Kamrin’s Corner: Outbreak

Published by Minnesota Atheists on

A Crisis of Faith: How Religion Ruined Our Global Pandemic

By Kamrin Duncan

Headshot of Kamrin

Outbreak was published last year by Noah Lugeons, and as the title suggests, provides an argument that religion was the reason behind the American catastrophe of Covid-19. Lugeons focuses not just on the current pandemic, but how religious institutions have had a history of negatively impacting healthcare, especially for women.

Lugeons is sarcastic and witty in his writing, however, he provides thorough evidence as to why religion is responsible for the current problems of healthcare in America.

Outbreak is broken down into two parts. In part 1, Lugeons lays out how religion has affected many aspects of healthcare such as the HIV/AID epidemic, birth control, and vaccinations.  Lugeons dedicates an entire section of his book to heavily criticizing republicans and the Trump administration and their relationship to evangelicals, so depending on your political affiliations you may not appreciate this portion of the book. In part 2, Lugeons specifically looks at how religion has impacted the world’s response to Covid-19. Many churches and religious groups continued to meet in large numbers despite orders against group gatherings and many churches were granted religious exemptions to continue to gather despite the high risk involved with attending church services indoors.

Book cover of Outbreak

Even though things are getting somewhat back to normal, there are still ongoing issues with people either outright rejecting the vaccine or not prioritizing it, leading to the ongoing spread of Covid-19 and its variants. Moreover, Anti-vax extremists like Rick Wiles continue to spread mis-information about both the virus and pandemic. A study written about by The Wall Street Journal just a few days ago stated that white evangelicals represent the highest number of people resisting the vaccine among religious groups (Lovett, 2021). Healthcare and organized medicine has always been under attack by right-wing extremism and evangelical Christians. More recently though, as seen in the rates of vaccination among Americans living in the South, the rise of anti-expertise has been a concerning effect of a decades-long attack by religious groups in America.

Lovett, Ian. “White Evangelicals Resist Covid-19 Vaccine Most among Religious Groups.” The Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones & Company, 28 July 2021, www.wsj.com/articles/white-evangelicals-resist-covid-19-vaccine-most-among-religious-groups-11627464601.

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