Evangelicals take it to heart when James reminds them, “What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes,” or when Paul writes, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us,” or when Jesus asks, rhetorically, “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”

The coronavirus? Christian fundamentalism is often fatalistic. As far as many evangelicals are concerned, life passes quickly, suffering is temporary and worrying solves nothing. That’s not a view that comports well with long stretches of earthly time spent waiting out business closures or stay-at-home orders. It should be no surprise that a person’s deepest beliefs about the world influence how they measure the risks they’re willing to take.

Former six-term Ohio Rep. Bob McEwen (R) is a longtime evangelical leader who serves as an advisory member of James Dobson’s Family Talk board of directors. McEwen told me this week that evangelicals aren’t rattled by covid-19, either the disease or the government’s response to the pandemic, because the Bible instructs them not to let earthly fears overwhelm them. “They steal your life, your liberty and your freedom by using fear,” said McEwen. “Man, on his own without God, will always be fearful,” he added. “But the Bible says, ‘Fear not.’”



オハイオ州選出で、連邦下院議員を6期務めた、共和党のBob McEwenは、James Dobson’s Family Talkの理事会顧問を務める長年の福音主義キリスト教の指導者である。今週McEwenは私に、福音主義キリスト教徒はCOVID-19も、パンデミックへの政府の対応も気にしていないと語った。聖書は彼らに地上の恐怖に打ちのめされることはないと語っているからだ。「彼らは恐怖を使って、人生と権利と自由を奪おうとする。神なく一人でいれば、人は常に恐怖を感じるだろう。しかし、聖書は『恐れるな』と言っている。」

[ Gary Abernathy(Contributing columnist): "Opinions - What’s really behind Republicans wanting a swift reopening? Evangelicals" (2020/05/20) (archive.is ]

もっと振り切った主張をする、福音主義キリスト教の指導者もいる。そもそもコロナウィルスなど存在しないといった陰謀論を掲げるRodney Howard-Browneもその一人だ。
Last Sunday in Tampa, Florida, the Pentecostal pastor and conspiracy theorist Rodney Howard-Browne conducted two services for full houses at his River church. The closely packed audience spent hours together taking in hymns and Howard-Browne’s extended sermon, even as the state implemented quarantine for New Yorkers, and projections estimated that Florida’s coronavirus death toll would rise into the thousands.

But Howard-Browne is just one of the most prominent religious leaders on the Christian right who are endangering their flocks and the rest of America by claiming the virus is a hoax, or that it can only be defeated by supernatural means, rather than solid healthcare policy.

A sometime guest on Infowars and at the White House; a multi-level marketing kingpin who has alleged that Hollywood celebrities sacrifice children and that New Zealand’s Christchurch mosque attack was a so-called false flag event; Howard-Browne described Covid-19 as a “phantom plague” on 15 March. In the same sermon, he claimed the public health response to the virus was part of a plot involving the Rockefeller Foundation and World Health Organization, whose goals were forced vaccinations and mass murder.

先週の日曜日(2020/3/29)、フロリダ州タンパで、ペンテコステ派の牧師であり陰謀論者のRodney Howard-Browneは、彼の所有するRiver churchで満員の礼拝を2回行った。ニューヨーク州が自己隔離を求めていて、フロリダではコロナウィルスで数千名の死亡が予測されていたが、密集した聴衆は賛美歌とHoward-Browneの説教に数時間を費やした。



[ Jason Wilson: "The rightwing Christian preachers in deep denial over Covid-19's danger" (2020/04/04) on The Guardian ]

ウィルスは実在するが、超自然的助けが入って、Donald Trumpは撃退できると言う、福音主義キリスト教の指導者もいる。
Others on the Christian right acknowledge the reality of the virus, but proffer supernatural causes or remedies. In a blogpost last week, Ralph Drollinger, who has led Bible study for Trump cabinet members, suggested the virus was an instrument of divine judgment, and appeared to blame LGBTQ people. Drollinger later claimed that this was a misinterpretation.

Another would-be prophet, Jeremiah Johnson, claimed last week to have had a prophetic dream in which God had spoken to him. In a baseball stadium where Trump, at bat, outwitted a demonic pitcher, Johnson said God had told him: “The enemy has intended to strike out Donald Trump at a very critical hour in history. But behold, supernatural help is on the way, for I will slow down the advancement of the enemy and allow him to knock this out of the park.”

ウィルスの現実を認めるキリスト教徒右翼たちは、超自然的原因を主張したり、超自然的治療法を提供したりする。先週のブログ投稿で、Trumpの閣僚の聖書研究を率いてきたRalph Drollingerは、ウイルスが神の審判の手段であり、LGBTQの人々を非難しているように見えると示唆した。 Drollingerは後にこれを誤解だと主張した。

もう一人の預言者であるJeremiah Johnsonは先週、神が彼に語られた預言的な夢を見たと主張した。「歴史の転換点で、敵はDonald Trumpを退場させようとした。しかし、超自然的な助けが近づいており、私は敵の進撃を遅滞させ、彼が敵を場外へ叩き出せるようにする。」

[ Jason Wilson: "The rightwing Christian preachers in deep denial over Covid-19's danger" (2020/04/04) on The Guardian ]

André Gagne, an associate professor of theological studies at Concordia University, and a researcher of the Christian right, recently published on the phenomenon of coronavirus denialism among evangelicals. Asked why evangelical leaders are committed to taking such a risk in denying the reality of the infection, or even assisting its spread, Gagne said it was rooted in their theology.

“Many of these preachers believe Christians shouldn’t be controlled by a ‘spirit of fear’,” Gagne said. “They often quote biblical texts which promise God’s healing and protection to those who have faith. They are confident that God is in control; that this is part of his overall plan before a great end-times spiritual revival.”He said: “There are those who also understand this in terms of ‘spiritual warfare’, and that Jesus gave Christians authority over every demon and sickness. And if a Christian dies, no worries: he or she will ‘be with the Lord’.”

Meanwhile, even where they disagree about the virus, religious leaders have found common ground on one subject: the importance of fundraising. While Trump’s spiritual adviser Paula White-Cain has now recommended social distancing to her audience, she and Kenneth Copeland both encouraged their listeners to keep the donations rolling into their churches.

Concordia Universityの神学准教授で、キリスト教右翼の研究者であるAndré Gagneは、最近、福音主義キリスト教徒たちに広がるコロナウィルスは否定現象についての本を出版した。「なぜ福音主義キリスト教の指導者たちは、感染の現実を否定し、感染拡大を助長するようなリスクをとるのか」と問われて、彼は「それは彼らの神学に根差している」と答えた。


一方、宗教指導者たちは、ウィルスについて意見が一致していなくても、共通の合意点を見いだしている。それは資金調達の重要性である。TrumpのスピリチュアルアドバイザーであるPaula White-Cainは聴衆に社会的距離を取ることを推奨しているが、彼女もKenneth Copelandも、教会に寄付するように聴衆に奨めた。

[ Jason Wilson: "The rightwing Christian preachers in deep denial over Covid-19's danger" (2020/04/04) on The Guardian ]