New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio threatened to close churches and synagogues “permanently” if they refuse to stop services during the coronavirus outbreak.
The Democrat mayor’s comments Friday sparked wide-spread outrage, and lawsuits are a near certainty if he follows through with the threat.
New York City is one of the areas hardest hit by the coronavirus. On Friday, de Blasio held a press conference about their on-going efforts to treat those infected and prevent further spread. The measures include a city-wide stay-at-home order, closure of non-essential businesses and a ban on large gatherings, including religious services.
“The NYPD, fire department, buildings department — everyone has been instructed that if they see worship services going on, they will go to the officials of that congregation, they’ll inform them they need to stop the services and disperse,” de Blasio said. “If that does not happen, they will take additional action up to the point of fines and potentially closing the building permanently.”
Though de Blasio said he does not take joy in proposing such extreme measures, people need to take the health crisis “seriously.”
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“You’ve been warned, you need to stop services,” the mayor said.
De Blasio: churches and synagogues that hold worship services may be closed permanently pic.twitter.com/kdUsdbP2YO
— Matthew Schmitz (@matthewschmitz) March 29, 2020
According to Fox News Wilmington, de Blasio criticized several churches and synagogues that are still holding services.
“I want to say to all those who are preparing for the potential of religious services this weekend: If you go to your synagogue, if you go to your church and attempt to hold services after having been told so often not to, our enforcement agents will have no choice but to shut down those services,” he said.
Outrage at his remarks spread quickly across social media and conservative news outlets.
Red State writer “Bonchie” said the mayor does not have the legal authority to shut down worship services permanently.
“They can make requests and set guidelines, but it’s a gross violation of the Constitution to shut down the use of private property for religious services,” he wrote. “There are some things that are more important than short term measures to fight a health crisis and religious freedom is one of those things.”
Most houses of worship have closed voluntarily and moved to online services and other distancing outreach.
Many states also are ordering non-essential medical care to be postponed, but pro-abortion Democrat leaders have been carving out exceptions for abortions. New York is still allowing non-essential, elective abortions to continue unhindered during the global health crisis. Recently, medical groups representing more than 30,000 doctors in America emphasized that abortions are not “essential” or “urgent,” and abortion facilities that continue to operate during the pandemic are being “medically irresponsible.”
A Louisiana church recently refused to close as long as the government allows abortion facilities to remain open and continue to abort unborn babies.
Although the situation is fluid, here are the latest reports from LifeNews.com on the status of abortion and orders to stop non-essential medical services:
States Attempting to Protect Babies From Abortion
Texas: Abortion centers are temporarily closed after Governor Greg Abbott’s order. But Texas abortion businesses have sued the state to reopen. Planned Parenthood has filed a lawsuit as well to do abortions and ignore the order.
States Not Protecting Babies From Abortion
New York: New York has issued an order to stop non-essential health services but is not applying it to abortion centers. New York Attorney General: Coronavirus Crisis is No Reason to Stop Killing Babies in Abortions. NYC Mayor Bill DeBlasio has threatened to permanently close churches while letting abortion centers stay open.
New Jersey: Shut down non-essential health care but abortion centers are excluded.
Michigan: Governor Whitmer has stopped non-essential medical surgeries but allowed abortion clinics to keep killing babies.
North Carolina: Pro-life groups have called on the governor to stop abortions during the coronavirus crisis.
Washington: Shut down non-essential health care but abortion centers are excluded.
California: Shut down non-essential health care but abortion centers are excluded. But 11 Planned Parenthood abortion centers have voluntarily closed.
Pennsylvania: Shut down non-essential health care but abortion centers are excluded.
Maine: Shut down non-essential health care but abortion centers are excluded.
Massachusetts: Shut down non-essential health care but abortion centers are excluded.