Shane Vaughn spread vaccine misinformation on his First Harvest Ministries broadcast / Image via Pexels

Creep of the Week: Shane Vaughn

There are two things I need to say right up front. One, getting a COVID-19 vaccine is a safe and effective way to prevent yourself and others from getting really sick and possibly dying. Two, no good conversation ever starts with, Im going to tell you what God told me to tell you.”

But thats how right-wing extremist pastor Shane Vaughn began his diatribe of vaccine misinformation on his First Harvest Ministries broadcast on Aug. 27.

Im going to tell you what God told me to tell you,” Vaughn says, sitting in front of a bookshelf displaying a framed 1776” placard next to a wedding photo. To his left is a print of The Prayer at Valley Forge” — you know, the painting of George Washington kneeling in the snow by a horse. Trust me, youve seen it.

“If youre one of those thats trusting in anything besides God,” Vaughn says, let me tell you something. Theyve got variants coming that aint no vaccine going to work for. This nation is under the judgment of God. And I want to tell you something right now: Theyre already admitting that the vaccine is alarmingly not working. Alarmingly! Theyre alarmed at what theyre seeing.”

OK, thats a lot to unpack.

Lets start with his claim about COVID-19 variants for which there are no vaccines. That sounds scary! Because it is! Is it true, though? Well, yes and no. Vaughn has no idea what hes talking about — he just wants people to be afraid. And in a pandemic, there is definitely an amount of fear thats healthy to have, and ideally, that fear would help to motivate you to make good choices to keep you and your family safe, including getting vaccinated.

Unfortunately, anti-vaxers and right-wing extremists who think that mass death is a great way to own the libs (which, by the way, includes the entire Republican party at this point) continue to push misinformation about vaccines in order to drive vaccination rates down. So, while Vaughn wants you to think that God is going to send new deadly variants to smite you, we can actually blame vaccine deniers, refusers, and liars. Its when not enough people are vaccinated that a virus can run wild and free and become more contagious and deadly.

Vaughn also claims that the vaccines we already have arent working, which is not true. Weve got safe and effective vaccines. The delta variant is bad news, for sure, and vaccinated people can still get sick. But the majority of people who are being hospitalized and dying are people who are not vaccinated. Overwhelmingly.

As Andy Slavitt, a health care advisor in the Biden Administration put it, the vaccine isnt like sunscreen, blocking the virus from getting into your body. The vaccine works from inside your body to fight the virus should you get exposed.

Anyway, you might be wondering why Vaughn thinks God is wreaking so much havoc.

Do you know why?” he asks. Because America, youre making a huge mistake.”

That huge mistake is trusting science over God, apparently. He quotes the Bible to argue that asking anyone for help other than God is NOT OKAY.

Why do you need their help when I am the Lord your God, hallelujah?!” God hypothetically asks us. When I alone give you life or call for you to die?”

Vaughn makes God sound like a violently abusive boyfriend.

They have nothing thats gonna help my judgment that is coming upon this nation. The only help for the child of God in this hour is the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ,” Vaughn continues. You better learn that, and you better learn it fast, or youre gonna chase vaccines until there aint no vaccines left. I dont care if you got one. Go for it. God bless you if thats your choice. But Im telling you if thats where your faith is, youre going to be in for a big disappointment.”

And now, for the big reveal. The reason why God is so mad at us. You already know what it is.

These vaccines are gonna quit working on every corner until this nation falls to her knees and repents for dead babies and repents for the sodomy of this nation!” he yells.

Its so weird that Christian extremists think that science is anti-God. Like, why not look at science as the work of God through really smart humans? You can literally have your God and your vaccine, too.

And if you really want to blame it all on gays, fine. Were used to it. But while youre yelling about the homosexual COVID agenda, get the damn shot to cover your bases.

D’Anne Witkowski is a writer living in Michigan with her wife and son. She has been writing about LGBTQ+ politics for nearly two decades. Follow her on Twitter @MamaDWitkowski.