Post-Covid, Do Not Let US Churches Gaslight Us About Their Role in Helping it Spread

Covid began in China, and probably would’ve made its way to the US no matter what. But US metrics are dismal compared to nations where preventative measures were taken seriously. Even a cursory scan of social media furnishes plentiful examples showing that the phenomenon of anti-maskers is almost entirely a Christian one.

Pastors urging congregations not to wear the mask because it’s a sign of fear (and thus insufficient faith in the protective powers of Jesus), Social media posts claiming masks and social distancing are a government plot to ban prayer, or that the vaccine will have the mark of the beast inside in the form of a microchip, etc. etc.

When the dust has settled and Covid has finished taking its pound of flesh from this country, I expect those churches, in particular ones which suffered outbreaks in their congregations as a direct consequence of preaching against preventative measures, will either be united in silence hoping we forget their role in all this or will actively try to gaslight their congregations, spinning this as somehow the fault of gays, democrats, women in the church, apostates, etc. rather than something they brought on themselves, and upon everybody around them by extension.

There is of course also the evangelical support for Trump which got him elected in 2016, and his public, emphatic dismissal of preventative measures, which reinforced belief among American Christians that masks and social distancing were some sort of sinister government ploy, and that the vaccine is in some way spiritually or physically dangerous.

Keeping screenshots, videos, and other documentation of the deep rooted Christian-ness of the anti-masker, anti-vaxx phenomenon during the time of Covid will be essential in thwarting that narrative. History should show that it was American Christian churches more than any other influence which thwarted the same preventative measures that worked far better in more secular countries where locally dominant religions didn’t interfere the way US Christians have.

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