A Church That Endured the Spanish Flu Sues D.C.'s Mayor Over 'Selective' Pandemic Persecution

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

 

Who’d have believed churches would be at war with the government in 2020?

Actually, probably a lot of you.

And so it goes — amid an illness-inspired 86’ing, houses of worship that wanna gather together and rise to their feet in praise have been told to stuff a sock in it.

Some are calling it a healthy response, but many believers prefer the old ascription of “persecution.”

One such group: Washington D.C.’s Capitol Hill Baptist.

Hence, the church is suing the mayor.

Bolstering its stance: a standard of the double variety.

In a filing Tuesday, CHBC claimed the D.C. government has enforced its repeatedly-extended lockdown unequally.

As noted in the suit, over the summer, mass protests violated government orders. And yet, there were no consequences.

A particularly powerful point involves the mayor:

“Mayor (Muriel) Bowser attended the mass protest and said to the thousands in attendance, ‘It’s so wonderful to see everyone peacefully protesting, wearing their masks.’”

Would she be just as jazzed if those tens of thousands were instead at Sunday School?

It seems the church would like to know.

To be clear, Capitol Hill doesn’t oppose the protests, only the government’s unfair application.

From the suit:

The Church takes no issue with Defendants’ decision to permit these gatherings, which are themselves protected by the First Amendment, and the Church supports this exercise of First Amendment rights. The Church does, however, take exception to Defendants’ decision to favor certain expressive gatherings over others. The First Amendment protects both mass protests and religious worship. But Mayor Bowser, by her own admission, has preferred the former over the latter.

In a statement, CHBS Pastor Justin Sok relayed the church has never been so shuttered in its 142-year history.

2020’s closure, he says, even tops Capitol Hill’s three-week pause during the 1918 Spanish Flu.

And the way Justin sees it, not forsaking the assembling of themselves is important. And irreplaceable:

“Meeting in-person as one congregation is a deeply-held religious conviction for which there is no substitute. Our simple desire is to have a community and one that meets together safely.”

Therefore, congregants want the same rights protestors have been afforded:

“The lawsuit filed Tuesday simply asks that CHBC be permitted to meet in-person, with similar restrictions as area businesses and other gatherings have employed to protect public health. A church is not a building that can be opened and closed. A church is not an event to be watched. A church is a community that gathers regularly and that community should be treated fairly by the District government.”

For the time being, perhaps the church would like to take John MacArthur’s approach:

As for Mayor Bowser, it’s not the first time she’s been accused of inconsistency.

From The Daily Wire:

Bowser has previously taken flak after what some deemed unfair application of lockdowns, such as when federal lawmakers who crammed into pews at the late Rep. John Lewis’ (D-GA) funeral in Atlanta were exempt from her two-week quarantine edict. Members of Congress were also exempt from the city-wide mask mandate, which required residents to wear masks even outside or risk a $1,000 fine.

Of course, nationally, a double standard’s been awfully evident. In politics, entertainment, and the media, many talking heads hailing a wholesale hiatus have high-fived those in street-packed protest. The virus, it appeared, was only contractible if the reason for convening wasn’t commendable.

And that’s not how law is supposed to work, much less submicroscopic infectious agents replicating inside the living cells of organisms.

So knows Capitol Hill Baptist Church.

Therefore, they’re reasonably addressing Bowser where religion’s concerned.

Not everyone is:

Hopefully, the entire lockdown will soon be over.

But so long as it isn’t, worshippers in D.C. want the same thing promoted by summer protests: equality.

-ALEX

 

See more pieces from me:

Pastor John MacArthur Backs Down Not an Inch: If California Wants to Jail Him, ‘Bring It On’

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