Spelling Disaster: Louisiana Asks For Disaster Declaration As Louisiana Pastor Defies Authority With 1000 Person Service

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has asked for a federal declaration of disaster in Louisiana where he claims numbers of coronavirus are rising faster than anywhere in the world. The state previously banned groups greater than 50 and has now called on all citizens to shelter at home. That is clearly not resonating with Pastor Tony Spell who defied authorities (and widespread pleas) by holding services with 1000 followers of his Life Tabernacle Church in Baton Rouge. Spell, who has claimed to cure such things as AIDS and cancer at such services, insisted that this is a “politically motivated” effort and promised to hold additional such services.

Spell objects that churches are expected to close their doors but not businesses. He told CNN “If they close every door in this city, then I will close my doors.” However, he is referring to stores like Walmart that are needed to continue to supply badly needed essentials for people sheltering at home. As other churches and places of worship have demonstrated, it is possible to make services available remotely (except when ministers spontaneously catch on fire). It is not as easy to make all of this food available remotely.

It bring to mind the case of Mary Mallon, known as “Typhoid Mary,” who was a cook who repeatedly defied orders to wash her hands and quarantine herself. She proceeded to spread disease in New York.

The standoff could lead to a test case on enforcement. There are calls for his arrest and such defiance could lead to a conflict between religious exercise and health protection. The law favors the state in the enforcement of pandemic measures designed to slow the spread of this virus. A court is more likely to respond to Spell that he should consider the biblical principle “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s” 

190 thoughts on “Spelling Disaster: Louisiana Asks For Disaster Declaration As Louisiana Pastor Defies Authority With 1000 Person Service”

  1. Louisiana is in 7th place for cases and 3rd place for deaths, according to worldometer.

    — David B Benson

  2. (13) The state health officer, through the office of public health, shall be expressly empowered and authorized to issue emergency rules and orders when necessary and for the purposes of controlling nuisances dangerous to the public health and communicable, contagious, and infectious diseases, and any other danger to the public life, health, and safety.


    They can’t do anything with this?

  3. Loupgarous — For a long and difficult read, which leads, in Chapter 12 and the appendix, to be conclusion that only Terra, in the entire universe, contains lifeforms, “The Logic of Chance” by Eugene Koonin will fill your time now that you can, or should be, house bound.

    — David B Benson

  4. What a charlatan, setting himself up as a prophet and miracle worker. He can LiveStream his sermons, if naive people still want to listen to him.

    It’s pretty easy to prove if he cured AIDS and cancer. Get a test before and after. And then hound him for preying upon the desperate.

    While Spell is irresponsible for holding a sermon for 1,000 people during the Covid-19 lockdown, so are the 1,000 people who attended. if everyone was responsible, he could offer to hold a sermon all he wanted. It should have been empty.

    This is also an opportune time to revisit the practice of the Community Cup. Individual servings comport with germ theory.

  5. Japan just had the big spring day out viewing cherry blossoms. So we can now watch the COVID-19 rate in Japan this coming week.

      1. WW33 – if you don’t test them, you don’t have to count them. Locking them into their homes and leaving them to live or die does not count. Undercounting does not count.

        1. Paul – that’s a lot of trees saved from less paperwork. Okay, bad joke, some dark humor, I guess, heh.

          I hear you and I see your point and it does make sense, poor Japanese folks.

          1. WW33 – my understanding is that they grow trees just for pulp mills. So, they are really not saving any trees. πŸ˜‰

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