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Yesterday, we learned that John Hagee, the senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas, tested positive for COVID.

His son Matthew made the announcement:

That’s quite a reveal from John Hagee, given that he once said Hurricane Katrina was “the judgment of God against the city of New Orleans” because there were plans for a gay pride parade that would supposedly “reach a level of sexuality never demonstrated before in any of the other Gay Pride parades.” (I don’t know what that means.) Hagee later backed away from that comment when he was trying to help elect Republican John McCain in 2008. McCain later rejected the endorsement.

Hagee has also said Hitler was fulfilling God’s will by pressuring Jews to return to Israel.

So was COVID God’s way of punishing Hagee?

If it happened to a Democrat, no doubt that’s what Hagee would say.

I won’t stoop to his ignorance. But I will point out that Hagee has a long history of promoting Christian Nationalism and conspiracy theories. Which is to say: If God wanted to punish him, there’s no shortage of reasons to do it.

While Hagee has been in the Oval Office to pray for Trump, he wasn’t spotted at any of the recent White House super-spreader events… so it’s not clear where he picked up the virus.

Let’s note, however, that Hagee’s church has been hosting in-person, indoor, mask-optional, not-very-socially-distanced services for weeks now. He has also claimed “Atheism has never healed a disease; faith in God has, but not atheism.”

For his sake, let’s hope his doctors are relying on proper science and not just sending prayers his way. God hasn’t stopped the virus, but the nations that have followed the best advice of epidemiologists have been most successful at combatting the disease.

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.

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