New York Times Writer Argues Conservative Christians Are a Detriment to Coronavirus Pandemic Response

  • Amanda Casanova Contributor
  • Published Mar 31, 2020
<em>New York Times</em> Writer Argues Conservative Christians Are a Detriment to Coronavirus Pandemic Response

A New York Times opinion piece says that President Donald Trump’s conservative, religious supporters are not helping the coronavirus pandemic.

Katherine Stewart, the author of The Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism, writes in her piece that “the denial of science and critical thinking among religious ultraconservatives now haunts the American response to the coronavirus crisis.”

“In his daily briefings from the White House, Mr. Trump actively disdains and contradicts the messages coming from his own experts and touts as yet unproven cures,” she writes.

In a response piece at the Washington Examiner, Timothy P. Carney says Stewart is implying that “evangelical conservatives caused” the coronavirus outbreak.

In an interview with, Christian leader Johnnie Moore said Stewart’s piece was “old fashion bigotry.”

“The truth is that evangelicals are playing a really important role in addressing this pandemic, not only in the United States but around the world,” Moore told Faithwire.

“We are a part of the solution, not a part of the problem.”

In her piece, Stewart pointed to some pastors in the country who have been “reckless” about the pandemic. In Miami, Guillermo Maldonado told his congregation to show up for worship in person because “Do you believe God would bring his people to his house to be contagious with the virus? Of course not.”

At a Tampa Bay Church, Rodney Howard-Browne, who was recently arrested for ignoring social-distancing orders by hosting in-person church services, said he would only close the doors at the church “when the rapture is taking place.”

“We’re also going to pass out anointed handkerchiefs to people who may have a fear, who may have a sickness and we believe that when those anointed handkerchiefs go, that healing virtue is going to go on them as well,” he said.

She said the response to the outbreak has been hindered by “Christian nationalism.”

“But if you examine the political roots of the life-threatening belief in the privatization of everything, you’ll see that Christian nationalism played a major role in creating and promoting the economic foundations of America’s incompetent response to the pandemic,” she writes.

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Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and She blogs at The Migraine Runner.