There's a Measles Outbreak at Vaccine-Denying Pastor Kenneth Copeland's Fort Worth Church

KennethGloriaCopeland.jpg
Kenneth Copeland Ministries
Kenneth Copeland and wife Gloria on the set of their online TV show, Believers Voice of Victory
For several days now, state health officials have been sounding the alarm about a nascent measles outbreak in North Texas. As of Friday, there had been nine confirmed cases, a number that will grow as new reports from local health agencies filter up to the state.

The epicenter of the outbreak is Tarrant County, which has now confirmed 10 cases, and the epicenter of cases in Tarrant County seems to be at Eagle Mountain International Church.

Pastor Terri Copeland Pearsons delivered the news in a sermon last Wednesday:

There has been a ... confirmed case of the measles from the Tarrant County Public Health Department. And that is a really big deal in that America, the United States has been essentially measles free for I think it's 10 years. And so when measles pops up anywhere else in the United States, the health department -- well, you know, it excites them. You know what I mean I don't mean. I don't mean they're happy about it, but they get very excited and respond to it because it doesn't take much for things like that to spread.

The sermon was awkward, to say the least. Pearsons is the eldest daughter of megapastor Kenneth Copeland, and her church is one of the cornerstones of Kenneth Copeland Ministries, his sprawling evangelical empire. He's far from the most vocal proponent of the discredited theory that the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine causes autism, but, between his advocacy of faith healing and his promotion of the vaccine-autism link on his online talk show, he's not exactly urging his flock to get their recommended shots.

That left his daughter doing some nifty theological footwork in last week's sermon as she struggled to explain how believers should trust their health to both God and medical professionals.

There are a lot of people that think the Bible -- we talk about walking by faith -- it leaves out things such as, I don't know, people just get strange. But when you read the Old Testament, you find that it is full of precautionary measures, and it is full of the law.

Why did the Jewish people, why did they not die out during the plague? Because the Bible told them how to be clean, told them how to disinfect, told them there was something contagious. And the interesting thing of it, it wasn't a medical doctor per se who took care of those things, it was the priesthood. It was the ministers, it was those who knew how to take the promises of God as well as the commandments of God to take care of things like disinfection and so forth....

Many of the things that we have in medical practice now actually are things you can trace back into scripture. It's when we find out what's in the scripture that we have wisdom.

She concludes by announcing that the church was hosting a pair of free vaccination clinics and urging everyone to show up, advice that probably would have been more helpful two months ago.

On the next page is a taste of what it's like to be in Pastor Copeland's congregation.



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234 comments
nhalish
nhalish

pray  for me i need your prayes.i am a sinner of long long time .i fear evn god can not hear me.i am in rwanda .all doors are seemed to be closed i need your to god to forgive me.

mharris2012
mharris2012

I don't understand what's the big deal If there is no vaccination there I'm sure there is somewhere else to get a shot. They just want to pick on the man of God but nothing is said about the trash on these reality shows. Leave this man alone he comes across as being a descent man an his wife too.

dtmickelson
dtmickelson

Back in the 60's we almost looked forward to getting the measles because it meant we got to stay home from school, it wasn't a big deal, and parents didn't worry about it, it was a common childhood illness .

dtmickelson
dtmickelson

A lot of us came down with the measles in the 60's , and we almost looked forward to it because we got to stay home from school, parents weren't frightened either, it was a common childhood illness, it was not a big deal.

bwclark56
bwclark56

Are Kenneth Copeland and his wife vaccinated?

myrddin1
myrddin1

Well at least the victims will know whom to sue. If I recall correctly it is a crime to give out medical advice if you are not a doctor, so the state may want their pound of flesh as well, charging for any other victims he has indirectly created.

dallasgrl_in_tucson
dallasgrl_in_tucson

Besides notice the "quotes" I grabbed a quote from the article from Copeland's daughter.  The ignorance of people who are supposed to be religious leaders

wowinterdayz
wowinterdayz

Glory! Glory! Glory! Glory! GLORY! Yeah... Amen!  Turn off your pea-brained over analyzing and praise God!  Now give me your wallet. GLORY! GLORY! GLORY! GLORY!

