John MacArthur’s Calif. Church Will Defy Newsom’s Church Ban: ‘Christ, not Caesar, Is Head of the Church’

Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, Calif., announced on Friday that it would continue to hold in-person services despite a new edict by Gov. Gavin Newsom shuttering churches, restaurants, bars, fitness centers, hair salons, and barbershops in dozens of counties “indefinitely.”

“We cannot and will not acquiesce to a government-imposed moratorium on our weekly congregational worship or other regular corporate gatherings,” the church, led for the last half-century by Pastor John MacArthur, explained in a statement on its website. “Compliance would be disobedience to our Lord’s clear commands” to meet together for worship. “The church by definition is an assembly,” the pastors and elders of the church explained. “That is the literal meaning of the Greek word for ‘church’—ekklesia—the assembly of the called-out ones.” As a result, “no earthly state has a right to restrict, limit, or forbid the assembling of believers.”

“Therefore, in response to the recent state order requiring churches in California to limit or suspend all meetings indefinitely, we, the pastors and elders of Grace Community Church, respectfully inform our civic leaders that they have exceeded their legitimate jurisdiction, and faithfulness to Christ prohibits us from observing the restrictions they want to impose on our corporate worship services,” they wrote.

“History is full of painful reminders that government power is easily and frequently abused for evil purposes,” the church argued. “Politicians may manipulate statistics and the media can cover up or camouflage inconvenient truths. So a discerning church cannot passively or automatically comply if the government orders a shutdown of congregational meetings—even if the reason given is a concern for public health and safety.” Continue reading “”

Your Rights Come Before Politics

Politics are real. Politics sets priorities between competing public interests. The process is never perfect. It gets ugly when existing political interests work against your individual rights.

Let’s take an easy example first. Suppose you want to gather people together and voice your opinions. The government says you need a permit for a public gathering. The rationale is that we don’t want several groups trying to use the same space at the same time. Now you learn that there is a permit process, a required interview, and an application fee. The bureaucrats say they are busy and schedule your interview for nine months from now due to Covid-19. Clearly, your right of free speech has been infringed. Continue reading “”

Only in the pea sized brains of idiots and tyrants.


DO AMERICANS HAVE EXCESS FREEDOM?

By Elizabeth McGuigan

Amazingly, a new “study” is making headlines, despite the fact that it relies on obviously faulty assumptions, irrational methodology and has not been peer-reviewed.

The authors cite themselves as support for spurious statements like “Surges in firearm purchasing…have been well documented in association with mass shootings and significant political events and are followed by population-level increases in firearm violence.” Crime data for the most recent months isn’t available yet, but we know history proves otherwise.

Sure, Americans tend to buy more of something they think will soon be scarce. Just as there was an increase in toilet paper buying during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, adults are more likely to legally purchase a certain firearm they have been thinking about when there is a political discussion of banning that firearm. Does that mean those purchases are, as the author argues, “excess” firearms?

Any chef will tell you they require different types of knives for different kitchen tasks. Any hunter will tell you they would not rely on the same firearm for self-defense as they would in the field. All guns are not the same and do not meet the same needs for law-abiding citizens that choose to exercise their Constitutional rights to keep and bear arms. The difference is, although there are more homicides each year committed with knives than with Modern Sporting Rifles, no one seems to argue seriously against owning any knives or for limiting the number that a home may possess because more than one is excessive.

Continue reading “”

Intrusive snoop apps on the phone? Not if Ich Bin can help it.


Survey Finds Americans Skeptical of Contact Tracing Apps.

Confusion and skepticism may confound efforts to make use of digital contact tracing technologies during the COVID-19 pandemic. A recent survey found that just 42 percent of American respondents support using so-called contact tracing apps—an indication of a lack of confidence that could weaken or even derail effective deployment of such technologies.

