Federal Judge Rules Kentucky Church Restrictions Violate 1st Amendment

If Home Depot is allowed to be open, why not churches? If you can walk into a car dealership, why not a church? If you can go into a grocery store, why not a church? Especially when some churches are willing to do service outside, and even have in-car service

Federal judge gives churches major victory amid strict lockdown restrictions by Dem governor

A federal judge ruled Friday that all Kentucky churches will be allowed to hold in-person gatherings beginning this weekend so long as congregations abide by social distancing and other health guidelines from the CDC.

Tabernacle Baptist Church in Nicholasville, Kentucky, filed a lawsuit against Gov. Andy Beshear, a Democrat, this week to allow for in-person worship services. The church’s attorney said Beshear’s order prohibiting in-person services violates the First Amendment.

On Friday, U.S. District Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove agreed — at least for now.

According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, Van Tatenhove granted a temporary restraining order that prevents Beshear from “enforcing the prohibition on mass gatherings with respect to any in-person religious service which adheres to applicable social distancing and hygiene guidelines.”

Kentucky’s Constitution does mention freedom of religion, Bill of Rights, section 5

No preference shall ever be given by law to any religious sect, society or
denomination; nor to any particular creed, mode of worship or system of ecclesiastical
polity; nor shall any person be compelled to attend any place of worship, to contribute to
the erection or maintenance of any such place, or to the salary or support of any minister
of religion; nor shall any man be compelled to send his child to any school to which he
may be conscientiously opposed; and the civil rights, privileges or capacities of no person
shall be taken away, or in anywise diminished or enlarged, on account of his belief or
disbelief of any religious tenet, dogma or teaching. No human authority shall, in any case
whatever, control or interfere with the rights of conscience.

So, it’s mostly about no one being forced to engage in religion by anyone or government. But, notice that last line on conscience. In his ruling Judge Tatenhove wrote

But the governor, by executive order, has put a stop to that. He can do that, but he must have a compelling reason for using his authority to limit a citizen’s right to freely exercise something we value greatly—the right of every American to follow their conscience on matters related to religion. Despite an honest motive, it does not appear at this preliminary stage that reason exists.

Huh. He further wrote

“There is ample scientific evidence that COVID-19 is exceptionally contagious. But evidence that the risk of contagion is heightened in a religious setting any more than a secular one is lacking,” Van Tatenhove wrote. “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.”

One can easily see many more lawsuits being filed this coming week, particularly in Democrat led states which all seem to have gone overboard on their restrictions.

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One Response to “Federal Judge Rules Kentucky Church Restrictions Violate 1st Amendment”

  1. PapaMAS says:

    At least two things should be clear to everyone by now. The first is that there are people who will use any excuse to grab power, and to use that power against whatever or whomever they don’t like. The second is our local, state and federal governments were not set up to pick winners and losers. Rather, they were set up to be as non-partial as they could be. Yet there are folks looking to grant the governments (and thus themselves) as much power as they can get to further themselves and their buddies. This is what a third-world hellhole looks like. We need to stop.

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