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Anti-science Christians who went ‘all in’ for Trump bear responsibility for COVID-19 crisis: religious extremism expert

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Pastors pray over Trump (Photo: Screen capture)

Appearing on MSNBC with host Ayman Mohyeldin, the author of a widely shared New York Times article on the dangerous rise of religious nationalism lambasted religious leaders who are still holding public services when the government is advising social isolation and claimed they are making things worse for the rest of the country.

Speaking with the host, Katherine Stewart, who is also the author of the book “The Power Worshipers,” explained that years of anti-science rhetoric from the predominately rightwing evangelical movement is a contributing factor as to why the country is in the throes of a deadly pandemic that may lead to over 250,000 deaths.

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“You have a New York Times op-ed titled ‘The Religious Right’s Hostility to Science Is Crippling our Coronavirus Response,'” the host began. “Walk us through your thinking a little bit. What do you mean by that?”

“My concern here is not with any particular religious creed, but with a political movement that often cloaks itself in religious rhetoric,” Stewart began. “There are a number of ways where the religious right bears responsibility for the incompetence in our national response. First and foremost, the anti-science culture that rejects the evidence of science, rejects expertise and critical thinking, and that has obviously contributed to our ability to address this issue and this crisis in an evidence-based fashion.”

“Misinformation is rife in these sort of hyper-conservative and also highly politicized religious communities that were all in for Trump,” she added. “Secondly, and this is becoming unfortunately incredibly obvious right now, we have a poorly developed collective infrastructure, the kind of infrastructure you need, the path to a collective response to a collective crisis. That is a consequence of far right-wing economic policies and religious nationalism bears some implication — is implicated in that, too.”

“The movement has allied itself completely with a kind of libertarian far-right economic wing of the Republican Party,” she elaborated. “So it shares some of the blame that falls on that group. Religious nationalists have also supported politicians and policies that have led to the privatization of health care and the hollowing out of the social safety net.”

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2020 Election

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2020 Election

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