With new worldwide tragedies and disasters emerging daily, the faith of many can’t help but be challenged. But in terms of the pandemic, some hardcore believers haven’t lost a bit of it. They believe God is simply separating the sheep from the goats and that His divine protection is all they need to survive it. The big guy has their six. Others believe God gave humankind the intelligence to create a vaccine and to know enough to wear a mask.
The differences of thought have caused somewhat of a rift within the Christian community but not one that can’t be easily resolved. Since there are plenty of houses of worship from which to choose, even within a worshiper’s same denomination, they can simply find one that better suits them and walk through its door with the assurance they’ll be welcomed into their new family with open arms.
But if you’re Mormon this is going to be much more difficult to achieve. A large number of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are anti-mask and anti-vaccine despite church leaders trying to convince them otherwise. This is making it rough for the church members who agree with their leaders, but being Mormon and all, don’t have another nearby church to attend. Since the maskers and ‘vaxxers’ refuse to share a building with the anti-maskers and ‘vaxxers’, there’s trouble in paradise.
About 65% of the Mormons who were surveyed said they have no problem with the vaccine or masks and most of them have had at least one dose. The rest of them said “no way.” They claim to be listening to a higher authority than their church leaders, and if any of them do get sick and die it’ll be as God intended.
As a side note, 79% of white Catholics are in favor of the vaccine and wearing a mask, while only 56% of white protestants fall into this category.
Monique Allen, a Mormon residing in Wisconsin, is the mother of an 8-year-old asthmatic daughter. Allen belongs to the pro-vaccine contingent. She believes her opposition is allowing political views to override their loyalty to the church and that they’re using religion as an excuse to not get vaccinated. There’s nothing Godly at all about what they’re doing.
When her daughter asked if it was true that God wants her to wear a mask, Allen answered, “Of course Christ would wear a mask, of course, he would get vaccinated because he’s a loving person. And that’s the only way you can take care of people these days is doing these simple things.”
The 16-million member worldwide church has no idea how to handle this enormous rift that’s splintering their very foundation. “The common perception of Mormons and Mormonism is that when church leaders speak, church members listen and do what they’re told,” said Patrick Mason, associate professor of religion at Utah State University. “This has revealed sometimes how conditional that loyalty can be.”
This is the first time in the history of Mormonism that the religion’s members have bucked the system, but it’s indicative of the larger divides encapsulating the nation as politics in many cases supersede rules, bylaws, and traditions. It’s indicative of a country in crisis.
The Mormons can’t figure out how to keep their church from tearing in two any more than the U.S. government knows how to keep the same thing from happening to America. Both of them are rolling downhill to the point of no return.
Maybe if the Mormon leaders pray hard enough they can bring about a miracle to save their church and the country all in one shot, but the way it’s looking for them now, God ain’t listening. It’s not His problem to deal with.