Coronavirus, Freedom Of Religion, And The Right To Freely Assemble

Discussion in 'Faith & Religion' started by Ken Anderson, Mar 21, 2020.

  1. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    Some churches, in New Hampshire and Louisiana, and probably others, are challenging and even defying their state's limitations on assembly on constitutional grounds. One in Louisiana held services for about three hundred and were notified that the National Guard would break them up if they did so again. I haven't heard what they intend to do this Sunday.
     
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  2. Ed Wilson

    Ed Wilson Well-Known Member
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    The pastors are probably doing it for the weekly haul of cash.
     
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  3. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Senior Staff
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    It makes no sense to me why the pastor or a church would even want to do this. I am sure that they all want their congregation to stay well, and probably even include that in their church prayers. So, why would they deliberately do something that might facilitate someone getting a communicable illness and spreading it around ?
    It is not like this is the only time this has happened, and we all have heard the admonition to stay home if you think you have the flu, and no one thinks that is unreasonable.
    I do not see this as affecting our freedom of religion, or our right to assemble.
    When there is a forest fire (as an example), people are evacuated from their homes, but that doesn’t mean that the government is taking away our right to live where we want, and no one objects to this kind of quarantine of the area.
     
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  4. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    Without going so far as to say that this is a good move on their part, what's next? If the State can deny the right of the people to peacefully assemble, and of churches to meet together because of this virus, what about the next one? Will we be closing churches every time the seasonal flu comes around? The measles? the common cold? Will vaccinations be mandated in order for people to worship with a congregation?
     
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  5. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    Some churches are holding services all day on Sunday, limiting each service to whatever number of people their state allows. This meets the requirements of the law, but the pastor is coming into contact with all of them. Of course, it could be that the pastor is maintaining sufficient distance from the congregation for this not to be a problem. However, the virus remains on surfaces for hours. Should the State attempt to shutter the churches entirely?
     
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  6. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    60 million Americans were infected with the swine flu in 2009 and 2010, yet they didn't close the churches, or anything else for that matter.
     
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  7. Teresa Levitt

    Teresa Levitt Active Member
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    they can worship in their hearts...the main place where God lives
     
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  8. Lois Winters

    Lois Winters Very Well-Known Member
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    So many died from the Swine Flu, so I guess everyone learned a lesson from that. Faced with this COVI-19, wise heads now are cautioning people as to the worst case scenarios. When all this falls on deaf ears, and selfish ones decide, tough, I am an American and will do as I please, thereby endangering the rest of society, I can see why the authorities take over. This isn't some kids game. I am 87 yrs. old with some health issues that definitely might do me in if I contract this virus. While I might be sick and tired of being cooped up in Sunrise, at least there aren't a bunch of visitors with their kids cavorting about visiting grandma or grandpa, transmitting heaven only knows what. So far, we are all well here. For how long? Only God himself knows. Our community T.V.s are running all religious services on appropriate days. The Jewish and Christian holidays are not being ignored at all. Countries are livid that some are ignoring the new temporary laws in order to celebrate Easter and I do not blame the leaders for calling out the troops. People will always be stupid regardless.
     
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  9. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Veteran Member
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    Two mega churches that we know, one that we went to in Florida, are now streaming their service online. My wife's sister, who is a pretty devote Christian and Sunday AM church goer, isn't going to like not being able to go, but then again, she knows very little, if anything, about how to get the streaming service online.

    Mega churches need the money that comes in, but will simply have to cope with what's going on. People can still tithe/offerings online or perhaps even drive by the church and give to a person standing outside.

    There's an old saying that will goe with this and other inconveniences right now...……"where there is a WILL there will be a WAY". Streaming a church service is definitely the best "way".
     
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  10. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    "For where two or three have gathered in My name, I am there in their midst." -- Matthew 18:20

    ... not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near." -- Hebrews 10:25

    "In the name of our Lord Jesus, when you are assembled, and I with you in spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus." -- 1 Corinthians 5:4

    "What is the outcome then, brethren? When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification." -- 1 Corinthians 14:26
     
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  11. Faye Fox

    Faye Fox Very Well-Known Member
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    Coronavirus, Freedom Of Religion, And The Right To Freely Assemble

    YES! Yes, they have the RIGHT to assemble and ALSO the OBLIGATION to HUMANITY to stay assembled! That’s right! Stay assembled until the virus has subsided. Should one or all of them get sick, our responders have the right to refuse service, except for children that didn’t have a choice.

