Right-wing evangelist Jonathan Shuttlesworth, who recently called churches who shut down during the COVID-19 pandemic a “bunch of sissies,” has vowed to hold a “massive outdoor Easter blowout service” amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Shuttlesworth’s announcement came a day after Florida police arrested Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne for violating public safety orders to avoid large public gatherings when he held two in-person church services on Sunday.
“I’m gonna announce it,” Shuttlesworth said on Tuesday. “We’re gonna hold an outdoor Easter blowout service. Not online. A national gathering. You come from all over, like Woodstock.”
“And we’re gonna gather and lift up Jesus Christ. I’m not ashamed that Dr. Rodney got arrested. I’m ashamed that when they wanted to arrest preachers for having church, in the entirety of the state, there was only one to come for,” he said.
Right-wing evangelist Jonathan Shuttlesworth, a close friend of Rodney Howard-Browne, says he intends to hold a large Woodstock-like Christian gathering in defiance of stay-at-home orders. pic.twitter.com/sn5Pvt1NA5
— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) March 31, 2020
Earlier this month, Shuttlesworth told his followers that red states would be spared from the coronavirus because Trump “honors Israel.”
“Read the Bible,” he said. “A nation doesn’t have to be run by a perfect man for God to give goodness to a nation. They can say whatever they want, he honored Israel. Obama honored the enemies of Israel; Trump honors Israel, and it’s a massive difference.
“And because of that, I predict America will be minimally affected by coronavirus. I exclude from my prediction the Pacific Northwest, California, and New York, because in a God honoring nation, those are four places that have chosen to give God the middle finger in the shape of an Empire State Building lit up in pink to celebrate the passage of the [legislation] that you can kill a baby,” he added. “So if it did hit Washington hard, with that government, Oregon, with that government, California. Let me tell you: your government matters. If it hits New York, you will not see me surprised.”
Shuttlesworth also told his followers that he doesn’t believe that it’s not manly to use hand sanitizer or be concerned about hygiene.
“If you’re putting out pamphlets and telling everybody to use Purell before they come into the sanctuary and don’t greet anyone, you should just turn in your ministry credentials and burn your church down — turn it into a casino or something,” he said. “You’re a loser. Bunch of pansies. No balls. Got neutered somewhere along the line and don’t even realize it.”
“Let me tell you if the devil doesn’t want there to be mass gatherings — it’s time to hold mass gatherings,” he added. “If I lived in Italy I would call an open-air crusade to pray for the sick. If you have to go to jail, go to jail.”