Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President Albert Mohler Jr. denounced The New York Times and other media outlets that seem to blame churches for the spread of COVID-19.
In an episode of Mohler’s podcast “The Briefing” on Monday, the Southern Baptist leader critically analyzed an article published by The New York Times last month that accused churches of being the epicenter of infections nationwide.
Mohler noted that the piece, published on July 8 and updated on July 10, listed 650 confirmed novel coronavirus cases linked to 40 churches — 365 of those infections cited by the Times were in Union County, Oregon, many of which were reportedly linked to a church following a wedding that was attended by guests from out of town.
“Six hundred and fifty? For Christians operating from a biblical worldview, every single human life is precious, but in the midst of a plague or a pandemic we have to do some math,” said Mohler. “Six hundred and fifty here, over against a confirmed 4.75 million cases of COVID-19 in the United States,” according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.
Mohler stressed that he wasn’t suggesting “only 650 cases of COVID-19 can or should be traced to a church or religious service meeting.” He was, however, taking issue with how much attention the Times gave to the number linked to the churches with its headline and story.
“I am saying that The New York Times documented only 650 cases and used that as justification to run what was in the print edition, a half-page of the paper,” he continued.
“This tells us that there’s something behind the story other than the math. There’s indeed something behind the story other than the story.”
Mohler then pointed to a USA Today article released several days later, which reported the same 650 cases and used the NY Times piece as its source.
“That’s lazy journalism at the very least. You’re talking 10 days later and all this reporter cites is the number from The New York Times more than 10 days old, and a number that didn’t justify The New York Times article in the first place,” he added.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski