During an online session, Rick Warren announced that those who refuse to wear masks are basically saying that they don’t care about other people and that the most practical way to “love your neighbor,” as the Bible says, is to wear a mask.
After making the ridiculous argument that governments forcing the shutdowns of churches isn’t a First Amendment issue, he absurdly makes these claims about wearing a mask. First, he argued that since other businesses are being shut down during the COVID situation, the fact that churches are being shut down also proves that it is a health issue, not a First Amendment issue. He argues that because there isn’t “discrimination,” that, for some reason, the First Amendment doesn’t apply
Of course, that’s idiotic and the First Amendment DOES apply regardless of whether or not there is targeting of religious groups or not. Other businesses, nightclubs, liquor stores, etc., are not protected by the First Amendment; the free and unhindered expression and practice of religion is.
He then goes on:
“The Bible says ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The most practical way right now you can love your neighbor as yourself, wear a mask. Okay? And to not wear one basically says, ‘I don’t care about you, or I don’t even care about your fears.”
He then goes on to explain why pastors who choose to open their churches and preach to a live audience are egotistical.
“I couldn’t imagine going to Heaven and saying that I let people, members, die because I had such an ego I needed a crowd to speak to. I’m not willing to gamble the health of my members to nurse my ego that would like to have a live audience.”
This, of course, was around the time when John MacArthur and Grace Church were involved in multiple legal battles in California over re-opening his church and keeping it open. Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church is roughly an hour drive on the opposite side of Los Angeles than John MacArthur’s Grace Community Church.