Extremist Christians have lined up to blame LGBT+ people for coronavirus and to say they won’t be washing their hands.
One Christian blogger has speculated her God will ‘use the virus for good’. Meanwhile, a TV evangelist has said only people with ‘fake faith’ wash their hands. And officials have warned another televangelist to stop selling a quack cure he claims stops the virus.
Health officials have advised 20 seconds of handwashing with soap and water as the key measure to avoid spreading the coronavirus.
Moreover it’s particularly important in protecting vulnerable and older people who are more likely to die from COVID-19.
‘Bunch of pansies’
But some so-called Christians have other ideas.
Jonathan Shuttlesworth is a televangelist who co-founded Revival Today TV. He accused Italian churches which have shut to prevent the virus spreading of being run by ‘sissies’.
He ranted: ‘Catholic Church not having holy water in the lobby — how holy is the water then? That should be a sign to you that your whole religion’s a fraud. Any faith that doesn’t work in real life is a fake faith. Totally fake.’
Moreover he argues it’s not manly to use hand sanitizer or wash hands:
‘If you’re putting out pamphlets and telling everybody to use Purell before they come into the sanctuary and don’t greet anyone, you should just turn in your ministry credentials and burn your church down – turn it into a casino or something.
‘You’re a loser. Bunch of pansies. No balls. Got neutered somewhere along the line and don’t even realize it.’
But I have dry skin!
Sadly, he’s not the only one.
Lori Alexander publishes The Transformed Wife – a blog teaching women to ‘obey their husbands’ and be ‘keepers at home’.
In a recent post she says: ‘I am not a hand washer as I’m not afraid of germs. I have dry skin and I greatly dislike the feel of dry hands.’
She admits it is ‘a scary time for many’ but asks ‘should we, as believers in Jesus Christ, give in to fear?’
Instead Alexander suggests: ‘Maybe God will use this virus for good. Our culture needs a good wake up call.
‘We’re all going to die someday and many times things such as this cause people to examine their lives more closely. The prospect of illness and/or death is where the rubber meets the road and has the ability to wake people up from their slumber.
‘Don’t live in fear, women, but by faith. God is still on his throne!’
‘Repent of LGBT’ and God will protect you
They are not the first.
More than a month ago a legislator in the Cayman Islands went on a bizarre rant warning the island nation not to support LGBT+ people for fear of the coronavirus.
Anthony Eden told the Cayman Islands’ Legislative Assembly: ‘Mr Speaker, once the floodgates are opened, what will happen in Cayman? How are we going to stop it? A little population of less than 70,000 built on Christian values. We have been warned over the years.
‘And now we hear of the coronavirus, recently declared a global emergency by the World Health Organization. You’ve seen what’s happened. We better take warning of what’s going on.’
Since then, many others have followed.
Steven Andrew from USA Christian Church named March ‘Repent of LGBT Sin Month’ to protect ‘the USA from diseases, such as the coronavirus’.
He added: ‘Our safety is at stake since national disobedience of God’s laws brings danger and diseases, such as coronavirus. But obeying God brings covenant protection… God protects the USA from danger as the country repents of LGBT, false gods, abortion and other sins.’
Meanwhile right-wing pastor EW Jackson told listeners of his radio show that the ‘homovirus’ has infected America.
He added: ‘The last thing in the world the black community needs is more destruction of the family, more attacks on the family, and that’s all this whole homosexual movement amounts to.
‘It is a virulent, violent attack. You know what? I’m going to get in trouble for this one, but this is right off the presses: It is the homovirus for the family.
‘Of course, I am speaking from a spiritual and a psychological perspective. I hope that no one misunderstands my little putting together of two things, because you know we’re talking about this coronavirus.
‘I’m not talking about physical illness. I’m not talking about pronouncing any physical curses on people.’
Moreover, televangelist Jim Bakker has been trying to sell his own $115 Silver Solution which he claims completely cures the coronavirus in 12 hours.
In fact, it doesn’t cure the virus at all. Indeed, he has to legally warn people it contains chemicals that cause birth defects and cancer. And officials in New York have ordered him to stop or face big fines.
Hope not hate
However, there are things you can do to help. HIV organizations have given their advice for positive people about avoiding and managing coronavirus. And LGBT+ people are trying to support vulnerable people in the community during the pandemic.