Corona-Defiant TX Pastor: “We’re First Responders Too, In the Spiritual Realm” April 17, 2020

Corona-Defiant TX Pastor: “We’re First Responders Too, In the Spiritual Realm”

I’m struggling to find the right adjective here. Should I use prideful? Arrogant? Insane? Murderous?


A group of conservative activists and pastors… is suing Gov. Greg Abbott, claiming his recent executive order to stem the spread of COVID-19 infringes on their constitutional rights. …

“Once government and its constituents start operating on the basis of fear rather than facts, they are willing to take whatever medicine is prescribed, no matter how harmful the side effects may be,” the suit says.

These people talk with great concern about “harmful side effects”… and then they go out, congregate with similar Jesus jokers, embrace each other on camera (to rub the secular rubes’ faces in their glorious display of religious rights, I guess), and merrily disperse — having contracted the virus or not, who knows.

Apparently, their right to worship together without even practicing physical distancing trumps everyone else’s right to stay alive. (What do you want to bet that these goombahs for Christ still call themselves pro-life without a moment’s shame or self-reflection?)

The plaintiffs, who include notorious right-wing activist and homophobe Steve Hotze (pictured),

have continued to hold or attend worship services in recent weeks, and shared photos with a reporter in which they and others are embracing or standing directly next to one another.

But this one really made me head-desk:

We’re first responders too — in the spiritual realm and in the mental realm,” John Greiner, pastor of Houston’s Glorious Way Church, said after a recent service.

Holy shit. First responders… who don’t give a rat’s ass about whether the patient lives. Who are, in fact, happy to turn off his oxygen supply if that means they get to grandstand about how much they love the baby Jesus.

It’s repulsive. Callous. Criminal. Also, um… — nah, I’m done. My writing brain is starting to lock up. I’m plumb out of adjectives, so go ahead and insert some of your own.

It pains me to write this post, in part because I suspect that the plaintiffs don’t want legal clarification so much as the opportunity to be willfully belligerent, with an eye on generating publicity. And I hate to give that to them, but here we are. Consider the fact that Governor Abbott actually pandered catered to the legions of conservative Christians in his state when he called church services “essential” and allowed religious get-togethers to continue. It’s true. Two weeks ago,

Abbott’s office released joint guidance with Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton that said houses of worship must be given special consideration for constitutional reasons and are indeed “essential services.” However, they must conduct activities online or at home “whenever possible” and some should avoid large gatherings, namely those in areas with rapid community spread.

Not good enough, howl Hotze and his posse.

Give these people an inch and they’ll demand a mile.

That’s the same Steve Hotze, by the way, who said this last month, after the United States had already begun its grim COVID death count:

“I shake every hand that I can because I want my immune system to be challenged every day so it builds strong health.”

He followed that up with

“Could I be right, and Harvard and all these CDC guys be wrong? Yeah, because they’re all conventional. They don’t talk about how you can keep yourself from getting sick … Why don’t you just not get it [the coronavirus]? Why don’t you just stay healthy?”


Hotze, who has a degree in quackery medicine, proposes that people keep COVID-19 at bay by taking vitamins.

[T]he founder and CEO of the Texas-based Hotze Health & Wellness Center, Hotze Vitamins, and Hotze Pharmacy… appeared on a March 15 coronavirus pandemic special on Fox in which he said that “you’ve got to take charge of your own health” and referenced his center in urging people to build up their immune systems with vitamins.

I guess the 400-plus Texans who’ve already died from the illness didn’t follow Hotze’s expert advice.

(Screenshot via YouTube. Thanks to Jay for the link)

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