Former NIH Director Francis Collins Draws Fire for Vaccine Advocacy Among Leading Evangelicals

By Sarah Einselen
Francis Collins BioLogos vaccine
Francis Collins, former National Institutes of Health director and the founder and senior fellow of BioLogos. (Photo courtesy of BioLogos)

Dr. Francis Collins, former director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and founder of the evolutionary creation advocacy group BioLogos, has become a lightning rod within evangelicalism for promoting vaccines for COVID-19, especially among pastors and other faith leaders.

In a BioLogos-sponsored webinar last week, Collins chided many of his fellow white evangelicals for not getting the vaccine and alleged “the culture war is literally killing people.”

Collins cited Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that vaccine hesitancy or resistance contributed to more than 100,000 deaths from COVID-19, the Religion News Service reported. He suggested vaccine resistance was partly the result of Christians falling for misinformation.

Yet in a recent Daily Wire article that’s been widely circulated, conservative writer Megan Basham questioned why evangelicals haven’t interrogated Collins more rigorously before sharing their platform with the federal official she called “Caesar’s agent.”

Citing news reports, Basham accused Collins of trying to suppress questions surrounding the source of COVID-19 and the efficacy of the federal COVID-19 response. She also accused Collins himself of being “willing to compromise transparency and truth for PR considerations.”

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Basham also questioned whether it was appropriate for Collins to recruit evangelical leaders like Wheaton College dean Ed Stetzer to help him spread the government’s preferred narratives about COVID-19.

On a podcast with Stetzer in September, Collins said, “I want pastors once again to try to use your credibility with your flock to put forward the public health measures that we know can work.”

But Basham asked, “(I)s it truly the pastor’s job to tell church members to ‘trust the science?’”

Spokespeople for the NIH and BioLogos didn’t immediately reply when The Roys Report reached out asking for a response to the Daily Wire piece. TheDaily Wire didn’t receive a response when it reached out to Stetzer, public theologian Russell Moore, and other high-profile evangelicals mentioned in the piece.

‘Misinformation . . . and conspiracies’

Collins regularly cites his faith in BioLogos podcasts and elsewhere, sometimes comparing his path to Christ to that of C.S. Lewis. Collins, who headed the Human Genome Project, is author of the best-selling book The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief, which won a Christianity Today Book Award.

Because of his substantial scientific credentials and professed Christian belief, The Washington Post described Collins as being in an “unusual position to address people of faith.”

In last week’s BioLogos webinar, Collins said he was surprised by how much his shared faith mattered to Christians. Researchers, he said, have found that “unless that truth comes at you from somebody you trust, you’re not going to call it truth at all.”

Collins also highlighted how white evangelicals were somewhat less likely than average to have gotten vaccinated for COVID-19.

About two-thirds of white evangelical Protestants had gotten at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine when Pew Research polled Americans in late August. At the time, 70% of black Protestants had done so, and almost three-quarters of Americans in general.

Collins told RNS he blamed “misinformation and lies and conspiracies” for part of white evangelicals’ hesitancy about COVID-19 vaccination. He also thought his messaging about the pandemic could have been better.

Credibility as an evangelical

However, Basham called Collins’ credibility with evangelicals into question.

Under Collins’ watch, she wrote, the NIH has funded research using abortion-derived fetal tissue and factored in diversity criteria when awarding grants. NIH funding has also gone to research on “sexual and gender minorities,” she wrote.

BioLogos, which Collins founded, also advocates for “an evolutionary understanding of God’s creation.”

According to Pew Research, only about a third of evangelicals think humans evolved and a majority oppose abortion and same-sex marriage.

Basham suggested Collins gained his credibility from “character witnesses” like Stetzer and former Southern Baptist leader Russell Moore, who praised Collins’ “Christian humility.”

After the article’s publication, Basham noted on Twitter that BioLogos suddenly canceled an interview she had scheduled with Collins on a different topic. When she asked why, an organization spokesperson replied that “the tone and claims” of her article were “inconsistence” with BioLogos’ aims.

Responses Mixed

Responses to the controversy have been mixed.

Jay Richards, a research fellow with the Heritage Foundation, urged pastors and religious leaders to apologize for “this naïve propagandizing for Collins.”

Kelley Owens, a kids director at a church in Indianapolis, tweeted: “If nothing else, this pandemic has served to increase my discernment and give me pause before I uncritically accept any position . . . Even if it comes from someone I have previously trusted.”

However, a medical doctor noted on social media that Collins was “far from the only medical doctor urging, masking, vaccination, and reasonable public health interventions. In fact there have been doctors and nurses in churches all across the country giving the same message to evangelicals.”

One reader likened the pushback against Collins to how Christians interacted with former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop.

Erick Erickson, a conservative Christian pundit, initially said he was “disturbed” by Basham’s article. But later, he published a blog post calling for an end to what he characterized as “infighting” among Christians trying to bolster their own credibility.

“(M)aybe those in positions of leadership need to realize there are others they’re inspiring to tribalism, not to the trials of the Christian life,” he wrote. “Maybe instead of picking sides, pick Jesus.”

Sarah Einselen is an award-winning writer and editor based in Texas.

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89 thoughts on “Former NIH Director Francis Collins Draws Fire for Vaccine Advocacy Among Leading Evangelicals”

  1. Collins is right that it’s the culture war that has contributed to evangelicals’ turning away from vaccines. It’s probably also their strong alignment with the political right. I grew up as a missionary kid overseas among evangelical missionaries of all stripes. Not a single one of them refused vaccines. Our missionary doctors encouraged them and had clinics for those they served because vaccination rates among the general population were low. We got vaccinated against many different diseases with no hesitation or doubts. It undoubtedly saved many lives. This was in the 70s and 80s.

    What a shame it is to see what white evangelicalism in America has become.

    1. Why are you following the lead of the culture and trying to make this about race? The article literally pointed out that 67% of white evangelicals are vaccinated while 70% of black Protestants are vaccinated, a statistically insignificant difference. Let’s not pretend that this has anything to do with race when the statistics say otherwise, no reason for it.

      1. You’re ginning up controversy where there is none. What I grew up in was white evangelicalism, so that’s what I tracked with. Nothing more.

        1. @ John Lotze

          “What a shame it is to see what white evangelicalism in America has become.”

          Are you saying that the above statement isn’t controversial? Is there an assumed omniscience where the full range of “white evangelical” experience and practice is open to you where you weighed it in the balances and found it wanting?

