Pastor Tony Spell Won't Let House Arrest Stop Him From Maybe Giving More People Coronavirus
Evangelical pastor Tony Spell has made a name for himself throughout the pandemic, largely by being a jackass. He insists on continuing to hold church services despite the fact that said church services led to the COVID-19 related death of one of his ushers, and he nearly backed over a protestor with a bus.
He's been so defiant that, after the almost killing a guy debacle, he was put on house arrest for refusing to stop holding services. But on Sunday, he headed back to his Louisiana church, ankle bracelet and everything, and posted it all on a Facebook livestream for the whole world to see.
According to Spell's lawyer, who also contracted COVID-19, Spell believes the reason he is being told to stay home is not because anyone wants to save any lives, but rather because no one wants him to preach the word of Jesus. After all, Louisiana is only the fourth most religious state in the country, and 84 percent of the population is Christian, so it would just make a whole lot of sense that this would be their big problem with him.
Joseph Long, Spell's attorney, told NBC News in a statement that Spell lived 50 yards from his church, which still planned to host services Sunday. Long characterized the judge's order as forcing Spell to stop "preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ to his congregation."
"The judge has found him in contempt of Court for refusing to promise," Long said. "Obviously, we believe this is an illegal order in violation of the Constitution, and will litigate the issue."
It is not an illegal order and it does not violate the Constitution. This is an emergency situation we're in, and it's going to be an even bigger emergency situation if people like Spell continue doing what they're doing. More people will die, but Tony Spell won't give a damn because he cares more about promoting himself and being a big evangelical star than he cares about the lives of his own parishioners.
How he was able to do this with an ankle monitor, without the police coming after him right then and there, we don't know. Traditionally, the way this works is that you have to actually stay inside your house, and if you leave, it sends a signal over to the cops or whomever, they call you and then you have to answer your phone the very second they call or else the police come to your house. You can't just leave and go your church, no problem. Then again, maybe the cops don't feel like risking their lives to haul this dipshit in.
It should probably not surprise anyone to see that, in the livestream of the service, almost no one was social distancing or wearing a mask, even though at least two parishioners have contracted COVID-19 and one of them is dead. In the video, Spell notes that many people there have come to his church from far away because their preachers shut down their services in order to protect their health. Nice!
Seriously, if any of these people die, he should be charged with manslaughter. Or at least reckless endangerment.
Naturally, Spell has also set up a GoFundMe to pay his legal costs, because it costs a lot of money to potentially kill that many people.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. In addition to her work at Wonkette, she also has a biweekly column at Dame. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse