We know, it's a really scary time out there right now.
With little to no guidance from our government for the first month or two of the COVID-19 outbreak, the United States is scrambling to get this potentially deadly illness under control.
But don't you worry America! In light of the government dropping the ball, some religious institutions have decided to respond.
...By also dropping the ball.
That video is of Evangelical Christian evangelist and conspiracy theorist Rodney Howard-Browne pushing his congregation to shake hands.
Whoo, boy. I'm not sure exactly where to begin, but maybe explaining why this is a bad idea is a good place to start.
COVID-19 has proven to be a very popular disease, with the ability to quickly spread from person to person. Countries that got the disease before us have proven the danger of unregulated contact during this crucial time period.
In fact, it was literally a Korean church that exacerbated the problem in South Korea.
For a pastor to scold his congregation as "pansies" for wanting to protect their loved ones and community is unbelievably shameful.
Rodney Howard-Browne is a right-wing Evangelical Christian pastor with many controversies to his name. He pushes the conspiracy theory that Hollywood elites sacrifice humans and drink the blood of children.
Most recently, as part of the same sermon in the above video, he claimed the Novel Coronavirus is a "phantom plague" engineered by the Rockefeller foundation to force everyone to get a vaccine. And the vaccine—that doesn't exist yet—is part of some plan for population control.
This is beyond just lunacy—this is outright dangerous.
He isn't the only Evangelical Christian televangelist in the game trying to increase his standing in the competitive and lucrative market using the viral outbreak.
Kenneth Copeland, notorious preacher of the controversial "prosperity gospel" has claimed that hatred of President Donald Trump is what opened the doors to the sickness. But don't worry—it will soon be over because of Christian prayers.
Meanwhile, megachurch pastor Guillermo Maldonado decided to pull the same stunt as Howard-Browne. He defied public health recommendations and kept his massive church open and the collection basket circulating.
He also claimed that fear of the virus is a demonic spirit and that only by going to church can you be healed of the illness.
Not to be outdone, once disgraced felon Jim Bakker was ordered to stop selling his Silver Solution as a cure for COVID-19 on his TV show by the New York Attorney General or face consequences for fraud.
We just can't even begin to express the danger these Evangelical Christian leaders are putting everyone in.
There is a genuine danger here that is not being addressed. No, you probably don't need to stock up on a mountain of toilet paper and hand sanitizer, but precautions do need to be taken.
Wash your hands properly. Sanitize high touch surfaces. Stay home or at least away from large gatherings if you are able. See a doctor if you develop symptoms.
And please, do not fall for the lies of men like these.