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Churches sue Gov. Brown over Oregon coronavirus restrictions

Bend Community Church is among 10 plaintiffs

(Update: Adding video, comments from Bend pastor, law professor)

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Ten churches from around the state are suing Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, arguing her coronavirus stay-at-home orders are unconstitutional.

Oregon Public Broadcasting reports the lawsuit by the churches, including Elkhorn Baptist in Baker City, are being led by Common Sense for Oregon, a nonprofit led by former Republican candidate for governor Kevin Mannix.

The Pacific Justice Institute is arguing the case for the plaintiffs, which include Bend Community Church. The group says it “seeks to invalidate” three orders, starting with Brown’s initial emergency declaration, signed on March 8.

“The goal is simply to say that Gov. Kate Brown has really in effect thrown out the Oregon Constitution,” Stephen Williams, lead pastor at Bend Community Church, said Friday.

Williams’ church has about 20 parishioners and has not been able to hold an in-person service for more than a month. He said churches should be allowed to resume their normal schedules, as long as they practice social distancing.

“All the pastors I’m aware of want to be safe," he said. "(They) want to practice church responsibly, but they want to be involved in the process and be allowed to meet and take responsibility and practice social distancing.”

Lead attorney Ray Hacke said plaintiffs are all over the state.

“There’s a rising tide of churches and churchgoers wanting to push back against Governor Brown’s oppressive executive orders, and this case will hopefully remind her that she is not free to dispense with constitutionally protected liberties, even in emergencies,” Hacke said in a statement.

The suit argues that the governor's emergency powers only last for 30 days, and after that, Brown would have needed legislative approval.

Steven Green, a professor of religious studies and constitutional law at Willamette University, said the governor's lawyers will most likely argue that as governor, she has preexisting authority.  Through his experience practicing law, Green said this case is likely an uphill battle for churches involved.

"They would just make a claim that this violates their free exercise of religion," Green said. "I think they would lose rather quickly. I think the government would come in with a summary judgement or just a motion to dismiss, claiming the lawsuit is just unfounded." 

On Thursday, Brown outlined a detailed plan for beginning to reopen the state in the coming weeks, while stressing that reduced restrictions on businesses and residents could be rolled back, if the virus numbers increase.

Counties that have had few cases of the coronavirus and that can meet strict guidelines may be able to reopen certain businesses as early as May 15, including salons, gyms and limited sit-down restaurant service, under the first part of the plan.

Additionally, the state will loosen restrictions on day cares and retail shops statewide on May 15 while monitoring how infection levels respond.

Coronavirus / Crime And Courts / Government-politics / News / Oregon-Northwest

KTVZ news sources

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Jordan Williams

Jordan Williams is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Jordan here.

Comments

139 Comments

      1. Gee too bad, they don’t get to get together for their little obsolete superstitious ceremonies. Can’t they say their little incantations, drink the blood and eat the flesh of their god on ZOOM!! LMAO!!!

        1. More to due with the Constitution that regulates the government from making laws that prohibit the free exercise of religion. But since most liberals/progressives regard the Constitution as something to wipe themselves with your response is predictable. People have the right to congregate in the practice of religion under whatever circumstances they find themselves in. Churches provide great comfort in trying times like these.

          1. Classic hillbilly. I have the right to do whatever I want. Who cares about anyone else, I’m a rootin tootin constitutionalist. That’s what jesus would do!!! ROTFLMAO!!

            Golf and a whore anyone!!!! trump / putin 2020!!!!

            1. Your use of the word “hillbilly” only is letting your racism show through. Not everyone is in a state panic, hiding under their bed in a fetal position afraid of a virus with a 1% death rate.

          2. Lady Gaga – 35M to COVID-19 relief
            Beyoncé – 6M to COVID-19 relief
            Rihanna – 1M to COVID-19
            George Clooney 1M to COVID-19 relief
            .
            Joel Osteen – 0
            Kenneth Copland – 0
            Jesse Duplantis – 0
            John Hagee – 0

      1. Do you and all your other names ever bother rebutting anything or are childish insults all you have? If so do keep using them. You do realize why Trump won and will win again. Because of people like you and your smug attitude.

