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USA: What role is religion playing in the spread of COVID-19?

Tuesday 7 April 2020, by siawi3


A Third of All COVID-19 Cases in one CA County Can Be Traced Back to Churches

By Hemant Mehta

April 3, 2020

What role is religion playing in the spread of COVID-19?

According to officials in Sacramento County, California, roughly a third of all coronavirus cases are tied to a religious organization — a church holding services even when social distancing guidelines are in effect.

Speaking Wednesday morning, Beilenson said more than 100 of the county’s 314 cases of coronavirus infections are connected to church groups.

That includes 24 infections spread among one church whose congregants have continued to hold in-person fellowship meetings during the growing pandemic. Beilenson declined to name the church.

Oh, name the church. Please name it. People need to know which place to avoid.

It’s not just California. France has seen the same problem. Their epidemic actually stemmed from one evangelical group in particular, according to their health minister Olivier Véran:

“The tipping point was the evangelical gathering in Mulhouse,” Véran told France’s Journal du Dimanche newspaper. “The epidemic spread across the country from the gathering.”

When the five-day prayer meeting at the evangelical church — known as Christian Open Door — began Feb. 17, France only had 12 confirmed cases of covid-19, with none of those in Alsace, the region where Mulhouse is located.

A Strasbourg-based nurse who was in the audience was identified as the source of an outbreak among fellow nurses in local hospitals, infecting approximately 250 people, according to [head of the Regional Health Agency Christophe] Lannelongue.

While responsible people (including religious ones) take great care, at great personal inconvenience, to avoid or keep our distance from each other, far too many churchgoers wrongly believe that the rules don’t apply to them — or that their faith grants them automatic immunity from the virus. Their negligence is hurting all of us.

It’s not just one megalomaniacal megachurch pastor. You don’t get numbers like these without hundreds of pastors refusing to listen to experts. If government mandates aren’t convincing these churches to close, then other Christians need to be more forceful in their rhetoric. If you attend or know someone who goes to these churches, cut them off. Walk away. Publicly denounce what they’re doing. Keep doing it.

How many people have to suffer or die until these pastors realize they’re leading death cults?



Louisiana Pastor Opens Church to 27 Busloads of People to Fight “the Antichrist”
By Hemant Mehta
April 5, 2020

Louisiana Pastor Tony Spell, who refuses to close his Life Tabernacle Church and is currently represented by attorney and alleged child molester Roy Moore, is holding multiple services today, putting countless people in harm’s way.

He’s already been charged with six misdemeanors, but none of that is getting in the way of cashing in on Jesus and his own supposed martyrdom during a pandemic.

Spell, 42, who plans to hold three services at his 1,000-member Life Tabernacle megachurch in a Baton Rouge suburb on Palm Sunday, has defied state orders against assembling in large groups…

“The church is the last force resisting the Antichrist, let us assemble regardless of what anyone says,” he said.

Spell appeared on CNN this morning and said he planned to bring in 27 busloads of people for today’s services.

He says in that interview that he “believes the science” — uh-huh — but that he has “a command from God, and there are no governing bodies that can tell us we cannot worship and gather freely.” He sees this as a religious freedom issue, not a my-pastor-has-created-a-death-trap issue.

More people will suffer because they foolishly chose to accept Spell’s version of Christianity. And unfortunately, their theological virus will make them more likely to catch the coronavirus, which will then spread throughout their families, their communities, and beyond.

We are all worse off because of their religious delusions.



By One Conservative Estimate, 32,000 U.S. Churches Are Still Open For Business

By Terry Firma

April 3, 2020

One more observation regarding the Rod Dreher piece I wrote about earlier. This passage jumped out at me:

Almost nine out of 10 churches have closed. Those that have not are a small minority. A significant minority, it is true, but a small minority. By all means criticize them, as I have done, but do not scapegoat all Christians, or even all conservative Christians.

We should be charitable, disregard the word almost, and go with a round nine out of 10 U.S. churches having been shuttered.

How many churches does that leave?

If the Christian Post is right, there are about 300,000 Protestant churches in the U.S., while Catholic ones number roughly 20,000.

Ten percent of 320,000 is 32,000. That’s right: If Dreher’s pro-Christian, don’t-blame-all-of us apologia is correct, thirty-two thousand churches are still open, with congregants prepared to become vectors of disease for the greater glory of God.

Dreher is technically correct that that’s a “small minority” — similar to telling a man whose hands are ablaze that technically, only a small part of him is on fire, and to focus on the bits that are not.