One Louisiana pastor is going against the governor’s orders to have no more than 50 people per public gathering. This comes at a time where the coronavirus has swept the world with its tentacles of mass illness and death.
This past Tuesday, the church commenced with its services of over 1,000 people. This information came directly from the media and the pastor’s mouth.
Reverend Tony Spell of Life Tabernacle Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, stated his faith in the congregation would not contract COVID-19. Spell carried on with services that had 1,170 members in attendance.
Spell told reporters, “It’s not a concern. The virus, we believe, is politically motivated. We hold our religious rights, dear, and we are going to assemble no matter what someone says. We have 27 buses on Sundays, picking up people in a five-parish area.”
So across the country, we have party-goers who have defied the request of authorities and continued with their careless activities. Now we have pastors who are considered spiritual leaders inside the churches.
They are business people once they step off the pulpit and leading people to disobedience and possibly as far as death. This action only speaks volumes in saving the soul while killing the people or make them sick.
Spell continued to tell reporters how police intervened after the service ended. He said how they warned him the National Guard would come in and break up any more gatherings for more than 50 people.
Here is where the story takes a turn. A National Guard spokesman told reporters they will not get involved in enforcing the social distancing request set in place by the Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards.
After this statement came out, NBC News reached out to the pastor, and he declined to comment further. They also tried to contact the Central Police Department for questions, and they refused to give any statements as well.
Now there is an online petition going around for Reverend Spell to be incarcerated and prosecuted to the full extent of the law. So far, there are over 4,000 signatures. The petition stated Reverend Spell should be “charged with 1800 counts of reckless endangerment for a start, for the countless lives he will be brutalizing and even ending with his selfishness and ignorance.”
The question that comes to mind is, was the services really necessary? The answer is no, it was not. Faith or no faith, the God we know would understand the orders from federal and state governments are in place to save lives.
The only other motivation would be money. When there are no services, there is no cash flow to the church. Faith really had no part in this because the virus is real, and the restrictions are for the greater good of people.
Many Christians have a saying during rough times. “What would Jesus do?” Well, we certainly do not believe Jesus would purposely put people in harm’s way as this pastor did.
This was uncalled for and put more people at risk as the entire world is working nonstop to end this epidemic. People can still pray and worship as they wish at home until this is all over.
As of March 15, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention called for an end to public gatherings of 50 or more people. The point of this was to slow down the spread of COVID-19 over the next 8 weeks. Weddings, conferences, sporting events, festivals, concerts, parades, and yes, even churches have been canceled.
Governor Edwards stated the following day on March 16, “Following additional guidance from the CDC, gatherings of more than 50 people are no longer permitted.
These limitations were difficult to make, but they are necessary to slow the spread of COVID-19, protect the health of Louisianans, and flatten the curve.”
As of noon Wednesday, there were over 1,300 cases with 46 deaths. The governor stated Louisiana was at the top of the charts when it came to how fast the numbers per capita rose.
It surpassed all of the states except for New York and Washington. This is why it was so important to shut down non-essential events.
The problem with people is some do not listen. Those who do not follow instructions are the problem. The only way to contain the problem is to make examples of the people who defy authority during these trying times. People do not realize how serious this epidemic has become.