MARCH 30, 2021

Earlier this month, a church called The Pursuit NW in Snohomish, Washington got a letter from the state’s attorney general warning them against gathering in person in violation of the state’s COVID restrictions.

As we know all too well by now, such a sensible request is considered Christian Persecution by religious zealots. That’s why Pastor Russell Johnson created this I-swear-it’s-not-a-parody video in defiance of those common sense health precautions.

And like a true white evangelical, he made sure to attack trans people while he was at it.

… If 25% of the church is allowed to gather, then the church is not allowed to gather. If 50% of the church is allowed to gather, then the church is not allowed to gather.

The same politicians who are telling us to trust the science will also tell us men can be women, women can be men, and babies can be terminated in the womb up until the ninth month.

Let me be clear: I trust the science. What I don’t trust is the totalitarian political class and their unfettered lust for power, control, and authority.

… And if the attorney general wants to find me, I’ll be here, at Pursuit, every Sunday, 9:00, 10:30, and noon. We cancel sickness, we cancel disease, we cancel fear and demons and darkness. We cancel power-hungry politicians. But we ain’t canceling church.

He’s lying. He doesn’t trust the science because he’s been denying the seriousness of the pandemic since it began.

He’s lying about his magical powers. He can’t cancel sickness and disease because he hasn’t done a damn thing to prevent the nearly 550,000 American COVID deaths so far. (Those lives don’t matter to him. Only fetuses.) That said, I’m eager to see those medical reports confirming his heal count.

But he can absolutely create an environment for COVID to continue spreading. When you jam-pack people into a building with no distancing and virtually no masks — and I feel like we can safely assume there are plenty of anti-vaxxers in this crowd — the pandemic will not go away.

Unfortunately for everyone else, Johnson’s faith-based selfishness and ignorance has the power to infect and kill people who don’t belong to his church. Again, he doesn’t care. He’s literally making an argument that his church should have the right to put complete strangers in harm’s way. The people gullible enough to fall for his angry rant don’t seem to realize they belong to a death cult.

No one’s asking his church to do anything that doesn’t also apply to secular spaces that function the same way. It’s a sacrifice we all have to make. But Johnson wants people to think Christians are uniquely affected by the pandemic. That’s also a lie. And white evangelical churches have been pushing it for the better part of the past year. Our entire nation has suffered because of people like this.

YouTuber Jake the Atheist — who lives near this church — posted a reaction video to the pastor’s rant that is well worth watching. I watched it after I collected my own thoughts on the matter and found that we were on the same wavelength for a lot of this:

It’s not clear if Attorney General Bob Ferguson will take any action against the church. I haven’t seen any articles suggesting it, anyway. But there’s no reason a church should be allowed to put people in danger by acting like the rules we all live by don’t apply to them.

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By athiest

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