Most Americans Would Trust Their Clergy’s COVID-19 Vaccine Advice

I found this graph a particular relief:

After all the reports I’ve seen of high-profile extremist preachers denying the existence of Covid, calling the vaccine the work of the devil, etc (and, not infrequently then catching Covid themselves), it’s a relief to see hard evidence that they are in fact merely a vocal minority. It makes me feel just a little bit safer.

(Hat tip: The Friendly Atheist)


I agree—but it also concerns me (1) that so many clergy have “not said much about the vaccines either way”, and (2) that many religious service attenders probably care more about what their clergy have to say on the topic than what epidemiologists and other specialists are telling them. (I can say that I personally know some evangelicals who are in that category. I appreciate the dedication to their people of many fine clergy but I put no special stock in their virology or pharmacology knowledge.)

As a Christ-follower, I consider it important to “love your neighbor” as in Matthew 22: 35-40 (which during a pandemic means following the scientific evidence in favor of social distancing, vaccinations, etc) and submitting to the governmental authorities in accordance with Romans 13:1 (including the CDC.) As a result, even if I had not personally seen the peer-reviewed evidence for the effectiveness of these pandemic safety measures, I would follow them anyway because I believe that this is consistant with the teachings of Jesus Christ. (Yes, some abuses by government officials have occurred at times but in general I urge my Christian friends to choose their battles carefully.)

Far too many religious service attenders and clergy are caught up in a culture war which ignores the science and public health. Many clergy are also afraid of offending anyone and putting their positions in jeopardy. I’d prefer a little more backbone from some of the religious leaders. (If I truly care about my congregation, I don’t want them to risk death and disability due to ignorance and folly. The book of Proverbs recommends following the advice of those who have wisdom and knowledge.)


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