Apologetics for the Masses #374 - The "Wuhan Flu"

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Politically Correct - Church and State



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     Okay, a couple of months ago, after receiving a few emails from some folks who were objecting to my use of the term "Wuhan flu," I mentioned that I was going to do a newsletter drawing parallels between what is going on in politics in this country and what is going on in the church.  That I would use those emails, and my responses to them, to show why I believe one cannot water down the truth one iota, and cannot give one inch in spiritual warfare, and cannot yield any advantage to the culture of death whatsoever - whether in the realm of theology or the realm of politics.

     Well, this is that newsletter.  It's a little bit disjointed, but I hope it makes sense, regardless. 

     First, I will share the email objections and my responses to them, and then give you my commentary.



Email #1, from BK, in response to my use of the term "Wuhan flu"

     C'mon John you're better than this. Calling COVID-19 "Wuhan flu" makes you sound like some kind of right wing Trump cultist, and this has nothing to do with your apologetics efforts. I call it C-19 for short and it's way too late to be mad at China for this thing's origins.

     BTW, Spanish Flu was only called that because when it broke out in Spain near the end of the First World War Spain was the only nation (since not involved in the war) who allowed their press to cover it. Hence initially it was thought that it originated there. Every other combatant nation suppressed the news of their outbreaks for fear of causing morale to fail (Sound familiar today?) even as troops in the field died from both H1N1 and combat. Sadly, the death toll in waves 2 and 3 were far more deadly than the initial wave but the pandemic lasted about 2 years.


My Response

[Note: The first line of my response to him below is a quote from one of my favorite movies.  First person to email me (admin@biblechristiansociety.com) with the name of the movie that quote comes from, gets both seasons of my Blue Collar Apologetics DVDs absolutely free.  One caveat: You cannot look up the answer on the internet - you either know it, or you don't.]

     Dear BK,

     "Let's dance, you and I..."
     Your premise is, on its face, a ridiculous one.  Seems to me like someone is being overly influenced by, or kowtowing to, liberal media.  Once you succumb to political correctness, it can be a difficult disease to overcome.
     First of all, who is it that has apparently determined that using the name "Wuhan" in relation to the virus at the center of the current pandemic means that one is "mad" at China?
     Does that mean CNN, CNBC, CBS, PBS, ABC, and other major news outlets are "mad" at China?  I mean, they all used the term Wuhan virus or Wuhan coronavirus or Chinese coronavirus.  And does that also mean they are all "right wing Trump cultists"? 
     Secondly, when people call the West Nile virus, the "West Nile" virus, does that mean they are mad at the West Nile?

Those who call the Asian flu, the "Asian" flu, are "mad" at Asia?
Those who call the Hong Kong flu, the "Hong Kong" flu, are "mad" at Hong Kong?
Those who call the Russian flu, the "Russian" flu, are "mad" at Russia?
Those who call Japanese encephalitis, "Japanese" encephalitis, are "mad" at Japan?
Those who call the Zika virus, the "Zika" virus, are "mad" at Uganda?
Those who call the Ebola virus, the "Ebola" virus, are mad at the Congo?
Those who call the Sudan virus, the "Sudan" virus, are "mad" at the Sudan?
Those who call the Hantavirus, the "Hantavirus," are "mad" at South Korea?


     Same logic.

     And, of course, if anyone calls the swine flu, the "swine" flu, and the bird flu, the "bird" flu, it means those people are "mad" at pigs and birds, respectively, correct?
     And I could go on and on and on.  There is a long tradition in medical history of calling an illness - especially a viral-based illness - by the location of where it first manifested.  The "Spanish" flu being no exception, even though it was mistakenly thought to have originated in Spain at the time.  So, calling this disease the Wuhan virus, or the Wuhan flu, is right in line with the common practice that has been in use in medicine for the last 150 years or so, or even longer.  It doesn't mean anyone is "mad" at anything. 
     And I guess all those who call ALS, "Lou Gehrig's" Disease, means they are "mad" at Lou Gehrig?  Again, that's the same logic being employed in your argument.  Which makes it patently absurd and why, again, I said it is ridiculous on its face
     Thirdly, if it is proven that China did indeed, as has been alleged, know about this virus and its human-to-human transmission much earlier than they are letting on, and/or that they tried to cover up the outbreak for several weeks - thus losing valuable reaction time on the part of many other countries - do you not think people around the world should rightly be "mad" at China; i.e., the political leadership of China?
     Finally, if one agrees with Trump that we need to have fair trade deals - does that mean they are a "right wing Trump cultist"?  Or, if they agree with Trump that Washington, DC is a swamp and needs to be drained of its crooked politicians - does that mean they are a "right wing Trump cultist"?  Or, if they agree with Trump that open borders would be a disaster for this country - does that mean they are a "right wing Trump cultist"?  If not, then why does using the term "Wuhan" in relation to this particular virus, as does Trump, make one a "right wing Trump cultist"?  I mean, that's the same logic.  If you agree with Trump on anything you are, apparently, by definition, a "right wing Trump cultist"!  But, where does that logic originate from?  CNN?  CNBC?  ABC?  The New York Times?  All of the above?  Should we call it: the CNN logic flu?  The New York Times logic flu?  The liberal lulu logic flu?
     Also, it actually does have to do with apologetics.  Apologetics is about making a reasoned explanation and/or defense of someone or something - not just the Catholic Faith. And, as an apologist - in this case for political correctness and anti-Trumpism - you have not done a very good job of making the case for why I shouldn't call this pestilence the "Wuhan" flu.



