Jehovid-19

“For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

-Matthew 18:20

 

As the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the world, many churches have defied orders to stop gathering in large groups. There is a current ban on gatherings involving 10 or more people. This ban is not in place to stop people from having fun or to stop people from gathering to worship their deity of choice. The ban is in place to save lives. Period. 

Despite all of the evidence showing the effectiveness of social distancing and self-quarantining, many “people of faith” have chosen to defy government leaders and have continued to pack churches around the world. There are several right here in the United States. Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne, who is in charge of the River at Tampa Bay Church was arrested on March 30th after having a service on Sunday, March 29th, despite having been repeatedly told to not gather in large groups. This video clip from their service shows how “seriously” he took the threats, both from the virus and from authorities:

 

I’m not trying to single out this pastor or this church. They are one of many. A quick internet search will reveal many more. For example, there is this church from Louisiana:

Despite the serious risk of infection, these churches still hold large gatherings. They insist that the church is “essential” and therefore should be allowed to remain open for business. Even if that were true (which I do not agree with) they would still be subject to social distancing guidelines which call for 6 feet or more of distance between people. These video clips show that the attendees completely disregard the call for distancing and continue on with business as usual. 

With the countless stories of church gatherings like these, I have concluded two things. One, I am so glad to no longer be a member of a group that dismisses a true threat because an ancient book of myths and fables makes people feel invincible. And two, if Jesus is real, then he is the Coronavirus incarnate. Wherever groups of people in a pandemic congregate, the virus spreads. And if Jesus (again, if he is real…and I’m inclined to believe he is not) is there wherever two or more are gathered, then he is either the cause of the outbreak or he is the monster who has the power to stop it (but does nothing) and instead chooses to have his ass kissed while people raise their arms and chant his name. He is Jehovid-19 and he demands your respect.

Let’s be real. If God is all-powerful, then he could stop this pandemic, but he chooses not to. If he hates to see his children suffer, then he has a strange way of showing it. The death toll is rising by the minute with this pandemic. The excuse of “this is a result of sin” is the same tired B.S. excuse that is used every time something horrible happens. Childhood cancer, the loss of a spouse, earthquakes, tornadoes, house fires, etc. Anything and everything bad that happens is because we angered God all those years ago and continue to anger him now. He hates sin but allows it day in and day out. It’s ridiculous. 

Here’s the problem with that line of thinking. First, God created the world we live in according to the Bible. Then sin entered in. How? God is the creator of all. He must have created sin as well. He certainly allowed it. He was angry and let out his wrath for thousands of years until he had enough. Then, Jesus showed up to save the day…except he didn’t. This “sin” still runs rampant and God supposedly is still seething with rage. If God is real and hates the sin we live in, whose fault is that? Ours or his? He created a world that he thought was perfect but messed that up by creating/allowing sin. Then, his fix for it (Jesus) didn’t change anything. Are we to believe that the second-coming of Jesus will fix it once and for all? Is the “third time’s the charm” mentality really going to pay off? The track record suggests that the “sin” that God hates so much isn’t going anywhere, because it isn’t sin at all. It isn’t evil, but rather just human nature that we all have in us. And as our “creator,” he should both know that and accept it. We are born this way and do not deserve punishment for it. That’s ludicrous.

If you want to pray about this pandemic, go for it. Judging by the surging number of infected people and the death toll, God doesn’t care, but pray away if you must. By all means, do what makes you feel good. But for those of us who see no evidence of God and see no evidence that prayer does anything at all, please be respectful and just stay home to do it. Stop gathering and spreading your germs alongside your unprovable myths, legends and folklore. Believe what you wish, but also believe in the numbers coming out of this outbreak. The number of infected. The number of dead. The number of people in the churches testing positive for a virus that could kill someone you love. You may believe that this life is just a preseason game and the big show is yet to come, but for those of us who only know of this one life, please do the right thing.

