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Supreme Court finally upholds religious freedom

Uploaded: Dec 8, 2020
Churches have been singled out by public health officials and Gov. Gavin Newsom for particularly unconstitutional treatment during the pandemic lockdowns.

Fortunately, with a solid majority on the U.S. Supreme Court, that discrimination has ended. Two weeks ago, the court, in a 5-4 decision, overturned New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s edict limiting church and/or synagogue attendance. Earlier, the court had ruled in favor of the health department in a California case with Chief Justice John Roberts siding with the four liberals that included the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. With her passing and the seating of Amy Coney Barrett, Roberts is no longer was the swing vote.

The court remanded a California case back to the 9th Circuit with the request to take a look at the New York case. I listened to two calls concerning churches last week, one focused on re-opening churches that included several pastors locked in struggles with the local health authorities.

One, Harvest Rock Church in Pasadena, had been threatened with criminal prosecution by the city’s prosecutor. The church received a letter from the city that threatened Senior Pastor Che Ahn with arrest and a year in jail, while people attending the service were notified they were subject to arrest and $1,000 fines.

Here in the Bay Area most churches are complying with the health orders and worshiping online. The notable exception is Calvary Chapel in San Jose. The health department has been fining the church $5,000 per day and went to court last week to seek an injunction that the judge granted. The church plans to appeal.

The church’s attorney said the church is facing $800,000 in fines for indoor services attended by about 700 people in a worship center that seats 1,900. Whether Pastor Mike McClure could be held in contempt of court is set for a hearing today.

It was pointed out on one call that a Russian couple living in San Francisco came down to San Jose to attend Calvary Chapel because it was the only church they could find that was open. When they checked in with their parents in Russia, they were told that the Russian churches were open. Closed in “free” America where religious freedom is enshrined in the First Amendment.

Notably, the Supreme Court’s New York decision has been recognized by Bay Area health officials who now recognize churches as “essential.” That’s a huge change since the March shutdown that failed to recognize churches as essential. That means churches can meet outside which was not allowed during the first shutdown.

Those calls, which took place last Wednesday and Thursday, were before the shutdowns were ordered. The attorneys noted that only in California and Ohio were churches closed.



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Comments

 +   9 people like this
Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Dec 8, 2020 at 9:55 am

DKHSK is a registered user.

This shouldn't have even been brought to trial.

We are under de facto marshall law with these ridiculous restrictions and we just continue to "march to the ovens".

Imagine the damage to our kids, especially the ones that should have started school this year.

Pelosi admited to using politics to prevent Trump from passing a COVID relief bill due to the election.
Now, the deal she's making is WAY less than what Trump was willing to do.

And she'll be re-elected in the next cycle without question.

Democrat fools.


 +   3 people like this
Posted by Jocelyn Combs, a resident of Pleasanton Valley,
on Dec 8, 2020 at 9:59 am

Jocelyn Combs is a registered user.

I don't have a dog in this fight. I'm happy with my zoom church.
I'm all for equal treatment under the law, but not special treatment for anyone or any organization.
However I do quibble with your phrase “solid majority". Technically it is a simple majority, one vote.
Solid implies more than that.


 +   8 people like this
Posted by Jennifer, a resident of Danville,
on Dec 8, 2020 at 10:32 am

Jennifer is a registered user.

Our church was operating outdoors then indoors until we were shutdown by the county. It's now online only, and it's not the same. We're still receiving communion (at our church). I'm sick of liberals and their anti-religion stance. Churches are essential. I wish our church would meet outside, but maybe it's too cold or they're concerned about gathering in general.


 +   9 people like this
Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Dec 8, 2020 at 4:39 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.

Churches (religion) aren't only essential, they are specifically called in the US constitution and as such, CANNOT be dissuaded from gathering.

Even for a pandemic.

Here's an idea: If you want to hide in your house and fear the virus then please, hide away and leave the rest of us alone.

Novel concept.


 +   3 people like this
Posted by PToWN94566, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Dec 9, 2020 at 12:48 pm

PToWN94566 is a registered user.