Nevermind John...I won't waste your time with my opinions. Argue with someone else.


My Response

     You know, my mom used to always tell me: If you can't take it, don't dish it out. I gave you reasoned arguments for why your statement to me - "C'mon, John, you're better than this...right wing Trump cultist...mad at China..." - was ridiculous on its face, and you respond thus? 
     C'mon, BK, you're better than this...



Look man, you're just being rude now and it's uncalled for.



Email #2, from RE, in response to my use of the term "Wuhan flu"

     I am really disheartened by your use of the term Wuhan flu. It's akin to calling Catholics "papists" or "Romanists". All of these terms are technically correct. The virus did originate in Wuhan. Catholics are papists. And Romanists.
     But when you hear those terms you know what kind of person it is. Especially if the person says, "So what. I'm going to continue to use [papist, Romanist, Wuhan] anyway."
My Response

     So, then, what kind of person am I? 

     If I say "Hong Kong" flu, what kind of person am I?  If I say "Russian" flu, what kind of person am I?  What if I say "Japanese" encephalitis, what kind of person am I?
     Sounds like you have bought into the program of the liberal media.  When CNN, NBC, CNBC, the New York Times, and other such liberal news outlets used the term "Wuhan" coronavirus...what kind of people did that make them?
     Have we, or have we not, here in these United States, for the last 125+ years or so, identified diseases by where they first manifested...yes or no?  If you answer, yes, then what makes this particular disease different? 
     On the other hand, "Papist" and "Romanist" have always been used as slurs, calling a disease by its place, or animal, of origin, has not.  There is no comparison.



     Okay, what's the connection here between these emails and what's going on in the Church and in society?  And what are the parallels between what's happening in the Church and in society?

     To begin with, I want to discuss the symptoms these folks exhibited in their emails: fear, undue secular influence, unwillingness and/or inability to respond to reasoned arguments.  Where did these two people, and millions of others in our society, ever get the idea that calling this current pestilence the "Wuhan" flu, or the "Wuhan" virus or anything similar, was somehow a very bad thing to do?  That by doing so I was showing myself to be a certain "kind of person" - i.e., a bigot and/or racist?  That by doing so I was somehow less of a person or even - heaven forbid - a "right wing Trump cultist"?  Who was it that decided these things?  Where does all of that come from?

     The media.  CNN.  MSNBC.  ABC, CBS, NBC.  The New York Times, the Washington Post, "etcetera, etcetara, etcetera."  Why are Catholics allowing themselves to let the secular, humanist, materialist, pro-abortion, pro-transgender, pro-homosexual, bigoted, narrow-minded, truth-challenged, anti-Catholic media decide what is or is not bigoted or racist or moral or acceptable behavior or anything else for that matter?  Why are we letting these enemies of truth set the agenda?  Why are we letting them lay out the ground rules?  I'm not saying don't watch or read these media outlets, but I am saying that way too often we in the Church - laity and clergy alike - are being formed by the media, by the culture, as opposed to the way it should be - the media and the culture being formed by the Church.  We are giving undue influence to the media over our intellects.

     In the Church we are formed by faith and reason.  In secular society these days they have faith - a godless faith with no sure anchor or moorings - but it is faith without reason.  You know, we Catholics are often accused (as are Christians, in general) of having blind faith and being anti-science and believing in faith as opposed to reason (none of which is true, of course).  But look at what these folks who supposedly believe in science and reason are buying into these days.  I mean, for cryin' out loud, there are millions of people who believe that Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner can, by merely declaring it to be so, become a woman!  Or that he somehow "realized" later in his life that he was actually a woman instead of a man.  Really?!  Well, that's based in science, right?  Anyone with a lick of sense has to see that it must be so, right?  Let's talk faith without reason...faith opposed to reason.

     Yet, we have people in the Church buying into this nonsense.  And, many more who know that this transgender ideology is a bunch of crap, but they are letting fear keep them from speaking out.  And, again, true of the clergy and the laity.  How many homilies have you heard speaking out about laws allowing men dressed as women to use women's bathrooms?  About men pretending to be women unfairly competing against actual women in sporting events?  About men pretending to be women and women pretending to be men, period?  You can add those to the number of homilies you've heard speaking out about abortion and contraception and same-sex "marriages" and other such societal ills, and you will not have to use both of your hands to count.

