It is now a running theme here. The battle against COVID-19 is also a battle against wingnut disinformation.
As I pointed out last week, if you put your ear to the ground and listen to these wingnut voices then what you will discover is that never before have we been faced with so many nominations for this year’s Darwin award. What is utterly tragic is that their utter stupidity is going to carry many of us over the cliff with them. One week later, it still remains true. What has changed is that the threat has become even more real.
Let’s take a look to see what they have been claiming this past week.
Wingnut proclamations from the last 7 days
It is all very much everything you might expect and a lot more.
Wingnut Coronavirus Claims – Denialism meets brick wall of reality
Last week we learned that Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne had steadfastly refused to cancel services at his The River church in Tampa, Florida, even after Hillsborough County issued a safer-at-home order. This is now happened …
- Arrest Warrant Issued for Rodney Howard-Browne for Hosting Church Services Amid Coronavirus Pandemic
- In the wake of his arrest, right-wing pastor Rodney Howard-Browne announced that he is closing his church to protect his congregants not from the coronavirus but from a “tyrannical government.”. I’m sure the revelation that the church recently had its insurance canceled, as Howard-Browne’s attorney Mat Staver revealed yesterday, played no part in this decision.
Then there was also this …
- Hank and Brenda Kunneman, who both prophesied that America would be protected from the coronavirus, did a whole livestream last night insisting that while prophets might get some of their prophesies wrong, that doesn’t make them false prophets.
- … actually, yes it does.
Wingnut Coronavirus Claims – Folks who are ignoring health and safety guidance
- E.W. Jackson Vows to Hold Church Services in Defiance of Virginia’s Stay-at-Home Order … “has been promising members of his congregation that they will not become infected by the virus because they are protected by God“
- A virus will not check your beliefs before infecting you
- Plans for 2020 Tent and Stadium Events Are On for Now, Says Awaken the Dawn
Wingnut Coronavirus Claims – Supernatural Claims
- Kenneth Copeland: The Holy Spirit Is Guiding ‘King’ Trump Through the Coronavirus Crisis
- If he is right, then the Holy Spirit is very incompetent.
- E.W. Jackson: God Is Protecting Trump and Pence From Coronavirus
- God plays no part in this. Trump is a self-described germaphobe who is known to glare at aides who sneeze in his vicinity or try to shake hands with him after coughing.
Wingnut Coronavirus Claims – Conspiracy Claims
- Failed Congressional Candidate DeAnna Lorraine’s New Crusade: Coronavirus Conspiracy Theories … “On Sunday, Lorraine filmed outside two hospitals in Los Angeles and found them quiet—which she took as a sign that the hospitals and mainstream media are engaged in a hoax, rather than a simpler alternative explanation, which is that hospitals aren’t allowing any visitors to try to protect their patients and prevent further spread of the virus“
- Stupidity incarnate. If you need verification of that, then let me put it this way; Alex Jones thinks she is smart.
- It is not just her, the claim is taking off – Why Are Right-Wing Activists Filming Their Local Hospitals? Look to Todd Starnes … “The hashtag #FilmYourHospital trended on Twitter Sunday, encouraging people to travel to nearby hospitals and record video of the exterior to supposedly show that media coverage of chaotic and overcrowded hospitals is untrue.“
- Well yes, apparently stupidity is also quite contagious.
- Rob Pue says that the “end goal” of the coronavirus quarantine “is to utterly destroy the world economy and lock us all down completely in order to usher in a new One World Government or New World Order, starting with a new one-world currency.”
- The one-world government conspiracy claims have been doing the rounds for many decades. Those supposedly orchestrating it died of old age a long time ago.
- Dave Hayes (aka “The Praying Medic”) declares that the outbreak is “totally a contrived situation where they are trying to destroy the economy, to destroy the stock market, to get people to stay at home so that Trump will not get reelected.”
- Those who have died don’t see anything “contrived” going on.
- Josh Bernstein claims he no conspiracy theorist, but he does have to wonder if the Democrats and the media are conspiring to shut down the country in order to prevent President Donald Trump from building his border wall.
- If indeed the influence of the Democrats is powerful enough to shutdown almost every nation state on the planet, then I really want them in change because clearly, if correct, then these are the folks who get stuff done.
- Rick Wiles Says Bill Gates Is ‘Building Lucifer’s Antichrist System’ by Supporting Vaccine Technology
- If a vaccine becomes available and this nut wished to not receive it, then I think I’m OK with that.
- Dave Daubenmire insists that COVID-19 is not a virus at all but rather is a reaction to the radiation generated by 5G technology.
- That’s not how radiation from any source works … but for this guy neither science, nor reality, is something he is familiar with.