Church essential? Lol all these folks defending it are typical Pleasanton residents. If you can't attend your church services online because you consider it essential, then maybe you need to look at your priorities. People are “sick of liberals and their anti religious" stance- us anti religious people are tired of everything little thing being related to Sky Daddy. Y'all have zero self identity since everything is based on a book written thousands of years ago by white men to control the masses. You shun those that are different from you- same sex marriage is complained about and your kids treat others like crap, you can't wear a mask because god “will take care of it", y'all preach about values and morals and then support a man that's cheated on his three wives (not all support trump but many religious folks do)...how about stop shoving religion in other peoples faces. Some of you go door to door, preach on street corners, and have taken television on Sunday mornings with multi millionaire men telling you how to live lol. If anything you guys want to have actions without consequences. Life doesn't work like that.


 +   3 people like this
Posted by PToWN94566, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Dec 9, 2020 at 12:48 pm

PToWN94566 is a registered user.

Church essential? Lol all these folks defending it are typical Pleasanton residents. If you can't attend your church services online because you consider it essential, then maybe you need to look at your priorities. People are “sick of liberals and their anti religious" stance- us anti religious people are tired of everything little thing being related to Sky Daddy. Y'all have zero self identity since everything is based on a book written thousands of years ago by white men to control the masses. You shun those that are different from you- same sex marriage is complained about and your kids treat others like crap, you can't wear a mask because god “will take care of it", y'all preach about values and morals and then support a man that's cheated on his three wives (not all support trump but many religious folks do)...how about stop shoving religion in other peoples faces. Some of you go door to door, preach on street corners, and have taken television on Sunday mornings with multi millionaire men telling you how to live lol. If anything you guys want to have actions without consequences. Life doesn't work like that.


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Vic-tah, a resident of Mission Park,
on Dec 9, 2020 at 3:38 pm

Vic-tah is a registered user.

Well, if SHE hears all prayers, what does it matter where you pray? I'm all for the good that organized religion can do -- helping the poor, reinforcing a sense of community. BUT these are not normal times. The health department rules are intended to prevent this deadly -- YES DEADLY -- disease from spreading even further...yet you guys cry that you want to gather, sing, spread the virus -- and then you don't necessarily want to take preventative measures like wearing masks. If you're one of them, please sign a witnessed affidavit that you will waive medical care should the good Lord decide you need to catch Covid19 to teach you a lesson. It's the Lord's way...

I suspect that some of the motivation by churches is to insure that the prayer plate/basket gets properly filled. I sincerely hope you continue to contribute towards good causes no matter where you practice your faith.

Remember to love your neighbor. Wear a mask. Avoid crowds. Wash your hands. SHE would want it that way...


 +   2 people like this
Posted by P1998, a resident of another community,
on Dec 9, 2020 at 5:04 pm

P1998 is a registered user.

This case is not about religious freedom. Churches, like other places where people gather indoors in large numbers for extended period of time in close proximity, have had several episodes of covid outbreaks.

Web Link


 +   5 people like this
Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Dec 9, 2020 at 6:02 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.

"...based on a book written thousands of years ago by white men to control the masses."

LOL!!

Absolutely no self-awareness.

Hey genius, you're being controlled right now. Not by any "white men", but by politicians and un-elected bureaucrats.

Like I said, go hide and leave the rest of us to gather as we see fit.

Dan


 +   3 people like this
Posted by Kevin, a resident of Castlewood,
on Dec 9, 2020 at 8:51 pm

Kevin is a registered user.

Religious freedom is another term for discrimination against non-Christians like Muslims and Hindus, LGBTQ, Jews, anyone that racist right-wing journalists like Tim, pastors and judges (SCOTUS) imagine to be against their impression of what Christ stands for.

SCOTUS gave Trump the permission to bar Muslims to come to the US in 2017. I guess that is ok. But don't mess with Christians and churches.

How about if Trump and his administration provide guidelines of what is considered to be safe during COVID and then pushing Congress to provide funding for states to implement? no that is not like Trump and Congress to care about people.

