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Montpelier (Ohio) Ministerial Association Pretends COVID-19 Doesn’t Exist

gaylynn-harris

The Montpelier (Ohio) Ministerial Association, in conjunction with the association’s Day of Prayer task force, plans to hold an indoor prayer service at House of Prayer on May 6th. The Bryan Times reports (behind paywall):

After local events celebrating the National Day of Prayer were canceled or moved online last year due to fears surrounding the pandemic, the Montpelier Ministerial Association is planning an in-person event this year.

The House of Prayer, at 115 Empire St., Montpelier, will host the event at 9 a.m. on National Day of Prayer, Thursday, May 6.

And while the Williams County Health Department has pleaded with the community to continue wearing masks and social distancing amid a recent bump in COVID-19 cases, event organizers said attendees need not adhere to the experts’ advice.

“Certainly if someone wants to wear a mask they may, but we don’t stress it at all,” said GayLynn Harris, with the association’s Day of Prayer task force.

Fortunately, not all local ministers have disregard for their congregants and fellow residents. The Bryan Area Ministerial Association plans to have a Day of Prayer too, but theirs will be held outside at the Williams County Courthouse.

The Bryan Times reports (behind paywall):

The Bryan Area Ministerial Association will be sponsoring a National Day of Prayer service taking place at the gazebo on the courthouse lawn in downtown Bryan, at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 6.

While I consider such events as little more than public displays of masturbation (in which I never participated during the twenty-five years I spent in the ministry), I do appreciate the fact that Bryan ministers show a modicum of care and respect for the people of Williams County — atheists and agnostics, included.

The Montpelier Ministerial Association could do otherwise, but they won’t. They could join with their brothers and sisters in Christ on the courthouse lawn, but they won’t. They could meet at the Montpelier Park, but they won’t. They could listen to the CDC and the Williams County Health Department (and obey Romans 13 in doing so), but they won’t. Why? COVID-19 doesn’t exist in Williams County.

Bruce Gerencser, 63, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 42 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen awesome grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist. For more information about Bruce, please read the About page.

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12 Comments

    • Avatar
      Adam

      Not getting this logic.

      Are we supposed to be worried that this group could give the virus to each other? If they don’t care, why should we?

      Are we supposed to be worried that they could get the virus at this meeting, then spread it to others who are more worried about getting it? If those more worried only go where the guidelines are followed, then how would it spread to them?

      • Avatar
        Bruce Gerencser

        They have the potential to spread it to others: at church, grocery store, work, etc. By not following CDC and local health guidelines, they are putting themselves and others at risk of infection. Williams County has the 2nd-4th highest per capita infection rate in Ohio.

        Part of the problem is that Governor DeWine wrongly exempted religious gatherings from Covid-19 regulations (due to an ignorant interpretation of the First Amendment). Thus, churches are free to be bad actors. Calling them out on social media/blogs is about the only thing anyone can do. I guarantee you the Williams County Health Commissioner is screaming right now over their utter disregard for their neighbors — a violation of one of the Two Great Commandments.

      • Avatar
        BJW

        Adam. In my own home there are those who believe in vaccines, and those who don’t. If I couldn’t get vaccinated (due to a severe immune condition) then one of the antivaxxers could bring Covid home to ME, and I am already very chronically sick, no cure. I can and did get vaccinated so I can deal. I also spent time reading about people in situations where they wanted to get vaccinated but others were trying to prevent that. Hence, the antivaxxers CAN AND DO spread this thing around to those who can’t avoid them.

  1. Avatar
    Barbara L. Jackson

    The problem is they endanger other people by doing this. If a person catches COVID at such an event, they can pass it on to other people who may or may not believe their religion. My question to everyone is how can we stop people from spreading COVID while still having their religious beliefs. I do not know how to do this.

    Thank you

  2. Avatar
    Sage

    Why is it so important to be in one place to pray? They can still hear each other on video chat. Surely god can hear them all regardless of location. And let’s be realistic – this small speck in a vast universe is all local to god, why would it matter that there are a few miles between attendees?

  3. Avatar
    William

    I recently listened to a fundamental preacher complain that Christians were being victimized by the media as they were saying that Christians are one of the main groups preventing COVID vaccination in America. I was flabbergasted that he wasn’t aware that he and other preachers have created this situation by their desire to claim COVID as some sort of end times related Satanic deception/hoax.

  4. Avatar
    Brocken

    When it comes to some end time preachers, pastors, heads of fundamentalist bible colleges claiming there is some sinister plot behind the covid-19 or coronavirus disease, one of the better or worse ones spreading that theory is someone who is the president of some bible college in South Dakota. If you do a google search of using the words Controlavirus and Luciferian and deception you might pick up this character. At one time he used to pastor a couple of of different churches in central Illinois. I think his place of residence now is in Colorado. He uses initials for his first name but if you put in the second name listed of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream and the last name of the losing republican presidential candidate in the 1884 United States election in combination with this person last name, you might come up with some disturbing background information about this man.

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Bruce Gerencser