Once again, a Canadian judge has rightly ordered a church to be shut down for repeatedly ignoring COVID restrictions and putting the public’s safety in jeopardy. Locks were placed around on the doors and no one will be allowed to enter Aylmer’s Church of God in Ontario.
Superior Court Justice Bruce Thomas didn’t take this lightly, either.
Thomas said his decision will serve to set an example to the church and other people in the province who are contemplating breaking rules under Ontario law.
Thomas also fined the church $35,000, Pastor Henry Hildebrandt $10,000 and Assistant Pastor Peter Wall $3,000.
Good! Churches shouldn’t be exempt from the law, and Christian pastors who held in-person, mask-optional, social-distancing-be-damned services during the pandemic are part of the reason it’s lasted longer than it needed to and led to more deaths. It’s about time some of the culprits were held responsible for their actions.
Hildebrandt isn’t happy with the decision, though, lying to his followers by insinuating that this was an act of Christian persecution:
After the penalty was handed down, Hildebrandt posted a brief video on social media, saying, “Nothing will deter us.
“Nothing will stop the people of God. Our government right now is allowing unelected health officials to push our judges to make criminals out of law-abiding people,” he said from the pulpit.
“I trust this will be a wake-up call for us like never before. This is not the end. This is the beginning of where we are going.”
They’re not making criminals out of innocent people. They’re punishing people who ignore health restrictions in the midst of a global emergency. Hildebrandt, of all people, should understand that since his sermons routinely urge members to disobey local restrictions.
More recently, the pastor has become one of the public faces of the anti-lockdown movement, welcoming politicians and others who are against masking and other public health measures to Sunday services. The Sunday sermons have divided the smally southwestern Ontario town.
Until these Christian leaders recognize that their actions hurt the community, they’ll keep preaching no matter how high the body count rises. Remember that men like Hildebrandt could easily deliver sermons via livestream while the congregation stays at home. He could’ve collected money online, too. He chose to spread COVID instead, and he deserves whatever punishment he’s getting.
(Thanks to everyone for the link)