Millions are out of work, but this homophobic preacher wants his followers to give their stimulus cheques to his church

Pastor Tony Spell anti-LGBT coronavirus COVID-19

22 million people in the United States are out of work due to the coronavirus pandemic. Despite this, a preacher is asking his followers to donate their stimulus cheques to his church.

Pastor Tony Spell made the request in a bizarre video uploaded to YouTube where he called his “campaign” the #PastorSpellStimulusChallenge.

Apparently assuming that everyone has enough money to get by without stimulus cheques, Pastor Spell asked people to hand over all their money to his and other churches.

“Three rules,” Spell said in the video. “Number one, April 19, 2020, it begins. Number two, donate your stimulus money. Number three, donate it to Evangelists, North American Evangelists who haven’t had an offering in a month.”

Pastor Tony Spell asked people to donate their coronavirus stimulus cheques to his church, and the backlash was blistering.

He continued: “I’m donating my entire stimulus, $1,200. My wife is donating her stimulus, $1,200. My son is donating his stimulus, $600.”

Spell concluded the video by telling people who “don’t have a church” to donate to his church through his website.

The video has gone viral, but for all the wrong reasons. It has had more than 230,000 views since it was uploaded two days ago (April 15).

13,000 YouTube viewers down-voted it while just 134 gave the video a thumbs up, expressing just how poorly received his plea was.

One commenter wrote: “Why do so many ‘Christian’ pastors spend so much time trying to scam their congregations?”

Another said: “Hope this guy goes bankrupt and has to eat ‘thoughts and prayers’ for dinner. Nothing is as gross as this.”

Meanwhile, another disgruntled viewer said: “There’s a special place in hell for those who take advantage of the needy.”

The pastor is facing six misdemeanour charges after he hosted a church service despite coronavirus measures.

This is not the first time Spell has faced controversy since the coronavirus pandemic hit the United States.

On March 31, he ignored Louisiana’s ban on large public gatherings and hosted a church service that was attended by 1,800 people. He was later charged with six misdemeanours by police for flouting coronavirus measures.

But that didn’t put a stop to him. Less than a week later, he hosted another church service that was attended by hundreds of people.

In an interview with TMZ, Spell insisted that “true Christians don’t mind dying of the coronavirus” and said his congregation was happy to bear the risk.

“The Bible teaches us to be absent from our bodies as to be present with the Lord,” said Spell, in a video interview with TMZ.

Responding to criticism that he is putting his congregation at risk of contracting COVID-19 by continuing to hold services despite the ban on public gatherings, Spell said: “Like any zealot or like any pure religious person, death looks to them like a welcome friend.”

Tony Spell once said same-sex attraction is ‘unnatural’.

Few will be surprised to learn that Spell also holds anti-LGBT+ views and aligns himself with the Louisiana Family Forum, which LGBT+ campaigners in the state have branded a homophobic hate group.

A blog in Spell’s name, updated from 2015 to 2016, linked an embrace of homosexuality to the sins of humanity prior to the Genesis flood in the Bible, insisting that it’s “unnatural for boys to be attracted to boys, and girls to girls”.

It also compared gay weddings to polygamy, adding: “Same sex marriage gives the benefit of sexual pleasure and marital rights, while separating themselves from the responsibility of reproduction.”