Marcus Lamb, the evangelical founder of the Texas-based Christian television network Daystar, died on November 30. In an example of extreme cosmic irony/justice/retribution/satire, the cause was a virulent case of infection from the Wuhan virus. The previously healthy (though he had diabetes) 64-year-old was unvaccinated, and indeed was a vocal antivaxxer. Lamb, his wife (they were a Jim and Tammy-style team) and other Daystar broadcasters have been opposing the pandemic vaccines, presumably influencing many of the more than 108 million households the network reaches via cable TV providers to do likelwise On May 10, for example, the Lambs claimed that the vaccines “killed your immune system.”
“We want to warn you, we want to help you, we want to give you an alternative,” Lamb said. The alternatives he recommended were ivermectin, budesonide and hydroxychloroquine, all drugs that have not been proven to be effective or safe in the treatment of the virus, and, naturally, prayer.
Well, as Old Lodgeskins memorably says in “Little Big Man,” “Sometimes the magic works, sometimes it doesn’t.”
What is the ethical reaction to Lamb’s death? One ethical reaction is to report it. Most conservative news sources have not, including popular websites like “Instapundit” and Breitbart. Many of the mainstream media sources, in contrast, as well as social media wags, are doing their best Nelson Muntz impressions…
Here’s the CBS News headline, for example: “Marcus Lamb, head of televangelist network that spreads COVID misinformation, dies of COVID-19.” Publicizing Lamb’s death is now deemed an effective way of rebutting vaccine hesitancy.
Of course, the fact that the religious leader died of the virus rather than being hit by a bus is moral luck and nothing else. His fate doesn’t prove he was wrong, any more than the rare cases of vaccinated individuals becoming ill with the virus proves that the vaccines don’t work. However, it certainly adds to the mountain of evidence that already indicated that Lamb didn’t know what the hell he was talking about.
Lamb was holding himself up as an authority to those who trusted him, and he abused his influence and power. Faith is swell: if an evangelical minister promotes prayer as one way to keep a pandemic at bay, that is his right. Using his video pulpit to persuade people not to get vaccinated in the midsts of a global pandemic is very different, and irresponsible.
Jonathan Lamb, the minister’s son, said last week that his father’s death had resulted from “a spiritual attack from the enemy.”
Or maybe God decided that enough was enough.