As I wrote previously, God’s chosen people during this time must be the LGBTQ community, at least according to the standards used by Evangelicals, the Religious Right and even some Republican politicians. After all, they said AIDS was God’s wrath against gays. They continually blame our community for all the ills of the world. They point to San Francisco as the “gay city” synonymous with moral and cultural degradation. It should be no surprise, then, that they blame coronavirus on us.
In my previous op-ed, we used the coronavirus figures from John Hopkins to prove that God loves the gays because San Francisco has been weathering the pandemic very well. So well, in fact, that compared to the capitals of the various religions — i.e., Rome, Mecca, Jerusalem — one would think that God made it a point to save the gays. Who would have thought it: God loves LGBTQ people more than the organized religions of the world?
As expected, using their own logic against them caused an outburst of anger from the various religious and right-wing websites, and they quoted from my column widely in their senseless attacks. And I’m sure, since empirical truth matters so much to them, that the right wingers might think that I’ve skewed those numbers unfairly. So, here’s a formula that might help them add up the numbers on their abacus.
Let’s start with Jerusalem, Israel, home of the Jewish faith, and called the Holland. Jerusalem’s population is around 890,000, and the city has had 22 coronavirus deaths thus far. That’s 1 in 39,000 people.
Salt Lake City, home of the Mormon faith, has a population of 200,000 and a coronavirus death toll of 15. That’s about 1 in 13,000 people.
In Rome, home of the Catholic Church, the population is 2,872,800 and the death toll in the region is 341. That’s 1 person in 8,000.
Mecca, home to the Muslim religion, took early steps to contain the virus. As of April 14, according to Bloomberg News, the city had 1,050 cases in its 2-million-person population. No death numbers in the city have been released, but the national death toll stands at 103. Divide that by the total population and it comes to 1 in 33,000 people.
That brings us back to the home of the gays, San Francisco, home to 891,000 people, same as Jerusalem. Twenty people have died of coronavirus in San Francisco. That’s 1 in 44,000. Out of all those cities, San Francisco has had the least death. Gee, God really likes the gays, and by a large margin, according to the logic of Evangelicals and the Right Wing.
The world is going through a terrible plight, and we shouldn’t treat it lightly. But that is exactly what Evangelicals did when our community went through the early years of HIV/AIDS. They made fun of us, they physically and verbally abused us and now, in a twist of fate, their very lives now are dependent on the health systems that we changed during the AIDS epidemic. During AIDS, the medical field adopted faster medication delivery systems as well as intricate contact tracing. They should be thankful to our community for changing the medical profession for the better, which is helping the fight against coronavirus.
We don’t wish the Evangelicals, the Right Wing, or the fundamentalists any harm. We just wish they’d stop harming us.
To read the first part of this opinion piece, visit qnotescarolinas.com/65624.
Mark Segal, Philadelphia Gay News publisher, is one of the nation’s most-award-winning commentators in LGBTQ media. His memoir, “And Then I Danced, Traveling The Road To LGBT Equality,” was named National Lesbian Gay Journalist Book of the Year.