A New York Times writer published an article Friday blaming Christians for the spread of the novel coronavirus. The op-ed piece mocks and criticizes how many evangelical Christians are dealing with the pandemic.
NY Times writer Katherine Stewart originally titled her article “The Road to Coronavirus Hell Was Paved By Evangelicals.” Its title has since changed, but the message remains the same.
“Donald Trump rose to power with the determined assistance of a movement that denies science…” This movement also “bashes government and prioritized loyalty over professional expertise,” her article begins.
She also remarks that the “denial of science and critical thinking among religious ultraconservatives now haunts the American response to the coronavirus crisis.”
Stewart implies that Christians, rather than China, caused COVID-19, according to Washington Examiner writer Timothy P. Carney.
Throughout her article, Stewart calls out evangelical “leaders” for their negligent responses to the coronavirus outbreak:
Falwell Jr. “called the response to Coronavirus hype’ and ‘overreacting,'” she quoted. She also referenced his comment that coronavirus was the Democrats’ “next attempt to get Trump” after the impeachment didn’t work.
Both Howard-Browne and Maldonado encouraged their congregations to continue meeting in the church building for Sunday worship.
Unfortunately, pointing out the outliers within Evangelical Christianity is a misrepresentation of the whole. Handpicking a small percentage of Christian “leaders” that others within the church also disagree with comes across as very disingenuous.
During a recent interview, Rev. Johnnie Moore calls Stewart’s article “old fashion bigotry.” He says that evangelicals are actually playing “a really important role in addressing this pandemic.” He adds that Christians “are a part of the solution, not a part of the problem.”
Although a few megachurches have defied stay-at-home orders, a majority of services have moved online. Christians that have met in buildings for hundreds of years have sacrificed community for the sake of others’ health.
Christians are praying, delivering food and helping those in need during this crisis. Christianity is a driving force behind ridding the world of this awful disease.
In fact, online searches for the word “prayer” have spiked over the last 30 days. Americans, both Christian and Non-Christian, are calling out to God during this troubling time. Blaming Christians for “manipulating” the president into making certain decisions certainly doesn’t move our country forward.