It is not entirely clear if an alarming number of churches flagrantly defying social distancing orders are doing so for the money or for Trump’s reelection efforts, but they are jeopardizing the population as well as their fellow zealots. Regardless the reason for the “pack the churches” crusade, it is driven by Trump’s greed and lust for power – exactly like the evangelical malcontents endangering American lives.
Like all pathological narcissists, Donald Trump has likely never sacrificed anything for anyone throughout his pathetic entitled life. However, Trump has no problem demanding that his acolytes in the religious right movement sacrifice their health and well-being, including their lives, for his reelection campaign.
It is unfortunate, to say the least, that encouraging the faithful to “pack the churches” not only endangers the lives of Trump’s most dependable voting bloc, it will also hasten the spread of COVID-19 and indiscriminately kill sane Americans and the faithful alike – just to benefit Trump’s reelection effort.
Trump’s call to “pack the churches” on Easter was part of his three-and-a-half year campaign for reelection as well as his nonstop pandering to evangelical fanatics. There have been no small number of reports of Christian clergy openly violating orders meant to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. Those violations are, more often than not, a concerted effort to reelect Trump and drain more money from “the faithful.”
One preacher in Louisiana willingly violated a governor’s “stay at home” order, endangering his congregants’ lives, because he knows that “COVID–19 poses no risk to his congregation because the virus is politically motivated to hurt Trump.”
The preacher’s service drew 1,800 attendees – many of whom were transported using twenty-six buses to bring potential victims and transmitters to a single location from across five parishes. It is astounding that 1,800 people were willing to endanger their own lives for Trump, but it is beyond comprehension that those attendees felt comfortable returning to their communities to spread the virus. They are most likely convinced that even if they are infected, the preacher will keep his promise to “address that by laying hands on them and praying for them.”
A different, Florida evangelical, preacher said his congregants are “not pansies” who are afraid of COVID-19. Indeed, he remarked on Sunday past that “he was ‘excited’ and ‘emotional’ at the prospect that the pandemic could be ‘the end of days.’”
Another member of Trump’s death cult and reelection effort, the “shamelessly greedy” president of Liberty University, wasn’t satisfied spending weeks following Trump’s lead in downplaying the coronavirus threat. Liberty University’s president, Jerry Falwell Jr., embraced Trump’s propaganda campaign and accused the media of wildly exaggerating the devastation wrought by COVID-19 to “destroy the American economy and damage Donald Trump.”
Despite nearly every university and college in the country shuttering their campuses, Falwell is happy to welcome back 5,000-plus students from Spring Break festivities – no doubt to keep the dollars flowing. Falwell, like his “anointed one” Trump, has no regard for either the risk to 5,000 students enrolled or the thousands of people they interact with in the surrounding area.
Earlier this month Falwell went on an “unhinged rant“ forTrump’s campaign to declare:
“The entire world has deliberately overreacted to the coronavirus pandemic solely to hurt
President Donald Trump. Impeachment didn’t work, and the Mueller report didn’t work, and Article 25 (sic) didn’t work, and so now this is their next attempt to get Trump.”
In Kentucky, two of the state’s first eight cases attended church together in spite of Governor Andy Beshear’s order to close all gatherings leading one preacher to attempt to cover his disregard for rules protecting public health. The preacher said his church took precautions to protect congregants instead of following an edict from the governor that led to an infected “visitor” interacting with about 300 other attendees. The preacher complained that his church is paying “a pretty heavy price” for defying Governor Beshear’s order, but it’s not his fault. He said:
“Right or wrong, people are going to determine and decide what they want to believe. I don’t know if I could say anything that could make any difference. So I won’t even try at this time.”
Like all of his cohort, the preacher could have made a difference and prevented the spread of the virus if he had followed the law, like his Christian bible commands; and he would not have had to utter one word.
Look, it appears that the preponderance of churches are looking out for their congregations’ health and welfare, but they still want their money. That aspect of the COVID-19’s state level restrictions was not lost on Mike (preacher) Pence or dirty Don Trump.
During a CoronaVirus Task Force update, Pence said:
“One thing the president and I promised was to remind people that on the weekends that you’re not in the pews, it’s still a good — it’s still a good idea … to go ahead and make that donation. All the ministries are continuing to play a vital role in our communities and we encourage your continued [financial] support.”
Even if ministries were actually playing a “vital role” in their communities, which they are not, they are already sucking up billions of taxpayers’ money yearly, and yet Pence used a government-funded task force event to officially ask for more. There can be little doubt that Pence and Trump “promised” the White House’s theocratic overlords that they would not forget who aided Trump’s ascendancy to a place he does not belong.
It would be a national atrocity if even one member of the evangelical clergy deliberately jeopardized American lives to keep donations rolling in, but this is a trend that’s gaining steam. That the evangelical clergy are risking their adherents’ lives for the sake of Trump’s reelection campaign demonstrates their blatant disregard for their own followers. Sadly, those followers are not isolated from the general public and that makes their greedy preachers as guilty as Trump in spreading the coronavirus across America.
There are myriad reasons to detest the growing power of the evangelical right, but prior to the COVID-19 pandemic one would be hard pressed to assign blood guilt – that is not the case any longer.
Trump is responsible for allowing the coronavirus to spread throughout the population and he does have Americans’ blood on his tiny hands. However, he is not alone and it is no surprise that the so-called pro-life evangelicals are actively spreading a deadly virus to aid in Trump’s reelection effort making them as guilty as Trump. And like Trump, they must be severely punished.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.