A writer for a popular LGBTQ website argued this week the novel coronavirus is God’s “punishment for conservative Christians.”
Mark Segal, a contributor for LGBTQ Nation, penned an article published Wednesday, “If HIV was God’s punishment for gays, then coronavirus is punishment for conservative Christians.”
The crux of his piece hinges on the old (though hardly widespread) argument among some that HIV was somehow God’s direct punishment for homosexuality. With that fringe perspective in mind, Segal wrote:
God must now be angry with religious people by striking the headquarters of the world’s religions with the COVID-19: Rome, headquarters of Catholics; Athens, the headquarters of Greek Orthodoxy; Moscow, the headquarters of Russian orthodoxy; London, home of the Anglican communion; Mecca, home of Muslims; Jerusalem, home of Jewish faith; and Salt Lake City, home of the Mormons.
Trying to back up his claim, Segal suggested San Francisco — a city “fundamentalists apparently consider … the capital of the LGBTQ world,” he wrote — has fewer COVID-19 cases and deaths than major international cities that hold religious significance.
“Now let’s compare and see what God’s wrath is,” he wrote. “San Francisco has under 1,000 cases and only 12 deaths. All of the headquarters cities of the world’s major religions, religions that at one point or another have discriminated against the LGBTQ community, have more cases and more deaths than San Francisco. San Francisco is the least affected of all the cities.”
As of 9 a.m. Friday, the City by the Bay, with a population just shy of 900,000 people, had 1,019 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 17 deaths, according to the San Francisco Department of Public Health. By comparison, Salt Lake City, Utah, which has a population of around 1.2 million people, has 1,388 confirmed cases and 13 deaths.