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Trump warns governors: let places of worship open this weekend

Trump warns governors: let places of worship open this weekend

Postby smix » Sat May 23, 2020 5:06 pm

Trump warns governors: let places of worship open this weekend
Reuters

URL: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-heal ... SKBN22Y2LQ
Category: Politics
Published: May 22, 2020

Description: WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump on Friday urged U.S. states to allow the reopening this weekend of places of worship that have been closed due to the coronavirus, and warned he would override governors who do not do so. At a short appearance in the White House briefing room, Trump said he was declaring that places of worship - churches, synagogues and mosques - are providing essential services and thus should be opened as soon as possible. Places of worship have been closed as part of stay-at-home orders most states have used to try to control the spread of the coronavirus. With the infection rate declining in many areas, there is pressure to begin reopening. Trump issued a warning to state governors who refuse his appeal but did not say under what authority he would act to force the reopening of religious facilities.

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“If they don’t do it, I will override the governors. In America, we need more prayer, not less,” he said. The National Governors Association declined to comment. Trump has gone back and forth throughout the pandemic on whether he or the governors have more power to implement measures related to its spread. “He has no authority to do this. The governors are in no sense subordinates of the president,” said Robert Chesney, a professor at the University of Texas School of Law. Trump courted the support of religious groups, particularly evangelical Christians, in his 2016 presidential race, and is eager to have it again in 2020. Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus task force coordinator, encouraged worshipers who are especially vulnerable to the virus not to go or to wait longer to attend services. New guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encourage worshipers to bow or wave instead of shaking hands, hugging or kissing.
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UK Bishops Protest Delay in Opening Churches Amidst Lockdown Easing

Postby smix » Sat May 23, 2020 5:51 pm

UK Bishops Protest Delay in Opening Churches Amidst Lockdown Easing
Breitbart News

URL: https://www.breitbart.com/health/2020/0 ... wn-easing/
Category: Politics
Published: May 13, 2020

Description: The Catholic Church in England and Wales has released a statement accusing the government of failing to recognize the “spiritual needs” of the people in its plan to relax restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus. “The timing and the manner of the opening of churches touches profound sensitivities and spiritual needs. The Government’s document and statements fail to recognize this,” said the Catholic Bishops’ Conference for England and Wales. As has happened in other countries, the UK government has judged the spiritual needs of the population to be “non-essential” in its consideration of when and how to re-open churches for prayer and public worship. Thus, in Monday’s 20,000-word plan to gradually release the United Kingdom from its lockdown restrictions, the government has said that as of Wednesday, sectors of the economy that are allowed to be open should be open, which includes “food production, construction, manufacturing, logistics, distribution and scientific research in laboratories.” “The only exceptions to this are those workplaces such as hospitality and non-essential retail which during this first step the Government is requiring to remain closed.” While manufacturing and research and even recreation are immediately rebooted, however, no such provisions are made for the spiritual needs of the population, which must wait nearly two months — until July 4 — to reopen, together with cinemas, pubs, and beauty salons. In their weakly worded protest, the UK bishops make no attempt to address the religious liberty issue at the base of the categorization of sacramental life as “non-essential,” but instead continue to offer conciliatory words aimed more at appeasement than confrontation. “The Government’s position, established today, includes these steps aimed at opening churches as soon as possible: the establishment of a task force for places of worship, to work closely with ‘stakeholders’ in ensuring that premises are COVID-19 secure; and heeding the experience of other countries in which churches are already open for worship,” the bishops note. “In dialogue with the Government, the Catholic Church will continue its engagement in this process and has already submitted a detailed plan, in full accordance with public health guidelines, for churches to be opened for private prayer,” they state. “The Church is ready to play its full part in the task force, understanding that this includes the possible earlier use of churches for private prayer, as a first safe step towards their use for public worship,” they conclude. As a point of comparison, Italy — among the first countries hard hit by the coronavirus — never closed churches for private worship and will reopen public Masses for participation by the faithful on May 18.



Donald Trump: ‘I Want to Get Our Churches Open’
Breitbart News

URL: https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2020 ... ches-open/
Category: Politics
Published: May 21, 2020

Description: President Donald Trump expressed his interest at the White House on Thursday in getting more churches reopened despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. He blamed Democrat governors for keeping churches closed. “The churches are not being treated with respect by a lot of the Democrat governors,” Trump commented to reporters as he left the White House for a trip to Michigan on Thursday afternoon. “I want to get our churches open, and we’re going to take a very strong position on that very soon,” he added. When reporters asked him if he would include mosques in his effort, he said he would. Recent reports revealed that the White House disputed proposed Centers for Disease Control guidelines prepared for the reopening of churches, delaying their release. A Trump administration official told CNBC that the White House wanted a more federal approach to the guidelines. The White House reaffirmed the president’s interest in getting churches reopened. “Not only is it good for the community; it’s their right under the Constitution to worship freely without government intrusion,” White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere said to CNBC. “The Trump Administration will always protect that right and continue to partner with states to ensure congregations are properly protected as restrictions are responsibly eased.”



Donald Trump Demands Governors Open Churches, Calls Them ‘Essential’
Breitbart News

URL: https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2020 ... essential/
Category: Politics
Published: May 22, 2020

Description: President Donald Trump announced Friday at a surprise briefing at the White House new detailed federal guidelines allowing churches to reopen during the coronavirus pandemic.



“Today, I am identifying houses of worship, churches, synagogues, and mosques as essential places that provide essential services,” Trump said, announcing the release of new Centers for Disease Control guidelines. “Some governors have deemed liquor stores and abortion clinics as essential but have left out churches and other houses of worship,” Trump said. “That’s not right.” Trump said he wants every governor to reopen all churches “right now.” “If there’s any questions, they’re going to have to call me, but they will not be successful in that call,” Trump said. The president made a brief announcement about churches and left the podium as Dr. Deborah Birx detailed information about the fight against the coronavirus. Earlier in the week, reports noted that the White House disputed guidelines from the Centers for Disease Controls as too strict, withholding official federal guidance for a few days. Since then, Trump has repeatedly called for governors to allow churches to reopen. “The churches are not being treated with respect by a lot of the Democrat governors,” Trump commented to reporters as he left the White House for a trip to Michigan on Thursday afternoon. “I want to get our churches open, and we’re going to take a very strong position on that very soon.” The president confirmed that the new guidelines would apply to churches, synagogues, and mosques. Despite many churches holding services online, President Trump remarked Thursday that it was not the same as attending in person. “It’s wonderful to sit home and watch something on a laptop, but it can never be the same as being in a church and being with your friends,” Trump said during an event with black leaders on Friday.



Chicago Mayor Launches Police Raid to Shut Down Black Church’s Sunday Services
Breitbart News

URL: https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2020 ... ck-church/
Category: Politics
Published: May 24, 2020

Description: On Sunday, Chicago’s first openly gay mayor, Lori Lightfoot, mounted a raid on a black South Side church for holding services in defiance of her coronavirus lockdown orders. Lightfoot reportedly sent three marked squad cars and two unmarked cars full of officers to the Chicago Cornerstone Baptist Church in the South Side’s Woodlawn neighborhood. Woodlawn is just south of Hyde Park, the area in which the Obamas lived for a short time before Barack became president. The pastor of the mostly black congregation, Courtney Lewis, reportedly shut and locked the doors and refused to allow the officers to gain entry to the building, Todd Starnes reported. Pastor Lewis told Starnes that he felt like he was confronting “the Soviet-style KGB” as the officers pounded on his doors and demanded entry to shut the church down. “Thankfully, our doors were locked as a normal safety precaution we take each service to protect our members from the escalating gun violence in Chicago,” Lewis said. A sentry that is usually posted outside the sanctuary to monitor the street during service also reported seeing occupants of a dark car with tinted windows filming the incident through one opened window. “All we are seeking is the same consideration and trust that is being tendered toward the liquor stores, abortion clinics, and Walmart,” Lewis told Starnes. Lewis is also seeking help from U.S. Attorney John Lausch. “We are trying to follow the laws of man as much as reasonably possible, but when the laws of man conflict with the laws of God, I, as a pastor, have a duty to follow the laws of God,” Lewis wrote in a recent letter to Lausch. “We will not be intimidated by this overhanded government bully, but we are requesting the assistance of our president and our Justice Department in correcting this grave miscarriage of the law.” Lightfoot, Chicago’s Mayor since May of last year, has been targeting the city’s churches for several weeks as houses of worship have begun balking at her draconian lockdown orders. Late last week, Lightfoot excoriated the city’s churches, saying that their desire to re-open is “dangerous and foolish.” Also last week, the city began fining churches that Lightfoot thinks are violating her coronavirus lockdown orders. After some churches started holding services on the second weekend of May, fines were handed out to churches, including Philadelphia Romanian Church of God, Elim Romanian Pentecostal Church, Metro Praise International, and others. Law service Liberty Counsel reported on May 23 that Elim Pentecostal Church and other Romanian churches in the city received letters from the Chicago Department of Public Health, invoking emergency orders and deeming churches a danger to society. The letters also invoked “summary abatement,” which gives the city the power to forcibly enter properties without a judge’s orders and impose the mayor’s will on occupants. On Friday, President Donald Trump updated federal guidelines for re-opening the economy and added that churches are essential institutions and should be allowed to re-open without government opposition. “Today, I am identifying houses of worship, churches, synagogues, and mosques as essential places that provide essential services,” Trump said on Friday, announcing the release of new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines. A similar flurry of harsh orders has come from the state’s governor, as well. Illinois’s recently elected Gov. J.B. Pritzker, heir to the billion-dollar Hyatt Hotel chain, continues to maintain that Illinois must remain on near-total lockdown as a measure to stave off the coronavirus. Pritzker, who has instituted the most draconian lockdown in the country, recently decreed that churches must not allow more than 50 worshippers inside at a time, “until there is a vaccine” for the coronavirus. Meanwhile, Pritzker took criticism for demanding that everyone stay at home even as he allowed his wife to fly off to their Florida estate where lockdowns are not as strict. He was also caught ordering construction crews from Illinois to travel to Wisconsin to work on his property there despite those strict stay-at-home orders he was doling out to his constituents. But Pritzker is facing mounting pressure to roll back his authoritarian coronavirus policies. Last Wednesday, the governor succumbed to pressure to cancel his order to criminally charge businesses that opened their doors in defiance of his coronavirus orders. Illinoisans are becoming increasingly restive under Pritzker’s rule. Multiple lawsuits have been filed against the state’s coronavirus decrees, and many county governments are shying away from the lockdowns. A growing number of county sheriffs and board members are refusing to enforce the governor’s orders.
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