Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Evangelicals Who Refuse To Shelter In Place Now An Existential Threat To The Rest Of Us

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"Go, Rodney!  Get 'em all sick from my favorite virus!"

UPDATE: Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister announced on Monday that pastor Rodney Howard-Browne has been arrested for holding large services despite a "safer-at-home" order that's currently in place in the county.

"That's nuts, that's crazy!  It's not only dumb but unbiblical and doesn't make sense. God gave you a brain,  and expects you to use the intelligence that you are given.".   -   Rick Warren, pastor of the Saddleback Church, replying to Cynthia McFadden's question  (NBC News, March 25) about evangelicals who feel no need to self-isolate because "God will protect us!"

Watching the ABC News Sunday night - at a time when we face tens of thousands of American deaths from COVID-19, we were appalled at how dimwit Evangelical mutts, errrr...preachers, held congregants in their churches to try to defy the oncoming bug.   These imbeciles are convinced that they can gather in their rat warren churches with impunity in this time of the COVID plague and their deity will protect them.   Don't believe it, because any deity worth its salt would still expect its human followers to have an IQ above the level of a lowly slug.  Thank goodness the authorities see it that way too.

Florida officials have arrested Rodney Howard-Browne-  the pastor of a megachurch-  after being  accused of holding two Sunday services with hundreds of people and violating a safer-at-home order in place to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
Jail records show Howard-Browne turned himself in to authorities on Monday afternoon in Hernando County, where he lives. He was charged with unlawful assembly and violation of a public health emergency order. Bail was set at $500, according to the records, and he was released after posting bond.

Hillsborough Sheriff Chad Chronister said his command staff met leaders of the River at Tampa Bay church about the danger they were putting themselves – and their congregation – in by not maintaining appropriate social distancing, but Howard-Browne held the services. The sheriff’s office also placed a digital sign on the road near the church driveway that said “practice social distancing”.

Sheriff Chronister went on to say:
Shame on this pastor, their legal staff and the leaders of this staff for forcing us to do our job. That’s not what we wanted to do during a declared state of emergency. We are hopeful that this will be a wake-up call."

However, Howard-Browne’s law firm, Liberty Counsel, criticized Tampa's authorities, saying in a statement: 

Not only did the church comply with the administrative order regarding six-foot distancing, it went above and beyond any other business to ensure the health and safety of the people.  Contrary to Sheriff Chronister’s allegation that Pastor Howard-Browne was ‘reckless', the actions of Hillsborough County and the Hernando County Sheriff are discriminatory against religion and church gatherings.”

Again revealing these scofflaw Evangelical goofballs are definitely in the low IQ realm, given science shows the only thing that words is quarantine, as in self confinement.  But maybe these dolts really do believe Jesus will step in to save their sorry butts from the virus.  Or maybe they really are Trump's loyal pet dogs who follow his lead, devil take the hindmost:
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Howard-Browne is not alone in refusing to curtail in-person worship services despite public health orders designed to stop the virus from spreading. Churches in Ohio, Kentucky and Louisiana have continued to invite worshippers in recent days because at least half a dozen states offer some degree of exemption for faith in their orders to shutter non-essential activity during the pandemic. 
The Tampa church said it "sanitized the building", and the ruddy faced redneck said on Twitter the church was an "essential business".  This, of course, is a pile of horse manure because no church - or religion - can be considered an "essential business". Especially if it dabbles at all in spreading supernatural bunkum and fake promises of an "eternal" life.   Even my now deceased youngest brother, "Pastor Mike" (of the online 'Living Water Church'), admitted in his last months he went way overboard and admitted my points regarding textual analysis were spot on, See also:
Especially the Yale lectures on the historical Jesus contained therein. 
The cornpone yahoo  also attacked the media for “religious bigotry and hate”. In the statement released on Monday afternoon, Liberty Counsel said the church enforced the six-foot distance rule between family groups, made sure staff wore gloves and gave every person who entered hand sanitizer, among other things.  Well, not good enough, because we already know similar precautions were applied by a choir and the COVID-19 still decimated them, e.g.

The county and governor’s orders required gatherings, including those held by faith-based groups, to be fewer than 10 people to limit the spread of Covid-19. A livestream of Sunday’s three-and-a-half-hour service showed scores of congregants. In a Facebook post, Howard-Browne said coronavirus “is blown totally way out of proportion”.
On March 18th, the church called its ministry an essential service, "just like police and firefighters", and said it would keep its doors open.  But police and firefighters perform actual physical services, the former in stopping criminals, e.g. from robbing stores,  and the latter in putting out fires in homes and apartment buildings. These are actual, visible manifestations that disclose an essential nature, unlike a self-proclaimed "messenger" of the deity practicing mumbo jumbo. Especially a mumbo jumbo sure to get his sorry flock sick, many severely - possibly choking on their own fluids to catch a breath of air.
In a Facebook video Sunday, Howard-Browne said: “It looks like we’re going to have to go to court over this because the church is encroached from every side.”

Actually, Sparky, reason and the protection of the public (from certified imbeciles  like you) is encroaching from every side. Deal with it.

Update:   As we learned the latest unemployment claims today (6.64 million), it is mind boggling that 13 of the 50 states have still not mandated COVID-19 shutdowns, which means the more dire consequences will ensue- and the economy will remain in a "medically induced" coma.   That also portends weeks more of jobless claims piling up - by one estimate reaching 47m by the time it's all over. 

 Not making it better are the congenital morons like Florida Gubernator Ron Desantis who - while he did order a shutdown - immediately gave a dispensation to churches, church services. This is madness and as critics have pointed out, merely defeats the whole purpose of a statewide shutdown as it leaves multiple doors open to the virus. Hence, millions more potential infections in a state in which 1 in 5 are over 65, hence vulnerable to the most severe infections. That means Florida's 7,000 plus number  will spike upwards of 10,000 by next week and perhaps to 20,000 by the week after- with deaths to match.  You can blame this pandering fool when that happens and also when the state's hospitals are overwhelmed.  Has Desantis made sure to order ample body bags?  He will need them.


"These defiantly oblivious Trumpian schmucks are, without a doubt, American society's greatest threats of today. Covid-19 is "not a concern" to us, says the Tabernacle Church's "pastor" as he sends forth his flock of more than 500 potentially contagious fatalities. 

"The virus, we believe, is politically motivated," he added dumbfoundingly, in that this virus, if politically motivated, can't kill? Then again, who the hell could know what this moron is thinking, except this: "We hold our religious rights dear, and we are going to assemble no matter what someone says" — omitting that those someones are epidemiologists and infectious disease experts, who are motivated less by their perfectly logical disdain of Trump than by their professional interest in saving lives."


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