Twin Devils (part 1) – In the Hopeful Season of Advent

The question posed (for now) is hypothetical, but poignant, nonetheless.  I imagine my teenaged grandchild asking me this question, “Grandpa, you’re a scientist and a priest, what did you do to prevent all those Christians who wanted the world to end soon from carrying out their plans?”   Some people advise that we tolerate other Christians’ beliefs, but what should we do when those beliefs cause real harm to generations of people?  Beliefs like vaccinations cause autism or because some Christians want to be part of God’s chosen elect who get taken up in a cloud after the end of the earth, they desire the destruction of governments and the planet for their own self-interests.  Do we tolerate murderers coming at us with a weapon?  Do we tolerate people who want to see the planet burn up?
We have always had fringe elements whose beliefs seemed so crazy and ridiculous that we just smiled and ignored them.  But today, such fringe beliefs are going mainstream.  Jews in 1932 Germany would not have dreamed in their worst nightmares what was coming in six short years.  I no longer believe that anyone should tolerate those whose views cause harm to other people.  Jesus opposed the temple authorities as much as the Romans because they oppressed and caused harm to ordinary people.  Should we not follow his example?   Oppression happens because one group has power and they can retain and increase that power through control, manipulation and violent tactics.  The spreading of false beliefs is one way to oppress people because it gives false hope, it can lead people to give away money they will need personally, and it will lead them to practices that can physically harm others.  Oppression does not always involve physical violence.   The idea that we are all completely independent, autonomous beings is 100% wrong.  A farmer filling a pesticide tank who does not have government-regulated anti-siphon valves on his barn can kill people connected to the same water supply (this has happened many times).  Driving a vehicle with mal-functioning emission control will cause asthma and respiratory diseases to increase for other people.  Feeding your cattle too much antibiotics and too soon before slaughter will give you (the rancher) more money for your cattle, but it will case people to get antibiotic resistant diseases.  On and on goes the web of dependency.  Actions that benefit one person may hurt or kill another.  We are not independent.   This leaves us with two questions: 1. What should I do to prevent those who want to accelerate government and planetary demise from doing so? And 2. What should WE do?    The last thing I ever want to tell my grandchildren is that I knew about this and I chose to do nothing.