San Antonio megachurch pastor John Hagee contracted COVID-19 back in October after hosting numerous indoor church services that were lax on pandemic guidelines. Speaking to his congregation in November after he recovered, he suggested to his followers that their faith in Jesus is enough to protect them from the virus.
"I bring under the authority of Jesus Christ every sickness and every disease and especially the COVID thing that's sweeping this nation," he said at the time. "We have a vaccine. The name is Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God. Let Him sweep through this country and heal the righteous who dare to ask for it. Heal our church members. Restore them rapidly. Let the name of Jesus Christ be exalted, because He is Lord over all."
Nevertheless, Hagee went ahead and got the COVID vaccine, according to a statement to ABC News from his church -- a move that his hometown newspaper the San Antonio Current slammed as the epitome of hypocrisy.
"While it's true that prayer and medicine aren't mutually exclusive, that certainly wasn't the message Hagee was sharing with his flock last fall," the Current's Sanford Nowlin writes. "After contracting COVID-19, the 80-year-old pastor seemed to imply that Jesus' blessing was all it took to beat the pandemic."
"One only needed to tune in Cornerstone's Sunday broadcasts to see how Pastor Assclown's followers read that message," Nowlin added. "Largely unmasked, they sat crowded together in the pews as a huge choir belted out praise songs."