“And He [Jesus] said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment.” – Matthew 22:37-38
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Americans saw something unprecedented in their lifetimes — government officials closed the doors of churches.
Kentucky Governor Beshear even stirred controversy when he made it a crime to attend church on Easter Sunday 2020, sent Kentucky State Troopers to record the license plates of attendees, then sought to force all attendees to stay in their houses for 14 days afterwards.
A federal judge even rebuked Beshear in May 2020 for unlawfully targeting religious worship and violating the Constitution:
“Evidence that the risk of contagion is heightened in a religious setting any more than a secular one is lacking,” wrote U.S. District Judge Van Tatenhove, “If social distancing is good enough for Home Depot and Kroger, it is good enough for in-person religious services which, unlike the foregoing, benefit from constitutional protection.”
While public officials have the authority to protect health and public safety, the First Amendment — including the free exercise of religion — is never suspended.
At a minimum, the First Amendment requires government to treat religious organizations no worse than comparable secular organizations. The government has a duty to uphold the First Amendment, and it should not be singling out churches with extra regulations.
KY Representative Shane Baker has introduced the Religion is Essential Act (House Bill 43) to make clear that the use of emergency powers does not suspend the Constitution and declare that the government shall not discriminate against a religious organization.
LET US PRAY . . .
Father, we ask that You will give our legislators the desire and boldness to protect the free exercise of religion, our most fundamental freedom. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Praying For Our Kentucky Leaders
Join us in praying for our elected leaders throughout
the 2022 Legislative Session:
Kentucky Legislators in District 7 and 8
Sen. Adrienne Southworth (District 7)
Rep. Suzanne Miles (District 7)
Sen. Matt Castlen (District 8)
Rep. Walker Thomas (District 8)