        1. Getting under your skin there Jethro? It’s not my fault that you and your unwashed ilk aren’t intelligent enough to form a cogent argument. I’d say keep on giving it the old college try, but it’s evident that you never attended any such institution.

          1. You didn’t answer the questions- you just added more personal insults.

            Where is the moderator of this site to rein in these “offensive” attacks ?

    1. This lawsuit will go no where. All he wants is offering plate donations to pay his salary. Church goers can pray from any where. They do not need to gather. They are worshiping a GOD not a building. If God is there to protect them all from COVID, why do so many need a gun? Can’t God still protect them? All a pail full of hypocrites

      1. not true the pastor does not want offering plate donations.. far from it.. !!. .. and we as humans are meant for being with other humans.. we are not meant to live alone.. We as believers like the opportunity to worship with other like minded individuals.. worship our God who lives.. also don’t know if you knew but Sameritains purse who is volunteering their time in New York to help out sick people.. they are Christians.. The local food pantry the Giving Plate they are Christians.. are they hypocrites..
        The Shepards house mens home.. they are Christians are they hypocrites?..

    1. I say let them congregate and go about their daily lives as they have done every winter- under the threat of the common cold- the flu virus- dry skin !!!

      1. Well I guess all we needed was a blessing from BGHWuhan. Everyone can return to their normal lives. BGHWuhan you don’t have to do anything different, let’s be honest, your life has changed one bit. But very well could should you let your true feelings be known, JBSphincter awaits…

    2. problem with that is it overloads the health care system with. large numbers falling ill. Teams cannot keep up with demands. their self serving behavior puts many others at risk

      1. Kate Brown “gave away” unnecessary medical equipment during this “unprecedented” pandemic because she realized that Oregon had very few Wuhan Corona virus cases- St Charles prepped for a massive onslaught of cases that never appeared- don’t you think it’s time to admit that you’ve been conned ?

        Time for many of you to face the music- that your sick and warped daily cheers for the virus simply haven’t materialized here in Oregon- that the virus- like all viruses- need large numbers of people living in close proximity to spread- and that may be New York- but it sure as hell aint Idaho- The Dakota’s or Oregon.

        Democrat Governor Kate Brown clearly over-reacted- reacted to fear and not science- Kate Brown has set the state of Oregon back 25 years- and she has yet to accept responsibility for this crisis.

        There ya go- your world in a nutshell !

        1. Right on. In Oregon social distancing has always been the norm, that’s kind of who we are. We generally avoid being in a crushing crowd. Our case numbers would undoubtedly have been low even without any reaction by the government other than warnings and advice.

          It’s a new virus, joining the existing group that we’ve all lived with all our lives, and it’s going to spread at different rates in different places, but it WILL spread, and most people WILL be exposed to it. Government mandates can’t change that.

      2. Except it doesn’t overload hospitals. That’s pretty much fake news. CNN doesn’t want you to know hospitals around the country were never close to being overloaded and many that created tents outside went unused and healthcare workers being laid off because they didn’t get overloaded. But then you’ll say “”that’s because of stay at home restrictions”. Except there no scientific evidence they actually work, other than guesses being made in models. everything easily could have remained open while taking precautions and still would not have overloaded hospitals.

