Californians are still free to attend their house of worship. But they’re forbidden from singing or chanting. Updated COVID-19 guidelines issued Wednesday by the state Department of Public Health require churches and other houses of worship to “discontinue singing and chanting activities.” In previously allowing religious organizations to reopen in late May, the state merely said these institutions should “strongly consider discontinuing singing, group recitation, and other practices and performances.
And why shouldn't the California governor be bold? After all, the U.S. Supreme Court denied an application for injunctive relief filed by South Bay United Pentecostal Church (Church) challenging California Governor Gavin Newsom's restrictions.
And now this.
The US Navy has in some commands restricted participation in indoor religious services off base. Service members are required to sign that they have received the FRAG orders. Those who disobey will be held accountable. The orders also add that “civilian personnel, including families, are discouraged from” these indoor church services, as well.
The provision is particularly odious because frequently the choices on base may be severely limited due to the fact that some, perhaps even many, installation chapels are still closed—even though many of them could well ensure appropriate social distancing. Of course, the Navy cannot legally prohibit family members from frequenting religious services off base. Those family members return home where the military member lives. What is the protective effect of the prohibition for the Navy personnel?
And again, the Church is viewed as an enemy and worship is prevented. How will this help?
In his July 4, 2020, Townhall article, "California’s Governor Forbids Christians From Singing in Church Houses," Todd Starnes stated, in part:
The governor's office did not indicate how he intends to enforce the law. Can you imagine the optics of National Guard troops storming into California church houses and arresting choir members for singing, "A Mighty Fortress is Our God"?
Dr. Paul Chappell, the pastor of Lancaster Baptist Church, a mega-church north of Los Angeles, told The Todd Starnes Show that his congregation plans on singing even louder.
"First the state told us when to worship. Now they are telling us "how" to worship," he said. "We have been patient, and safe (even wearing masks). Our church will sing to the Lord Sunday. The heavens declare His glory and so will we."
It really is the only proper pastoral response to such an unconstitutional edict.
“We have watched our elected leaders pray and sing with demonstrators in the streets. We invite them to join us Sunday to see we actually practice social distancing and we will obey the scripture to sing and admonish one another in the Lord," the pastor said.
If Black Lives Matter protesters can chant, "Pigs in a blanket, fry 'em like bacon," why can't Christians chant the Lord's Prayer?
Dr. Chappell also expressed concerns that the government leaders making decisions that impact churches have no relationship with any evangelical leaders.
"We would love to share the life-changing gospel of Christ with them. Only Jesus changes angry hearts," he said.
Still searching the internet for any similar statements from Lutheran pastors in California.
A June 29, 2020, First Liberty Institute press release, "U.S. Navy Bans Troops from Indoor Religious Services," stated:
First Liberty Institute today sent a letter to the United States Navy on behalf of active duty officer Daniel Schultz asking the U.S. Navy to grant an accommodation so that he may attend indoor religious services.
“In open defiance of the Commander in Chief, who recently declared churches as essential to America, the U.S. Navy has threatened to court-martial service members if they go to church,” said Mike Berry, First Liberty Institute General Counsel. “It is absolutely outrageous that our troops can’t go to church, but they can attend a protest or host house parties of any size.”
On June 24, the Navy issued an order that banned troops from attending indoor religious services, although other activities such as using mass transit, hosting social gatherings of any size, and participation in protests are all permitted. But the order specifically states that “service members are prohibited from visiting, patronizing, or engaging in . . . indoor religious services.” The Navy’s orders apply to everyone assigned to Navy units and vessels including, ironically, its chaplains. Sailors returning from duty are not permitted to leave their ship until they agree to abide by official U.S. Navy orders preventing them from attending “indoor religious services.” Service members who fail to abide by the Navy’s orders may be prosecuted via court-martial.
“This order is unlawful and immoral, and President Trump should immediately demand its removal,” says Berry.
Satan's disciples are not only present in various gubernatorial offices, but they also appear to be present in the DeepState command structure of the U.S. Navy.
Philippians 2:5Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
Peace and Joy!
George A. Marquart
The government in the US has, at all levels. successfully asserted its power to shut down Bible-believing religious activities. As you wrote, the Supreme Court has validated the government's actions. So we can assume that the "Freedom of Religion" clause of the First Amendment has joined the 9th and 10th amendments in the constitutional dust bin of history.
This occurred under a Republican president, a Republican-controlled Senate, and a Supreme Court in which 5 of the 9 justices were appointed by Republican presidents.
If Donald Trump is re-elected, this may buy us 4 years in which organized religion can continue to operate in some fashion in America. After the Trump presidency, the next president will most likely be a democrat with strong Marxist leanings who look to crush the influence of Bible-professing organized religion.
