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It is hard for me to fathom why Donald Trump needs to pander to Evangelical Christians at this point given that the Hypocrite in residence at 1600 Pennsylvania already has this element solidly locked up in his re-election equation. Unless, maybe he feels them slipping away with the rest of his flock of slavish devotees who are not willing to become martyrs to the cause when the cause is devilishly difficult to discern at this point. The previous sentence is purposely meant to be as convoluted to decipher as is the rationale for voting for Trump in the first place.

Worshipping at Home

As a recovering Catholic I seriously considered drafting a letter to Pope Francis imploring him to weigh in on this issue, but given that Sunday is here felt this might be a better platform. So would someone in the Vatican’s communications shop please share this with the Pope and let him know that it is written with all the sincerity and humanity that was imbued upon me as a former altar boy and a product of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia school system.

To all those out there who equate his narcissism, misogyny, mean-spiritedness, and stoic devotion to material treasures to any form of religion, I pray for you that there is no such thing as an afterlife.

Dear Holy Father, please speak out on behalf of the world’s Catholics, past and present, and followers of all faiths to continue to worship in a way that does not put their fellow humans at risk of illness or potential death. Please advise that the idiocy of placing one’s family, neighbors, or fellow worshippers at risk of contacting the coronavirus by sharing space, physical and air, does not comport with the Maker’s wishes and he/she would never, never ask a believer or any other human to contemplate such a reckless and foolish endeavor.

There is nothing, absolutely nothing to suggest that Trump is a believer in anything other than his own self-interest. To all those out there who equate his narcissism, misogyny, mean-spiritedness, and stoic devotion to material treasures to any form of religion, I pray for you that there is no such thing as an afterlife.

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The only thing that is devoutly essential about congregating the masses for Sunday mass is the certainty that you will add to the misery CV-19 has inflicted on millions. It will help foster a second and possibly additional spikes in hospitalizations and deaths that will potentially overwhelm our ability to adequately treat those who are critically ill. And, yes, you may want to pay attention to this one since it seems to be the driving factor in our premature economic reactions, it will seriously cripple our economy and worsen unemployment.

It may be that Sweden, which is pursuing a determined strategy of advancing herd mentality, may render a long-term strategy that will cause less pain, economically and public health-wise, than our attempts to buy time until either therapeutic remedies or a vaccine can be developed and administered. Only time will tell, but the natural instinct is to minimize immediate damage in hopes of finding a cure. This is the path we have chosen. Let's hope it is the least worst of a set of terrible options.

But what is certainly a given is that flocking to houses of worship enhances the prospect that a proliferation of super spreaders will be unleashed upon what in many cases is an unsuspecting public. Asymptomatic carriers of the virus combined with a cadre of refuseniks who think that wearing a mask equates to the quintessential infringement upon personal liberty and freedom enhance the prospects of a lethal response that is unconscionable. In any religious sense it is simply antithetical to the core constructs of religion itself.

So gather with your family, pray to your heart’s content, practice love and respect to your fellow men and women, and for God’s sake, wear a mask.

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Lance Simmens

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