Christ loved the common people and even the sinners. He actually spent a lot of time with sinners than with the so-called Pharisees who were the religious elite of his time. The right-wing racist Christians are the same as Pharisees of Christ's time - self-righteous pretentious a-holes who are pushing the young people away from Christ and church. This is why religion is on major decline in the US - because of people like Tim, right-wing pastors, SCOTUS

YOU ARE ALL FAKE.


 +   4 people like this
Posted by Kevin, a resident of Castlewood,
on Dec 9, 2020 at 8:54 pm

Kevin is a registered user.

DHKSK, you are an angry Trumpist who does not make any sense. Go seek mental help and stop watching / reading garbage Trumpist crap. Your boss, Putin's boy, LOST BIG TIME.


 +   7 people like this
Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Dec 10, 2020 at 8:50 am

DKHSK is a registered user.

"Religious freedom is another term for discrimination..."

I hypothesized that after reading your comment I would need to take a shower. I was wrong. I felt the need after just the first 7 words. Congrats.

"SCOTUS gave Trump the permission to bar Muslims to come to the US in 2017."

Yes, yes. After all those nasty Christians flew airplanes into sky-scrapers, blew up runners at marathons...etc. I could see that Trump was completely wrong in carrying out this policy.

"How about if Trump and his administration provide guidelines of what is considered to be safe during COVID and then pushing Congress to provide funding for states to implement? no that is not like Trump and Congress to care about people."

You might want to review this from the CDC, genius:Web Link

"Christ loved the common people and even the sinners."

What a silly way to prove you have no idea about Christ's teaching. Perhaps you should study a little more and talk a little less?

Make sure to wear a helmet when you go outside. Wouldn't want you to trip and hit your head.

Sincerely,

Dan










 +   11 people like this
Posted by BobB, a resident of Vintage Hills,
on Dec 11, 2020 at 9:31 am

BobB is a registered user.

This was a bad ruling and a victory for foolishness. No, we are not living under martial law. In the US, we're nearing 300,000 deaths and the rate is skyrocketing.

"religious freedom is enshrined in the First Amendment. "

Unfortunately, the free exercise clause has been the source of so much foolishness for so many years, I think Madison and some of the other framers would probably regret that they ever included it in the first amendment at all (many drafts didn't have it). If government can't establish religion, then how can government decide what is legitimate religious behavior and what is not?

Just look at Wisconsin versus Yoder for one of the many examples of the harm caused by this clause. In that case, Amish parents could prevent their children from learning subjects like physics, chemistry, biology, algebra, trigonometry, and statistics because it would "would endanger their own salvation and that of their children by complying with the law" that their children attend high school or get equivalent education. Really?

Web Link

William O Douglas said it well in his dissent:

"On this important and vital matter of education, I think the children should be entitled to be heard. While the parents, absent dissent, normally speak for the entire family, the education of the child is a matter on which the child will often have decided views. He may want to be a pianist or an astronaut or an oceanographer. To do so he will have to break from the Amish tradition.

It is the future of the students, not the future of the parents, that is imperiled by today's decision. If a parent keeps his child out of school beyond the grade school, then the child will be forever barred from entry into the new and amazing world of diversity that we have today."

What's happening today is even worse. People are refusing to wear masks for religious and political reasons, and people are actually dying as a result. What is the matter with them?

Web Link

At a news conference Thursday, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R) lauded Hinch as a “tireless leader" and described him as a close friend, calling his death a “cautionary tale" about the costs of failing to wear a mask. Sununu lashed out at other Republican legislators for flouting face masks at large gatherings.

“Those in our caucus who refused to take precautions are responsible for Dick Hinch's death," State Rep. William Marsh (R), a retired doctor, wrote on Twitter."

“For those who are just out there doing the opposite just to make some ridiculous political point, it is horribly wrong," Sununu said. “Please use your heads. Don't act like a bunch of children, frankly."