          Statistics can be made to say what people want. There’s even a book called “How to Lie with Statistics”. So perhaps before heaping shame on a group of people who are brothers and sisters, maybe a bit of measured charity might be employed.

      2. My family lost my dad to Covid/pneumonia 2 weeks ago. We lost my cousin a week later with the Covid/pneumonia. My beliefs have not changed about the vaccines, my perspective has. First was fully vaccinated and the other refused to be vaccinated.

        My belief as Job 14:5 states, “ Since his days are determined, and the number of his months is with you, and you have appointed his limits that he cannot pass,” Both dad and my cousin died on their appointed day. From a biblical perspective they both died on their divine date.

        My perspective has changed that when Covid and pneumonia hybrid. It’s no joke. Most painful experience watching your loved ones struggling to breathe. Holding dad’s hand, his legs were mottling. His oxidizer couldn’t get a read. 15 minutes later, he saw Jesus face to face. My cousin had similar experience. Same death different vaccine status. Not sure who is right on this vaccine debate

        It is sin to use the pulpit to push for vaccination or preach against. Preach Christ! And the article states that a 3% (within the margin of error) difference between black and white are vaccinated. That stat is telling with an agenda. Make an informed decision, leave the bating out of it and realize we all have an appointment with death.

        1. @ KC Dell

          I’m so very sorry for the losses you have experienced. My family has experienced Covid, but I’ve lost no one to it, so I can’t know what you’re going through. My God’s peace be with you and your family.

        2. I’m sorry for your loss, but the data is clear. Unvaccinated Americans are dying from Covid-19 at a much higher rate than vaccinated Americans:

          During October–November, unvaccinated persons had 13.9 and 53.2 times the risks for infection and COVID-19–associated death, respectively, compared with fully vaccinated persons who received booster doses, and 4.0 and 12.7 times the risks compared with fully vaccinated persons without booster doses.

          https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/71/wr/mm7104e2.htm

          (Other studies have confirmed this finding).

          Vaccines do not completely eliminate the risk of death from Covid-19, but they do greatly diminish it, especially if you have been boosted. I’m sorry it didn’t work for your father, but he did the right thing. There are hundreds of thousands of other Americans alive today because they are vaccinated.

          Finally, it is not a sin to tell the truth about vaccines saving lives from the pulpit. Pastors have a duty of care to their community, spiritual and physical, especially to the vulnerable in their congregation.

          1. It’s also not a sin to say that there are risks involved on both sides of the issue, and people should make their own decisions.

        3. So sorry about the sad news.
          But I assume you are not suggesting that we should not wear seat belts, or see doctors when we are sick, or cross the road without looking both sides, etc. since the divine date is fixed. The data is very clear, that majority of hospitalized patients are unvaccinated.

      3. Meredith Nienhuis

        Gus – so many of the comments following continue to bash White evangelicals who are vaccinated at the same rate as Black protestants! Francis Collins makes a false accusation.

    2. Some evangelicals turning away from vaccines, most thoughtful people who base their decisions on reason that ideology will get the vaccine.

    3. I’m as big into science as anyone else, I was reading books on particle physics and nuclear transmutation of elements in the third grade. But the fact is these have turned out to be pretty [low quality] vaccines, with somewhat serious side effects. But anyone who brings that up is called anti-science by the left.

  2. Jonathan Zebulske

    Francis collins did some really unchristian stuff that I’m a little surprised you guys brush over. And for the record, I’m pro-vaccination and have been boosted, so no I’m not a “nut bag,” that is motivated by that. Instead, Francis and Fauci attacked and marginalized scientists at prestigious places like Harvard, Stanford and Oxford because they talked about promoting a more nuanced solution to the Covid problem. His emails between fauci and himself have surfaced in which he asks fauci to undermine and slander these scientists for the cause. This is pretty much known in right wing and center political news outlets (ie both Fox News and “the hill”). The more information that has come out about fauci and collins the more it seems like they are not that much better than lance Armstrong when it comes to destroying those that undermined their message. And again, I feel I should remind whatever critic feels compelled to respond… I am not an anti-vaxxer and yes I think the Jan 6 riots were despicable.. but, I hate that Christian news outlets have become shills for one side or the other. If you’re far right Christian then of course all cops are perfect and never racist (which is crazy). If you’re center or center left Christian then every blm action is noble and justified and fauci and collins are modern day saints. This as a journalistic endeavor is ludicrous. We all know life is more nuanced and there is bad and good on both sides. Really wish we actually accounted for that. Had high hopes for this site.

    1. I agree Jonathan. Not only did he and Fauci discredit those who disagreed with them, they used their power to shut down esteemed doctors, ie.the media who touted their one sided views. Using aborted babies to do science experiments is not one any Christian should approve of, yet he does and has used his power to do so. Using “white” and “Evangelical Christian” to frame his argument accomplishes the effort to divide us. If you research what he has condoned you will be hard pressed to call him Christian. Don’t be deceived folks.

        1. Loren M,

          Would you please cite a research source that shows Ivermectine was created with fetal cell technology?

          The only references I have found are on animal studies:

          “Experiments in animals proved that P-glycoprotein (Pgp) forms a functional barrier between maternal and fetal blood circulation in the placenta, thus protecting the fetus from exposure to xenobiotics during pregnancy.”

          1. Henry Hayne Crum, III

            He did not say created, he said tested. Ivermectine has been around a long time. Numerous tests are done in fetal cell cultures.

          2. Henry Hayne C,

            That is my point, there is a difference between something already created being tested on fetal cells (all medicines have been) and a treatment created with fetal cell technology.

    2. I appreciate what you have said; excellent points. I suspect that many commenting here are not aware of some of the FOIA request results, the new information about burner phones, and so forth. That’s why I hope the Roys Report covers this further, and fairly, as you have alluded to, since it may be their only exposure to that information.

      I’d also recommend people give RFK, Jr’s book about Fauci a read. He’s neither Christian nor Conservative, and you might not like his anti-vaccine stance, but it is packed with endless footnotes that dispel any argument that there’s no corruption involved here.

      For the record, I did not get the injection, and I, too, am not a “nut bag.”

    3. I was disappointed when I saw the emails with Collins and Fauci conspiring to silence doctor’s who disagreed with their narrative and condoned hit pieces Where is the outcry of this behavior?

