The Washington Post. “Some Evangelicals deny the Coronavirus Threat. It’s because they Love Tough Guys.” Perspective. April 2, 2020. https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2020/04/02/conservative-evangelicals-coronavirus-tough-guys/
To be a man was to take risks, to eschew political correctness, to be, according to author and chaplain John McDougall, a “spiritual badass.” Crassness, recklessness, bravado — these were signs of a God-given, testosterone-driven masculinity. Jesus was more like William Wallace than Mother Teresa or Mister Rogers.
Evangelical support for Trump was never merely transactional; Trump, with his brashness and bravado, was in many ways the fulfillment of the masculine ideal held by many.Kristin Du Mez. The Washington Post. April 2, 2020.
. . . evangelical militancy requires enemies, actual or imagined. Instead of a faith oriented around loving one’s neighbors, many have come to embrace a faith that perceives neighbors as outsiders, if not enemies. Abandoning a broader sense of the common good, theirs is a faith that pits “us against them,” and God is always on their side.
Downplaying the threat and refusing to comply with social distancing measures require an indifference toward the common good, a certainty that the ends will justify the means and a brash confidence that God will be on one’s own side. All these attitudes are deeply entrenched within the “macho” conservative evangelicalism that Dobson envisioned.
But the virus does not care about “us vs. them” divisions among humans.
Callousness toward the lives of others will imperil the lives of those within the fold, too. In time, this will become clear. By then, however, it will be too late to change course. For all their talk of defending “Christian America,” some white evangelicals may end up hurting it grievously.