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Consign Them All to Eternal Destruction

March 27, 2020

Boris Johnson has the coronavirus.

We are telling Michigan’s governor, Gretchen Whitmer, that exempting churches from restrictions on social gatherings is simply not gonna fly:

This pandemic is in the process of overwhelming every aspect of American life. The only hope we have of enduring this crisis is to slow the disease’s spread by staying the hell away from each other. This special exception makes absolutely no sense, because the virus simply doesn’t care if a gathering is a religious one. It will spread just as easily among churchgoers as it will among shoppers, audiences, and meetings of CFI Michigan.

Chrissy Stroop weighs in on this issue:

COVID-19 is no respecter of persons, and it seems clear that we do not have the time to wait for these particular church-state issues to play themselves out in the courts before the American healthcare system is overwhelmed by the new virus. Is it too much to hope that common sense will prevail in the meantime?


Anti-vaxxer Oklahoma governor Kevin Stitt was the “architect” of a big prayer event with Christian leaders that aired on all the area’s networks. That seems like something he’s not supposed to be doing, but what do I know, it’s the end of the world.

The guy who leads Bible study for Trump’s cabinet, Ralph Drollinger, blames the coronavirus on those who have “a proclivity toward lesbianism and homosexuality,” those with “depraved minds,” environmentalists, and atheists (elbow-bump!) for igniting “God’s wrath.” When confronted about this, he said, uh, I didn’t mean exactly, uh…

Trump’s Easter delusion can maybe be traced specifically to his own dad’s “positive thinking,” per Peter Laarman:

My thought here is that the only quasi-religious experience Trump may actually remember is the spectacular Easter efflorescence at Fifth Avenue’s Marble Collegiate Church back in his father’s era. Fred Trump hauled the family from Queens to Marble Church because that’s where the city’s successful people gathered on Sunday to flaunt their finery. Fred was naturally attracted to Marble Church’s longtime minister, Norman Vincent Peale, and to Peale’s patented mashup of Christianity and magical thinking (which Peale called “Positive Thinking”).

Apart from Positive Thinking there’s no other accounting—unless perhaps a mental deficiency—for Trump’s idea that Easter this year can be a great celebration of new life. People who do come to church will in fact be courting disease and death. …

… [But] acknowledging death and defeat is for “losers.”

You wanna see how seriously the Trump administration is taking the pandemic? This seriously: The EPA is relaxing a whole slew of environmental regulations to confr…um…wait:

“In general, the E.P.A. does not expect to seek penalties for violations of routine compliance monitoring, integrity testing, sampling, laboratory analysis, training, and reporting or certification obligations in situations where the E.P.A. agrees that Covid-19 was the cause of the noncompliance and the entity provides supporting documentation to the E.P.A. upon request,” the order states.

In the New York Times, Katherine Stewart shows us how the “road to hell” we’re on was paved by ultraconservative evangelicals:

Religious nationalism has brought to American politics the conviction that our political differences are a battle between absolute evil and absolute good. When you’re engaged in a struggle between the “party of life” and the “party of death,” as some religious nationalists now frame our political divisions, you don’t need to worry about crafting careful policy based on expert opinion and analysis. Only a heroic leader, free from the scruples of political correctness, can save the righteous from the damned. Fealty to the cause is everything; fidelity to the facts means nothing. Perhaps this is why many Christian nationalist leaders greeted the news of the coronavirus as an insult to their chosen leader. …

… if you examine the political roots of the life-threatening belief in the privatization of everything, you’ll see that Christian nationalism played a major role in creating and promoting the economic foundations of America’s incompetent response to the pandemic.

Amanda Marcotte explains how the Christian right will get lots of people killed who wouldn’t’a otherwise a’gotten killed:

Christian right leaders are … not about to let medical science supersede their authority, much less get in the way of their quest for power and cold, hard cash. Because of this, the Christian right has become a vector of bad advice, misinformation and dreadful business decisions that are directly threatening the health not just of their followers, but the public at large. …

… this renegade right-wing movement has been allowed to run rampant because their cruelty and hostility to science primarily affected marginalized people, especially low-income women and LGBTQ people. Now their attitudes are a threat to everyone, rich or poor, of every race or gender or faith (including no faith). But the sad truth is that as long as Christian right leaders keep on shilling for Republicans, the party will close its eyes and embrace them, no matter how many people have to die.

Tim Binga, CFI’s Library Overlord, invites us to take in the sentiments of 19th-century writer Lydia Maria Child. Hanging in his office, Tim has this handwritten thought:

If men applied half as much common sense to their theological investigations, as they do to every other subject, they could not worship a god, who, having filled this world with millions of his children, would finally consign them all to eternal destruction, except a few who would be induced to believe in very difficult and doubtful explanations of prophecies, handed down to us through the long lapse of ages.

Yeah, you’d think.

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