The Christian religion is built on the tale of a god-man who, we’re told, was whipped mercilessly before his executioners drove spikes through his hands and feet. The cross — the key implement of this torture/human sacrifice — is revered by all Christians, who ghoulishly like to hang miniature versions of it around their necks and on their walls.
Catholics travel far and wide to gawp at saints’ severed fingers, hands, and mummified heads; they also venerate Jesus’s amputated foreskin. Through transubstantiation, they believe they literally drink their Savior’s blood when they sip wine in church, just as they literally eat his body when consuming a specially-blessed wafer.
Christians spend their entire lives fantasizing about what happens after they die. They tell each other that the wages of sin is death. The evangelical ones like to share their belief that the Christian God will one day burn heretics and blasphemers in lakes of fire.
I know that calling Christianity a death cult sounds hostile, but imagine you’re a traveler from another planet, and one day you land on Earth and study its human inhabitants. What else would you call this morbid, blood–obsessed tribe?
This is all by way of reintroducing you to Louisiana’s Tony Spell, the pastor who keeps holding well-attended church services where no physical distancing is observed. Always happy to up the ante — to sound crazier than he did the day before — this is what Spell told an interviewer the other day.
“Death looks to [us] like a welcome friend. True Christians do not mind dying. They fear living in fear,” the Rev. Tony Spell, pastor of Life Tabernacle Church, told TMZ.
Spell said attending church from home — as millions of Americans have — “doesn’t work.” “If it did work, why has America spent billions and billions building churches?” Spell asked.
As for the spread of COVID-19, Louisiana is the seventh-hardest-hit state in the nation in absolute numbers, with more than 18,000 people infected and over 700 deaths so far. Adjusted for population, the state ranks number three, with almost 4,000 confirmed cases per one million people — a rate of infection that trails only New York and New Jersey.
It’s nice that Spell isn’t worried, but of course his death-courting shenanigans endanger all his congregants and the people they subsequently come in touch with.
Is it Christian to gamble with the lives of others? Not being a man of the Book, I couldn’t say.
I do know that Spell’s reprobate Russian roulette games fit the death cult moniker to a T.
(Top screenshot from The Passion of the Christ)