Wisconsin is currently a state with a Democratic governor and a Republican legislature, and the latter has done everything it can to block the former from accomplishing anything. Their latest effort involves making sure people suffer more from COVID-19 even as Gov. Tony Evers tries to protect people’s lives.
The Republicans are urging Evers to allow in-person church services during Passover and Easter because it’s important for religious people. That may be the case, but in-person gatherings during this pandemic are extremely risky and need to be avoided at all costs. While pastors are making national news for holding services that increase the risk of catching and spreading the virus, Wisconsin Republicans are trying to do something similar throughout the state.
Thankfully, Evers (below) isn’t caving.
“It is more important than ever that we allow Wisconsinites to observe their individual faiths,” Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and the other members of the Assembly GOP caucus wrote in a Friday letter to Evers. “To that end, we ask that you work with Wisconsin churches and temples to allow them to hold Easter or Passover services, even if it’s outside.”
Evers declined the request.
It’s the height of irresponsibility — and science denial — for Republicans to act like religious gatherings should be an exception to a statewide stay-at-home order. How many people have to die before they come to their senses? Even if services are outdoors, too many people would be gathering in one spot.
At least Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett spoke logically:
“This disease does not have a religious exemption,” Barrett said. “As much as I would love this disease to have a religious exemption, a family exemption, a voting exemption, it does not. And and it’s not just the people who would attend these services, but it would be the people that they would infect.”
That’s the right attitude. It’s not just church members potentially infecting themselves; it’s that they may later infect people in their families or people they cross paths with at a grocery store.
“Religious freedom” isn’t the issue here. The only issue is public safety. Republicans just don’t give a damn. They’d rather see more people suffer than do something difficult that helps everyone in the state.
Plenty of religious leaders have already found a way around this. They’re live-streaming their sermons and they’ll still celebrate the holidays, even if the method is far from their preferred option. But guess what? That’s what we’re all doing, whether we’re students, teachers, or parents.
It’s not pastors making this demand of Evers; it’s the GOP trying to curry favor with those pastors by acting like defenders of faith. Republicans are the problem, not the religious leaders. If only Wisconsin residents understood that enough that they stopped voting for the GOP.
Anyway, if your pastor insists that you attend an in-person service right now, then you’re part of a death cult and you need to get the hell out. Apparently we can say the same about the Republican Party.
(Screenshot via YouTube. Thanks to Scott for the link)