However, don't these orders violate our First Amendment rights, including freedom of religion and peaceable assembly?
Furthermore, does the "Stay at home" orders issued by California Governor Gavin Newsom and other governors in the United States mean that people of faith cannot meet with their fellow parishoners?
Does this mean that Christians must forego attending church for the time being?
Brad Dacus of the Pacific Justice Institute shared the following press release/legal information with faithful adherents and church leaders about their rights and opportunities during the Coronavirus "Stay At Home" orders:
This press release was published two weeks ago. Today, those orders have heightened considerably. Even I did not attend church this past weekend because my pastor and his congregational staff decided to deliver the sermons via social media instead of in person.
I think that this development is quite unfortunate. Instead of living in fear, our leaders, both in the pulpit as well as in the statehouse, should walk by faith, not by sight or sense.
The Governor of Michigan, herself a liberal Democrat, included an exception to her "Stay At Home" order this week.
Here's the report from Christian Post:
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer stated that worship services are exempted from her recent executive order prohibiting gatherings of 50 or more people due to coronavirus concerns.
In an interview with “Fox News Sunday” anchor John Roberts, Whitmer explained that while she greatly discourages such gatherings in light of the pandemic, she believed the government did not have the right to order churches to close.
“Well, you know, the separation of church and state and the Republican legislature asked me to clarify that,” explained Whitmer, a Democrat.
“That's an area that we don't have the ability to directly enforce and control. We are encouraging people, though, do not congregate.” The governor warned those considering attending church at this time that “you yourself can be carrying it and you might not even know it.”
Californians should contact Governor Newsom and demand that he relax his "Stay at Home" order. Yes, he can advise churches and charities to monitor and discourage large gathers, but to all-out ban larger assemblies of Christians and other religious congregations is a step too far.
Make it clear to the staffers that other Democratic governors (although partisan affiliation should not matter) have relaxed their "Stay at Home" orders.