Hank Hanegraaff, president of the Christian Research Institute and host of the Hank Unplugged podcast, reflects on recent interaction between Senator Rand Paul and Xavier Becerra, President Biden’s Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. As Sen. Paul points out in the interchange, Sec. Becerra dubbed him, Jonathan Isaac (who plays for the Orlando Magic), and some hundred million Americans who have natural immunity against COVID-19—“flat Earthers.” Reality is that Sen. Paul, Isaac, and the millions of Americans who have looked at the science and determined that antibodies resulting from having contracted COVID-19 produce significant immunity (as is the case with measles and smallpox) are anything but obscurantists lacking mental acumen and reasoning skills. To call someone a “flat Earther” is no small slight. Andrew Dickson White, founder of Cornell University, once did the same. He decried what he called the regrettable reality that two hundred years after Ferdinand Magellan had empirically proved that the Earth was round, Christian fundamentalists persisted in perpetuating flat-Earth mythology. Like Sec. Becerra, it was White’s contention that people like Sen. Paul and Isaac were unable or unwilling to consider the facts. Thus, they must be crushed under the full weight of government mandates and penalties, until they cry uncle (Uncle Sam). What Sec. Becerra must surely know, however, is that his use of the flat-Earth moniker is pure propaganda! Columbus, of course, knew full well that unanimous scholarly opinion from Augustine to Aquinas pronounced the Earth spherical. And far from being flat Earthers, as Sec. Becerra recklessly demeans them, Sen. Paul, Isaac, and millions of other Americans are well aware of the reality that a lunar eclipse is not produced by a flat Earth. It is high time that name calling is replaced by a civil, reason- and science-based national discussion on whether natural immunity is indeed as good or better than present vaccines. Or, for that matter, whether the combination of natural immunity and vaccine immunity surpasses one or the other or both.

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