     We've become afraid to speak out.  We've become afraid to stand out.  We're afraid of people calling us names.  We're afraid of losing so-called "friends".  We're afraid of making waves in the family.  So, we don't speak the truth.  And I'm not talking about just in society, I'm talking about in the Church as well.  In society, the tactics of those who are seeking to "change" the culture in our country are copied by those within the Church who are seeking to "change" the Church...to change her doctrinal and moral teachings.  If you go on Facebook or Twitter or these other social media platforms and use the "wrong,"  but accurate, pronoun to describe Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner, there is the possibility that you will catch all kinds of hell.  You're a hater, bigot, racist, misogynist, and so on.  In the church, if you stand up for the traditional Church teachings on matters of morality and doctrine, be prepared to be called a hater, a bigot, a fascist, a fundamentalist, a "right wing" conservative, ignorant, and the like.  We can't hurt people's feelings.  We can't tell people they're wrong.  That's mean.  That's hateful.

     Now, amongst all of you - subscribers to my newsletter - I would wager that the percentage of people who the things I've just said apply to is much lower than it is in the Church, in general.  However, as evidenced by those emails, there are those amongst my readers who are indeed being formed by the culture.  We need to snap out of it, folks.  If you think my calling Covid-19 the "Wuhan flu" is somehow bigoted and racist or such, then stop and examine why you believe that to be true.  Maybe you need to stop watching the news and start reading the Bible, the Catechism, books on or by the saints, or just books, in general.  We are called to form the culture and not be formed by it. 

     The other thing about those emails that got me to thinking about what's going on in society, is this phenomenon of making accusations about people (me, in this instance) - people that you don't really know from Adam - without having any evidence whatsoever of what you are accusing them of.  And then, either taking a counter-argument to your accusations as an affront and/or an opportunity to hurl insults (as in the case of BK), or just not responding to them at all (as in the case of RE).  You accuse someone of something and then you don't have the decency to respond to their arguments on their own behalf?  I have had any number of lay people and clergy call me all sorts of names and say all sorts of negative things about me, but never has a single one of those people actually sat down and given me reasoned arguments, or presented any evidence, to back up what they are saying about me.  Not one.  Same thing in these two instances. 

     In society we have this phenomenon of trial by media.  People are assumed guilty by the media until proven innocent, and many of the consumers of media go right along with the guilty verdict. Evidence?  Due process?  Nah, not necessary.  Guilty! cries the mob.  Crucify him!  And, in many cases, after they've been proven innocent, they are still presumed guilty.  For example, how many people, regardless of political affiliation, believed, and still believe, without a shred of evidence, that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia in the 2016 election?  They believed it simply because the media declared it to be so.  Now, how many people believe it is racist, or bigoted, or being "mad at China" if you call Covid-19 the Wuhan virus or, as I do, the Wuhan flu?  Why do they believe that way?  Because the media declared it to be so.

     The media says that if you believe same sex relations to be wrong, then you are a hater, a bigot, a homophobe.  And, in the Church, I've seen people who buy into that propaganda.  They first doubt themselves for believing the Church's teaching, and then they start doubting the Church for even having such a "hateful" teaching.  Political correctness often comes at the cost of moral correctness. 

     Look, I know I'm not tying this up in a nice and neat package like I usually do, but all of this is to essentially say: Be very careful that you are not being unknowingly influenced by people/media/organizations that are enemies of the faith.  Because if we allow ourselves to be formed, in even the slightest of ways, by the media...by the culture...then it could end up being harmful to our faith and to the faith of others.  If we don't speak out against evil in whatever ways we can - big or small - given whatever opportunities we have...then we have no right to complain as our society and our culture get flushed farther and farther down the toilet and our faith becomes less and less relevant not only to the culture, but to many inside the Church, as well.   

     The reason I responded to those emails as I did, is because I was trying to make those two people think about the reasoning behind what they said to me.  I was trying to get them to open their eyes as to what their intellect is consuming.  I was trying to make them realize that they had yielded, even if only in a small way, to formation by the media.  We cannot yield even an inch to the enemy.  Satan fights on all fronts - political, social, economic, cultural, judicial, educational, religious, spiritual, emotional, intellectual, and every other one you can think of - and he must be engaged on all fronts.  As Churchill said, "We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender..."  That's the same attitude we need to have in this spiritual battle we are engaged in.  We need to challenge error wherever we find it.

     And, we need to know that, in the end, our side wins the war.  Truth wins.  Jesus Christ wins.  The only question open right now, for us, is the number of casualties - the number of souls that will be lost.  We, as individuals, may suffer greatly if we decide to step onto the field of battle, but we need to keep in mind that something we do when we make our own little stands for truth here and there, may contribute to the salvation of a soul.  


Closing Comments

Okay, again, I hope that made some sense.  But, whether it did or not, next issue, back to apologetics. I hope all of you have a great week.



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