    4. Can you please clarify what was “really unchristian stuff” about Collins’ emails? I’m not seeing the connection… thanks.

  3. May God give Dr Collins great patience, wisdom, courage, protection, grace and success in his fulfilment of his lifetime calling of service to God in science and health.

  4. Ronald K Denlinger

    I personally wish that more pastors had encouraged parishioners to talk with their doctors about becoming vaccinated against Covid. And should they also remind believers that myths about all kinds of things have always abounded and to be sure that the things they are believing to be true are well documented true and not simply rumors. Isn’t that the kind of thing that Paul urged Timothy to do?

    One of the teachers in my class at church is a doctor. A few weeks ago I shared with him that I wished we were corporately asking him and others to share their thoughts regarding the pandemic. I think that we should seriously take into consideration what Christians who understand medicine (who have made it their life) think about such things. He appreciated my saying so and also wished that were true, but it isn’t. What a shame.

    1. Neil Cameron (One Salient Oversight)

      Proverbs 26.12 says “Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.”

      This verse (and 26.1-11) teaches us that it is foolish to think that you know more about an issue than a recognised expert.

      With the news and social media filled with contradictory information about Covid and the vaccine, we can’t just pick and choose who we listen to. The wisest decision is to ask for the counsel of those who know most about vaccines: doctors.

      And we can’t just pick and choose doctors to agree with our point of view. We should also take into account the consensus of doctors and vaccine experts on this matter.

      What we do know about vaccines is this: Viruses spread from person to person. You may pick up a virus and spread it to someone else, and you might not have any problems with the infection but the person you spread it to might become very ill and even die. If you are vaccinated, you are far less likely to get infected, you are far more likely to survive an infection and you are far less likely to spread the infection to others.

      1. You said,

        “If you are vaccinated, you are far less likely to get infected, you are far more likely to survive an infection and you are far less likely to spread the infection to others.”

        And yet they no longer say with any credibility that you are less likely to get infected. You weren’t even supposed to get infected if you got jabbed, but the goalposts keep getting moved. And why would Pfizer want 75 years to release their research? And why aren’t they jabbing the thousands coming across our southern border each day if what you said is true? We can’t pick and choose just as you said.

        1. Ronald K Denlinger

          Seems to me as though there are common sense answers to some of your objections.

          I don’t recall anyone saying that a vaccine of yesterday would keep anyone from being infected by the variant of today. What I heard the “experts” say is, “we’ll have to wait and see, because these vaccines weren’t designed with unknown variants in mind.” How can they be. So, I wasn’t surprised when I was fully vaccinated and boosted and yet still came down with covid. The experts told me in advance this was a real possibility.

          There are lots of goalposts that have kept moving. Granted. And there are several reasons for this. For one, the experts have humbly and consistently said: “this is new,” “we’re learning,” “there is so much we still don’t know.” And yes, new outbreaks and new variants require some new goals and approaches. I’d feel less confident about the management of this whole thing if goalposts never moved.

          Have politics gotten in the way? Absolutely. And from both sides, granted. And yes, there is inconsistency in application of the advice given by medical doctors. But I don’t think it necessarily follows that the advice is wrong.

          Seems to me also that we might be more gracious and understanding if we took the time to review the contexts of all statements being made. When were they said? What was known at the time? etc.

          1. @ Ronald Denlinger

            You said,

            “Seems to me also that we might be more gracious and understanding if we took the time to review the contexts of all statements being made. When were they said? What was known at the time? etc.”

            I can agree with much of the above were it applied evenly, otherwise it’s irony. Additionally, no one has yet addressed the vaccine status of the thousands of people entering the country from the southern border. How much gracious understanding is required of me when my government demands I get vaccinated while not making a similar demand of those thousands upon thousands? And Pfizer needs 75 years because….?????

        2. No doubt it is the lawyers working for the big Pharm firms. To release the raw data for everyone to look over would, in their minds, invite frivolous lawsuits. And they are probably right about that. So the data does not get released. In a perfect world it would. Yet we do not live in one. So the conspiracy theorists go nuts even though all of the studies all over the world show that the vaccines have helped a lot. If they were dangerous there would be class actions lawsuits everywhere that have good data to back them up. Can you name any at all?

          1. @ Mr. Ralph Jesperson

            All of the companies have been given immunity from lawsuits for these vaccines. No attorney would take the case. Of course I can’t name any class action lawsuits because there will never be any.

            The companies already know they have immunity from lawsuits. So my question stands unanswered. Again, why does Pfizer need 75 years, and who commenting here will still be alive to ask questions?

        3. “the goalposts keep getting moved”
          Their are several goals. Create herd immunity. Prevent or slow the transmission of the disease. Reduce severity of the disease. Reduce the risk of death from the disease.
          Just because the vaccines haven’t done as well at the first* two goals as was hoped for doesn’t mean that somehow the vaccines aren’t accomplishing very important goals. (*first on my list, not first in importance)

          “And why would Pfizer want 75 years to release their research?”
          From what I understand, it was the FDA, not Pfizer, that gave the long timeline. And I’m finding stories from a month ago that said a U.S. District Judge told the FDA that they must accelerate the data release so all the data will be released by the end of September this year.

          “And why aren’t they jabbing the thousands coming across our southern border”
          They are “jabbing” some of them. My initial reaction is that a vaccine requirement for those who are staying here for a while would be a good idea. I don’t know why there isn’t. Perhaps there are legal reasons I am not aware of. There is a story from 3 weeks ago that the Biden administration is considering making vaccination a requirement for asylum seekers.
          But I don’t understand the idea that somehow this is proof that somehow other mandates are for a nefarious or disingenuous purpose.

          1. @ David Jensen

            Whether it was the FDA on behalf of Pfizer or not, why the glacial length of time? You are correct. A federal judge said they couldn’t do that. Score one for forced accountability.

            If public health policy is truly about public health then why the disparity in the way different populations are handled? Citizens of this country are commanded to get jabbed or lose their livelihoods. They might later lose everything and become homeless as a result, but that should hardly be the concern of our benevolent government. These people made their choice among the “one” choice they had. Get jabbed or go away and have a nice hopefully rather short life.

            By contrast, when you have a number of people crossing across your southern border in numbers that would fill a large city, and you want to give them a sum of money that would make them instantly rich but require no proof of vaccination. Just what game is afoot?

