Monday, 18 May 2020

Malevolent Designer News - Covid-19 Devastating Church Congregations

Raul Luis Lopez’s funeral, at the house in Queens where the delivery worker lived, is the first Reverend Fabian Arias has presided over in a private home.
These Two New York City Churches Lost a Hundred Members to COVID | Terry Firma | Friendly Atheist | Patheos

Despite the regular claims by religious fruitloops that they are magically immune to Covid-19, having been protected with magic spells or potions and having been 'washed in the blood of Christ' [sic], and even claims that Covid-19 is God's punishment on specific people like Atheists, pro-choice 'liberals' and other members of the conservative Christian demonology, as this CNN article shows, Christians are being hit at least as badly as others and probably more so. (Cue: the 'no true Scotsmen' fallacy - "well, they're not true Christians!")

It is also clear from this report, that racial/ethnic minorities are being hit disproportionately, just as we are finding in the UK where black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) groups have been hit twice as hard as the white population.

We are dying at a higher rate because we have no other choice. These are the delivery food people, the people that are the day workers, the farm workers, these are people that are working in restaurants. They are essential services, and now they are not enjoying the protections that maybe in other industries people can have.

Frankie Miranda
President of the Hispanic Federation.
The fact that those suffering most in New York (and generally in the USA) are Latino's rather than the Afro-Caribbean and Asian population in the UK, suggests this is more related to social stratification and jobs, than to genetic predisposition.

The point here is that these New York victims are mostly Latino Catholics and to a lesser extent Evangelical Protestants.

In an all-too-rare voice of sanity in an American Christian leader, Bishop Paul Egensteiner,leader of the Evangelical Lutheran Church’s Metropolitan New York Synod told CNN he is angered by Americans who argue the pandemic has been overhyped.

You have to be in a very privileged place to be able to say [the pandemic is over-hyped]. You either have blinders on, or it’s an acute lack of awareness of how this virus is devastating communities... In some [Latino congregations], pastors report that 25-30% of the congregation is infected... When they’re able to gather again, congregation members are going to be shocked at who’s missing.

Bishop Paul Egensteiner
A single-spaced tally of the dead, given to CNN by Reverend Fabian Arias ran to two pages. Reading it is becoming as much a part of the twice-weekly Spanish-language mass as is the Lord's Prayer. There is very little evidence of a supernatural deity intervening to limit the deaths to the un-pious or to people who vote in a particular way, as Dr Alved King famously seemed to imply recently.

So, let's just run through the things creationists assume about their putative creator:
  1. The Intelligent Designer is the only thing in the Universe capable of creating something complex, like a virus because complexity requires an intelligent designer, and there is only one intelligent designer.
  2. Everything the intelligent designer does has a purpose.
  3. The Intelligent, omniscient designer knows exactly what its design will do and designs it for that specific purpose.
  4. Its designs will do exactly what it designed them to do, in exactly the way it designed them; nothing more and nothing less.

The facts are:
  • Covid-19 victims are disproportionately from the upper age groups and from the lower strata of society - the people who generally do the essential but unrewarding work in society - the work done by mostly people from an immigrant background. Both these age and social groups tend to be disproportionately represented in religious congregations.
  • Young people, who tend to make up the majority of those who have rejected religious affiliation tend to be much better at surviving the illness.
  • Neither prayer nor attendance at church protect people from it. The latter may actually increase the risk of contracting it.

So, what religious people, especially fundamentalists now need to explain, is why did their god create Covid-19 to kill old and poor people, and those without whom society could not function to anything like the level to which we've become accustomed in the affluent West, and those most likely to be affiliated to established religion and to attend places of worship more often?

Conversely, why is it favouring those least likely to be religious, and the indigenous population who benefit most from the labour of the immigrant population?

At the time of writing there have been 197,486 confirmed and probable Covid-19 cases in New York, of whom 20,214 have died

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