serious sin, that is at the same time disconnected from the formal beliefs and practice of the Christian faith, is vulnerable to totalitarian ideologies and movements.
Woke ideology for example, can take the place of authentic experience of Christian repentance, conversion, healing and restoration. Critical Race Theory (CRT) offers a simplistic, totalitarian prism to understand and view the world and complex social relationships. The theory and practice of CRT and similar woke movements, provides a counterfeit conversion experience, along with a sense of personal self-righteousness and purpose.
Cult of Pandemic
Perhaps this loss of faith, along with our national abortion wounds, feeds the devolution of the pandemic into a type of public health religious cult. 
This cult features:
- Vestments; (masks)
- Mandatory Sacramental rights of initiation; (vaccines)
- Strict adherence to Covid sacred scriptures; (officially sanctioned pandemic narratives from Government/Main Stream Media/Pharmaceuticals.)
- An anti-scientific rejection of alternative perspectives than those dispensed on high from by the Covid High Priests like Anthony Fauci, and officials of the CDC and WHO.
It is unfortunate that some of our religious leaders have chosen to provide religious cover to the pandemic cult by supporting the totalitarian policy of “vaccine mandates.”
Dr. Robert Malone, MD., made key discoveries that led to the development of the RNA technology used in Covid vaccines. Dr. Malone presents a much healthier, and less totalitarian response to the pandemic:
“There is a middle ground here. Between universal vax and no vax. That is where I reside. Intelligent, strategic deployment of vaccines to high risk, coupled with early (imperfect, but still pretty darned good) pharmaceutical intervention.
In addition, web/smartphone tools to provide self-assessment of risk, and home-based self-testing. No coercion. Freedom of choice. No mandates. Treat people with respect and dignity, not like livestock.
And drop the authoritarianism, censorship, fearmongering.”Robert Malone – Twitter
Our religious leaders would do well to listen to reasoned minds like Dr. Malone, and not become accomplices in enforcing totalitarian mandates by some government leaders in D.C., and on the state and local level.
Return to Faith…and Sanity
The Coronavirus pandemic remains a serious public health concern. However, the most serious threat that our nation faces at this time is not the pandemic.
It is the erosion of a living, vibrant relationship with Jesus Christ and His Church, and lives that are grounded in the fundamental beliefs, and values, of the Christian faith.
It is Jesus who offers the freedom, and liberation from the ideologies, idolatry and lies that would enslave us.
Trust in Him.
 This is not a comment on the value of a particular medical or public health response to the virus. It’s the totalitarian temptation public official’s face with the pandemic, the zealous enforcement of pandemic orthodoxy, and suppression of dissent.