I see yet another story bemoaning the death of a willfully stupid fool who not only denied the reality of the COVID-19 virus (SARS-CoV-2) but also declared that he would place himself “in God’s hands”, both to avoid catching the disease, and then survive it once caught. Well, God appears to have been too busy trying to wipe a grease stain off those hands to attend to this gentleman’s demands, because said individual got sick, suffered, and died gasping for air while intubated.
I’m going to step outside my usual zone of operation and address a few words at those staggeringly vain individuals who imagine it is their unique privilege to tell God what to do. Now, as a proper Whiteheadian, I do believe that the term “God” has minimal reference and conceptual content. Not even remotely enough to form the kind of center of meaning that one might go to church to celebrate. For that, one must move well beyond Whitehead and into the process theology that owes its source to Charles Hartshorne. Much of this latter, though not all by any means, is also rooted in various interpretations of Christianity. And while even this is beyond the scope of my primary interests, I’m actually going to address my remarks to the vastly more conservative field that tends to identify as evangelical or fundamentalist. (While there can be overlaps, the two groups are NOT the samei.) I’ll spare you any fatuous declarations as to either the reality of these people’s God, the truth of their concept(s), or the validity of the Bible. In fact, I’ll be taking these things as given. Rather, what I want to show is that a certain class of behavior that they publicize as evidence of their devout faith is, by their own standards, a gross and indefensible sin. It is not hard to show.