Assault on the Constitution: Authoritarians Use Coronavirus to Negate First Amendment Rights to Assemble and Worship

All over the country authoritarian leaders are using the China virus to discard Constitutionally protected rights under the pretext of keeping people safe.  These authoritarians would have been escorted from the Constitutional Congress. 

Ben Franklin rightly noted that…

“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

Nowhere are these rights under visibly greater attack than against the religious freedom of Christians.  Christians are currently the favorite target of authoritarians, likely because they can’t lord over their Lord.

(KTVU) MERCED, Calif. – Sheriff’s deputies in central California cited a pastor who they say was caught hiding dozens of worshippers in his church, violating social distancing rules, on Easter Sunday.

According to the Merced County Sheriff, a tip came in regarding what they saw happening at Iglesia De Jesus Cristo Palabra Miel on Weaver Avenue: Dozens of people were inside the church, with the doors locked, and their cars parked out of view…

Pastor Fernando Aguas spoke to KTVU on Tuesday morning by phone and told them  he was handed a citation that said he could face a fine of $1,000 and even go to jail for six months. 

It seems the Pastor knows the Constitution better than the Sheriff who is charged with enforcing the law.

Sheriff Vernon H. Warnke, who led the assault on religious liberty justified his actions by citing the parts of the First Amendment that weren’t violated while choosing to ignore the part that was violated…

Warnke told Pastor Aguas that no one’s civil rights are being violated. People can still worship. Just virtually.

“You still have freedom of speech, you still have freedom of religion, you’re just gonna have to do it a different way.  I’m not telling you you can’t worship, I’m just telling you where you can’t go to do it, and that’s based upon this health directive.”

Nah… you can’t do that either…

Sheriff Warnke counted on the good pastor being ignorant of the First Amendment’s guarantee of the right to assemble… Pastor Aquas knew his rights…

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

This is part of a disturbing pattern of First Amendment abridgements across the country that directly target those seeking to practice their rights to worship as they deem proper…

FLORIDA A Hillsborough County pastor was arrested Monday after he intentionally and repeatedly violated orders that no gatherings of 10 or more people he held in order to stop of the spread of COVID-19 by holding services at his megachurch, Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister announced Monday afternoon.

Kentucky – […] For those who decide to participate in a mass gathering of any type of which the state is notified of, the license plates of those individuals will be recorded and given to health department officials. They will then visit the individuals home bringing with them an order to quarantine for 14 days.

The protections guaranteed by the First Amendment have been under constant attack from Statists who find it… well, inconvenient in their effort to exert ever greater control over us.

No matter how you parse this, no matter your personal view of religion, if the state can ignore the First Amendment, then there is nothing that Statists can’t take from you.