Eric Metaxas Uncritically Features Anti-Vaccine Proponent

Eric Metaxas has been in the hot seat lately due to his race baiting tweet in response to Joe Biden (see this post for that story). However, there is something else that in times past would relegate Metaxas to the fringe.

On his radio show last week, he gave 36 minutes to Kent Heckenlively, the co-author with Judy Mikovits, of the conspiratorial book Plague of Corruption. Mikovits is the star of the documentary “Plandemic” that made the rounds in early May. Metaxas treated Heckenlively as a serious guest with truth to reveal. In the process, he gave the anti-vax movement a huge public relations win. Watch:

In this video, Heckenlively claims and Metaxas accepts that aborted fetal tissue is in vaccines, and harmful viruses are in vaccines. The fictitious vaccine-autism link is implied along with other wild ideas. Heckenlively is allowed to provide a full recitation of the anti-vax catalog. Metaxas is completely unprepared for these claims and can’t or doesn’t want to offer any skeptical response. For all practical purposes, Eric Metaxas produced a 36 minute commercial for the anti-vax movement.

Recently, the Gospel Coalition and Christianity Today have offered warnings about conspiracy theories in the church. With Eric Metaxas favorably featuring the anti-vax movement, there is evidence they may be too late.


David Barton (left), Eric Metaxas (right)

63 thoughts on “Eric Metaxas Uncritically Features Anti-Vaccine Proponent”

  1. Many who profess Christ worship at the alter of success and the perception of political power. The gullibly factor of the religious right is breathtaking. And divorced from Jesus Christ himself.

    1. The problem is, you don’t even have to be that gullible. Patrick Madrid hosts the morning show on Relevant Radio, a conservative Catholic radio network, which is aired on over 150 stations around the country. I only listen for a few minutes a day at moment as I’m waking up, but I have heard him discussing the prospect of an upcoming vaccine for Covid-19 several times already.

      He claims he’s not anti-vaxx, but every time he discusses the issue, the first thing he does is raise the hypothetical of fetal cells being in the vaccine which, he assures his listeners, he would refuse to take. He then goes on to talk about the possibility of being required to take the vaccine before you can get on a plane, or go to work, etc. along with the specter of being tracked and marker as a vaccine-refuser in some way.

      Now, even if these issues warrant debate, Madrid deliberately puts his thumb on the scale by gently stoking the fears of his conservative audience, many of whom already believe vaccines are made from baby parts and are going to be used to implant trackers in everyone. He even mentions Bill Gates and the $100 million he’s contributed to the effort, no doubt aware of all the conspiracy theories out there about him.

      Madrid is not a firebrand host. He’s eloquent and level-headed and presents what seem like eminently reasonable arguments, but I have never heard him presenting the case *for* vaccines or why a vaccine is so critical for the safety of the elderly and immune compromised. He leave it up to callers to make that case, and of course, they are nowhere near as convincing as he, as a long time professional, is.

      He is poisoning the well for vaccines more effectively than any “plandemic” nut job. No doubt the main takeaway for many of his listeners is to treat any vaccine with great suspicion, and thus, he’s priming them for the transition into full blown vaccine denial by the time the first effective vaccines hit the market.

      1. There is no indication that the coronavirus vaccine will use fetal stem cells. The fetal stem cells used in some vaccines (MMR for example) are the sames ones isolated almost 60 years ago. No new fetal stem lines are used or needed. IOW no baby parts are used.

        From the link:

        “None of the 75 vaccines available in the US are produced using fresh fetal tissue. A small number still use the historic cell “lines” derived from aborted fetal tissue harvested in the 60’s (WI-38 and MRC-5). Yet only three of these have no moral option in the US— all others are produced using ethical alternatives.”

      2. The second paragraph of your post sounds as though Patrick Madrid is making an entirely recognizable reference to “the mark of the beast” somehow being the upcoming (please god, soon) COVID-19 vaccine, then slides downhill into promoting-by-mention various conspiracy theories. Since you say he’s plausible, not an off-the-wall nutcase, I feel sorry for his listeners.

        1. That is the implication, and I’m sure it’s deliberate. Relevant Radio has a very conservative Catholic listenership, to the point when a host expresses an opinion that this entirely in line with Catholic doctrine, but sounds like something a liberal would say like, you know, helping the poor and sick, they get a bunch of angry phone calls.

