Has Christianity become a bad citizen

Published 9:28 am Tuesday, April 18, 2023

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To the Editor:
Many believe religion is not a force to be reckoned with anymore in America. However, even a little band of anti-civic Christians or Jews can make a big impact on society.
A large Christian gathering in Daegu, South Korea threw accelerant on the initial COVID outbreak in Asia. Churches in America soon did the same, under the banner of religious freedom and fuzzy doctrines, like God doesn’t care about government or public health.
A congregation in Santa Clara County, Calvary Chapel, was one of them. A Santa Clara County judge has ordered the San Jose church to pay $1.2 million in fines for flagrantly violating mask-wearing and social distancing rules at the height of the pandemic. (Mercury News, 4-12-23) Who knows how many lives might have been saved if churches all over America hadn’t been such bad citizens carrying signs saying “Jesus is my vaccine” and “We fear God, not corona,” and acting out against public health science and authority.
Regular meetings, choir practices weddings and funerals held by churches in places like Calloway County and Louisville, Ky.; Durham, N.C.; New Rochelle and Rockland County, N.Y.; Lakewood, N.J.; Greers Ferry, Ark.; suburban Baton Rouge; Lynchburg, Va.; Tampa Bay, Fla.; Albany, Ga.; Warren County, Ohio; suburban Chicago; rural Minnesota; Houston, Texas; Washington D.C.; Sacramento, Calif.; Detroit, Mich.; and Butte County, Calif., caused clear outbreaks and constituted spreader events. Normally patriotic Mormons flouted legal guidelines and gathered en masse at missionary homecomings at the airport in Salt Lake City.
In the early days of the Judeo-Christian tradition, that is, in the time of Moses and later in the time of Jesus, religion was the leading force in public health and science in general. Moses’ quarantine of the children of Israel during an epidemic in Egypt gave them the strength to make an exodus from that oppressive nation. Jesus told a leper he examined and healed to go report his change in condition to the priest, who was the public health officer of the day. He spent his time healing, not spreading.
Judaism and Christianity have gone from the leading edge of progress in the world to the trailing edge. God must not be too pleased.

Kimball Shinkoskey
Woods Cross, Utah

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