Overby Center program: Why religion was one big factor in vaccine wars

"In addition to Center founder Charles Overby, I was joined by three logical voices on this subject.First, political scientist (and GetReligion contributor) Ryan Burge .... Marquita Smith of the University of Mississippi faculty... Daniel Darling" - GetReligion

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Aaron Blumer's picture


Fascinating panel discussion, and good medicine against overgeneralizations about "the media," the left and the right on COVID related topics.

Unfortunately, Burge's charts (about 14 minutes in) are only about 1/3 visible.

One takeway: the percentage of evangelicals who have resisted vaccination vs. evangelicals who have been vaccinated is not higher than other religious and non-religious groups... (and some say 'nones' are now about equal % of US vs evangelicals and catholics... each about 23% per RNS)

Dan Darling speaks around 21:23 as a representative of "pro-vaccine, anti-mandate."

(I wonder how many are in the 'pro-vaccine; pro-employer mandates; anti-federal mandate because it's dumb, not because it's necessarily abuse of power, though it might be, I'm not sure' camp. That's my own view at the moment.)   Darling has good thoughts on now social media "incentivize incivility... the loudest voices get the most attention" resulting in the illusion of controversy or greater controversy where very little actually exists. He's persuaded that only a very small subgroup of evangelicals are vaccine hesitant or anti-vaccine. 

Marquita Smith talks about the issues and responses among American blacks and predominantly black churches, starting around 30:10. She talks about unhelpful messaging from pastors as a major factor, and the history of racism in medicine in the 19th century especially and how that contributes to public health attitudes today.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.