  2. They’re taking the mikovits.

    And here’s one of those tell-tale signs: “… something of which I confess almost proudly I know very very little.” – E. Metaxas (see video 1:36 – 1:43)

    Poor little Eric was “shut down” by Facebook; I suspect this edition of his show is essentially a spasm of petulance …

      1. Something along those lines … We all know how much these people hate to have their ‘right’ (as they see it) to peddle dangerous nonsense taken away from them!

    1. How did Eric get shut down by Facebook? What was reason (both real and imagined)?

      1. That’s what he said in his show (video c.1:55). I suspect he put up some posts with misinformation and they were taken down.

  3. Don’t you know Anti-Vaxx is the next Litmus Test of your Salvation?

    1. And I guess pastors are experts in physics too stating confidently that Einstein’s Relativity has not been scientifically proven.

  4. Anti-vacs, maybe the earth is flat and only 6,000 years old. earth is the center of the solar system and the galaxy, and the universe. Metaxas and fundamentalists yearn for the Dark Ages .

    1. It often seems so. Their theology is based on certainty, of which there is precious little in science. Even settled theories may be altered by new discoveries, and they really can’t cope with that.

  5. The Christian religion is sinking beneath waves of chaos and lies. Satan is the author of division chaos confusion distractions and the father of lies. Christians have been lied to for so long they don’t know the difference between God and Satan. God has also issued a prophetic conspiracy theory warning: “You are not to say ‘It’s a conspiracy!’ In regards to all this people call a conspiracy,
    And you are not to fear what they fear or be in dread of it.” (Isaiah 8:12)

    1. It is people like Metaxas and others pushing experimentally discredited theories and conspiracies is one reason why more and more people with science, engineering, and technical backgrounds want NOTHING AT ALL to do with Christianity.

      1. Science Facts Truth Climate change Loving our neighbor and the Testimony of Jesus appear to mean very little to the political gospel of the religious right which was born in spiritual adultery. ( James 4:4)

        1. Too much Christianese, dude.
          It’s obscuring the points you’re trying to make.

          1. JESUS is the point of Christianity. Jesus is not obscure at all. The centrality and preeminence of Jesus Christ is what Christianity is all about!

          2. Sure, but your point is presented with too much vocabulary particular to Evangelical(?) Christianity for the rest of us to understand clearly. What, for example, is “spiritual adultery”?

      2. Bingo. Metaxas has also associated himself with the Intelligent Design movement, speaking of people who promote conspiracy theories about science.

        1. Because Relativity is not compatible with Young Earth Creationism?

          1. I don’t know in this case, since I am not sure which view of creationism he holds. It may more of a case buying into conspiracy theories about Tesla and standing up to the bullying and Saul Alinksy tactics from the intellectual elites that he sees coming from the parts of the left. Defending natural rights and liberty that sort of thing. In that case, I would argue that denying relativity is a pretty dumb hill to die on because the firepower directed will come not from those bullies and elites but also others who are not part of those groups.

            Also, it makes other bloggers who defend him look bad IMHO, especially in that other blog in which I have replied to your comments.

          2. I’ve been a Democrat for 60 years, and I’ve never heard a single Democrat utter the name “Saul Alinsky”.

            Not one.

          3. FWIW, I am a principled conservative/libertarian type who has been cast in the political wilderness in the era of Trump. Trump was never a member of the GOP until he decided to run for POTUS. But then he joined and many did what they could to stop him, but they failed. Populism BS (that Trump spouts) is not conservatism by any sense of the definitions.

            At least the Democrat party saw what happened when their non-DNC party outsider (Sanders) tried to pull the same stunt. They dealt with the problem and prevented Sanders from running away with the nomination. For those of you who do not know, Bernie Sanders has NEVER been a member of the Democratic Party, yet he tried to get the nomination.

          4. Which is why I opposed Bernie Sanders, with whom I was familiar for years.

            As for your “conservative/libertarian” self-descriptor, it explains your Alinsky reference. Only conservatives think Democrats study Alinsky. They don’t, nor do they ever even mention him.

            And as to “conservative/libertarians”, Galbraith said it best: “The modern conservative is engaged in one of
            man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is,
            the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.”

