Another pastor who downplayed or denied the seriousness of COVID has died from COVID.
This time it’s R. Loren Sandford, a pastor from Denver, Colorado, who spent much of the past 18 months pretending the pandemic wasn’t as big a deal as scientists were making it out to be and sowed misinformation about the vaccine. It was clear he hadn’t received the shot.
Let’s go on this journey together, shall we? Here’s just a smattering of posts Sandford made since March of 2020:
“Take this seriously but dial down the fear.”
“I’ve said from the start about how overblown this virus response has been…”
“Wake up, America, before it’s too late.”
“While the government tells us that they are following the science with regard to Covid-19 lockdowns and restrictions, top medical people… are talking a bit of a different story.”
“… we are being conditioned by the pandemic to accept unconstitutional restrictions on our freedoms in the name of public welfare…”
“If the president has his way as announced, and a government rep knocks on my door to ask after and promote the vaccine, I will close the door on them and lock it…”
“I don’t know where it came from or how it happened but we at New Song have been slammed with Covid-19 cases. I myself am still [extremely] ill…”
For the past few weeks, Sandford, after ignoring the experts and buying into right-wing conspiracies about the virus, has been struggling with his own bout of COVID. His wife and church have been posting periodic updates.
“… he is very sick and we need a miracle…”
“… Loren was admitted into the hospital last week. He is now being transferred to ICU…”
“… They are reserving time with Loren to be restricted to family members only…”
“… we are out of options…”
This morning, Sandford’s colleague and fellow conspiracist Jeremiah Johnson announced that Sandford had died.
Sandford had every opportunity to do the right thing, but his Christian faith and addiction to conservative propaganda led him down the most dangerous possible path — and no one in his life seemed to care about him enough to tell him he was wrong. How many of his followers did he also lead to the hospital? How many people suffered and died — completely unnecessarily — because he thought scientists and liberals were lying to him?
More importantly, will any of those people finally come to their senses after today?
This didn’t have to happen. I’m neither mocking his death nor taking joy from it. But let’s hope his shortened life serves as a cautionary tale to anyone who thinks the pandemic is overblown and the vaccines are out to get you.
On a side note, I wrote about Sandford once before, in 2013, after a local school shooting. Sandford blamed the incident on American forgetting “its rightful Lawgiver” and abandoning “God’s morality.” Above all, he wrote, “Guns are not the cause. We are the cause, and our sin is the root.”
In other words, this isn’t a guy who fell down some right-wing rabbit hole late in his life. He spent his entire career telling people to ignore the obvious in favor of faith-based lies.
(Thanks to L for the link)