    You can’t have your faith and deny it also. You either believe or you don’t. If you are willing to chance congregating because you believe God demands it and God will protect you, then do so, but also you have the responsibility to stay assembled and accept the consequences of your actions. Should a child die because of your actions, then stand trial for murder. Should a child get sick with the virus, then you will be tried for negligence.

    So yesterday Jehovah Witnesses knock on my door with their Bible open and begin reading to me before they even say anything else.

    Isaiah 26:20 “Go, my people, enter your rooms and shut the doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until his wrath has passed by.”

    I say (with a mask on about 8 feet from them), “Then go home and shut yourselves in your rooms and quit going around bothering people and spreading the virus.” I tell them the day before an older lady down the street died from the virus. They say, “Well I guess we were too late delivering Jehovah's message about the virus to this street.”

    I shook my head and shut my door. I watched them go across the street and the old people living there let them in. I have never met these new neighbors and now not sure I ever want too.
     
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  12. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Veteran Member
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    Way to go, Faye!! Two HUGE "thumbs up" for you!
     
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  13. Bob Kirk

    Bob Kirk Very Well-Known Member
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    I like this one

    "What is the outcome then, brethren? When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification." -- 1 Corinthians 14:26


    I'm guessing they are going to be told the potential of passing along the virus when large groups assemble. Or not since a reduced gathering puts a dent in collections.
     
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  14. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    The churches with the highest revenue are those which have larger television and radio audiences than in-house audiences, so I doubt that it's about money, although I understand that this is talking point among anti-theists, which is why we hear it a lot.

    What a lot of people are missing, since that's a part of the plan, is that the response to this virus has demonstrated that all it takes is a manufactured crisis and people will be lining up give away the rights that our ancestors fought and died for.

    Although there are biblical references to the importance of churches meeting together, that's not the major point, in my opinion. While I agree that isolation is a good idea, and I do that during flu season, the more important point is that the government has usurped the rights guaranteed us in the Bill of Rights, and all that it took was a media blitz for people to applaud it, hating those who kind of liked it when the American people had a few rights that they could depend on.

    Are we going to do this every flu season now? How about measles outbreaks?
     
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    Last edited: Mar 27, 2020
  15. Faye Fox

    Faye Fox Very Well-Known Member
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    @Ken Anderson I understand your point perfectly. It is clear to me that many of our rights are lost during times like this. Whether the virus is intentional or not isn't the question. The question is, is it real? There is no doubt in my mind it is real and was developed in China as viral warfare and it prematurely got away from them. Be that as it may, it is also clear that this virus is different from many others and would kill millions if an action wasn't taken to isolate it. We can look at Italy and see that this virus is different than the other flu and had no action been taken, deaths would be in the 100 thousand. Look at New York! The yearly flu kills many there, but nothing like this. I believe as I said above that no shutdown should affect people gathering for religious reasons. HOWEVER it should be made clear when they congregate, they must stay together until the virus is weakened. In other words, communal living until the danger is low. Each and every individuals choice. The idea that the constitution guarantees them the right to congregate and then go around the community spreading their beliefs and possibility the virus, is wrong. I hope we will learn a lesson in sanitation and personal responsibility from this. Does your right to religious gathering superceed the right of others to health and life? I don't for one minute think this is a conspiracy against Christianity. With all our modern technology it is easy for Christians to congregate. We are not living in Bible times where congregating meant physically in the same room, nor the old wild west where you can live as you like and defend it with a 45/70 for those that don't understand distancing. No, under Trump we won't ever have a massive shutdown for flu even if it kills 10,000 every season. Should someone like Pelosi or Clinton become president, then every right will be a stake and martial law will rule.

    For all those crying about their religious rights being violated by orders to not PHYSICALLY congregate, all I can say is remember the words of Jesus. Love other humans as you do yourself. Don't be selfish, stay home and read your Bible or get online with others or call them on the phone. From what I can see all those whining about constitutional rights in a time similar to war, remember all those soldiers that fought for your rights, gave up theirs. We are all soldiers in defeating the spread of this virus.
     
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    Last edited: Mar 27, 2020
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