Ok, I'm just going to come right out and say it: I believe that the moon landings of 1969 were for real. And yet 21% of 24–35 year olds are convinced that the whole thing was staged for the camera. "It's obvious", they say. "There are no stars in the pictures. There's no blast crater under the lunar module. The shadows are all wrong."
As Richard Godwin pointed out in an article for the Guardian newspaper, "It took 400,000 Nasa employees and contractors to put Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the moon in 1969 – but only one man to spread the idea that it was all a hoax."
My personal take on that particular conspiracy theory is a very simple one: as an ex-actor, I know how many people it takes to make a film (actually, you don't even need to be an actor – just read the list of credits at the end of any major film or TV programme). If the whole thing was manufactured in a film studio, are we really saying that not one of those hundreds of people would have come forward in the last 50 years and said, "Actually, you're right. We faked the whole thing"?
In a similar way, I'm sceptical about claims that the current Covid-19 crisis is one huge conspiracy. Since governments of all stripes around the world appear incapable of reaching agreement about anything, it's quite a stretch to believe that they have all agreed to treat a "trivial" disease as a major threat.
In a recent podcast, Jay Pathak reminded us of the biblical injunction from Isaiah 8.12: "Do not call conspiracy everything this people calls a conspiracy; do not fear what they fear, and do not dread it."
As Christians, we are called to trust God and to love our neighbour as ourself. For me that means taking appropriate steps to safeguard ourselves and others, even as we share the good news that Jesus has conquered death and there is no longer anything to be afraid of in this life.