(TMU) — As the U.S. finds itself the global epicenter of the deadly coronavirus, it’s no surprise that many Americans have turned to religion to seek solace in the face of a pandemic that’s become nearly biblical in scope.
And while many Christian churches and religious leaders have defied state lockdown orders to gather their congregants at churches, evangelical leaders like prosperity preacher Kenneth Copeland have been comfortable giving sermons through their usual medium—on television.
However, the controversial pastor’s latest antics have been raising eyebrows after he claimed he could take down the coronavirus by channeling the “wind of God” through his very own lungs.
Telling his TV audience that the pandemic would be “over much sooner than you think” because “Christian people all over this country praying have overwhelmed it,” Copeland deployed his latest trick in the fight to contain the deadly disease.
Surrounded by members of his church and sermonizing to an empty room, he began invoking the almighty, saying:
“Wind, almighty, strong, south wind, Heat: Burn this thing, in the name of Jesus. I say, you bow your knees. You fall on your face.”
Before blowing at the camera, the Forth Worth-based preacher proclaimed:
”I blow the wind of God on you. You are destroyed forever, and you’ll never be back. Thank you, God. Let it happen. Cause it to happen.”
1. Copeland declares the wind of God to blow to destroy COVID-19. 2. He then says it doesn’t have to be a fast wind. 3. Then the Lord tells him “It’s even better if there’s no wind at all. 🤔 🤷♂️ pic.twitter.com/tFWc7Mv8lD
— Brandon Kimber (@BKimber) April 4, 2020
Copeland, who has been in the business for 52 years through his Kenneth Copeland Ministries megachurch, has been accused of being a shameless snake-oil salesman who spouts untruths for the sake of raising tithes.
The religious leader—who has his own private jet, airstrip, and hangar—is estimated to have a net worth of roughly $760 million.
In recent weeks, Copeland told viewers who generously continue paying tithes amid record-shattering unemployment rates that they can cure themselves of the novel virus simply by touching their screens while watching his programs.
Last month, the pastor “executed judgment” on CoViD-19, declaring the disease “finished” and “over” while claiming he made the U.S. “healed and well again.” Copeland also demanded “a vaccination to come immediately.”
Copeland has scandalized critics with claims that the public response to the coronavirus has been over-hyped and based on fear, describing the disease as a “very weak strain of flu” without offering proof of the claim.
In a Facebook Live broadcast of his Victory News report last month, the pastor said:
“It (coronavirus) is so weak their symptoms are almost alike.
Some people had it and didn’t even know it. They just haven’t found the way to knock that thing in the head yet.”
Join us tonight as Kenneth Copeland, Gene Bailey and Greg Stephens discuss the Coronavirus/COVID-19. They will break down the facts regarding the virus, dispel the fear and mass hysteria, and build your faith in the power of the WORD of God to protect and heal.
Posted by Kenneth Copeland Ministries on Wednesday, March 11, 2020
Earlier, the pastor said that those who attend his services can be healed in person, adding:
“If we have to pass out thermometers, if we find one with a fever, let’s get him healed right there … What do you do if you get it? Big deal.”
A fervent supporter of Donald Trump—whom he describes as a “King”—Copeland has also claimed that the president’s detractors have “opened the door” for the virus through their alleged “displays of hate” against him.
Copeland’s latest stunt comes amid a wave of prominent Christian preachers defying warnings from local governments and health officials to stop holding mass events at their churches and risk becoming outbreak clusters.
In California’s Sacramento County, home of the seat of state government, the Bethany Slavic Missionary church has been found to be linked to upwards of 70 cases of coronavirus, making the Pentecostal megachurch one of the largest outbreak clusters in the United States.
Meanwhile, Florida Pentecostal pastor Rodney Howard-Browne held a number of services in defiance of warnings from doctors and health authorities to stop potentially spreading the disease, which he called a “phantom plague” before he was finally arrested for flouting rules on social distancing.
FBI Seizes Capitol Building LEGO Set From Alleged Rioter’s House
Many of us know, either from our childhood or even our adulthood, that building and collecting LEGO can be a fun hobby that allows us to tap into our creativity in a relaxing, stress-free way.
But what if someone’s LEGO hobby is something much more nefarious – or even seditious in the eyes of the government?
Such may have been the case when special agents with the FBI confiscated a fully completed LEGO set of the U.S. Capitol Building from the home of Robert Morss, 27, whom they allege participated in the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, according to court documents published by The Smoking Gun.
The large LEGO set is comprised of 1,032 pieces and was released in 2016 and is no longer available for retail. The agents seized the finished set along with other items matching those they believe Morss had in his possession when he allegedly stormed the building – including a neck gaiter, a “Don’t Tread on Me” flag, a military-style satchel, a black tourniquet, and military battle dress uniforms.
The documents also note that he “had three different firearms including a handgun, a shotgun and a rifle” in his possession.
