Over the last couple weeks, I’ve written about 12,000 words making a case for covid vaccination, arguing we can generally trust the official data, that covid vaccines are effective, and that we have good reason to believe they are generally safe. Perhaps it seems odd, then, for me to reiterate that my greatest hope for this short series truly isn’t to convince anyone to get vaccinated. I do think vaccination is wise, for the reasons I’ve laid out. But my greatest, overarching concern, the concern which has troubled me for months, is that a great number of evangelical Christians have been blatantly misled by people they trust.
I cannot tell you with 100% certainty that vaccination is the right choice. I think it is, but I may be wrong. I may be mistaken about some facts, or missing other facts, or simply coming to the wrong conclusion. So I am not certain I am right about all this. But I am absolutely certain that many widely held beliefs among American evangelicals are objectively wrong—not in the debatable sense of “I disagree with your conclusions,” but simply, factually, plainly false.
- If you think CDC numbers show no excess deaths over the last 18 months, you have been misled.
- If you think the CDC has published guidelines for counting vaccinated and unvaccinated cases differently, you have been misled.
- If you think the only available data is months out of date, you have been misled.
- If you think covid isn’t straining hospital systems, you have been misled.
- If you think there’s no evidence the vaccines prevent covid infections, you have been misled.
- If you think there’s no evidence the vaccines work against the delta variant, you have been misled.
- If you think the vaccine trials skipped required phases or didn’t have a control group, you have been misled.
- If you think there are no credible studies of vaccine safety, you have been misled.
- If you think VAERS shows thousands of deaths caused by vaccines, you have been misled.
If people truly understand the available information about covid and vaccination—maybe even facts I’m unaware of, facts that demonstrate I’m wrong—and then make an informed decision not to be vaccinated, I’m not especially worried about that. I don’t think civilization is going to collapse if we can’t figure out how to jab every human being on the planet (though I do think an honest, informed look at the available facts would lead most people to get vaccinated, to everyone’s benefit).