On the heels of his friend Rodney Howard-Browne’s arrest for defying orders against hosting large gatherings, evangelist Jonathan Shuttlesworth is defying orders against hosting large gatherings.
Howard-Browne was arrested yesterday for refusing to close his Tampa, Florida, megachurch even as the deadly coronavirus continues to circulate throughout the country, presumably nowhere near its peak of infection. And now, Shuttlesworth seems determined to one-up him.
Right-wing evangelist Jonathan Shuttlesworth, a close friend of Rodney Howard-Browne, says he intends to hold a large Woodstock-like Christian gathering in defiance of stay-at-home orders. pic.twitter.com/sn5Pvt1NA5— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) March 31, 2020
SHUTTLESWORTH: “I’m going to announce it, but we’re going to hold an outdoor Easter blowout service — not online. A national gathering. You come from all over, like Woodstock, and we’re going to gather and lift up Jesus Christ. I’m not ashamed that Dr. Rodney got arrested. I’m ashamed that when they wanted to arrest preachers for having church, in the entire state there was only one to come for.”
Quick question: Jesus Christ can’t lift himself up? He needs a phalanx of wheezy devotees to do it for him?
It’s hard to overstate just how bad an idea this is. Thousands of people — many of them presumably elderly — would be gathering together in close quarters, hugging, shaking hands, high-fiving, and whatnot.
They would then take the virus back home and reseed the towns and cities they came from. It’s like they're a snake-handling cult, but this time they’re bringing their snakes with them to Kroger.
Shuttlesworth might want to check out this video, which details the theoretical spread of the virus due to Florida spring breakers:
Want to see the true potential impact of ignoring social distancing? Through a partnership with @xmodesocial, we analyzed secondary locations of anonymized mobile devices that were active at a single Ft. Lauderdale beach during spring break. This is where they went across the US: pic.twitter.com/3A3ePn9Vin
— Tectonix GEO (@TectonixGEO) March 25, 2020
So, yeah, terrible idea, dude. Presumably he’s already taken the brown acid.
Also, Diamond & Silk are convinced the coronavirus case numbers are being fudged to hurt Trump because … well, just because:
Diamond & Silk are speculating coronavirus deaths are being inflated to make Trump look bad pic.twitter.com/hBnB7422UP
— Jason Campbell (@JasonSCampbell) March 30, 2020
Of course, trying to follow their logic is like chasing a Ding Dong down a sewer grate. It’s not worth it, and you shouldn’t even bother.
But this is what we’re still dealing with. Virus deniers were bound to be out there, I suppose, but these nuts have the ear and the sympathy of the pr*sident.
And now more than ever, that’s just dangerous.
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