April 4, 2020
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An Alabama Pastor Invited Coronavirus-Infected People to Church


While most of us
are staying indoors, self-quarantining ourselves
because of the coronavirus, there are pastors out there
who are treating the virus like a test
from God. They’re holding services even though large gatherings
help the virus spread more easily. They’re suggesting prayer
could cure your symptoms. They’re pretending like nothing has
changed over these past few weeks, let alone months. But one Alabama
pastor went above and beyond in terms of stupidity. He held services
over the weekend… and he literally invited people
infected with the coronavirus or anyone who thinks
they have symptoms of it to church, with all the
other healthy people, in order to be healed
through prayer and oil. This is what happens when you
fail all your science classes. Chris Bartlett is the pastor of the
Boaz Church of God in Boaz, Alabama, and he posted about
this on Facebook. He has since deleted it,
but the screenshot lives on. Here’s the relevant part: “So with boldness
of faith if you have the coronavirus
or feel threatened by such, you are most welcome at Boaz Church
of God Sunday morning at 10 AM. We will gladly anoint
the sick with oil and pray the prayer
of faith over you! You are also welcome to fist bump
instead of hand shake, smile instead of hug and have the Impact Team
open the door for you. Perhaps we have the greatest opportunity
in years to show forth Greatness of our God!!” What he misses is that this virus
is contagious. If you’re near someone
with the symptoms, you may catch it. Even if you don’t
display the symptoms, you may be
carrying it. That’s why large gatherings
are a bad idea right now. Look, if your hearing isn’t perfect,
or you have a broken arm, then asking someone to pray
for you is at worst a waste of time. But that’s on you.
That doesn’t affect the rest of us. Telling people with COVID-19
to come to church for prayer isn’t just useless.
It’s harmful. My concern isn’t just that members of this apparent death cult
get infected with the disease. It’s that they could
all become vectors, so that when
they leave church, they’ll infect people they come into contact with
at the grocery store or at the post office. Apparently, I want them to survive
this pandemic more than they do… If someone has the disease, that person needs to be isolated,
tested, and treated, not get celebrity treatment
in the middle of a large crowd. I don’t know when or why
Bartlett deleted his post. But on Sunday, he preached about
the hysteria of fear. So even on Sunday morning,
he was downplaying the seriousness of the current pandemic. At one point he even says this
and I’ll let it play for a minute: Some of you may walk out
of here coughing today, but you’re gonna walk out of
here with some faith today… We see ourselves small therefore they must
see us small, too. But David didn’t
think that way. I’m glad Jesus didn’t think that way.
I’m glad Jesus knew who He was when that poor leper said,
Would you make me clean? I thank God He didn’t quarantine Himself
up in a house when I come calling! I’m glad He didn’t say get away
from me, you dirty sinner! You’re gonna
make me unclean! I’m so glad! Bartlett may have deleted
his Facebook post, but it was clearly
to avoid backlash, not because he wanted
to protect his congregation. Or anyone else,
for that matter. Don’t be like him. Even if you’re religious, don’t go against science because
you think God will override reality. The rest of us shouldn’t
have to live in danger because your religion makes you selfish
and delusional.

Jean Kelley

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48 COMMENTS

  1. The NIFB Jesus Posted on March 17, 2020 at 7:28 pm

    Now we have evidence that Christianity is a danger to public health, wellbeing, safety and national security.

    Reply
  2. Ivan Braginsky Posted on March 17, 2020 at 8:06 pm

    Their all going to hell anyway so why do they matter ha! What god ? Haha haha faith what faith their all going to die at this point that pastor made the biggest mistake of his live by being surrendered by the epidemic 😷

    Reply
  3. KitsWorld Posted on March 17, 2020 at 8:47 pm

    This everybody is what we call an idiot.

    Reply
  4. Daniel Cole Posted on March 17, 2020 at 10:05 pm

    What a idiot again what an idiot thanks for bringing us up-to-date Hemet

    Reply
  5. Avi Mohan Posted on March 17, 2020 at 10:06 pm

    What's worse, most churchgoers are elderly. You know, people most at risk of dying from the disease.

    Reply
  6. Laughing Dog Posted on March 17, 2020 at 10:09 pm

    Prayer didn’t work for leprosy. It didn't work for the plague. Why should it work now?

