Pro-Trump evangelicals’ response to the coronavirus pandemic shows their ‘utter moral bankruptcy’: Former fundamentalist

Pro-Trump evangelicals’ response to the coronavirus pandemic shows their ‘utter moral bankruptcy’: Former fundamentalist
Image via Screengrab.

In the past, Frank Schaeffer was deeply involved in the Christian right movement, but these days, he is among its most outspoken critics. And when the former evangelical appeared on MSNBC’s “AM Joy” on Sunday morning, March 29, he cited the Christian Right’s response to the coronavirus pandemic as a glaring example of how dangerous the movement is.

Back in January and February, many Christian right supporters of President Donald Trump joined him in downplaying the severity of coronavirus. And even after the World Health Organization (WHO), earlier this month, declared coronavirus to be a global pandemic, pro-Trump evangelicals like Robert Jeffress and Liberty University’s Jerry Falwell, Jr. were reluctant to fully embrace social distancing.

On “AM Joy,” Schaeffer slammed the Christian Right for failing to take the pandemic seriously.

“We have Republican governors, we have people who are in positions of power and Donald Trump trying to push a business-as-usual agenda,” Schaeffer asserted. “Instead of evangelicals standing up and saying, ‘Wait a minute, we bought into your candidacy because you’re supposed to be the, quote/unquote, ‘pro-life president,’ we now have a pro-death president who would rather have his economic numbers go up chasing a 2020 reelection than save lives. And the evangelicals are going along with it and giving him cover.”

Schaeffer added, “This whole Easter nonsense was simply more currying favor with that base — a footnote, but very telling.”

The “Eastern nonsense” that Schaeffer was referring to was Trump calling for social distancing restrictions to be eased by Easter (April 12), but the president is now saying the restrictions should remain until the end of April.

Schaeffer is especially appalled by all the far-right white evangelicals who have been encouraging their older followers to reject social distancing

The former evangelical fundamentalist told Reid, “When we come to this time of COVID-19 overtaking our country — a literal life-and-death issue — we see two things very clearly, Joy. One is the utter moral bankruptcy of this leader, who pits himself against governors trying to save their people. And the second is the utter moral bankruptcy of evangelicals, the white evangelical voter.”

The message of pro-Trump evangelicals, according to Schaeffer, is “just go off and die so the stock exchange numbers go up.”

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