“Even in a pandemic, the Constitution cannot be put away and forgotten.” (unpacking yesterday’s Kern County preliminary injunction)

Yesterday, December 10, the Superior Court of California – County of Kern – ruled in favor of Father Trevor Burfitt’s motion for preliminary injunction brought against the defendant, Gavin Newsom.

So, what does this mean? It means the court ruled that Governor Newsom is not able to treat religious institutions “less favorably than comparable secular activities.”

Then this quote: “But even in a pandemic, the Constitution cannot be put away and forgotten. The restrictions at issue here, by effectively barring many from attending religious services, strike at the very heart of the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious liberty.” Powerful words.

“But even in a pandemic, the Constitution cannot be put away and forgotten. The restrictions at issue here, by effectively barring many from attending religious services, strike at the very heart of the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious liberty.”

Superior Court of california, county of kern

Now, what does that mean for us? It means in the “compelling state interest” of stopping the spread of Covid-19, we should take the same precautions as are being taken in permitted secular activities during this current “regional stay-at-home order.” Currently in our state, that means 20% occupancy, distancing, sanitizing, and other health precautions.

We can live with that. And we understand that currently about 65% of our regular attendance is worshiping from home via video for now, anyway. But also…

Christmas is not canceled.

(But we already knew that.)

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