Pastor Greg Locke Tells Arnold Schwarzenegger 'Screw Your Communism' Over COVID Mask Plea

Right-wing Tennessee pastor Greg Locke has taken aim at Arnold Schwarzenegger for condemning those who say that COVID-mitigating measures interfere with their freedoms.

Locke, who has very publicly shunned masks and made several unfounded claims about the COVID pandemic, responded to the former California governor's Instagram video in which he criticized the reasoning put forth by those who were reluctant to follow measures put in place to curb the disease.

In urging people to get vaccinated, wear masks and do social distancing, Schwarzenegger said people needed to "come together" and was alarmed that many are still "living in denial" about the pandemic and ignoring expert's advice.

He said that people should not think: 'Well, my freedom is being disturbed here.'"

So @Schwarzenegger said “screw your freedom” to those of us who don’t wear masks. America has been very good to you Sir. Since you’ve obviously forgotten that, I say “screw your Communism”.

— Pastor Greg Locke (@pastorlocke) August 12, 2021

"No. Screw your freedom. With freedom comes obligations and responsibilities," Schwarzenegger said. "When you infect other people, that is when it gets serious."

"You have the freedom to wear no mask, but you know something: You're a schmuck for not wearing a mask because you're supposed to protect your fellow members around you," he added.

At 4.16 million cases and 64,838 deaths as of August 11, Schwarzenegger's home state of California has the highest overall number of COVID-19 cases and related deaths in the country.

The Golden State has also instituted a mask mandate for all school students and a vaccine mandate for all teachers.

"It's no different than a traffic light," Schwarzenegger continued. "We put the traffic light in the intersection so that someone doesn't kill someone else."

As of Thursday morning, the Instagram video had been viewed more than 900,000 times.

However, Locke responded to the Austrian-born Hollywood star's comments by tweeting, "So @Schwarzenegger said 'screw your freedom' to those of us who don't wear masks.

"America has been very good to you Sir. Since you've obviously forgotten that, I say 'screw your Communism.'"

Newsweek has contacted Schwarzenegger for comment.

Locke has made a litany of false claims about the pandemic and has even referred to "Delta variant nonsense." In July, he told his congregation at Global Vision Bible Church in Mount Juliet that he would ask anyone coming to his service to leave if they were wearing a mask.

"I am not playing these Democrat games up in this church," he said, according to USA Today.

He also pushed false claims this week that Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, a Republican, had issued an executive order authorizing "camps" for the unvaccinated against COVID-19.

The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) has recommended that even vaccinated Americans should wear masks in indoor public places in high transmission areas.

It has also called for universal masking for all teachers, staff and students in schools, a policy which has received pushback by the governors in Florida and Texas.

Pastor Greg Locke
Pastor Greg Locke of Global Vision Bible Church pictured on March 29, 2020 in Mount Juliet, Tennessee. He has criticized comments about COVID measures made by ex-governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger. Brett Carlsen/Getty

Editor's Picks

Newsweek cover
  • Newsweek magazine delivered to your door
  • Unlimited access to
  • Ad free experience
  • iOS and Android app access
  • All newsletters + podcasts
Newsweek cover
  • Unlimited access to
  • Ad free experience
  • iOS and Android app access
  • All newsletters + podcasts