Christians Demand the Right to Infect

Posted on December 9, 2020


A few years ago, I was talking with a friend about the threat from religious fundamentalism that we’re facing in the USA. Having been lured into evangelical Christianity at a vulnerable time in my youth, I was a part of the efforts in the 1980s to bring theocracy to America by filling every elected office, military leadership position, and police department with Christian soldiers, who would always prioritize their faith over civil law. I shared my experiences with her and pointed out some of evidence around us that evangelicals had made great strides toward theocracy in our nation. I was worried.

My friend, like most people, reacted as if I was spouting a fringe conspiracy theory. Having grown up Catholic, she had no interest in religion and stopped attending church in high school. Christians she knows understand and respect Church-State separation, and they LIKE it. She didn’t get it. What’s the big deal?

She, like so many, has mostly pleasant memories of religious experiences, especially Christmas Eve services, and cannot imagine that other type of Christianity. She, like many Americans, thinks of Christianity as harmless.

I hope that she can see the truth now. The American Dark Age has arrived. Nationally, the Trump administration has prioritized Christian nominees for judges across the country and every other position of power that exists. The confirmation of Amy Coney-Barrett to SCOTUS is icing on the Jesus birthday cake, and we’ll be eating that shit for decades to come.

Christianity is not harmless. Its adherents include white supremacists, misogynists, pedophiles, embezzlers, mass murderers, and terrorists, as well as countless garden variety charlatans and con artists.

Now, during a global pandemic, the danger that Christianity poses for society is on full display as Christians demand the right to infect others with a deadly disease, by continuing with indoor, in-person, unmasked services, dinners, conferences, and other events. Some are even encouraging congregants to purposely contract the disease!

Now, religious schools in MI are calling for the right to infect others with a deadly disease by keeping their schools open.

You know what’s MOST RIDICULOUS about these Christian arguments? They claim that their god is everywhere, with them, all the time, and they have a personal relationship with him. Their Bible insures, according to evangelical Christian dogma, that every believer is fully equipped with all they need to practice their faith in such a way that pleases their god and will result in an eternal afterlife in Christian heaven.

At the core of evangelical Christianity is the doctrine that believers do not need clergy–or anyone else–to be their advocate with god, unlike Catholics. The very core belief of evangelical Christianity is that every believer’s relationship with their god is personal and immediate, no intervention by clerics required! SO WHY DO THEY NEED TO MEET FACE TO FACE?

Another ridiculous irony of their argument is that evangelical Christianity PIONEERED REMOTE SERVICES AND INSTRUCTION. For decades, evangelical preachers have enjoyed becoming rich and famous through their media empires that include paper publications, video, radio, and internet broadcasts. Christian parents have home-schooled their children for decades with materials from remote religious publishers.

WHAT?!? After decades of hugely successful remote services and classes, headed by an omniscient deity, they must gather now, when gathering for worship or school can not only kill group members, but those outside the religion–and even if nobody dies, their behavior can cause the health care system to be overwhelmed, resulting in denial of other urgent medical services to non-COVID patients–and even for those who “recover,” a lifetime of chronic, potentially deadly complications, such as male impotence, stroke, heart attack, mental illness, and overall reduced quality of life?? Why is their god demanding in-person gatherings now, after so many years of successful remote services and schools?

I hope that people are beginning to see that Christianity has many branches, and some of them are not only dangerous, but deadly. While we must fight theocratic policies and practices that erase church-state separation and restore secular government, that’s a long-term project. In the short term, we need to speak out to save lives.

Are you or someone you know still attending indoor, unmasked gatherings at churches or religious schools with people who do not share your home?

PLEASE STOP. Please ask your loved ones to stop. In-person church services are a danger to us all, not just believers.

The god of Christianity isn’t even saving high-profile preachers. He certainly isn’t going to help the rest of us, in spite of all his followers’ thoughts and prayers.

PUBLIC health means ALL the members of the community. Religious believers need to stop endangering the community by ignoring public health protocols.

Christians can follow the lead of Dr. Francis Collins, a regular churchgoer and director of the National Institutes of Health, who says “Churches gathering in person is a source of considerable concern and has certainly been an instance where super spreading has happened and could happen again.” He discussed measures that church leaders can take to protect their congregations in a Zoom conversation on Thursday with Russell Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Talk to your evangelical Christian family and friends. URGE them to #MaskUp, #StayHomeStaySafeSaveLives. Remind them that their personal relationship with their omniscient, omnipotent god does not require clergy or congregation; all that’s required is faith, even that as small as a mustard seed. I pray they listen.

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lisa eddy is an exvangelical, writer-for-hire, researcher, educator-for-hire, youth advocate,  musician, and gardener.

On Twitter: @lisa_eddy

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