By Val Wilde
At the height of the coronavirus pandemic, it was a story we saw over and over: Christian pastors like the notorious Tony Spell defiantly announcing their intention to continue gathering in large numbers, sans masks, claiming precautions against spreading disease infringed on their religious liberty.
So it’s a fair question to ask: Does Christian belief lead people to disregard COVID-19 precautions like social distancing, mask wearing, and vaccination (once it becomes available)?
A new study from the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion says it’s not mere Christianity that causes this kind of anti-science response. In fact, the study found that religiosity was strongly linked to precautionary behaviors.
But a specific subset of Christians — Christian Nationalists — showed a clear pattern of defiant responses to scientific recommendations.
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