The Doctrine of Fear


The Doctrine of Fear

A few days ago I was involved in a conversation that quickly evolved into an argument or debate, my fellow conversationalist continually attempting to manipulate the dialogue unflinchingly towards this direction. I was quite taken aback by the closeminded tenacity of this particular individual on the topic of Covid-19, the acquirement of its data, the lockdown and reopening the economy. So much so that I have retreated for a few days to digest things.

It has been years - possibly close to over a decade - since I've engaged in open theological discussions or debates. I have never been a fan of apologetics, particularly because its focus isn't upon knowing or discovering the truth but rather on being right and - ultimately - winning the debate. 

Over the years I have seen numerous debates in which the winner was actually wrong. They just had better debating skills than their opponent. (I even reject the idea of the term 'opponent' as a dialogue's agenda should be a cooperative move towards the truth.)

Part of this problem - with debates, arguments and apologetics - within theology is because it deals with beliefs. What we believe to be true; what we WANT to be true.

It is further compromised by a lack of empirical evidence, only further fueling the conflict.

And I think this is the problem with this pandemic, the measures being taken or not taken and potentially reopening the economy. With only data from 4% of the population (and a staggering 96% unknown) we are not dealing with empirical or scientific evidence, but belief.

Some people are choosing to BELIEVE under the mask of evidence. Facts without context are more dangerous than outright lies), while some people are choosing to allow their fear to make their decisions.

Fear is a choice. We live in a free country.

If you want to choose fear, you can. (I would highly advise against it, but nevertheless you are free to do so). However, you are not free to impose it upon others.

The scientists have become the modern-day equivalent of the unquestionable priest-class and sacred keepers of truth from yesteryear.

We are not dealing with the conflict of should or shouldn't we reopen the economy. We are dealing with the BELIEF of should or shouldn't we.

***Full disclosure: this micro-essay was originally published on Facebook as an intelligent rant. But it had more insight and heart than most so-called angry pieces. Not sure if this is a reprint but quality and unquiet purpose needs an outlet. Blame me. I asked him to resubmit.

Michel Weatherall

Author, Poet, Publisher, Printer, Imagination-weaver.

A native of Ottawa, Michel Weatherall grew up as an army-brat living in Europe and Germany and has since travelled extensively.

Having over 30 years’ experience in the print/publishing industry, the transition to self-publishing was a natural step with his publication company, Broken Keys Publishing. He has published 6 novels and 2 collections of poetry.

Other work (the poems “Sun & Moon” and “Eleven's Silent Promise” and the sci-fi short story “Rupture”) have appeared in Ariel Chart's online journey as well as a theological essay (“The Voice of Sophia”) in American theologian Thomas Jay Oord's "The Uncontrolling Love of God: An Open and Relational Account of Providence" (2015)

Weatherall's current books in print are,

The Symbiot 30th Anniversary, The Nadia Edition


The Refuse Chronicles

Ngaro's Sojourney

A Dark Corner of My Soul (poetry)

Sun & Moon (poetry)

Future titles currently being worked on include

Invasion: Scion (sequel to Ngaro's Sojourney)

Symphonies of Horror: Inspirational Tales of H.P, Lovecraft: The Symbiot Appendum

Thin Places: An Anthology

Honours and Awards include

Winner of the 2020 Faces of Ottawa Awards Favourite Author

Winner of the 2020 Faces of Ottawa Awards Favourite Publisher (Broken Keys Publishing)

2020-21 Parliamentary Poet Laureate Standing Nominee

2019 Pushcart Prize Standing Nominee (Poetry)

2019 FEBE Awards Nominee for Creative Arts

2019 CPACT Awards Nominee for Entertainment Excellence (Arts)

2019 CPCAT Awards Nominee for Small Business Excellence (Broken Keys Publishing)

2018-19 Faces if Ottawa Awards Finalist for Favourite Author

He currently lives with his wife and two children in Ottawa.


  1. Mal Moore-DawnsonJune 4, 2020 at 8:24 PM

    Reads like a stream of consciousness; yet relays sensible thoughts on losing perspective and thus making poor decisions based on fear. Outstanding.

  2. Valid points made here. A great reflective piece in a time where much reflection is needed.

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