Christian rock band Skillet is embarking on a 23-city tour across the United States beginning September, but the band made it clear that they will not play at venues that force its performers or audiences to present proof of COVID vaccinations before allowing entry.
Skillet frontman and outspoken Christian podcaster John Cooper took to social media to share an update on the band's decision to refuse playing at such venues.
"Because of the delta variant, a lot of venues are rethinking their policies and instituting new things. A lot of venues are instituting vaccine mandated shows where you have to have a vaccine or you can't get into the concert," Cooper said, as per Christian News Now. He added that playing at venues that mandate vaccines is something he and his band are "unwilling to do."
The rest of his Skillet band members, Cooper's wife and guitarist Korey, drummer Jen Ledger, and lead guitarist Seth Morrison are all united in the decision to refuse playing at venues requiring COVID vaccinations. Cooper said, "I know this is going to make some people happy [and] it's going to make some people mad" but that for him, "it is a matter of conviction."
The 46 year old Christian podcaster, author, and Skillet frontman added that the band will only be playing at concert venues that will allow non-vaccinated attendees to present a negative COVID test result to be allowed entry to the show. Cooper lamented, "I'm not going to lie to you guys. I don't like this either. It is not ideal."
"I know this is going to make people disappointed on all sides of the fence for all sorts of different reasons. That's not my aim," Cooper explained. "It's just a really difficult time."
The Skillet frontman said that while he wants to ensure that the fans get a great rock show, he has no intentions to disappoint people with their tour decision. He stressed that the decision will not change and that the band will not be able to please everyone.
As a Christian, Cooper has long been vocal about vaccine and mask mandates. Earlier this month, the podcaster challenged mask mandates by answering the question of whether "Jesus would wear masks" in the name of neighborly love, deflecting to say that there is so much more to be worried about than just COVID, which has killed millions all over the world. He said that totalitarianism and tyranny must not go unchecked or else it will destroy countries and civilizations.
Cooper, who has been vocal about his faith, recently talked to Loudwire about Skillet's upcoming album, which he described as "really aggressive, it is really in your face, and I think that probably is born out of the year that we've had."
The singer added that he hopes that the upcoming album would be "an encouragement to people to not be ashamed of Christ, to live your faith, live out the word of God."