A man suffering from the flu

The flu kills between 12,000 and 56,000 people in the U.S. a year, according to the CDC. This year’s flu season has been particularly brutal.


Got a fever? Aching muscles? Stuck in bed for days on end?

Well, it’s that time of the year – flu season. Or is it?

According to popular Texas televangelist Gloria Copeland, there’s not such thing as a flu season. Despite an overwhelming medical consensus from physicians, and a particularly nasty strain of the disease making the rounds this year, Copeland insists the flu season is a myth. “We got a duck season, a deer season, but we don’t have a flu season,” she argues.

In a video posted on Facebook, Copeland urges her followers to trust in the power of prayer and the ability of Jesus to keep them healthy. See the full video here:


The way Copeland sees it, the trick to getting back on your feet is just a little positive thinking and studying the “word of God.” As she puts it:

“If you say, ‘Well, I don’t have any symptoms of the flu,’ well, great! That’s the way it’s supposed to be. Just keeping saying that. ‘I’ll never have the flu. I’ll never have the flu.’ Put words. Inoculate yourself with the word of God.”

The flu kills between 12,000 and 56,000 people in the U.S. a year, according to the CDC. This year’s flu season has been particularly brutal, and early estimates are leaning toward the high end. Experts point out that 80 percent of those who died chose not to get the vaccine.

The flu shot is never a silver bullet guarantee, but it can certainly help. In fact, the data suggest that even when not fully effective, vaccinations can make the flu milder – which sometimes means the difference between life and death.

person receiving flu shotHistory of Faulty Faith Healing

Copeland, who served as an evangelical advisor to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, is no stranger to the concept of faith healing. She once bragged to journalists in 2010 that neither she nor her husband Kenneth Copeland (also a televangelist) need prescription drugs because “the Lord heals all”.

But that hasn’t always been the case.

Back in 2013, the couple’s blatant disregard for medical science resulted in serious consequences. After repeatedly assuring their followers that vaccines were dangerous and God would protect them, the Copeland’s North Texas megachurch became the center of a nasty measles outbreak. 21 members were infected with the contagious disease.

Apparently, God took the day off.

Former church member Amy Arden became disillusioned by this blind adherence to the idea of faith healing. Reflecting on her time in the church, she explains: “To get a vaccine would have been viewed by me and my friends and my peers as an act of fear — that you doubted God would keep you safe.”

Curing Cancer with God’s Word

It wasn’t the first time Gloria Copeland’s views on faith healing have been criticized. During a sermon on cancer treatment a while back, she seemed to suggest that God was the most effective cure.

“We know what’s wrong with you. You’ve got cancer,” Copeland told the audience. “The bad news is we don’t know what to do about it — except give you some poison that will make you sicker. Do you want to do that, or do you want to sit in here on a Saturday morning, hear the word of God, and let faith come into your heart and be healed?”

Your thoughts?

39 comments

  1. Willie says:

    What a load of crap.

    I suppose the world is flat, and man has never been to the moon, either.

    1. Jim says:

      I agree with Willie. God is there for us but the old saying God helps those that help themselves. Medicine and knowledge was put here by God. Its up to us to find it and make it work for mankind. God is not going to do everything for us.

      1. bob says:

        The Bible does NOT teach; ‘God helps those that help themselves’. God helps those who CAN’T help themselves and turn to Him. If we could solve all our problems, why need a God?

        1. Willie says:

          Indeed, we can’t solve all our problems, but He gave us vaccines to help us along!

          1. Carl Elfstrom says:

            As a religionist I believe in the power of belief and faith. I also believe in the natural laws of the universe. Through the law of a attraction if we believe strongly enough in having good health, and give ourselves positive affirmations, there’s a much greater chance of us staying healthy. I also believe in prayer and spell casting. Whatever energy we put out, whether it be positive or negative, will come back to us. Doing it through a deity which we believe in, by whatever name we call it, often makes the process easier. And when energy is put forth by two or more people at the same time and in the same way the power is amplified. I also believe we are what we eat. Eating the right amounts of wholesome and nutritious food makes us feel good, and can even prevent influenza. Especially the kinds of food which are high in zinc help us avoid catching colds and flu. One good choice of that is old fashioned outmeal. You can call it Jesus if you want, but it really doesn’t matter, as long as you’re putting the right substances in your body which contribute to good health, such as food and positive thinking. Our bodies and minds work together.

