Good day to each of you reading this column and a Happy New Year as we introduce 2021.
I am sure you would agree that 2020 had many ups and downs and that your way of life was turned upside down. Just think back, would you have thought that you must wear a mask when out in public or face a fine? Who would have thought public celebrations such as birthday parties, weddings, church services, seeing patients in the hospital, funerals, concerts, sporting events and so much more would be limited to the point that you count the number of people attending.
Fellow Christian, I read an interesting article on Discrimination against US churches didn’t have a prayer by Emilie Kao/The Heritage Foundation/1/3/2021.
Emilie says Governors and mayors made it worse (COVID-19) by shrinking religious freedom. When America first began grappling with rising cases of COVID-19, governors and mayors sought to stop the spread by limiting in-person gatherings, encouraging safety protocols and instituting contract tracing. But many localities also trampled on religious freedom by treating religious gatherings more harshly than secular counterparts. Malls, liquor stores, and abortion clinics were labeled as essential, while religious service in similar sized spaces that could follow similar social distancing protocols were not.
In Nevada, casinos could open at 50% capacity, while only 50 people were allowed in churches like Calvary Chapel Dayton Valley. Los Angeles ordered Grace Community Church to pay $1,000 per day in fines or risk jail time. In Louisville, Kentucky, the mayor even threatened to ban drive-in Easter services.
The Freedom to worship is slowly being taken away and the breath of the Christian is being sucked out without a whimper. As stated in the United States Constitution, Article 1 says Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; and yet we have states who open casinos at 50% capacity and only 50 people allowed to attend church. Ahh, the love of money, where churches are allowed only a certain amount of people to attend and big box stores, grocery stores, flea markets and hyper markets have much larger multiple occupancies.
Malls, liquor stores, and abortion clinics were labeled as essential, while religious service in similar sized spaces that could follow similar social distancing protocols were not. THIS IS A DOUBLE STANDARD and we as Christians, do nothing about this, but take it.
Have we gotten to the time in history where the minority rules the majority and we just turn the page? I like the article that Emilie Kao writes where Doctor Kevin Pham writes, authorities bear the burden of showing their work by providing scientific evidence that religious gatherings are more likely to be sources of outbreak than secular gatherings. But have not done this. Instead of facts, there has been conjecture and rhetoric.
Here’s the logic—You have a much greater chance of getting COVID-19 in your church with 50 or less members than getting COVID-19 at your Wal-Mart, mall, abortion clinic or casino? Again, follow the money trail.
I wish to Thank each of the Supreme Court judges for their decision which has been heeded by lower courts that have begun to restore our religious freedom around the country. Ms. Kao puts it well by saying, “As the Supreme Court recognized, taking communion and worshipping in community cannot be replaced by a Zoom service.”
I must go back to what Jesus said, All we are like sheep who have gone astray and my have we gone astray. It seems that many Christians have “tongue tie” and have put their heads in the sand.
One must wonder what the answer is and it found in the Bible—If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
Our land would be healed, COVID-19 would be destroyed, and we would be a land filled with milk and honey.
And the alternative, lose our religious freedoms and become the tail that wags the dog. As a Christian, it is your choice and your voice.
Instead of God Bless America—I pray that America Bless God, that America humble themselves and that America pray earnestly and seek God’s face first.