Call it an outbreak…of misleading news?
John MacArthur’s made the news quite a lot these last few months. The LA pastor’s defied lockdown restrictions despite threats of imprisonment.
In July, Grace Community Church opened its doors in clear defiance of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s orders. And as of late, the house of worship has been working with the Los Angeles County Department of Health.
Amid such a partnership, churches are required to report to the county health department if three or more congregants test positive.
If Grace were to experience an outbreak, it’d be quite the story — the man who stood up so strongly, perhaps proven wrong in his rebellion.
Consider the history of his heated holdout…
Three months ago, the 81-year-old indicated he’d follow God, not Gavin:
“[W]e cannot and will not acquiesce to a government-imposed moratorium on our weekly congregational worship or other regular corporate gatherings. Compliance would be disobedience to our Lord’s clear commands.”
In August, the church was served a cease and desist letter for holding in-person services on its Sun Valley property.
They were threatened with fines of $1,000 per day if they persisted.
Also on the menu: jail time.
MacArthur responded with a lawsuit, claiming California was in violation of six sections of its constitution.
Appearing on Laura Ingraham’s Fox News program in September, the minister addressed the issue Clint Eastwood-style:
“We received a letter with a threat that we could be fined or I could go to jail for a maximum of six months. Of course, my biblical hero apart from the Lord Jesus Christ is the apostle Paul, and when he went into a town, he didn’t ask what the hotel was like, he asked what the jail was like because he knew that’s where he was gonna spend his time. So I don’t mind being a little apostolic if they want to tuck me in a jail.”
— Disrn (@DisrnNews) September 16, 2020
Well, now the big news.
The Los Angeles Times headline says it all:
Ooookay…about that outbreak, the article puts a number on it:
Grace Community Church in Sun Valley has seen three confirmed cases, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
Apparently, the world’s full of outbreaks — an outbreak of blind mice, an outbreak of French hens, an outbreak of little pigs, and — in the case of the use of the term “outbreak” — an outbreak of sheets to the wind.
Church legal counsel Jenna Ellis pushed back with a statement to The Daily Wire:
Three very mild positive tests among more than 7,000 people is hardly news. 0.04% is not an “outbreak.” The LA Times and others’ grossly misleading and fear-mongering headlines aim to mischaracterize Grace Community Church as irresponsible and a superspreader. It has never been the Church’s position that it is only safe to hold services if no one ever tests positive, or for example, if no one ever gets the flu during flu season. Our position has been that LA County shutting down churches indefinitely amid a virus with a 99.98% survival rate, especially when state-preferred businesses are open and protests are held without restriction, is unconstitutional and harmful to the free exercise of religion.
To be clear, Pastor John’s never said infections wouldn’t occur.
He has, however, asserted only a fraction of a percent of people under 65 die if they contract the virus.
Also cited: According to the CDC, of the 200,000 people who’ve died in relation to COVID, “For 6% of the deaths, COVID-19 was the only cause mentioned.”
The saga of Grace Community continues.
And with regard to the media’s handling of the coronavirus, so does that of measured reporting.
In the meantime, enjoy an outbreak of Stooges:
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