Is Christianity dangerous?
As churches frame COVID-19 victims as ‘sinners, you wonder.
For a Christian facing public health issues, the vocabulary tends to be taken from 17th century translations of Bible stories. Contagions are ‘pestilence’. Evil spirits are probably at work. The end of the world, ‘apocalypse’, might be at hand. As David Jeremiah, the Trump advisor, suggests, this is “the most apocalyptic thing that has ever happened to us.”
This might be divine punishment. Mike Lindell of MyPillow got a second to speak to America. No words of comfort to the sick, etc. He used it to encourage religious revival. “A nation had turned its back on God. And I encourage you: Use this time at home to get home, to get back in the Word, read our Bibles, and spend time with our families.”
Let me try to unpack the concepts here. Reading the Bible, with Republican politics and nuclear families, creates safety, wealth and divine favor. During the Obama years, God was exiled, but the 2016 election was a special act of grace. Now we must prove worthy. If we don’t, we die.
Thanks Mike, but I’ll get my own face mask.
For Evangelicals, the Coronavirus is not a health crisis exactly, though sometimes given the terminology of a sick body. America has been on “spiritual life support,” says Ekemini Uwan, the Evangelical commentator.
It’s a spiritual crisis. A kind of ‘spiritual virus’ is hitting a body already weakened by immorality, is the idea. It’s not caused by Christians, of course, but by non-Christians.
The ‘sinners’ around them have done this. Their poor morality, their families, their patterns of touching and affection, have led to systemic breakdown and divine wrath. They are the ‘virus’.
One can stand apart from Evangelicals, listening to them talk, realizing one is being pathologized as a disease—that the Creator is ‘curing’.
In America, many churches initially and still are defying civic authorities and continuing to hold services, with the heavy suggestion they cannot be made ill, for they are ‘godly’. If they do become ill, the thought processes go, they have healing rituals for each other. The ‘laying on of hands’ procedure would only be done on fellow Christians…