In spite of some preliminary signs of restoration of the First Amendment, there is resistance to the idea.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

California and Minnesota may be taking tiny baby steps to reinstate the First Amendment to the bill of rights, but there are indications here and there of opposition to any such efforts.

This discussion will be posted on several of my blogs.

Excessive focus on the First Amendment is a “suicide pact”

5/23/20 – CNN – Federal appeals court upholds California’s ban on in-person Church services – A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the ban on in-person worship does not violate the First Amendment.

The ruling can be found here.

Astoundingly the ruling stated:

“Where state action does not “infringe upon or restrict practices because of their religious motivation” and does not “in a selective manner impose burdens only on conduct motivated by religious belief,” it does not violate the First Amendment. See Church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye, Inc. v. City of Hialeah, 508 U.S. 520, 533, 543 (1993). We’re dealing here with a highly contagious and often fatal disease for which there presently is no known cure. In the words of Justice Robert Jackson, if a “[c]ourt does not temper its doctrinaire logic with a little practical wisdom, it will convert the constitutional Bill of Rights into a suicide pact.” Terminiello v. City of Chicago, 337 U.S. 1, 37 (1949) (Jackson, J., dissenting).”

Ooookay. That means paying close attention to the First Amendment is “doctrinaire.” People of faith desperately yearning to worship their God in the way they choose is “a suicide pact.”

The dissenting opinion shreds the majority opinion.

Amongst other comments, consider:

“As the Supreme Court explained in Lukumi, “the minimum requirement of neutrality is that a law not discriminate on its face.” 508 U.S. at 533. Accordingly, where a regulation’s operative language restricts conduct by explicit reference to the conduct’s religious character, it is not facially neutral. Id. (citing the law at issue in McDaniel v. Paty, 435 U.S. 618 (1978), which applied specifically to members of the clergy, as an example of a law that on its face “imposed special disabilities on the basis of religious status”) (cleaned up). Because the restrictions at issue here explicitly “reference . . . religious practice, conduct, belief, or motivation,” they are not “facially neutral.” Stormans, 794 F.3d at 1076.”

In other words, a government rule which intentionally places specific restriction on religions expression because it is religious expression is not “facially neutral”, which means such rules are not allowed.

Also:

“The State’s only response on the narrow-tailoring point is to insist that there is too much risk that congregants will not follow these rules. But as the Sixth Circuit recently explained in Roberts, the State’s position on this score illogically assumes that the very same people who cannot be trusted to follow the rules at their place of worship can be trusted to do so at their workplace: the State cannot “assume the worst when people go to worship but assume the best when people go to work or go about the rest of their daily lives in permitted social settings.” Roberts, 2020 WL 2316679, at *3. *”

In other words, people that can be trusted to faithfully follow rules about restricting contact when they go to work are too stupid to follow those exact same rules when they go to worship. People switch from smart to stupid when they enter a sanctuary, temple, or mosque.

Raid on one Chicago church and disorderly conduct citations handed out to 3 churches

5/20/20 – CBS 2 Chicago – Three Chicago Churches Cited For Disorderly Conduct For Holding Services Over Weekend – and –5/20/20 – Block Club Chicago – Chicago Churches Get Disorderly Conduct Citations After Hosting In-Person Services During Stay At Home Order – Three churches were issued citations by the city of Chicago for holding in-person worship services. One pastor explained that they have implemented all the recommendations from CDC for safe distancing and safety, including restrictions on the number of people who may worship and rubbing off every other pew.

Rumors circulated that the expected fine will be $500. CBS reported as the two churches received two citations for $500 and the third church received one citation for $500

Police banned street parking at all three of the churches with citations issued for anyone having the audacity to park near a church on Sunday morning. Parking was blocked on nine blocks around one church.

There is a visible retaliation component.

One of the churches cited with disorderly conduct one of the two churches who have sued the governor attempting to overturn the ban on worship services.

5/24/20 – Todd Starnes – Pastor: Chicago Mayor Sends Armed Police to Shut Down Black Baptist Church – Only a few news outlets have rewritten or quoted this article. No major outlets have touched it.

One of the above three churches, Cornerstone Baptist Church, was visited by a large police force on Sunday. It took five vehicles to transport the raiding squad to the church. They tried to enter the building in the middle of the worship service in order to stop people from committing the heinous crime of worshiping their Lord. Unknown to them, the church has a security procedure of locking their doors as the worship begins. They do this because of the gun violence in the area. They do not open the doors until completion of the worship.

A security guard outside observed one of the police cars with a window rolled down and someone inside the car recording the activity.

After no one opened the door in response to the loud banging, the police left.

Pastor of the church said it felt like he had received a visit from the KGB. Obviously that is an exaggeration, because the KGB would not have stopped with knocking on the door. They would have battered the door open before they carried off all the worshipers. Chicago police aren’t quite doing that. Next time the police may bring battering rams or just show up before the worship starts.

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