One thing the pandemic has brought out is all the authoritarian dictators that are in our government. It’s as if Mendocino County said to Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer “hold my beer” on who can be more authoritarian.
The California county has outlawed, yes outlawed singing while churches are recording online services unless those people are singing from home.
The county order was issued on Good Friday and ends on May 10th.
The order states that only four people can be involved in a recording at once and “no singing or use of wind instruments, harmonicas or other instruments that could spread COVID-19 through projected droplets shall be permitted unless the recording of the event is done at one’s residence.” The order that also applies to concert halls, auditoriums, temples, and playhouses.
Theologian, minister, and president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Dr. R. Albert Mohler Jr wrote a powerful op-ed slamming the order saying it is a violation of religious freedom.
“Over the course of this pandemic, I’ve consistently argued that churches should follow generally applicable shelter-in-place orders. In an article I co-wrote for The Washington Post, I stated that many of these orders and guidelines from the CDC do not violate religious liberty—moreover, Christians have a duty out of love of neighbor to comply with general policies that attempt to abate the spread of the coronavirus.”
“We have a major problem when governments indicate that liquor stores and pet stores are essential but religious services are not. When governments assert that abortions are essential but singing in a streamed worship service is just too unsafe and nonessential, then we have slipped into a complete upending of the American constitutional order,” Mohler wrote. “Government should never be in the position to derail any religious ministry and deem it nonessential. That is, on its face, completely unconstitutional.”
This looks like another case for Attorney General Bill Barr who intervened in Mississippi after police in Greenville ticketed people $500 for refusing to leave a drive-in service.