The ghost of Herman Cain has struck again.
It was announced this morning that Marcus Lamb, the head of Daystar Television, one of the largest religious TV networks in the country, had died. He was only 64.
It’s with a heavy heart we announce that Marcus Lamb, president and founder of Daystar Television Network, went home to be with the Lord this morning. The family asks that their privacy be respected as they grieve this difficult loss. Please continue to lift them up in prayer. pic.twitter.com/EVujL8zotG— Daystar Television (@Daystar) November 30, 2021
While the cause of death wasn’t given, it was no secret that Lamb had been struggling with COVID for a couple of weeks. His closest friends in the ministry had publicly asked for prayers due to Lamb’s COVID diagnosis.
The irony, of course, is that Daystar Television has been one of the worst anti-vaccination media outlets over the past year. As Right Wing Watch points out, there are currently over 80 episodes’ worth of misinformation about the virus and vaccine on Daystar’s website.
Daystar has broadcast a series of programs featuring vaccine skeptics such as Robert Kennedy Jr., Sherri Tenpenny and Del Bigtree as well as a group of physicians known as America’s Frontline Doctors, who support the use of hydroxychloroquine and other alternative treatments for dealing with COVID-19. An episode featuring Bigtree, best known for his anti-vaccine film “Vaxxed,” and Kennedy began with Marcus and Joni Lamb sitting with their young granddaughter and defending their efforts to help people do their own research about vaccines. “Why are we doing this?” Marcus Lamb said. “Because God loves people and we love people.” “And let me tell you something — God has made us body, soul and spirit. He’s concerned about the whole person, and so are we,” he said. “And you know that the devil can take people out before they fulfill destiny and purpose — that’s what he wants to do because he hates God. So the only way he could get back at God is trying to attack God’s children.”
It’s not just the shows, either. Just before Lamb was diagnosed with COVID, Daystar and the American Family Association sued the Biden administration claiming that vaccine mandates were a “sin against God’s Holy Word.” Despite being large companies whose employees would be subject to either vaccinations or weekly testing, the Christian groups claimed the mandate would “wound the consciences of their employees and potentially cause them to sin.”
They didn’t bother explaining how it would hurt their consciences or “cause them to sin” because there are no Bible verses that say that. This was a non-issue for Christians until conservatives decided this was a culture war issue and Republicans decided keeping the virus around was preferable to letting Biden get credit for defeating it.
Marcus Lamb had no problem letting his employees avoid the vaccine, making it more likely that they and their families would catch the virus, and allowing it to spread like the gospel. Oops. He turned out to be the damn fool who died because of it. (These are all people, by the way, who proudly label themselves “pro-life.”)
Lamb himself was known for his bad decisions long before COVID.
Last year, for example, Daystar TV applied for a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan to pay employees who couldn’t work because of the pandemic, and the company received nearly $4 million of taxpayer money. That in itself wasn’t a (new) problem since religious groups were allowed to receive PPP money to cover salaries for their staffers.
But Inside Edition‘s Lisa Guerrero found out that Lamb, shortly after getting that money, purchased a multi-million dollar private jet… https://www.youtube.com/embed/yVosVDpBpwA
That segment showed how Lamb used his plane to go on family vacations — hardly ministry purposes — though Lamb told Inside Edition they were “working” vacations… even if he was seen golfing on those trips, and even if his family posted pictures of their trips on social media.
It was only after Guerrero’s inquiries that “the church paid back the entire $3.9 million it received from the government, with interest.”
All of this occurred several years after the Word of God Fellowship church was the focus of an NPR investigation for functioning as a business despite getting church-like tax breaks. The “church” also spent money on things like sponsoring a NASCAR driver, giving a loan to one of Lamb’s buddies (who later defaulted on it), and buying nearly $100,000 worth of Lamb’s wife’s book. The network’s board of directors was positively Trumpian, with Lamb’s family sitting in nearly every seat.
That’s who Marcus Lamb was: A guy who used Christianity to enrich himself and his family. He knew that fighting culture war battles — and pretending to be persecuted — was an easy path to wealth and he never gave a damn who he was hurting in the process.
And now, finally, his arrogance caught up to him. He died of a virus that his ministry routinely downplayed and whose cure he rejected.
(Featured screenshot via YouTube)