Representative Dan Crenshaw (R-TX)
Rep. Crenshaw is a Methodist; his current congregation is unknown. He has talked to CBN about "God giving [him] strength to believe the impossible." He has dismissed concerns about the implicit racism of the phrase "Wuhan virus" as "CCP propaganda," in an editorial published during a week when Stop AAPI Hate counted 650 reported incidents of anti-Asian discrimination. (For more on the effects of terms like "Chinese virus," see Senator Marsha Blackburn.) Rep. Crenshaw has also tweeted that "China lied" about the virus, while conspicuously refraining from commenting on Trump's well-documented lies about the pandemic.
On April 17, 2020, Rep. Crenshaw introduced the “Holding the Chinese Communist Party Accountable for Infecting Americans Act of 2020” (supported by Sen. Cotton on May 7). This bill, like Senator Josh Hawley’s and former Senator Martha McSally's (see below), allows Americans to sue China in federal court to "recover damages for death, injury and economic harm” caused by COVID-19. On Dec. 1, 2020, Rep. Crenshaw tweeted, “China hid the virus, costing American lives and livelihoods. We’ve known this for months. They must be held accountable for unleashing a global pandemic.” In placing blame for American deaths solely on China, Rep. Crenshaw diverts attention away from the federal government’s own misdeeds, implying that only China bears culpability.
As mentioned above, The UMC’s Social Principles state, “Racism, manifested as sin, plagues and hinders our relationship with Christ, inasmuch as it is antithetical to the gospel itself. … We commit as the Church to move beyond symbolic expressions and representative models that do not challenge unjust systems of power and access.”
Texas’ 2nd congressional district, which Rep. Crenshaw represents, was home to approximately 52,237 people of Asian descent in 2016. Between March 19 and August 5, 2020, 72 hate crime incidents in Texas were reported to Stop AAPI Hate (8).
For possible responses from Crenshaw's church, see the Timeline.