Last week, North Carolina’s Socialist Governor Roy Cooper implemented Phase 1 of the state’s reopening plan that removed several restrictions on retail businesses and allowed many of them to reopen.
During Phase 1, “mass gatherings” of ten or more people are still prohibited from meeting however, worship services are “excluded” from that prohibition. Instead, churches are told that they can meet since it is a Constitutionally-protected activity, but they have to meet nearly impossible requirements to do so.
Some of these requirements include social distancing of at least six feet, constant movement (you can’t sit still and listen to the preaching), and meeting outside if you have more than ten people. In other words, so long as you operate like a three-ring outdoor circus, you can meet.
First, what church in North Carolina has only ten members? And not every church has the ability or the space to meet outdoors. And can you imagine a worship service — trying to listen to the preaching — with people constantly moving around to avoid prolonged contact with any single person? The requirements are absurd and clearly designed to discourage worship service altogether.
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The North Carolina Association of Chiefs of Police took issue with the executive order, calling it “illogical” and “unfair.”
“Under the Order, retail businesses are allowed to operate every day for unlimited hours under rules that are significantly more liberal than those applying to periodic and comparatively brief worship services, which appears illogical and unfair from the standpoint of preventing the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Freedom of religious worship embodied in the U.S. and N.C. Constitutions is held dear by our citizens and cannot be diminished with unreasonable and unjustified disparate treatment in law.
The police chiefs association said that Cooper’s executive order relating to worship services cannot be explained or justified to the citizens and asked them, for the sake of maintaining trust and legitimacy, to amend it.