Tennessee county mayor won't mandate masks until the 'Holy Spirit' moves him

As coronavirus cases increase in Tennessee's Lincoln County, the county mayor says he won't issue a mask mandate until the "Holy Spirit" moves him, AL.com reports.

Mayor Bill Newman insists he's not anti-science, but he just doesn't feel he should mandate people wearing masks "at this time."

Newman said he looks to God for guidance when it comes to big decisions, and that guidance comes from the Holy Spirit.

“The Holy Spirit dwells within us,” Newman said. “It’s a heart thing. It’s not a mind thing. But you’re using all your God-given (talents), your physical or mental or spiritual, all those things. When I pray for guidance, I may not know the answer immediately.”

But according to the administrator of the 286-member MaskUpLincolnCounty Facebook group, Newman's stance is frustrating county residents.

“There’s a lot of anger,” Kay Campbell said. “People feel like there’s a chance for leadership and he’s not taking it and he’s ducking behind the Holy Spirit. We have all talked to the Holy Spirit and gotten different ideas.”

“It’s such an easy thing for people to do and it’s effective,” Campbell said of masks. “It bugs me that with such a sneaky disease that people are not willing to do this.”