California Churches Sue Gavin Newsom Over Ban on Singing During Church Services

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Jul 16, 2020   |   4:14PM   |   Sacramento, CA

You can’t sing in church in California right now. But if you want to abort your unborn baby for any reason at all, you can.

On Wednesday, three churches sued pro-abortion Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom for singling out houses of worship in his latest coronavirus restrictions, the Washington Examiner reports.

The churches, Calvary Chapel of Ukiah, Calvary Chapel Fort Bragg and River of Life Church, said California leaders are unfairly targeting them by allowing massive protests to continue while heavily restricting religious worship.

According to their lawsuit, “When asked to explain whether people should heed Newsom’s mandate and avoid large crowds and gatherings, Newsom refused to place the same restrictions on protesters and explained ‘we have a Constitution, we have a right to free speech,’ and further stated that ‘we are all dealing with a moment in our nation‘s history that is profound and pronounced — do what you think is best.’”

On July 1, the California Department of Public Health issued new guidelines outlining steps that houses of worship must take to help prevent further spread of the virus. One of those measures prohibits singing, even when people are social distancing and wearing masks. The state also limits indoor religious attendance to “25% of building capacity or a maximum of 100 attendees, whichever is lower.”

According to the lawsuit, the churches could face fines, imprisonment or both if they violate Newsom’s mandate.

“This ban is clearly targeted at religion,” said Jordan Sekulow, executive director of the American Center for Law and Justice, which represents the churches. “It is clearly a violation of the First Amendment and a direct violation of religious liberty.”

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Pastor Samuel Rodriguez, who is president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference and a member of the National COVID-19 Recovery Commission, also has been speaking out against Newsom’s “completely discriminatory” order and encouraging others to do the same.

“How can you permit, not for one day, but for many days, tens of thousands to march in protest without wearing masks and then demand that 100 worshipers refrain from singing?” Rodriguez asked.

In April, a California county faced criticism for introducing similar restrictions on singing and playing certain instruments in online worship services.

According to that order, only four individuals were allowed to record a service together from one place, and they must be at least 6 feet apart. Additionally, the order states, “… no singing or use of wind instruments, harmonicas or other instruments that could spread COVID-19 through projected droplets shall be permitted unless the recording of the event is done at one’s residence.”

Most religious leaders across the world urged their congregations to be safe and practice common-sense health measures to protect themselves and others during the coronavirus outbreak. Throughout the spring, many religious services were held online or in special drive-in venues where people stayed in their vehicles with the windows up while listening to the service on their radios.

Meanwhile, abortion facilities continued aborting unborn babies unhindered in most states. Some Planned Parenthood abortion facilities were open for abortions only. Others asked for donations of personal protective equipment (PPE) for their work aborting unborn babies – taking PPE away from hospitals that needed it for actual, life-saving health care.

Meanwhile, pro-life sidewalk counselors were fined and arrested for offering information and resources to pregnant moms as they went into abortion facilities during the initial outbreak. In April, David Benham and several others were arrested for praying outside an abortion clinic in Charlotte, North Carolina. Police in San Francisco also cited a pro-life sidewalk counselor who was doing peaceful outreach outside a Planned Parenthood abortion facility.

In April, California churches filed another lawsuit against Newsom after he exempted abortion facilities but not houses of worship from his stay-at-home mandate. The governor lifted some of the restrictions in May after more than 3,000 churches protested, telling him that they would re-open even without his approval, according to the Examiner.