An evangelical pastor who “laid hands” on and prayed over Donald Trump in 2017 said that only “pansies” would avoid shaking hands during the coronavirus pandemic.
Rodney Howard-Browne, pastor of The River at Tampa Bay church in Florida, was caught on video telling members of his church to shake hands with several people around them, admonishing those who were afraid by indirectly calling them pansies.
Right-wing pastor Rodney Howard-Browne is not about to cancel church or prevent congregants from shaking hands because they are not a bunch of “pansies.” pic.twitter.com/C36kBIEWqF
— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) March 15, 2020
Howard-Browne, who is originally from South Africa, told his flock that public health officials “don’t want us to do this, but just turn around and greet two, three people.”
He said that no one should be afraid of all that contact during a global pandemic because the church “has to be the safest place.”
“If you cannot be saved in church, you in serious trouble,” he joked. He assured his followers that his church would only close “when the Rapture is taking place.”
“This Bible school is open because we’re raising up revivalists, not pansies.”