        2. Jim says:

          I don’t think I said the Bible teaches that. I said the old saying. Take a minute and read the words and don’t assume. As for solving all our problems I don’t think that is what God does. I think he gave us free will and a lot of our problems are self inflicted. I think he tries to show us the way much like the bible tries to teach us. We don’t always follow.

        3. Carl Elfstrom says:

          Faith without works is dead. God will contribute to helping us when asked in the right way while we are working to help ourselves, but if you’re abusing yourself don’t expect God to do the opposite. Whatever energy we extend will come back to us. It is a very simple and natural process.

        4. Jim says:

          Not sure why this did not post yesterday so I will try again. Bob I did not say the “bible teaches” god helps those that help themselves I said the “old saying.” Try and read the words and not assume. God put medicine and knowledge here for us and free will to choose. I think that if we have the ability to solve our own problems god would want us to do so. Much like a parent with a child you let them work things out on there own first before you jump in.

        5. Carl Elfstrom says:

          The Bible sucks!!! Can’t you think of a better religious book to quote than one written mostly by unmedicated, delusional schizophrenics?

          1. Kathy says:

            Interesting the original email this article was attached to speaks of “standing up for what you believe in”……….I guess that’s unless it’s the Bible. Hmmmm……How hypocritical this site is.

    2. Carl Elfstrom says:

      I think faith alone could possibly heal people, but it would take a lot more faith than by far most people could ever possibly muster. People who have naturally poor immune systems, or don’t do a good job of taking care of themselves better bank on the flu shot every year, and hope for the best. They might try faith healing in conjunction with that. It might help, and certainly wouldn’t hurt. I don’t think Copeland is a licensed healthcare professional,and giving healthcare advice to people that kills them might be legal grounds for their families to sue her.I hope they speak with licensed attorneys about that. Being broke and having such a negative judgement against her will follow her for the rest of her life, and keep her off the air, where she doesn’t belong.

  2. John Eftimiades says:

    Let’s see how quickly she and her spouse find their way to the best physicians and hospitals when their health becomes compromised. Let me guess, they would say, ” I heard a voice and it was God. He told me to go to these doctors and hospitals and by his blessing, they would cure me”. Same old same old. Ignorance breeds ignorance and their will always be wolves to look after the flock.

  3. Clay says:

    Lord…you have accomplished all we have done.
    Isaiah 26:12

    Think about it….

  4. Marilyn says:

    Ignorance to highest degree

  5. janice Ellery says:

    God can also work thru physicians and modern medicine. Even clergy I know who believe in faith healing don’t advocate people reject all medical care. It is sort of like the ones who think they can handle poison snakes and not be bit.

  6. William Waugh says:

    More clear evidence that in the modern scientific era, some folks just can’t get past the old “sky god” thingie. Jeez people, if you are going to have a sky god you will likely eventually discover that he was an astronaut.

  7. rch says:

    Judging from another ULCM mailing today, her kind of God is pre-occupied with winning of championship football games and far too busy to heal millions of flu sufferers. . . . I don’t know which is more appalling about Copeland: the ignorance of her message? or the extreme parochialism of her version of religion? Actually, it’s even more shocking that people believe and follow the charlatan’s doctrine. Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised when we remember that not too long ago a sect leader named Jim convinced an entire community to drink fatal doses of poisoned soft drink. Although gifted with amazing intelligence we remain a strange, inexplicable species.

    1. Carl Elfstrom says:

      Most people don’t seem very intelligent to me. I bet I could sell most of them coastal resort property in Montana, especially if I first convince them God lead me directly to them.

      1. Carl Elfstrom says:

        It would be even easier to get most people to drink Kool-aid or eat pudding, solely as a way of reducing over population, but I wouldn’t have any along with them. This thing about the captain going down with the ship is definitely not for me. That’s where he made his biggest mistake. I’d stay here and find other ways to work off my karmic debt.

      2. John A Anderson, CD says:

        To paraphrase Tommy Lee Jones in MiB, “A person is smart; people are dumb stupid animals.”

  8. James says:

    I don’t directly agree with her, yet viruses mutate when introduced to vaccines over time. Obviously, the flu has mutated. The human body can destdes and eat the virus. But what if the vaccine allows the flu virus to mutate and spread before the body can kill it. That means next with the vaccine on board is no longer immune to the flu. The flu has proven to be nothing like polio or small pox. So in conclusion, she may not be correct but she may not be wrong.

