Scuzzy Pastors Want To Put Their Congregations On Highway To Heaven
During desperate times, there are always scumbags willing to take advantage of the desperate. Televangelist Rod Parsley is reaching out to the faithful who are afraid for their physical and financial health. They can just give him their money. This won't solve any of their problems, but Parsley's bank account will appreciate it.
CON ARTIST: As you fill out our online prayer form, I want you to pray about the seed of faith you will sow.
Sow a $54 targeted No Weapon seed, claiming the promise of Isaiah 54:17. The size is not important, but rather what kind of faith it takes for you to sow a sacrificial seed.
Maybe you should sow $54 for every member of your family you want to defend from the enemy's attack or a $540 seed if that will stretch your faith.
All this talk of “seeds" reminds me of gardening, which I think is still legally permitted, and that weird Heart song from the 1990s “All I Wanna Do (Is Make Love To You)."
Obviously, you shouldn't give a dime to Parsley. You should give money to hospitals, struggling restaurants and theaters, or Wonkette. You should even give money to the cruise ship industry before this asshole.
Central church hosts more than 1,800 people amid covid-19 outbreak www.youtube.com
Shockingly, Parsley isn't the worst pastor out there. He's at least bilking people from an appropriate social distance. The “seeds" he's selling aren't going to help anyone but he's not actively infecting his marks with the coronavirus. Last Sunday, Pastor Tony Spell hosted 1,825 people at his Life Tabernacle Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He bused people in from multiple parishes to come in close contact with each other in defiance of Gov. John Bel Edwards's orders and basic common sense. Spell is not worried if his congregation all gets sick. He has a (stupid) plan for that.
SPELL: I'm going to address that by laying hands on them and praying for them and depending on God to heal their body.
This is not an effective treatment for the coronavirus. God doesn't have nearly enough beds and ventilators for all the dumbasses willingly infecting themselves and others. Also, if Spell had ever watched Jesus Christ Superstar, he'd know that even Jesus himself was overwhelmed by the sick. The lyrics “There's too many of you! There's too little of me!" have an especially potent meaning now when we consider what's happening in hospitals across the country.
Spell claims that the “pandemic is politically motivated" because he's a dummy. He argues that the governor's stay-at-home order is a “persecution of the faith" because grocery stores and pharmacies are considered “essential" but his disease festivals aren't. Sensible pastors are livestreaming their services during the shutdowns. Eugene Sneed in Kentucky is not one of them. He's defying Gov. Andy Beshear's orders and still plans to hold regular services Sunday. Everyone who attends is guaranteed to get closer to God.
Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne called everyone worried about the coronavirus “pansies." How evangelical! He said his Florida church will only close when the Rapture comes. He held an in-person service this weekend, even as coronavirus cases in the state continued to grow. Howard-Browne told his congregation that COVID-19 was a “phantom plague," which is technically true because it reduces people to phantoms. He claimed the Chinese government created the virus to tank the US economy and the entire outbreak was “planned" last year at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Just so we're clear, this is all bullshit.
Not every pastor in America lacks impulse control and any sense of collective responsibility. The Rev. Mark Palenske of the First Assembly of God church in Greers Ferry, Arkansas, posted a warning on Facebook after 34 people who attended a children's program this month at the church contracted the coronavirus. This included Palenske and his wife, Dena. A child also tested positive.
PALENSKE: The intensity of this virus has been underestimated by so many, and I continue to ask that each of you take it very seriously. An act of wisdom and restraint on your part can be the blessing that preserves the health of someone else.
Don't listen to the idiots. No matter how religious you are, stay away from churches this Sunday. God will make house calls during this crisis.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle. Tickets are on sale now for his latest Nordo collaboration, "Curiouser and Curiouser," an adaptation of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass." It promises to feel like an actual evening with SER (for good or for ill).