On Good Friday, Governor Andy Beshear ordered Kentucky’s churches to close. Beshear added that the state would record the license plates of anyone at a large gathering over Easter weekend and report individuals to local health departments so they could be quarantined for 14 days – akin to being sentenced to home arrest.
When one church got creative, announcing it would hold an Easter service in its parking lot with worshipers staying in their cars, Greg Fischer, the mayor of Louisville, went a step further. He banned all gatherings of any kind in churches, public places and even in homes.
So, the church went to court and got an injunction against Fischer’s order banning drive-in services. U.S. District Judge Justin Walker blasted the mayor’s order as “stunning” and “beyond all reason [and] unconstitutional.” Walker wrote:
“On Holy Thursday, an American mayor criminalized the communal celebration of Easter. That sentence is one that this Court never expected to see outside the pages of a dystopian novel, or perhaps the pages of [the satirical publication] The Onion.'”
In other places, Easter worshipers were hit with $500 fines.
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It’s very revealing to see how quickly and almost enthusiastically some left-wing politicians have decided that churches and synagogues are non-essential and must be shut down, while abortion clinics, liquor stores and lottery retailers can stay open.
I’m pleased to report that Attorney General William Barr warned over the weekend that the Justice Department will be taking action against local officials who violated the First Amendment. But this is also an example of just how thin the line is against those who want to take away religious liberty.
If we hadn’t had groups like Focus on the Family, Family Research Council and American Values fighting for faith, family and freedom for the past 20 years, we would have lost this battle a long time ago.
LifeNews.com Note: Gary Bauer is the president of American Values, a national pro-family organization and is the former president of the Family Research Council. Bauer ran for the Republican nomination for president and appears frequently on radio and television programs.