            Proof of vaccination against vaccine preventable diseases has been a feature of our very own immigration law since before you and I were born. Whether or not this all amounts to some nefarious plan is for everyone to decide for themselves, but I’ll wager even money that all is certainly not as many would like it to appear.

        4. “You weren’t even supposed to get infected if you got jabbed…”

          This is completely untrue. Even when the first results from the vaccine trials came in, the quoted number from the trials themselves was around 90% protection from infection — i.e. one person in ten would still be infected even when vaccinated. And it was also made clear from the start that this protection was likely to wane over time, though nobody knew how quickly that would happen. (Of course, that statement was jumped on by the antivaxxers as evidence the vaccine manufacturers were just looking to cash in on repeat vaccinations.)

          By the time the Delta variant came along, it was clear vaccine protections were waning, and that boosters helped restore most if not all of that protection, hence the launch of the booster program. When Omicron appeared, it turned out to be many times more infectious than previous variants, again, reducing the efficacy of the vaccine to protect from infection. But, all the latest studies are still showing that being fully vaccinated, including the booster shot, provides excellent protection from serious infection and death. It remains true that you are far less likely to die if you’re fully vaccinated.

          Sure, some of the statements from the government when it comes to public health policy about helping prevent infection (isolation, mask wearing, social distancing, etc.) has been confusing and contradictory at times, but the message about vaccinations, especially from the health care community has been consistent and correct throughout, based on the best evidence available at the time. We are in a pandemic with an unpredictable and fast mutating virus on our hands. That reality seems lost on too many people.

          1. Like the pandemic from 2009 that rated barely a yawn. When the president states you won’t get infected if your vaccinated, I’m going to assume he made that statement with the advice and content of his healthcare advisors.

            Then you are told this is now the pandemic of the unvaccinated even though well over one million people have been allowed into our country with no proof of or any requirement for vaccination. Where is the alarm and outcry from our public health officials when many of these new arrivals are being relocated throughout the country? What reasonable sense does this make, and how do you convince people who see this happening when all the while our government officials are saying the same things over and over again without addressing the elephant in the room? Get your experimental jab repeatedly world without end.

  5. Well said. “Basham” is ironically a very fitting name for her, reading how she responds to an educated and well respected doctor. I would follow Dr. Collins’ recommendation any day.

  6. Dr. Collins formerly of NIH, Dr. Jay C. Butler of the CDC and Dr. Gregory Poland of the Mayo Clinic, all professing Christ followers, have done an absolutely outstanding job during the Covid-19 pandemic. Their crucial medical research and later educating of the lay public regarding the beneficial efficacy of the vaccines has saved countless lives. Thank you!

  7. It’s extremely alarming that Rick Warren admitted there was an “off the record” meeting between these high profile evangelical leaders and the government, to promote vaccines from their platforms. The “off the record” nature of it only furthers the distrust of evangelical leadership these days. Why would they be okay with hiding that? Shame on Collins for organizing that, and continuing the veil of secrecy around leaders in the church.

  8. I was glad to read the Daily Wire article, and I hope the Roys Report pursues this matter, regarding faith leaders who carried water for Collins, just as they rightfully pursued the issues surrounding Driscoll, MacDonald, etc.

    As a lifelong follower of Christ who is neither stupid nor uneducated, who chose to not wear a mask nor get an injection, I am pleasantly surprised to see this article on this website. Despite assumptions, there are many Christian (and non-Christian) medical experts with a different stance than Collins, but this has not been reflected on this site. I’ve been reading/listening to the Roys Report for several years, but chose not to comment as it was clear someone like me was likely to be seen in a poor light by many commenters. Please do not give Collins, Moore, Keller, Stetzer, et al. a pass. Dig deep, as you do for others.

    1. Thank you, Julie Neidlinger. I agree, moser investigation is needed. I also agree that many fine scientists and doctors have disagreed with Fauci, and the conspiracy to silence those dissenters is troubling.

  9. It would be wise for Christian leaders to stay out of advising regarding this subject. It can come back to haunt them. I am pro vaccine but not sure about this one. I have heard both sides and the fact that the medical community and scientists are divided in this subject is worrying. These is my humble opinion.

    1. This pandemic will soon kill one million Americans. The vaccines have proven to be safe and effective. By the time a child reaches 18, 16 different vaccines will be given, So why be afraid of this one? Data can be manipulated to one’s viewpoint. Do your research and listen to the pros. Rogue medical people love to sow seeds of discord and gain celebrity and profit. Let’s grow up and empty the ICU’s which is occupied and taking up valuable space by the unvaccinated.

    2. The medical community and research scientists are not divided about the efficacy and necessity of the Covid-19 vaccines. Of course there are a few who will always run counter to the majority. There are a few scientists who still believe the Earth is 10,000 years old (for religious reasons), but to call the scientific community divided over the age of the Earth because of those few holdouts would be silly. There is a very strong consensus, based on a mountain of evidence that the Covid-19 vaccines are saving many, many lives.

      1. @ Mike Walker

        Most of those same scientists don’t believe in a worldwide flood or that a someone called Noah built a large boat and that only two of every kind of animal had the good sense to find that boat and get on it. Jesus believed it for some reason because He talked about the days of Noah. Then maybe some unknown writer snuck that part in and Jesus never actually said anything about Noah? How can we really know.

        They also wouldn’t believe in the account in Joshua 10 about the long day extra long day so he and the army of Israel could finish their battle. Why would they then believe in people coming back to life after being dead for several days? How did Jesus pull that off since it’s just not empirically possible?

        Why believe anything in the Bible since almost all scientists believe the earth is billions of years old? Since most scientists are atheists and they have a naturalistic view of the world, of what use is it to be a Christian given that science has all the answers? Nietzsche declared God is dead and we killed Him, so why bother? Since most people aren’t Christians why shouldn’t we just agree with them and all walk away en masse?

  10. I’m very concerned about this piece AND the comments. For wanting to “foster thoughtful and respectful dialogue,” it seems the name-calling and shaming is rampant throughout, especially the comments. I am neither a “nut-job” nor wanting to bring “mame” to Jesus Christ. These articles are becoming more and more bashing and about accusations than fact. I’m sorry. I followed you in the beginning, knowing that some things needed exposed, but anti-vax/pro-vax is a very personal issue, especially with the facts that abortion is involved. I don’t see how any Christian can avoid that topic. Furthermore, it’s not a vaccine. Vaccines prevent completely and it’s proven that hospitals are full of those who got it, and the side-effects (some deadly) are not even being acknowledged. I love Jesus Christ and I love others. I can’t imagine the bashing I will get for this, but I’ll just put it out there anyway.