Most contact tracing apps generally try to collect some form of information about a smartphone user’s encounters with other people and notify those users if they were potentially exposed to a confirmed COVID-19 case. But each app has its own approach to privacy and can differ in whether it collects more specific location data based on GPS or merely records close encounters with other smartphones based on Bluetooth radio-wave transmissions. Those differences, coupled with public misunderstanding of different apps, can make it tricky to assess public opinion of specific digital contact tracing technologies.

Continue reading “”

True Revolutionaries Believe in Freedom, Not Power.

……….Care of neither the old nor the young can be considered to be punishment for the able, not even the care of the un-dead old or the unborn young. These beings, regardless not only of race, creed, and color but also of size, situation, or ability, must be treated as equals, and their rights to life not only recognized but defended!………….

Continue reading “”

Federal Judge Blocks NC Governor’s Restrictions on Religious Services

A federal judge’s order Saturday allows North Carolina religious leaders to open their doors to their congregations, in spite of the governor’s warning that they risk spreading coronavirus.

Gov. Roy Cooper said he wouldn’t appeal the ruling blocking his restrictions on indoor religious services.

Saturday’s order pointed out that while only up to 10 people are allowed inside for religious services under Cooper’s stay-at-home order, that same standard doesn’t apply to other entities, such as businesses that are limited to 50% capacity, and funeral services, which allow up to 50 people.

Actually the prosecutor probably determined that further prosecution persecution would be detrimental to his political future.


Charges dropped against Florida pastor who held church services despite coronavirus restrictions

Prosecutors in Florida have dropped misdemeanor charges against a Florida pastor who defied the state’s stay-at-home order to continue church services.

Evangelical megachurch leader Rodney Howard-Browne of the River at Tampa Bay Church had the charges of unlawful assembly and violating quarantine orders during a public health emergency dropped Friday. Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren said the arrest was appropriate that it only came “after repeated efforts to gain cooperation in other ways were not successful.”

“In deciding whether to criminally prosecute violations of stay-at-home orders, compliance is our North Star,” Warren said, according to the Tampa Bay Times. “Each case is unique, and each one will be assessed based on the facts and the law. But, in general, if the person who was arrested poses no ongoing threat to public health, then our tendency will be not to prosecute the case beyond the arrest.”

Warren said that since the pastor was arrested, he has “maintained responsible social distancing” and has engaged with community leaders about how to move forward during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Our office has determined that further prosecution or punishment would not provide increased protections for our community and is not needed to achieve any additional change in Pastor Howard-Browne’s behavior,” he said.

Howard-Browne was arrested in late March after he repeatedly flouted Florida’s social distancing restrictions and continued to hold crowded church services……….

 

Why , yes. Yes I do have an answer for you, Karen.
Let me inform your ignorance, as the 9th amendment reads thusly:
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

This one, conflating the Declaration of Independence’s statement of certain unalienable rights being ‘Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness’ as being in the Bill of Rights, still is so ignorant she can’t even remember to quote them correctly.

This is the willful ignorance, informed only by propaganda, we should be concerned about: That in today’s time of the internet where an answer to “What’s in the Constitution, Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence” can be summoned at the push of a button or two, but she can’t be bothered to look it up.

Does she really care, or is she just too stupid to want to learn?


Letter: All amendments matter, not just the 2nd Amendment

To the Editor:

During this prolonged period of social distancing, I find myself spending far too much time mulling over questions of which I have yet to provide answers. Like a pesky mosquito, my pondering persists.

Perhaps someone much wiser might provide answers that could ease my angst:………….

• Why is the Second Amendment the single go-to amendment for the assault weapon-toting people concerned that gun regulations take away their constitutional rights? Why not take a moment to read a bit from the Ninth Amendment advocating for my constitutional right provided by our government for “…obtaining happiness and safety”? I am finding it difficult to feel any sense of safety knowing someone could be packing heat at my grocery store, movie theater or local bars. Any answer for me?………….

Certain there are answers to my questions but not so certain there will be any change.

Joan Skiba

 

Everyone knows the one about what road is paved with ‘good intentions’.

It’s possible the author and co-signers of the bill have good intentions, but this kind of power in the wrong hands is an example of the old line about ‘never make a law that you would not want your enemy to use against you’.

