December 8, 2020

USA: Christian Churches Received A Major Victory Last Week When The Supreme Court UNANIMOUSLY Struck Down California Communist Progressive Governor Newsom’s Ban On Indoor Worship Services

The Daily Caller
written by Mary Margaret Olohan
Thursday December 3, 2020

Last week’s Supreme Court ruling against New York’s restrictions on religious organizations sends a message that churches may not be treated as second class citizens, legal experts told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

The Supreme Court sided with religious organizations challenging Cuomo’s coronavirus restrictions the night before Thanksgiving, calling the New York Democrat’s measures “discriminatory” in its injunction for emergency relief.

Conservative justices, including Justice Amy Coney Barrett, sided with religious organizations in the 5-4 ruling, while Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the liberal justices. It was the first time Barrett was a deciding factor as the court’s newest justice after replacing the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg — and Judicial Crisis Network President Carrie Severino said it showed “the critical importance of Justice Barrett’s confirmation.”

Cuomo’s restrictions limited the number of people who can attend religious services to 10 in areas where the threat of coronavirus is highest, regardless of a church or synagogue’s capacity. In areas with slightly less risk, attendance is limited to 25 people.

“The Court’s majority made clear that the First Amendment’s Free Exercise clause is not to be carelessly trampled upon but rather vigorously protected,” Judicial Crisis Network’s Carrie Severino told the DCNF.

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty represented the religious organizations in asking the Supreme Court to consider whether Cuomo’s executive order violated the Free Exercise Clause when it “disfavors worship” and “when the official who issued it made clear through unambiguous statements that the order was targeted at a religious minority’s practices and traditions.”

Becket counsel Joe Davis noted to the DCNF that the ruling was important not only in regards to coronavirus restrictions on religious freedom, but also for religious freedom more broadly.

“You can’t tell people they have to stay home from church but they can shop,” Davis said.

Alliance Defending Freedom senior counsel Ryan Tucker also emphasized the disparity between restrictions on houses of worship and restrictions on other businesses, calling it not only “nonsensical” but also “unconstitutional” that “individuals can gather in places that governors deem essential but those same people can’t gather in a religious gathering as well.”

The ruling sends a message to governors and other officials that “they can’t treat the church like a second class citizen,” Tucker added.
The Washington Free Beacon
written by Graham Piro
Friday December 4, 2020

The Supreme Court on Thursday took the side of a California church challenging the state's coronavirus restrictions, drawing on last week's ruling against New York's restrictions.

The church argued in the emergency application that California governor Gavin Newsom (D.) discriminated against religious services by prohibiting indoor religious gatherings while allowing other indoor secular gatherings to proceed and turning a blind eye to massive outdoor protests. It also said that Newsom's dinner at a posh Napa Valley restaurant showed that even the governor disregards his own restrictions on indoor gatherings.
The Supreme Court's order returns the case to an appeals court with instructions to draw on the High Court's ruling against New York's coronavirus restrictions. In that ruling, the Court sided with a coalition of Orthodox Jewish groups by blocking New York governor Andrew Cuomo's (D.) restrictions on religious gatherings.

Harvest Rock Church, a Pentecostal church based in Pasadena, Calif., and Harvest International Ministry, which oversees several churches in the state, brought the legal challenge.

"For the Governor, COVID-19 restrictions are apparently optional and penalty free," lawyers for the church wrote. "But for Churches or anyone worshipping in their own home with someone who does not live there, COVID-19 restrictions are mandatory and enforced via criminal penalties."

California attorney general Xavier Becerra responded with a filing arguing that churches were being treated the same as other indoor services.

The decision bodes well for other churches' legal cases in the state, as Harvest Rock is just one of several challenging Newsom's coronavirus restrictions. Grace Community Church and a Catholic priest overseeing several California churches have also taken state leaders to court.
written by Staff
Tuesday December 1, 2020

Religious institutions have been fighting the battle to remain open since March.

Americans sit and wait as our local government leaders determine what is and is not deemed worthy to stay open for business on any given day due to the coronavirus pandemic. Religious institutions have been fighting the battle to remain open since March. Finally, one California Pastor found a way to outsmart the government’s hypocritical demands and open his church; he turned it into something that was allowed to stay open: a strip club.

California, known for its backward liberal policies, has been sued by both religious institutions and strip clubs, on the grounds of curtailing freedom of speech. A surprise to no one, California ruled in favor of strip clubs, but not religious congregations. San Diego Superior Court Judge Joel R. Wohlfeil determined the state couldn’t stop strip clubs from “being allowed to provide live adult entertainment,” saying the “harm to plaintiffs if the application is denied is greater than the harm to defendants if the application is granted.”

Godspeak Calvary Chapel pastor Rob McCoy came up with the conclusion to avoid the state’s backward thinking by turning his church into a “strip club” so they could stay open and hold services. McCoy has faced a filing of contempt after having continued in-person services despite a court injunction.

McCoy attributed the idea to former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee during his sermon last Sunday. McCoy played a Fox News clip before his sermon of Huckabee saying, “I don’t have a lot of experience with the strip clubs. I do have quite a bit of experience with churches…and I would think it’s ridiculous to say that people are safer in a strip club than they are at church.” Huckabee then quipped churches should “announce their pastor will remove his tie during the sermon, and therefore he will take off an article of clothing making it a temporary strip club so that people will be able to go to church.”

McCoy teasingly engaged “in a clean version of a striptease before taking off the tie” while congregants held up $1 bills. McCoy continued his sermon addressing the persecution of the church under COVID-19.

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