        1. Ys, yes if you want the truth you should listen to the big fat orange snow flake :

          1/8 – First CDC warning of COVID-19
          1/9 – Trump campaign rally
          1/14 – Trump campaign rally
          1/16 – House sends impeachment articles to Senate
          1/18 – Trump golfs
          1/19 – Trump golfs
          1/20 – First case of COVID-19 in the US, WA
          1/22 – “We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China. It’s going to be just fine.”
          1/28 – Trump campaign rally
          1/30 – Trump campaign rally
          2/1 – Trump golfs
          2/2 – “We pretty much shut it down coming in from China.”
          2/5 – Senate votes to acquit, takes 5-day weekend
          2/10 – Trump campaign rally
          2/12 – Dow Jones closes at an all time high of 29,551.42
          2/15 – Trump golfs
          2/19 – Trump campaign rally
          2/20 – Trump campaign rally
          2/21 – Trump campaign rally
          2/24 – “The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA… Stock Market starting to look very good to me!”
          2/25 – “CDC and my Administration are doing a GREAT job of handling Coronavirus.”
          2/25 – “I think that’s a problem that’s going to go away… They have studied it. They know very much. In fact, we’re very close to a vaccine.”
          2/26 – “The 15 (cases in the US) within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero.”
          2/26 – “We’re going very substantially down, not up.” Also, “This is a flu. This is like a flu”; “Now, you treat this like a flu”; “It’s a little like the regular flu that we have flu shots for. And we’ll essentially have a flu shot for this in a fairly quick manner.”
          2/27 – “One day it’s like a miracle, it will disappear.”
          2/28 – “We’re ordering a lot of supplies. We’re ordering a lot of, uh, elements that frankly we wouldn’t be ordering unless it was something like this. But we’re ordering a lot of different elements of medical.”
          2/28 – Trump campaign rally
          2/29 – First COVID-19 death in US
          3/2 – “you take a solid flu vaccine, you don’t think that could have and impact, or much of an impact, on corona?”
          3/2 – “A lot of things are happening, a lot of very exciting things are happening and they’re happening very rapidly.”
          3/4 – “If we have thousands or hundreds of thousands of people that get better just by, you know, sitting around and even going to work – some of them go to work, but they get better.”
          3/5 – “I NEVER said people that are feeling sick should go to work.”
          3/5 – “The United States… has, as of now, only 129 cases… and 11 deaths. We are working very hard to keep these numbers as low as possible!”
          3/6 – “I think we’re doing a really good job in this country at keeping it down… a tremendous job at keeping it down.”

          ROTFLMAO!!!

    1. No matter what “side” you fall on their constitutional argument is quite sound actually. Bookmark this page so we can continue this discussion when the ruling comes down. Are you confident in your law understanding to do so? I sure am and I will bookmark it now. I hope you do the same.

      1. Really? Please explain. All I have to go on is the quote from the churches’ lawyer, but even under a strict scrutiny standard, I think the state can make a credible claim that it has a compelling interest in limiting the rapid transmission of disease that can arise from mass gatherings (no pun intended!). If you’re arguing over whether the current rules are the least restrictive way of doing so, given that it’s only a temporary order, applied on a non-discriminatory basis, under the claim consultation with medical and epidemiological advice and at a time when there is still uncertainty about transmission, I have a hard time seeing a neutral judge substituting his or her own judgment for the state’s. If it were, and as we know more about transmission, I’d see it differently, but not at this point.

          1. That’s what’s called a “red herring.” I’ve seen no suggestion they any government thinks it can control nature, only governments trying to mitigate potential medical disaster.

            Also, see the eradication of polio or smallpox for examples of how successful prolonged healthcare efforts can be. Or even a couple of months of New Zealand’s experience with the current coronavirus pandemic.

          2. And apparently not realizing the seriousness of putting so many people out of work and businesses shutting down and goods and services being not available and low income people being put in desperate circumstances and etc. Also astounding, and beyond arrogant.

        1. “given that it’s only a temporary order”

          And that “temporary order has expired.

          “the governor’s emergency powers only last for 30 days, and after that, Brown would have needed legislative approval”

          The law here is pretty clear- the rest of your argument subsequently becomes null and void !

          1. What law are your referring to? ORS 401.165 (which allows the governor and certain others to declare a state of emergency) has no such limit. The legislature can meet at any time to terminate the state of emergency (ORS 401.204), so if the churches believe that the order itself is unfounded, they have an obvious manner of redress.

            1. Gee Eddy… “if the churches believe that the order itself is unfounded, they have an obvious manner of redress.”

              Looks like you went all the way around the block to answer your own question.

              Based on the data- the time lines- the actions by Democrat Governor Kate Brown to “donate” Oregon’s medical equipment away… Like many others wrestling with her 20-12 Executive Order-I too do not believe there was ample justification to completely shut down our state and induce economic suicide on the masses.

              The numbers just don’t lie !

              1. I’m not sure why you’re being hostile. I’ve just described laws and asked questions. What law were you describing as limiting the governor’s order to 30 days.

                The legislature could convene to terminate the state of emergency. Exercising that power—or even calling for a vote to do so—is the difference between being willing to criticize, on the one hand, and being willing to bear responsibility for the decision, on the other.

