PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A Pittsburgh-area pastor says he plans to organize an outdoor “Woodstock”-like Easter service to protest the stay-at-home orders to prevent coronavirus.
Conservative Christian Pastor Jonathan Shuttlesworth made the announcement on social media Tuesday.
“I’m gonna announce it. We’re gonna hold an outdoor Easter blowout service. Not online. A national gathering. You come from all over, like Woodstock. And we’re gonna gather and lift up Jesus Christ,” Shuttlesworth says.
The Rodney Howard-Browne Tribute Special https://t.co/uSe5qrFvdd
— Jonathan Shuttlesworth (@JDShuttlesworth) April 1, 2020
His announcement comes following the arrests of several pastors in the U.S. for violating the stay-at-home orders.
Shuttlesworth is a televangelist who co-founded Revival Today TV, and is based in Washington County.
Shuttlesworth met with KDKA on Wednesday for an interview in the South Hills.
But when KDKA arrived, he backed off his promise for the interview.
“Not answering any questions,” Shuttlesworth said. “Interview’s over.”
Shuttlesworth then returned a few minutes later with a couple of handlers.
He promptly asked the cameras to be turned off.
Shuttlesworth: We’re by a dumpster. This isn’t a professional interview. You know that?
KDKA’s Paul Martino: You agreed to meet us here.
Shuttlesworth: And I met you. I didn’t agree to come on camera or record.
He also said he’d practice social distancing at his “Woodstock” service.
“When I said a Woodstock-style gathering, I meant because people will drive from all over the country, that want to celebrate Easter. I didn’t mean we were going to roll around in the mud and do LSD.
This isn’t the first time Shuttlesworth has made headlines.
Earlier this month he called out European churches that are taking measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
“Shame on every European full gospel church, bunch of sissies, that shut down during this thing,” Shuttlesworth said. “If you’re putting out pamphlets and telling everybody to use Purell before they come into the sanctuary and don’t greet anyone, you should just turn in your ministry credentials and burn your church down — turn it into a casino or something,” he said on social media. “You’re a loser. Bunch of pansies. No balls. Got neutered somewhere along the line and don’t even realize it.”
Right-wing evangelist Jonathan Shuttlesworth has no time for "loser" pastors who are canceling services because of the coronavirus, saying they should instead be holding mass gatherings to demonstrate the power of their faith. pic.twitter.com/XNXJ89AE32
— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) March 11, 2020
He also said KDKA took his quotes out of context when he said people who use hand sanitizer were “pansies.”
“I’m thinking you’re splicing a bunch of things I said together that you got from people that don’t like me,” Shuttlesworth told KDKA.
The pastor also claims that coronavirus prevention is the work of the devil.
“Let me tell you if the devil doesn’t want there to be mass gatherings — it’s time to hold mass gatherings. If I lived in Italy I would call an open-air crusade to pray for the sick. If you have to go to jail, go to jail.”