For those who have not been following the ongoing controversy, Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, which is led by Pastor John MacArthur, has been holding indoor church services since July 26 in defiance of a county order that bars indoor church service and only allows outdoor services under very strict attendance guidelines. Recently a Los Angeles Superior Court Judge issued an injunction against the church saying:
“While the court is mindful that there is no substitute for indoor worship in the ‘spiritual refuge’ of a sanctuary, the court cannot ignore the County Health Order does not dictate a ban on worship,” If there is no substitute for indoor worship, then an order banning that service is wrong. These are all rational people, who are voluntarily joining a service with full knowledge of the risks, in order to worship God in the way they want. An order by the government saying they can’t is not justified under any circumstance. I stand with Pastor MacArthur. We all should.
I’m going to go one step further. Any government official that enforces these orders, be they judge, health official, or elected official, is betraying the citizens they govern. It is time for those in these positions of authority to own their decisions. They are betraying the citizens and this country. It doesn’t matter that 5 judges in the US Supreme Court have said its ok. Our country’s history is pockmarked with the shame of bad Supreme Court decisions upholding government actions that later generations found repugnant to the Constitution (read Dred Scott, Lincoln’s emergency order revoking of habeas corpus, Korematsu v. US, which justified the emergency order that interned Japanese American citizens, to name a few). The orders were “legal” when made, but that is an insufficient reason to justify the actions of those in our society’s governing structure. They are wrong, and we must resist them, and stand with those who are actively resisting it. There is no room for anyone, elected official, law enforcement officer, health official or judge, to claim they are “just following orders.” That excuse died long ago.
I will be blunt, the order closing down churches, restaurants, hair salons, fitness centers and the like is beyond the pale. If I were in the position to make a decision about whether to enforce the order of our Arrogant Lazy Authoritarian In Chief (ALAIC), Gavin Newsom, to unreasonably regulate or close down these facilities, I would ignore it, even if I thought someone else would think it was “legal.” The fact that I would do that is probably why no one with the authority to do so has ever appointed me to a position where I could make such a decision. Someone else might “reverse” or “overrule” me, but my decision would be guided by enduring principles, not politically expedient ones.
That is why we must stand with Grace Community Church and Pastor MacArthur. Government relies on voluntary compliance with its rules by reasonable people of good will. Most people “go along” even with bad orders, because there are consequences to violating government edicts. If enough people say NO to the government orders, those orders will collapse of their own weight, because there is no way for the government to pursue enforcement orders against mass civil disobedience. The system will collapse, and the ALAs (Arrogant Lazy Authoritarians) in charge of the enforcement mechanisms know that. So, they choose one high profile “victim,” in this case Grace Community Church, and attempt to bludgeon them into submission, in order to scare the rest of us. If we ever turn against these ALAs, and say “enough is enough” they will have to back off, or the system will collapse. The entire effort against Grace Community Church is to bludgeon the rest of the churches into submission.
That is why pastors everywhere should start (if they haven’t already) to openly defy the orders. Hold indoor services, don’t comply with social distancing and mask orders. The ALAs may choose one or two of you to “make an example of,” but the cost of freedom is to pay a price sometimes for taking a stand, and you may have to pay that price. In the end, however, you will save our Republic from the plans of the ALAs to destroy our freedom. Pastor MacArthur deserves our help.
And for the rest of us, we need to hold those who enforce those orders accountable for their actions. They can justify themselves by saying the orders are “legal” and they are duty bound to enforce them, but that is wrong. They don’t have to enforce them, they shouldn’t justify them, and I really don’t care how many judges rule that the orders have to be followed, those judges are wrong too. All of them need to own their actions, and know that they exalt government authority over freedom. That, they should know, is a betrayal of the citizens of this country. They will only know that if we hold them accountable, by our actions and our vote. Stand with Pastor MacArthur, it is the right thing to do.