Pastors nationwide have flaunted coronavirus prevention measures with the anti-LGBTQ hate group Liberty Counsel serving as legal backup in several cases. The results of legal cases and political showdowns have been a mixed bag, but one thing has become crystal clear.
The churches are proving the Biblical adage “you reap what you sow” as the virus has ravaged congregations and killed both pastors and followers.
At least 60 people have tested positive in the past week after attending events in three different churches and the number is expected to continue to climb.
While a separate minister apologized earlier this month for endangering his congregation after members started turning up positive, he remains the only one to do so. Dozens of churches have spread the deadly virus to members as religious leaders ignore science and tell their followers that God will protect them.
“Biblically, God does not want us wearing masks,” she added. “Masks are a symbol of hiding yourself, of doing bad deeds, inappropriate deeds, or malicious things that you need to hide from. And it is also a symbol of stripping us of our unique identity because [when] we’re wearing a mask, we’re not unique anymore, we’re all the same. And God doesn’t see us that way.”
Authorities shut down a giant wedding in San Francisco being held secretly at Saints Peter & Paul Church. While the church claimed they had instituted coronavirus prevention measures to ensure guests’ safety, even the newlyweds have come down with COVID. Their 100 guests returned home to cities across the country and have taken the virus with them; at least eight have already tested positive as well.
Health authorities had already warned the Catholic Church to stop holding large gatherings in enclosed spaces, but they were ignored.
In Colorado, Andrew Wommack Ministries held a conference for over 1,000 attendees despite being repeatedly warned by local and state authorities that they were violating emergency measures. The organization was represented by Liberty Counsel.
At least seven staff members and 15 attendees have tested positive so far with dozens more expected.
Wommack, an anti-LGBTQ televangelist, told his followers that if they “serve the Lord your God” they won’t get coronavirus.
The Warrior Creek Missionary Baptist Church in rural Alabama held a week-long revival despite knowing the dangers.
“We had church Wednesday night. We were in revival, morning and night services,” Pastor Daryl Ross told local media. “On the way back over Thursday is when we found out. I got a call that one of our guys in the church has tested positive. So we shut down revival and, by Friday night, I’ve got church members sick everywhere.”
“We knew what we were getting into,” Ross added. “We knew the possibilities. But, my goodness, man, for three days we had one of the old-time revivals. It was unbelievable. And everybody you ask, if you talk to our church members right now, they’d tell you we’d do it again. It was that good.”