‘…there is nothing new under the sun.‘ – Ecclesiastes, 1:9
That was written by Solomon many centuries ago. And it’s true, even when it comes to human depravity. Some of us say that today’s world is much more depraved than the recent past, and at least on the surface, that view can be defended. There was a brief period, under the influence of Christianity, when human evil was somewhat diminished, or at least, to take a more skeptical view, driven underground.
Critics of the Bible, who are more outspoken today than ever, frequently like to point at certain incidents in the Old Testament which they say constitute proof that the Bible is ‘full of filth’. Yes, there are some very distasteful and shocking episodes in those books of Scripture, but they are there as a stark illustration of what unredeemed humanity is capable of. In no way are they meant to titillate, or to sensationalize, much less to excuse human evil.
On the other hand, we have Christians who are so high-minded that they avoid such passages because they prefer a Christian faith that is all sweetness and light; they don’t like to be confronted with the ugly side of this world. Then there are the many Christians of today who don’t believe in the supernatural; they may (or may not) believe in the virgin birth, or Jesus’ miracles of healing, or his walking on water — but they don’t believe, truly, in a Devil. One of my highly-educated Christian friends says she does not believe in a ‘literal’ Satan, only in the fact of a human ‘shadow side’ that we all possess, and that we must all ‘own’. That’s not the same, though, as the Biblical view that all human beings are fallen; she believes we are ‘basically good’.
For these people, any talk of various forms of depravity being practiced by prominent and powerful people is not credible, because it does not fit the complacent worldview these people have cobbled together for themselves. It shakes their very idea of life itself and of human nature to even ponder the possibility that some of the worst rumors may be true. They don’t want to believe it.
We see that expressed here on this Reddit thread, where several people who appear to be very worldly-wise are voicing extreme shock about some of the allegations that are being bandied about. Yet I myself am not shocked, nor do I rule out the real possibility that where there is smoke, (which has been evident for many years), there may just be fire. And this, considering that I don’t watch modern movies or TV shows because of their decadence and vulgarity; therefore I’ve developed no tolerance to it, as have many of those who consume it avidly. It does have a way of inuring people, making them shockproof, as I call it. Yet many people are seemingly shocked by what is being discussed these last few days.
Ann Barnhardt writes briefly about the allegations on her blog, and points out that she has been warning of this for years. Maybe it takes someone who seriously believes in such a thing as ‘spiritual wickedness in high places’ to accept the plausibility of it. I think that she has written about similar allegations regarding the highest circles in the Catholic hierarchy. So these things are not unheard of; where were all these oh-so-stunned people all these years?
Remember, too, the ongoing accusations against the rich and powerful in the UK? Maybe many Americans are not as familiar with those stories. There were many, many people of both sexes who reported being the victims, as teens or children, of certain celebrities like the late Jimmy Savile.
But Jimmy still has his staunch fans who defend his ”good name”, saying that the accusers were liars looking for attention or money. And that response to their stories explains, in part, why we don’t hear from the purported victims — there are powerful forces who will stifle their claims, and there are just plain stupid people, fans of the ‘celebrities’ and the politicians who are the accused, who will shout ‘liar!’ at the victims.
More examples? Rolf Harris, yes, the ‘Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport’ guy. “Oh, but he was so warm, so funny, so witty, he just couldn’t do things like that!” Same with Michael Jackson in this country.
Another factor in these cases is the “normalcy bias” which I referred to the other day. People are strongly invested in protecting their particular, comfy version of reality. It seems to pose a threat to people’s mental well-being to imagine that they may have been wrong to trust in a predictable and mostly benign world and people.
But we might dismiss the accused celebrity deviates as just being the typical ‘artistic’ personality, the type who dabble in the transgressive. Michael Jackson was just eccentric and misunderstood. Savile just liked kids. Same with Rolf Harris, et al.
But what of the very powerful, who presumably have ‘everything to lose’? Have people forgotten, or maybe they never heard of, the Belgian scandals?
The link above may be considered biased by some, but here are other accounts:
and as we see here, Wikileaks was also involved in publishing details of the Dutroux case several years ago, which implicated people at the highest levels in Belgium and possibly elsewhere.
Why, then, is there still an unwillingness to even consider the veracity of the allegations? It’s not as though it’s unprecedented. Maybe the fact that only those who are sneered at as ‘tinfoil hat’ sources have written about these things, while the “mainstream” controlled media, in recent years, shies away.
I suppose we should be encouraged to see that there are still Americans who are capable of being shocked at the mention of these things. Yet if we avert our eyes and insist that it’s just too much to believe, then we are enabling such things, which do in fact happen in this fallen world.
Christians in particular are called to be ‘wise as serpents’ yet harmless as doves. But if we are to be ‘dove-like’ when confronted with evil, what use are we?