Ann Barnhardt has a blog post today about a law proposed in Italy which would criminalize membership in any organization that speaks out against the LGBTQ agenda. If passed, this law would make any member of a Bible-professing church into a criminal.
I suspect this technique will be used by government to crush traditional Christianity in America. Criminalize membership in a church, then use social credit scores to deny church members employment, financial services, government benefits, etc.
In her blog, Ann Barnhardt challenges her readers to speak this sentence - "Jorge Bergoglio is the head of the Church, opposing the anti-church" - without doing this.
Oh, y'all stop with the hand wringing. This too shall pass. Local and state governments were closing churches during the 1918 pandemic as well. This disease took 18 months to work itself around the world and killed approximately 675,000 Americans and millions around the globe. But it ended, churches opened their doors again and life went on.
And please stop with the political pronouncements. No government is going to end traditional Christianity in America, the churches have been failing to retain young people for years. A lot of it comes from the anti gay attitudes of the churches, young people do not find this to be acceptable.
So stop reading the right wing conspiracy websites, step away from your computers and take a walk in the fresh air.
Russia is looking better and better.
I would like to comment on Carl Vehse's post regarding "Navy bans troops from indoor religious services".
The question comes to mind "Why doesn't the President order the Secretary of the Navy to cancel the order?"
Think back a few weeks to when several retired generals said publicly that the President had no authority to use the military to put down a domestic insurrection and they would not obey an order by the President to do so. The truth is, the President does have this authority and the generals know that he does. Several presidents have used it, for example, Washington, Lincoln, Eisenhower, and George W Bush. I see the statements by the generals as a thinly veiled warning to President Trump that there are members of the military who won't obey his orders.
Consider the ramifications of this: the US military is riddled with traitors. Some of the soldiers who operate the missiles, the tanks, the jet fighters, etc are quite willing to disobey a direct order from the commander in chief and thereby trigger a constitutional crisis. Can a President remain in power if he no longer has control over the military? What does it mean to the country if the military "goes rogue"? Can the US remain a republic if the military, and not the elected representatives of the people, set public policy?
I believe that President Trump is aware that rogue elements in the military are looking for an excuse to create a constitutional crisis to topple his Presidency. As much as I would like to see him rescind the Navy's directive, I think he is wise not to do so.
I have been following your meanderings for a little over a month. I find them to be thought provoking and always worth the read. This last youtube of this choir and orchestra was both uplifting and amazing, thank you for sharing. Politically speaking I am a self-named Christian Constitutionalist, an Independent, who has little regard for either party but understands their current necessity.
That said I will tell you we began holding distancing Divine Services on Pentecost Sunday. We are space out sitting in every other pew at each end with a couple. We have two services one contemporary on Saturday evening and our liturgical service on Sunday. We sing and respond. Communion is once a week from 9 to 11:30 AM limited to 10 people each half hour with cleaning occurring after each session. We mask coming and going through open doors and bring our own service books or take our cue from the screen. Our services are also streamed for those who choose to remain home. This work but we pray for God to grant us relief from this pandemic.
Again, thanks for your meanderings.
A July 9, 2002, First Liberty Institute news release, "Breaking: U.S. Navy Reverses Course, Ends Ban on Troops Attending Indoor Religious Services," stated:
The United States Navy revised its policy prohibiting active service members from attending in-person religious services. The change comes just days after First Liberty Institute sent a letter on behalf of active duty officer Daniel Schultz and several other service members affected by the order asking the U.S. Navy to grant an accommodation so that he may attend indoor religious services.
On June 24, the Navy issued an order specifically stating that “service members are prohibited from visiting, patronizing, or engaging in . . . indoor religious services,” including its chaplains.
In his updated Navy policy memo, Clarification of Guidance Related to Attendance at Religious Services, sent to the Commandant of the Marine Corps and the Chief of Naval Operations, Acting Undersecretary of the Navy Greg Slavonic wrote:
Nothing [in a May 19, 2020, memo] should be construed to restrict attendance at places of worship where attendees are able to appropriately apply COVID-19 transmission mitigation measures, specifically social distancing and use of face covering.
The memo appeared to be delicately worded to avoid specifically mentioning the June 24, 2020, order that banned attendance at indoor religious services or the names of the Navy person(s) who issued that order.
It seems that there are Deepstaters within the Navy who are working to counter the constitutional rights of sailors, to oppose the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, and to defy their Commander in Chief's declaration that churches are essential to America.
These people need to be identified and removed from the military. Let's hope that in addition to the latest memo, Slavonic is working to do just that.
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