Conservative preacher Perry Stone claimed in a recent sermon that the current pandemic was God's way of punishing humans for legalizing abortion and same-sex marriage.
Both are things that have been legal in the US for between several years and several decades.
Stone's disastrous hot take has earned him some not-insignificant criticism on social media.
Stone asserted that the current public health crisis was a "reckoning" because the United States Supreme Court decided abortion (this was back in 1973) and same-sex marriage (in 2015) were legal.
He doesn't say why laws in one country would cause his deity to lash out at the whole planet, or why that "reckoning" would have started in another part of the world.
"So why is there a reckoning? I'm gonna explain it in these simple terms. There's a reckoning because the courts of the land passed a law to take an infant's life… and for marriage, that we have known it, to be changed into something we've never known."
No US Court has ever said that it is OK to kill an "infant." Fetuses still in the womb and infants, which have already been born, are very definitely not the same thing.
"And both of their laws, biblically, in Leviticus and Deuteronomy, are what God calls an abomination… the Bible teaches us that God wants everyone to come to repentance, but there will be a time when the Lord says 'Enough is enough."
You can view a short video of Stone's sermon below.
Perry Stone says the coronavirus outbreak is a "reckoning" on America for abortion and gay marriage. https://t.co/a9yyawwCzn— Right Wing Watch (@Right Wing Watch)1584556384.0
Social media users were largely critical of Stone's take, with many mocking him for it.
Thinking about specific countries, if covid-19 were about abortion and gay marriage, Iran would be safe.— ospalh (@ospalh)1584556747.0
@RightWingWatch @profagagne I was expecting this. Like clockwork after every tragedy.— Alan Rehkemper (@Alan Rehkemper)1584557211.0
@RightWingWatch Oh I seen this one coming since the start. Soon as WHO officially called it a pandemic, I thought,… https://t.co/s1ttZuDkes— Eddie (@Eddie)1584557208.0
@RightWingWatch Reckoning for the hubris of right wing pastors to claim they knew god's will.— Michael Lippert (@Michael Lippert)1584564458.0
Even Christians thought Stone's take was ridiculous.
@RightWingWatch Like 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, California wildfires . . . pretty much EVERY natural disaster in rece… https://t.co/K8z6Wrmc2C— Tracy (@Tracy)1584556953.0
@RightWingWatch Would be lovely to see this guy taking help to the needy under only the safety of prayer— Chris (@Chris)1584558582.0
@perrystonevoe Dear Rev. Stone, When I prayed this morning God told me that you were a hypocrite and are dead wron… https://t.co/PC61FCAyr3— NoMadRoad (@NoMadRoad)1584646154.0
Stone is not the first to try to blame LGBTQ people for the pandemic, but all who do have missed a fairly obvious point—many of the places hit hardest by the virus are countries where same-sex marriages are still illegal.
China, Italy, and Iran have been the hardest hit so far, and none of them have marriage equality. China goes so far as to censor depictions of LGBTQ people in media, and it is illegal to be gay in Iran.
The Vatican still has significant political sway in Italy, where same-sex couples are allowed legally-binding civil unions, but not marriage.
While it may be unfortunately common to blame various minority groups for whatever happens to be going wrong in the world, that doesn't make it right.
An important piece of wisdom is also found in the book of Leviticus:
"Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."