A couple days ago, September 13, thousands of evangelical Christians–most maskless–gathered at Memorial Park here in Colorado Springs to “worship.” I fully expect to see a resultant spike in COVID cases as a result.
So, a few minutes ago I sent the following letter to the pastor who spearheaded the irresponsible stunt:
Dear Pastor Holt,
As of this moment—September 15, 2020, 1:50 p.m.—198,085 Americans have been killed by COVID-19, and that’s the official count, which is probably lower than actual. One hundred sixty-two of those COVID deaths occurred right here in El Paso County. Many—likely most—of those deaths were preventable.
As all reasonable people now know, this deadly COVID virus is spread through the air: aerosol transmission via coughs, sneezes, or even through particles transmitted while singing or speaking.
The simplest and most-effective methods for blocking transmission are isolation, wearing protective masks, and social distancing. Yet you and many other local “faith” leaders held a “worship” gathering at Memorial Park attended by thousands. The photos I’ve seen of the event reveal that many, if not most, of those gathered there were not wearing masks as they milled about, literally rubbing shoulders.
Your press release stated, “During this time of unrest and division in our state and our country, a diverse group of churches in Colorado Springs has come together to organize a worship and prayer event, with the goal of seeing God’s love, forgiveness, and peace permeate our city. To help us achieve this goal, we have invited worship leader Sean Feucht to lead this event.”
You said your goal was to see “God’s love, forgiveness, and peace permeate our city.” Please explain to me how exposing to a potentially deadly virus thousands of vulnerable humans gathered at the event—along with tens of thousands of their relatives, friends, and co-workers—helps to achieve your goal. You’ve not spread the gospel; you’ve spread disease. You’ve not permeated the city with love, forgiveness, and peace; you permeated it with death.
I’m disgusted by evangelicals—especially evangelical leaders—proclaiming their rights at the expense of the rest of the community and country. I find it ironic that—until the unholy marriage of the evangelical movement to Trumpism—evangelicals were the ones who bemoaned “liberals” who sought their rights without regard for personal responsibility. Now, evangelicals, more than any other faction, are the ones insisting on protecting their rights—at all costs.
I graduated from a Multnomah Bible College (now Multnomah University). I worked in Focus on the Family’s Public Policy division for six years, and for eight years as a curriculum editor at Community Bible Study. I know the evangelical world—or I thought I did.
When Donald Trump rose to take over evangelicalism along with his conquering of the Republican Party, I could stomach no more. I officially left the Republican Party in January 2017, and have lost all respect for white evangelicals, most of whom conflate Trumpism with true Christianity, and who grovel at the Trump altar.
Thanks to tapes provided by Bob Woodward, we now know, beyond any doubt, that President Trump knew as early as February 2020—and likely earlier—how dangerously contagious and potentially deadly COVID-19 is. He described the virus in those stark terms to Mr. Woodward, yet at the same time he was telling Americans—those he was sworn to serve and protect—the virus was no worse than the flu and would soon “miraculously disappear.” Now, nearly 200,000 American deaths later, he’s still holding mass rallies where—just as at your recent rally—thousands mingle, mostly maskless.
When will he—and you—take this grave threat seriously? Will we have to hit half a million American COVID-related deaths? Perhaps a million? Or, more likely, will he—and you—take it seriously when someone very close to him—or someone very close to you—dies from the virus?
As you know, Jesus exuded empathy. He died for the ungodly. Where’s President Trump’s empathy as, on average, 936 Americans die each day from a preventable disease? Where’s your empathy, your compassion for the 6,444 confirmed COVID cases in El Paso County?
I’ll be 66 years old later this month, and in this semi-retirement phase of my life I work part time at a long-term senior-living facility. Thanks to a lot of hard work, we’ve been able to keep our residents free of the deadly COVID virus. But if just one of the thousands of “worshipers” from your recent event ignorantly shared the virus with a few others, who then each shared it with a few others, the virus could spread dramatically—including into senior-care facilities, where it will find a weak, defenseless population.
Yes, El Paso County could soon see a dramatic increase in COVID cases and COVID-related deaths. If that happens, you and the thousands of “worshipers” from your event will be largely responsible. Yes, you will have won the battle for “Christian rights”; you will have “owned the libs,” but at what cost?
“What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” – Mark 8:36
I await the pastor’s reply.