COVID-19 is a dangerous health threat that should be taken very seriously, but this does not justify arbitrary and excessive government edicts.
Something is radically wrong when dozens, and sometimes hundreds, of people can gather at the local grocery store, constantly walking through most of the facility, but not be allowed to attend their local church service, even if the church is strictly practicing social distancing.
What is the legal justification for relatively free access to physical food, but tightly restricted access to spiritual sustenance?
Churches and other faith-based organizations are not recreational clubs. They are an essential part of our culture that sustains us individually and as a nation. This is why they are different from movie theaters, retail stores and other public places of business. Religious organizations are constitutionally protected from government control.
The Bill of Rights, in the First Amendment, begins with: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” It is significant that this special protection of religious freedom is the first specific, enumerated constitutional right.