Professor Rachel Fulton Brown’s “Corona Testing Control Group” prayer circle is going strong and will continue into the winter 2024 academic quarter, she announced to the Thinker. She invites students to join her on Mondays at 10:30 AM outside Ryerson Laboratory on the Main Quad.
“Everyone is welcome to join us in prayer for understanding and compassion in the Spirit of the psalms,” said Fulton Brown.
“We pray especially for wisdom and courage to stand against the propaganda and social pressure that is being used to stifle conversations about how best to meet the social, medical, economic, and political challenges of our historical moment,” Fulton Brown added.
Fulton Brown’s praxis aligns with her theory. At each prayer session, she leads students in reciting selected passages from the Book of Psalms before opening the floor to prayers and petitions. Students commonly beseech God for his protection and guidance for themselves, the university, and the world.
A major focus of Fulton Brown’s prayer group is the ongoing devastation wrought by COVID-19 mitigation measures such as lockdowns and vaccine mandates. What worries her most is that “the number one most shared trauma of our lives is fading so fast into the national and global consciousness,” to quote a piece by Jeffrey Tucker that she recently circulated.
“With respect to the challenge presented by COVID, we offer ourselves as a ‘control group’ so that the real effects of the vaccines and other mandated measures may be properly evaluated, scientifically and socially,” Fulton Brown said.
Corona Testing Control Group has met weekly since fall 2022, when Fulton Brown conceived it as a protest against the University of Chicago’s (since-aborted) requirement that those not vaccinated for COVID-19 be tested weekly. That same fall, participant Chad Berkich wrote that the prayer group has been “one of the most meaningful experiences that I have had on campus.”
The first prayer session of the winter quarter will be on January 8, 2024, at 10:30 AM. If you have any questions in the meantime, Fulton Brown invites you to write to her at Rfulton@uchicago.edu.