Skip to comments.Minnesota Catholic, Lutheran Bishops to Gov: We’re Opening Up Regardless of Your Order
Posted on 05/20/2020 5:57:52 PM PDT by marshmallow
May 20, 2020, 7:21 p.m. EST: BREAKING: The Minnesota Catholic Conference and The Lutheran ChurchMissouri Synod in Minnesota sent Governor Tim Walz separate letters today announcing that they will resume worship services on May 26 despite Governor Walzs current COVID-19 executive order which allows retailers to operate at 50 percent capacity but caps church worship services at ten people.
Governor Walzs latest re-opening order allows the Mall of America to open its doors to those seeking retail therapy but disallows churches from providing spiritual healing to their congregations. At the same time, The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty sent Governor Tim Walz and Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison a legal letter explaining why continuing to keep churches closed violates the First Amendment. Also representing the Catholic and Lutheran Churches is global law firm Sidley Austin LLP.
Becket explained in a press release:
On May 13, 2020, Governor Tim Walz issued an executive order with guidelines for reopening commerce in the State of Minnesota. The order allows malls, shops, and other retailers to open their doors at fifty percent capacity, allows businessesfrom pet-grooming services to medical cannabis operationsto resume in-person operations, and even announces a phased plan for reopening bars and restaurants, but explicitly leaves in place bans on in-person worship services for more than ten people. Even Minnesota casinos are reopening starting May 26. After weeks of dialogue with Governor Walz to try to achieve equal treatment for houses of worship, today the Catholic and Lutheran Churches announced that they would resume worship services for their congregations at thirty-three percent capacity on Tuesday, May 26, with Pentecost Sunday, May 31, as the first day of Sunday services. The churches have committed to instituting rigorous social distancing and hygiene protocols to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
(Excerpt) Read more at lifesitenews.com ...
“Minnesota Catholic, Lutheran Bishops to Gov: Were Opening Up Regardless of Your Order”
“And we are bringing in a shitload of Somalis too.”
The Missouri synod is more conservative than the squishy ELCA.
Predictably, the liberal ECLA is pushing to keep the churches closed, and warning churches about evil conservatives in their midst that want the churches to open.
The Third Circuit swatted down the North Carolina Governor over a similar differentiation/discrimination specifically holding faith communities to a lower number or percentage of occupancy.
Good for the RC and LCMS for growing a pair.
Rights are to be asserted.
Pleading promotes “privileges”.
Keith Ellison’s the AG? Is this the same Keith Ellison that was involved with the AL Arian Islamic Jihad stuff?
Letter from the president of the LCMS to the atty general:
Thursday of the Fifth Week of Easter, A.D. 2020 May 14, 2020
The Honorable William P. Barr U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20530-0001
Dear Mr. Attorney General:
Grace and peace be yours in Christ.
Caesar Claims Too Much
We write briefly to call your attention to the Restore Illinois plan of the honorable Governor
J. B. Pritzker. We wholeheartedly support the governor in his deep desire to reduce the effects of COVID-19 and do not in any way question his motives.
Several aspects of the plan, however, appear unreasonable. Worse, they appear to us to fail the least restrictive means test for government limitations on First Amendment rights in times of emergency.
Our church body, The Lutheran ChurchMissouri Synod, has nearly 500 congregations and 115 schools in Illinois. We have 6,000 congregations nationally, including parishes in every state, with a combined membership of nearly 2 million. Our people have diverse experiences and views on both COVID-19 and the local and national response. We are not a hierarchical church body, and we do not mandate local responses to the virus. We have and will continue to urge our congregations to follow local guidelines. We trust our pastors and people to act with great responsibility (caring for themselves and their neighbors) and fidelity to both the Holy Scriptures and our Lutheran Confession of faith. And they are doing so, even as they care for the sick, dying and bereaved. We thank you for recognizing the essential nature of pastoral care.
I refer you to the attached Lutheran Plea to Governor Pritzker, written by the three regional leaders of our church body in Illinois. We have particular concerns. Phase 4 of the Illinois reopening plan allows an increase from 10 to 50 people in gatherings of various kinds, but appears to treat churches differently from other institutions with similar gatherings. Furthermore, the limit of 50 people is in place until Phase 5, when there is a vaccine, or highly effective treatment widely available or the elimination of any new cases over a sustained period.
William P. Barr May 14, 2020 Page 2
This is unreasonable and an unnecessary restriction of First Amendment rights for us and for all people who gather for worship while respecting local health guidelines. This provision negatively affects our churches and schools and even threatens closure for some. It will threaten our mission to share the free forgiveness of sins in Christ with our own membership and with those in need of Christs love outside our fellowship. It will threaten our ability to provide parochial grade school and high school education, and our ability to provide consolation, comfort and hope to thousands upon thousands in Illinois. In short, it threatens the free exercise clause of the First Amendment and begs the strict scrutiny principle to be applied.
We respect government as a necessary gift of God (Romans 13). We pray for you and all national and local government leaders (1 Timothy 2:2), including the governor of Illinois. We believe that just as St. Paul appealed to Caesar (Acts 25:11) when his rights as a Roman citizen were violated, it is God-pleasing to appeal to the Department of Justice to scrutinize the plans of the governor of Illinois with respect to the provisions of the First Amendment. We are conscience-bound to follow the directive of Christ, Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesars. But we shall also render unto God what is Gods (Matthew 22:21). Caesar is claiming too much in this case.
Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison, President The Lutheran ChurchMissouri Synod
They must not be enforcing it against Muslims or they wouldn’t be so quiet.
Ut oh. Don’t they read the news?
Exactly what all houses of worship should do on this Sunday, May 25
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.