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Fri Dec 31, 2021, 11:42 AM

Most evangelical objections to vaccines have nothing to do with Christianity

As the United States ends the year with the highest levels in new infections of the covid pandemic, the historical question naturally arises: Were a hefty portion of Americans entirely out of their senses?

Some of this rapid spread has come from breakthrough infections, caused by the insidiously transmissible omicron variant. But after a ghastly year of rumor, alarm and needless death, nothing is going to erase the harsh verdict against Americans in 2021: They were granted a miracle drug, and tens of millions refused to take it (or take enough of it).

In the grab bag of reasons for vaccine resistance, the religious exemption claimed by evangelicals is perhaps the most perplexing. The default ethical stance of Christianity is the Golden Rule: “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” This principle was developed in a variety of other religious and moral traditions. (See the Babylonian Talmud: “What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor. That is the whole Torah.”) In the New Testament, the Golden Rule is the moral culmination of the Sermon on the Mount. And it is clear from the text that Jesus is not encouraging a calculating ethic of reciprocity. His goal is to inspire a kind of aggressive, preemptive generosity. “If anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.”

The proper application of this principle can be difficult, particularly when it comes to Christian participation in a just war. But the case of vaccination is not really a hard one. Here the tunic is the prick of a needle and a minuscule risk of a bad reaction. The result is a significant benefit for the vaccinated and the community they live in.

https://wapo.st/3FOqRb1

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Response to Zorro (Original post)

Fri Dec 31, 2021, 11:44 AM

1. They see it as the joe biden approved democrat shot

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Response to Zorro (Original post)

Fri Dec 31, 2021, 11:49 AM

2. They are fucked up assholes

The main resistance of evangelicals to public health measures does not concern abortion. Having embraced religious liberty as a defining cause, they are now deploying the language of that cause in opposition to jab and mask mandates. Arguments crafted to defend institutional religious liberty have been adapted to oppose public coercion on covid. But they do not fit.

More than that, the sanctification of anti-government populism is displacing or dethroning one of the most basic Christian distinctions. Most evangelical posturing on covid mandates is really syncretism, a merging of unrelated beliefs — in this case, the substitution of libertarianism for Christian ethics. In this distorted form of faith, evangelical Christians are generally known as people who loudly defend their own rights. They show not radical generosity but discreditable selfishness. There is no version of the Golden Rule that would recommend Christian resistance to basic public health measures during a pandemic. This is heresy compounded by lunacy.

It is worth recalling, as a matter of law, that someone does not need a good or theologically coherent religious-liberty claim to make a religious-liberty claim in court (absent fraud or opportunism). To deny such a claim, government needs a compelling interest advanced in the least restrictive manner. But it is hard to imagine a clearer, more fundamental example of a compelling state interest than preventing the spread of a virus that has already taken the lives of more than 800,000 Americans.

And when Christians are asserting a right to resist basic public health measures, what is the actual content of their religious-liberty claim? The right to risk the lives of their neighbors in order to assert their autonomy? The right to endanger the community in the performative demonstration of their personal rights?

This is a vivid display of the cultural and ideological trends of a warped and wasted year. It just has nothing to do with real Christianity.

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Response to dalton99a (Reply #2)

Fri Dec 31, 2021, 12:18 PM

5. My next door neighbor is an expert on the bible and has studied both Jewish and Islamic texts ....

... he has a Doctorate in Divinity from U.C. Berkeley and is Lutheran Pastor who works with college kids @
Ohio State and when I have asked him is there anything in those writings that tells people not to take the
vaccine he always tells me no. He says the reason Christian Evangelicals refuse to get the vaccine is because
a religious leader in their church has lied to them but he thinks the real reason they don't get vaccinated is
just to be a pain in the ass "to the libs."

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Response to Botany (Reply #5)

Fri Dec 31, 2021, 01:08 PM

7. +1. It is politically motivated

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Response to Chin music (Reply #9)

Fri Dec 31, 2021, 03:38 PM

10. As I remember Christ* and other religious deities were all big on helping the sick and stuff ...

.... like that. The right wing Christian Evangelical/Taliban working to block the use of vaccines and masks
are doing so .... knowing or unknowingly .... in order to keep the disease and virus spreading in order to
cause chaos and so they can blame Joe Biden for his failure in stopping the pandemic.

* Jesus answered them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do.

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Response to Zorro (Original post)

Fri Dec 31, 2021, 12:05 PM

3. It's never really been about religion or personal rights.

They can say that as much as they want, but it's really all about politics. They don't want to get the shot because the Democrats want them to. And now some of them are turning against Trump because he's started encouraging them to get vaccinated. To them, he's saying that all of their suffering and death was needless, and they can't accept that. So they continue to risk serious illness and death so they can own the libs. And they're willing to bring down their families and friends with them.

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Response to Zorro (Original post)

Fri Dec 31, 2021, 12:10 PM

4. Most evangelicals have nothing to do with Christianity

It is about politics and tribalism.

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Response to texasfiddler (Reply #4)

Sun Jan 2, 2022, 02:47 AM

15. damn straight

bunch of fucking phonies

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Response to Zorro (Original post)

Fri Dec 31, 2021, 12:18 PM

6. I have always preferred the Talmud version. It seems clear and reasonable

Do unto others is this some kind of command.Don’t fuck over your neighbor in a way that you wouldn’t want to be fucked over seems about as reasonable as you can get. And also quite necessary to civilization

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Response to Zorro (Original post)

Fri Dec 31, 2021, 01:11 PM

8. Give it right back to them...they are lepers...

the disfigured lepers of the xtian bibles, to be shunned and stoned, cast from society and relegated to the role of beggars.

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Response to Zorro (Original post)

Fri Dec 31, 2021, 07:31 PM

11. Evangelical Christianity is a poor substitute for a humane or egalitarian moral code.

The level of Toxic Christianity in the USA is major and a threat to many individuals and to the nation itself.

Toxic Christianity is a root cause of the dysfunction in the USA.

This problem needs to be seriously addressed. Start with removing tax benefits and various public subsidies (like to private and charter schools).

There I said it.

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Response to PufPuf23 (Reply #11)

Fri Dec 31, 2021, 07:36 PM

12. Amen!

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Response to Zorro (Original post)

Sat Jan 1, 2022, 02:25 PM

13. There is no Biblical, theological or moral argument for not getting vaccinated...

This is an excellent treatment of the subject from an Evangelical writer who uses Biblical text to support the contention that this pandemic should have been the finest hour for Christians. Evangelicals claim that they believe the Bible is completely authoritative in all matters of faith practice, is spiritually infallible and is without error. If they believe that, then they should be rushing to the head of the vaccination line, inviting clinics into their church facilities and promoting vaccination because that is exactly what the Bible teaches.

https://signalpress.blogspot.com/2021/08/faithful-christians-wear-masks-and-get.html

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