I wrote two weeks ago about New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who let slip his private fantasy of seizing and confiscating churches and synagogues — but no other institutions — if they violated New York’s belated quarantine laws.
Maybe you thought such outrages were limited to the bluest cities in the bluest states. But look at Virginia:
Police served a summons to the pastor of Lighthouse Fellowship for holding a church service for 16 people spaced far apart in a sanctuary that seats 293.
The charge is violating Virginia Governor Northam’s COVID Order 55 with a penalty up to a year in jail and/or a $2,500 fine. Liberty Counsel is representing Pastor Kevin Wilson and Lighthouse Fellowship Church.
Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel Mat Staver said, “Lighthouse Fellowship Church protected the health and safety of the 16 people by requiring them to be spread far apart in the 293-seat sanctuary. The church does not have internet. Some people do not have cars and they depend on the ministry of the church for their physical and spiritual needs. But because the church had six more people than the 10 allowed by Gov. Ralph Northam, the pastor is being criminally charged.
Recording Worshipers’ License Plates
Look at Kentucky:
A federal judge has rebuked Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer’s call on churches to forego drive-in services this Easter weekend to slow the spread of the coronavirus, calling the move overly broad and unconstitutional.
“On Holy Thursday, an American mayor criminalized the communal celebration of Easter,” wrote U.S. District Judge Justin Walker in a temporary restraining order issued Saturday.
(Be sure to read Judge Walker’s eloquent defense of religious liberty as our first freedom. This is the kind of judge President Trump has been appointing across the country.)
Also in Kentucky:
As Maryville Baptist Church moved forward with its in-person Easter service Sunday morning, Kentucky State Police troopers were recording the license plates and placing notices on the roughly 50 cars parked outside of the congregation.
The action related to license plates came as a result of an order that Gov. Andy Beshear announced Friday as part of ongoing efforts to keep Kentuckians from further spreading COVID-19.
Ticketing Christians in Mississippi
Let’s look further down the Bible Belt, at Mississippi:
Police in Greenville, Miss., issued $500 tickets to Christians who gathered in a church parking lot to worship together in the safety of their cars on Wednesday. The Christians at Temple Baptist Church intended to honor coronavirus social distancing restrictions while gathering to worship God, but the police cracked down, regardless.
Greenville Mayor Errick Simmons, a Democrat who has endorsed Joe Biden, and the city council banned churches from hosting drive-in services on Tuesday.
On Thursday, the religious freedom law firm First Liberty sent Simmons a demand letter, urging the mayor to retract the order. First Liberty represents Hamilton, pastor of the nearby King James Bible Baptist Church, who is also hosting drive-in services on Easter Sunday. The demand letter claims that Simmons’ order violates the First Amendment right to free exercise of religion by singling out churches for unusual restrictions.
Banning Seeds and Baby Car Seats in Michigan
Churches aren’t the only targets of politicians overreaching, grasping for control over private citizens’ lives in ways that confer almost no medical benefit.
Many in Michigan have accused Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of abusing her power after she implemented a ban on boating, selling nonessential items, and visits to other residences during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Democratic governor implemented an expanded executive order banning the sale of nonessential goods, including clothing, gardening seeds, and car seats on Friday. She also outlawed visits to other residences, including visits to a vacation home or a neighbor’s house, because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Two Viruses Now, Just as in 1918
There’s a virus in the air, all right, alongside the Wuhan Flu. It’s potentially more deadly. It breeds in the souls of our elites and spreads via the schemes of our politicians.
The “Tyrannovirus” is not a new disease. We’ve endured it since the Fall of man. But like a biological virus, it mutates and takes different forms to overcome our defenses. And in time of crisis, such as a pandemic, we’re open to opportunistic infections.
Think of 1918. Tens of millions were dying of the Spanish Flu (which really came from Kansas, via sick U.S. soldiers whom Woodrow Wilson insisted on shipping to France).
Meanwhile something much deadlier was brewing over in Russia. The Bolshevik regime still tottering then would have been easy for neighbors to topple. But they were sick and distracted. So they let Lenin, Trotsky, and Stalin capture a vast nation, whose revolution would conquer half the world. Communism would slaughter or starve many millions more than any flu. And its aggressions would force the West to rely for its own defense on ungodly nuclear weapons whose use would have ended our species.
I lived my whole life till 1990 assuming that I knew how it would end: in an instantaneous fireball. That dread, which I shared with millions of my generation, was a lingering side-effect of the 1918 virus that infected Russia. So was the national security surveillance state we built out of a legitimate fear of Communist infiltration. And the massive overseas military empire we built to contain the Soviets.
Weaponizing a Pandemic
What will today’s virus leave behind? The American left, and the elite institutions it captured, are weaponizing the Wuhan Flu. These are the very same people who imposed the following frauds on the American public:
- The Russian Collusion Hoax.
- The abuse of FISA surveillance against all GOP presidential candidates.
- The Protect Joe Biden impeachment scam.
- The witch hunt against the Covington Catholic boys.
- The smear of Brett Kavanaugh and Mark Judge.
Now these same elites are telling us that abortions are “essential services,” but church services aren’t. That gun stores need to close, but liquor stores can stay open. Pastors and congregants can be jailed, but suspects awaiting trial will be turned loose on the streets.
The Committee for Public Safety
Are we going to naively trust proven liars, just because they invoke magic words like “public safety”? The murderers leading the French Revolution called themselves the “Committee for Public Safety” too.
Politicians like Gov. Andrew Cuomo and oligarchs like Bill Gates have tipped their hands. They promise us that the “new normal” we face after the virus has peaked might include:
- Mandatory testing.
- Government agencies tracking us by our phones.
- Government virus immunity passes permitting travel.
Will we let the architects of so many fraudulent political power grabs exploit a very real disease? Their goal remains the same as it has for decades: the “fundamental transformation” of America.
We should support and respect reasonable laws protecting the public. But we must be fiercely alert to the countless ways that the Tyrannovirus is trying to infect us. We need to push back hard against any unequal treatment of the institutions we care about, which the left despises. We shouldn’t be as unreasonable as the LGBT lobby was when it fought to keep gay bath houses open through the AIDS crisis. But we can learn something from them: the squeaky wheel gets the grease. In politics, chutzpah pays off. And moderate, reasonable people get shoved aside.
We know how the Tyrannovirus operates. And its target isn’t the body. It’s our soul.