- Curt Landry Says Any Coronavirus Vaccine ‘Is From the Pit of Hell’
- Yep, another volunteer who does not want the vaccine.
Wingnut Coronavirus Claims – Leveraging the Pandemic
Way beyond just Bizarre
- ‘Intercessor’ Claims Demonic Rats Made Trump Back Off His ‘Prophetic’ Easter Declaration
- Perry Stone says that the world has only been shut down twice in all of human history: During Noah’s flood and now during the coronavirus outbreak.
The Cult of Trump
- Paula White Is Using Her Daily Coronavirus Prayer Sessions to Heap Praise on Trump
- Her tongue is bright orange
- Brenden Dilley claims that Trump is deeply empathetic and that “his soft spot is a lot bigger than most Americans even understand.”
- His “soft spot” sits right between his ears where his brain is supposed to be.
As I pointed out last week, it might be tempting to think that the news of the Coronavirus has turned all these folks crazy. Alas no, they were always this crazy.
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 …
- Jerry Falwell, Jr. Lied About Who Supported His Decision to Re-open Liberty U.
- Jerry Falwell, Jr. is a Christian dictator propped up by cowards.
- Surprise! Nearly a Dozen Liberty U. Students Have Symptoms of COVID-19
- Literally everyone except Jerry Falwell, Jr. saw this coming.
- Pastor: If You Have Faith in God, He’ll Multiply Your Toilet Paper Rolls
- Holy crap.
- E.W. Jackson: If People Believe in God, They “Don’t Have To” Catch COVID-19
- Belief does not magically protect anybody
- Anne Graham Lotz: COVID-19 is Great Since It May Trigger a “Spiritual Revival”
- No amount of human suffering matters to these Christians if conversions go up.
- Volunteers for Franklin Graham’s NYC COVID-19 Tent Hospital Must Be Anti-LGBTQ
- Want to help at this makeshift hospital? You must believe Jews burn in Hell and gay people can’t get married.
- Texas Pastors Sue Judge Over Stay-at-Home Order That Closed Their Churches
- She’s trying to save lives. The pastors want to hurt people.
- Shocking: NY Priest’s Sprinkling of Holy Water from Airplane Didn’t Stop Virus
- Who could’ve guessed?! Besides everyone.
- A Third of All COVID-19 Cases in one CA County Can Be Traced Back to Churches
- Religious arrogance and ignorance is hurting everyone.
Worst marketing campaign … ever.
“Jesus Died with COVID-19,” Says Arkansas Church That Refuses to Shut Down.
“For us to not have services due to a virus would be for us to go against our extremely strong convictions of the power of God to protect and the power of God to heal,” the post continued. “Jesus knew the world He was sending us into contained sickness and disease. Instead of telling us to retreat from sickness, He told us to go into the world and to heal the sick.”
Number of independently verified cases of supernatural cures by any god of any belief in all of human history is … (insert drum roll here) … exactly zero.
Wingnut of the week – Scamvangelist Kenneth Copeland
Scamvangelist Declares COVID-19 “Finished” After Commanding God to Destroy It
This guy appears to think that he can scare a virus into submission.
In the name of Jesus, standing in the office of the prophet of God, I execute judgment on you, COVID-19! I execute judgment on you, Satan! You destroyer! You killer! You get out! You would break your power! You get off this nation! I demand judgment on you! I demand — I demand — I demand a vaccination to come immediately!
When done he declared that the Pandemic is over.
The rather blatantly obvious fact is that this is guy just puts on an act to con people into giving him money.
- He still demands that you to tithe to him even if you’ve lost your job
He claimed that God told him he needed to raise $300 million this year …
This ministry will receive, this year — are you listening to me now? God just kept laying this on me, just kept laying this on me… of course, I didn’t have any idea all of this [virus] mess was gonna happen, but God did — and the Lord had already dropped in my spirit and in my heart several years ago — about three years ago — that the income of this ministry, this year, had to be $300 million!
Amen! Had to be!
So in response to what He kept pushing me to do, we prepared a heavenly grant — our attorney looked at it and he put it in proper legal language. We took copies of that. Members of the board, if they haven’t already, will get a copy of that. Thank God. And it is on file in Heaven. It’ll come in this year. It can’t not come in this year. And there’s no virus gonna keep it from happening in my house or yours.
Claims here include …
- a heavenly grant that his lawyer prepared
- this is supposedly .. on file in Heaven
The most apt word here is indeed “Scamvangelist” (and yes, that is a word in the urban dictionary). These are the folks who have perfected the art of religious emotional manipulation to enrich themselves. Copeland is the king grifter within that arena.
One Last Thought
If the tone this week comes across as me being a tad pissed, then yes, guilty as charged. These people are going to get rather a lot of people killed.