Hey, I can see the upside to being a televangelist.  If you can find this many ridiculously stupid people to pay you to say "Glory" and "Amen" and call them "Pea-brained", you deserve to get rich off them.  Or jail time, I haven't quite decided yet...

Miss_H
Miss_H

There are repeated outbreaks of diseases such as measles, whooping cough, and rubella in developed nations and guess what?  Many of these outbreaks occur in ultra-religious communities where they believe that vaccines somehow contradict their faith.  These are entirely preventable diseases, and some children will die as a result.  Talk about child abuse, this is simply murder.  And what do you say to the devastated parents of an infant who died only because he was still to young to receive the vaccine, but there was an outbreak in his community because other people refused to vaccinate? It's an absolute scandal that people are permitted to not vaccinate their children for "faith-based" reasons.  Your "religious freedom" ends when you imperil the lives of others, including your own children, and that's exactly what's happening here.  Shame on these idiotic zealots.  They should be dragged into court and charged with reckless endangerment.

gebobs
gebobs

"Many of the things that we have in medical practice now actually are things you can trace back into scripture."

Oh yeah? Like what? Cripes, this is as deluded as the Muslims that try and tell me that the Koran predicted quantum mechanics and dark matter. The Bible is so chock full of unscientific nonsense that I am tempted to mistrust any good advice it gives.

But if you trust in your scriptures so much, why go to vaccines now? Seems to me that science left your superstition behind long ago. Hey, but don't let that stop you from lining your pockets.

playswithknives
playswithknives

Pray in one hand and shit in the other - see which one gets full first.

dndminty
dndminty

Religion - Together we can find a cure

Boone
Boone

Jews were just as badly affected by the Black Death as everyone else, there is no data to back up what she is saying.


Boone
Boone

Jews were just as badly affected by the Black Death as everyone else, there is no data to back up what she is saying.


shortstak666
shortstak666

That first video is truly horrifying!! So many sheeple... bless their hearts!

windsurfer
windsurfer

These people breed and they vote.

cherryheaven2001
cherryheaven2001

Making snide comments without showing your face shows everyone what a piece of s*it chicken you are. Be a man/woman and stand up for what you believe in and say.

redwormcharlie
redwormcharlie

Good, I hope they keep believing that way, let Darwin sort em out.

snortdorf
snortdorf

Chances that god exists 0.000000000000001

wildweed
wildweed

This is how nature strengthens the human gene pool, by removing brainless twits from the face of the earth so they can no longer introduce bad seed.

windyriverkid
windyriverkid

" Many of the things that we have in medical practice now actually are things you can trace back into scripture. It's when we find out what's in the scripture that we have wisdom." - right...when was the last time your doctor wrote you a prescription for an exorcism?

nike.chillemi
nike.chillemi

@myrddin1 I recall that broadcast. He wasn't giving out medical advice. It was a bit of a rant by a grandfather alarmed at the number of vaccines his newborn grandchild had to have. It was one to two sentences in what was a 90 minute sermon that had nothing to do with vaccines or the medical profession. I can't recall a single sermon by either of the Copelands centered on medicine. Gloria does preach a lot on healing, but not against medicine. She recently mentioned going for her annual physical.

bbrown0216
bbrown0216

What do you say to the parents whose child dies from a seizure induced by a vaccine? Do you cry murder ?

bbrown0216
bbrown0216

Or the fact that it was probably a vaccinated child who carried the virus and passed it to an unvaccinated child.

illunz
illunz

@gebobs What she is referring to is essentially quarantine and sanitation procedure. It is listed in the Bible in a very clear parallel to modern practices. Obviously, the technology has changed, so rather than isolating the potentially diseased ("unclean") for long periods, we can test, sanitize, and medicate, but the Biblical version has better sanitary precautions than medicine up through the first world war. The old Jewish laws also included a healthy diet, sanitary separation of food products, avoiding likely sources of food poisoning, and many other rules we would think of as health-conscious if it came from someone in the modern era rather than a religious text. It even tells people who to go to for certain ailments, which at the time were the closest thing to the appropriate medical professionals.

