23 March 2020
As the coronavirus pandemic rages on, the response of right-wing conservative Christians is outrageously damaging. Either by using the crisis to earn money, spreading wild conspiracy theories or encouraging their church members to infect each other.
1. Prosperity preacher commanding unemployed followers to keep giving
Multi-millionaire televangelist Kenneth Copeland has warned followers that even if they lose their jobs because of the coronavirus outbreak, they must continue giving to the church: “Whatever you do right now, don’t you stop tithing!”
Copeland, appearing on his Victory Live TV show, declared:
Fear of this coronavirus is faith in its ability to hurt you or kill you. The fear of ‘What are we gonna do? I’m getting laid off at work!’
Hey! Your job’s not your source. If it is, you’re in trouble. Jesus is your source! Whatever you do right now, don’t you stop tithing! Don’t you stop sowing offerings.
‘Well, they won’t let us go to church!’
Well, email it in, then! Text together. Something. But you get your tithe in that church if you have to go take it down there and drop it off … stick it under the door or something. You get that tithe in that church, you get that offering in that church, and then you go home and do what you’re supposed to do.
Multi-millionaire televangelist Kenneth Copeland tells viewers that even if they lose their jobs because of the coronavirus outbreak, they must continue giving to the church: “Whatever you do right now, don’t you stop tithing!” pic.twitter.com/Xp154Fm1rn
— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) March 19, 2020
2. Televangelist Sells $125 ‘Silver Solution’ as Cure for Coronavirus
Televangelist Jim Bakker’s show suggested that a Silver solution sold by their website can kill the coronavirus within 12 hours! The product is sold on Bakker’s website for US$125 but bundle packages sell for up to US$300.
Of course, Televangelist Jim Bakker has outdone his contemporaries during the crisis. At least Copeland would just take what little money followers may have in the crisis. Bakker could end up costing them their lives. Bakker is selling the $125 “Silver Solution” as a possible cure for coronavirus. New York Attorney General Letitia James, whose office sent him a cease and desist order telling him to quit “making misleading claims regarding the Silver Solution’s effectiveness.”
We previously discussed how Bakker (who did time for fraud) has been hawking Trump coins as a “point of contact with God” as well as doomsday pancake mix.
The Jim Bakker Show is suggesting that the silver solution it sells can kill the coronavirus within 12 hours. pic.twitter.com/kbUGnUp69m
— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) February 12, 2020
3. Catholic Archbishop: Taking Communion OK Because ‘Christ Does Not Spread Disease’
Roman Catholic Archbishop Andrzej Dzięga of Poland is encouraging Catholics to keep going to church and keep taking communion despite the dangerous health risks.
In a letter responding to public warnings about the dangers of coronavirus, the archbishop contradicted all medical and scientific advice by encouraging Catholics to go to mass, take communion, and drink holy water.
In the letter the archbishop said:
The tempter knows perfectly well how to patiently weaken our closeness and unity with the Lord. He often starts with small matters. You have to tell him: go away, Satan. Satan is helpless against such expressive and explicit human testimony of faith. He’s terrified of it. It is not without reason that someone is afraid of something, like the devil of holy water. (…) Do not be afraid to reach for holy water with faith. Do not be afraid of the temple. Do not be afraid of the Church… Christ does not spread disease.
— Michael Stone (@pdxprogressiveX) March 16, 2020
4. Christian University President claiming that the Coronavirus is a North Korean bioweapon with the purpose of toppling Donald Trump
Speaking on Fox & Friends, Jerry Falwell, Jr. suggested the North Koreans worked in concert with China to create the virus specifically to harm America.
Seemingly parroting other Fox hosts who have called the outbreak a Democratic “impeachment scam,” Falwell claimed that since “impeachment didn’t work” that maybe this is “their next attempt to get Trump.”
Apparently not satisfied with accusing Democrats of weaponizing the virus to take down Trump, Falwell took it several steps further.
“The owner of a restaurant asked me last night, he said, ‘Do you remember the North Korean leader promised a Christmas present for America, back in December?’” Falwell exclaimed. “‘Could it be they got together with China, and this is that present?’ I don’t know. But it really is something strange going on.”
On Fox & Friends, Jerry Falwell Jr claims people are "overreacting" to coronavirus, the national response is "their next attempt to get Trump," and the virus itself is a North Korean bioweapon. pic.twitter.com/2JPuNBW7C3
— Bobby Lewis (@revrrlewis) March 13, 2020
Some right-wing conservative Christians have used major global crises, including pandemics, to fearmonger about the end of the world. This tactic is being used again:
- On January 27, conspiracy theorist Bill Deagle said it was the “first day of the Apocalypse.”
- During a January 29 sermon, megachurch pastor Perry Stone said, “When you see these types of tragedies, diseases, viruses and pestilences, the strange and unusual words in the Apocalypse become more clear.”
- Right-wing pastor Hank Kunneman prophesied during a February 9 sermon that God will protect the United States from the novel coronavirus because Trump opposes abortion and defends Israel.
- On February 13, Rick Wiles, an End Times pastor, said on his show that “plagues are one of the last steps of judgment” and coronavirus is God’s judgment. According to Wiles, China is a “godless communist government” and people in the United States are “transgendering little children, perverting them. Look at the rapes, and the sexual immorality, and the filth on our TVs and our movies.”
Trump's "spiritual adviser" (and head of the White House's "Faith and Opportunity Initiative" program) Paula White asked for cash during a coronavirus-related prayer session this afternoon.
"Maybe you’d like to sow a $91 seed… Or maybe $9. Or whatever God tells you to do." pic.twitter.com/zUoeufRhda
— Hemant Mehta (@hemantmehta) March 17, 2020
Right-wing pastor Rodney Howard-Browne is not about to cancel church or prevent congregants from shaking hands because they are not a bunch of "pansies." pic.twitter.com/C36kBIEWqF
— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) March 15, 2020
Is the coronavirus a demonic plot to interfere with dominionists' stadium rallies and Trump's reelection? https://t.co/GFo6wKeKXW
— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) March 20, 2020
Perry Stone says prayer will not stop the coronavirus outbreak because it is "a permitted thing" brought about by God "for the abominations." pic.twitter.com/urNOR1uGYH
— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) March 20, 2020
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