Anti-LGBT+ pastor and coronavirus conspiracy theorist arrested for continuing to hold services in his megachurch
An anti-LGBT+ pastor has been arrested for violating county orders by continuing to hold church services during the coronavirus pandemic.
Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne is a Trump supporter and coronavirus conspiracy theorist, who insists that the pandemic is a globalist plot engineered by the The Rockefeller Foundation to shut down churches and scare people into receiving deadly vaccines to control the population.
According to LGBTQ Nation, Howard-Browne has been refusing to suspend services at his church in Tampa Bay, Florida, claiming that it is the “most sterile building in America”.
He added that the church has installed “13 machines that basically kill every virus in the place, and uh, if somebody walks through the door it’s like, it kills everything on them.
“If they sneeze, it shoots it down at like 100 mph. It’ll neutralise it in split seconds.”
He also told his congregation that God will ensure they never run out of toilet paper, by supernaturally multiplying the rolls.
According to Tampa Bay Times, after being warned multiple times by police about the “dangerous environment” he was creating for his followers, Howard-Browne brought people in on buses to hold two large services on Sunday, March 29.
On Monday, the pastor was arrested on misdemeanour charges of unlawful assembly and violating quarantine orders during a public health emergency.
Hillsborough sheriff Chad Chronister said: “Because of the reckless disregard of public safety and after repeated requests and warnings, I worked with our state attorney, Andrew Warren, to obtain a warrant for unlawful assembly and violation of public health emergency rules, both of which are second degree misdemeanours.
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“Our goal here is not to stop anyone from worshiping, but the safety and well-being of our community must always come first.”
He was released just 40 minutes later, but not before paying a $500 bail. He will later attend court, but no date has been set.
According to the megachurch he belongs to, Revival Ministries International, gay people are “perverts” who “abuse themselves”.
In a post on its website, listing the kinds of people who “will not inherit the kingdom of God”, it includes: “Abusers of themselves with mankind; sodomites; homosexuals; pederasts (lover of boys); lesbians; one guilty of unnatural offences; sexual pervert[s].”
Howard-Browne has personally shared anti-LGBT+ posts on social media, including one which describes trans people as being “in bondage to the devil’s antics”.
Another anti-LGBT+ right-wing pastor said, earlier this month, that only “pansies” wash their hands in response to the coronavirus and added that churches that have shut down have “no balls”.
Televangelist Jonathan Shuttlesworth said to churches that have closed: “You should just turn in your ministry credentials and burn your church down – turn it into a casino or something.
“You’re a loser. Bunch of pansies. No balls. Got neutered somewhere along the line and don’t even realise it.”