It depends on utterly ethical professionalism that would make the purported incorruptibility of Eliot Ness & the Untouchables pale in comparison and stay that way even in the face of administrations *cough*Obama*cough* that used and abused the powers of the FISA court, the FBI, DOJ and the IRS for corrupt political purposes with not one peep in protest by those employed there.
Not to mention the implications that the 4th amendment protections against ‘unreasonable’ searches


StopHR838.com:
Oppose HR 838 – Wholesale Domestic Surveillance of Gun Owners
[and everyone else]

Stand with us in opposing HR 838, a program for the wholesale domestic surveillance of gun owners!

  • Issue: HR 838 – Threat Assessment, Prevention, and Safety Act
  • Author: Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX)
  • Position: STRONGLY Opposed
  • Information:
    • FPC Policy Memo in response to HR 838: Link
    • **UPDATE** 47 new cosponsors have signed onto this bill as recently as March 2020, bringing the total co-sponsors to 180 with a true bipartisan split of 90 Republicans and 90 Democrats.
    • Now 180 of 435 members of Congress leaves only 38 more necessary for it to pass.
    • HR 838 would permit levels of espionage against the American people not seen since the introduction of the Patriot Act.
    • This Republican-sponsored bill would establish a “Task Force” of 24 unelected, generally unsupervised individuals to oversee a national strategy of monitoring private citizens under the guise of preventing “targeted violence through behavioral threat assessment.”
    • The act would also give the Department of Homeland Security the authority to issue grants to “eligible entities” in order to encourage those entities to hand information to “fusion centers,” which are defined as collaborative efforts of state, federal, and local governments “with the goal of maximizing the ability of such agencies to detect, prevent, investigate, apprehend, and respond to criminal or terrorist activity.”
    • The government could then use the data it collected to build behavioral models based on otherwise harmless behavior, such as purchasing two handguns in one month. That model could then be used to target unwitting, innocent gun owners as potential “threats.”
    • Moreover, HR 838 would authorize the government to spend $25 million a year through 2024… effectively wasting over $100 million of the taxpayers’ money to spy on the American people.
    • The TAPS Act is potentially disastrous for those intent on exercising their right to keep and bear arms, and assuredly catastrophic for the privacy rights reserved to the People under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments.
  • Rep. Scott Desjarlais (R-TN-4) did WITHDRAW his cosponsorhip of this bill just after we brought attention to it last year, according to Congressional record: Link

The Shutdown Is The Largest Infringement Of Rights In A Century
Right now all of us have decisions to make about how much freedom is too much freedom.

On the national lockdown loosening in some states and stubbornly persisting in others, Americans are very much of two minds. For some, including most of the media, it is an inconvenience, but a righteous one that saves lives. For others, often with smaller megaphones, it is a powerfully destructive force economically and socially. But we should be able to agree that, whether justified or not, the lockdown has been a massive infringement on Americans’ basic rights.

At least since women received the right to vote there has been no time when so many Americans have had so many basic rights limited by the government. Yes, millions have been drafted, during World War II the entire country was made to ration goods, and there have been horrible incidents like Japanese internment. But never have the vast majority of Americans — hundreds of millions of people — had so many rights stripped for so extended a time with no end in sight.

Let’s look down the list of rights that are currently being denied by the state to the vast majority of Americans. Most may not leave their houses except for essential travel. Most may not operate their businesses. Most may not attend church or host even small gatherings in their homes. Most may not receive even potentially life-saving medical procedures such as cancer screenings. Whether one supports or opposes the lockdown, this deprivation of rights in unprecedented in modern American history.

America was founded on the principle that God gives us inalienable rights, specifically to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. State-imposed shutdowns of basic medical services threaten life. Restrictions on travel and what we may do in our homes threaten liberty. Banning all gatherings such as church, entertainment, social gatherings, and sports threatens happiness. The lockdown hits the trifecta.

