White Evangelical Resistance Is Obstacle in Vaccination Effort (NYT article 4/05)

Found this interesting and relevant to a lot of what is discussed here. My apologies if it is too political.

“There are two parts to the problem, she said: The scientific community has not been as friendly toward evangelicals, and the religious community has not encouraged followers to pursue careers in science. Distrust of scientists has become part of cultural identity, of what it means to be white and evangelical in America, she said.””

I found that interesting since I’ve always thought that distrust of science stems from the idea that science and the academy is at odds with more literal interpretations of the Bible. I agree that it is so I at least understand where conservatives are coming from. If I were forced to choose between Jesus, my faith, my world, my whole worldview (just like the sun, by His light I see everything else) and “secular science” I would of course be distrustful of the latter. None the less, vaccination is a serious problem facing the church in America today. To be quite frank, it just looks like a poor witness to Jesus.

Agree or disagree, worth the read to see how some people are portraying some components of white, evangelical belief at the moment. The NYT is not your typical run of the mill newspaper.

Vinnie

5 Likes

I agree that coming from a fear of the scientific establishment would predispose me against the overarching health drive.

I am not sure how to reach them.

1 Like

Elisabeth Dias and Ruth Graham are both Wheaton alums. Elisabeth has a theology degree. They always do a nice job reporting on Evangelicals because they know the deal.

1 Like

I think it’s just common among a lot of people.

I was going to go to a Chinese restaurant yesterday. As I was walking up I looked in the glass doors and saw probably 20 , mostly Asians, eating, talking and mingling and none of them had masks. There is also a side room you can see into walking up where they can play some kind of game with dice and like 10 people was in there walking around sharing the dice and playing. So I just went back to my vehicle and left.

There is a predominantly black neighborhood that I drive by often or bike through and they are constantly doing block parties and a few hundred mostly African Americans party until 2am dancing and singing and definitely passing joints around because the smell of pot saturates the air. Someone told me about two months ago that there was a antique rose growing at a small kids park there and while there I also noticed that it’s a good candidate for the adder ferns I’ve been looking for and so I spent about 45 minutes there looking. It was 10 am. There is a basketball court about a hundred feet away from where i was and there was about a dozen men in their 20s and maybe a few in their 40s playing basketball and not wearing masks.

When I go to the lumber yard to get materials I’ll see dozens of hispanic workers there loading up their lumber for their next job and none of them wear masks. Ive watched a guy cough and cough while bare handling lumber and they all pile up into the 350 truck.

When I go to the grocery store I I see people of every race , including white people who sometimes don’t exist lol, wearing masks and not wearing masks. I see people with Trump hats wearing and not wearing masks, and I see people with rebel flag shirts wearing and not wearing masks and so on.

So I don’t really think it’s a just white evangelical thing. It’s just a thing that stupid people do thats inconsiderate. I think mostly, as more time goes less and less people care.

With white evangelicals, just like white liberal women who are anti “vax”because they think it results in kids with autism, it’s partly politically based snd it’s also culturally based.

I’m a white evangelical straight male who has wore a mask every single time except once in a gas station for over a year now. I even did it go through drive thru or to a restaurant period for over 10 months.

1 Like

And by the way, these videos mentioned, are posted on the BioLogos website:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Dr. Anthony Fauci are not going to be able to persuade evangelicals, according to Curtis Chang, a consulting professor at Duke Divinity School who is leading an outreach project to educate evangelicals about the vaccine.

The project includes a series of short, shareable videos for pastors, answering questions like “How can Christians spot fake news on the vaccine?” and “Is the vaccine the Mark of the Beast?” The latter refers to an apocalyptic theory that the Antichrist will force his sign onto everyone at the end of the world.

2 Likes

I certainly don’t think it is limited to white evangelicals. But surveys of Catholics and white evangelicals show very different things. No one is saying only white evangelicals don’t want the vaccine but there is certainly a strong contingent of them. Anecdotal evidence, while important, does not change the data from polls.

