Sketch comedy show "Saturday Night Live" recently joked about how some white evangelical Christians have been hesitant to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
Saturday's show featured Elon Musk as the host, but "Weekend Update" host Colin Jost poked fun at white evangelicals, saying they are the least likely religious demographic to get vaccinated.
"Experts say that one of the biggest obstacles to herd immunity is that many white evangelical Christians are refusing the vaccine," he said.
"Look, evangelical Christians, I know you guys want to get into Heaven, but it's not a race," he said, drawing laughter from the live audience.
Jost was referring to a Pew Research Survey from February that found that about 54 percent of white evangelicals "definitely or probably" plan on getting vaccinated or have already received at least one immunization. The group was the lowest of any religious demographic surveyed.
Many Christian leaders have encouraged Christians to receive the vaccine, such as the Southern Baptist Convention's Russell Moore and evangelist Franklin Graham.
"So, my own personal opinion is that from what we know, a vaccine can help save lives and prevent suffering," Graham, the son of the late Billy Graham, wrote on his Facebook page in March.
First Baptist Dallas Pastor Robert Jeffress also recently announced that his megachurch will be hosting a COVID-19 vaccination clinic after Sunday services later this month.
"I'm not forcing anybody to get the vaccine," he said. "That's your choice. But what I am saying is if you are not back yet, and would like to come back, one option is to take the vaccine, and therefore, you don't have to worry about what other people do or don't do here in the church."
Other Christian leaders have warned that the vaccines are linked to aborted fetal tissue and even the "Mark of the Beast." However, Dr. Francis Collins, a Christian physician-geneticist and the director of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, said some need to understand the truth of the vaccines.
"The virus is having a wonderful time right now spreading through this country, taking advantage of circumstances where people have let their guard go down," he said. "We need to be just absolutely rigorously adherent to things that we know work. But they don't work unless everybody actually sticks to them faithfully without exception."
Photo courtesy: ©Saturday Night Live
Video courtesy: ©Saturday Night Live
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.