In a really remarkable — and blunt — decision, a federal judge has upheld California’s COVID restrictions after a California church claimed the rules illegally prevented them from hosting indoor gatherings.
The church is still free to hold services outside… but they don’t actually care about that. This is about pretending that Christians are victims of discrimination.
If anything, the Christians were lying when they argued a ban on indoor social gatherings would stop them from worshiping, since they can always talk to God outside, or at home, or over Zoom or Facebook, or literally anywhere else. The judge said religious institutions weren’t being treated worse than similar secular groups; if anything, they were being given more leniency.
But it’s this passage at the end of his ruling that’s just incredible:
Plaintiffs paint a stark picture. They claim that Tier 1 “totally prohibit[s] religious worship services of any kind and any number”… This is not true. The First Amendment has not taken a sabbatical. Californians may still worship, attend services, pray, and otherwise exercise their religious freedoms. They just may not do so in ways that significantly increase the likelihood of transmission of a virus which has claimed more than three hundred thousand American lives in less than one year. The Constitution is not a suicide pact. The First Amendment may not be used to make it one.
“The Constitution is not a suicide pact.” Imagine how warped your faith-based thinking has to be that a federal judge needs to remind you that the Constitution doesn’t justify your Christian desire to kill other people just because you think God says it’s okay.
The Christians, naturally, are appealing the ruling. They won’t be satisfied unless more people die from COVID. They’re too arrogant and ignorant to worship from home.