Vinnie

2 Likes

I agree. It just saying it’s the same for everyone. The problem is not white evangelicals, white people, or religion. It’s stupidity.

1 Like

Distrust of science is not limited to any one group, sure, but if there is a larger percentage of this distrust or outright dismissal among one or two groups in particular, then it is helpful to know that. We can’t fix what we don’t know about.

5 Likes

Heard about this in my FB newsfeed:

If you are a member of an Evangelical Church, PBS Newshour wants to hear from you about your thoughts on getting vaccinated against COVID-19.

The poll is here

3 Likes

Sure. But I don’t see any major differences when out in public. But until everything is talked about equally, and honestly I’ll always bring up both sides. Because again this is not a white problem , this is not a republican problem, this is not a American problem, and this is not a Christian problem. If we try to pretend it’s a white Christian problem then terrorism is a Muslim brown persons problem snd gun violence is a black Christian problem and ect… but when we break them down into these statistically supported problems it actually misrepresents it. That’s my point.

Thats not true.Its literary the first “rule” of the biologos.Science and the bible dont contradict.History has proven vital parts of the bible right many times. And ive done as much reasearch as i could in the core points of it

Not all white people are evangelical. Not all Christians are evangelical. There are documented correlations between white evangelicals’ vaccine hesitancy and their theological and political views (interpretation of Revelation, concern about the fetal cell lines, distrust of “atheist” scientists, consumption of right-wing media, etc.)

Image from sociologist Samuel Perry;
image

4 Likes

Like I already said in my previous posts. We can apply that same method to other things that results in bad paradigms used by many others. That’s what I’m pointing out. And it’s legitimate.

I’m simply pointing out the fallacy with that argument. It’s the same argument I see racists using about how black people have a homicide with handgun problems.

You can get that same data, and use it in a much better way.

Unless y’all are all disagreeing with me because what I said is that it’s not a white persons problem, it’s not a evangelical problem, it’s a problem of stupidity that goes across the board.

When looking at the chart it looks like black Protestants are pretty close behind, and in the paranoid and waiting slot they scored even higher.

So it’s perfectly fine to point out the issue in the narrative I see the headliner making. It’s ok to point out how the same type of argument can be used for many things and do get used for many things.

I guess what I’m getting at is that it can could equally be read “ Black Protestants are a contributing resistance to African Americans being vaccinated.”

I did notice that. Could read:

Black Protestant Resistance Is Obstacle in Vaccination Effort

That’s probably not going to make the papers as a headline for quite a few reasons.

One of my friends reads the NYT. He says there are lots of articles about black people not being vaccinated as well. But he pointed out to me considering historical events, many African Americans were used as test subjects for diseases so many of them have a fear of being guinea pigs. Tuskegee experiment type stuff.

3 Likes

Sure. And poor white families and those considered dumb were the subject of being treated like animals and “fixed” through the eugenics programs and being prevented from marrying. It was not just hispanics, blacks and indigenous people.

Most of the people I’ve met are not getting the vaccine because they don’t what it costs or if it even costs anything, they are paranoid about how fast it was produced and don’t believe there was any real test period, they believe that vaccines can cause autism, and they pass around these stupid stories of “ oh I heard a nurse who was perfectly fine get the shot and they started getting dizzy and throwing up and have headaches for weeks now” or “ I read that a man got the shot and now he’s been week and unable to hardly move around for weeks” and so on.

Black people for the most part don’t seem to be paranoid about getting the shot because they think it’s a conspiracy against them to kill them off or something. I live in alabama and 9 out of 10 African Americans, and white people, that I meet and ask about do you know about the Tuskegee experiment* ( I imagine it’s clear it’s a typo ) don’t even know who they are. They were never taught in school, they did not watch the movies, and until recently they have never seen anything online about it.

I am betting if you were able to get the individuals in that survey who said they would never get it you would see that the majority of them , regardless of race or religion , are poor people with public school education and they have very limited experience with science projects, reading science books, or learning science from anything other than random memes passed online. The next largest group are those that simply fail to recognize that tons of scientists from all over the world with almost unlimited funding were all working on this vaccine for hours on end. It was not just a few small pharmaceutical companies working on the vaccine disregarding any health laws.

