With a president whose strategy for dominating the world is dominating the news, fake and otherwise, during a pandemic or on any other day, it’s not surprising he’d call for packed churches on Easter Sunday. Why Easter Sunday, of all days? Oh, thanks for the reminder, Don! Nobody would ever accuse you of being subtle, you rascal!
It’s easy to forget, when thinking of those 63,000,000 votes he allegedly got in 2016, that many millions were cast by America’s most organized, religiously fervent Protestants, the Evangelicals. The pastors of these mega-churches were mostly all in on MAGA. As long as Trump meant a government that comports with Christ’s message that no fetus ever be executed by the state and things of that nature, they urged their credulous followers to go to the polls and make it happen.
In the noisier Trump world of white racists and corrupt super-greedy super-wealthy folks, it is easy enough to overlook the millions of true believers who came out to vote for the flawed vessel of Christ’s will, Donald Trump, in 2016. Without the Evangelical voting block, no President Trump.
As you wait out the plague hoax, and get ready to rush out to pack the churches, take a moment to read this excellent opinion piece The Religious Right’s Hostility to Science Is Crippling Our Coronavirus Response.
It seems unfair, perhaps, to blame decent men and women of unshakeable faith for the acts of many of their leaders. The Intercept put together a collage of Evangelical pastors telling their flocks that faith would protect them from this overblown new illness. One of these pastors, naturally, promised that “God is going to purge a lot of sin” with this novel disease.
I have a personal story about Evangelicals. By Evangelicals I refer specifically to faithful believers in whatever God-revealed truth their charismatic preacher tells them is true, obedience to an authority-based belief system being their highest duty to God and man.
My parents, toward the end of their lives, befriended a young Evangelical couple whose daughter my mother was trying to teach to read. My mother reported that the girl was very sweet, and that she really enjoyed working with her, but that the child seemed unable to grasp the first thing about letters, sounds, the mysterious elements of reading.
My parents soon became friends with the family, the young parents, having become fervent Evangelicals, were estranged from their own families. They really took to these old Jews. The theological and political arguments (the couple and everyone in their church had voted for Born-Again Dubya and the aptly named Dick Cheney), though bitter, were always tinged with love.
When my father was dying they came to the hospital, with a group of their co-religionists. They loved him and wanted to make sure he got into heaven, so they held a prayer vigil around his bed and asked him to accept Christ. My father was beyond giving a shit about anything at that point (this was a day before he died) and probably nodded at some point to get them to leave him alone. They blessed him and left. He died. None of these religious lovers of Christ ever called his widow, ever.
Had I been there when these fanatics held hands and asked Jesus to save this old Jew from hell, I’d have done my Christ with the money changers imitation. You want to see a righteous Jew, you misguided fucking soul-saving Evangelicals? Leave the poor bastard alone, particularly if you intend to abandon his widow in her time of grief.
But I digress. Evangelicals look forward to the End Times, the Rapture, the blessed day when the earth with all its wickedness will be destroyed, as it is foretold, and the righteous will be spared, and taken up directly to Jesus’s ever-merciful bosom, while the wicked will be cast into eternal hell-fire. My father, I’m glad to say, will presumably be among the blessed saved, his head on his saviors breast. Although a Jew, these good Christians saved him from hell. Me and most of my friends and loved ones? Big party in the hot place, yo. Do you think science will save you from religious fanatics and the beliefs that make them impervious to heresy?
After all, what is “science,” my friends, but a set of organized alternate alternate facts, vainglorious “theories” “proven” by unenlightened atheists who heed not the voice of the Lamb, nor do they tremble before the might of the Holy One, blessed be He. Can I get an amen, you ignorant fucking dumbasses? Hallelujah!
A cynical friend thinks it’s a great idea to pack the mega-churches on Easter Sunday during plague time. Let them put their powerful beliefs to the test that religious zealots have always selflessly submitted themselves to. Only, make them stay in the churches for two weeks afterwards, that their souls may be purified. And as should be done with all the so-called Libertarians who revere individual liberty above all else, and recognize no role for organized people governing themselves to protect everyone, deny them entry to those despised, coercive halls of science where the arrogant pretend to know more than the righteous about the best way to treat a deadly, highly infectious disease created by the All Mighty.