Science and Truth

The dawn from on high will visit us, to give light to those who live in darkness and the shadow of death. — Luke 1: 78b-79a *

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The sun appears to be slowly setting on the United States as a country that can be taken seriously in the world except as a military power.

Under the headline “As E.U. Opens, It Aims to Keep Americans Out: Repudiation of Trump’s Pandemic Blunders,” the New York Times this morning carried a report by Matina  Stevis-Gridneff that opened:

“BRUSSELS — European Union countries rushing to revive their economies and reopen their borders after months of coronavirus restrictions are prepared to block Americans from entering because the United States has failed to control the scourge, according to draft lists of acceptable travelers reviewed by The New York Times.

“The prospect, which would lump American visitors in with Russians and Brazilians as unwelcome, is a stinging blow to American prestige in the world and a repudiation of President Trump’s handling of the virus in the United States, which has more than 2.3 million cases and upward of 120,000 deaths, more than any other country.”

Near the end, the report tells of European Center for Disease Prevention and Control officials “warn[ing] negotiators that the case numbers were so dependent on the level of truthfulness and testing in each country, that it was hard to vouch for them ….”

The phrase “the level of truthfulness and testing” jumped out. In this country, scientific and other truthfulness has fallen by the wayside in matters related to the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The executive and judicial branches of the U.S. government have downgraded the importance of truth when it comes to the facts on the ground of 9/11. And the news media (including the New York Times) have followed suit after some great reporting initially, apparently accepting as valid what might be called “government science.”

It’s not just Trump.

— Mark Channing Miller

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* From Luke 1: 57-80, a reading for today celebrating the nativity of St. John the Baptist, in The Revised New Jerusalem Bible


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