    Reply
  7. 𝕯𝖊𝖑𝖙𝖆 𝕹𝖔𝖛𝖊𝖒𝖇𝖊𝖗 Posted on March 17, 2020 at 10:12 pm

    With luck the virus will kill millions of these idiots.

    Reply
  8. Nadiah Dennis Posted on March 17, 2020 at 10:14 pm

    I saw my grandma look up how to pray the Corona virus away…while visiting the doctor daily…

    Reply
  9. Jubei Yang Posted on March 17, 2020 at 10:14 pm

    This is great!!!! This pastor just wanted his congregation to go to heaven in a hurry!!!

    Reply
  10. Nadiah Dennis Posted on March 17, 2020 at 10:16 pm

    "Y'all may walk out of here coughing 😷 but you will walk out with some faith today!" WHAT?!

    Reply
  11. DriveInFreak Posted on March 17, 2020 at 10:16 pm

    Natural selection in action.

    Reply
  12. Louis Smith Posted on March 17, 2020 at 10:16 pm

    Amazing 🤣 maybe he wants all the people to get sick and die, then jesus will get sick

    Reply
  13. Jeffrey Gerdes Posted on March 17, 2020 at 10:30 pm

    If the is bible representative of monotheistic religion, then wouldn't Jesus be culpable of all the horrible crap that happened in the Old Testament?

    Reply
  14. Mark Chippendale Posted on March 17, 2020 at 10:30 pm

    Like a snake-handling pastor – but this one throws numerous snakes out into the congregation! Fuckwit!!!

    Reply
  15. Susse Kind Posted on March 17, 2020 at 10:37 pm

    People like this terrify me.
    I've been doing my part and have hunkered down in my house now for the last week and a 1/2, and this prick is in inviting the entire town into his church, sick or not?
    If somebody in his "flock" dies, I hope the authorities hold him accountable.

    Reply
  16. ChipArgyle Posted on March 17, 2020 at 10:43 pm

    We need to do something about these retards. (Yes, that's the correct use of the word: it's something they've chosen to do to their own brains.) They are a demonstrable threat to the rest of us.

    Reply
  17. Vic Vin Rod Posted on March 17, 2020 at 10:44 pm

    This is ridiculous. Mom, the most religious person even say- Feith won't do alone…

    Reply
  18. Jacqueline RICHARDS Posted on March 17, 2020 at 10:48 pm

    What an idiot! Sorry those religious sheep have an idiot in the WH and a delusional idiot in the pulpit. Wow 😳

    Reply
  19. Bob H Posted on March 17, 2020 at 10:51 pm

    Your closing sentence said it all….

    Reply
  20. DefChef Posted on March 17, 2020 at 10:53 pm

    The Radical Christian Right! The Most Dangerous People on this Planet

    Reply
  21. Someone Posted on March 17, 2020 at 11:03 pm

    I mean… Natural selection amirite

    Reply
  22. Joseph Riggs Posted on March 17, 2020 at 11:11 pm

    If people in his audience come up with the virus-the pastor will be forgiven by God,supposedly,and the audience/congregation,too.It's a win-win situation for him.And if someone does get the virus,they will most likely blame themselves in some way,i.e,"I didn't have enough faith."-or-"There was sin in my life." The "relationship"between the man on the stage or behind the pulpit-and the audience-is a toxic one indeed.

    Reply
  23. Guitar dog Posted on March 17, 2020 at 11:16 pm

    This disease infects and has more consequences for the elderly – which is the group of people most likely to be devoted followers of god. After the way god treated Job, not sure why anybody wants to worship this deity.

    Reply
  24. BigFatHeretic Posted on March 17, 2020 at 11:19 pm

    Natural selection at work. It's
    going to take out all the idiots!
    This may be how religion dies.

    Reply
  25. larry temp Posted on March 17, 2020 at 11:24 pm

    THE MASTER PASTOR

    Reply
  26. Mike Donigan Posted on March 17, 2020 at 11:30 pm

    Que the poisonous snakes!

    Reply
  27. John Wells Posted on March 17, 2020 at 11:36 pm

    Unfortunately Hemant is preaching to the choir….. I seriously doubt many of the religious come here for the message.

