To the Editor:
I grew up in the church. We lived two doors away, and my dad was a deacon. Sunday mornings, I sat between my parents in the pews. I sang in the choir and attended Scouting at the church. Among my keepsakes are pins denoting eight years of perfect attendance at Sunday School. I was President of the Youth Fellowship before I signed up for the Air Force, during Vietnam.
In 42 years of military service we moved 17 times. Our final assignment was in Montgomery, Alabama, where we attended several churches—white, black, Jewish—and participated in the civic group One Montgomery, whose members were very active in churches. I honor the teachings of Jesus, particularly the Golden Rule, and know that we have a duty to our fellow man. But we know God is everywhere, and we are staying home.
President Trump has, in the past several days, embarked on an effort to order re-opening of churches. He does this not because he is religious, or concerned about constitutional rights, but to divert attention from his mishandling of the pandemic response, to cleanse his hands of the blood of those whose lives his irresponsibility has cost.
Trump knows, or at least anyone qualified to be President ought to know, that if people gather in pews too soon, many will die, particularly the elders. In urging people to congregate while the contagion rages, Trump shows that he does not care about people, he cares only about his reelection.
We’ll note for the record that we received this letter before Trump tear-gassed a path to a church to demagogue with a Bible in his little hand.