On Friday, a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction prohibiting the governor of New York and the Mayor of New York City from enforcing “gathering limitations” on places of worship that aren’t also imposed on other entities. Churches and synagogues and mosques must still observe social distancing requirements imposed on everybody else, but they won’t be unfairly singled out.
He didn’t actually call the governor and mayor hypocrites, but the judge did note that Mayor DeBlasio “actively encouraged participation” in massive protests across the city and “openly discouraged religious gatherings and threatened religious worshipers.”
The injunction was the result of a lawsuit filed on behalf of two Catholic priests by the Thomas More Society.
It should not take a lawsuit to protect freedoms already guaranteed in the Constitution, but sometimes it does. The government can restrict religious freedoms in times of crisis, but it must do so in the least restrictive way possible, and only if the restrictions do not single out religious practice.
Publication date: June 29, 2020
Photo courtesy: Getty Images/ChuangTzuDreaming
BreakPoint is a program of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview. BreakPoint commentaries offer incisive content people can't find anywhere else; content that cuts through the fog of relativism and the news cycle with truth and compassion. Founded by Chuck Colson (1931 – 2012) in 1991 as a daily radio broadcast, BreakPoint provides a Christian perspective on today's news and trends. Today, you can get it in written and a variety of audio formats: on the web, the radio, or your favorite podcast app on the go.
John Stonestreet is President of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, and radio host of BreakPoint, a daily national radio program providing thought-provoking commentaries on current events and life issues from a biblical worldview. John holds degrees from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (IL) and Bryan College (TN), and is the co-author of Making Sense of Your World: A Biblical Worldview.