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Expect action on government regulation of religious services

WVBaker

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The Justice Department (DOJ) may take action next week against local governments that have cracked down on religious services as widespread parts of the country are shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic, a DOJ spokesperson said Saturday.

While social distancing policies are appropriate during this emergency, they must be applied evenhandedly and not single out religious organizations
DOJ Director of Communications Kerri Kupec

Freedom of religion is the first of the five freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” its text begins.

 

pedro47

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Do you remember there is a constitutional law of separation church & state called.

Freedom of Religion.

Social distancing and the endangerment of lives are the only two (2) Things a Church pastor or officers of a Church can be charged with.

This is going to be an Ugly Easter Sunday... IMO.
 
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DrQ

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Government DOES inject itself into religion when public health is concerned - polygamy comes to mind.
 

bbodb1

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There is existing case law suggesting government has greater powers in times of national emergency and / or crisis.

Jacobson v. Massachusetts
 

WVBaker

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Government DOES inject itself into religion when public health is concerned - polygamy comes to mind.

The government can only become involved if a license issued by the court is involved. Civil unions are still permitted.
 

Luanne

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My opinion is, if the church leader truly valued the health and life of his/her followers they'd obey the social distancing rules.
 

VacationForever

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I believe the most recent reported incident was that the church planned for those who wanted to attend Easter service to do it from their parked cars. It would not violate social distancing rules. I don't understand the opposition to that.
 
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WVBaker

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My opinion is, if the church leader truly valued the health and life of his/her followers they'd obey the social distancing rules.

While it may seem so the question is, just when do they decide it's once again safe. When the government tells you it is? Perhaps a month, two months, three months or more? Can we place our faith and trust in government to know when it's once again "safe"?

This virus, much the flu, could and probably will be with us indefinitely and we all know that. You're asking parishioners to forego their religious beliefs in attending the church
of their choice as long as is necessary and we have no idea how long that is.
 

b2bailey

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Fortunately people can still worship at the Church of Scientology in Clearwater, Florida
I actually thought about that group recently, knowing they have locations with a large number of people onsite, such as Clearwater and Hemet, CA.
 

Luanne

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While it may seem so the question is, just when do they decide it's once again safe. When the government tells you it is? Perhaps a month, two months, three months or more? Can we place our faith and trust in government to know when it's once again "safe"?

This virus, much the flu, could and probably will be with us indefinitely and we all know that. You're asking parishioners to forego their religious beliefs in attending the church
of their choice as long as is necessary and we have no idea how long that is.
Heavens no, I'm no asking anyone to forego their religious beliefs. I don't believe you have to go to church to be religious. I mean, if the Pope can hold a virtual service, why can't individual churches.

If I want to worship at a gym does that mean the gyms should be open so that I can practice my beliefs?

I have no idea when it will be "safe". I don't think anyone does. And I would much prefer to rely on the word of the medical and health experts, not the "government". However unfortunately the governments have had to be the ones to put these policies and orders in place.
 

Talent312

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There was a nearby drive-in movie place that converted to a drive-in church.
Sadly, it went defunct, too.

To me, the freedom of the people to peaceably assemble is as important as
the freedom of religion, whether applied to churches or restaurants. There's
no exception for health emergencies in the First Amendment.
... even if the Supremes find one...
.

.

.
 

WVBaker

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Heavens no, I'm no asking anyone to forego their religious beliefs. I don't believe you have to go to church to be religious. I mean, if the Pope can hold a virtual service, why can't individual churches.

If I want to worship at a gym does that mean the gyms should be open so that I can practice my beliefs?

I have no idea when it will be "safe". I don't think anyone does. And I would much prefer to rely on the word of the medical and health experts, not the "government". However unfortunately the governments have had to be the ones to put these policies and orders in place.

For a great many of Christians, as well as other faiths, attending church is a valued, if not obligated part of their religious upbringing. To not do so can be frowned upon by other
members of the church, as well as, within the individuals family. Your belief in what it means to be religious can be quite different from others. Not saying that practice is right or wrong, just your own.

Worshiping at a gym is bit preposterous so, we'll simply let that slide.

Given the documented mistakes of both "medical and health experts", I think worshipers should decide for themselves if they feel safe being a part of a congregation.
 

Luanne

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Given the documented mistakes of both "medical and health experts", I think worshipers should decide for themselves if they feel safe being a part of a congregation.
And I think this is a preposterous statement as well. There are already documented cases of worshipers who have congregated, then gotten COVID-19. Fine, that was their choice. But then they bring it back out into the community and infect others, who had no choice in the matter.

There are many things that people have strong beliefs about that they are not able to do at this time. My friends of strong faith, who are avid church goes have figured out they need to stay home. I'm sure they would rather be at church on this Sunday and other Sundays but they also know they are forfeiting church for the greater good.
 

pedro47

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Are there any news reports about social distancing and Easter Services at today's Church sermons?

It's 2:20 PM Eastern time and Easter Services sermons should be over.
 

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...
Given the documented mistakes of both "medical and health experts", I think worshipers should decide for themselves if they feel safe being a part of a congregation.
Right now, we are operating under mostly voluntary constraints. The latest data from Los Alamos indicates that one infected person infects close to 6 others. Quarantines can be legally imposed when the situation becomes dire - look up tuberculosis sanitariums. There are electronic means to gather an celebrate until the danger has passed.

Those that insist to blindly assemble and go back out into the general community are not being responsible.
 

WVBaker

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And I think this is a preposterous statement as well. There are already documented cases of worshipers who have congregated, then gotten COVID-19. Fine, that was their choice. But then they bring it back out into the community and infect others, who had no choice in the matter.

There are many things that people have strong beliefs about that they are not able to do at this time. My friends of strong faith, who are avid church goes have figured out they need to stay home. I'm sure they would rather be at church on this Sunday and other Sundays but they also know they are forfeiting church for the greater good.
You have certain beliefs, and I have my own belief, and we can agree to disagree on certain things.
 

bluehende

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starting a thread on religious freedom......really. :rolleyes:
 
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DrQ

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WVBaker

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starting a thread on religious freedom......really. :rolleyes:
More so on constitutional rights but, define it as you must. :thumbup:
 

DrQ

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Constitutional rights have already been limited by the Supreme Court - in Schenck v. United States it was determined a "clear and present danger" overarched the right.

In Holmes' opinion:
The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theatre and causing a panic. ... The question in every case is whether the words used are used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent. It is a question of proximity and degree.​

I could see this extensible to other rights from a lower court's view.
 
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WVBaker

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Constitutional rights have already been limited by the Supreme Court - in Schenck v. United States it was determined a "clear and present danger" overarched the right.

Schenck v. United States is notable for establishment of the "clear and present danger" standard regarding a law's constitutionality when it comes to free speech restrictions. Not religious freedom.

Any restrictions on free speech, were to be applied against this standard on a case-by-case basis. Case-by-case is very important terminology.
 
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