The mission of ChooseLife.Today is to provide resources and incentives to faith communities to expand their network virtually to support their district. In turn, we ask them to keep their houses of worship closed until there are zero COVID-19 cases in their city.
As politicians lay out plans for reopening their countries, states and cities, each has a different vision of the economic and health risks. This leads to differing plans on who opens first, how and under what conditions they may do so. In some areas houses of worship are among the first to be allowed to open, with varying conditions.
COVID-19 is NOT an equal opportunity virus. People of all ages, races, economic and social backgrounds contract COVID-19. However, its effects are decidedly unequal, disproportionately impacting elderly, medically, economically and socially vulnerable. This is due, in large part, to how society treats the virus and its victims.
Many political leaders accept that serious and likely long term illness and millions of deaths worldwide are acceptable. Faith communities know that this is unacceptable. Our political leaders hear and respond to the approach and concerns of their constituents – individuals, medical experts and businesses. The faith community knows that other values take precedence.
“Why do you cry out to Me? Tell the Israelites to move forward.” -Exodus 14:15
The Arabic noun Salah (Arabic ٱلصَّلَاة , meaning “prayer” or “blessing”) and the Hebrew verb Hitpallel (Hebrew: התפלל, meaning “to pray” or “to hope”) are reflexive terms. Our call to God for help, guidance, hope, and blessing reflects back to us. Prayer calls upon us to unite and to partner with God in mitigating the impact of this terrible virus through our action.
“Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.” –Albert Einstein
Another important partnership is that between science and theology. Science is invaluable to human progress in the understanding of objective reality, by breaking things down. Religion inspires and unites through the message of hope, binds people together, and fosters action and social justice.
“Go, my people, enter your chambers and lock your doors behind you. Hide but a little moment, until the wrath passes.” – Isaiah 26:20
Endcoronavirus.org is devoted to spreading knowledge, not the virus. Since the outbreak, many houses of worship have continued their vital work – prayer, community caring, study – remotely. Keeping houses of worship closed has saved lives, mitigated spread of the disease and modeled for the community at large and powers that be the values of life, faith, mutual caring, and support we know are paramount.
“Love your neighbor as yourself.” -Leviticus 19:18
This platform suggests additional ideas for faith communities to extend their activities to serve their communities, and provides technical tools helping them to expand their network.
The clerical and lay leaders can also galvanize and empower the broader community to protect itself and one another, regardless of state and municipal reopening strategies.
As moral lighthouses, faith communities need to choose life.
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