    Reply
  28. Jason Carpp Posted on March 17, 2020 at 11:37 pm

    I've never understood why Christian pastors, particularly Southern Christian pastors, want large gatherings in church, particularly given the threat of Coronavirus. This is asking for trouble.

    Reply
  29. Jewie Snew Posted on March 18, 2020 at 12:02 am

    Here in my country too there's this religious cult defying the community quarantine.

    Reply
  30. woodchuck norris Posted on March 18, 2020 at 12:17 am

    This shit is crazy….these type of nut job are gonna cause an apocalypse. I saw Christian's saying to share everything they have and all types of crazy that is gonna infect alot of people. Imma laugh when they turn into zombies……lol

    Reply
  31. Active Advocate Posted on March 18, 2020 at 12:34 am

    Oh Vishnu…
    Seriously, are these people stupid? When I saw the video title, I initially thought, "Oh wow, he's giving shelter to homeless people with the virus?"
    NOPE. He's taunting nature. Great idea.

    Reply
  32. DOM Posted on March 18, 2020 at 2:18 am

    Religion, keeping people stupid for thousands of years.

    Reply
  33. FlyboyCGC Posted on March 18, 2020 at 3:53 am

    The rest of us do live in danger because of their self-centered delusions. Religion poisons everything.

    Reply
  34. Nanology Posted on March 18, 2020 at 4:18 am

    I encourage it! They should do a mass baptismal also. 😀

    Reply
  35. Nicholas Stroganoff Posted on March 18, 2020 at 5:15 am

    Pastor should be arrested and congregants quarantined.

    Reply
  36. 2AHD Cat Posted on March 18, 2020 at 5:36 am

    I hope the stupid fuck catches it. Hey, You are The Friendly Atheist, I am The Not-So-Friendly-Atheist. If one puts His dick in a wall socket? I expect Him to get shocked (and He deserves it)

    Reply
  37. Zidneya Posted on March 18, 2020 at 6:30 am

    THE EVOLUTION OF DENIAL:
    1) My prayers will eradicate the disease.
    2) My prayers will stop the disease from reaching my country.
    3) My prayers will protect me and my love ones from the disease.
    4) My prayers will help me overcome and cure the disease in me.
    5) We may have lost a lot of people, but those who are are alive it's due to my prayers (assuming you survive).
    And finally:
    6) My prayers will stop this from happening again (then repeat points 1-6 ).

    Reply
  38. JDoubleG Posted on March 18, 2020 at 8:43 am

    Just by listening to that pastor's voice, he's fucking insane…religion fucked his mind.

    Reply
  39. Gayle Cheung Posted on March 18, 2020 at 10:55 am

    Why am I getting notifications for this!

    Reply
  40. Jennifer Isaacs Posted on March 18, 2020 at 11:40 am

    Who cares if anti science cults kill themselves off with Darwinism. Let them die off with diseases. Just stay away from them.
    I am atheist so I won't be attending church soon where those people with cure alls exist.

    Reply
  41. Pandała Posted on March 18, 2020 at 2:58 pm

    who are they trying to impress? the virus doesn't give a fuck about their pathetic yells at the crowd.

    Reply
  42. Angie Lincoln Dasner Posted on March 18, 2020 at 6:30 pm

    Churches in my corner of Ohio were closed. This pastor is crazy.

    Reply
  43. TreeOfRealKnowledge Posted on March 18, 2020 at 9:36 pm

    Do you know, what I recently have thought?
    God maybe created a universe, which only looks like a clock-work universe.
    We should think on purpose, that he would not exist.
    But at that way he can hurt our lives,
    without knowing, that it is actually him, who is doing the damage.

    We think then, that it was the randomness, which was hurting us.
    But in reality Jesus' does the hidden attacks.

    Reply
  44. Avarus Surava Posted on March 18, 2020 at 9:42 pm

    this is madness luv

    Reply
  45. no one special Posted on March 19, 2020 at 12:22 am

    imaginary friends make people do the darndest things

    Reply
  46. rkmeier meier Posted on March 19, 2020 at 1:20 am

    Hey i like your religion But i will stick to Christianity

    Reply
  47. rkmeier meier Posted on March 19, 2020 at 1:22 am

    Hey I’m a Christian but not all Christians are like that our community hasn’t been touched by coronavirus and we still going to church we are very careful and we put hand sanitizer on our hands and for any further updates we will close it.

    Reply
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