      2. Uh oh, Eddy actually knows what he’s talking about. I bookmarked this just to watch him pwn you when this ruling comes down. Should have stayed in your lane, bud.

        1. You have no idea what lane you are talking about my friend. Don’t you worry your pretty little head. I bookmarked this as well. Should be fun!

    2. Murky?
      Maybe it’s time to brush up on the Bill of Rights, Dez. Strange times right now to be sure, but we haven’t been ruled by a king since Obama left office.

        1. No?
          I would disagree, or at least qualify your flippant remark with the fact that many people have died to secure our rights.
          You have no concerns about how the House is conducting business right now, Tio?
          No worries when you hear comments about “the new normal”?
          I find it alarming that folks like yourself are cool with how the House is conducting itself right now, and how in many instances churches are banned from assembly but liquor stores and pot shops remain open.
          Or how chemo therapy in some cases is put on hold, but abortion is still considered an essential service.

  1. Good, let’s get this ridiculous confinement restriction off our back so we can get back to work and life. Of course many of us have been living life “as usual” all along anyway….. and haven’t been struck by lightning yet…..

    1. Like we haven’t been sharing the rhino virus or seasonal flu viruses for decades ???

      You want to accuse all Americans of ignorance for that too ?

      You are free to stay home and hide- go broke… the rest of us have responsibilities to our own families and to the loved ones of our employees- and for some of us that reaches into the thousands of people affected- I won’t sit by and watch them go broke- there is work to be had- and we’re gonna fight for it.

      you best stay outta the way.

      1. Well what are you doing endlessly trolling KTVZ if you have work to do? For someone who has tremendous responsibilities you sure do waste most of your day here spreading the BGHWuhan vitriolic hatred. Maybe put the keyboard away for a while. Hug a family member or JBSphincter’s member. The only person in your way is you!

          1. So you find it necessary to body shame her? WOW! You really suck and do not deserve to be posted anywhere else but a troll board such as this! Come on down To General Duffy’s Saturday Market today and let’s discuss the way you like to speak to women! What a freaky piece of filth!

            1. Instead let’s meet up at Phil’s Trail next Saturday morning and enjoy some hero dirt with other active people who are fun to be around. Or get up early and get in a few pitches at Smith Rocks (which the main climbing area opens next Thur, misery ridge closed, bivy closed). Afterwards we could get some yummy carry-out Electri-Fly IPA from Wild Ride Brewpub (5th&Deschutes). Then we could mosey over and laugh at Dummp’s empty little market.

              1. Ummm, I’m not a tourist. Tell you what; let’s meet at Wild ride & we can ride on some private land that isn’t overrun with tourists then come back to Wild Ride for shave ice.

                It’s a nice little stand they just opened and I want to support local business. That includes GDs. No reason to disparage local businesses trying to keep people fed, employed, along with providing the opportunity to get outside.

                Unless you have an agenda or are working on your snark! I respect that as well! At least that means you realize this is a troll board, nothing more!

                1. I actually do have an agenda.
                  Wild Ride is an excellent place, operated by very cool people, that produce their own very-yummy beers, and I will continue to support them. I have no idea what Wild Ride’s politics or religion is, and if they’re smart they’ll keep it that way.
                  On the other hand, any business that participated in the protests are establishments that I will never spend money at (especially when it’s lame like Duffy’s). When you bring your alt-right politics to your business (or church) you risk not getting people’s business. But you had your fun, so hope it was worth it.

      2. It is odd that every year 50,000 or so people die of the seasonal flu in the U.S alone, and nobody cared about them, the news didn’t show their coffins, and the reaction by media and government was zero. Now it’s a crisis and they’re all using Death and Dead people as some sort of mantra for this new virus. Odd.

        1. The differences have been explained ad infinitum – that there’s a vaccine for the flu (we cover the flu every season, as well as the controversy over whether to get the shot). To say “nobody cared about” people who die is pretty crass. We don’t show coffins. Lots of attention from media and government. But you know that I bet. Haters have just found a new reason to hate govt., the media etc.

          1. “The differences have been explained ad infinitum – that there’s a vaccine for the flu”

            I listened to liberal talk radio bash this around the other day- they insist that there is no such thing as a “vaccine” for the seasonal flu- because many people who get their flu shots- can still get the flu !