    1. My apologies for not catching the name-calling earlier. I’ve removed several comments now and definitely want to encourage everyone to stay civil.

      We tried our best to report this controversy, as it specifically relates to the church, without getting too deep into the specifics of the vaccine debate itself. It’s a fine line to walk. And you are correct that there is much more information out there that we did not get into. I hope people will investigate the claims further on their own.

      1. Good to hear. Based on your commenting guidelines, I’ve often wondered about how uncivil the discourse can become. I know I have a definite penchant to express myself with too much sarcasm. I struggle to keep it measured, but I’m not always successful.

      2. Thank you, Julie. I’ve very much appreciated your reporting on so many things on this blog. I hope you/your writers delve into whatever comes down the pipe on this. It has been a very difficult two years for some of us. I’ve been called names by people I’d never think would do such a thing, due to my cautious stance on some of these pandemic issues. It was like a shunning, and I have lost a lot of trust in the body of Christ.

        Keep doing the good work you have been doing. It helps encourage us to want the truth, even when difficult to hear.

  11. “Petty vindictiveness”? “Deceitfulness”? “Self-serving horror show?” “Hiding”? “Rebellious”? These are all judgmental ad hominem attacks on Megan’s character and motives. (Is that not bringing shame to yourself, before God?) Before readers knee-jerk in lock step with cancel culture, they should actually read her excellent piece of reporting in its entirety, which contains over 50 links to support her “accusations.”

    And before defending the pharmaceutical-industrial complex which is literally making a killing out of keeping people sick, readers should objectively consider the testimonies of thousands of doctors, scientists, whistleblowers, and vaccine victims who are exposing the true origins of the virus, its true (low) danger when proper treatment is given, and the true (high) dangers of the so-called vaccines which are producing more death and destruction than all other vaccines in history, combined.

  12. I tried to research this ‘controversy’ this week but Ms. Basham’s story is paywalled so I’ve been unable discern details. Commenters mention “many commenting here are not aware of some of the FOIA request results”, whispers of alleged emails, “off the record” meetings. But this story doesn’t seem to add details or evidence of such scandal. Normally Roys Report is good at providing documents/evidence. This story just highlights vague grievances, like “calling into question”, “becoming a lightning rod”. Are we just adding to the “lightning rod” by publishing this story?

    My greatest disappointment is the use of lines like “abortion-derived fetal tissue” without providing any additional context. I’m personally evangelical and pro-life. But this line has been used so often in bad-faith arguments, either exploiting believers’ general ignorance about the development process or to blur the difference between fetal CELL LINES vs. direct tissue. Many believers actually think the vaccine CONTAINS the tissue in question! Please don’t spread COVID disinformation.

    Finally, the story brings up the fact that Collins is an evolutionary creationist. I’m puzzled as to how this dynamic adds anything to the story. Sure, there are evangelicals who will attack someone’s faith because they hold to a belief that one can only possibly know Jesus if they think the Earth is 6,000 years old. But the evangelical movement has rarely if ever held origin beliefs as a ‘pillar’ or criterion for calling oneself an evangelical. The NAE’s website has a page on what makes someone an evangelical, and doesn’t make any reference to the origin story or evolution. So why platform those who want to do character assassination in this way? This plays into the hands of the science-vs-faith, false-dichotomy culture war and distracts from any substance.

    1. I read it before it got paywalled and can confirm the Daily Wire story quotes Rick Warren, admitting there were “off the record” meetings set up between Collins/government officials and evangelical leaders to ask them to promote vaccines to their audiences. Why would any evangelical leader go along with something the government told them needed to “off the record” from their congregations???

      1. Because they felt meeting off the record was a good strategy? Not every conversation that happens behind closed doors is ‘evil’. Leaders meet all the time. I think what’s really at issue here is whether you have concerns about the vaccines or not. Let’s not nitpick about who said what behind closed doors, that’s a distraction form the content that really matters in this evangelical culture war about COVID.

  13. Kudos to Sarah Einselen for having the courage to report this, and the Roy’s Report for publishing it.

    The tide is turning with more evangelicals repenting of their idolatry in worshipping governmental officials and their tightly controlled medical system. Jesus clearly taught us to be wise as serpents, harmless as doves, and warned us many would come in his name only to deceive the multitudes.

    After almost two years it is becoming so blatantly obvious those in authority have much to hide – which is why censorship, ultra control of mainstream media, and the need to issue threats (homeland security recently) to characterize anyone with an apposing opinion as a domestic terrorist are so much part of their agenda to control the narrative. Truth doesn’t need to be controlled people.

    There are literally thousands of studies documenting the adverse events stemming from these injections, and those who have any modicum of integrity cannot look the other way without being a hypocrite. Here are one thousand of these studies:

    https://www.saveusnow.org.uk/covid-vaccine-scientific-proof-lethal/

    There is an obvious reason why all the generic symptoms of covid-19 are said to have one cause (virus) and one solution (injection) – those in control of the narrative are part of the new world order that was put into place over a century ago.

    I refuse to be part of their evil agenda since my allegiance belongs to Christ who hates lying, manipulation and deceit from any source.

  14. Thanks for reporting on this but it only scratches the surface of what can be discerned about what is happening with the conformity of religious leaders to the world. I agree with Julie that each person should study the vaccine for themselves and make their own decision. There is a bigger issue the vaccine is being used for and that is government tyranny, which is every bit as dangerous as pandemics, if not more so. That is what Christians need to get wise to. I’m curious whether this apparently baseless racial division of evangelical protestant Christians between white and black is the emphasis of the Roys Report or of Francis Collins, and also why evangelical is left out of the description of black protestants. Is that just repeating the terms used by these surveys? The phrase “white evangelical” was not part of the direct quote of Collins’ words and no link was provided to show a transcript or recording of his talk, so that’s why I ask for clarification.

