Article by Bryan Howard
Date: March 31, 2020
The United States of America was founded by religious Christians seeking refuge in the new world from Government tyranny on religious rights. Now we are in a time when Government is starting to arrest pasters for holding service during this pandemic.
In 1620 the Mayflower filled with Protestant Separatists set sail for the New World to escape the persecution of the Church of England. They set up a country where people were free to praise the Lord without being persecuted for their beliefs.
The Founding Fathers built off the Protestant Separatists’ work and created a country of religious freedom. The Founders created the right to assemble and separation of Church and State.
Unlike what the left thinks Separation of Church and State is not the removal of Church inside the state, but the removal of Sate persecution of religious beliefs.
Currently, we are facing a pandemic from the China virus that has caused serious social distancing and has shut down most of our economy. State Governors have decided to force mandatory stay at home laws preventing individuals from gathering in groups larger than 10. This effectively has canceled church services and some Governors have threatened and enforced the arrest of Pastors that hold services.
Personally, as a Christian I believe Churches should be responsible and hold online services at the moment, but that doesn’t mean it’s ok for the government to infringe on our rights. Allowing the government to arrest pastors for holding service stretches way over the line of our constitutional rights to praise our true Lord.
There are two specific cases one in Louisiana and one in Florida where a pastor was arrested for holding their services.
The Louisana case a pastor was arrested in Baton Rouge because he refused to comply with the new law and held his service anyways. The pastor Mark Spell was charged for holding service Sunday March 29.
CBS affiliate reported, “On Tuesday, March 31, Chief Roger Corcoran with Central Police Department issued Mark Anthony Spell, (Aka: Tony Spell), Pastor of Life Tabernacle Church in Central, a Misdemeanor Summons for six counts of violating the governor’s executive order (LA R.S. 29:724E) following his decision to host multiple large gatherings.”
The second case was a Flordia pastor. This Hillsborough Florida pastor of a megachurch was arrested for having his service. But Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne claims he followed the Social distancing and health safety protocols in order to keep his congregation safe.
A statement from Liberty Counsel, Howard-Browne’s law firm“Not only did the church comply with the administrative order regarding six-foot distancing, it went above and beyond any other business to ensure the health and safety of the people. Contrary to Sheriff Chronister’s allegation that Pastor Howard-Browne was ‘reckless,” the actions of Hillsborough Country and the Hernando County Sheriff are discriminatory against religion and church gatherings.”
Again, I believe it would be wise for Church’s to not hold service in person and switch to online for now. Not because the government demands it, but because it keeps the people safe.
However, the government does not have the right to stop religious freedom in this country, and we should be weary of handing over our rights everytime a crisis breaks.