According to LEGO, the United States Capitol Building set “focuses on the structure’s neoclassical style facade, steps and lawns” and is “finished with a decorative ‘US Capitol’ nameplate.” In 2019, the product was “retired” – which has less to do with politics and more to do with the limited availability of the company’s unique product lines.
Morss, who is from Pennsylvania, was arrested last month on a range of federal charges. According to the Department of Justice, his alleged crimes “include assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers; obstruction of an official proceeding; civil disorder; and robbery of personal property of the United States.”
An FBI investigator’s affidavit notes that Morss joined rioters in direct confrontations with officers guarding the Lower West Terrace doors of the Capital in “an intense and prolonged clash between rioters and law enforcement.”
Law enforcement officers claim that they also found a notebook in Morss car that had instructions on a “Step by Step to Create Hometown Militia” that included a list of names, equipment, and sections on “ambush,” “battle drills,” and “formations.” The notebook also contained notes that said “bring assault rifle,” “4 magazines,” and “bring kit/body armor.”
However, the court documents do not indicate whether the LEGO set was deployed in tactical drills prior to the botched uprising.
The DOJ says that roughly 465 individuals have been arrested on charges related the events of Jan. 6.
Neptune, the Roman God of Water, ‘Emerges’ From Waves in Photo During UK Storm
If we were to believe our eyes, it would seem that the ancient Roman god of water himself made an appearance on the shores of New Haven, England, on a day of especially rough surf.
What appears to be the “face” of Neptune was captured on Tuesday when photographer Jeff Overs of the BBC was taking photos of waves crashing over the harbor wall in the port city.
Of course, one is free to believe that the ferocious deity emanated from the depths of the sea to remind us puny humans of his wrath.
But alas, it was likely a simple example of pareidolia – the phenomenon of seeing faces and figures in otherwise random or ambiguous everyday objects.
The photographer snapped the shot amid high tide and winds exceeding 50 miles per hour (80km/h), namely because of the violent nature of the shore.
“It’s become a popular location for photographers because the sea ‘boils’ in high wind against the sea wall,” Overs explained.
“The waves splash into the high wind and when blown back occasionally make patterns that look like ghoulish faces.”
Overs added that one of the small foreground waves even resembles a hand – albeit a pareidolic one.
“It’s a straight shot and I haven’t manipulated the image at all,” he added.
Lunar New Deal: GOP Lawmaker Suggests Altering Moon & Earth’s Orbit to Stop Climate Change
Texas Republican Congressman Louise Gohmert raised the eyebrows of his Congressional colleagues on Tuesday after seemingly suggesting that climate change could be combatted by changing the orbit of the moon, or even altering “Earth’s orbit around the sun.”
Gohmert, who has been decried as the “dumbest member of Congress” for his past absurdly anti-scientific comments regarding the ongoing pandemic and a number of other issues, has been a vocal opponent of progressive legislators’ attempts to put a “Green New Deal” on the government’s agenda.
However, his apparent suggestion of a “Lunar New Deal” to mitigate global warming could take the cake as his most hare-brained idea yet.
The comments came during a House Natural Resources Committee hearing on four pending bills while questioning Jennifer Eberlien of the Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service, reports NBC.
“I understand, from what’s been testified to the Forest Service and the B.L.M. [Bureau of Land Management], you want very much to work on the issue of climate change,” the Texas congressman began.
“I was informed by the immediate past director of NASA that they’ve found that the moon’s orbit is changing slightly and so is the Earth’s orbit around the sun,” he continued.
“We know there’s been significant solar flare activity,” Gohmert said. “And so, is there anything that the National Forest Service or B.L.M. can do to change the course of the moon’s orbit or the Earth’s orbit around the sun?”
“Obviously that would have profound effects on our climate,” the lawmaker added.
Responding, Eberlein said with a smile: “I would have to follow up with on you on that one, Mr. Gohmert.”
“If you figure out there’s a way in the forest service you could make that change, I’d like to know,” Gohmert responded, without any trace of irony.
Longtime critics of the conservative legislator were besides themselves with bewilderment and mockery over the out-of-this-world suggestion.
On the opposite side of the aisle California Democratic Congressman Ted Lieu suggested that perhaps Marvel Comics superheroine Captain Marvel was up to the task.
“She can alter planetary orbits with her superpowers. I’m going to work on a bipartisan resolution asking for her help,” Lieu wrote on Twitter.
According to NASA, the Earth’s climate has changed throughout history for various reasons, including small variations in the planet’s orbit.
However, the agency’s website notes that this doesn’t discount the fact that anthropogenic or human-caused activities are the culprit of the current warming.
“The current warming trend is of particular significance because most of it is extremely likely (greater than 95 percent probability) to be the result of human activity since the mid-20th century and proceeding at a rate that is unprecedented over millennia,” the site says.