California Church That Withstood COVID Restrictions Wins Court Battle

Mike McClure and Mariah Gondiero appear on Fox & Friends. (Credit: Fox News)

As the craziness in California took place during the COVID-19 lockdowns, mask mandates, and students learned virtually, while Governor Gavin Newsom’s children learned at an in-person private school, and he wined and dined at the French Laundry, unmasked, with more than 10-people, defying his own and “CDC guidelines.” During that same time, a California church dared defy Newsom’s “rules,” and they withstood the COVID restrictions set forth regarding indoor public gatherings.


On Monday, the pastor of Calvary Chapel, Mike McClure, won the nearly two-year legal battle against Santa Clara County.

The pastor of Calvary Chapel spoke to “Fox & Friends,” along with his attorney Mariah Gondeiro.

McClure told host Ainsley Earhardt: “It’s a blessing for the First Amendment.”

He added:

“Pastors across the country, I think we need to realize that we have this freedom that God’s given us, and we’re needed more today than ever with the hope, truth, love…”

Gondiero said that because the United States Supreme Court established a legal precedent on the issue, and that is why the appellate court dropped the charges.

“The Supreme Court has been very clear over the last year that these orders violated the First Amendment. This is a religious freedom case, and they violated the First Amendment because they discriminate against religion.”

“The county as well as the state of California allowed a lot of essential businesses – or businesses that they deemed essential – to stay opened, but not this church.”


The problem with the state of California allowing “essential” businesses to stay open is that the state decides what is “essential” and what is not.

McClure was asked about the county trying to fine him $2.8 million for COVID “violations.”

He said:

“If it’s jail time, I’m ready for whatever. Honestly, I’m not wanting to fight the county. I think that they just don’t understand the Constitution.”

“The fees are something I have honestly not thought about.”

Gandiero said the church would also have a “complete victory” in that case.

Here is a snippet of what occurred during the lockdowns: 40 percent of small businesses permanently closed. Churches were not able to operate, although some churches, like Calvary Chapel, withstood the restrictions. Big corporations that Democrats are known to belittle, stayed open and raked in massive profits because small businesses were not properly allowed to operate. The same thing applied to churches; like small businesses, they were not able to operate properly.


This win for McClure is also a win against tyranny and a win for the First Amendment.


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