The novel coronavirus, which originated in late 2019 in Wuhan, China, will likely be remembered similarly to the way we recall Pearl Harbor or Sept. 11, 2001. In some ways America will never be the same. I knew I needed to deal with this by writing a quick update of my book God, Trump and the 2020 Election. I completed that book last fall, and it was released Jan. 14, 2020—around the time news reports out of China were warning of a new virus infecting many. Fast-forward to April, when I felt compelled to put together this book—call it part two of the God, Trump and the 2020 Election message—which I wrote in less than three weeks.
Thankfully, President Trump quickly shut down the U.S. borders. On Jan. 31, he announced travel restrictions on those coming from China, effective Feb. 2, and then, effective March 16, on those coming from Europe, where the virus was spreading quickly. He declared the outbreak a national emergency on March 13. Even most churches closed their doors after March 16, when the president released guidelines recommending gatherings be limited to no more than 10 people.
With the stay-at-home orders, some enterprises were considered essential—drugstores and grocery stores, for example. Restaurants and bars had to close except for takeout or delivery. However, churches were considered nonessential. This created an interesting question about religious liberty. Why did the government officials consider churches nonessential? We do, after all, have a constitutional right to freedom of religion.
Rodney Howard-Browne, pastor of The River at Tampa Bay in Florida, held services after sanitizing everything and making sure people stayed the required 6 feet apart. The sheriff of his county held a press conference to shame Pastor Howard-Browne for disregarding public safety and announced a warrant for his arrest had been issued. Later, deputies went to his home to arrest him on two second-degree misdemeanors.
Liberty Counsel pointed out that Americans have freedom of religion under the Constitution, but many businesses allowed to stay open—like The Home Depot or repair shops—have no such right. After being threatened with a constitutional lawsuit they knew they would lose, the local Hillsborough County authorities changed and said churches are essential. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and several other governors determined that churches were essential in their states. In a way, religious liberty won. But if it's a virus this time, what happens next time officials order churches to close, especially after so many Americans have quietly gone along with the shutdown orders?
I believe Donald Trump has given great leadership in this pandemic. I believe he will continue to give great leadership, and the economy will roar back. Trump's single major selling point to American voters who normally might not vote for a Republican was the soaring economy. Some have said the coronavirus poses an "existential threat" to President Donald Trump's 2020 reelection. If this is true, then we have even more reason to back this president and help him get reelected.
This unexpected pandemic could affect the outcome of this election. If anything, the stakes will be even higher than if this pandemic hadn't happened.
The book released just prior to this one, God, Trump and the 2020 Election, explores what is at stake if he loses in November. It is the most important book I've ever written, and I believe it will help you understand what secular media won't tell you: Where is God in all this and what is His will?
The purpose of this new short book is to light a fire under the Christian community that we must turn out at the polls as never before, or life as we know it will end, and persecution of Christians and those who oppose our values will likely begin.
We are releasing God, Trump and COVID-19 mostly as an e-book for only $5 on our own shop.charismamag.com website, as well as a paperback for $15. It will also be available at amazon.com and other e-retailers, but not in many stores until the publishing supply chain returns to normal. It's a quick read, and I hope you will help this book gain momentum by buying it and urging others to do the same. That's because my deep desire is that you become passionate about reelecting a president I believe has been raised up by God for such a time as this.
Stephen Strang is founder of Charisma. He believes God, Trump and the 2020 Election (Charisma House), available wherever Christian books are sold, is his most important book. Listen to his new podcast by the same name on the Charisma Podcast Network.
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