While Donald Trump is encouraging churches to gather regardless of how dangerous COVID-19 still is, here’s a completely unrelated story that churchgoers may want to check out before going back inside a building.
In Germany, the Evangelical Christian Baptist Congregation in Frankfurt gathered in person on May 10. They observed social distancing, disinfected the entire place, and limited the number of people who could be inside the building. They did precisely the things many pastors are claiming to do now, in the U.S., as they prepare to open back up.
But according to the Wall Street Journal, the precautions didn’t help.
At least 107 people have been found to be infected with the new coronavirus after some of them attended Sunday services at a church in Frankfurt two weeks ago, according to German officials, highlighting the growing risk of new outbreaks of the virus as Germany loosens restrictions on public gatherings.
About 40 people tested positive shortly after the service. The rest of the 107 include people who tested positive later on or people they came into contact with. Either way, in a country that has flattened the curve and in a church where the leaders attempted to follow the rules, people still got the virus.
How many of them have to die before religious people take this threat seriously?
It would be one thing if the only people affected by these irresponsible decisions were the churchgoers themselves; at least the right people would be getting punished for their wrong choices. But this virus affects strangers, too. God will not grant you immunity. Going to church right now — going anywhere, really, when you don’t have to — is an idiotic move that will get people killed.
Your religion isn’t worth all those innocent lives.
Maybe these pastors eager to open their churches could do us all a favor and replace their own sermons with pleas from current COVID patients from their hospital rooms. Maybe then the parishioners would realize how selfish they are by ignoring epidemiologists and putting their families and communities directly in the path of the virus.