Needs a sound effect: 'SPROING!!' (from 'The Little Princess' )

As some rightwing figures are encouraging people to own the libs by actively seeking infection with the coronavirus, the folks at the Federalist yesterday reminded good people of faith that, as the headline puts it, "For Christians, Dying From COVID (Or Anything Else) Is A Good Thing." Joy Pullman, the executive editor of the site, chirpily explains that it's really a shame that so many Christians have bought into the secular, and wrong, idea that death during a pandemic is a bad thing. After all, only heretics would believe that "life is over once a person stops breathing," or indeed that humans can actually prevent death at all.

In fact, if you're a Christian and you think the best way to handle a pandemic is to try to keep people from dying, then you probably ought to "repent for the way we and our institutions responded" to the pandemic, although Pullman downgrades it to an "outbreak" and carefully avoids mentioning that it's killed 728,000 Americans so far.


Pullman bizarrely describes the pandemic as "a catchy virus," as if it were a Top 40 hit — possibly "Don't Fear the Reaper," which is certainly catchy. She's also very aggrieved that the press has taken to blaming unvaccinated people for the continued pandemic, simply because they "decided their risks from taking the vaccines outweighed their risks from catching the disease," which is an objectively terrible risk assessment that is not based in reality. Or at least according to secular medicine, which admittedly has a bias toward keeping people on the still-living side of things.

From there, it gets even weirder, as Pullman complains that we shouldn't be "shaming people for dying by accident" simply because they decided to fuck around with a deadly lung infection and find out. Then she lists a whole bunch of headlines about unvaccinated people who accidentally died, as if dying were all that big a deal. Well, she wants you to know that real Christians reject such paganism!

Christian teaching diametrically opposes the underlying theology pushed in such articles and in many other popular COVID narratives. That's true despite the appearance generated by the majority of Western churches prioritizing obedience to men instead of to God by shutting themselves down over COVID-19. Doing so contradicts numerous clear commands of scripture.

We can only assume Pullman would prefer headlines with better theology. Instead of "Unvaccinated husband and wife die of COVID-19 leaving 5 children behind," why not "Unvaccinated Husband and Wife Meet Jesus, Can't Wait for Kids to Join Them in Heaven"?

And yes, in October of 2021 she's still preaching resistance to lockdown orders that haven't been in place in the US for over a year. It's a recurring theme in the piece, and in fact led us to re-check the publication date to make sure it really did go up on Monday of this week.

Pullman then goes on to expound on her thesis that we mortals have no business at all trying to prevent COVID infections, since that's an offense to God Almighty. She explains that "For one thing, Christians believe that life and death belong entirely to God. There is nothing we can do to make our days on earth one second longer or shorter."

She goes on to explain that "for Christians, death is good," which is, yes, fairly standard theology about how the saved will go to be with Jesus, eternal life and all that, but it's still a bit jarring to see her sum it all up by condemning "the heathen idea that death is to be avoided at any cost."

And when it comes right down to it, Pullman seems deliberately vague on the concrete details here, apart from another lengthy rant about the idea that Christians can attend church online, because they absolutely must "gather together in His name," presumably even when they're coughing infected respiratory droplets all over their brethren to share the joy.

But for other measures — masking, social distancing, vaccination — Pullman holds off from specific recommendations, possibly for the sake of avoiding litigation. Wouldn't want to be accused of encouraging any of those "accidental" deaths, after all.

She certainly doesn't come right out and encourage people to chase "natural immunity" by seeking out a potentially lethal infection, so hooray for that, at least, but she also doesn't suggest it's a bad idea, either.

Pullman's suggestion that it's sinful to take any action at all to prevent sickness and death, because those are up to God, could be read as a call for relying solely on faith healing. Are antibiotics or vaccinations against childhood diseases in the Bible? They are not! Healthcare of any kind might, in this light, be sinful.

That's the beauty of a vague prescription like her citation of Philippians 1: "Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain." You can draw the line at refusing the COVID vaccine (but eating horse paste), or you can go full Let Your Baby Die While You Pray, because either way, you're justified.

As Paul said in his Letter to the Pedestrians, "Trust God and walk into traffic."

And if you spread disease to your own family, well they'll either get better or they'll go to heaven because they're saved. If your kid spreads the virus at school, no problem; maybe some heathens will die, but that's their problem for not getting right with God. It's way better than bowing to worldly authority and wearing a mask, or getting vaccinated, now isn't it?

And they'll know we are Christians by our permanently scarred lungs, by our permanently scarred lungs, Amen.

[Federalist / Reuters]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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