The governor of Illinois — the Democratic governor of Illinois, J.B. Pritzker — made an astonishing announcement just recently that went like this: Due to Covid-19, churches may have to remain closed for a year.
Dear Churches of America: This is why you don’t cave to government — ever. Give an inch, government takes a mile.
While explaining a five-phase plan to reopen his state, Pritzker said: “You know that in phase three, there can be gatherings, church gatherings, of 10 or fewer. In phase four, 50 or fewer. So that’s the guidance that’s been given to me. I’m not the one providing that guidance. It really is what the scientists and epidemiologists are recommending.”
You mean the unelected scientists and epidemiologists? The ones who at first went with the predicted 2.2 million American deaths due to Covid-19 to issue dark and dire crackdown demands — and then went with the dramatically lowered 1 million, er, make that 250,000, er, make that 100,000, er, make that 67,000, er, make that, tens of thousands of American deaths due to Covid-19 to continue the dark and dire crackdown demands?
It’s not enough for this governor to toss off his duty as chief-of-state onto the scientists’ lap and pretend, oh well, what can you do? Not when he’s talking American individual liberties.
Not when he’s talking about the First Amendment.
Not when he’s trying to close churches — churches! — to congregations for a year. Maybe more. Who knows.
Pritzker’s cavalier attitude toward the church is mind-boggling. Judeo-Christianity is the foundation of America’s freedoms, after all. The right to freely worship as one chooses is the bedrock of America’s founding, after all.
And churches, for shame.
Churches, for Covid-19 shame.
For shame for letting it get this far without much fight.
The fact churches in America so quietly, so politely, so completely shut doors to normal worship gatherings on the advice or even order of government only emboldened the secular of society to take these additional steps — all in the name of citizen health and safety.
It’s one thing for churches to try and do the right thing for citizens, for society, for the government, for the country, and abide recommendations and mandates at the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis. But the data is out; the real data, not the computer modeling crap, is out. And it’s showing more and more clearly that A) sheltering in the home is not the all-protective action it was billed to be, and B) Covid-19 is hardly the drastic, deadly disease it was billed to be.
So why are so many churches across the country still playing this good-little-member-of-society game?
More than any store, more than any facility, more than any public transportation, public school or publicly-run place of business — it’s the churches and places of worship of America that are the protected classes. It’s the churches and places of worship of America that have the constitutional backing.
“Churches target Pritzker’s Restore Illinois plan in new federal court challenge,” the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
This is what needs to happen — and more of it. Because fact is, what’s happening in Illinois won’t stay in Illinois.
There are other governors and politicians with secular designs and godless intents who are itching to do the same to churches in their states, as well. Fight now, or forever face this fire.
• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter by clicking HERE.