V.P. Pence’s Visit to First Baptist Church in Dallas: How Not to Do Church During a Pandemic

Buzzfeed News is reporting this morning what I wanted to report last week but couldn’t verify: Prior to V.P. Mike Pence’s visit to First Baptist Church in Dallas on Sunday, there was an outbreak of COVID-19 among the church’s orchestra and choir. I had heard this from two twitter accounts but could not get primary source verification, so I didn’t run with it.

Buzzfeed reporters were able to get that confirmation and went with the story today. The video of the event shows that the choir was singing and the orchestra was playing without masks. The congregation was close together and the only real precautions were taken by Pence. You don’t need to watch the whole video to see what I mean:


Texas is experiencing a scary surge in cases and V. P. Pence should have shown leadership by canceling his appearance and urging Robert Jeffress to hold an online event. Just last week, in neighboring Arkansas, fellow evangelical Governor Asa Hutchinson told the public that the churches who are not experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks are the ones using masks and social distancing. He identified by name nine churches on a naughty list of churches which had not been following guidelines and thus experiencing more cases of COVID-19.

Jeffress’ church was a clinic in how not to do things. Singing and playing wind instruments are effective ways of spreading a virus. The congregation was not spaced properly and it appears not all were wearing masks. Given that some of the orchestra members have been infected (although none of those members were there), it is possible that some of the orchestra members playing that Sunday had been exposed in prior rehearsals.

While it appears that most church leaders are trying to take COVID-19 seriously, I don’t see how it helps to have so-called leaders disregard best practices. I have been tracking church outbreaks for just over a month and it is starting to get a little hard to keep up with. I count 48 churches as of this writing. As the pandemic enlarges in the U.S., it may be difficult to keep a complate count.

In any case, having church as normal can be a super spreading event and leaders need to heed best practices while still caring for their flocks.

11 thoughts on “V.P. Pence’s Visit to First Baptist Church in Dallas: How Not to Do Church During a Pandemic”

  1. At least Pence has been seen in public wearing a mask (does that mean Pence is anti-Trump?).

    Just heard Anderson Cooper say the following about Trump:

    He sprays a mask on his face every day for vanity, but an actual mask that would protect other people, that he just can’t do.

    1. Well, since Word of TRUMP (AKA Inerrant SCRIPTURE) is that mask-wearing is proof of Disloyalty…

      1. That is what Marshall Applewhite said when his people initially hesistated to cut off their own ‘nads.

        1. It made sure they were Loyal enough to join him behind Hale-Bopp.

          Incidentally, Heaven’s Gate was originally called “The Two” or “The Bo-Peepers” after the original handles of its founders, “Bo” and “Peep”. They quickly gained the reputation as the all-time WEIRDEST of the Space Brothers Saucer Cults. There was even a 1982 TV movie called “The Mysterious Two” based on their weirdness.

  2. Well it would be most ironic and karmic if so called “Christians” and “Evangelicals” Jeffress and Pence came down with COVID-19 in a church, and they were hospitalized and ended up dying. God would indeed have a sense of humor:


    I of course, would not feel any sympathy and would immediately nominate them for Darwin Awards should they pass away, any more than I would drunk college students playing in busy traffic.

  3. The political gospel descended into a religious cult of personality. Descending into a death cult.

    1. How long before they drink a flavored beverage with a secret ingredient or cut off their own gonads?

      1. It’s more a spiritual death which includes falling away from Jesus Christ.

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