Turns out the Mormon Church isn’t doing any better with wearing masks and following COVID precautions than other conservative religious groups. While one Mormon apostle recently said the masks are a “sign of love,” others have venomously disagreed.
In an article for Religion News Service, Jana Riess writes that the apostle, Dale Renlund, made his statement in reference to four Mormon temples opening up with restrictions in place. But there’s plenty of backlash.
So here we see a church leader who says he is speaking in his calling as an apostle telling members that they have a moral responsibility to protect the vulnerable by wearing a mask. And despite his statement that our response to a virus “need not be” political, the comments on his Facebook post are blowing up into a heated argument.
While many comments are positive, there’s also a vocal and angry minority weighing in. Let’s break down their approaches into four categories, one by one.
The comments in question are pretty much what we’ve seen before from people who lack a background in science and medicine, but who still think they somehow know better than people who study this stuff for a living. Here are a few examples from the anti-science crowd:
“I will never in a hundred years believe masks are the miracle here to save us from this virus. Nor will I ever buy into the hype that this virus is worth destroying families, churches, businesses, economies and nations over. Something is very wrong with all this, and it’s not because of a virus…”
No one has ever called masks a “miracle cure.” They’re a prevention tool, but they’ve never been toted as foolproof.
“they intend to first va$$inate the elderly, the mentally disabled, and ethical minorities. Does that not sound like genocide to you?”
No. The elderly are vulnerable. That’s why they’re getting it first. (Also, nice to see a Facebook troll refer to “ethical” minorities for once.)
At the end of the day, I think many conservative Latter-day Saints are having to come to terms with the discomfort that comes when they disagree with an apostle of the church. Progressive Mormons have dealt with that cognitive dissonance for a long time, for example about LGBTQ issues, but for many conservatives this is likely a new feeling.
In this case, the issue of masks is not subjective, like many interpretations of Scripture. It’s something that can be proven by objective, verifiable means. Ignorance is the only excuse not to accept it.
(Featured image via Shutterstock)