Right-wing pastor Jackson Lahmeyer – a candidate for the Republican nomination for United States Senate in Oklahoma – has begun selling religious exemptions to COVID-19 vaccines. Setting aside the fact that personal beliefs do not supersede science, Lahmeyer is exploiting the power of his pulpit to undermine public health, prolong the coronavirus pandemic, and profit off of propaganda-induced fear.
In a video posted to social media on Tuesday, Lahmeyer – whose campaign has been endorsed by the convicted felon and retired Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn – encouraged anti-vaxxers to virtually join his Sheridan Church congregation so that he could sign a vaccine exemption form for them.
“How do we make these exemption forms actually have some weight? I’ll sign as many as we need. You don’t have to become an in-person member of Sheridan. I mean, you don’t have to attend services in person at Sheridan. We need you to become an online member and that’s super simple,” Lahmeyer said.
His pitch, however, was clearly nothing more than a scheme to make money.
“So in order to become a member at Sheridan, it’s very simple in our by-laws. There’s two steps to become a member at Sheridan. This is in person. One, you have to attend on a regular basis, and two, you have to financially support the ministry. That’s how we determine membership at Sheridan. So simple. You attend, and you give. That’s in person,” he explained.
“Well, online membership is a little bit different because you can’t attend in person. You’re watching online, right? So how could you become an online member of Sheridan today so I could sign your exemption form. It carries some weight. Like I said, the first step is to have your pastor sign the exemption form. If your pastor refuses to sign that exemption form for you, I’m more than willing to do it. Here’s how you’ll become an online member of Sheridan today,” Laymeyer continued. “You’ll go to Sheridan.church, you go to the Facebook page. We need you to like the page. See, we’re gonna have to have proof that you’re a member of the church – online member. You’re gonna like the page and then you’re gonna make a one-time donation to it. You have to donate it. That’s how membership in our by-laws, in order for you to be a member, you have to attend and you have to give.”
Meanwhile, COVID-19 vaccines are free.
MAGA pastor Jackson Lahmeyer is now essentially selling religious exemptions, telling anyone who doesn't want to take a COVID vaccine to donate to his church in order to become an "online member" and then he'll sign an exemption form for them as their pastor. pic.twitter.com/Z0hTNb3vKt
— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) September 14, 2021
What's Your Reaction?
Brandon is a political writer for the Hill Reporter specializing in current events, breaking news, and scientific discovery. Brandon holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University. He lives in New York City.