    1. Carl Elfstrom says:

      James,I’ve always liked that rock and roll song that goes “You might be right, but you might be wrong”, but how can anyone be right and wrong at the same time? While you’re still stoned on pot try singing “In the garden of Eden”, and see if it comes out sounding something like ” Inagoddadavida.”

    2. bethk says:

      Viruses mutate. Our antibodies may still be effective, depending on just how or how much they’ve mutated. This is why we need new flu shots every year.

      The flu tends to be less deadly than polio or small pox, but it kills tens of thousands of people each year in the US alone – many more worldwide. Death is not the only problem. It keeps people out of work, out of school, unable to care for their children because they’re too sick. Some people are sick enough to go to a doctor or hospital – in which case, straining an already overburdened healthcare system, plus introducing the virus to people who are extremely ill, and unable to fight off the virus.

  9. John Smithkey says:

    Rev. Copeland is really wrong when she compared deer season and duck season to the flu season. You cannot compare apples and oranges! We do in fact have a flu season!! It tends to start on late October and continues until about May. We also have deer tick season as well. As a public health nurse, I can further state that this country still has a few active cases of plague! But the medical profession keeps a good watch on this illness. Yes, it is true we do have trouble developing a flu vaccine each year. We try and guess what type of flu we will likely get. Sometimes we are wrong! But our healthcare system does it’s best! John Smithkey III RN BSN

    1. Carl Elfstrom says:

      Nurse Smithkey, this is the first time I’ve heard that nurses work at developing vaccines. I thought you’d at least have to be a lab technician to do that. I hope you don’t think that everyone working in healthcare is doing the same job. Like apples and oranges, which incidentally are both kinds of fruit, it takes a lot more than that to make a fruit salad.

      1. Carl Elfstrom says:

        Furthermore, to make claims like that you should at least say you’ve got a doctorate of science in nursing, or better yet a doctorate of philosophy in pharmacology, instead of a piddly little B.S.. And considering what a brilliant mind you must have, can you tell me what else B.S. stands for?

        1. Carl Elfstrom says:

          If y’all die laughing after reading my comments don’t blame it on me. I never even suggested that y’all read this stuff.

          1. Carl Elfstrom says:

            However, I might accept a job as a comedian or comical writer or something similar (like a minister), if it pays enough.

        2. Jim says:

          Probably the degree you have Carl. You almost sound like you have a brain. Key word almost.

  10. John Owens says:

    The flu shot has been rated at 36% effective BY ITS PROPONENTS, meaning it is considerably less in the real world. They push it like it is a life-saver like polio vaccine or smallpox vaccine. OBVIOUSLY it is not. It NEVER protects against the current flu strain. Ergo, it is a waste of time and the hype surrounding it is ridiculous. Nobody is going to inject that crap into my veins while I am conscious.

    1. John Owens says:

      Of course, I think the televangelist is full of crap too. God gives us brains and advice to take care of ourselves. We are to provide for ourselves. He is not going to cook and clean for us and wait on us hand and foot. We can get religious fanatics to do that, because then they can pat themselves on the back and feel nice and holy.

  11. Terri RN says:

    If God didn’t want us to have a flu shot he would never have given us the wisdom to be able to create it.

  12. J M says:

    And if you write her a check, I am sure you will heal faster!!

  13. William N Hodges says:

    I get the flu shot every year from the VA at no charge. Since it has not been shown to be dangerous to the health and depending on the year it can range from 20% to you choose the percent, I see no harm in talking it. I do see harm in giving these TV folks a platform to spew their stupidity. There is no contradiction between trusting in God and using the weapons he has provided to us against disease.

  14. PL says:

    Pray for all the mislead comments here. She didn’t say anything that was controversial. She prayed for people that had the flu she knowledges the exist. Everybody wants to dig into something that’s just not there, That’s why the Lord called so many people fools. Sad

    1. Canadian Yankee says:

      Don’t know what video you watched but by implication she said that we don’t need flu shots and that only those will little faith will get the flu. To believe that is in fact foolish.

  15. Bill Fox says:

    Flu shots are faith healing with no proven track record after fifty years of general use.

  16. Unlimited88 says:

    God is a healer that is a gift that has been given to me. Faith works and Jesus never fails.

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