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A White House faith adviser is under fire for appearing to suggest coronavirus is due to God’s wrath over homosexuality, environmentalism


In a blog post last week, one of President Trump’s evangelical advisers explored whether the coronavirus pandemic could be due to “God’s wrath” against America.

“I do not believe America is experiencing the forsaking wrath of God, but yes, America is experiencing the consequential wrath of God,” Ralph Drollinger wrote last week. The post examines how God exhibited two different types of wrath in the Bible. One type, in the old testament, was exhibited over those who engaged in homosexuality or environmentalism. It concludes that the type of wrath God used in the Old Testament in those instances is different from the type of wrath he is displaying with regard to coronavirus.

Drollinger is a prominent faith adviser within the Trump administration; he leads a weekly Bible study for Trump’s Cabinet members. Housing Secretary Ben Carson and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, who are covid-19 Task Force members, regularly attend the gathering, as does Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

In response to questions about his post, a spokesperson for Capitol Ministries told the Fix: “Drollinger does not believe the coronavirus is God’s judgment on homosexuals, environmentalists or any other group of people, and has never said that it is."

But gay rights groups and others interpreted the post as connecting the two.

Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign, one of America’s largest gay rights groups, suggested that Drollinger’s words are dangerous, given his influence in the White House.

“Our government’s top leaders depend on him for moral advice and give him regular and direct access,” David said. "Our country is in crisis, and rather than placing the blame on marginalized communities that are disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, our leaders and their advisers must focus in, buckle up and flatten the curve.”

For more than two decades, Drollinger has developed Bible studies for political leaders through his nonprofit Capitol Ministries. Last week, he wrote an in-depth post on the ministry’s website in which he used Bible scripture to determine that the sometimes lethal virus could be a result of God’s disapproval of “a swapping for environmentalism” and “a sensation toward homosexuality." He wrote:

If God is sovereign over the affairs of mankind today, which the Scriptures state He is, and a cataclysmic event occurs somewhere in, or over all the earth at any time in biblical history, one could and should attribute that cataclysmic event to the wrath of God in some form and to some degree. Accordingly, the coronavirus could be a form of God’s cataclysmic wrath. But having said that, I don’t think we should label the coronavirus as a form of God’s cataclysmic wrath, such as the form of wrath He manifests in the [Old Testament] with the Flood, Sodom and Gomorrah, or the “unparting” of the Red Sea, because that form of God’s wrath is void of a human curative—and I think we’ll soon see a human cure for the coronavirus.

Drollinger wrote in the post that he’s hopeful that a cure will arise for the coronavirus and does not believe that God’s wrath will lead to similar outcomes as written in other biblical stories where God’s wrath led to entire communities dying. Drollinger suggested that the way to prevent future incidents like this is for more Americans to adopt the values of conservative Christians.

The president has not attributed the spread of the virus to any group of Americans, though he has said at points that the media or Democrats have exaggerated the pandemic. He said this week that he hopes to get things back to normal in the United States by Easter, one of the most important religious holidays for Christians around the world. But it is not clear how he came up with that deadline, one which medical professionals and other experts fear is premature.

“Wouldn’t it be great to have all of the churches full? You know the churches aren’t allowed, essentially, to have much of a congregation there,” Trump said in a Fox News interview this week. “You’ll have packed churches all over our country. I think it would be a beautiful time.”

This post had been updated.