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A conservative pastor in Tennessee is telling his supporters that marriage equality is to blame for coronavirus.
Pastor Perry Stone made the comments in a prayer service at his church in Cleveland, Tenn., earlier this week, Right Wing Watch reports.
COVID-19 — which has infected at least 15,000 Americans and caused more than 200 deaths — is a “reckoning” from God for marriage equality and abortion, Stone said.
“If this is a moment of reckoning, and I know it is; I know what I heard, I did not make that up,” Stone claimed. “I audibly heard the phrase, a male voice speaking, and I believe it was the Holy Spirit.”
Stone claimed that the reckoning is “[because] we have by law forced God out of our country and basically told him, ‘In public places, you’re not welcome.’”
In addition to lamenting the lack of prayer and Bible reading in public schools and saying women who are pro-choice “have a spirit about them where there is no love,” Stone told the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, adding that the Bible “talks about going after ‘strange flesh.'”
Stone said that, with the legalization same-sex marriage nationwide in 2015, marriage had been “changed into something we have never known,” calling it an “abomination.”
“There is a reckoning because the courts of the land passed a law to take an infant’s life, that it was OK, and for marriage as we have known it to be changed into something we have never known,” he said. “Both of their laws, biblically in Leviticus and Deuteronomy, are what God calls an abomination. And the Bible teaches us that God is long-suffering, he is not willing that any perish, he wants everyone to come to repentance, but there will be a time when the Lord says, ‘Enough is enough.’”
Stone is the latest conservative figure to pin the blame for COVID-19 on gay people. Earlier this week, a guest host on The Rush Limbaugh Show said gay people are the reason San Francisco was placed on lockdown.
Conservative author Mark Steyn said the city’s mayor didn’t want “all the gays dropping dead” in a “big gay apocalypse,” and said gay people are “the ones with all the compromised immune systems from all the protease inhibitors and all the other stuff.”
Last week, an Orthodox rabbi in Israel and an American pastor both claimed that coronavirus was divine punishment for allowing LGBTQ people to exist.
And in January, a right-wing pastor and broadcaster who was granted press credentials by the White House claimed that coronavirus was sent by God to “purge” LGBTQ people.
Rick Wiles, founder of Christian website TruNews, suggested that the spread of COVID-19 is a plague from God to “purge a lot of sin off this planet,” and called LGBTQ people “vile” and “disgusting.”
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