Flip on the news or click any news site (especially this one) and you’ll see America, and no, I don’t mean you’ll see places, people, and events happening with the borders of the United States, I mean the American spirit shining through.
And even with Elon Musk declaring he’s going to open his factories without permission and Texas hair salons doing much the same, nothing better represents the American spirit to me than watching the churches across the nation defy authoritative orders and resume services.
Just today, I released two stories. The first was about a Mississippi church that refused to back down when ordered to keep their services to a drive-thru style of service only. The church refused to obey and cited their constitutional right to hold a gathering of worshipers. The issue was brought up to a higher court and the church would have had a ruling on it on Friday. Sadly, an arsonist burned down the church, leaving a message for the parishioners spraypainted into the asphalt.
The second was an article about Baltimore pastor Stacey Shiflett who was given a cease-and-desist letter from the city. He was to keep his church closed until such time as the city would begin allowing church services to continue despite Maryland Governor Larry Hogan giving the okay for it. Shiflett, mid-sermon and with cameras trained on him, ripped the cease-and-desist order up at the pulpit and tossed it aside.
“God tells us how to worship Him, nobody else gets to do that,” said Shiflett.
Like the Mississippi church, Shiflett cited the Constitution as his authority to do such a thing and even challenged authorities to confront him about it.
Why do I consider this more American than even Musk telling everyone to red pill themselves while he opens up his factories?
It’s for a single reason. When Musk opened up his factory he requested that if anyone is arrested, then they arrest him. He realizes he’s defying authority and said only that should said authorities come down on his factory that they only take him and not his employees.
It’s noble to be sure.
However, when the churches defy authorities they aren’t requesting the authorities punish one specific person, or anyone for that matter. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Churches are telling authorities that punishments will indeed be doled out but it will be the authorities on the receiving end.
Each church that is confronted by authorities reminds said authorities that when it comes to worship and peaceable gatherings, they are the authority thanks to the rights given to them by God, not the state. There is no higher authority than God, and as such, the state’s attempts at shutting them down are shrug-worthy. Your neighbor may as well order you to tend your garden in the way she sees fit. The proper response is to refuse and any further orders should be met with laughter.
If force starts to get involved, laughter should be met with litigiousness and as it is your right to do what you will in this situation, you are guaranteed to win.
People, even the faithful, tend to forget that Americans answer to a higher power than some people sporting bad haircuts and ill-fitting jackets that make rules for you to obey. It’s not for the authorities to tell you how you can and can’t worship because the Supreme Authority already instructed you how to, where to, and when to. Our entire system of laws was crafted around obedience and subjugation to that Authority.
For that reason, any official attempting to force his or her hand in draconian ways against the churches is essentially proclaiming themselves on a higher level than God, which doesn’t fly here in America. America is not a place where we bow to authority, authority bows to us.
Every church that defies orders and opens up their doors is in the right and I think more churches should be doing just as Shiflett did, and tear up the rules handed to them from powerless people.
Don’t hesitate to add some laughter either.