Christian Songwriter Is Fed Up With Believers Who Refuse To Wear Masks

“A Christian singer-songwriter said she’s fed up with fellow believers who act as if wearing masks during the coronavirus pandemic is an assault on their rights.  Nichole Nordeman, an Oklahoma-based musician, was compelled to speak out on Friday after experiencing a family tragedy.  In an early morning tweet, Nordeman revealed that her aunt had died just eight hours after being diagnosed with COVID-19 on Thursday. The death happened before Nordeman’s mother could reach her aunt’s living facility to pray through the window, the singer said. “But please tell me more about how wearing a mask is such an assault on your rights,” she wrote. “Tell me about all your big offended feelings that the government is trying to control your life, your faith, your freedom and worship.” “I have run out of incredulity and disgust,” she said. My aunt was diagnosed w/ Covid this morning in her living facility and passed away 8 hours later, before my mom could even get there to pray through the window. 8 hours. But please tell me more about how wearing a mask is such an assault on your rights. Tell me about all your— Nichole Nordeman (@nicholenordeman) November 20, 2020 big offended feelings that the government is trying to control your life, your faith, your freedom and worship. I have run out of incredulity and disgust. Thank you to everyone who is diligent, caring and loving your neighbor by doing everything possible to slow the spread of— Nichole Nordeman (@nicholenordeman) November 20, 2020 this monster. Thank you especially to our exhausted, faithful health care workers. You’ve had to learn how to be family members, chaplains, and companions in our stead. Delivering our loved ones straight into the arms of Jesus time and again . Bless you for this sorrowful gift.— Nichole Nordeman (@nicholenordeman) November 20, 2020 Under the leadership of President Donald Trump actions recommended by health officials to combat the spread of COVID-19 ― things like wearing a mask and avoiding large indoor gatherings ― have become deeply politicized issues. A significant proportion (39%) of white evangelicals ― Trump’s most loyal religious supporters ― say that shutdowns, mask mandates and other steps taken by state and local governments since the coronavirus pandemic began are unreasonable attempts to control people, according to a Public Religion Research Institute survey published in October. White evangelicals are more likely to say this than any other religious group, PRRI reported. The contemporary Christian music world Nordeman hails from has deep ties to white evangelical culture. Many of the artists in this music scene have either  stayed silent about whether or not they approved of Trump’s actions and policies over the past four years ― or they’ve been willing to come right out and boldly support him. It’s rarer for musicians from that world to be openly critical of Trump, as Nordeman has been. Nordeman had a considerable presence in the contemporary Christian music world in the early 2000s, winning multiple Gospel Music Association Dove Awards, the Christian music industry’s equivalent to the Grammys. After taking a hiatus to focus on her personal life, she released her fifth studio album, “Every Mile Mattered,” in 2017. She’s still writing and recording music while also serving as worship arts minister at a United Methodist Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma. R. Diamond via Getty Images Nichole Nordeman performs at the 34th Annual Dove Awards in 2003. Most evangelical Christians agree that churches should follow the same rules about social distancing and large gatherings as other organizations or businesses in their local area. Dozens of Christian leaders — including Dr. Francis Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health —have called on fellow believers to follow the advice of public health experts during the pandemic. Still, conservative Christian activists, pastors and legal firms have been leading the charge against coronavirus restrictions on churches ― filing lawsuits against worship restrictions in various states and even openly flouting local rules. One Christian musician, Sean Feucht, has drawn hundreds of often-maskless worshippers to events across the country to protest what he has called “unprecedented” attacks on the “freedom to worship God and obey His Word.”  Nordeman hasn’t been shy about calling out Feucht or other Christians who disregard public officials’ health orders. “I am weary of fabricated ‘persecution’ narratives,” she tweeted in September, responding to one of Feucht’s posts about a protest event in Chicago. “Worship doesn’t require self orchestrated chaos.” I’m trying to figure out when exactly we were expected to choose between Jesus OR common sense. Jesus OR science. Jesus OR data. Faith OR facts. Surrender OR safety. Why must a Christian sacrifice their brain on the altar of belief? God created both to live in tandem not tension.— Nichole Nordeman (@nicholenordeman) October 13, 2020 Leaders are charged with shepherding their people well, communicating both hope and reality, she wrote in March. Refusing to submit to experts’ guidelines “is not standing your ground against Satan, it’s choosing not to love and protect the most vulnerable neighbors in your flock.” “Let me remind you that God’s presence has never been and never will be contained in a building,” she tweeted.

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