Kenneth Copeland, multi-millionaire televangelist and advisor to former Republican President Donald Trump, raised many eyebrows this week after hinting that he needs money for a private jet due to airlines imposing Satanic vaccine mandates.
Copeland called vaccine mandates "the mark of the beast," the symbol of allegiance to Satan spoken of in the biblical Book of Revelation which brings God's wrath to all who accept it.
Copeland, who already owns not only several private jets but also his own airport, made the statement during a fundraising telethon Tuesday on his television network The Victory Channel.
See the moment below.
Kenneth Copeland argues that he needs a private jet because airlines are imposing vaccine requirements and "to me,… https://t.co/rRNpfBVRK9— Right Wing Watch (@Right Wing Watch) 1632332462.0
Many travel industry experts say they expect airlines to begin implementing vaccine mandates amid pressure from other countries like Canada, which recently mandated vaccination for commercial travel, and indications that the U.S. government is considering making such a rule as well.
For Copeland, this trend has a decidedly sinister subtext and he warned ministers to seek alternate means of travel.
"The time has come for ministries... to have some other method of travel other than the airlines.
"You get into this situation, 'We're not gonna let you fly unless you're vaccinated.' Well, to me, that's the mark of the beast."
The "mark of the beast" features heavily in the "end times" prophecies of the Book of Revelation in the Bible.
While historians say the Book of Revelation is likely an elaborate allegory about the fall of Rome written in a time when writing such things would have been punishable by death, Christians believe the book warns of a time of great turmoil just before Christ returns to the Earth.
The story goes that during this time, all people will be forced by an evil world leader to either pledge allegiance to Satan with "the mark of the beast" in order to be allowed to "buy or sell," or to refuse the mark and be martyred for their faith in Jesus Christ. Those with the mark go to hell, and those who refuse it go to heaven.
So Copeland's rhetoric isn't exactly new. But using it to get people to send him money for a private jet is definitely a new, unhinged spin on an old favorite—especially for a guy who already owns private jets so he can avoid the "demons" he believes haunt commercial airliners.
This all left a very bad taste in people's mouths on Twitter.
@TeaPainUSA Net Worth $700 million https://t.co/U4pZyQ2tGo— Principles First (@Principles First) 1632350883.0
@RightWingWatch It's a gathering of used jalopy salesmen -- I only have to look for a nano-second before I want to… https://t.co/qKxx5ldnR5— Theyre freaking cartoon supervillains (@Theyre freaking cartoon supervillains) 1632332918.0
@RightWingWatch Jesus overthrew the tables in the temple because they were using the temple to make money. KC is us… https://t.co/0yZYWMU4Hs— Stephen (@Stephen) 1632356288.0
@RightWingWatch How the heck is a vaccine mandate the numerical representation of the name of Nero Cesar? Revelat… https://t.co/yDTE5yIXih— D66 Labs (@D66 Labs) 1632332988.0
@realTuckFrumper He's had his private jet for years. Not sure I believe in the devil, but if I did I'd 100% think it's him.— Jenny💥 Batgirl by night 🦇🌛 #vaccinated (@Jenny💥 Batgirl by night 🦇🌛 #vaccinated) 1632349403.0
Kenneth Copeland almost makes Joel Osteen appear to be moral. Almost. https://t.co/mi0wfrbrAH— Rocky Macy (@Rocky Macy) 1632355880.0
Okay, he's a deplorable charlatan, that's obvious. But just how nuts are the people who buy that crap? https://t.co/GSSgk4gBv8— John Oberlin (@John Oberlin) 1632358029.0
@HuffPost So the pandemic has become a new opportunity for personal fund-raising? How noble.— Lucky LaRue (@Lucky LaRue) 1632390515.0
Copeland is a close ally of former President Trump.
He served on an advisory committee for his 2016 campaign.