California Church Begs Governor to Allow Them to Gather for Easter
A California church that was forced to host services outside after facing six figure fines has now resorted to begging Gov. Gavin Newsom to allow it to hold indoor services for Easter this year.
From the Daily Wire:
“Governor Newsom, I implore you to open up our churches Easter Sunday, April 4,” Trieber said. “This is Sunday, early in the morning, and we’re freezing out here. We’re cold. We’ve been obeying for 366 days, one year and one day. We’ve shut our church down. We’re meeting in the parking lot. We’re meeting in open-air meetings and we have tents everywhere.”
“We need our church open,” Trieber continued, explaining how inclement weather has forced his parishioners to listen to his sermons from their cars. Going on to recount how he and his wife have endeavored to be “good residents” of Santa Clara for 45 years while encouraging their parishioners to be the same, he said the state’s restrictions on them have grown untenable.
“We’re out here literally freezing in the winter,” he said. “Through hail this past week, as people sat here, and through rain. And we are very hot in the summer. Yet we have a 3,000-seat auditorium that sits empty.”
The church recounted all of the holidays it has already sacrificed since the pandemic began, hoping that finally Easter would be the one they could congregate together:
“In addition to Easter, we gave you Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. We gave you July 4th. We gave you Labor Day. We gave you all the summer, we gave you all the spring, we gave you all of the fall.” Noting how his congregation sacrificed Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, and Valentine’s Day in deference to Newsom, Trieber said to him, “Enough is enough, sir.”
Californians have faced some of the toughest COVID restrictions in the country, a trend that has showed little signs of loosening a year into the pandemic.
Church services have been particularly hard hit by the restrictions, spawning court battles that have made their way to the Supreme Court.
A February Supreme Court decision ruled that the state and local governments had to bring their religious service restrictions in line with shopping malls, salons and bus terminals, which allow for 25% capacity.
State officials have continued to defend their capacity limits or complete bans on indoor services, arguing that indoor gatherings of any kind are “too risky” during the continued pandemic.
“The Supreme Court order was issued without any analysis at all of the county’s gathering rules, which have always been neutral and applied equally to all gatherings across-the-board,” a spokesperson for Santa Clara County said of the Supreme Court’s ruling. “Indoor gatherings of all kinds remain very risky, and we continue to urge all religious institutions to carefully follow the public-health recommendations to avoid spread of Covid-19 among their congregations and the broader community.”
Meanwhile, the petition to recall Gov. Newsom tops two million signatures.
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