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Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Divine distancing

A conservative California nonprofit, Center for American Liberty, is suing California Governor Gavin Newsom and Attorney General Xavier Becerra as well as Riverside and San Bernardino counties. They maintain that the churches that they represent have first amendment rights to freely assemble and worship that are being discriminated against by state and county orders to socially distance due to Covid -19 concerns.  A Federal Judge recently refused to allow a church in Campo to have physical Easter services.
U.S. District Judge Cynthia A. Bashant, citing a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, said the right to freedom of religion doesn’t “include the right to expose the community ... to communicable disease.”
The Chief Executive of Center for American Liberty, Harmeet Dhillon, argues that “If a Californian is able to go to Costco or the local marijuana shop or liquor store and buy goods in a responsible, socially distanced manner, then he or she must be allowed to practice their faith using the same precautions." By the way, Dhillon is also a national Republican strategist.

Sounds well and good so far. What struck me was a statement in the suit by the pastor at one of the churches she represents in this filing, Church Unlimited in Indio, a Mr. James Moffatt. 
Moffatt “believes that Scripture commands him as a pastor to lay hands on people and pray for them, this includes the sick,” the suit said. “Moffatt also believes that he is required by Scripture to baptize individuals, something that cannot be done at an online service.”
I admit that I am a little rusty on this stuff but how does the "laying on of hands and baptizing of people" square with keeping a responsible, safe, social distance? There is something very incongruent going on here and I think it defeats Dhillon's own argument.


Kerr A. Lott said...

We have a right to wave our fists in the air but it's canceled when fist meets nose.

"God is bigger than the Corona virus"


Blue Heron said...

God let it win.

Kent said...

You’re just not a believer, lol