On Sunday, city officials posted a multi-page notice on the door of the church letting them know that they had violated several local COVID guidelines and owed $10,000 for holding a morning and evening service, despite having received a warning earlier. Specifically, the letter called out the church for holding the in-person meeting, not requiring face masks, and allowing people to sing (which spreads the virus).
Pastor Jack Trieber posted a video days later basically treating the whole thing as a form of Christian Persecution, acting as if he had closed his church for long enough and downplaying the risk of COVID.
“This activity is unlawful,” the notice stated. “The county understands that singing is an intimate and meaningful component of religious worship. However, public health experts have also determined that singing together in close proximity and without face coverings transmits virus particles further in the air than breathing or speaking quietly.”
The county demanded that North Valley Baptist “immediately cease” their activities, warning that “failure to do so will result in enforcement action by the county.”
Trieber said that while he wants to obey authority, in this situation, authorities have “overstepped” boundaries.
“I plead with you, back off,” he said. “Open up the spiritual environment of this valley immediately because we’re going to see chaos. I’m not threatening that we’re going to create chaos … but I am willing to take a stand.”
“Yes, let’s be safe. Let’s be careful. But this area needs the church,” he concluded.
This area would be just fine watching a sermon over Zoom. It’s not clear why Trieber thinks people have to be there in person in order to please God. He says in the video they are practicing social distancing, but the letter makes clear that, based on the church’s own social media postings, that’s not happening.
Trieber’s ignorance doesn’t make his church immune from the rules everyone else has to follow. It’s not like the city is singling him out; his church is just dumb enough to pretend everything is fine as far as the virus is concerned. It’s not. No one’s stopping him from preaching. No one’s preventing members from donating money. The city is just trying to protect public health, and this Christian doesn’t give a damn.
He’d rather see people suffer from the virus than accept the temporary inconvenience we all have to deal with right now.
Good for the city for issuing the fine. No church should be let off the hook just because of what they do. It’s about time they paid the price for the damage they’re causing.
(via The Christian Post)