Those in favor of the state-mandated restriction of rights argue that it is only temporary and is needed because of the grave medical emergency we face. Even though many, including Attorney General William Barr, have expressed serious doubts as to whether a pandemic supersedes the Constitution, let’s stipulate for the sake of argument that it does and see where this idea takes us.

The first thing to note is that this unprecedented attack on basic rights is open ended. Many believe that at least some of these restrictions must stay in place until the Chinese virus is no longer with us. This may never happen. Will “the new normal” be one in which we sacrifice freedom for safety? And if so, what is the limiting principle?

For that matter, what constitutes a public health crisis sufficiently deadly to “temporarily” suspend people’s rights? In 2017, about 40,000 people were killed in incidents involving guns. To date, about 70,000 people have died from coronavirus. These figures are not wildly different. If the state may take such drastic measures to deny Americans rights during the pandemic, why couldn’t tens of thousands of gun-related deaths qualify as a public health crisis that supersedes the Second Amendment and leads to gun confiscation? Where is the line between these causes of death?

What about free speech? Surely nobody would suggest that this most basic and precious liberty be a casualty of the Chinese pandemic — or would they? In The Atlantic, Jack Goldsmith and Adam Keane Woods have this to say” “In the great debate of the past two decades about freedom versus control of the [Internet] network, China was largely right and the United States was largely wrong. Significant monitoring and speech control are inevitable components of a mature and flourishing Internet, and governments must play a large role in these practices to ensure that the Internet is compatible with a society’s norms and values.” Yikes!

The longer this lockdown goes on, the more accustomed Americans become to a deprivation of their God-given rights by the state in the name of saving lives, and the flimsier the parchment of the Constitution becomes. Governments always have “good reasons” for denying rights. Nobody ever says, “I just want to be an awful fascist.” There’s always a threat, usually a very serious one, that supposedly justifies such illiberal actions.

Beyond the death, sickness, economic ruin, and inconvenience of this crisis, we must also be jealously guarding the rights protected by our founding. We do this not merely to defend the liberties that have been bequeathed to us, but protect them for those to whom we must pass them.

These are not esoteric, ivory tower constitutional questions; they literally strike at the birthright of every American. They must not be waived away under the pretense of an emergency situation. The government does not grant us rights, it protects them. Right now, all of us have decisions to make about how much freedom is too much freedom. On this question, we must never err on the side of caution, but always on the side of liberty.

Fear is an opportunity for tyranny

And ’twas ever thus.

One of the many lessons of the COVID-19 response is how easily public official embrace tyranny, and how many people accept it because of fear.

I’m afraid of COVID-19. I’m in a relatively high-risk group, and I’m laying very low. I’ll probably lay low for longer than my state tells me to, but that’s my decision. I didn’t like the initial 2-week shutdown, but I thought I understood the reasons – flatten the curve and keep the health care system from being totally overwhelmed – and I knew it would buy us time to learn more about the illness.

Mission accomplished. It’s been far more than two weeks, and the damage from the shutdown itself has gotten to the point that it becomes crystal clear it needs to be removed. The benefits have been less clear, too. There doesn’t seem to be much evidence that shutdowns mattered all that much in the curve of the COVID-19 toll in various states and various countries. We understand more than we did, but although we don’t understand enough, we have to take a few leaps because one thing we do understand (and was clear from the start, actually) is that the shutdown itself is causing tremendous damage. And that damage is not limited to economics; it involves mental and physical health as well.

Almost six weeks ago I wrote this:

So here’s my question for all you epidemiologists and infectious disease experts out there –

Wouldn’t it be better to have only high-risk people stay home? People over 60 and those with pre-existing conditions? That way, if all those at low risk kept mingling, a lot of them would get a mild flu and herd immunity will be achieved fairly quickly, to the benefit of all, without overwhelming the health care system.

I’m not suggesting this as an actual policy right now, but I’m just wondering if my logic is flawed. I suppose the question is how long would it take for it to run its course and achieve sufficient herd immunity, and when would it be safe for us old folks to finally emerge. Also, would there be a lot of deaths among the younger ones in the meantime?

