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Louisiana pastor Tony Spell, who was recently released from an East Baton Rouge jail after being arrested on charges of alleged assault with a deadly weapon, is refusing to back down on holding church services despite his state’s executive order that bans churches from doing so.
He’s so defiant, in fact, that during a packed service on Sunday at his Life Tabernacle Church, he propped one leg up on a speaker, raising a pant leg to show parishioners his ankle monitor (he’s under house arrest) DailyMail reports.
“We’re not hiding anymore,” he told parishioners. “It’s a dirty rotten shame when you have to hide in America.”
He admitted he drove the church’s bus toward a man who was protesting his decision to keep the church open during the state’s pandemic lockdown and was subsequently arrested. Spell is now under house arrest after posting bail.
During Sunday’s service, at least 100 people showed up. All were standing close together and only a few people wore masks. Despite that, Spell claimed parishioners were practicing social distancing, saying at one point “if you ain’t from the same house, don’t touch.”
“God gave you an immune system to kill that virus,” Spell said, adding that Americans are “prisoners in their own homes.”
“People are losing their collective minds,” he said. “People are bewitched. People are bewildered. People are confused. …”Come out of your hiding America.”
More than 27,000 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Louisiana, resulting in nearly 1700 deaths according to the Louisiana Department of Health.