The American Vision: A Biblical Worldview Ministry

Spreading Disease and Panic to Create a Revolution

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You’re familiar with the adage, “Do not shout ‘fire’ in a crowded theater.” It also applies to a virus outbreak. A communicable disease has been weaponized for political gain when the real disease is human autonomy that causes many more deaths.

A Denver city councilwoman wrote the unthinkable:

A Denver city councilwoman appeared to cheer on a message about spreading the coronavirus at one of President Trump's rallies.

Councilwoman Candi CdeBaca, a Democrat, enthusiastically responded last week to a tweet that featured a graphic that said, “For the record, if I do get the coronavirus I’m attending every MAGA rally I can."

Her quote tweet said, "#solidarity Yaaaas!!" along with five emojis, three of which were faces laughing so hard that they were crying.

When she was called out on it, she claimed it was satire. In an attempt to downplay the seriousness of her Tweet, she lied, claiming that it was to draw attention to Pres. Trump saying that the Coronavirus was a “hoax” and no more dangerous than the common flu.

He didn’t say any such thing as nearly all the major news outlets agree:

Trump referred to “politicizing” of the coronavirus by Democrats as “their new hoax.” He did not refer to the coronavirus itself as a hoax.

Throughout his speech, Trump reiterated that his administration is taking the threat of the coronavirus seriously.

As many of you know, I am a fan of older films. They are story and character driven. There was no CGI. Sexual tension was often present but rarely thrown in our faces. There was almost never the obligatory homosexual character that now shows up in every film and TV show. There were films that included homosexuality as a subtext (as well as adultery and other sexual issues), some more indicated than others (e.g., The Children’s Hour, Inside Daisy Clover, and Lawrence of Arabia), but homosexual Hollywood was mostly hidden (e.g., Rock Hudson and Raymond Burr).

Using Classic Films to Teach the Christian Worldview

Classic movies are often heavily dialogue-based, which provides a necessary counterpoint to the visually stimulating and soundbite-driven modern method of moviemaking. Real life is about real conversations, and classic movies provide a great virtual training ground for thinking and living in the real world of ideas and consequences.

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Not long ago, I saw a film about the potential panic because of the possibility of the spread of a communicable disease. It was the 1950 film Panic in the Streets starring Jack Palance (his first film), Paul Douglas, Zero Mostel, Richard Widmark, and Barbara Bel Geddes:

Poster of the 1950 film "Panic in the Streets"

In Elia Kazan’s suspenseful melodrama, a bullet-ridden corpse turns up in the water off the New Orleans docks. To the police, he’s a John Doe... until a public health doctor (Richard Widmark) discovers he carries a virulent strain of bubonic plague. Hundreds of officers are mobilized to track down the killers and all who had contact with the dead man in a desperate race against the clock before the highly contagious disease spreads far beyond the port area and puts the entire country in peril. (Source)

In the film Godfather II, young Vito Andolini (mistakenly registered as “Vito Corleone”) is examined at the immigration center at Ellis Island for any communicable diseases. He is quarantined because of smallpox and is placed in isolation for three months. 

The goal in Panic in the Streets was to avert a panic. The objective was to track down the source of the disease and contain it.

Those days are long gone. The aim today is to use something like a contagion for political purposes. It might mean controlling travel and freedom of movement, forced vaccinations, and empowering the national government to use extraordinary powers to expand the overreach of the State.

The objective of Councilwoman Candi CdeBaca, a Democrat, is to win an election so that the power of the State can be increased, and it doesn’t matter who might die in the process.

Revolutions are a messy business, but “you can't make an omelet without breaking eggs.”

It’s happened before.

The storming of the Bastille was a catalyst for what became known as the reign of terror. “French society underwent an epic transformation as feudal, aristocratic and religious privileges evaporated under a sustained assault from left-wing political groups and the masses on the streets.” How bad was it?

Internally, popular sentiments radicalized the Revolution significantly, culminating in the rise of Maximilien Robespierre and the Jacobins and virtual dictatorship by the Committee of Public Safety during the Reign of Terror from 1793 until 1794 during which between 16,000 and 40,000 people were killed.

Did you get that? Between 16,000 and 40,000 French citizens were killed for a better France. Consider the following:

Ordered by the king [Louis XVI] to surrender, more than 600 Swiss guards were savagely murdered. The mobs ripped them to shreds and mutilated their corpses. “Women, lost to all sense of shame,” said one surviving witness, “were committing the most indecent mutilations on the dead bodies from which they tore pieces of flesh and carried them off in triumph.” Children played kickball with the guards’ heads. Every living thing in the Tuileries [royal palace in Paris] was butchered or thrown from the windows by the hooligans. Women were raped before being hacked to death.

The Jacobin club . . . demanded that the piles of rotting, defiled corpses surrounding the Tuileries be left to putrefy in the street for days afterward as a warning to the people of the power of the extreme left.

This bestial attack, it was later decreed, would be celebrated every year as “the festival of the unity and indivisibility of the republic.” It would be as if families across America delighted in the annual TV special “A Manson Family Christmas.” [1]

Before long, the "just cause" of the revolutionary mobs got out of hand. “During the Reign of Terror, extreme efforts of de-Christianization ensued, including the imprisonment and massacre of priests and destruction of churches and religious images throughout France. An effort was made to replace the Catholic Church altogether, with civic festivals replacing religious ones. The establishment of the Cult of Reason was the final step of radical de-Christianization.”

It was at this point that the people became disillusioned with the revolutionary ways of the radicals, but not before more atrocities were committed for the "salvation" of the people and the nation. As revolutionary leader Jean-Paul Marat declared, “Let the blood of the traitors flow! That is the only way to save the country.”

Once the mob starts down the road of violence to justify the first “just cause,” there is no way to stop the radical remedy because there’s always one more thing that needs to be changed. They already had killed tens of thousands, what’s ten thousand more?

I know, it can’t happen here.

  1. Ann Coulter, Demonic: How the Liberal Mob is Endangering America (New York: Crown Publishing Group, 2011), 107.[]
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