In a group video conference with pastors, Dan Forest claimed that the public health restrictions put in place in order to mitigate the coronavirus pandemic were part of a larger plot against Christianity, WRAL reports.
“There is no doubt that there are people that are on the left that are using this to pull certain levers to see how far that they can go,” Forest said in the call. “How far are they able to push? How long can they keep churches shut down? How long will Christians be silent on this matter before they stand up?”
The call was put together by a religious group called the North Carolina Renewal Project. Pastor Neal Jackson of Beulah Baptist Church in Bennett hosted the event and is the author of numerous books, including “The Coming Destruction of America,” WRAL reports. The call was posted online by American Renewal, whose founder is on the SPLC list of extremists.
Governor Cooper’s campaign pushed backed against the divisive rhetoric. A campaign spokesperson said, “Our faith should bring us together. It’s unfortunate that politicians like Dan Forest use faith to tear us apart.”
Despite the call, broad swaths of the religious community in North Carolina have heeded public health restrictions in order to protect their congregations. Though they now can meet again in-person, plenty will stay the course and follow Governor Cooper’s suggested guidelines. As the Winston-Salem Journal editorial board wrote:
“Even in light of the ruling, many faith leaders do appear wary of the health risks, including 75 churches, mosques and temples in Charlotte. ‘Lest we forget, faith communities who sang together, shared meals, and stood shoulder to shoulder were initially hit hardest by the virus,’ they said in a collective statement. ‘Regathering prematurely risks the spike of infection. It is the health, safety, and well-being of our communities and neighbors that motivate us towards making decisions that will care for and protect one another.’”
Read the full story about Dan Forest’s latest foray into culture wars from WRAL.