      1. Thanks for clarifying that. I think we as Christians should avoid these racialized terms if at all possible, especially when using them as adjectives for divisions in Christianity. I guess that would be hard to do when quoting surveys that use them. It is pretty gross the way this term “white evangelical” is pushed by Francis Collins and others who claim to be Christians in this webinar. It’s often used negatively but many of the things “white Evangelicals” are accused of are things many Christians of all skin colors believe and embrace. So not only is it pejorative against Evangelicals who happen to be white from the perspective of the speaker, it is offensive to Evangelicals of other skin colors who believe the same things these “white Evangelicals” believe but are excluded as if they can’t believe those things because they aren’t white. It also shows the hypocrisy of this webinar, they decry the “tribalism” while they push terms like white Evangelical as if only white Christians believe certain things. And I’m pretty sure the 6,000 year old earth idea was started by a Catholic. So not only is she off about the skin color, she’s off by limiting that belief to modern day evangelicals.

      1. I don’t think it’s ever racist to state a fact. I think it’s ok to talk about race when it’s relevant, but too often race is forced into an issue or a story for no reason. I don’t understand the question about party line votes though. This article is not about that and I don’t see what demons have to do with voting. Evangelical Christians of every race have always led on cultural issues of life and liberty throughout the history of our nation. We’d be a cesspool of tyranny, as would the world, without the Christian influence.

  15. On the one hand –
    Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. was appointed the 16th Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the Senate. He was sworn in on August 17, 2009. In 2017, President Donald Trump asked Dr. Collins to continue to serve as the NIH Director. President Joe Biden did the same in 2021.
    Dr. Collins is the only Presidentially appointed NIH Director to serve more than one administration.

    Dr. Collins is a physician-geneticist noted for his landmark discoveries of disease genes and his leadership of the international Human Genome Project, which culminated in April 2003 with the completion of a finished sequence of the human DNA instruction book. He served as director of the National Human Genome Research Institute at NIH from 1993-2008. (NIH.gov)

    Francis Collins CV – https://www.genome.gov/sites/default/files/genome-old/pages/About/Organization/OD/Collins_CV_Through_07272015.pdf

    On the other –
    Megan Basham is a Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic and the entertainment reporter for The Daily Wire. In her previous role as an entertainment editor and podcast co-host for World Magazine, she interviewed numerous A-list celebrities. (dailywire.com)

    Megan Basham began her career as a film critic reviewing movies for her campus paper at Arizona State University. After graduating with a degree in English Literature, she took a position with The University of Phoenix as an adult curriculum editor. After two years of editing some of the driest, most convoluted material ever printed on paper (like philosophy curricula written by lawyers), she broke out of cubicle purgatory by writing freelance articles for Focus on the Family, Catholic Exchange, and Range Magazine. (townhall.com)

    Megan Basham CV – not available

    When assessing credibility in critique (particularly in the hard sciences) – it’s responsible to properly consider the source.

    1. So if your average Christian who isn’t a physician or scientist has a question about something medically or scientifically related they must always believe someone with credentials? An average layperson isn’t capable of making appropriate deductions or inferences about information they’re given without resorting to a trained expert’s opinion? Are we required to appeal to someone’s alleged authority? Is it ever possible for such a credentialed expert to act in bad faith, or are such people to be held in such high esteem that they’re above reproach simply because we believe them to be?

      As phrenology was once purported to be an actual scientific area of research, should I be concerned about certain odd contours on my skull? What expert should I consult?

      Credentialed experts developed thalidomide. There were also times in the Bible where God had experts provide evil counsel to a king. History is full of experts who did the world no favors.

      1. “So if your average Christian who isn’t a physician or scientist has a question about something medically or scientifically related they must always believe someone with credentials?”

        A subtle move of the goalpost there with “must always.” If you’re about to make a difficult medical decision — e.g. you have just been diagnosed with cancer and your doctor wants to operate right away — there’s no harm in asking for a second opinion, but you wouldn’t seek that second opinion by asking random people on Facebook or Twitter to chime in. You’d consult another credentialed doctor and then, if the two opinions didn’t agree, you’d discuss it further… with credentialed experts.

        The problem isn’t that people are choosing to doublecheck an expert’s recommendation before deciding what to do, it’s that they’re rejecting the whole idea that credentials mean anything (except when they’re already predisposed to agreeing with what they say, of course). That leads to making badly informed decisions because they have already ruled out the opinions of anyone who actually knows what they’re talking about.

        I’ll see your thalidomide disaster and raise you thousands of years of snake oil salesmen preying on the vulnerable and ill informed. Yes, experts make mistakes, but they try to learn from them and do their best not to repeat them. Without experts, we’d all still be living in the Dark Ages and dying in agony from diseases we don’t even have to give a second thought today.

        1. @ Mike Walker

          We could get deep into the weeds about people being given weeks or months to live by one expert only to find out there was a mixup at the lab or someone misread the test results or didn’t even bother to read them.

          I witnessed firsthand what happens when multiple experts fail spectacularly. The ensuing death and family grief was gutwrenching to see and unnecessary. I don’t know what snake oil was on sale that day.
          I do know that thousands of years of medical advances were utterly useless because experts failed to employ their expertise.

          I can also recognize expertise and have actually sought an expert’s opinion before. What I have difficultly with are the appeals to authority that are more often than not meant to silence dissent or discredit. Maybe I’ve known too many “experts” for whom the word humility is as foreign as high tea in the middle of the Sahara. I’ve also watched experts who crumbled under pressure lose everything, and you and I both know the snake oil salesmen are still here. There’s a new crop for every generation, but I might still see if I can invest in what’s left of Theranos.

    2. I’d be cautious in using the “appeal to authority” argument. That’s been the basis for two years of questionable policy and the tide is turning in such a way that past appeals to authority may become a liability.

      Regarding Basham…I’m a writer. I’ve not the impressive credentials, either. Does that mean it is impossible for me to write something of substance, even if my previous work was in another realm simply because that was the paying work I could get as I worked my way through my career? Nothing Basham said was untrue.

      If credibility in the hard sciences is necessary (which, for Megan’s article I don’t think is, as it was about Evangelicals and govt. coziness), I’d recommend looking up Dr. Peter McCullough and Dr. Robert Malone (who patented mRNA technology years ago). I believe you’ll find them knowledgeable, with very different takes than Collins. Alex Berenson is a medical journalist, formerly of the NYT. He also does a good job presenting data and explaining statistics. Malone and Berenson are on Substack. I encourage you to read them.

      1. I agree with you about being cautious using the “appeal to authority” argument, as it can be either cogent or fallacious. The hard work of the argument is extracting potentially false authority stipulations or embedded cognitive biases.
        In fairness to all the parties mentioned, a critical and detailed evaluation of their positions while being deliberately conscious of our own cognitive bias is our only opportunity to even get close to a reasoned position.