I find myself caring less and less about being cordial when it comes to religion and those who believe in it. I find myself becoming more and more disgusted with the disconnect between many in the faith and reality. Human history suggests we are on our own down here and that we need to work together in times of crisis. Praying may comfort your “soul,” but it does nothing to combat this invisible killer that is preying on innocent people. I have lived through many tragedies and prayer has not stopped even one from occurring. I have seen countless families grieve when losing a loved one far too soon, despite their pleas to the Almighty. I know that not all believers believe the same thing and some actually do follow the rules during these tough times and rely on science to fight back. However, the fact that not all believe the same thing is a damning piece of evidence that strongly suggests that a god is not interfering in our lives. If a god cannot even set the story straight, what hope do we have of ever following some divine plan? Everything is expected of us and yet, we are given nothing to go on. Strange for someone who wants an intimate relationship with us.

I find that despite my best efforts to stay away from writing about religion, my newly-opened eyes will not allow me to stay silent. I see that blind faith is dangerous. I see that prayer doesn’t do anything but make us feel better…sometimes. There is nothing tangible that comes of it. Even if a god is listening to our prayers, he/she certainly is not acting. And if a god is not acting after hearing prayers by the faithful, what is the point of praying in the first place? Anyone can talk to themselves, but that isn’t always helpful. In fact, it is often the sign of a mental disorder. I now see the dangers of placing hope in ancient words written by unknown people while ignoring the present world we are living in. People are getting sick and dying while you close your eyes, raise your hands and rub shoulders with the others gathering in your churches. Maybe that doesn’t matter to you, but it most certainly matters to those of us affected by the real world we live in. The Biblical world exists in a book and doesn’t translate over into the world we actually reside in. That’s why prayer doesn’t work, why Jesus isn’t here, why we can’t move mountains and why that ark that Noah built is so damned hard to find. 

 

28 thoughts on “Jehovid-19

  1. I’m so sorry you have to put up with this Ben… At least here churches have the sensibility to do online services. In the first video you uploaded, it said police out a sign outside discouraging people from going. Really? They need to do a bit more than that.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Many churches here do online services but many others haven’t stopped their normal practices. They are putting their faith above reality and that puts entire communities at risk. It’s scary.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m not trying to single out this pastor or this church but here I am, singling our this pastor and this church. hahaha. Nice post Ben. You sure it’s not Yahwid 19?
    That pastor that died after returning home from Louisiana? God just needed him home..

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jehovid rhymed with Covid so I went with that. 🙂

    God seems to be needing a lot of people home lately. And instead of just taking them home, he’s making them suffer first. Seriously? Guess they needed more refining before entering his kingdom. This belief system is disgusting.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I watch something on MUR about the Bishop of Manchester blessing the city in his cassock carrying his crozier and holding it up at the buildings and sidewalks on Elm Street. He looked like a crazy person to me, I remember thinking I couldn’t believe I once bought in to this nonsense!

      Nice post, Ben, nice to hear from you.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. It’s always cringe-worthy for me to look back at what I used to believe. The craziness of it all seems so obvious, but back then it somehow made sense and was rational.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. These people frankly scare the hell out of me. Fortunately it seems the churches up here in Wisconsin seem to be going along with the isolation orders. What surprised me was that all of the catholic dioceses almost immediately canceled all services even before the governor put the state wide restrictions in place.

    As for the religious groups who are defying the orders, these are the people who have been fed a steady diet of Alex Jones, Hannity, Limbaugh, Beck, etc. for the last, oh, 20 years or so. They have been listening to a media that has told them they are being oppressed, that ‘big government’ is a tool of the evil liberals, that the main stream media can’t be believed and is owned totally by liberal gay Jewish communists, etc., deliberately catering to their deepest fears, prejudices and ignorance. If they do wander away from a steady diet of far right extremist radio/tv/internet, they’ve been so thoroughly indoctrinated by the extremists, both secular and religious, that anything they hear that doesn’t agree with their world view is labeled as being some kind of conspiracy, “fake” news, etc. They genuinely believe that the images of lines of coffins in Europe, the overwhelmed hospitals, etc. are flat out lies being pushed to somehow promote, somehow, the gay liberal Jewish communist, atheist agenda.

    I have no idea how this kind of thing can be countered. Obviously simply presenting them with facts doesn’t work because they will simply deny that those facts are real, even in the face of evidence.

