The coagulation of the far-right Christian coalition behind Donald Trump in 2016 was as clear an indication as we will ever get that much of the Evangelical movement is a complete a sham, a faux moral facade used to excuse reactionary power-wielding. They’ve shown us who they truly are and yet instead of trying to erase that perception they seem determined to reinforce it.
As the coronavirus ravages the world, the American president continues to be a black hole of misinformation and bad advice where leadership should be. He has repeatedly downplayed the risk of COVID-19, pushed a snake-oil panacea, and argued that we might have to prematurely send people back to work for the sake of the economy even if it means more people dying
Businesses are suffering and churches, which rake in piles of cash through collections, are not immune to the financial downturn. Some are already choosing to put profits over the lives of their congregations.
According to TMZ, Pastor Tony Spell from Tabernacle Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana says that any people who die after contracting the virus from attending mass will be martyrs for religious freedom.
“The bible teaches us to be absent from our bodies so we can be present with the Lord. So like any revolutionary, or like any zealot, or like any pure religious person, death looks to them like a welcomed friend,” said Spell, sounding for all the world like a raving religious lunatic.
Spell was recently charged for defying the executive order against holding large church gatherings while the pandemic persists. Legal action did nothing to curb his reckless behavior and he held another service over the weekend that was attended by 1,200 unmasked people, some of whom almost certainly contracted COVID-19 during their worship.
Clearly, this pastor cares far more about stroking his ego and keeping those donations following in than he does the lives of his so-called flock. There is absolutely no excuse for this behavior. If he really wanted to interact with congregants during this crisis he could easily host video conferences or call individual members. At best this is religious fanaticism, at worst it’s just cynical profiteering.
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This is a staff report from former Occupy Democrats Editor in Chief Colin Taylor or contributor Rob Haffney.