Last October, despite an unprecedented nationwide spike in positive virus cases across the United States, San Antonio's Cornerstone Church continued to invite packed indoor arenas full of people without masks for weekly worship.
Led by Pastor John Hagee, those unrestricted gatherings were fueled by parishioners' common conviction that God's grace and protection would overcome the natural tendencies of a virus who's uniquely contagious nature had been confirmed by countless scientists time and time again.
Hagee's decision to dig his heels in would eventually impact him very directly. He contracted the virus in October, spent weeks in a hospital battling double pneumonia, before finally recovering and rejoining those same packed services in November.
When he returned to preaching, he boasted about his scrape with the virus.
"I'm sitting in this chair today as a testimonial to the healing power of Jesus Christ. I spent 15 days in a hospital with double pneumonia and I'm still supposed to be home gasping for air."
Moments later, Hagee proposed looking to God rather than science for protection from the virus.
"We have a vaccine. The name is Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God."
"Let Him sweep through this country and heal the righteous who dare to ask for it. Heal our church members. Restore them rapidly. Let the name of Jesus Christ be exalted, because He is Lord over all."
It's worth noting that on November 15, the day Hagee made those comments, over 135,000 new cases and 623 deaths were logged.
But according to a recent ABC News report, Hagee recently went ahead and--very quietly--got himself the actual, non-God-based vaccine.
Hagee Ministries spokesperson Ari Morgenstern attempted to smooth over the blatant hypocrisy by muddying the waters of Hagee's obvious implication at the November service.
"Pastor Hagee himself is taking the vaccine."
"Pastor Hagee believes in both the power of prayer and modern medicine. These are not mutually exclusive."
People on social media wasted no time laying into Hagee and his slippery approach to the virus.
As of now, over 96 million people in the US have received at least their first dose of the vaccine, with more new doses pumping out every single day.
But for as long as people like Hagee continue to preach in opposition to proven scientific interventions against the virus, that number will undoubtedly plateau some day.