A Los Angeles Times story about evangelicals worshiping during lockdown elicits a response. An Evangelical Christian and an atheist write a letter to the editor that is quite revealing. Those letters are preserved in this post.
“Church attendance is as vital to a disciple as a transfusion of rich, healthy blood to a sick man.”
Two different points of view emerged in letters to the editor of the Los Angeles Times this morning. On August 1, 2020 the Times did a story about how some churches are responding to the COVID-19 lockdown in California. You can read that story in, “Recommended Read in the Los Angeles Times: In California’s ‘Bible Belt,’ churches find ways around state’s coronavirus lockdown orders.” In a response an atheist and Evangelical Christian wrote the Times. The evangelical was concerned that the newspaper was painting with a broad brush and stated that their church was observing social distancing, and following the rules. The atheist meanwhile takes a different view. Let evangelicals meet in person and contract the coronavirus. Some will live and some will die. As long as they lock themselves up in their church some of the issues from evangelicalism will solve themselves. You can read both letters below.
To the editor: Please don’t paint all evangelical Christians with a broad brush. I realize that incendiary statements like “I don’t believe in COVID, and God will never allow me to contract it” sell papers and make for “fun” reading, but not all believers are so one-dimensional. (“In California’s ‘Bible Belt,’ churches find ways around state’s coronavirus lockdown orders,” Aug. 1)
I also believe that “I am covered by the blood,” but I don’t believe that gives me the right or mandate to ignore COVID-19.
I am social distancing, wearing a mask and have not yet been back to our church. And, our church is having services outside on the lawn, with a scaled-down worship team, no singing, mask wearing, distancing of six feet and screening as the people arrive. I am part of the worship team and miss singing like crazy.
I have tested negative because of my precautions, but I don’t relish having to struggle for breath or putting my beloved fellow church members at risk. My God is bigger than in-person worship.
Ritajean Strauss, San Diego
To the editor: Possibly the most important yet crumbling foundation of our Constitution is the separation of church and state.
Please, do come to worship in your church, maskless, with all the fervor and fellowship you require. Then stay there, to shield the innocents of the state from the virus you’ve acquired. Some of you will survive the illness, some will not.
Jesus demands that you love your neighbor, and spreading the coronavirus among them will kill.
Secular America: Speak up.
Greg Hilfman, Topanga