And it isn't surprising either. They lived in a theocracy. All laws came from God through their rulers and prophets, including their equivalent to the CDC guidelines.

Nothing in the scripture says not to seek out modern professionals either. The vast majority of Christians go to the same doctors and get the same vaccines as everyone else. Modern western medicine is still mostly staffed and funded by people of the same faith heritage and the majority of these vaccines in the US are distributed and promoted by Christians.

This little rant of yours is not only demonstrating gross ignorance on your part, but bigotry, and it is a reminder that bad behavior is independent of faith.

RandySmith
RandySmith

@Boone Actually, the Jews at the time of the Bubonic plague lived (by force) segregated in ghettos.  That is the origin of our word ghetto -- it's where Jews were made to live. There were curfews -- Jews weren't allowed out into the "Christian" parts of the cities after certain times.  For reasons that are anything but certain, when the plague would first strike a given area, it struck all populations but struck the Jewish ghettos with less initial intensity. As a result, in many places Christians made up hateful baloney, such as that the black plague came from Jews poisoning Christian well water.  There were many massacres of entire Jewish populations based on the unfounded accusation that the Jews had poisoned the Christians' wells. Obviously, that was not the source of the plague.  This crazy woman's riff on that history is a bunch of bunk.  

RandySmith
RandySmith

@BooneActually, the Jews at the time of the Bubonic plague lived (by force) segregated in ghettos.  That is the origin of our word ghetto -- it's where Jews were made to live. There were curfews -- Jews weren't allowed out into the "Christian" parts of the cities after certain times.  For reasons that are anything but certain, when the plague would first strike a given area, it struck all populations but struck the Jewish ghettos with less initial intensity. As a result, in many places Christians made up hateful baloney, such as that the black plague came from Jews poisoning Christian well water.  There were many massacres of entire Jewish populations based on the unfounded accusation that the Jews had poisoned the Christians' wells. Obviously, that was not the source of the plague.  This crazy woman's riff on that history is a bunch of bunk.  

RandySmith
RandySmith

@BooneActually, the Jews at the time of the Bubonic plague lived (by force) segregated in ghettos.  That is the origin of our word ghetto -- it's where Jews were made to live. There were curfews -- Jews weren't allowed out into the "Christian" parts of the cities after certain times.  For reasons that are anything but certain, when the plague would first strike a given area, it struck all populations but struck the Jewish ghettos with less initial intensity. As a result, in many places Christians made up hateful baloney, such as that the black plague came from Jews poisoning Christian well water.  There were many massacres of entire Jewish populations based on the unfounded accusation that the Jews had poisoned the Christians' wells. Obviously, that was not the source of the plague.  This crazy woman's riff on that history is a bunch of bunk.  

ebailey75057
ebailey75057

Snortdorf

If God; in your opinion, doesn't exist then explain how and when the first instance of "It" was created.  What I mean by that is what was the first thing in existence that could be called or identified as "It" as "it" is an electron or "it" is a planet.  Scientist can explain that the Universe was created by the "Big Bang".  But what scientist  can't explain is what and where the material came from that  the "Big Bang"  was comprised of.  Would be intersted in your explanation. 

illunz
illunz

@snortdorf Based on the rectal retrieval method of science.

The reality is, we have no method for determining probability on the subject. Believing, or not believing, is purely up to the person. Spouting faux statistics to support your anti-theistic belief is no better than the Creationists and their 6,000 year old dinosaur bones.

nickreichart
nickreichart

@wildweed these are mostly children, mere collateral damage to religious brainwashing

carmenslade
carmenslade

@bbrown0216 First of all, you prove that the seizure was induced by a vaccine. When that fails, you just repeat it anyway because the truth and accuracy don't matter when you're a proud ignoranus.

Miss_H
Miss_H

@bbrown0216You say: I'm so sorry your child had an exceedingly rare reaction to a vaccine.  The benefits of vaccines are so enormous that they far outweigh the statistical risk of a fatal reaction.