            What we do have “vaccines” for are diseases like Rubella, Polio, the various Pox. illnesses that- when once vaccinated- you will “never” suffer from.

            In short- your whole focus on a Wuhan Corona Virus vaccine- holds little water.

            Bertie is correct- we’ve never destroyed our own economy (and much of the world’s) over the flu- why did we do it now- especially in Oregon… where Democrat Governor Brown pulled the trigger after a mere five deaths- all with underlying conditions !

            My questions remain the same- why are there so many negative tests (more than 80,000 and climbing)- and why does KTVZ provide a generalized World map of cases- instead of the OHA Dashboard- maybe it’s because the data here in Oregon has shown a flattening of the Wuhan curve since mid March- and here we are in May- still arguing about a pandemic that never appeared !

            1. We post and link to OHA data every single day. Feel free to post your own links to such legit sources any day you want, but I think you just prefer to play and hide and go seek, shifting the topic like a pro wrestler.

              1. None of us want your “links” – we want graphics the size of the global maps you are using to replace “local news” that you constantly brag about providing !

        2. Yes, 50,000 die of the flu in a year, from a long-standing illness. Is that really the same, in your mind, as 80,000 dying in two months from a previously unknown illness?

  2. As the Band Chicago once sang- “Only the beginning. Only just the start.”

    Kate Brown is about to feel the wrath and fury for her irrational Executive order 20-12 that has essentially crippled the state of Oregon “unnecessarily” !

    This Democrat Governor will try to justify her actions as part of a regional and cohesive partnership with the other West coast Democrat Governor’s… what she calls cooperation- we call “collusion” !

    Sue her tail- throw her out- lock her up !

    1. As Johnny Lee once sang “Playin’ a fools game hopin’ to win,
      and tellin’ those sweet lies and losin’ again.
      Looking for love in all the wrong places”
      BGHWuhan follow you heart…#elbowbump

      1. So poker’s yer game ?

        Well- I’ll see your play to an inside straight and raise you a…

        “You got to know when to hold em- know when to fold em- know when to walk away”…

        “Know when to run” !

  3. Just watch, she will open any outfit that has lottery installed on the premises, churches don’t. Churches produce little income for the state so they are not considered necessary. A great share of the general fund, which funds most state agencies, is from lottery income. The lottery is down a lot so the state is suffering that loss of income. Its all about the money.

  4. Look at all those posters ridiculing others while it was perfectly fine to sue Trump for the “rights” of illegal aliens and other non-citizens. Democrats got their values backwards entirely.
    And pretty much every single thing the Trump admin was sued for was eventually overturned by higher courts, what a waste of time and other resources (talking about global warming, LOL)!

    1. Very true. And let’s not forget little tidbits like throwing people in jail for violating distancing orders while illegal aliens (like the one caught with 20 pounds of meth) get to walk free.

  5. Barney,
    Thanks for enduring the heavy troll traffic today and just about every other day, I know I did my part.
    @BGHWuhan I hope you figure out which end of the bull has the horn and that you reach out to JBSphincter soon.
    @joe_bidens_sphincter Your fortune for the week is: a kindred spirit awaits. be ready when love comes calling.

    Have a good weekend all!
    And remember to…quityourpolitics, unplug, and get some fresh air!

    1. Bwahahaaa… dude- you got “no response” to that suck up ! Barney left you hangin’- scorched yer high five with some serious shade !

      That is hilarious !!!

      Whatta D-Bag !

  6. As a minister, I take issue with the “violating the freedom of religion”. Do you need a building to worship The Lord? No. The church is the people, not the building. If you must gather together, gather outside and distance. Sing loud, pray loud, and worship safely. Or do virtual services online. God calls us to worship yes. He doesn’t encourage us to be stupid or endanger ourselves needlessly. One must ask who is being served by this action: God’s will or the desires of earthly men and women.

    Preacher, are you worried as your collections are small in this time? Then ask your congregation to use paypal or mail in a check. Don’t risk your church family by ignoring science for pride-filled acts of faith. God gave us minds to reason and act accordingly. We should be good followers of Christ and use them. Yes, pray for the sick and have faith God will heal them, but do not refuse the doctors help for surely God has given the doctors, the scientists, and the nurses the skills and intelligence to be his agents of healing.

