The pastor of a Tampa megachurch is facing charges after refusing to close its doors despite a “safer at home” order in effect in Hillsborough County, meant to stop the spread of COVID-19. The sheriff says up to 500 people were in attendance at Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne’s Sunday services.
Howard-Browne, 58, turned himself in Monday afternoon after Sheriff Chad Chronister and State Attorney Andrew Warren on Monday announced an arrest warrant had been issued for charges of unlawful assembly and violating public health emergency rules of isolation and quarantine. Howard-Browne was released 40 minutes later after posting a $500 bond.
Some of Howard-Browne’s colleagues in the evangelical community also said that they will not obey the social distancing.
A conservative Christian pastor Jonathan Shuttlesworth is one of them.
He issued an angry rebuke of churches taking measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus, calling them “sissies” and “pansies” who have been “neutered.”
Jonathan Shuttlesworth, a televangelist who co-founded Revival Today TV, called out European churches that are taking measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
He promised to hold a large Woodstock-like Christian gathering in defiance of stay-at-home orders.
“I’m gonna announce it, that we’re gonna hold an outdoor Easter blowout service, not online. A national gathering. People come from all over, like Woodstock, and we’re gonna gather and lift up Jesus Christ. I’m not ashamed that Dr. Rodney got arrested. I’m ashamed that when they wanted to arrest preachers for having church in an entire state, there was only one to come for.”
Right-wing evangelist Jonathan Shuttlesworth, a close friend of Rodney Howard-Browne, says he intends to hold a large Woodstock-like Christian gathering in defiance of stay-at-home orders. pic.twitter.com/sn5Pvt1NA5
— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) March 31, 2020
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Natalie D. is an American conservative writer who writes for Supreme Insider and Conservative US, ! Natalie has described herself as a polemicist who likes to “stir up the pot,” and does not “pretend to be impartial or balanced, as broadcasters do,” drawing criticism from the left, and sometimes from the right. As a passionate journalist, she works relentlessly to uncover the corruption happening in Washington. She is a “constitutional conservative”.