Pulling Together

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Anti-vax and beastly marks

Astute observers might notice the little question hinted at below my heading, and if they are into apocalyptic theorising might even understand the question being teased before them. However, this is nothing against the way some anti-vax campaigners interpret the virus and the vaccine used to fight it.

One of my sisters-in-law, who is a nurse in my wife’s home country recently told her she would not be accepting a vaccination because it contains microchips to enable governments to track members of the public and is the mark of the beast. What surprises me is that any reasonably intelligent person could believe such obvious nonsense. Firstly, in order to enable people to be tracked, microchips require a power supply to enable them to transmit a signal, and a close enough detector for that signal to be read. To be meaningful the signal would need unique characteristics to the individual being tracked. Anyone who stops to think for a moment can see the technical problems such a scheme would have.

Firstly, to pick up an adequate amount of power to operate the chip, it would need a reasonable sized aerial. Secondly, the signal transmitted would be very weak given the necessarily small size of the chip. Thirdly, the signal would have to be unique, so each dose of the vaccine would have to contain a different chipset. It would be prohibitively expensive and slow to organise such a process.

Then there are the medical issues; any workable chip small enough to go throught the needle would be likely to drift in the recipient’s bloodstream. The danger of blocking a blood vessel would be huge. Such a vaccine would simply not be safe.

Finally, we have the hermeneutical objection; The “mark of the beast” described in the Revelation is not a technical device. The technology is irrelevant. The point is not the existence or location of the mark, but its ideological significance. To be a candidate for the mark, receiving it needs ideological significance. It needs to denote a person’s allegiance to something ungodly. It needs to promote and encourage behaviour incompatible with Christian Faith and lifestyle. The form of the mark is not the point — the purpose of the mark is what matters. It is hard to see how the unknowing reception of a mere tracking device could constitute a person’s willful disobedience to the Divine Will.

What surprises me is the sort of nonsense being peddled and people’s willingness to believe it. Surely someone who works in medicine and therefore should understand the technical nature of vaccines should not be so gullible. But why would anyone be so antisocial as to circulate scurrilous falsehoods about a medical process intended to end a time of fear and bring life back to normal? Frightening people out of protecting themselves and others from harm and enabling normal human life to carry on is clearly an evil thing to aim at. Whatever the rights and wrongs of society’s response to this virus, returning life to normal, where people are allowed to meet friends, to use their homes for entertaining, to be married and to mourn in public those who have died, to go to a concert or theatre, not to wear a mask when entering a public building, is surely the right thing to do. Keeping people in fear or under strict controls which prevent them living normal lives is unquestionably evil, and that is what sabotaging the vaccination process will do.

We don’t know exactly what rate of vaccine take up is needed to end this outbreak, but the higher we can get it the better. It has to be high enough to stop the virus spreading completely and not just force it to become more effective at spreading among a more limited number of targets.

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