By Caroline Taylor | 22 April 2020
Is it really that important to you? Must you risk your life to attend a crowded church on Sunday? Can you not worship at home, via one of the many streaming services? Is Jesus not technologically advanced enough to be with you as you keep yourself safe in front of your TV? I would think He can pretty much do anything he wants, or do you not have that much confidence in Him?
The Liberty Counsel, a religious-right hate group, launched a campaign on Monday “calling on the churches to open and believers to start meeting again on Sunday, May 3,” which the far-right ‘counsel’ is calling ReOpen Church Sunday. Their announcement came as “reopen” protests organized by right-wing activists have targeted Democratic governors with calls to ease shutdown orders, with no regard for their own health and welfare.
— Liberty Counsel (@libertycounsel) April 23, 2020
Best known for its anti-LGBTQ-equality activism, Liberty Counsel has recently defended Rodney Howard-Browne, a Tampa, Florida-based pastor who was arrested at the end of March for holding services that violated COVID-19-related restrictions on public gatherings.
Following his arrest, Howard-Browne took his services online and has continued to use them to spread nonsensical conspiracy theories. The deaths of parishioners and pastors have been linked to church gatherings that defied social distancing guidelines.
On Monday, in a press release, Liberty Counsel connected its “ReOpen” churches campaign to the Trump administration’s recently announced phases for states to begin lifting social distancing restrictions. Once again, Trump rolls the dice, risking lives, under the guise of ‘reopening the economy.
The council does go on to say that churches “should include appropriate measures of sanitization and appropriate social distancing between families” and should consider a range of options, including seating outside the building and online access for higher-risk individuals. It challenges common sense to see how this could possibly work.
Liberty Counsel founder Mat Staver said in the press release:
“The lockdowns have closed churches at a time of greatest need, and they must reopen to meet the burgeoning needs of the community.”
He undermined the thrust of his campaign, however, with the caveat,
“Each church is different and each one must assess when and how best to open.”
While the Dark Ages are behind us and the Spanish Inquisition is history, it appears people are still prostrating themselves at the altar of the Lord, risking not only their lives but the lives of whom they touch.
It Is Time To ReOpenChurch.org – Mat Staver
Liberty Counsel calls for churches to reopen by May 3rd
The politics behind protests of stay-at-home orders
Louisiana megachurch pastor urges followers to give their stimulus checks to churches
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