        I mean no disrespect to Ms. Basham (or to anyone else, for that matter). I do believe everyone is free to make assertions (and they can be consequential), I just think there is a need to be modest in regard to the actual level of engagement in the particular field being spoken about. Let’s face it, if we’re fortunate, (at best) we may become true experts in a singular given field – otherwise, we’re laymen in all the others.

        My concern in these matters is the abundance of polemic without due diligence and sophistry for publicity and economic opportunity. It’s a minefield out there.

        1. I really agree with everything you said. I also know that an appeal to authority can be legitimate if all parties agree on the subject matter. Those situations aren’t necessarily common. My disagreement with such appeals happens when the way people processed information is discredited because of someone else’s credentials.

          Maybe the way the information was processed was incorrect or unfair. Such things end up published all the time in reputable and disreputable outlets. Every now and then there’s a retraction. What Ms. Basham published might be 100% true, or 85% true or 65% false. The truth will out, but in spite of credentials not because of them.

  16. Tony Nazarowski

    The thing that intrigues me is why pastors are so passionate about medicine. Having an education in theological many pastors push their views to their congregation and others.
    If I have a question about electrical codes, cooking or maritime law, I don’t think to consult a pastor for an authoritative answer. Interestingly, many church leaders become self-appointed experts on infectious diseases. Why does their opinion matter?

    1. It’s a tough time to be a pastor. My church takes the position of avoiding political positions, which I appreciate. However, there still was that elephant in the room feeling of where they stand regarding Covid. Initially, it felt like most thought it was overblown, and that the government was overstepping its authority. But when our lead pastor ended up in the hospital within an inch of his life from Covid, you could feel the change in attitude. Now it seems almost weekly that our church is praying for someone in the hospital battling Covid, or a family that has lost a loved one. All that to say, influence matters.

  17. What I have been amazed by over the past 2 years is how many evangelicals I have talked to are all of a sudden, experts in vaccines and human immunity. Yet they cannot discuss the basics of human physiology.

    It is similar to where people are debating the current Russia-Ukraine conflict, but they can not point out where Ukraine or Belarus are located on a map. (I would guess 95% of Americans could not point out Belarus or Ukraine on a map)

    I listen to Francis Collins and Dr. Fauci, while I disregard 99% of what people talked to me about Covid in church.

    1. Have you listened to the many other medical doctors, vaccine experts, and virologists from around the world who do not agree with Collins and Fauci? McCullough, Malone, Van Der Bosch, et al. Because that is the salient point here. It’s not a badge of honor to only listen to two doctors who work in tandem and who, as we recently discovered, were actively working to suppress dissent. That should be alarming to you.

      It’s great that you don’t get your infectious disease information from church. But it’s less great if you don’t look for varied opinions. We’re in a deluge of what the CDC and Fauci want us to understand. I see it in stores, on billboards, in commercials, social media, and pretty much everywhere. So along with that, find the dissenting yet qualified information. Otherwise, it’s unbalanced.

        1. Obviously not, but our pediatrician quit her position rather than get the vaccine- though she is highly supportive of other vaccines. And she is not a Christian, evangelical or otherwise. Not all doctors support it. I believe that is what was meant here.

          1. This isn’t a half for/ half against paradigm. Fauci, Collins, and 96% of practicing doctors have enough confidence in the vaccine to get it themselves.

      1. @ Juile

        I just mentioned Collins and Fauci. Actually the hospital group where I get my annual physical has hundreds of doctors that support the vaccine which is 96-97% of the total number of physicians.

        I am sure at hospital groups across the U.S. the Covid vaccine has the support of 96-97% off all doctors within their own group.

        People can decide whether the weight of the FDA, CDC and 97% of all doctors can overcome versus the writings of a few anti-vaxxers such as Malone, Tenpenny, Kennedy and Van Der Bosh .

        Unfortunately. a good chuck of the evangelical crowd decided they will go with the conspiracy theories….. pretty pathetic…

      2. It is not just Fauci and Collins, there are thousands of publications in medical journals about the effectiveness of vaccines from scientists all over the world. Malone had the vaccine after he had covid, and he is complaining that his lasting symptoms from covid has not disappeared with the vaccine ignoring the fact that vaccines are not designed to take away the after effect of a disease. Peter A. McCullough is a cardiologist, when was the last time he was involved with vaccines (oh Baylor even got a court ordered restraining order against him, from some reports). Now Van der Bosch, we can wait and see whether his predictions will come true, should not take too long.

  18. Matthew William Michaud

    As a Conservative Christian, I’m called a “communist” and by some other Christian friends, because I truly think that getting vaccinated is a no-brainer for myself, and family. As their irrefutable evidence for their position they give me some interview where an individual Dr supposedly blows the lid off the whole thing, and they’ll start explaining to me what a vaccine, is and why this one is dangerous etc.
    I’m not for the vaccine mandates, and forcing people to get injected with something they don’t want. However, the level of the conspiracy theory stuff on this particular issue is off the charts.
    There are many, many of them, who think the vaccines are very likely to kill them, that most the scientists everywhere know about this, they want to tell us about it, but they are just too afraid. They think when the smoke clears.

    1. I’m sorry people have resorted to name-calling when talking to you. I’m sorry that those who have chosen not to get vaccinated have been called names. Name-calling never advances a line of reasoning or broadens the possibilities for civil discourse.

    2. If someone doesn’t go to public places, there should not be any requirements for vaccines. But if they are in public places with the possibility of transmitting covid to others, it is the duty of the society to prevent that – with vaccine mandate and masks. I am just astonished the selfishness and the ignorance of many Christians.

      1. @ John Mclondon

        So you are calling and writing letters to government health officials at the federal, state and local level demanding that the over 1 million people who have crossed our south border get vaccinated or show proof of vaccination. These new arrivals, with thousands more coming across daily, are flown all over the country and allowed to travel freely with no vaccine requirement.

        You do know that vaccination against vaccine preventable diseases is part of our immigration law and can be used as a requirement for entry. We are in a pandemic after all, and the public health of our family, friends, and neighbors is at stake. Or are only Christians supposed to be neighborly and the government can do whatever it wants to?

