While on holidays in Abbotsford, I joined my dad, my brother, a friend of my brother’s, and my future nephew-in-law on a fishing trip. We plied the waters of the Fraser River between Mission and Chilliwack, north of Sumas Mountain, our lines baited for sturgeon. We even caught (and released) a few – and that’s no fish story!
While waiting for fish to take the bait, we talked about conspiracy theories – the big ones like those that allege the manned flights to the moon were a hoax and that 9/11 was an inside job. I wrote about the death of Osama Bin Laden the other day; his burial at sea has now sparked a whole new batch of conspiracy theories. Some people will tell you that Bin Laden is actually hiding in plain sight somewhere in the US, working at a fast food restaurant or corner store!
Call me naïve, but I think conspiracy theories are just overgrown fish stories perpetuated by peoples’ fears of secretive things that exist just beyond their comprehension. As Dal Tackett once observed, these fears isolate people because they can trust no one; everyone is a suspect for being part of the conspiracy! In worst case scenarios, these paranoid fears can be debilitating, preventing people from leaving their homes and living normal lives.
I can think of at least one preferable alternative to holding on to fear-filled conspiracy theories.
In one of the better episodes of Star Trek: Voyager called “The Voyager Conspiracy,” Seven of Nine becomes convinced that the starship Voyager was stranded in the faraway Delta Quadrant as part of a huge conspiracy. Her evidence is compelling, and her crewmates begin suspecting one another of treason. When Capt. Janeway discovers the errors in Seven’s conclusions, the captain is finally able to convince Seven of the truth not by presenting yet more evidence, but by appealing to the trust that has been building in their relationship.
I prefer trust over fear.
Yes, I realize that there are sinister people in the world hatching sinister plots and we ought not to be careless. But that doesn’t mean I have to question the motives or results of every single action taken by the government or the local police or my friends or my family. I’d rather assume I can trust the people and institutions I know and occasionally be disappointed when I find out they lied to me than assume I cannot trust anyone and be occasionally surprised when I’ve been told the truth about a matter.
After all, if I cannot trust anyone or anything, then I’ll be ruled by fear. And if there’s one command that is often repeated in the Bible, it’s “Do not fear.” To quote Dal Tackett:
God’s people are not to fear the world or the things in the world, including the flesh or the Enemy. The only One we are to fear is God. And for the child of God, this is a healthy fear… a comforting fear. For He is our Father… our good and loving Father, who will bring us through all of the trials and tribulations and troubles of this world to a home that He has prepared for us.
If that doesn’t convince you, consider these words, straight from the prophet Isaiah as found in Scripture:
The LORD spoke to me with his strong hand upon me, warning me not to follow the way of this people.
“Do not call conspiracy everything that
—– these people call conspiracy;
do not fear what they fear,
—– and do not dread it.
The LORD Almighty is the One you are to
—– regard as holy,
He is the one you are to fear,
—– He is the one you are to dread,
—– and He will be a sanctuary…”
And if that doesn’t convince you, I’m not sure what else to do except to leave you with your fish stories.
The cartoon above was found via a Google images search for “conspiracy theory cartoon.”