A Louisiana pastor has caused shock and outrage after he opened up about his archaic stance on the medical pandemic that's currently killing thousands of people.
Keep scrolling for the full story, and to hear his appalling words for yourself...
During these dark and turbulent times, many are turning to their faith for comfort.
via: GettyReligious people all over the world are turning to God amid the ongoing medical pandemic, and many are seeking answers from their religious books and readings.
Religious leaders are working hard at keeping people united during the pandemic.
via: GettyAnd, despite places of worship closing their doors and mass gatherings remaining suspended indefinitely, these religious figures are continuing to spread messages of faith and positivity.
Pope Francis, the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church, encouraged people to use the pandemic as an opportunity to reflect on how they use their time...
via: GettyAnd claimed that it is the time to build on conversation with others. "What we are living now is a place of "metanoia" [conversion], and we have the chance to begin," Pope Francis said. "So, let's not let it slip from us, and let's move ahead."
He sees the pandemic as a time for creative challenges.
via: Getty"I'm living this as a time of great uncertainty," the Pope explained. "It's a time for inventing, for creativity."
And, most importantly, he wants people to look out for one another.
via: GettyHe said: "Protect the elderly from solitude. Make sure that no one is left in the desperation of abandonment and discouragement. Console those who are most fragile, encourage those who waver, intercede for the poor."
But, sadly, not all religious figures are spreading such positive messages.
via: GettyA growing number of America's right-wing pastors have been causing shock and outrage regarding their stance on the ongoing pandemic.
And, while some have been ignoring lockdown sanctions and encouraging mass gatherings...
via: GettyOthers have been saying some pretty appalling things about those who have succumbed to the virus.
Enter: Tony Spell.
via: FacebookThis Louisiana pastor, from the Life Tabernacle Church, is the latest to come under fire for his rather controversial stance on the medical pandemic.
Now, Tony Spell doesn't have the best track record.
via: CNNThe pastor is notoriously anti-LGBTQ, and is a member of the homophobic group, Louisiana Family Forum, according to the LGBTQ community of Louisiana. According to Spell, “It is unnatural for boys to be attracted to boys, and girls to girls!" He went on to say that "same-sex marriage gives the benefit of sexual pleasure and marital rights while separating themselves from the responsibility of reproduction."
But, amid the pandemic, he has been truly outdoing himself.
via: FacebookBack in March, Spell was criticized for continuing to host and encourage mass gatherings, despite social-distancing measures being put in place.
He has been determined to keep his church doors open during the pandemic...
via: GettyDespite the fact it could endanger the lives of his worshipers.
The pastor is facing charges for the gatherings...
via: YouTubeBut this doesn't phase him, as he was simply doing "what the Lord told him to do."
But now, he has caused even more outrage.
via: YouTubeJust when we thought this guy couldn't get any worse, he goes and makes some pretty damning comments regarding the victims of the pandemic.
According to Spell, if any of his church members die from the virus, they'll have done so in the name of God and freedom.
via: YouTubeAnd he believes that "true Christians" won't mind dying from the virus.
When asked if he would have blood on his hands if one of his worshipers died from the virus, he nonchalantly replied:
via: YouTube"No. The day that we walked through the valley of the shadow of death, we will fear no evil because God is with us."
"The bible teaches us to be absent from our bodies to be present with the Lord."
via: YouTubeHe continued: "So, for any revolutionary, any zeolite, or any pure religious person, death looks to them like a welcome friend."
"True Christians do not mind dying - They fear to live in fear."
via: TMZWhen asked if he thinks his worshipers would rather come to the service and risk dying from the virus than staying at home, he responded: "People that can prefer disgrace to danger, and people that prefer tyranny over freedom, do not deserve freedom."
He believes that those who die are "free."
via: TMZ"They will die as free people fighting for their convictions."
And, of course, Spell doesn't believe that people should be remaining self-isolated.
via: TMZHe said, with a look of pure contempt on his face: "People have been locked in their homes for twenty-three-days now. Like prisoners. The only vent that they have for their emotions is coming through the house of God and worshiping."