If you ever wanted proof that religious right leaders do no have the best interest of their flocks in their hearts, listen to Louisiana preacher Tony Spell, who faces charges for violating COVID-19 sheltering protocols.
“True Christians do not mind dying,” of the virus, he opined, not bothering to define “true” Christians.
Spell first made headlines in late March when police slapped him with six misdemeanor charges. Spell violated lockdown prohibitions against large gatherings by bussing in more than 1,800 people to a church service. In early April, he did the same thing, preaching to around 1,000 people at his Tabernacle Life Church near Baton Rouge, an epicenter of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Now the minister tells TMZ that real Christians should ignore social distancing guidelines promulgated by federal and local governments.
“True Christians do not mind dying. They fear living in fear,” Spell claimed in the interview.
He went on to say he would feel no responsibility when his church services spread the potentially lethal virus. “Yea, that we walk through the valley of the shadow of death will fear no evil because God is with us… Death looks to them like a welcome friend.”
“People have been locked in their homes now for 23 days like prisoners,” Spell continued. “The only vent for their emotion they have is coming to the house of God and worshipping, like free people,” not to mention contributing to his ministry.
Hmmm. He might wanna instead try a pleasant stroll around the local park where it’s easy to avoid infecting others or getting infected and bringing the virus back to your loved ones, risking serious illness or even a long, isolated, painful death.
Spell also commented that he hopes to hold a massive Easter Sunday service this week. Because there is nothing like sickness and death on Resurrection Sunday.
In addition to his contempt for common sense, Tony Spell has a long history of anti-LGBTQ commentary.
In the past, he likened marriage equality to group marriage, saying “Same-sex marriage gives the benefit of sexual pleasure and marital rights while separating themselves from the responsibility of reproduction.”
He also claimed “the spirit of the majority of TV sitcoms are homosexual oriented” and that movies “promote homosexuality” and will destroy the American family.
One might argue he’s doing a much better job of that all by himself.
Watch. Or don’t: