A recent poll conducted by the University of Chicago Divinity School and The Associated Press-NORC Center indicates the coronavirus has prompted almost two-thirds of American believers of all faiths to feel that God is telling humanity to change its ways.
While the virus rattles the globe, causing economic hardship for millions and killing more than 100,000 in America, the findings of the poll indicate that people may also be searching for a deeper meaning of the devastating outbreak.
Even some who don’t affiliate with organized religion, such as Lance Dejesus of Dallastown, Pennsylvania, saw a possible bigger message in the virus. “It could be a sign like—Hey, get your act together. I don’t know.” Dejesus is 52 years old and believes in God, yet does not consider himself religious.
The poll found that 31 percent of Americans who believe in God feel strongly that the virus is a sign of God influencing humanity to change, with the same number feeling this to a lesser degree. Evangelical Protestants are more likely than others to believe it strongly, at 43 percent, compared with 28 percent of Catholics and Protestants.
Black Americans were more likely than those of other racial backgrounds to say they perceive the virus as a sign God wants humanity to change. Forty-seven percent say they feel that strongly compared with 37 percent of Latinos and 27 percent of white Americans.
The COVID-19 virus has disproportionately affected black Americans, exposing social inequality that has left minorities more vulnerable, heightening concern that the risks they face are getting ignored by a push to reopen the US economy. Amidst stark reality, the poll found black Americans who believe in God are more likely than others to say they have felt doubt about God’s existence as a result of the virus—21 percent compared with 13 percent of Latinos and 11 percent of white Americans.
From my perspective, it does seem that God or a Higher Being is sending humanity a message that change must occur, which would involve people becoming more spiritual so this planet can live in everlasting peace and transcend immaterial concerns. We are witnessing what happens to the earth when our pollution halts. Inequalities on many levels are being revealed. Changes in healthcare, education, and the government are being called for. Even the way we connect and relate to one another on a daily basis is shifting. This could be an opportunity to tap into what matters most.
Dear readers sharing your perspectives regarding the above would be much appreciated!