The Pandemic Does Not Stop For Your Religion
Church gatherings, prayer circles and choir practices not only does not stop COVID-19, but seems to encourage the diseases spread. What does this pandemic reveal about religion and the truth behind the miracles that the devotes proclaim?
By: Waleed Shareef 04/05/2020
The news is grim, as ashen faced journalists of all stripes collide with limited airtime to pronounce another day of virus delivered death. Even the estimates on how many people can die from this pandemic is difficult to fathom as figures higher than 200,000 are at times being bandied about. In Hollywood movies, its during these moments when all signs point to insurmountable carnage, that the caped superhero flies in and saves humanity with some flick of the wrist that expels magical powers sufficient to rescue everyone. And yet, as we huddle in our homes, the devout members of the most religious race in America, the black community, believes the savior is gearing up to rescue us all from the scourge that is COVID-19.
This is precisely what I do not understand about the religious community, and what makes me someone who is agnostic – and admittedly in moments like this pandemic, almost atheist; why would any God that truly intended to convert the masses to his loving embrace and eternal heavenly bliss, sit back and watch millions die across the globe as scientist scurry to get us out of this mess? But not only is God watching our rapid demise at the hand of this microscopic enemy, but the largest outbreaks have often started in mega churches across the world where devoted parishioners gathered in virus friendly clusters giving attributions to their lord. In South Korea, Lee Man-Hee, the leader of a sect of Christianity that can be traced back to at least 60% of the virus outbreaks in that country, bowed on his knees at a recent news conference to ask for forgiveness for gatherings of his faithful flock that helped to spread the Corona pandemic. In fact, worldwide, health officials beg congregations to avoid congregating, and instead they are substituting the church sanctuary for camera facing living room gatherings of one or two over the internet. But when they ignore the pleading from health officials, congregations are not rewarded with miraculous healing, but instead are given a deadly virus that in many instances have killed members of their church. Take for instance the Christian choir that gathered in Mount Vernon Washington State. The Skagit Valley Chorale met despite their concerns, to practice singing what should have been songs of healing and love to Jesus, and unfortunately many members were inflected with the virus with two passing away from the infection.
Lee Man-Hee Bowing - The Korea Times
In spite of the lack of evidence that the religious are any more immune to this affliction than anyone else, on Facebook, many black folks are talking excitedly about how joyous it will be when they return to church. This demonstrates a lot to me that the slave masters knew exactly what they were doing when they taught the slaves Christianity as they left the boats. When you could make an entire race endure rapes, murder, forced labor, child abductions and other horrors and yet still feel that a deity is watching over them, then you have utilized a powerful weapon against discontent.
I often have observed how ridiculous it is to visit a psychic who promises to tell you the winning numbers to the lottery as they huddle in a dilapidated shack on the seediest part of town. If they had a direct line to millions of dollars, why are they toiling daily when they could make themselves multi-millionaires and skip off into the sunset? I feel the same way as I watch pastors and other ministers online peering out of a computer screen in order to protect themselves and their followers from a disease that should be a snap of the fingers for any all powerful deity to eliminate. What is missing from this equation are the scientist who skulk behind the religious scene trying to find a cure. But, once a cure or treatment is discovered, the churches will act like a poor sport and declare victory. Surely the cure could not have been found by the scientists if God didn’t guide them to it. “Why,” they would exclaim, “without God, the substances that produced the treatment would not have been in the earth for the scientists to utilize in the first place.” Then Sunday and Wednesday services will continue, with the well dressed ministers collecting their offering and tithes, and like someone with a poorly performing insurance company, no recompense would be delivered for those religious devotes who died of a disease that should have at least given them a pass.
The psychic who can tell you how to win a million dollars, and yet she is still working.
The truth is, we will all continue to try to stay inside of our homes, hiding from a new enemy that does not care about your religious affiliation. This disease does not care that you are a Rabbi, Imam or a Pastor. This disease does not care if you spend all week praying in the temple or the synagogue. This disease does not care that you dress in God sanctioned and sanctified choir robes on Thursdays and Sundays. This is a killer that does not respect dogma, but respects sanitary conditions and physical distancing. And like a good agnostic I still maintain a shred of hope that some religion holds the keys to correcting this pandemic. And to those who may be insulted reading my article, I welcome you to have your conversations with your lord and to ask him/her for a deliverance post haste. And it would be really nice if the cure would start with those who has been so fervent, because “lord knows” they deserve it.