In March of 2020, just as the pandemic was beginning, Anne Graham Lotz, the nuttier sibling of bigoted evangelist Franklin Graham, celebrated COVID because she said it might lead people back to Jesus.
Could the silver lining in the black cloud of the coronavirus be this? That it causes America to look up and listen to what God has to say, and therefore becomes the trigger for a national spiritual revival? May it be so!
There’s no reason to think that revival happened. If anything, more people have left church over the past year, though it’s too soon to really tell how much of that can be blamed on COVID alone.
But the bigger issue was that Lotz was taking a deadly virus — one we knew would hit people hard — and decided there was a “silver lining” to it because it might lead some people to Jesus.
Well, are more than 600,000 deaths in the U.S. worth it?
Whatever the case, Lotz now says her son Jonathan Lotz — who runs his own ministry — has the virus and is struggling to survive:
Fifty years ago I could hold my son in my arms. Now I have placed him in the arms of Jesus. He has been hospitalized with COVID and is in critical condition. The verses last night in the Daily Light were perfect: “Brethren, pray for us” 1 Thessalonians 5:25. And James 5.16–“ Pray for one another that you may be healed. “ I am asking you to please pray for Jonathans swift healing and recovery. For the glory of Gods great name. Thank you.
She added last night that Jonathan was in the ICU.
I wish him all the best. Remember that Franklin Graham has been one of the few prominent conservative Christians who has urged people to get vaccinated, and I have no reason to think Lotz feels any differently. (It’s not clear if her son got his shots.)
That said, this family has defended Donald Trump and Trumpism for the past several years (with one notable exception) and the most recent COVID surge we’ve been seeing is due primarily to all those unvaccinated people who believe the right-wing lies they’ve been fed. Neither Graham nor Lotz has done much of anything to push back against conservative misinformation about COVID.
I hope Jonathan gets healthy soon. And then I hope this family, after causing so much damage to so many people over so many years, will finally come to terms with their own complicity in refusing to push back against Republican lies while using their own platforms to spread other kinds of conservative propaganda.