On Thursday, appearing on the Slate radio show “The Gist” with Mike Pesca, journalist Catherine Stewart outlined some of the ways the Christian Right is responsible for the federal government’s disastrous response to coronavirus.
“The coronavirus pandemic is real wrath-of-God type stuff, isn’t it?” said Pesca. “Well, there are some people who are waiting for this, who are ready for this, and who, quite scarily, have been tasked with the response.”
“It’s a complex question, and I think that Christian Nationalism, which is what we’re dealing with here, is not a religion,” said Stewart. “Many evangelicals are doing very positive things, many religious people are doing a lot of positive things in this situation with the coronavirus. But Christian Nationalism is not a religion, it’s a political ideology that cloaks itself in religious rhetoric. And it’s a movement that put Trump in power.”
“So there are a number of ways in which the movement bears some responsibility for the current incompetence in our national response,” continued Stewart. “First and foremost, the movement promotes an anti-science culture that rejects the evidence of science and rejects expertise and rejects critical thinking, and that has obviously contributed to our inability collectively to address this crisis in an evidence-based fashion. Misinformation is rife in those hyper-conservative and highly politicized religious communities that were all in for Trump.”
“I think another really important point that’s become incredibly obvious right now is that we have in our society a poorly developed collective infrastructure, and that’s a consequence of decades of right-wing economic policy,” said Stewart. “Remember, its representatives are constantly bashing government, demonizing it, some are even saying, you know, they call food stamps un-Biblical, things like that. So that really makes it hard to have a really strong, solid collective response.”
You can listen to the whole show here.