          5. Jeff,

            I was referring to someone else who said that in his blog as to why he stood his ground on his statement on relativity. That person referred to Alinsky NOT me. So please do not assume incorrectly.

            And to respond to Galbraith, here is one from Adam Smith from the Wealth of Nations:

            “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self love, and never talk to them of our necessities but of their advantages”

            Another thing is that I see the populism of both Trump and Sanders as really 2 sides of the same coin. Their rhetoric and their policies regarding trade are eerily similar.

          6. With regard to Alinsky, it helps to use quotation marks and attribution if you want anyone to know you’re expressing another person’s thoughts. You didn’t do that, and I’m not a mind reader.

            With regard to Adam Smith, his work led inexorably to exactly what Galbraith was talking about. The trivialization and diminution of human worth and the reduction of life to a conscienceless balance sheet.

            This is exactly what conservatism has become, though it hardly needed a push. There was a commenter on another blog recently who added his annual income, the price of his home and the cost of his tricked out pickup truck to arrive at a figure he said demonstrated his value as a human being. This is the logical endpoint of Adam Smith’s thinking, as well as Ayn Rand’s. It led directly to modern economic thought, which in turn gives us people like Milton Friedman, Stephen Moore and Kevin Hassett. People who run the country and, in Wilde’s famous words, know the price of everything and the value of nothing. All of the letters after their names cannot make them human.

            If man is to survive as something better than the venal, grasping creatures conservatism births, we have to excise the rot of modern economics. It ignores the facts of how life actually works and how man has progressed. It aspires to nothing but greed satisfied and lives in ruin. No thanks.

          7. I respect your viewpoints, even though I disagree with them and think they are a bit of hyperbole (I cannot speak about that other commentator, but he did overlook even the most obvious in the calculation: intellectual, educational, talent, skill, etc. capital for starters).

            Even though we agree to disagree on economic policies and political philosophies, the discourse has been civil and polite. And for that, I do appreciate the discussions.

          8. I respect your viewpoints, even though I disagree with them and think they are a bit of hyperbole (I cannot speak about that other commentator, but he did overlook even the most obvious in the calculation: intellectual, educational, talent, skill, etc. capital for starters).

            Even though we agree to disagree on economic policies and political philosophies, the discourse has been civil and polite. And for that, I do appreciate the discussions.

          9. I appreciate your response.

            Have you really never heard of John Kenneth Galbraith?

          10. Actually I have. He is well known economist, big proponent of Keynesian economic theory and later Post-Keynesian economics (of which I am not a fan in general). The main economist and proponent of 20th century liberalism (again not a fan).

            While he was very influential, it does not make him infallible and his works and ideas are not immune from criticism. Noted liberal economist Paul Krugman has this to say about Galbraith:

            In Peddling Prosperity, Krugman places Galbraith as one among many “policy entrepreneurs”—either economists, or think tank writers, left and right—who write solely for the public, as opposed to those who write for other academics, and who are, therefore, liable to make unwarranted diagnoses and offer over-simplistic answers to complex economic problems. Krugman asserts that Galbraith was never taken seriously by fellow academics, who instead viewed him as more of a “media personality”. For example, Krugman believes that Galbraith’s work, The New Industrial State, is not considered to be “real economic theory”, and that Economics in Perspective is “remarkably ill-informed”.

            Galbraith was never awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics. Paul Krugman, Milton Friedman, F.A. Hayek, Lawrence Klein (a noted Keynesian as well) are all Nobel laureates.

            As always, I do appreciate the response and discourse.

          11. No one’s infallible, and no one’s ideas are immune from criticism. I’ve always respected Galbraith because he mattered, and in a good way. Friedman mattered, too, but in a bad way. (As a former Chicagoan, I’ve always felt that Hayek and Friedman stunk up the place, but fortunately they were in Hyde Park, so the rot didn’t spread as far as the North Side.)

            I generally like Krugman. But I didn’t quote Galbraith because of his economic work. I quoted him because he was right. Friedman and his ilk gave us the likes of Robert Mercer and the Koch brothers, who have poisoned this country, literally and ideologically.

          12. Again, we have to agree to disagree about Galbraith.

            Friedman did correctly note that it was the Fed’s tight money monetary policy in the 1930s that prolonged the Great Depression. A cursory review of economics shows that tight monetary policy during recessions and depressions is the not the thing to do. And Monetarism itself is nothing new, but rather dates back to the 16th century.

