To sum it up: The Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus outbreak has been an utter failure and we can thank ultraconservative Evangelicals who voted him in and insist on still going to church.
That wraps up a New York Times column written by Katherine Stewart, the apparent author of a book fittingly titled, “The Power of Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism.”
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Stewart’s unlettered rebuke of President Trump and his administration takes us on a historical rollercoaster ride where she touches on the 19th century “proslavery theologian” Robert Lewis Dabney all the way up to pastors still holding sermons during the coronavirus pandemic.
Her wide-ranging column even offers exclusive insight to Trump and his “tendency to trust his guy over the experts on issues like vaccines and climate change.” She left out which meeting she attended where the president was briefed, but apparently she, too, goes with her gut.
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Perhaps the most devoted New York Times reader reached our favorite part of her column– which tried but failed to live up to its eye-catching title, “The Road to Coronavirus Hell Was Paved by Evangelicals.”
Stewart took Ben Carson (yes, the retired neurosurgeon) to task for a statement he made earlier this month about the risks of those attending a campaign rally. She instructed the Housing and Urban Development secretary that he was wrong to deliver the message and it was a shame his “medical knowledge” didn’t stop him from making the error.
Back Biology 101, Dr. Carson.
There has been much debate over holding religious services during the coronavirus outbreak, and the virus spread needs to be taken seriously. Many of these pastors insist that the health of their congregation is their top priority and have taken measures they say limits interaction.
Americans have been warned that there is no cure or vaccine for the virus and the best way to avoid coming down with it is by staying home and leaving only when necessary. State governments have issued orders to reinforce those guidelines.
One of the pastors that Stewart mentions in her column is Rev. Tony Spell from Louisiana. She pointed out that he ignored an order from the state and held a service for 1,000 congregants.
Spell told ToddStarnes.com last week that he would continue to hold these sermons, even if it meant he could be arrested.
“Go to Costco and Walmart,” he said. “They’re open for business. I’m here offering spiritual guidance for congregants who’ve just lost their jobs and need God more than ever.”
Stewart wrote in the op-ed that Christian nationalists, for decades, “have lined up with the anti-government, anti-tax agenda not just as a matter of politics but also as a matter of theology.”
One Twitter user posted several of Stewart’s previous columns, which claimed to examine religion and society. One was titled, “The Real Meaning of ‘Religious Liberty’: A License to Discriminate.”
“I’m starting to get the idea that maybe this Katherine Stewart author just hates faith and those who have it,” the Twitter user wrote. “Sometimes it really is that simple.”