Cheryl K. Chumley is one of the worst writers for the conservative Washington Times, which… isn’t easy. It’s not enough to just offer right-wing takes on current events; she willfully misunderstands what she’s writing about, whether she’s calling for the takedown of Satanic monuments that don’t exist or saying that Christians who oppose Christian Nationalism are “very un-Christian.”
Her latest diatribe involves trashing Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the only voices of reason coming from the government during the pandemic.
She doesn’t bother pointing out anything he said that’s untrue. Instead, she’s criticizing him for being an atheist. Fauci said in a 2015 interview that he was a humanist despite his Catholic upbringing because “I have faith in the goodness of mankind.”
This is apparently very problematic for Chumley.
More than that, he’s a humanist — meaning, he takes his moral compass from his own mind. He has little-to-no concern with the stuff of higher authority — the constraints that come from fears of heavenly accountability.
An atheist in charge of U.S. government, policy, economics, education and constitutional freedoms, as they relate to coronavirus response — what could go wrong, right?
He’s unelected. He’s largely unaccountable to the people. He’s atheist, which speaks volumes about his character, his moral compass and his understanding of American Exceptionalism and basic founding and constitutional principles. And he’s just been outed for lying.
The path is clear: He has to go.
He was not “outed for lying.” She’s referring to a piece written by Sen. Marco Rubio, who’s downplayed the pandemic, in which he criticized Fauci for saying the percent of immunized Americans needed to achieve “herd immunity” was higher than he felt Americans could tolerate. In other words, he made a decision when it comes to communicating the importance of getting vaccinated because he didn’t want to generate fear in a public that includes many anti-vaxxers. Maybe that deserves criticism, but that’s a far cry from lying about the science, and nothing he said changes COVID restrictions or policies regarding the vaccines.
But Chumley, who can’t simply criticize that decision, thinks his non-religiosity is why he can’t be trusted, even though the entire administration is full of conservative Christians who have been openly lying to the public about damn near everything for the past four years.
As for his character, Fauci was recently named one of the most admired men in America by Gallup, though that poll is really more about fame than anything else. (Trump was at the top of the list.)
Here’s a difference Chumley never brings up: Fauci doesn’t spend any time talking about his personal religious beliefs unless he’s specifically asked about them. The evangelicals surrounding Trump can’t stop talking about their faith because they constantly fantasize about a theocracy.
Also: Why is it okay to slander Fauci because of his humanism? As American Atheists president Nick Fish rightly noted, you would never see something like this in a legitimate publication:
Trying to imagine the outcry if someone on the NYTimes opinion page wrote a foaming-at-the-mouth diatribe about how you couldn't trust someone because they were Jewish or Catholic or Baptist. But because Fauci is a Humanist, it's fair game for @WashTimes? https://t.co/d3dF8eO1rg
— Nick Fish (@NotNickFish) December 31, 2020
If the New York Times calls out conservative Christians, it’s because they’re using those beliefs to inflict harm upon other people, not because they’re Christians. Chumley has no substance to use against Fauci, so she just cites his religious label, as if atheists shouldn’t be allowed in positions of power. It’s embarrassing and it’s awful journalism. Which means it’s par for the course for the Washington Times.
By the way, not that it matters, but Fauci’s boss is Dr. Francis Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health and an evangelical Christian. Collins has no issue with Fauci. You would think that would carry some weight with Chumley. I guess not.
(Screenshot via YouTube)