Our new weekly theme continues. The battle against COVID-19 is also a battle against wingnut disinformation.
I’m increasingly observing people pop up to claim that they are “covered by the blood of Jesus” so they don’t need to practise social distancing. When this is all over these are the people who will have washed themselves in the blood of those they have infected.
Let’s take a look to see what the wingnuts have been claiming this past week.
(Side Note: If you are looking for a definition of the term “wingnut”, then see here)
Wingnut proclamations from the last 7 days
It is all very much everything you might expect and a lot more. Here are some of the highlights …
Wingnut Coronavirus Claims – What could possibly go wrong?
- Christian Nationalist David Lane Portrays ‘Reopen’ Calls as Righteous Resistance
- That would be “Wrongness Resistance” Dave.
Wingnut Coronavirus Claims – Clueless
- Jim Hoft can’t understand why the Food and Drug Administration warnedAmericans against taking the drug hydroxychloroquine outside of a clinical setting, accusing the agency of issuing the warning for anti-Trump political reasons: “The FDA is so politicized today that the leaders would rather see Americans die than tell the liberal horde to back off.”
- Chloroquine, and a related derivative, hydroxychloroquine, have gained attention, although the World Health Organization (WHO) says there’s no definitive evidence they work. There have also been reports of serious side effects.
- Larry Sparks ignores the fact that Jim Bakker’s current legal and financial problems stem from promoting the silver solution he sold as a cure the coronavirus and instead insists that Bakker is being unjustly persecuted for spreading the Gospel.
- Jim spends 0% of his time actually promoting a Gospel and 100% of his time attempting to con people into paying extortionate prices for his fake cures and end-times food buckets.
- Finally, Andrew Wommack says that COVID-19 is nothing to worry about because 95 percent of those who got the flu during the 1918 pandemic died.
- That is very obviously false.
- Rodney Howard-Browne, whose church has been and will remain closed for weeks, is telling pastors who have closed their churches that they need “to grow a pair” and resume holding in-person church services immediately.
- His church is closed and will remain closed because his arrest resulted in his insurance being cancelled.
Wingnut Coronavirus Claims – Conspiracy Claims
- Rick Wiles Says It’s Possible ‘The Entire Wuhan Pandemic Was Staged’
- What is far more probable is that Rick Wiles is a conspiracy nut who has exactly zero evidence for a claim that he simply dreamed up.
- Kelly Ruiz Says the 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony Was ‘Mind Control’ to Prepare the World for the Coronavirus
- Kelly Ruiz wins a Gold medal for the production of world class bullshit
- Dave Kubal warns that “the COVID-19 pandemic is being weaponized by Progressives to change the landscape of our elections forever. We must insist on local control and voter verification, otherwise we are opening our elections to great levels of fraud by allowing the few in control to rig the pool of voters that will result in the election outcome they favor.”
- The official reason given for passing Voter ID laws is to prevent in-person voter fraud. Between 2000 and 2010 there were 649 million votes cast in general elections and 13 cases of in-person voter impersonation
- In the context of supposed voter fraud claims … facts do matter.
- Making Churches Comply With Social Distancing Guidelines Is ‘Criminalizing Christianity,’ Says Mat Staver
- Translation: “Preventing me from playing Russian roulette is Criminalizing my belief that doing this is OK”
Way beyond just Bizarre
- Robert Barnes, who has acted as a lawyer for Alex Jones and Infowars, compares stay-at-home orders to Nazi Germany concentration camps.
- E.W. Jackson Says Anyone Who Won’t Blame China for COVID-19 Should Be Investigated for Treason … Jackson was urging the lifting of social distancing guidelines and the “reopening” of America so those who are not in at-risk groups have “an opportunity to develop the antibodies [and] just let their bodies do what our bodies are designed by Almighty God to do, which is to resist illness, to resist disease.”
- Yes, this guy really is happy for quite literally millions to die. With a fatality rate of just 1 or 2% and the number of people in the US, I’ll let you do the math of working out how many millions would die to enable the rest to gain natural herd immunity that this guy is calling for
- David Barton Claims Non-Christians’ Fear of Death Led to Public Policy ‘Panic’ on COVID-19
- No “panic” involved. Things are rather dire because Trump did not act soon enough and is still fumbling it all.
- Ed Martin Acknowledges Some People Probably Ingested Disinfectants, Blames Media
- The sensible folks blame the bullshitter-in-chief
- Scott Lively warns that Joe Biden may pick Michelle Obama as his running mate then resign after the election, at which point Michelle Obama would appoint Barack Obama as her vice president and resign, making Barack Obama president again: “A modern-day Baal and Ashteroth would then have control of the nation.”
