The one-true transcendent and immanent architect of the universe doesn’t need you to risk getting people sick by going to a house of worship.
By David Icke Turner
Art by Mahir Kart
First and foremost, Ramadan Kareem ( Happy Ramadan ).
As the holy month of Ramadan comes to a close and the faithful celebrate the end of the fast with the Eid holiday, gathering with fellow adherents of your faith is on people’s minds more than ever. But despite this major holiday of one of the world’s largest religions happening mid-pandemic, there are no demands for large gatherings and public services being made by the American Muslim community. The Muslim community is not carrying AR-15s to public court-houses to protest the closure of event gatherings.
The reasons why are simple: First and foremost, large groups of Muslims in public armed with AR-15s would immediately elicit violent responses from law enforcement and average Americans alike. Secondly, devout Muslims pray 5 times a day. All over the world, followers of Islam stop in the street to pat where they are. Any idea that one needs to be in a specific place to commune with the divine is alien to the faith.To be fair, there has been a negligible amount of Christian pushback over houses of worship being closed in this country. Yet where it has bubbled up, it has made waves and galvanized public support. And this is exactly where the Trump administration has seen an opportunity to regain support from the critical White Evangelical voting bloc.
President Trump on Friday declared churches to be ‘essential’ and threatened to ‘overrule’ governors who prohibit them from opening doors “right now.”
“Some governors have deemed liquor stores and abortion clinics as essential, but have left out churches and other houses of worship. It’s not right,” he said. Trump has had a famously paradoxical relationship with the active voting bloc of Evangelicals. Trump made a series of overtures to the large Christian voting bloc in 2016. And some electoral theorists attribute his winnings in key battleground states to his string showing with Evangelicals. Yet that loyalty might be slipping in 2020. According to Pew Research, approval of Trump’s handling of the Covid-19 crisis is falling not only with Evangelicals but many religious groups. With Evangelicals specifically, the president has lost nearly 10 points and the trend seems to continue. Oddly enough, Trump’s ratings are actually going up with Hispanic Catholics, Black Protestants, and Atheists. Rallying his Evangelical base behind opening up their facilities ( and their revenue streams ) might be just the trick needed to solidify their support in an uncertain election year.
“Governors need to do the right thing and allow these very important essential places of faith to open right now — for this weekend,” Trump said at a last minute press conference at the White House. When asked what authority he may have to overrule governors, press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said she wouldn’t answer such a hypothetical question.
White evangelical Christians are critical to a Trump 2020 election victory and the president is willing to violate a long-held Republican pillar of faith: State’s Rights.
After Trump’s conference, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published new guidelines for houses of worship on how to safely reopen. This includes limitations on the size of gatherings and recommends services outdoors or in ‘large, well-ventilated areas.’
But religious services have become conduits for transmission of the Coronavirus. One man who attended a Mother’s Day sermon in a church in California against their governor’s orders later tested positive with the virus. He exposed more than 180 churchgoers and the event was labeled by the CDC as a “superspreading” event.
We might, just maybe, be at least the beginning of the end of this thing. Let’s not fuck it up and make it the end of the beginning. Besides, God hears through walls. Your house of worship is non-essential.