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Pastor Greg Fairrington of Destiny Church in Rocklin, California has never taken the pandemic seriously. He blamed church closures on “liberal crazies and Satan” instead of COVID. Multiple churchgoers allegedly tested positive for COVID. He celebrated that outbreak by saying “the favor of God is on this house!”

On Easter, completely misunderstanding the meaning of the term “non-essential,” Fairrington suggested the government would soon use the term pejoratively to describe Christians if their churches obeyed COVID rules.

God laughs when government tries to shut down the church. God laughs when governors, with all their brilliance, label churches as “non-essential.”

Well, I’m sorry. Mr. and Mrs. Politician: If you do not turn from your ways and repent, one day, you’re gonna look in the eyes of the Almighty God, and God’s gonna label you non-essential because you have not acknowledged Him.

“Non-essential,” in the context of COVID safety, means something that doesn’t need to remain open because you can access it by other means. Plenty of churches transitioned to live-streaming their services without a problem. Grocery stores can’t do the same thing. This isn’t complicated.

Private worship has never been cancelled. Neither have Bible studies via Zoom. Christianity still exists. In many places, in-person services with limited attendance, socially distanced and with face masks, are permitted. The politicians who issued these restrictions are, more likely than not, religious themselves. And we have more than enough evidence by now to link many COVID surges to in-person gatherings in evangelical circles.

None of that, however, means anything to Fairrington, who thinks any sensible restrictions are somehow hijacking his freedom… to infect strangers with a deadly virus.

(via Christian Nightmares)