I just don’t see the end game for the current mitigation strategies.

It wasn’t rocket science to question what was happening back then. And that was before the worst of the draconian measures were put in place by governors such as Michigan’s Whitmer, which are not only startlingly strict but seemingly unrelated to any public health goal or logic involving such goals.

What’s going on? People in power like more power, particularly people on the left. Tyrants of all stripes have long used emergency powers to increase their control over the people. Sometimes those emergency powers become semi-permanent or even permanent. It certainly doesn’t surprise me that some governors are trying to stretch it out for as long as possible.

I believe that’s one of the reasons the MSM is trying to stoke fear, and has been doing so from the start. There’s plenty of fear to be had, of course, just from the basic facts of the matter without trying to increase it further. But the MSM is strongly motivated in various ways to do just that: in order to get Trump, to give petty tyrants like Whitmer more reasons to clamp down, and to increase traffic because “if it bleeds it leads.”

The real wild card in all this is how long the people are going to take it. Spring is stirring even in northern climes, and it’s fully flowering further south, and people are ready to burst forth from their own enforced isolation. Some people’s livelihoods depend on it, and a lot people feel their sanity does as well.

And some people are just tired of being told what to do without seeing sufficient reason to obey, when all they’re asking for is the freedom to go about their normal lives – or as near normal as possible, taking precautions to protect the most vulnerable.

Our Dress Rehearsal for a Police State

All my life, I have dismissed paranoids on the right (“America is headed to communism”) and the left (“It can happen here” — referring to fascism). It’s not that I’ve ever believed liberty was guaranteed. Being familiar with history and a pessimist regarding the human condition, I never believed that.

But the ease with which police state tactics have been employed and the equal ease with which most Americans have accepted them have been breathtaking.

People will argue that a temporary police state has been justified because of the allegedly unique threat to life posed by the new coronavirus. I do not believe the data will bear that out. Regardless, let us at least agree that we are closer to a police state than ever in American history.

“Police state” does not mean totalitarian state. America is not a totalitarian state; we still have many freedoms. In a totalitarian state, this article could not be legally published, and if it were illegally published, I would be imprisoned and/or executed. But we are presently living with all four of the key hallmarks of a police state:

No. 1: Draconian laws depriving citizens of elementary civil rights.

The federal, state, county and city governments are now restricting almost every freedom except those of travel and speech. Americans have been banned from going to work (and thereby earning a living), meeting in groups (both indoors and outdoors), meeting in their cars in church parking lots to pray and entering state-owned properties such as beaches and parks — among many other prohibitions.

No. 2: A mass media supportive of the state’s messaging and deprivation of rights.

The New York Times, CNN and every other mainstream mass medium — except Fox News, The Wall Street Journal (editorial and opinion pages only) and talk radio — have served the cause of state control over individual Americans’ lives just as Pravda served the Soviet government. In fact, there is almost no more dissent in The New York Times than there was in Pravda. And the Big Tech platforms are removing posts about the virus and potential treatments they deem “misinformation.”

No. 3: Use of police.

Police departments throughout America have agreed to enforce these laws and edicts with what can only be described as frightening alacrity. After hearing me describe police giving summonses to, or even arresting, people for playing baseball with their children on a beach, jogging alone without a mask, or worshipping on Easter while sitting isolated in their cars in a church parking lot, a police officer called my show. He explained that the police have no choice. They must respond to every dispatch they receive.

“And why are they dispatched to a person jogging on a beach or sitting alone in a park?” I asked.

Because the department was informed about these lawbreakers.

“And who told the police about these lawbreakers?” I asked.

His answer brings us to the fourth characteristic of a police state:

No. 4: Snitches.

How do the police dispatchers learn of lawbreakers such as families playing softball in a public park, lone joggers without face masks, etc.? From their fellow citizens snitching on them. The mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio, set up a “snitch line,” whereby New Yorkers were told to send authorities photos of fellow New Yorkers violating any of the quarantine laws. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti similarly encouraged snitching, unabashedly using the term.

