In the early 1980s, I had just graduated from college and I was involved in mostly Christian activities. I taught religious classes on Sunday morning, Wednesday night, and Friday night. I managed preparation for those classes around a full-time job scooping ice cream.
For a period of several months, I taught a series on Bible prophecy.
It was during this time, while researching theories on the anti-Christ, that I encountered my first conspiracy theory. A protestant writer labeled the Catholic Church as the whore of Babylon and connected the dots between Catholics, Jesuits, Freemasons, and the Illuminati.
Our small church could barely afford to pay a part-time wage so our pastor made his living teaching high school history. This gave him a well-rounded approach to life, history, and spirituality.
Even today, in spite of our differences, I still respect his informed opinions.
He was aware of the theories and admitted these groups existed. He loaned me some books from his personal library that had helped him research the topic.
His opinion was that he didn’t think there was a conspiracy to control the world.
The conversation was memorable for me and I have often reflected back on it when I encounter the conspiratorial topic today.
The story has changed little since the 1980s. The only difference is the culprit group. Other than the ones listed above, I have heard the conspiracy blamed on the Muslims, the Jews, the bankers, the New World Order, the Nazis, the devil worshipers, the blacks, the whites, the Asians, and the Hispanics.
Years later, I heard Rush Limbaugh address the same topic in a similar manner.
He said that these groups exist. However, they don’t secretly control the world.
They are people with agendas.
Some of these people are quite gifted.
They understand and use these gifts at an extremely high level to benefit themselves.
And, they purposely put systems in place to prevent others from doing the same thing.
In addition, Rush said this is the explanation for his “talent on loan from God” proclamation.
This seemingly arrogant statement is nothing more than his realized truth. Rush’s remarkable media success comes from using gifts of inspiration.
Even though I no longer adhere to the protestant faith and I seldom listen to Rush, the messages from my pastor and Mr. Limbaugh regarding conspiracies still ring true to me today.
They have helped me to understand that absolutely everyone has powerful spiritual gifts.
Some people develop these gifts for their own personal gain. With this competitive spirit, they establish barriers that discourage others from developing their gifts. This may be an unintended consequence.
Or, they may genuinely believe they have gifts that other people don’t have. Therefore, the ungifted must be trained and motivated to do the menial tasks for the gifted people.
This looks like a conspiracy to control the world. In fact, it may be that.
Other people develop their gifts for the benefit of humanity. With a spirit of cooperation, they encourage each individual’s spiritual growth.
They support acting upon every moment of inspiration.
This is a threat to the first group.
After all, if every human connected with Spirit and followed every act of inspiration, how could those with a competitive spirit control them?
Is this all part of a connected conspiracy?
I can’t say that for sure.
I can only say that we see systems that discourage humanity from connecting to Spirit.
What’s the peaceful response?
I’ll use tomorrow’s writing to remind myself.