    1. you are you; the theologian of Trolls? What a selfish moronic comment! Well done, you are a trollette! If his congregants wish to gather than who are you or anyone else to prevent them under our Constitution? Your elitist BS is sickening!! Many folks do not have the ability to attend virtually. Without human companionship they truly are alone!

      BTW-

      Don’t stop trying! but remember; all spiritual trolling does is decrease clicks, Keep up with that schtick and none of us will have a place to troll! KTVZ already has one foot on the peel! Luckily this is a presidential election year! Nice AD revenue!

    2. I consider it more a violation of the freedom to peacefully assemble.
      As a minister do you find it at all troublesome that abortion clinics, liquor stores and pot shops remain open while places of worship are closed by government mandate?
      Or are you one of those “modern”, “progressive types?

    3. except though online stuff fails sometimes.. I go to a big church in Central Oregon and they have a online service on three different platforms.. each one of them failed or was freezing yesterday.. also what about those that don’t have a smart phone or internet access or are in total isolation due to this.. I.e. seniors.. what then?

  7. Churches make me sick. They are not essential. Churches want people so they can open their wallets. If you are a religious person of ANY religion, you can practice at home. You don’t need to do anything in person. You don’t need to encourage others who may be more at risk than you to show up and possibly get ill. All these people whining and complaining would absolutely be bitching and complaining in the ER should they get sick. Everyone is so obsessed with a perceived slight on their individual lives they cannot see this has to do with protecting everyone. What sniveling snowflakes.

    1. So you are basically saying mental health is not essential. Some people need the church because of various circumstances.

      This is also like saying people feeding their children is not essential from businesses that were forced to close. Liberals just don’t get it and don’t think of all the ramifications.

    2. You sound like a dictator, LTV.
      I take it you don’t attend church on a regular basis (nor do I), but to denigrate so many from so many faiths is incredible.
      Tell me, do you feel the same way about liberal bastions like planned parenthood?
      Stop pretending to care about life. Churches are essential to some… so are abortion clinics, but they’re still operating. Now why is that?
      Oh, and for the record: you and your type make a lot of us sick. Protecting everyone? What a joke. Churches closed, but pot shops and liquor deemed essential.
      For you: https://billofrightsinstitute.org/founding-documents/bill-of-rights/

    3. not true luvtheview.. Churches are essential.. Christians open up food banks and homeless shelters.. like the Giving Plate.. Shepards house
      also Sameritains purse.. the big Christian organization who is volunteering their time to help the sick in New York. believers and humans alike are meant to be with one another.. believers lift eachother up.. encourage one another .. the Bethlehem in started in local churches.. sheltering in place .. it might have helped save some people but overall it is so damaging to our economy and emotional stability it’s not funny.

    1. Lose all (earthly) reason and lose all earthly fear from the plan -demic. This is the short life my friend. Can you afford to be so cocky about eternity? There will not be any man made paradise before sREALLYhtf. This latest will be nothing burger by comparison. Someone’s knocking at your heart’s door and yes blood was the price so you can open. Tomo’s too late.

      1. the fact that christians vote overwhelmingly for trump tells you everything you need to know about christianity, and i want nothing to do with any of you

      2. Yet all religious texts and ideas are interpreted by man. Therefore God and religion are not the same. Should we want stay with the “word of god,” he never said churches had to be in a building with the masses. He also was not a fan of politics being part of his church. I am comfortable with my eternity, without church being part of it.

        1. openeyes–interpreted by man…. however inspired by God.. God breathed. He did make it clear we are called for worship and being together.. that to me sounds like church..
          also should we not be concerned with politics even though we have a voice? do we not have a voice? can we not speak our opinions? sounds like thats what you are saying.. who are you to say Christians don’t have a voice?

  8. The roof of my Father’s house is the endless sky. These people suing for the right to worship within the confines of a building, need to move outdoors and praise the true glory of their God in a natural setting. God cannot, and should not, be confined to 4 walls nor the faithful judged on whether or not they drop money in a collection plate.

