Controversial Christian church in Idaho opposes state mask and COVID-19 vaccination warrants, joining other far-right groups in fight against virus-related measures they are calling government overtaking.
The ultraconservative Church of Christ, founded in Moscow, Idaho in the 1990s, has led a campaign against COVID-19 measures that includes in-person protests, spreading false information online and encouraging civil disobedience to through the media channels it owns. The church is seeking to increase its influence in Idaho to further its goal of creating a theocracy in America, The keeper reported.
Idaho is one of the least vaccinated states in the United States, with about 50% of its residents vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the Mayo Clinic. Idaho health officials said last month they were Ration health care statewide due to an influx of COVID-19 patients requiring hospitalization.
Christ Church pastor Douglas Wilson denigrated mask and vaccination warrants on his blog, drawing the attention of more mainstream conservative leaders, including former President Trump, who promoted one of the Church’s anti-mask protests on Twitter while his account was still active, according to The Guardian.
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On his blog, Wilson also weaved conspiracy theories on public health restrictions and encouraged his readers to forge “vaccine passports.”
“I think the ruling elites are fighting, trying to cause unrest, and doing so so that they can justify truly repressive measures,” he wrote in a post during the summer.
In another post, he wrote that the government and health authorities “want to be in charge of every detail of human existence. They crave control and power. They are totalitarians in spirit. He also asked readers to ask for religious exemption from vaccination.
Wilson’s Church is just one of several right groups tackle mask and vaccine warrants across the country through disinformation and public protests.
The John Birch Society, a far-right group that once vehemently supported segregation and believed Communists were poisoning Americans with fluoride, has demonstrations organized against the mask warrants in schools. In New York, the New York Watchmen, formed last year in response to protests of police brutality, have sustained anti-mask, vaccines and containment measures.
Other conservative figures, such as Georgia Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, have also urged Americans to reject vaccination warrants. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Tx.) criticized the “sweeping” vaccination policies of the Biden administration, despite having been vaccinated himself.
Yet other Conservative leaders have pushed back against vaccine skepticism, and Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), A childhood polio survivor, has Openly supported COVID-19 vaccination.
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