May 5, 2020

Authoritarians Use Pandemic to Target Christians

Arresting pastors, shuttering churches, and targeting Samaritan’s Purse in NYC.

One consistent theme on the Left is that, while “social justice” Christianity is tolerable, biblically faithful Christians are to be shunned. We’ll highlight two sides of that coin to illustrate.

Early on in the Great Coronavirus Shutdown, many governors and mayors banned church services. Given that most churches have far more than 10 people, this was at least somewhat understandable for public safety. However, in some states and cities, that ban extended to parking-lot services in which congregants never even left their cars. Some pastors and attendees were warned or fined. Other pastors were arrested.

Attorney General William Barr recently fired a shot across the bow over this kind of overreach, and in several cases the Justice Department has filed statements of interest supporting churches. On Sunday, one of those statements supported a church shut down by Virginia Democrat Gov. Ralph Northam. A building capable of holding 200 was shuttered by police on Palm Sunday when 16 people showed up, sanitizing and social distancing. The pastor faces a $2,500 fine and up to a year in jail. The church sued, saying it could not stream services online and meetings were necessary to serve the congregation. It filed supporting photographs of people shopping during the lockdown, as well as one of Northam himself at a press conference with far more than 10 people. The case is pending.

What many Christians fear is simply that leftist politicians don’t like them and are using the pandemic as an excuse to inhibit their constitutional rights of religion and assembly. That’s not an unreasonable conclusion.

Case in point is New York City. We noted last month the opposition straight from Democrat Mayor Bill de Blasio toward Samaritan’s Purse, which had set up a field hospital specifically to aid in healthcare during the pandemic. Why would desperate New Yorkers balk at this aid? Because Samaritan’s Purse adheres to a biblical view of sexuality and marriage, which the Rainbow Mafia says is “anti-LGBTQ+.”

De Blasio promised he’d “monitor” the field hospital, but calls from other city and state officials for ousting Samaritan’s Purse have only grown more shrill. Without a scrap of evidence of actual discrimination, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson declared that the group, “led by the notoriously bigoted, hate-spewing Franklin Graham,” should be ousted. “Their continued presence here is an affront to our values of inclusion, and is painful for all New Yorkers who care deeply about the LGBTQ community.”

Got that? Including Samaritan’s Purse in relief efforts is “an affront to our values of inclusion.”

In any case, Samaritan’s Purse says it will leave the city within the next two weeks, but with poor thanks for its sacrificial and Christian work.

We’re left wondering if this type of satirical Babylon Bee headline is really all that far-fetched: New York Bans Use Of All Scientific, Medical Advancements Made By Christians.

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