Today, almost unmistakably, people in my tradition—people who have an ancestral distrust of government—find themselves susceptible to populist lines of argument. “They want to take away your freedoms” is a lightning rod in my community. It’s also a go-to populist line: “The elites are coming and they are going to enforce their will upon you.”
We expect a warm assurance that we can have it all—that our dependencies on nature are benignly “managed” somewhere else. Wealthy Christians put a pious spin on this assumption under the guise of “caring for Creation.”
Each of us has our own pandemic story that intersects somehow with our culture’s larger story; our own micro-stories written on the margins of a macro-story. My 2020 story felt like de ja vu, because I was diagnosed with cancer one year before the pandemic.