It is said that about 1 in every 100 East German citizens were informers for the Stasi, the East German secret police, as superbly portrayed in the film “The Lives of Others.” It would be interesting, and, I think, important, to know what percentage of New Yorkers informed on their fellow citizens. Now, again, you may think such a comparison is not morally valid, that de Blasio’s call to New Yorkers to serve a Stasi-like role was morally justified given the coronavirus pandemic. But you cannot deny it is Stasi-like or that, other than identifying spies during World War II, this is unprecedented in American history at anywhere near this level.

This past Friday night, I gathered with six others for a Shabbat dinner with friends in Santa Monica, California. On my Friday radio show, I announced I would be doing that, and if I was arrested, it would be worth it. In my most pessimistic dreams, I never imagined that in America, having dinner at a friend’s house would be an act of civil disobedience, perhaps even a criminal act. But that is precisely what happens in a police state.

The reason I believe this is a dress rehearsal is that too many Americans appear untroubled by it; the dominant force in America, the left, supports it, and one of the two major political parties has been taken over by the left. Democrats and their supporters have, in effect, announced they will use state power to enforce any law they can to combat the even greater “existential” crisis of global warming.

On the CNN website this weekend, in one of the most frightening and fanatical articles in an era of fanaticism, Bill Weir, CNN chief climate correspondent, wrote an open letter to his newborn son. In it, he wrote of his idealized future for America: “completely new forms of power, food, construction, transportation, economics and politics.”

You cannot get there without a police state.

If you love liberty, you must see that it is jeopardized more than at any time since America’s founding. And that means, among other things, that at this time, a vote for any Democrat is a vote to end liberty.

“Democrat governors are demonstrating every single day that what happened in Venezuela could happen here. “For the common good we are taking away your civil rights but trust us, you’ll get them back some day.””


Louisiana pastor breaks house arrest to hold Sunday service amid coronavirus stay-at-home orders

The embattled Louisiana pastor who repeatedly flouted social distancing measures defied house arrest by hosting a large gathering of congregants for a Sunday service in defiance of orders to stay at home to limit the impact of the coronavirus.

Pastor Tony Spell of the Life Tabernacle Church in Baton Rouge was seen on a live stream Sunday walking among more than 100 congregants, often repeating the phrase, “I’ve just got to get to Jesus. … Come on America, let’s get back to Jesus.”

Nearly all parishioners were not wearing face masks, and social distancing was not being practiced, The Associated Press reported.

Spell had been placed on house arrest at 9 a.m. Saturday morning after refusing to tell a judge if he’d continue to hold Sunday services.

A Facebook Live video shared by Central City News showed the pastor playing the piano surrounded by family members inside his home. A man wearing personal protective equipment had Spell sign paperwork before fitting him for an ankle monitor.

“Tomorrow at 12 o’clock, my voice will be silenced for several months,” he said, referring to his normal Sunday service. “You will not hear from me again. I promise you, I will continue to do what I do. This is not about me. This is about our religious liberties.”

Spell, who has also been accused of nearly running over a protester with his church bus, appeared before a state district judge Friday but refused to clarify whether he would continue to hold in-person religious services over the weekend in defiance of Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards’ stay-at-home order, The Advocate reported.

Judge Fred Crifasi of the 19th Judicial District Court asked Spell if he would comply with the order that’s required all non-essential businesses, including churches, to shut their doors, and has limited gathering to no more than 10 people.

Citing Bible verse 1 Peter 3:14, Spell responded: “But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled,” according to District Attorney Hillar Moore III.

When Crifasi asked a second time, Spell remained silent, something the judge interpreted to mean the pastor would once again fail to adhere to social-distancing measures.

Pastor sues Va. Gov. Ralph Northam after facing fine, jail for holding 16-person church service

A Virginia pastor, who was served a summons for holding a service for 16 people on Palm Sunday, and his church have filed a federal lawsuit against Gov. Ralph Northam for issuing executive orders banning religious gatherings with more than 10 people, saying it violated the Virginia Constitution.