    Some days I suspect that about half of the human race is mentally ill, and the rest of us aren’t looking too good either.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I think that most of the churches up near me are closed as well. But just looking around while I shop and even at work, people are not taking this thing seriously enough. Even the people who are wearing masks and gloves are not being careful. I watched a woman leave a store with a mask and gloves on. She was parked next to me. As she got into her car, she still had those filthy gloves on. She had touched the inside and outside door handles, reached into her pocket and grabbed her phone. She then grabbed the steering wheel and adjusted her mirror before leaving. Everything those gloves protected her hands from was now all over her car and belongings. But, I am sure, like prayer, those gloves comforted her in some way.

      The churches that are defying orders, at least from the videos I have seen, are laying hands on people and rubbing up next to each other. It’s like they feel immune to it all, but the numbers suggest otherwise. Just stay home unless you need to leave. I’m sure that a god would understand that the plague-filled chaos we’re living in calls for that. Churches don’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. Services will start right back up. Of that, I have no doubt.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I think that in many cases using masks and gloves for the general population is counterproductive, or at the very least useless, because unless you’ve gone through infection control training and know how to properly fit a mask, how to put on and take off gloves without contaminating yourself, etc. they’re really completely worthless at best, and at worst can themselves be a source of contamination. I’ve seen men with full beards wearing masks, people wearing them pulled down to expose the nose, huge gaps between the skin and the mask… Heck, you might as well not even bother. What I’ve seen people do with gloves is even worse. As you pointed out, gloves may protect your hands, but you have to assume that the surface of the glove is contaminated, and thus everything you touch with a gloved hand is going to be contaminated as well. So that woman who opened her car door with her gloves on, she could be contaminating herself the next time she opens that door with a bare hand.

        Actual infection control and personal protection is difficult, tedious, annoying, and even professionals can get it wrong sometimes.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. The indoctrination of invincibility among certain groups runs so deep nothing will alter this mindset of ”God will prevail” or whatever ridiculous belief they hold.
    I am busy binging on the series Ozark on Netflix and some of the characters are real ”Yehaws”. Jesus and guns and all that symbiotic crap.
    The problem is, that,while this pandemic will kill so many, many of those that survive will be Praisin’ the Lawd for bringing them through it. Some levels of stupid just cannot be cured.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. It’s funny how people will praise the Lord when they make it through something unscathed and also praise the Lord when they go through hardships. It’s answered prayer when they get the results they prayed for but some sort of test or “God’s will” if the results aren’t so good. Either way, they can’t lose and their faith remains intact.

      I’ll have to check out that Ozark series. Sounds interesting.

      Liked by 4 people

  6. Re “They insist that the church is ‘essential’ and therefore should be allowed to remain open for business.” What? Are they afraid their “Christian” will wear off if it isn’t reinforced weekly? Just what is essential here? Have they never been sick or injured before and had to miss church? Have they never been in hospital and not been able to attend church?

    Just what is “essential” about attending church?

    Huh, oh, what do you say … the church needs the money provided through “offerings?” Oh, okay, that explains exactly what is being worshiped here. (God: all-powerful, all-knowing and all ways in need of money.)

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I would argue that if God were real in any sense, that he himself would be essential in times like these, not the church. The church is just a place to gather and worship. A god who supposedly loves his children and is all-powerful could do far more than the chanting of mere humans in a box crammed up close to each other. How is a building, filled with people who worship a god who sits back and watches people suffer and die, essential? That god obviously is not going to stop this or intervene in any way, so why keep the buildings open that suggest he will? Seems a bit foolish to me. God’s nonexistent relationship with us will remain the same whether we stay home or not. This pandemic, however, will go away if we can just learn to follow the rules.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Remember that the “all-loving & forgiving” god of Judaism/Christianity left his “chosen people” in slavery in Egypt for over 400 years, at least according to the Bible. Furthermore, he allowed some 60% of Europe to die of the plague – a most grotesque way to die, essentially drowning in one’s own blood – while his worshippers begged for intervention and he did nothing. Babies are born with cancer – babies! – the most innocent among us, and he does nothing. Try watching a St Jude commercial and ask yourself how a god could allow such a grievous thing to persist. But remember that when David, his chosen of chosen, committed adultery with Bathsheba, the wife of one of his best generals Uriah, who David then sent back to the front with explicit orders to put Uriah right in the front lines where he was killed, who did god punish for this egregious sin? The baby. He had the baby die. Nice.

