Three Republican state senators questioned the restrictions in the stay-at-home orders on churches compared to commercial establishments.
On Thursday, April 16, state Sen. Warren Daniel (R-Burke), Sen. Danny Britt (R-Robeson) and Sen. Jim Perry (R-Lenoir) sent out a joint press release blasting government restrictions that allow retail stores to operate at limited capacity while prohibiting churches from operating under those same restrictions.
The release notes that North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper’s executive order permits businesses to allow shoppers inside provided the number does not exceed 20 percent of the fire code capacity. However, churches are only allowed to have 10 people inside regardless of the size of the building.
Daniel, who is co-chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, stated, “Government regulators are targeting churches with different, more restrictive rules than retail businesses. It’s an outrageous overstep of government authority that infringes on basic First Amendment rights. I urge Governor Cooper to intervene and resolve this local government mess immediately and to relax his restrictions to allow the same occupancy standards for churches as he does for retailers.”
Britt, also a co-chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, stated, “I would expect to read these government ‘emergency’ orders in a history book about Mao’s China. But there they are, right on the homepages of North Carolina government. This is unspeakably disturbing.”
Perry stated, “I’m hearing from pastors all over my district about their foundational concern over government restrictions treating their churches differently than commercial establishments. I urge Governor Cooper to change these rules, and fast.”
The release also quotes US Attorney General William Barr who said, “Even in times of emergency, when reasonable and temporary restrictions are placed on rights, the First Amendment and federal statutory law prohibit discrimination against religious institutions and religious believers. Thus, government may not impose special restrictions on religious activity that do not also apply to similar nonreligious activity.”
The City of Greensboro has taken a very different view of the stay-at-home restrictions than the US attorney general. Greensboro police officers have told a pastor and others that they cannot walk on a public sidewalk and pray because praying is a form of demonstration that is not allowed under the stay-at-home order.
Sounds like Bill Barr needs to file suit in federal court, and not one with an Obama nor Clinton judge.
Hmm sounds like they want to spread the virus. Sitting in a church in a close space with others who i don’t know who they have been in contact with.
Makes perfect sense lol
We can keep liquor stores and pot stores open as “essential businesses” but we severely limit gatherings for religious practices. It may take legal action from our citizens to assure that our first amendment rights are not destroyed. Government regulation must adhere to the constitution in all cases.
As an ordained pastor with a Masters in Divinity from a national certified scholastic seminary (college degree required first) whose 4 year full time students are primarily pastors from Baptist, Lutheran, AME, Methodist churches ~~ I believe it quite obvious that the “complaint” by the 3 state Senators is nothing but political hogwash (and not even kosher hogs). At no place in the Bible does it suggest even remotely that parishioners should be placed in a situation that risk their life (and the life of anyone who comes in contact with them outside of the sanctuary). The 3 Senator’s letter is blatant political showmanship, playing off a few “pastors” whose real concern is mostly the dollars they fear they are missing. (That is if there are any pastors at all. ) Most likely the Senators are trying to use the Christian church for their own transparent partisan fund raising since they only refer to “pastors”- with no mention of Rabbis, Imams, Pujari, etc. Also, the 1st amendment does not speak to church attendance during a pandemic. Further, likening safety concerns to Mao’s China is cheap racism and discriminatory. Knowingly placing persons in situations that are clearly and potential fatal is no less than social homicide.
I fine it very unfair you can’t go to a drive thru church to here the word of God without getting a ticket that wrong we need God in today’s world and if you think you don’t i feel sorry for you. HOW SAD THESE PEOPLE HAVE BECOME IN THIS WORLD .