- His fantasy warning sounds rather good to me … but also highly improbable.
The Cult of Trump
- James Goll Prophesies Trump Will Become a ‘Great Praying President’ in His Second Term
- That would be “Preying” as in “Preying on the gullible”
- Sandy Rios Defends Trump’s Disinfectant ‘Injection’ Suggestion … “he might just know more than they know“
- He actually knows very little about anything and everything. He demonstrates this each and every day.
- Ann Vandersteel declares that she saw “the hand of Christ” on Donald Trump when he came down the escalator to announce his presidential campaign in 2015.
- What she fails to mention is that the hand was giving him the finger.
- Sid Roth claims that he knows “as a fact that President Trump is a new Christian.”
- It is indeed a fact that Trump has successfully conned Sid and many others. If you are truly not sure about that, then ask yourself this – what church does Trump attend? (Hint: it will the the one where the cross has been replaced with a giant T for everybody to worship dear leader)
What else came out of the Wingnut fantasy land?
Lots of other stuff.
As always, it is an endless stream. Some of it is sad, some is rather grim, and some is quite frankly hilarious. Here are a few more samples …
- U.S. Muslim Leader Praises Allah’s New Plague For Bringing Closeness, Relaxation
- Praising God for the pandemic is like a chicken thanking Colonel Sanders.
- Scamvangelist, Taking Credit for California Heat Wave, Declares COVID-19 “OVER!”
- Kenneth Copeland says the virus has been defeated… again! If he keeps saying this every week for the next few years he will eventually be right
- As Restaurants Reopen in Georgia, Gov. Brian Kemp Declares “Day of Prayer”
- God won’t protect you from the virus. Or bad governors, apparently.
- 13 Haitian Kids Died, and the U.S. Church Responsible Offered Families $250 Each
- The Church of Bible Understanding’s mismanaged children’s home killed 13 kids
- Pennsylvania Church Reopens, Ditching COVID Guidelines; “I Know I’m Protected”
- These Christians don’t care whose lives they’re putting in danger.
- Scamvangelist Kenneth Copeland: My Kids Prayed for a Boat, and God Gave Us Two!
- He does what he does because the scam works and he can even boast about it
- Clergymen With COVID Go to a Hospital, Not to a Church. What Does That Tell Us?
- Faith only takes you so far.
- E.W. Jackson: Atheists Reject a God They Can’t See, So Why Do They Fear a Virus?
- E.W. Jackson has apparently never heard of microscopes.
- Ignoring COVID Order, Massachusetts Church Takes “A Stand for the Lord”
- Pastor Kris Casey had 56 people in church on Sunday. He plans to keep putting everyone in danger.
- Self-Described “Prophet”: Even When My Predictions Are Wrong, They’re Still True
- The amount of twisting in this Christian logic would make pretzels jealous.
- A Christian School Hired an Alleged Sex Predator Without Telling Anyone Details
- Dr. Anthony Moore secretly taped a man in his shower multiple times, got caught, then got hired at Cedarville University.
- City Where Church Opened Prematurely Just Saw 23 Walmart Workers Get Infected
- We’re not saying the church caused this. But it sure didn’t help.
- Pastor’s Son Caught in Mask Scam Is Innocent, Says Dad: “He’s a Devout Believer”
- Just because you’re devout doesn’t mean you’re not corrupt.
- Christian Activist Falsely Claims “28 Million Reasons” to Avoid Voting-By-Mail
- Tony Perkins is off by 28 million. Trump has in fact made clear what the real problem is. He has admitted, if we made voting easier, “you’d never have a Republican elected in this country again.”
Good News of the week
Given the exposure of just how utterly batshit crazy some religious groups are, you do have to wonder if it is having a wider social impact.
This week a conservative research group, released a report on the decline of American religiosity.
It is a long report. One highlight is a section where it takes data from various reputable surveys such as Gallup, Pew, the General Social Survey, etc… and whacks it all into one chart.
Here it is …
When faced with utterly insane wingnut claims such as vast numbers of Evangelicals getting behind Trump, an incompetent dishonest idiot, and declaring him to be the chosen one of God to save the nation, or the attempted imposition by law of extreme beliefs, then increasing numbers of sensible people are quietly walking away from it all.
What is clear is that a huge religious demographic shift is taking place.
In an increasingly connected age, a bright spotlight is being turned on some very dark stuff, and many don’t like what they see.
The best argument against the wingnut rhetoric is the wingnuttery itself.