Maryville Baptist Church members have started receiving a letter from Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear requiring self-quarantine as a result of parking their cars in the church parking lot on Easter Sunday.
Kentucky State Police troopers wrote down license plate numbers and placed notices on churchgoers’ cars in the church parking lot. Inside the church, the small number of people were seated more than six feet apart. The church also set up speakers outside for parking lot service. But those who wanted to stay in their cars to hear the message were intimidated by the police ticketing every car and some drove away.
The letter from Gov. Beshear states, in part: “You are receiving this letter because your vehicle was documented to have been parked where a mass gathering was held on Sunday, April 12, 2020 at Maryville Baptist Church. COVID-19 is spread through the community and transmitted person to person through respiratory droplets. Attending a mass gathering of more than 10 people increases your risk of COVID-19 exposure…If you and/or someone in your household attended the above gathering, following the guidance from the Kentucky Department for Public Health, you are advised to restrict movement to home while self-monitoring with public health supervision for 14 days from attending the mass gathering.”
The letter requires the recipients to sign a document agreeing to take their temperatures every day at the same time and report each day to the Board of County Health Department; to not attend work, school, or shopping centers, church, or any public place; to not travel outside the county; to not travel outside of Kentucky without prior approval; and to not travel by public, commercial, or emergency conveyance such as a bus, taxi, airplane, train, boat, or without prior approval.
Gov. Beshear has publicly stated he intends to target people who attend church. Even media who parked in the church parking lot last Sunday had a quarantine notice placed on their car.
Last Saturday, U.S. District Judge Justin Walker ruled that Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer’s order banning parking lot church service was “unconstitutional” and granted a temporary restraining order. The judge also noted Gov. Beshear’s threats. Despite this order that applied to Louisville, Gov. Beshear continued with his plan to target churchgoers on Easter.
Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, “The intentional targeting of churches and churchgoers is unconstitutional. The only reason these cars were ticketed is because they were in a church parking lot. Had they parked in the nearby Kroger or Walmart they would not have been targeted. These people have no symptoms. They were targeted solely because of Gov. Andy Behear’s discriminatory actions against churches. News Flash: The First Amendment does not have a pause button,” said Staver.