This morning, I will present oral argument at the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals for our Maryville Baptist Church case. We have already stopped the lawless, pro-abortion Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear's illegal restrictions twice with two 3-0 rulings from this appeals court. These rulings set national precedent.
Today, I will ask the court to permanently stop Gov. Beshear's war against churches and faithful believers.
Kentucky church members have been placed in mandatory quarantine; some have lost their jobs because of it.
On Good Friday, Gov. Beshear issued a warning that Christians should, under no circumstances, attend Easter services. He warned that he would send police officers to monitor churches, record the license plates and VIN numbers of attendees and issue notices of quarantine—even for parking lot services.
Gov. Beshear had already declared liquor stores and abortion clinics to be "essential," and therefore able to remain open—but not churches. Not even on Easter. And not even if church members stayed in their cars in the parking lot! He even ignored a court order issued the day before Easter against the mayor of Louisville that ruled in favor of parking lot services.
On Easter Sunday, as church members arrived at Pastor Jack Roberts' Maryville Baptist Church for the drive-in service, the police were waiting. Officers went car to car, issuing citations. Seeing this, some church members drove away in fear. Mission accomplished. But the tyrants weren't done.
The next day, as reports of the governor's action hit the media, multiple church members were sent home and/or immediately fired from their "essential" jobs—simply for having attended church. Every vehicle owner who was cited received a mandatory 14-day quarantine order even though they had remained in cars and none tested positive or had any COVID-19 symptoms!
Pastor Roberts then received a letter from the governor stating he was not allowed to leave the state or the county without permission.
So let's review. Simply for having a socially distanced, drive-in church service on Easter Sunday:
—Police went on church property and bullied attendees.
—Government authorities documented and recorded the names and identities of those who attended the service.
—Some church attenders drove away in fear.
—Some church members lost their jobs for attending church.
—Cited attendees were subjected to a 14-day mandatory quarantine even though none were sick.
—The pastor was ordered not to travel out of the state or county!
And this all took place in Kentucky, not Iran or North Korea!
Liberty Counsel sued Gov. Beshear in federal court, demanding an emergency injunction against the governor which would restrict him from imposing any further punishments against the faithful Christians who had already lost so much due to their faith.
We won that emergency injunction in two separate 3-0 decisions, and Gov. Beshear was prevented from carrying out any further restrictions against Christians until the court could hear the full merits of the case.
But that victory remains temporary unless we win this next round.
Today is the hearing in which the court will hear the full merits of our case. We are asking the court to decide once and for all the Gov. Beshear should be permanently barred from oppressing pastors, churches and faithful believers.
You see, Gov. Beshear fought local authorities; he fought his own attorney general; and he even fought the courts themselves to maintain his tyrannical grip on the worship lives of believers in Kentucky.
Put more simply, the governor wants to reimpose his tyrannical edicts no matter what the law says. We are not going to let that ungodly and unconstitutional travesty take place.
Liberty Counsel will defend the constitutional rights of pastors, churches and believers all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary!
One of our many cases, defending churches in Illinois against similar illegal church restrictions, will be filed with the U.S. Supreme Court within days. And depending on the outcome of today's hearing concerning Kentucky's illegal, discriminatory restrictions, this case may also go to the Supreme Court.
This article originally appeared at lc.org.
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