The First Baptist Church of Hendersonville in North Carolina held an in-person Christmas celebration two weekends ago. The Asheville Citizen Times spoke with some attendees who said “the church was crowded, many people were not wearing masks and choir members, without masks, were singing shoulder to shoulder.”
You know how this story ends.
Because of the arrogance, ignorance, and downright stupidity of these anti-science Christians, at least 75 people (and counting) have tested positive for COVID as a direct result of this event.
According to local health officials:
The Henderson County Department of Public Health has identified a COVID-19 cluster associated with a holiday celebration event at First Baptist Church, Hendersonville over the Dec. 5 weekend.
To date, the Health Department has identified 75 individuals who have tested positive as a result of the event. The Health Department is working to identify any additional close contacts of these individuals.
75 is the baseline. It’s only going to get higher.
While Senior Pastor Steve Scoggins has shut down in-person services for the next month — far too late — his now-deleted posts about the event suggest that he, along with the other church leaders, didn’t take the virus seriously. The Daily Beast reports:
In video of another event apparently held around the same time as the Dec. 5 caroling session and posted to Facebook a day after, more than 50 people were seen sitting shoulder to shoulder in the church orchestra and choir performing an arrangement of “In Dulci Jubilo.” Some wore masks, but most did not, as they were singing or playing instruments.
Scoggins said that church staff had taken the temperature of all the performers and congregants upon entry. But in a Facebook post four days after the event, the church asked congregants to simply “consider staying home” if they were experiencing cold symptoms or a cough.
“Consider” it… but, you know, you don’t have to.
Someone at this church needs to explain how many lives they felt were worth sacrificing in order to host this ridiculous unnecessary concert and how that calculation was made. It’s especially important to ask that when last weekend’s sermon — after the outbreak — featured videos and music from Christmas past. Why didn’t they just do that to begin with?!
While no one has died as a direct result of this outbreak, it may only be a matter of time. And who knows how many of those who were infected have spread the disease to others? If you’re dumb enough to go to an in-person church service at a time like this, you’re probably irresponsible enough to ignore other precautions, too.
How many people will suffer because this congregation couldn’t watch a sermon on YouTube, and because this church’s leadership cared so little about the lives of its members that they decided to host worship services while bodies fell all over the country?
This church has ample social media platforms. They didn’t have to do this. They chose to.
On a side note, during a sermon the week before the super-spreader event, you can hear Scoggins talking about how he met his wife when he was a junior in college and she was a junior in high school. He justifies that by saying, beginning at the 8:20 mark, his hero D.L. Moody did the same thing with his eventual wife: “He took her out on the first date when she was 15 and he was 21. I said, ‘there you go, God! If D.L. Moody can do it, I can do it!'”
(Screenshot via Vimeo. Thanks to Scott for the link)