"Severe allergic reactions may be life-threatening. Fortunately, they are rare, occurring at a rate of less than one in half a million doses. The risk of an allergic reaction can be minimized by good screening prior to vaccination." - Centers for Disease Control

carmenslade
carmenslade

@bbrown0216 That's not how it works. How about informing yourself instead of flaunting your pathetic and broad ignorance on the World Wide Web for all to see?


Miss_H
Miss_H

@bbrown0216 You need to read up on the facts of disease transmission.  And by the way measles is extremely contagious.  There's good reason for the Texas Health Department to be tracking this outbreak with great care.  In fact, situations like this are one of the primary reasons we have health departments - to try and prevent/limit outbreaks of serious and potentially fatal diseases.

Miss_H
Miss_H

@bbrown0216 vaccinated people do not "carry the virus".  So no, not "probably" at all.

SkeptimusPrime
SkeptimusPrime

@bbrown0216 In the voice of the news monster from Futurama. 

That is not how vaccines work...GOOD NIGHT.

nike.chillemi
nike.chillemi

@illunz @gebobs The Copelands talk a lot about a healthy diet. They encourage eating organic as much as possible, natural products, locally grown and growing your own vegetables organically. They do not "teach" this as part of their theological teaching. After talking about eating healthy food without added hormones and chemicals, I've heard Gloria say, "All right, I'll get off my soapbox now and get back to my topic."

The vast majority of congregants in the Copelands' church go to doctors and get all the proscribed vaccines.

AB1965
AB1965

@illunz @gebobs   The old testament restrictions that required Jews not to eat certain things and to circumcise baby boys clearly came out of medical needs of the time back when there wasn't such a thing as refrigeration to keep food from spoiling and they had tribes traveling in a desert who didn't have water to wash, leading to infections.  

The rules of Moses and of their Rabbis on these topics were the best science advice of the time.  We live in a different civilization now and no longer have the same medical need to avoid eating shellfish and pork or to automatically circumcise healthy baby boys at birth.  I believe the medical advice given out by the clergy of the time was done with best intent.  Shamans of old were practitioners of medicine, such as it was at the time, and the faith portion was due to so many things not yet being understood.

I have no problem accepting that portions of the bible were an attempt at a historical record of family lineage and a travelogue.  This family diary included disputes and feuds and of course was written by descendants of the victor more often than the vanquished (and then mis-translated into the current English version of the bible by religionists with an agenda).  Like any history, portions are fact and portions are fiction and portions are wishful thinking.  Like any history, it's best to leave it in the past and focus on TODAY and reality and the scientific world we live in, not try to force upon the masses someone's misguided misinterpretation of what an ancient fictional character called God was quoted as saying by a stone age "witness" who didn't have the literate ability to write it down at the time but someone 45 generations later "found the evidence" and wrote a testament that we are supposed to take as "gospel".  No thanks.

Now if medical science could only invent a vaccination to eradicate religion!  Religion is a far worse pandemic disease than cancer.

kvh0
kvh0

@illunz @gebobs if this was true people would've been cleaning their hands and not pooping in their drinking water long before the 19th century

teknikalkicks
teknikalkicks

@ebailey75057 And scientists continue to try and figure it out.  It's the open minded that says "We don't know, but we strive to find out."  The closed minded theist says "Well...duh!  God!"  If we lived in a world where everything that was unknown was left at the "God did it!" explanation, we'd be quite the pathetic society! There would be no internet for you to ask such silly questions for one!

GreyLion
GreyLion

@ebailey75057Your paragraph is what's known as the Cosmological Argument. It's a broken thing, used only by theists who are unable to understand logic, and instead just spout things they've heard. Go here for a thorough shredding of the CA, if you dare:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmological_argument

Cordyceps
Cordyceps

@Miss_H @bbrown0216  I think you might need to brush up on your knowledge of disease transmission! Of course vaccinated people can get these illnesses and pass them on. It is simply that the vaccinated have an increased likelihood of destroying the pathogen before it causes deadly symptoms in them.

Petronius
Petronius

@kvh0 @illunz @gebobs it is true.  This isn't a faith issue, you can read the old testament and find loads of stuff on sanitation and health issues.  It doesn't mean people followed it.  You can also find loads of stuff on when to stone people to death :/ 

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