The Department of Homeland Security has warned the faith-based community ahead of Passover and Easter about an “increase in online hate speech intended to encourage violence or use” the ongoing coronavirus pandemic situation as an excuse to spread hatred https://t.co/A012lLvfIs
— CNN (@CNN) April 9, 2020
of the 39 states that have implemented stay at home orders, 12 make exceptions for religious gatherings https://t.co/liHhX7cY7c
— Catherine Rampell (@crampell) April 5, 2020
Coronavirus: How do you celebrate a religious festival while social distancing? https://t.co/S1zwtbuJNW
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) April 7, 2020
Chag Pesach Sameach to those of you who observe Passover, and a blessed Maundy Thursday to those who keep the old Catholic / Christian traditions. (Apparently the Pope will *not* be washing anyone’s feet today, and good for him setting the right example.)
Whether or not one agrees with the premise, certainly a great many people take solace from their particular group observances, and this is the season when two of the three Abrahamic traditions traditionally gather together. Passover is a celebration of group survival against an overwhelming secular foe. The Christian celebration of Easter, of course, descends directly from this — Jesus observed His last Passover feast with his elite followers before being arrested by the Roman authorities — and in the Catholic tradition I know best, the ‘annual obligation’ of taking the Eucharist (i.e., attending Mass) is mandated during the ‘holy season’ stretching from the beginning of Lent to Pentecost 40 days after Easter. Social distancing, obviously, is the opposite of such collective celebration. And Protestants, not least American Protestants, have a further tradition of defying (‘protesting’) oppressive outside authorities who attempt to restrict their understanding of how they are permitted to practice their faith. People of good faith, among the people of faith, are doing their best to keep their communities and the secular ones they inhabit safe… but not every individual’s conception of ‘safety’ is going to match those of the CDC, tragically.