Liberty Counsel, which is representing Pastor Kevin Wilson and Lighthouse Fellowship Church on Chincoteague Island, filed the lawsuit Friday against Northam, whose COVID Order 55 provides for a penalty of up to a year in jail and/or a $2,500 fine.

Police served a summons to Wilson for holding a church service on April 5 for 16 people spaced far apart in a sanctuary that is rated for 293 people, Liberty Counsel said in a statement.

A police officer entered the church without identifying himself and “abruptly” told the congregation “they could not have more than 10 people spaced six feet apart,” the law firm said.

“Then, after the service, two police officers entered the church in full mask and gloves and asked to speak with the pastor. They issued him a summons and informed him that if he had service on Easter, all attending would get the same summons.”

Liberty Counsel said the parking lots of multiple commercial establishments were filled with hundreds of cars Thursday. “Yet, Gov. Northam criminalizes religious worship that exceeds 10 people.”

“Governor Ralph Northam has clearly discriminated against Lighthouse Fellowship Church which provides essential physical, emotional and spiritual services to the community,” The law firm’s chair, Mat Staver, said. “This church does not have internet and cannot flip a switch to broadcast online.”

Staver argued that Wilson protected the health and safety of the 16 people that attended on Palm Sunday by requiring them to be spread far apart in the sanctuary. “But because the church had six more people than the 10 allowed by the governor, the pastor is being criminally charged. We must balance the First Amendment with protecting the health and welfare of people but picking an arbitrary number of 10 people for every church is not the answer,” he said.

Quoting the judgment in W. Va. State Bd. of Educ. v. Barnette, Liberty Counsel noted that the Supreme Court has unequivocally stated, “[i]f there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein.”

The Commonwealth of Virginia, the statement underlines, “does not have the authority to dictate the manner or form of worship, whether that be online or a 10-person limit.”

Earlier, a Russell County man, Larry Hughes, filed a suit against Northam in Russell County Circuit Court looking for an injunction to allow churches and other faith communities to hold limitless group assemblies, according to Richmond Times-Dispatch.

“[Hughes] will not know the number of participants that may be at a service until he arrives,” the lawsuit read. “Even the pastor of a church may fear numerical non-compliance and simply close the doors to avoid turning out participants during service if the number suddenly exceeds the permissible limit.”

Defending Northam, Attorney General Mark Herring said in a brief he filed, “As a person of faith, the Governor recognized that the temporary gatherings restriction would be particularly hard on religious communities. … The Governor has issued guidance designed to help faith communities maintain their communion and worked with religious leaders to find creative solutions, including online and drive-in services.

“Time and again, large gatherings have provided fertile ground for transmission of this deadly virus — and in-person religious services have not been spared.”

However, Hughes’ lawyer, T. Shead Cook, responded by saying the orders placed “commercial/secular interests above the guaranteed freedom of religion.”

Judge Michael Moore denied the injunction request by Hughes.

U.S. Supreme Court requires unanimous jury verdicts for serious crimes

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Monday that the constitutional guarantee of trial by jury requires a unanimous verdict for serious crimes, siding with a Louisiana man convicted of murder and paving the way for potentially hundreds of defendants found guilty by divided juries to receive new trials.

Only two of the 50 states, Louisiana and Oregon, have permitted non-unanimous verdicts. Writing for the court in the 6-3 ruling, conservative Justice Neil Gorsuch noted that the non-unanimous verdict requirement in both states traced back to past racist policies intended to reduce the power of non-white jurors to influence the outcome of trials.

The ruling, overturning a 1972 Supreme Court precedent, means that Evangelisto Ramos, who was convicted by a 12-member jury on a 10-2 vote, is likely to get a new trial. Ramos, found guilty in the 2014 New Orleans murder of a woman named Trinece Fedison whose body was found in a trash can, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The justices concluded that the U.S. Constitution’s Sixth Amendment, which guarantees the right to an impartial trial, requires that jurors be unanimous to convict in serious criminal cases. Gorsuch noted that historically some minor crimes do not require a jury trial.

