CORONAVIRUS: ALL ACCORDING TO SATAN’S PLAN (WHICH ISN’T A PLAN)
You’re doubtless exhausted of hearing and thinking about coronavirus, so we’ll make this relatively brief and put as much Satan on it as we can at the end to break up the routine.
To say that some people are not rising to the occasion gracefully is like saying the Hindenburg experienced some unexpected last-minute turbulence.
Although a lot of religious bodies are closing or limiting services–the Satanic Temple’s Salt Lake City gathering included–others are heeding perhaps the highest of all callings: unrepentant grifting.
Over in Missouri, preacher and ex-con Jim Bakker is selling a “silver solution” to cure coronavirus. I mean, it has the word “solution” right in the name, so I’m half convinced already.
Reporting for NPR, Matthew Schwartz says a supposed “natural health expert” with the incredibly trustworthy sounding name Sherrill Sellman has been touting the tarnished cure-all on Bakker’s show since February, claiming it’s “proven by the government to kill every pathogen it has ever been tested on.”
But that’s also true of, say, radiation. Which is also natural. Irradiate coronavirus for the lord. Bakker, for the record, served five years in prison for–what was the charge again? Oh right: fraud. Probably no red flags there.
Per the Verge, America’s foremost connoisseur of low-grade vitamins and high-grade paint-thinners Alex Jones is in on it too. Jon Porter writes, “Jones marketed toothpaste, dietary supplements, and creams as being able to prevent or cure the virus.” The first warning sign here is I wouldn’t finger Jones as a regular user of any of the above.
For whatever reason, he’s particularly keen on Superblue Toothpaste, which allegedly “kills the whole SARS-coronavirus family at point-blank range,” so leave it to Al to discover the one and only thing toothpaste has in common with a bomb.
By the way, judging from the reviews on his store, Jones’ viewers like Superblue because it contains no fluoride and thus you can brush your teeth without being mind-controlled. Which just makes more work for the dentist who has to put mind-control chips in your fillings, but fine.
Ken Copeland, the Texas prosperity preacher who looks like he’s wearing a Halloween mask of his own face in every photo, has a much cheaper cure: television. …or maybe Jesus, it’s hard to tell the difference with him.
Hamming it up for the cameras on his Victory News show, Copeland asked viewers to touch their TV screens–definitely a good idea right now to touch a surface you’ve never once sanitized, great work Ken–so that he could heal them remotely.
“Now say it: I take it. I have it. It’s mine,” he told watchers. Imagine if instead of mass suicide the Heavens Gate crowd had just waited for nature to kick in and you’ll have some idea of the vibe here.
CNN’s Nectar Gan says that in China people are trying to cure coronavirus with “traditional” remedies like acupuncture and soup. And by people I mean the actual government of China. I believe I might have some sudden insight into why the outbreak got out of hand to begin with.
Turns out Jesus is not the cure you’re looking for. Not a lot of faith in the toothpaste or acupuncture either. I could go for some soup right now I guess, so there’s that.
In 2 Kings, when Ahaziah, the king of Israel, falls bedridden, he sends servants to consult “Baalzebub the god of Ekron whether I shall recover of this disease.”
Elijah, the unlikable serial killing prophet, chastises the king with an oft-referenced verse: “Is it not because there is not a god in Israel that ye go to enquire of Baalzebub?” This is a less affecting rejoinder than Elijah’s typical comebacks, ie ritual slaughter or the summoning of bears, but I guess it got his point across.
Myself, I think it’s pretty reasonable for someone who believes they’ve been made sick by one god to go browsing for another. Ahaziah does die shortly after this, which I can’t help but feel buttresses my sentiment instead of the Bible’s.
In this case Satan doesn’t have any miracle cures for you right now. Although it looks like neither does anybody else, so we’re all on an even playing field. Here’s what I will tell you: It’s okay.
I don’t mean the situation, which is at best worrisome. I just mean, whatever you’re feeling right now, that’s fine. It’s normal to be anxious, uncertain, frightened, antic, or confused. These are natural responses, symptoms that we are all still capable of empathy and consideration.
If, rather than prescribing imagined holy remedies to a problem your response is reasonable emotion, good. That doesn’t make you weak or inadequate or helpless. It just means you’re as human today as you ever were before.
It’s also okay to have perhaps less compassionate feelings: annoyance, impatience, dissatisfaction, a wish that everything would just get “back to normal.” Contrary to what some institutions will tell you, selfish thoughts are also normal at times like this, and thoughts are not actions.
On that note, the one thing I can say by way of reassurance is that we’re all still here, and we’re still hard at work.
We don’t have any miracles or broad-stroke solutions to offer, except for our usual one: that one person acting can change things in a small but significant way, and so too can more people with more action.
That’s not a miracle or a panacea. But it has one big advantage over all of those prescriptions: It works.