Exactly. Don't act like a bunch of children. People are dying.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Dec 11, 2020 at 10:37 am

DKHSK is a registered user.

Here's a riddle for you BobB:

If the lockdown worked the first time, why are we having another lockdown?

If the lockdown didn't work the first time, why are we having another lockdown?

Please take a breath.

The rate is NOT skyrocketing. In fact, when controlled for co-morbidity, the death rate is comparable with the Flu.

What co-morbidity means is If you have been diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer, and towards the end of your life you get COVID, then instead of dying from lung cancer, you've just up and died from COVID.

This is disingenuous BS (and a lie) and you and every single one of you others knows is cause for panic amongst those that already have enough fear.

Its sickening to watch.

Dan


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Kevin, a resident of Castlewood,
on Dec 11, 2020 at 12:13 pm

Kevin is a registered user.

To DAN, your arguments demonstrate ignorance - you are watching way too much Newsmax and Fox!

SCOTUS allowed Trump to use his “best" national security judgement to bar Muslims. But, when it came to COVID and churches, SCOTUS interfered in States' best judgements to restrict in-person churches. This is inconsistent and stinks of discrimination.

The World Trade Center terrorists were from Saudi Arabia which Trump did not bar, because he has business interests with the dictator there.

Open your mind beyond the garbage you read/ see on Trump State TV!

The majority of terrorism has been committed by white supremacy American-born racist men with automatics assault rifles.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Dec 11, 2020 at 1:53 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.

"SCOTUS allowed Trump to use his “best" national security judgement to bar Muslims."

Ummm no. SCOTUS affirmed Trumps obligation to follow his CONSTITUTIONAL duties.

"...SCOTUS interfered in States' best judgements to restrict in-person churches."

Once again, no. SCOTUS forbade the States to impede the 1st Amendment, which the States AGREED to as law of the land.

You don't seem to understand your countries founding documents. Perhaps you should go bake some cookies or something?

I've had enough of your nonsense. You sound like that idiot Cholo.

Dan


 +   7 people like this
Posted by BobB, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Dec 11, 2020 at 10:37 pm

BobB is a registered user.

DKHSK,

The lock-down did work the first time. It flattened the curve and bought us time, time to develop multiple vaccines and better treatments.

I wish the death rate weren't skyrocketing, but it is, along with hospitalizations and admissions to ICU. Many hospitals and intensive care units are already at 100% capacity. We are currently behind the curve and we need to get it flat. There is no other way to explain it. The numbers don't lie.

When this article was written back in October, COVID-19 was the third largest cause of deaths in the US. Now it is the primary cause, surpassing all others.

"Debunking the False Claim That COVID Death Counts Are Inflated"

Web Link


 +  Like this comment
Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Dec 12, 2020 at 8:30 am

DKHSK is a registered user.

"The numbers don't lie."

They do when you factor in co-morbidities, which you conveniently forgot to address.

But whatever...continue with your screed.


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Kevin, a resident of Castlewood,
on Dec 12, 2020 at 11:15 am

Kevin is a registered user.

SCOTUS put the final nail in Trump's presidency and poured concrete over it. Now, it is time for states to investigate him and his family for corruption. I am willing to bet on who will be in jail this time next year - Hunter Biden or Trump family - Definitely Trump!!

BobB, your posts are accurate and based on truth and real data. this guy DHKSK is out of touch with reality. He operates in Trump's alternate reality.

He keeps taking out statements from our posts and counters them with crap lies.

I wonder what part of this post he is going to take out, put it in quotes and attach his lies?

DHKSK, I will not waste my time on you.


 +   5 people like this
Posted by BobB, a resident of Vintage Hills,
on Dec 12, 2020 at 11:41 am

BobB is a registered user.

DKHSK,

The Scientific American article I linked to addresses comorbidities and debunks the false claim that COVID death counts are inflated. Read the article. There are many others.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Dec 14, 2020 at 1:26 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.

BobB,

Given the statistics it make more sense to quarantine those that have co-morbidities, then to quarantine the general population.

Go ahead and think that one through...pal.

Dan


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