In California, Your Church or Your Small Business Still Receives the Hammer of the State, While Grammy Entertainers Party Without Penalty

(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)

You wouldn’t know it from the news coverage, but churches and businesses are still in a battle with the state government to be able to open their doors and not be penalized for exercising their Constitutional rights.

Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California continues to be one of the churches at the forefront of this fight. Despite the Supreme Court’s ruling against Governor Andrew Cuomo in New York which allowed churches and synagogues to open for indoor worship with mask requirements and restrictions on singing and chanting, this California church and others are still fighting the battle to stay open and not be penalized by the state.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mitchell L. Beckloff’s Sept. 10 injunction also directed Grace Community Church to mandate that congregation members wear masks and practice physical distancing if the house of worship decides to hold outdoor services.

Beckloff said the “potential consequences of community spread of COVID-19 and concomitant risk of death to members of the community, associated and unassociated with the church, outweighs the harm that flows from the restriction on indoor worship caused by the (Los Angeles County) health order.”

In addition, an April 9 hearing is scheduled in Glendale Superior Court on whether the Roscoe Boulevard church and its pastor, John MacArthur, should be held in contempt for holding indoor services in alleged violation of Beckloff’s September court order.

But in their Feb. 19 court papers, lawyers for Grace Community Church note that in the first of two U.S. Supreme Court opinions, a Catholic diocese and a group of Jewish synagogues challenged New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s restrictions on churches and won.

Then, on Feb. 5, the high court struck down the indoor worship ban while allowing caps on attendance and a ban on singing, according to the Grace Community Church attorneys’ court papers.

“The Supreme Court opinions are binding and direct that the preliminary injunction in this action is void and should therefore be immediately vacated because it did not apply strict scrutiny to determine whether the county’s orders could be applied to the Grace Community Church,” according to the church’s attorneys’ court papers. “Thus, the church now moves to vacate the preliminary injunction and the order to show cause re: contempt.”

Meanwhile, Tinhorn Flats in Burbank, California had its electricity shut off this weekend because it defied Governor Gavin Newsom’s last ban on outdoor dining back in November. Tinhorn Flats has remained open for business, despite visits from health department officials, citations, and fines now totaling thousands of dollars.

A Los Angeles Superior Court has authorized the City of Burbank to disconnect the electricity to a restaurant that remained open in defiance of a temporary restraining order.

On March 8th the court issued a Temporary Restraining Order to Tin Horn Flats requiring the restaurant to close and not open without a County Health Permit and City Conditional Use Permit.

However, the doors of Tin Horn Flats remained opened and on Friday the court authorized the city to cut their electricity after giving a 24-hour notice.

“The court did not provide permission to padlock the doors at this time but continues to reserve such a remedy as a last resort,” a statement from the City of Burbank read.

Even with power and telephone service cut off, Tinhorn Flats still remains open and its owner Lucas Lepejian remains defiant. From the restaurant’s Facebook page, Lepejian put out a call for generators and mounted a legal defense fund.

Then we have the Grammys, the second of the entertainment industry’s big awards shows held in Los Angeles. In the well-worn category of “Rules for thee, but not for me”, these “entertainers” had their awards show and after parties without any restrictions on size, no mandates on masks, and clearly no social distancing.

As the glitterati posed for pictures in ugly million-dollar couture and accessories, took home thousands of dollars in swag, and increased their net worth just by one appearance on the show, California citizens who have spent over a year struggling to maintain their livelihood and dreams are being stomped on by the boot of government run amok.

Director/Producer and Tennessee Congressional Candidate Robby Starbuck shed even more clarity on what is more than a horrific double standard; it’s a clear indicator of who government favors, and who they do not.

Starbuck finished his tweet thread with the mention of the Fox 11 report above on the battle between the City of Burbank and Tinhorn Flats.

Just a reminder that there are many who are still in the fight for their freedoms and ours. But keep on being distracted by those bright, shiny objects like stimulus checks and unsing-able music.