        2. *headdesk* One of my favorite proofs of general relativity is gravitational lensing, which he predicted in 1912, but it took until 1979 for the first gravitationally lensed stellar objects to be discovered. Now quite a few have been discovered and microlensing is being used to discover planets around other stars. But I just love to look at the pictures of gravitational lenses.

          General article about gravitational lensing:

          The universe is a astonishing place…young earth creationism diminishes it.

          1. I has mentioned gravitational lensing (Einstein Ring), Eddington’s observations in 1919, and the LIGO data as examples of experimental verification of relativity. Here is a famous one I had posted on his website:


            I am not sure what view of creation Wade ascribes to, and I think his insistence is more do buying into conspiracy theories involving Tesla.

      1. OSO,

        Sorry for the very long reply.

        The sad thing is I am not one of those so-called proggie elitist leftist types Wade and others use as a bogeyman. My background is in engineering, and part of background and education that dealt with quantum mechanics, physics, and the like. As part my studies, I dealt with quantum mechanics, classical mechanics/electromagnetism, optics, and relativity.

        I read your comment on Wade’s blog and it was well done. Certainly a lot more tactful and charitable than my comments. You points about credibility are spot on. Rather hard to give credence to Wade in his areas of expertise if he fails to see reason in something when confronted with experimental evidence proving the theory of relativity.

        Another thing is notice the peanut gallery of other posters on the thread. Rather than actually responding to the points made, experiments done, etc. they deal in snark.

        Believe the account of a church abuse victim? Sure no problem. Believe in Special and General Relativity despite been shown the evidence from dozens of experiments? No of course not. Like you why should I give them any credibility on this church abuse stuff when they cannot agree with something akin to Laws of Thermodynamics or the Krebs Cycle or the Commutative, Associative, and Distributive Laws of Mathematics?

        I will end it with this quote by Isaac Asimov:

        “There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”

        1. CM,

          I’ve left another message on Wade’s blog, basically saying that, according to the book of Proverbs, he is not the wise man, but the fool.

          I know it is hard sometimes to argue with people like Wade. However, my understanding is that there are plenty of “lurkers” out there who read comments without contributing. Wade’s blog is quite popular, so the amount of lurkers is going to be high.

          On this subject Wade is obviously wrong, but while we may not be able to convince him personally, we do a service for those lurkers who read and don’t comment. They are reading what Wade, you and I talk about, and may often be confused as to what they might believe. So it’s important for us to address Wade’s stupidity in a frank, honest and godly manner, providing scientific evidence (in your case) and biblical guidelines (which is what I’ve tried to do) to expose his wrongdoing here.

          So will Wade change his mind because of two people he doesn’t know who have turned up on his blog to argue with him? Highly unlikely. But for the lurkers – some of whom might attend Wade’s church – we have done good work.

          1. Thanks for the comments here and there. I am not sure I will visit Wade’s blog again and I would encourage people to stay away from it (and his church as well). I suspect Wade will continue to post similar articles and head further down the same path. But I do hope that others with the requisite skills, education, professional experience, and knowledge will comment when he does (like that fellow Larry, an Electrical Engineer by profession and education, has already done so).
            Unfortunately, the more Wade persists in this, the more likely other blogs he is allied with will suffer.

          2. You may want to check out the site again as to why stuff is disappearing. Visit, but do not post or email.

          3. Hello CM, “Well that escalated quickly”.

            Here’s the reason:

            I decided to take this to the next level and contact church members about what Wade was saying – preferably the board of elders or whoever it is that Wade is accountable to.

            So I went to the church website. At the website there was a page which listed small group leaders and had their email addresses publicly viewable. So I sent an email to these people asking them to consider what Wade had done. I have posted details of this at the reformed subreddit part of reddit, but it is pending review.

            Unfortunately some members of the church had been recently scammed by someone posing as Wade and had lost some money as a result. When the church members got my email, some of them were very concerned that I was the scammer.

            As a result, Wade has contacted his local police, and has sent an email to the police where I live in Tasmania, Australia.

            I don’t blame Wade for doing this. In hindsight he and others in the church are mad at being scammed. Moreover, the people I sent emails to were unaware that their email addresses were publicly available on the church webpage. These have since been removed.

