Christian Songwriter Is Fed Up With Believers Who Refuse To Wear Masks
A Christian singer-songwriter said she had had enough of other believers pretending that wearing masks was an assault on their rights during the coronavirus pandemic.
Nichole Nordeman, an Oklahoma-based musician, had to speak out on Friday after a family tragedy.
In an early morning tweet, Nordeman revealed that her aunt had died just eight hours after being diagnosed with COVID-19 on Thursday. The death occurred before Nordeman's mother could reach her aunt's home to pray through the window, the singer said.
"But please tell me more about how wearing a mask attacks your rights," she wrote. "Tell me about all of your deeply insulted feelings that the government is trying to control your life, belief, freedom, and worship."
"I have no more disbelief or disgust," she said.
Under President Donald Trump's leadership, actions recommended by health officials to combat the spread of COVID-19 - things like wearing a mask and avoiding large indoor gatherings - have become deeply politicized issues.
A significant proportion (39%) of white evangelicals - Trump's most loyal religious supporters - say shutdowns, mask mandates, and other steps taken by state and local governments since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic are unreasonable attempts, according to public religion research People to control institute survey published in October. White evangelicals are more likely than any other religious group to say this, PRRI reported.
The contemporary Christian music world that Nordeman came from is closely linked to white evangelical culture. Many of the artists on this music scene have either kept quiet about whether or not they endorsed Trump's actions and policies over the past four years - or they were ready to come straight out and courageously support him. It's less common for musicians from around the world to be openly critical of Trump, as Nordeman did.
Nordeman was heavily represented in the world of contemporary Christian music in the early 2000s, winning several Gospel Music Association Dove Awards, which are equivalent to the Christian music industry's Grammys. After taking a break to focus on her personal life, she released her fifth studio album, Every Mile Mattered, in 2017. She continues to write and record music, while serving as Minister of Worship at a United Methodist Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Nichole Nordeman appeared at the 34th Annual Dove Awards in 2003. (Photo by R. Diamond via Getty Images)
Most evangelical Christians agree that churches should follow the same rules regarding social distancing and large gatherings as other organizations or companies in their area. Dozens of Christian leaders - including Dr. Francis Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health - have urged other believers to follow advice from public health experts during the pandemic.
Still, conservative Christian activists, pastors and law firms have led charges of coronavirus restrictions on churches - filing lawsuits against worship restrictions in various states and even openly violating local rules. A Christian musician, Sean Feucht, has drawn hundreds of often maskless worshipers to events across the country to protest what he calls "unprecedented" attacks on "freedom to worship God and obey his word".
Nordeman wasn't shy about calling Feucht or other Christians who disobey officials' health instructions.
"I'm tired of telling made-up" persecution "narratives," she tweeted in September, replying to one of Feucht's posts about a protest in Chicago. "Worship doesn't require self-orchestrated chaos."
Executives are accused of looking after their people and communicating both hope and reality, she wrote in March. Refusing to submit to expert guidelines "is not against Satan, but instead chooses not to love and protect the most vulnerable neighbors in your flock."
"Let me remind you that God's presence has never been and never will be contained in a building," she tweeted.
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This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.
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