A poll that was conducted in the month of March by The Associated Press-NORG Center for Public Affairs Research recently revealed that “40% of white evangelical Protestants said they likely won’t get vaccinated, compared with 25% of all Americans, 28% of white mainline Protestants and 27% of nonwhite Protestants.”
The Associated Press then reported in the first part of April that “The findings have aroused concern even within evangelical circles. The National Association of Evangelicals, which represents more than 45,000 local churches, is part of a new coalition that will host events, work with media outlets and distribute various public messages to build trust among wary evangelicals.”
Transportation Secretary and former failed presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg sat down over the weekend with Jake Tapper from CNN and responded to the poll by saying that the COVID vaccine might be “part of God’s plan.”
“A recent poll showed that almost three in 10 white evangelical Christians said that they will definitely not get vaccinated,” Tapper said during the program. “That’s the second highest group in the country refusing to get vaccinated behind Republicans.”
“You’ve been outspoken on issues of your personal faith, otherwise I wouldn’t normally bring this up,” the CNN host continued. “Why do you think it is that so many of your fellow white evangelical Christians are reluctant to be vaccinated and what’s your message to them?”
Pete Buttigieg tells evangelical Christians that “a vaccine is part of God’s plan.” pic.twitter.com/3Sx3KsLr4R
— Ian Haworth (@ighaworth) April 12, 2021
“You know, sometimes I’ve heard people I care about saying, you know, ‘If I’m faithful, God’s going to take care of me,’” Buttigieg replied. “And I guess what I would hope that they might consider is that maybe a vaccine is part of God’s plan for how you’re going to take care of yourself.”
“In the end, I have to admit that it’s unlikely that an official like me is going to be persuasive to somebody who maybe doesn’t feel like Washington has been speaking to them for a long time,” the former presidential candidate admitted. “But this is where faith leaders can make such a difference. Pastors, I mean the very word ‘pastor,’ the idea of pastoral care is about supporting those who look to you for guidance.”
“So I hope anybody who is looking after a community of people, including a faith community, will consider ways to help guide them toward steps that can protect them and protect those around them,” Buttigieg said.
Look, the reason folks aren’t sold on the idea of taking this vaccine is because we don’t know what kind of long term side effects this thing might have. It’s true that their might not really be any for most people who take it, but at this point, we can’t know those answers.
Also, this vaccine does not have total approval from the Food and Drug Administration. All kinds of things could potentially go wrong with taking this vaccine. It’s a person’s right to be cautious about the things they put into their bodies. It’s also a sign of wisdom.