            This does, however, place me in a potentially nasty situation of being investigated by the police. I have no problems with this as I know that I did nothing wrong. But it has added a bitter flavour to Wade’s response.

            I’ve contacted Warren Throck with this as well, just in case it blows up over the Christian internet.

          4. Did you read what he said in his blog about this and his take on things?

            Also, it looks like he pulled my comments and reported them as well. Since I never contacted anyone in Wade’s circle other than comments on Wade’s website, it will be interesting to see how links to pictures of gravitational lensing confirming Einstein’s Laws of Relativity and other reference links is some sort of cyberbullying. Unless phrases saying that maybe he should get a clue or take some physics courses or ask a physicist is cyberbullying.

            As for the publicly available emails of his small group leaders, well maybe Wade should fire his church’s web page guru. Of course that won’t happen since I am sure Wade had previously approved posting them. But that oversight has now been fixed. In any case, I suspect the elders and small group leaders of his church are just as clueless about physics as Wade (if not more so). But Wade knows more of the jargon, so in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.

            It is no use trying to correct Wade or his brain addled fans on his website and the bloggers who enable and support him. What one can do is not give his site (or his blogger enabling friends’ sites) the added popularity and improved rankings due to web hits. If anyone asks you for a good Christian site, even ones regarding church abuse simply recommend other ones. At some point Wade will post something so outrageous that that it will really bite him in the rear.

          5. Yes I have. In hindsight I think that Wade has panicked a bit on this. He didn’t need to contact the police. I’ve just received a stern email from him warning me never to contact them again and so on.

            In the last hour I have spoken to one of my church elders so that they are informed of the situation. I have also emailed a reply to Wade to give him contact information for my church in case he needs to send a formal complaint.

            I do not believe that I am in the wrong here. I do not believe that I have sinned by doing this.

            I felt that the only course of action open to me was to contact members of his own church to let them know what Wade was saying, especially those to whom Wade is accountable to. It was right of me to rebuke him personally, and then to speak to those who know him, as per the requirements of Matthew 18.

            Wade views this action as a personal attack. Well it is, in a way. I disagree with Wade – as do you – and believe that this issue reveals deeper problems with Wade’s role as a Christian pastor. That is the nature of the complaint that I have leveled against him via communicating to his church members.

            For what it is worth, I have liked and respected Wade for over a decade. He has done a lot of good in the SBC, even though we disagree over the complementarian / egalitarian debate.

            I’m saddened that Wade has responded in this manner – though, as I point out before, there are extenuating circumstances.

            I do not know if Wade has sinned against me by his reaction. But I will leave that to those in his church whom he is accountable to. If he has sinned against me, I forgive him.

          6. Sounds to me you are handling things on your end correctly and according to Scripture. I am sure God sees that, so you should have nothing to worry about it.

            I read somewhere that God will not be mocked, so at some point Wade’s continuing posting of spurious ideas and conspiracy theories will bite him in the rear and God will let the chips fall where they may.

    1. Kennedy, Mikovits and Burleson are idiots.

      ETA: “Kennedy”, and to delete the redundant (and misspelled) “Burelson”. Regrets.

      1. Maybe if they strongly believe in the anti-vaxxer stuff, maybe we should have refused to give them and all their family members any vaccines whatsoever. Then perhaps they are exposed things like tetanus, measles, COVID-19, etc. and see what happens. If they come down with anything, then refuse them any and all medical treatment. Then sit back and watch. And if any die due to these diseases that are prevented by vaccines, then nominate them for the Darwin Award.

        Why I should I feel sorry for someone dying of terminal stupidity?

        1. Well, this is a humorous post, I know. But the problem with such a tactic is that viruses don’t discriminate between fools and sages.

        2. Sorry. No matter how wrong I think anti-vaxxers are–and I think they are ABSOLUTELY wrong–I cannot agree with being complicit in the deaths of their children. They are guilty enough of that for all of us.

      1. He isn’t but conspiracy theories and the zeal to defend them make strange bedfellows.

  6. Mikovits is an absolute fraud. Kennedy has been flogging the anti-vax line consistently for years no matter how much evidence proves him wrong.

    Metaxas signed up for the Crazy Train. He forfeited any claim to credibility long ago.

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