What a Day This Will Be for Us...

Jun 29, 2020

Liberty Counsel has three major briefs on church cases we are filing today, and I have some excellent news for you. We need your prayers and support more than ever before. Read on to learn more. - Mat

Today, Liberty Counsel will be filing major briefs in three different federal Courts of Appeal regarding cases in Virginia, Kentucky and Maine. These states have illegally discriminated against churches and religious services.

In each of these cases, there was no logic in the respective governor's orders. Having thousands of people protesting in the streets is fine with these officials, but not church services. This reveals that health and safety did not drive their church closures, but rather a political worldview with no place for worship.

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The double standards created by these governors' anti-Judeo-Christian worldviews are intolerable. There is no exaggeration in the outrageous examples below:

  • Feeding an unlimited number of people in a church is permitted, so long as the pastor does not pray or preach.
  • The same churches can house countless homeless people side-by-side, so long as no one sings, worships or prays.
  • Churches can counsel a room full of people on how to find a job, but not on how to find eternal life.

In Virginia, our client, Lighthouse Fellowship Church, regularly provides social services to its island community members. In doing such, the church can fill it's 293-person sanctuary to feed people. BUT the moment the pastor wants to preach, all but 10 people must be escorted out of the building.

Failure to comply is "criminal." Pressure was so great on this church that police cars were stationed around the building as a warning to residents not to attend. A criminal misdemeanor was filed against this pastor for opening church on Palm Sunday with only 16 people present – six more than the permissible 10 people for religious services. Today, we will be filing our brief for their church in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.

In Maine, our client, Calvary Chapel of Bangor, was similarly restricted. And ME Governor Janet Mills just extended her shutdown and illegal restriction of churches until mid-July. We will also be filing our brief for the church today at the First Circuit Court of Appeals.

In Kentucky, we are defending Maryville Baptist Church. On Easter Sunday, Gov. Andy Beshear had each attendee of the church's drive-in parking lot service put on a mandatory 14-day quarantine - the equivalent of house arrest - even though none had COVID symptoms. Some attendees lost their jobs for attending church. We won twice at the Court of Appeals and now we want to make sure the Governor does not return to his pattern of oppression - especially with talk of a COVID "second wave" increasing. We will be filing our brief today in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

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All three governors in these cases bifurcated the important work of these churches between religious and non-religious services, thus creating a clear pattern of religious discrimination.

These cases are even more important now as the mainstream media and liberal governors continue to insist on extended lockdowns. I suspect they will continue their cries of "second wave" panic-mongering right up to the November election. In fact, I believe they may well try to keep the nation locked down until their mandatory vaccine is launched.

But Liberty Counsel will not stand idly by and allow governors to break the law and violate our constitutional rights by closing and restricting houses of worship. The First Amendment rights of Christians to freedom of religion are at the very least as important as the free speech rights of protestors. No governor should ever again ban the former while endorsing the latter.

Liberty Counsel will never waver in our defense of religious freedom and the RIGHT of churchgoers to meet and worship as their consciences dictate.

AND, I have wonderful news. One of our generous supporters has created a challenge grant. As a result, every donation made right now will be automatically DOUBLED in impact! Please, make your best possible donation today so that the pastors and churchgoers currently under siege can have the best possible legal defense. Donate NOW so that religious freedom remains FREE!

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In Christ,

Mat Staver
Founder and Chairman

 

P.S. Last Friday, a federal court in NY ruled the restrictions on churches in that state violated the First Amendment. Both Gov. Cuomo and Mayor De Blasio encouraged mass protests, yet they continued to restrict churches. I will have more about this later.

Your donations ensure that our legal work is always free to clients like Planned Parenthood "Baby Parts for Sale" whistleblower Sandra Merritt, or to the pastors who have been criminally charged for holding church services. Please, take advantage of the Challenge Grant TODAY and have your donation DOUBLED!

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