        Lastly, I’m assuming you are a believer, so if you had a brother or sister in Christ who didn’t get vaccinated for whatever reasons and they were then unable to get a job of any kind, would you assist them if they later became homeless or is being unvaccinated the line in the sand where grace and mercy are chased away?

        1. I did not address about the immigrants from south, legal or illegal, they should be subjected to the same legal requirements, but I think wait in Mexico is still in effect. But sure, they should be vaccinated too.
          On the question “brother or sister in Christ who didn’t get vaccinated for whatever reasons and they were then unable to get a job of any kind”. I have different answers: (1) there are places where unvaccinated can still work, where they don’t come in contact with the public, (2) some allow frequent testing and masking for them to work, (3) if that person has a medical issue for taking the vaccine and cannot find work, I would try to help. But if that person refuses for philosophical or religious reasons, then no. There is nothing in the Bible that talks about vaccines, or about using cell lines from abortion that occurred decades ago.

          1. @ John Mclondon

            Wait in Mexico is only a point of policy. Reality is entirely different. Thousands of new arrivals on a daily basis. Our enforcement staff have become welcoming committees. There is no vaccine mandate or any vaccine requirement at all. No one is asking for medical records. They are simply being processed and subsequently released to travel freely inside the U.S. Airlines are using the processing documents these new arrivals are issued as proof of identity to allow them to fly.

            Why is the government failing to address this issue? Why mandates for citizens and nothing for these new arrivals? As I said, it was well over 1 million last year and on track to be even more this year. There are legal provisions regarding vaccination that would deny them entry if they have not been vaccinated, but these provisions are not being used.

            The current requirement is far short of what the president wanted. It was vaccination across the board or weekly testing. Most of that has been set aside by courts. However, do you allow for weekly testing or is it vaccination and nothing else? You also seem to be saying that deeply held religious beliefs should not get a pass even though that has been codified in employment law. What Biblical standard are you using to justify such a view besides the “loving your neighbor” defense? How is the government who decided mandates were a good idea being loving by allowing thousands of unvaccinated noncitizens to move freely around the country?

        2. I am not bringing any political issues here, I think immigrants should be vaccinated. If the current admin is not doing it, that is inconsistent. Courts upheld vaccine/mask mandates by states, even without any religious exceptions (like NY), but they refused OSHA mandates for legal reasons. I would allow weekly testing and masking instead of vaccines. But there are legitimate religious objections for vaccines, if they take Tylenol (since almost all meds are tested with aborted cell line) their objection is gone. “Loving your neighbor” is enough my case, unless you can show a counter verse from the Bible.

          1. The Conway, Arkansas list that I assume you are referring to is inaccurate regarding development of multiple over the counter drugs people use. Aspirin and acetaminophen (Tylenol) were first discovered back in the 1800s, long before fetal cell lines were being used for drug/vaccine development. Later research was done for other purposes, but these drugs had already been around for more than half a century. Later unethical research does not invalidate the use of these drugs. So religious exemptions aren’t gone if someone took aspirin or acetaminophen.

            How about Colossians 2:8 and 16

            See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ…Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath.”

            Matthew 22:37-40 in context.
            You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

            Deciding that “loving my neighbor as myself” equates to vaccination or vaccination is next to godliness is an example of eisegesis. You said the Bible mentions nothing about vaccines. An argument from silence will not work for either one of us. We could both make our own claims about what the silence means given that many, many things aren’t mentioned in the Bible.

  19. Meredith Nienhuis

    All I hope for is truth and transparency of the origins of Covid. Surely Doctors Fauci and Collins as lauded medical scientists are able to provide some measure of enlightenment.
    That is one reason that I hesitate to take the vaccine and which I shared with my doctor who has encouraged me to be vaccinated. Another reason is the actions of the Biden administration advocating for trans men and boys to participate in girls and women’s sports; and for male trans prisoners to be housed with women; and for trans males to use female restrooms.
    Also, for decades I believed Planned Parenthood that abortion of a fetus was a blob of flesh. However, in recent years it has been revealed that the Abortion Beast is selling baby parts! Is this not against federal law?
    When Science has been corrupted how is one able to trust our government leaders?

  20. Not surprising that Jay Richards would pile on top of the Daily Wire hit job.
    He was with the Discovery Institute for many years (maybe still is), and that outfit has spent years engaging in character assassination against Dr. Collins and other Christians who believe that God has made use of evolutionary processes in His creation.

    As others have noted, it is tragic that public health measures like masks and vaccines have become politicized, and that allegiance to right-wing politics has caused so many Christians to fall for lies and conspiracy theories. Sad that many who are pro-life in one sense are acting in pro-death ways when it comes to public health.
    It is appropriate for Christian leaders to encourage their fellow Christians to love their neighbors by doing simple things (masks, vaccination) to protect public health — not much different from encouraging them to refrain from driving drunk or from smoking.

    1. @ Al Harvey

      “As others have noted, it is tragic that public health measures like masks and vaccines have become politicized, and that allegiance to right-wing politics has caused so many Christians to fall for lies and conspiracy theories.”

      The above is quite an indictment of choices made by millions of people who would not describe themselves as “right-wing” or victims of conspiracy theories. Do you believe that right-wing politics and conspiracy theories to be the only rational answer to explain why someone might not act according to what you believe to be a proper course of action?

      You also said pastors should encourage their people to love their neighbors by wearing masks and getting vaccinated just like they encourage people not to drink and drive or smoke. For the sake of public health would you also recommend they discourage all forms of sexual activity outside of marriage? Should they recommend vaccination against HPV since people are going to ignore them anyway? What about the safe handling and storage of firearms? Should pastors preach about getting 8 hours of sleep at night so people who drive for a living won’t fall asleep at the wheel? What about proper handling and storage of food to prevent food poisoning? What about climate change?

    2. Mr. Harvey, are you following what is happening to speech development in young children? Loving your neighbor involves treating them as you would like to be treated. Speaking for my own children, I would not have wanted them to have to learn to speak while adults hide their mouth movements and muffle their voices behind masks. Masks worn by people not trained in proper masking technique are of little avail against viruses but the practice has hindered the development young children. The price for squashing such an important human attribute as the young child’s knack for acquiring language will be paid in the future.

  21. Ms. Basham and Mr. Richards have blood on their hands.
    This is not “us” vs. “them” debate–unless “us” includes Russian trolls.
    Putin’s troll farm has always been anti-vax, to weaken the West.

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