    1. Hmmm.
      I’m sure that to someone unfamiliar with your stance on killing children in the womb you sound like a very spiritual person.
      You also need to review the bill of rights:
      “Amendment I
      Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

          1. Yes, of course, but there’s a difference between “Congress shall make no law” and states’ exercise of police power. The federal courts have routinely recognized state police powers that would be facially inconsistent with the words of the bill of rights; those exercises of power are subject to heightened scrutiny (as mentioned in an earlier comment), but the fact that your don’t find them consistent with the plain language of the 1st Amendment isn’t a productive argument in light of a vast amount of federal jurisprudence. Don’t get me wrong, I think courts should actually apply that heightened scrutiny, but in novel circumstances where little is know about how a particular public health situation will play out, I think it will be hard for a judge to decide to so quickly crack down on these relatively limited measures.

            1. Thank you for a thoughtful, lucid reply Eddy.
              I’m a huge fan of states rights, providing they don’t infringe on our constitutional rights. And I’m not opposed to short term measures being enacted in times of crisis.
              We may have to agree to disagree, however, on whether this is evolving into a power grab to remove our guaranteed rights and liberties.

      1. You are a proponent of religious freedom yet would deny a woman the freedom to choose when and if to have a child. Perhaps you think a woman is too dimwitted to know what path she wants her life and the life of her child to take. Or maybe you believe a woman must submit to a man’s wish to procreate, no matter what she wants? Perhaps you are misogynistic and hypocritical, too?

        1. I fully support a woman’s choice not to have a child, just as I support the right to have one.
          I just don’t endorse killing a baby because bc failed (or was not used).
          I also believe that a father has the right to protect his child.
          As for dimwitted, claiming that a child isn’t a child because it’s in utero is asinine.
          I know you’ve seen it before, but check out the link and flip to week 20 in the gestation period.
          This is why abortion mills are fighting so hard to block letting mothers see ultrasounds.
          “Development at 20 Weeks
          The baby weighs about 10 ounces and is a little more than 6 inches long. Your uterus should be at the level of your belly button. The baby can suck a thumb, yawn, stretch, and make faces. Soon — if you haven’t already — you’ll feel your baby move, which is called “quickening.”
          https://www.webmd.com/baby/ss/slideshow-fetal-development
          And I thought you believed in science. Guess not.

  9. Romans 13:1
    Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.

    Churches that sue the government especially at a time like this need to examine their beliefs.

    1. Are you also going to quote 1st Corinthians 14:34?
      I ask that tongue-in-cheek, more to determine if you believe in literal interpretation vs political punditry.
      Not so shocking, many liberals with no regard for the Bible will turn to it and ignore the context.
      Is it your position that all government institutions have been created by, and are endorsed by God?
      Ridiculous.

        1. Unlike YOUR hero, who campaigned in 57 states (but still had a few more to visit).
          Or the DNC candidate for POTUS on dealing with Covid:
          “And, in addition to that, in addition to that we have to make sure that we, we are in a position that we are, well met me go the second thing, I’ve spoken enough on that,” -Biden 3-23
          Looks like the liberals have another winner!
          Oh, and this:
          “We have to take care of the cure, that will make the problem worse, no matter what.” Yep, Biden again.
          See you at the polls.

      1. I believe “christians”, having been one myself but no longer, follow literal and context in scripture, or should. I also believe that “christians” usually believe that the government leaders are placed there by God. Churches suing the state during a pandemic in the nation is somewhat ignorant. There are other options…congregate online or over a conference phone. Anything spiritual that I do is online and it’s fine.

        1. It’s been decades for me, but I never attended a church that said any leader was placed in office by God.
          We did, however, pray for those leaders.
          If Home Depot, Les Schwabs, Chevron etc can stay open, why not a church or mosque?
          Some cancer patients are missing vital treatment, but I can still buy a bottle of whisky or a jar of weed.
          Ms Luther just spent 7 days in jail for daring to cut hair and support her employees…
          No offense intended, Seale, but like many I wonder if you’re missing the big picture here.
          I do love a good (polite) debate, though. Maybe I’m reading too much in to what local state and federal government is doing?
          Pelosi lately has been telling the House WHAT to vote on, and WHEN. Sorry, that’s a huge red flag to me.

    2. “The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children.” Ezekiel 25:17, King James Pulp Fiction version

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