Right-wing televangelist Kenneth Copeland is begging viewers to send him cash to support his private jet so he won’t have to deal with coronavirus vaccine mandates to travel, which he called “the mark of the beast.”
Copeland, who in the past has claimed that he needed a private jet to avoid “demons” on commercial flights, made the claim during his “VICTORYthon” fundraiser on Tuesday.
“You get into this situation, ‘We’re not gonna let you fly unless you’re vaccinated,’” he said. “Well, to me, that’s the mark of the beast.”
Copeland added that it wasn’t the vaccine itself that was the mark of the beast.
“Not the vaccination,” he said. “I’m not taking the vaccination, but you can do what you wanna do.”
He didn’t elaborate, yet the implication was that it was the requirement to be vaccinated that was the mark of the beast.
The notion comes from the Book of Revelation in the New Testament, which states: “No one can buy or sell who does not have the mark” ― a name or number of the beast ― on the forehead or right hand.
“Let anyone with understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a person,” the book states. “Its number is six hundred sixty-six.”
— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) September 22, 2021
Copeland’s wife and fellow minister, Gloria Copeland, made headlines in 2018 with an anti-vaxxer rant of her own, telling her flock not to get the flu shot.
“Inoculate yourself with the word of God,” she said, adding that the flu could be prevented by repeating: “I’ll never have the flu. I’ll never have the flu.”
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.