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83-year-old Pearl Lane was an active member of First United Pentecostal Church in Bishop’s Falls in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador until her death this past October as a result of COVID.

Her children are now blaming the church for their mother’s death, saying they didn’t take the virus seriously enough. They want to warn other churchgoers whose pastors either downplay the virus or actively spread misinformation about it:

[Kim] Hibbs and her sister, Beverley Dean, say their mom’s death could have been avoided, if COVID-19 prevention measures were more strictly followed during church services in September.

“If they had went by the government rules and the protocols that were in place and wore their masks and done the six-feet distancing, then this would have never happened,” said Hibbs.

The church’s pastor refused to answer questions from the CBC, but said back in October that COVID protocols like social distancing and masks were unnecessary because “we don’t have a big crowd.” Which makes it sound like the virus goes away if only a small group of people comes together… which is not at all how the virus works.

“What I can gather is that the church was packed to capacity. There wasn’t no social distancing. There was no government protocols. There was no mask-wearing,” Hibbs said.

Lane wasn’t the only victim of the church’s negligence. “Multiple” members of that particular congregation died of the virus — which isn’t surprising when you’re talking about an older membership in an irresponsible church. It’s everything COVID could have wanted.

Lane, her daughters say, wasn’t vaccinated. But near the end of her life, she was preparing to get the shot. It was too late. She died from a Jesus-fueled death because the leadership at her church decided killing off the membership was worth the risk of holding in-person services even though other options were available.

In case you’re wondering, Rev. Leroy Gee didn’t oppose vaccines from the pulpit, but he didn’t advocate for them either, foolishly acting like getting the shot was a “personal choice.” As if it these decisions only affect you and not your whole community. Utterly, utterly stupid.

(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to everyone for the link)

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Hemant Mehta is the founder of, a YouTube creator, podcast co-host, and author of multiple books about atheism. He can be reached at @HemantMehta.