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USA: COVID-Defying Pastor Tony Spell Expects 2,000 People at Church on Easter Sunday

“God will shield us from all harm and sickness”

Sunday 12 April 2020, by siawi3

Source: https://friendlyatheist.patheos.com/2020/04/10/covid-defying-pastor-tony-spell-expects-2000-people-at-church-on-easter-sunday/?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Imagine+No+Religion&utm_content=44

COVID-Defying Pastor Tony Spell Expects 2,000 People at Church on Easter Sunday

By Hemant Mehta

April 10, 2020

Pastor Tony Spell, the death-loving head of Louisiana’s Life Tabernacle Church, has been refusing to close his church, even hiring alleged child molester Roy Moore as his lawyer.

But for Easter weekend, he plans to crucify his entire damn congregation, along with everyone they come into contact with. He told Reuters in an interview that he’s planning to have 2,000 people in his megachurch on Sunday in order to “stand against the Antichrist.”

“Satan and a virus will not stop us,” said the Reverend Tony Spell, 42, pastor of the evangelical Life Tabernacle Church near Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He expects a crowd of more than 2,000 to gather in worship at his megachurch on Sunday.

“God will shield us from all harm and sickness,” Spell said in an interview. “We are not afraid. We are called by God to stand against the Antichrist creeping into America’s borders. We will spread the Gospel.”

There we go. Spell’s religious delusions could undo all the self-quarantining of millions of law-abiding citizens because he’s too selfish to just live-stream a service. All the more reason to arrest him immediately if he continues to put the public in danger.

Louisiana has a statewide stay-at-home order, but Religion News Service says that it’s unclear if there’s a religious exemption to that rule. Whatever the legal situation is, it’s downright stupid, in addition to dangerous, to gather in public right now, whether it’s at a church, a basketball game, or anywhere else.

But Spell wants to cash in on a day when he thinks he’s the only game in town. He’s using Jesus as a cover to infect scores of believers. If an atheist did what he’s doing, by bringing Christians together in a way that could put their lives in danger, conservatives would call it attempted genocide. When he does it, his allies are citing “religious freedom.”

I suspect he’ll tell the crowd that death is “a welcome friend,” just like he told TMZ. That’s what cult leaders do. This “Branch Covidian,” to quote Joe Jervis, doesn’t care who gets hurt as long as he gets to be a martyr.

°°°

Source: https://friendlyatheist.patheos.com/2020/04/10/corona-defying-pastor-tony-spell-for-true-christians-death-is-a-welcome-friend/?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Imagine+No+Religion&utm_content=44

Corona-Defying Pastor Tony Spell: For True Christians, Death is a Welcome Friend

By Terry Firma

April 10, 2020

The Christian religion is built on the tale of a god-man who, we’re told, was whipped mercilessly before his executioners drove spikes through his hands and feet. The cross — the key implement of this torture/human sacrifice — is revered by all Christians, who ghoulishly like to hang miniature versions of it around their necks and on their walls.

Catholics travel far and wide to gawp at saints’ severed fingers, hands, and mummified heads; they also venerate Jesus’s amputated foreskin. Through transubstantiation, they believe they literally drink their Savior’s blood when they sip wine in church, just as they literally eat his body when consuming a specially-blessed wafer.

Christians spend their entire lives fantasizing about what happens after they die. They tell each other that the wages of sin is death. The evangelical ones like to share their belief that the Christian God will one day burn heretics and blasphemers in lakes of fire.

I know that calling Christianity a death cult sounds hostile, but imagine you’re a traveler from another planet, and one day you land on Earth and study its human inhabitants. What else would you call this morbid, blood–obsessed tribe?

This is all by way of reintroducing you to Louisiana’s Tony Spell, the pastor who keeps holding well-attended church services where no physical distancing is observed. Always happy to up the ante — to sound crazier than he did the day before — this is what Spell told an interviewer the other day.

“Death looks to [us] like a welcome friend. True Christians do not mind dying. They fear living in fear,” the Rev. Tony Spell, pastor of Life Tabernacle Church, told TMZ.

Spell said attending church from home — as millions of Americans have — “doesn’t work.” “If it did work, why has America spent billions and billions building churches?” Spell asked.

As for the spread of COVID-19, Louisiana is the seventh-hardest-hit state in the nation in absolute numbers, with more than 18,000 people infected and over 700 deaths so far. Adjusted for population, the state ranks number three, with almost 4,000 confirmed cases per one million people — a rate of infection that trails only New York and New Jersey.

It’s nice that Spell isn’t worried, but of course his death-courting shenanigans endanger all his congregants and the people they subsequently come in touch with.

Is it Christian to gamble with the lives of others? Not being a man of the Book, I couldn’t say.

I do know that Spell’s reprobate Russian roulette games fit the death cult moniker to a T.