As COVID-19 cases rose, Democratic Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced a new set of COVID-19 restrictions, which includes limiting gatherings to 10, expanding mask mandates indoors and outdoors from December 14 through January 31, and installing a curfew for all Virginians from midnight to 5 a.m.
However, Gov. Northam overstepped his role during the COVID-19 press briefing when blaming religious services, alongside restaurants and grocery stores, for being places where people have not been wearing masks. He said this has contributed to the recent spike in coronavirus cases and that it’s not even necessary to be in church at all.
“Quite frankly, we know that a lot of the spread is coming from this because individuals that are in places of worship and contract the virus then go out to their place of work, or to the grocery store or convenience store, and that’s how it spreads. I call on our faith leaders to lead the way and set an example for their members. Worship with a mask on is still worship. Worship outside, or worship online, is still worship,” Gov. Northam said.
He pleaded with church members to practice safety guidelines and even asked worshippers to think twice about attending indoor services. He said these rules are “really easy” and make such a big impact.
“The holidays are typically times of joy and community. We gather together, we celebrate our faith, and we celebrate with family,” Northam said. “But this year we need to think about what is truly the most important thing. Is it the worship or the building? For me, God is wherever you are. You don’t have to sit in the church pew for God to hear your prayers,” Gov. Northam said.
This angered many people, including Fox contributor and the Federalist senior editor Mollie Hemingway, who shared her anger on a recent segment of “America’s Newsroom.”
“Northam is just flat-out wrong when he pretends to be a theologian who can instruct people on how they should be worshipping. It actually is essential to be gathered to receive the means of grace, the Lord’s supper,” Hemingway said.
The president of CatholicVote, Brian Burch, also lashed out against Gov. Northam’s COVID-19 remarks, calling it “shameful ignorance” and “gross anti-religious bigotry.”
Several church members in Culpeper County filed a lawsuit against Gov. Northam over the COVID-19 restrictions. It restricts the maximum number of people in gatherings, but not in schools, workplaces, grocery stores, or hospitals. One of the plaintiffs argued that church gatherings should be considered essential.
According to the liberals, COVID-19 doesn’t spread at demonstrations, during rioting and looting, where 500 people or less are involved. It only spreads at your church. Restricting access to churches is a clear violation of the First Amendment. It protects the American people so that Gov. Northam can’t dictate how we practice our religions or restrict the people’s right to assemble. It doesn’t require people to give a reason why.
Only liberals would think they could go tell people how or where to practice their religion.