The state’s health commissioner, emergency physician Dr. Steven Stack, urged caution, however. “At what point do our rights to gather entitle us to have other people die as a result?” he asks.
Are Dangerous Precedents Being Set?
The Rev. Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, warns Christians that religious liberties are at stake during this pandemic. In an article titled “More Than an Idle Threat,” Mohler addresses the controversies in Kentucky, calling them “potentially dangerous precedent-setting policies that could undermine our constitutional order.”
Though Mohler says many orders and guidelines being issued throughout America are appropriate and should be followed out of love for our neighbors, other policies “specifically target and single out religion, mandating rules and procedures that are not applied to other sectors of the society.” Authorities cross the line, he adds, when they threaten Christians or demand actions from them but not from other citizens.
Mohler points to the ruling of U.S. District Court Judge Justin Walker, who struck down the Louisville mayor’s ban on drive-in church gatherings. Walker, a conservative Trump nominee for the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, called Mayor Fischer’s ban unconstitutional “beyond all reason,” adding, “If beer is essential, so is Easter.”
The battle over what portions of society are “essential” also could set scary precedents, according to Mohler. “Government should never be in the position to derail any religious ministry and deem it nonessential,” he writes.
During the pandemic, Mohler says, Americans must remain alert and be prepared to defend their religious freedoms. “Our constitutional liberties are at stake,” he says, “and the precedents set during this health crisis will have far-reaching implications in the decades to come.”