Religious leaders weigh in on mask, vaccine debate

Reporter: Nicole Gabe Writer: Drew Hill
Published: Updated:
jesus and masks
Credit: WINK News

Masks and vaccines have created a divide during the pandemic. Some people cite their belief system as the reason they avoid both. WINK News spoke to three religious leaders, and while they are not of the same faith, they all agree that we should be helping keep each other safe.

Online, the idea of whether or not Jesus would have worn a mask is being thrown around. Rev. Dr. Rickey Anderson Sr. is the founding pastor at Followers of Christ Fellowship Ministries. William Glover is the senior pastor of Mount Hermon Church. Nicole Luna is the Rabbi of Temple Beth El.

“When Jesus lived, he believed in the safety of human beings, and he wanted everybody to be healed. And so if wearing a mask would bring healing to people, certainly he would,” Anderson said.

“Jesus absolutely would follow the medical wisdom of the day,” Glover said.

“In Judaism, we have a God of love, a God of concern, and God that is with us,” Luna said. “And certainly, I do believe that, out of love, it is an expression of the divine love within us when we wear a mask.”

So how would Jesus feel about vaccines?

“We would call it a mitzvah [a] sacred responsibility to care for each other, to love our neighbor, to love the stranger,” Luna said.

“There is age-old wisdom in terms of how do you keep yourself safe in regards to an airborne virus. And part of that wisdom says the most basic fundamental thing you can do is to wear a mask or a face covering,” Glover said.

Pope Francis says vaccination is a simple yet profound way of promoting the common good and caring for each other. Different leaders from faiths have a similar message.

“Jesus acknowledged physicians during his day,” Glover said. “He acknowledges that physicians had the power to heal with medicine.”

“We can all play a part, and then, we realize that it’s possible just to put a mask on, and, you know, God willing, that will help us get out of this sooner rather than later,” Luna said.

Within the past month, Mount Hermon Church has held COVID-19 vaccination clinics for the community. Pastor Glover has also said that, since the FDA approval of the Pfizer vaccine, his church is planning to host another one.

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