Jerry Falwell Jr., former director of Liberty University of Virginia and among the most prominent white evangelical Christian supporters of former President Donald Trump, received his first injection of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday, and like many of the newly vaccinated , he posted a vaccine selfie on Instagram. He urged his supporters to get the vaccine as well, describing it as a way to stop Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) from enacting “senseless restrictions.”
With polls showing white evangelicals to be among the least likely to be vaccinated, prominent evangelicals like Falwell are working to reduce vaccine reluctance among their followers, The Associated Press reports. So far, the response has been … mixed. Reverend JD Greear, head of the Southern Baptist Convention, the nation’s largest evangelical denomination, posted a photo of himself being vaccinated last week, as did Franklin Graham. Dallas mega-church pastor Robert Jeffress has spoken out in favor of vaccinations, as has Reverend Russell Moore, head of the SBC’s public policy arm.
Vaccine skepticism among white evangelicals “has nothing to do with religious beliefs,” Moore said. PBS NewsTime Thursday. “Rather, it is about the mistrust and mistrust that is evident in American society right now”, combined with “the fact that we have been isolated from each other in many ways for over a year”, allowing misinformation to spread. “And that’s why a lot of us are doing what we can to say, vaccination is not just something that is acceptable to Christians,” he said, “it’s something that we have to thank God that we have the technology for. “
Many evangelicals are now hesitant, “I think will come back eventually,” especially if everyone focuses on “what is possible if we get vaccinated in large numbers,” Moore said. “We want to be able to get as close to normal as possible. And that’s probably especially true for people who are religious communities, because we think we need to be brought together.”
And if that’s not convincing, Thursday Last show had a similar message wrapped in a Beach Boys tribute.
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