        Do you know why he does nothing? Because he’s not there, that’s why. It’s all a crock, a Ponzi scheme if you will, but the greatest Ponzi scheme of all time! 2,000 years and still going! Pathetic!

        Liked by 3 people

      2. If this god exists, and I really don’t see how anyone can still believe that he does, he is a monster who can do anything he wants to, but chooses to do absolutely nothing. This is, of course, according to the Bible. According to scripture, he answers prayers, intervenes on our behalf and has manifested in the flesh to prove his existence. Looking around the world we live in and the history of mankind, nowhere is there evidence of any god, let alone this all-powerful, all-knowing and loving god. There are all sorts of amazing stories of miracles, love and compassion from Jesus and his father, but there is a problem..and it’s a big one. These stories only exist in a book. Reality does not bear these stories out. It’s kind of hard to have a relationship with words on a page.

        As a non-believer, I will always leave the door open just a crack for there to be a creator of some kind. I will never say that I KNOW there is no god. How could I ever attain such knowledge? But, I no longer worry about the existence of a god. I’m of the mindset that if such a being wants a relationship with me, they know right where to find me. I do not have, nor does anyone else, the ability to rule out a deistic type of being. It’s not something anyone, as of yet, can disprove. It’s certainly not anything anyone can prove either. Far from it. I have, however, slammed the door tight on this god of the Bible as well as any other personal god. There is no evidence of such a being. A personal god simply does not exist. An indifferent, creator who creates and then walks away? Maybe. But even so, who cares? An indifferent god has no impact on our lives.

        Atheists and deists have something in common. They both agree that there is no one interfering with our lives for better or for worse. We are 100% on our own. So it really doesn’t matter how we got here. Was it natural, as a result of evolution? Was it creation and evolution combined? The results are the same. Atheists have just stopped (or never started) worrying about a god and instead worry more about the important things such as truth. One truth is the destructive nature of religion based on gods that most certainly do not exist.

        Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you Nan. Your kind words are always appreciated. As much as I try to take a break from writing about religion, I can’t seem to stay away. There may not be power in the blood of Jesus as we’ve been told, but religion is quite powerful and impacts far too many lives. Anything I can do to help shed light on the atrocious teachings and behavior based on faulty teachings and blind faith, I am happy to do it. I may not know it all but I have lived enough of it to share what I have experienced and what I do know.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Christianity became much more socially prominent after a massive plague in the 3rd century that hit the Roman Empire and the Middle East hard. It was comparable to the plague in Justinian’s reign, or the Black Death. It was a huge factor in the later weakness of the Roman empire, and likely why it never recovered its population and wealth from its glory days. The detractors of Christianity said that Christianity “started with the plague” and some of them blamed the plague on impious groups(Christians, Manichaeans, and other new religions). Gnostic and apocalyptic cults really took off after this plague, on top of the invasions and civil wars of that period.

    I don’t know if people are going to church or not. There is one nearby, and the few times I have walked outside, it looked closed down. I have seen a few claims that the virus is faked to put in the NWO government and start rounding up Christians. I wonder if Christians are not aware of the projection here. They are the ones hoping for horrific suffering and disasters that will bring in a World Government ruled by Jesus and his cronies. They probably think that suspending church services is just a ploy to prevent Christians from worshiping. And, Christians need to signal their faith often. Staying away from church shows a lack of faith. Some of them believe that prayer will heal them, so even if they believe in the virus’ existence they don’t care.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I am religious myself, and the idea of people meeting at churches despite the world’s conditions is in no way Christian like. I thought you would find this scripture very interesting. Roman’s 13:1, 2 says, “Let every person be in subjection to the superior authorities, for there is no authority except by God; the existing authorities stand placed in their relative positions by God. 2 Therefore, whoever opposes the authority has taken a stand against the arrangement of God; those who have taken a stand against it will bring judgment against themselves.” We are supposed to obey the superior authorities, otherwise we are disobeying God. Meeting in large groups and compromising the health of many also shows a disregard for the Christian sentiment of having “love for thy neighbor.” It is not loving to jeopardize the health of your community. I would love to hear your thoughts on these points as well as on this article that speaks about why God allows evil and suffering, since you feel that he doesn’t care. Thank you for your time. Stay healthy and safe! 💗
    https://www.jw.org/en/library/books/good-news-from-god/why-god-allows-evil-and-suffering/

