Police in British Columbia Just Fined Churches $18,400 for Violating COVID Rules December 19, 2020

Police in British Columbia Just Fined Churches $18,400 for Violating COVID Rules

This is what it looks like when government officials hold churches accountable for breaking the law.

In British Columbia, Canada, where the COVID crisis has been especially bad, in-person gatherings have been prohibited. That applies to churches as well as secular gatherings — with essential services being sensible exceptions to the rule — and law enforcement officials have levied fines against groups breaking the law. As we posted earlier this month, one church received a $2,300 fine.

Turns out there are more Christians violating the rules, creating chances for COVID to spread easily, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) aren’t letting them get away with it.

The RCMP say they have served tickets totalling $18,400 to representatives from three places of worship in British Columbia’s Fraser Valley for violating public health orders.

The actual press release offers more detail:

On the mornings of December 6 and 13, 2020 Chilliwack RCMP responded to reports of groups of people gathering at three separate churches contrary to the existing [Public Health Order].

On December 17, 2020 police charged representatives of the congregations with eight counts of failure to comply with an order of a Health Officer including fines amounting to $18,400.

$18,400.

That’s a well-deserved punishment for churches that decided putting people’s health in danger was vital to their faith. Maybe those fines keep coming the more they choose to meet despite having every ability to hold services from a distance. It really ought to be a fine for arrogance and selfishness given how little these people care about their families and communities.

But it’s about time churches didn’t get a free pass to break the law. Religion alone shouldn’t exempt you from following the rules of society. Asking church leaders to host online services or to minimize their crowds is hardly a burden to their faith. If they can’t follow the rules, they should pay the price — and decent Christians across the province should run the hell away from these death traps before they learn that lesson the hard way.

(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Rick for the link)

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