Jim Bakker hosted Dr. Thomas Horn, the end-times "prophet" who believed Donald Trump could be the Messiah or a forerunner, for another wild-eyed prediction. This one, however, reinforces some current evangelicals' beliefs that the coronavirus vaccine is the "mark of the beast," giving them another reason to resist vaccination and continue the pandemic far longer than need be.
Horn has even written a book about this for his followers, entitled "The Wormwood Prophecy." In it, he claims that there is a massive coverup afoot by the government surrounding the asteroid named Apophis. Instead of passing near the Earth in 2029, Horn claims it will collide with Earth, fulfilling the prophecy in Revelation 8: “The third angel sounded his trumpet, and a great star, blazing like a torch, fell from the sky on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water— the name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters turned bitter, and many people died from the waters that had become bitter.”
Never mind that Revelation is full of symbolism and metaphor. For this guy, it's easy enough to make a "great star" into an asteroid, and rename it Wormwood, just like it is in Revelation.
But wait. There's more. Much, much more.
“I believe that Apophis is carrying an alien microorganism on it in which a virus is being sustained,” he told viewers. “I believe it’s going to make coronavirus look like a walk in the park. On impact with the Earth, the contagion that is going to be brought to this planet. … I think that it’s going to be a trigger event that ultimately leads to the Mark of the Beast, which will mean that you’re going to have to be vaccinated.”
Okay, let's just take a step back here and look at what he's really saying in his not-so-subtle way. It's no secret that the whole "Mark of the Beast" claim is already being used as an excuse for anti-vaccine zealots who also happen to be evangelical Christians.
It's also no secret that the greatest pocket of vaccine resistance right now is among evangelicals. So let's not pretend this man is talking about some future event in 2029 only -- this is also reinforces the current belief that they should not get the coronavirus vaccine too. There's no better time to spread some anti-vax fear than now for these whackos.
Horn wasn't finished: “A contagion during the Tribulation period could sweep the world. Literally tens of millions of people are dying by the hour, and an international cry goes up around the world for some kind of cure, a vaccine. Well, a man comes forward—a single individual who happens to be the Antichrist—and he’s the only man on Earth whose blood is naturally immune to this alien virus. And so a vaccine is created from his blood by which all mankind then are required to be inoculated. So, it’s almost like a black communion.”
I mean, this is not even a good sci-fi movie, much less some kind of fundamentalist wingnut fantasy. Maybe these so-called "Christians" should stick to caring for their fellow man instead of worrying about poor parsing of Biblical texts.