Louisiana updated its law to prohibit non-unanimous verdicts starting last year but that change did not apply retroactively.

The ruling could benefit hundreds of inmates convicted with non-unanimous verdicts in Louisiana and Oregon by leading to new trials.

“We are heartened that the court has held, once and for all, that the promise of the Sixth Amendment fully applies in Louisiana, rejecting any concept of second-class justice,” said Ben Cohen, a lawyer for Ramos.

The office of Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry said in a statement that the state’s priorities have not changed as a result of the ruling.

The Birth Of An American Freedom Movement

We may be witnessing the birth of a movement that could be the most important result of the COVID-19 nightmare: the anti-lockdown protests sweeping the country.

Per our usual agreement, the media is totally getting it wrong. It’s not about being able to go to restaurants or movies or even only about going back to work. It’s certainly not about a death cult or not taking the virus seriously.

The protests are, at core, about people who want their rights back — rights that have been snatched in just a few weeks time. It’s driven by people who understand the threat of tyrannical government, and that threat is very, very real. It’s happening right in front of our eyes.

Probably the best face of Orwell’s dystopian 1984 is New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. Although the Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is a close second. Mayor de Blasio is calling on residents to report their neighbors to law enforcement for violations of social distancing protocols. And it’s made super easy. Yay! How do you narc out your neighbors who don’t obey government edicts? “It’s simple: just snap a photo and text it to 311-692.” de Blasio said. “We will make sure that enforcement comes right away.”

Wow, wow, wow. Please read 1984. This is *exactly* what Big Brother teaches neighbors and children to do. Everyone is a snitch. People live in terror. In 1984, they disappear if they don’t follow the government line. We’re not there yet. But this is an astonishing step in the Big Brother direction.

Michigan Golfers Flouting Lockdown Rules Right Next Door to Governor’s Mansion

Seig Heil! THBBT!Heil! THBBT! Right in the Führer’s Face!


Country Club of Lansing allows members to ignore lockdown

The Country Club of Greater Lansing is again allowing its members to play on its course along Moores River Drive after a brief shutdown. And that’s despite guidance today from the state’s top law enforcement official that said otherwise. 

“We cannot rely on the superfluous statements made by each respective office and must only rely on the text of the order itself,” according to an email from the Country Club to its members sent earlier this week, again allowing golf to be played. “If the governor intended the order to specifically ban golf, she would have included such specific language in the order.”

Despite Pandemic, Churches Persevere, Push Back Against Overreach

As politicians and lawyers argue over emergency powers claimed by government officials, the faithful are finding ways to cope amid aggressive public health orders that make it difficult or impossible to come together in person for worship.

As religious people go about their daily lives, battles are raging in courts across the land about how far governments can go in their efforts to combat the CCP virus.

Some Americans have been appalled at what they say are examples of government overreach. Before Easter Sunday, a federal judge in Kentucky enjoined Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer from enforcing a sweeping social-distancing order that banned drive-in church services.

On April 18, a federal court in Kansas granted a temporary injunction against an executive order limiting church gatherings to 10 people, Fox News reported. The order came a week after the state’s supreme court ruled in favor of Gov. Laura Kelly, a Democrat whose order was reversed by a Republican-led panel of state lawmakers.

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt, a Republican, said he supported the federal court ruling, which he said was “a much-needed reminder that the Constitution is not under a stay-home order and the Bill of Rights cannot be quarantined.”

He added, “The Constitution protects our liberties especially during times of crisis, when history reveals governments too quick to sacrifice rights of the few to calm fears of the many.”

The Trump administration is siding with the churches, which argue First Amendment rights are being abridged by overreaching executive orders by governors and mayors.

U.S. Attorney General William Barr has been monitoring government regulation of religious services. On April 14, he weighed in by issuing a statement.

Even in times of emergency, “the First Amendment and federal statutory law prohibit discrimination against religious institutions and religious believers,” Barr wrote………..