Yesterday, Ohio’s Gov. Mike DeWine issued a statewide stay-at-home order that goes into effect later tonight. That’s the right move to curb the spread of COVID-19.
But the exemptions to the order — meant to protect essential services like grocery stores and gas stations — include “religious gatherings.” That means churches will be allowed to put the public at risk.
DeWine undercut his own order by tweeting that churches shouldn’t meet in large groups… but pastors who think spiritual salvation overrides our physical lives are allowed to defy the order without punishment.
We have the ability to do religious services other ways. I implore religious leaders to think about their congregations. Gathering in groups is dangerous.
— Governor Mike DeWine (@GovMikeDeWine) March 22, 2020
It’s not a true stay-at-home order if the sort of people who don’t understand or accept science are permitted to defy the rules. They’re the people we need the most protection from — the people who think their faith grants them some kind of supernatural immunity to a deadly virus.
Christians often say that God is everywhere and that God can always hear your prayers. Apparently that’s all a lie since this order suggests Christians need to meet in a physical building in order for God to pay any attention to them.
Their negligence will hurt more people.
One church — the Solid Rock Church in Warren — is already taking advantage of DeWine’s loophole to invite people into their building:
A video from that church posted this morning, presumably from a recent service, shows plenty of people in the building, ignoring all advice about self-distancing.
When there are more outbreaks in the state, you know who to blame.
Keep in mind DeWine’s administration shut down abortion clinics because he said they were non-essential services, as if women’s health is optional.
DeWine wants to force women to give birth — because he’s “pro-life” — while allowing churches to put more elderly lives at risk.
It’s irresponsible. It’s hypocritical. It’s exactly what we have come to expect from elected Republicans.
(via Religion Clause)