Thanks for this scrutiny. I stop to see the historic conflict taking place: Evangelical theology is focused on the idea that “rules” in the Bible are health codes, imagining God as a hedge against illness so long as believers follow a series of routines. Cleanliness is next to godliness, as the the old saying went.

The Christian practice of circumcising males was seen as ‘cleaner’ and ‘healthier’. And Christians ate pork, but saw the biblical ban to have concerned health risks in preparing it. God wants you healthy! (In fact, the ban on eating pork was likely because pig litters had no firstborn.)

Bans on premarital sex and adultery were interpreted to be bans on STDs. Morality keeps you healthy!

Sickness then becomes a manifestation of ‘evil’, unless the Christian is being cursed or afflicted on the model of Job, or perhaps thrown into the terrors of Revelation. The world is being judged!

At no time is medical research or even practical adjustments to be valued.

It’s instructive, then, to watch Evangelicals be informed that group meetings are hubs of contagion, and for them to not be able to comprehend. They persist in meeting, as you note, out of a belief that the covenant community is divinely protected.

Christianity is turned, in this model, into a public health menace.

religion. sex. facts.

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