Los Angeles County is fining a COVID-denying megachurch $1,000 for breaking the law when it comes to putting up signs about COVID.
The church, of course, is Pastor John MacArthur‘s Grace Community Church. For more than a month now, MacArthur has been celebrating the lack of social distancing and face masks in his congregation. A couple of weeks ago, he falsely claimed, “There is no pandemic.” And he continues to defy local regulations about indoor gatherings.
The county responded in late August by ending his church’s lease with a city-owned parking lot, making it much harder for the congregation to attend services.
The latest battle involves the signs placed around the church:
By entering the Grace Community Church campus, you assume the risk of contracting COVID-19, and you agree that the church cannot be held responsible if that happens. Please do not enter if you have an elevated temperature, a cough, or any flu-like symptoms.
Besides that already being a giant red flag to sensible people, it’s also missing vital information required by the county. There’s nothing on those signs — which aren’t even posted on the front or back of the building — that say people should wash their hands, use sanitizer, wear face masks, or distance themselves inside.
So the city is fining the church $1,000.
Conservative blowhard Todd Starnes is apoplectic as usual:
Los Angeles County is trying every angle to harass and bully Pastor John MacArthur and the congregation of Grace Community Church…
Make no mistake. this is an abusive, overt attempt to shut down the church.
But Pastor MacArthur is a man who humbly stands on the Word of God. He will not be bullied. He will not be intimidated — no matter what the godless government in Los Angeles ultimately decides to do.
The government is not “godless” just because they care about protecting the people in Los Angeles. (To Starnes, anyone with common sense is a heretic.)
In any case, the county made the rules clear from the beginning. Church officials were too dumb to follow them. Now they’re being punished for it. That’s how it works. (They could avoid all future fines by just moving to online services, as so many other churches have done, but MacArthur is waaaay to selfish to do that at this point. His ego would never allow it.)
It’s bad enough no one running this church cares about the health of the congregation; they’re getting angry because they got caught breaking the rules. At some point, they should realize they’re the problems here. Not everyone they wish to blame.