The reason why you don’t see it worded the other way and spread around as much is because it does not fit the typical narrative and of you criticize the black community in the same way you’re more likely to face canceling, protests, and people pulling away. It’s why you don’t see music labels all saying they refuse to produce another black rappers album that encourages gang violence. It’s why when that loser white dude killed innocent Asian women working in salons and possibly victims of sex trafficking industry is broadcasted as the face of hate crimes against Asian Americans and you hear almost nothing about black on Asian hate crimes and all the women just smashed in the back of their heads walking down the street.

https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/nypd/downloads/excel/hate-crimes/2020/hate-crime-arrests-by-motivation-annual-2020.xlsx

That’s just for New York, other cities have different mixes as well.

Race is being used as the piggyback for everything at the moment. You’ll far more likely to see something along the lines of we have a problem of white American men attacking Asian women as a hate crime than you are to read we have a major problem of black American men attacking Asian women.

It’s why in my earlier post I brought up that if based off the data there is a problem with white evangelicals halting the vaccine there there is almost just as strongly a problem of black Protestants halting the vaccine. If there is a problem of white men carrying out mass shootings then there is a even bigger problem of black men murdering others with handguns.

But when you start to frame the issue as if race or religion is the main problem it keeps you from being able to honestly talk about the real problem and therefore knowing how to honestly talk about viable solutions.

Is it whiteness that is the problem with white evangelicals not getting the vaccine?
Is it a religious problem of white evangelicals not getting the vaccine?
Is it a blackness problem of young black men killing other black men?
Is it a blackness problem of black Protestants not getting the vaccine?
Is it a religious problem of black Protestants not getting the shot?

The answer is no to none of that. It’s not a problem whose issues lies in their race, or in their faith. After all even more white and black evangelicals and Protestants are going to get the vaccine if they get the chance.

The problem with all of these things are:

  1. Not educated on science in general and especially not on the vaccine.

  2. Feeling like they don’t have to the time or money to get it.

With the other problems I brought up to highlight the stupidity the issues are:

  1. Anti scientific paradigms.
  2. Low emotional intelligence.
  3. Lack of education.

So my problem with the headline is not that wrong. There are obviously a lot of white evangelicals not getting the shot. There is obviously a lot of black
Protestants not getting the shot. Certain niches seem to breed certain issues. Such as you will find very little white guilt among Republican men but you’ll find a lot among white progressive women. Normally those who enjoyed abundance of a higher quality of life because their parents worked harder snd smarter. So they grew up going to private schools, never feared being able to go to college because daddy was going to pay for it, and they have always lived in the better part of the predominantly white towns. But again that’s a major simplification of a issue. So my issue is that the way the headliner is being treated is as if the problem lies within whiteness or evangelism.

So if anyone is confused on how to talk to a white evangelical whose adamant about not getting the vaccine it’s the same way you would talk to a black Protestant, a anti vaxer white liberal woman and so on.

It’s talking about science. Like the link shared by HRankin a while back. Ive shared that link with black, hispanic and white people ive met online who voiced fear and doubt about the vaccine and when I followed up a day later they almost all had a noticeable change from “ I’m never getting it” to “ I’ll
Wait a little while and get it”. The underlining fear seems to be that they don’t believe the vaccine was actually tested properly and is just being thrown out there.

I have been sharing that article a lot…very helpful.

1 Like

It’s a great one indeed. I think one of the reasons is because it’s written in a way to address the underlining fears of the vaccine and it’s not written with a headline meant to trigger people into responding over what seems to be a agenda based narrative on mocking something. It explains the issues people have and why they don’t need to worry. It’s the single best article I’ve been using. I don’t think another article has even changed anyone’s mind that I’ve met.

1 Like

Can you reshare or point me in the right direction to the link?

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

This is a place for gracious dialogue about science and faith. Please read our FAQ/Guidelines before posting.