We can only hope that President Trump will double down on his May 22 statement by making it the law of the land that states from henceforth are prohibited from imposing rules and regulations on churches
L.A., California—In an attempt to continue state surveillance of churches because of COVID-19, Governor Newsom of California has all but ignored President Trump’s directive to allow churches to reopen without interference from the state.
At a press briefing on May 22, the president made it clear that governors and state officials were given until the weekend to lay off the churches by allowing them to reopen without restrictions and regulations.
“I call upon governors to allow our churches and places of worship to open right now,” the president said. “If they don’t do it I will override the governors.”
The president said nothing about allowing continued restrictions but ardently defended religious groups that are demanding a full return of their religious practice in church. “The people are demanding to go to church and synagogue,” he said. “Many millions of Americans embrace worship as an essential part of life.”
While feigning compliance to Trump’s directive by merely allowing churches to crack their doors open, Governor Newsom, in league with the California Department of Public Health, issued a ruling on May 25 stating that churches “must therefore limit attendance to 25% of building capacity or a maximum of 100 attendees, whichever is lower.
So, the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles that accommodates 3,000 people must now limit attendance to 100 people, or a church that seats 100 people can only allow 25 people to come and worship. If this isn’t unveiled discrimination against religion, what is!
Here the liquor stores, supermarkets, and pizza parlors are brimming over with activity with virtually no restrictions imposed while the church is being oppressed and put in the doghouse because Newsom and state bureaucrats want to make fun of religion.
Key prevention practices being imposed on houses of worship by the governor include:
- Physical distancing to the maximum extent possible
- Use of face coverings by employees, volunteers, and congregants/visitors
- Frequent hand washing and regular cleaning and disinfection
- Training employees and volunteers on these and other elements of the states COVID-19 prevention plan
Moreover, the state’s new guidelines strongly recommend “discontinuing singing, group recitation (e.g. the Rosary after Mass), and other practices and performances” and that churches “modify practices such as limiting the number of people reciting or singing, ensuring physical distancing greater than six feet between people.”
The state furthermore advises “modifying practices that are specific to particular traditions” which include “discontinuing kissing of ritual objects [relics]” and “offering Communion in the hand instead of on the tongue.”
The state has no right making such recommendations or imposing juridical rules, as they are blasphemous and violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, i.e. Separation of Church and State, which prevents the state from interfering with the church. The governor’s ruling is loaded with regulation and constitutes a gross intrusion upon the church—something President Trump did not ask for.
The state ruling says that “This limitation will be in effect for the first 21-days of a county health department’s approval of religious services” after which “the California Department of Public Health, in consultation with county Departments of Public Health, will review and assess the impact of these imposed limits and provide further direction.”
This conceivably could mean that the state could tighten up on its surveillance of churches or even close churches if state officials deem that the first 21 days weren’t effective enough in stopping the spread of COVID-19.
At the May 22 briefing, Trump told states to get off the churches’ backs, but instead the State of California is bombarding churches with rules and recommendations, which if heeded, would scarcely give the faithful a moment to focus on their religious duties. Their attention would now be taken up with a whole new set of rules as if a new state religion had come along to replace that of Christ.
We can only hope that President Trump will double down on his May 22 statement by making it the law of the land that states from henceforth are prohibited from imposing rules and regulations on churches. This would not only restore our freedom of worship but would gain him more votes from the people and many more blessings from above!