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    1. It’s not that I feel God doesn’t care. I don’t feel like God is there at all. I was raised Christian and accepted Christ at 14. At 39, I finally realized I did not believe it anymore. That was nearly 3 years ago. Looking back at 25 years of devotion, I saw it was one sided. I was the only one speaking and doing… anything. I came to the realization I had been talking to myself for a quarter century. That’s all. It was a hard realization I faced, but it happened.

      I have read hundreds of articles and watched countless videos on the subject of why God allows suffering and evil. None of the excuses are good enough. It all boils down to: if God is real then he is holding onto a grudge from thousands of years ago that ushered in an age of sin. He allowed it or caused it. Either way, it’s his mess to clean up. We’re born into this world the way it is. We’re not responsible for the sin God created or was unable to stop.

      So no, I don’t feel that God is uncaring. If he exists, it is obvious he doesn’t care. I’m not convinced he does exist. Seems like something that everyone should know. Yet it is still a debate which means he is either hiding from us or not there.

      I am happy to hear that many believers see that staying home is the right thing to do. There’s no point risking spreading an illness that is out of control right now. Thanks for the well wishes. You stay safe as well.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you! I see your point of view a lot better now. We all have rights to our own opinions and beliefs. I commend you for listening to others beliefs nevertheless. Thank you for taking the time to respond to me!!

        Like

      2. Some of these comments remind me of my experience of “letting go” of religion. I went through a long period of reading and rereading the Bible, trying to learn about how, who, and where it came from and how it reached its present status. It was, honestly, more as an effort to determine what the “right” belief was than a study in repudiating it. As a history buff, amateur historian so to speak, I was enthralled with the corpus of research already a couple of hundred years old on the history of the Bible; the writers, time period written, as well as the history of rewrites, deletions, redactions, etc. that had taken place over the years and by whom, etc. So the point at which I finally said to myself “I don’t think this is real” was a slow and prolonged process and I had already – almost unconsciously – passed the point of “letting go”. I had already let go without acknowledging having done so.

        At some point, it just became ingrained in me that this is nothing more than mythology – granted, mixed with some history – but certainly nothing like this story ever happened. The more I read and researched the more apparent it became. Now, when I listen to believers; apologists, defenders, fundamentalists, etc., I simply can not believe that it once played such a predominant part of my life. I come to see it as. nothing more than self-serving drivel and I am now very comfortable in the idea that there is nothing there; no diety, no Jesus, nothing divine at all.

        I believe the Earth now needs our attention, desperately so, and since in a manner of speaking, you can say that She actually “created us” (through a process of billions of years of evolution, mutation, trial and error) not only does She need it, but we do as well. Only human beings would sabotage their own biosphere; water, food sources, animals, everything we need to survive and we require for life AND give ourselves the permission to do it because “God” is going to fix it for us. And Christians, the most ignorant among us, will say God gave us permission to do so in Genesis (1:26-28)

        Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
        27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them;
        male and female he created them.
        28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

        And, as usual, this has been bent into the harmful tactics and practices that we use today to rape and pillage and pollute and burn the only known planet capable of sustaining life. Yes, religion is pure craziness and we need to get more people to understand it and the consequences of using it to run our lives and world.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Rapar — EXCELLENT comment!

        While most believers tend to live their faith through emotion, there are some, like you, who are willing to take the time to study and learn. And when they do, the results are nearly always the same as what you experienced.

        Liked by 2 people

  9. Excellent post, Ben. When so many believers who’ve continued meeting die, what then? They didn’t have enough faith? God wanted them home? It was a test? Anything except they were incredulously stupid.
    The protection of the gods is a very old belief and despite millennia of evidence that it is nothing more than a delusion, it nonetheless persists.

    Liked by 1 person

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