“I respect the judge and I know what the law is. However, there is a bigger law (extre jure). When you ask me whether to obey the law or God, I will definitely choose God.
Since the beginning of the coronavirus epidemic, American priests have not stopped “being demons” and took the lead in violating epidemic prevention regulations everywhere.
According to NBC on December 8th, local time, a church in northern California and its pastor were sentenced to a fine of $55,000 (about RMB 360,000) by the court for “contempt of court”.
The church repeatedly ignored court orders to stop holding indoor gatherings without masks, a move that violated the coronavirus epidemic prevention regulations, the local prosecutor’s office wrote in a statement.
Asked about the reason for the violation of the ban, the church director and priest Mike McClure’s answer was stunning. He told reporters outside the court: “I respect judges. I know what the law is. However, there is a bigger law (outside law).
The church mentioned in the report is called Calvary Chapel Church, located in San Jose, Santa Clara County, California, United States.
In October this year, Santa Clara County District Attorney and legal counsel filed a lawsuit against Mount Calvary Church. Earlier, they said that the church held indoor services and hundreds of people did not wear masks, in violation of epidemic prevention regulations aimed at slowing the spread of the novel coronavirus.
In a statement, the county prosecutor’s office said in a statement that the court approved a temporary restraining order requiring that no more than 100 people in-room gatherings for religious or other purposes be held, and that all must wear masks and comply with social distancing requirements.
But the Calvary Church and its chief pastor McClure have repeatedly violated the ban: 600 people attend indoor church services every week, and they do not wear masks or social distance.
The statement also mentioned that county officials spent months trying to cooperate with the church to make them voluntarily obey, otherwise they would be fined. After the church made it clear that it did not intend to terminate “their dangerous behavior”, the county counsel and the district attorney filed a lawsuit to the court.
James R., legal counsel of Santa Clara County. Williams) said in a statement that the church’s move puts the whole community at risk.” To keep our residents safe and get schools, churches and businesses open again, we need everyone to do their part. We cannot allow any organization in our community to deliberately repeatedly violate these orders.”
On December 8th, local time, the local court ruled that the Church of Mount Calvary and the chief priest were “contemptuous” and sentenced him to a fine of $55,000. But the Church of Mount Calvary obviously disagrees with this.
According to local NBC television, lawyers for the church claimed that Santa Clara County’s restrictions on religious institutions were “unconstitutional” and they planned to appeal and would seek to bring the matter to federal court.
It is worth noting that at the time of the hearing of this case, a group of church supporters gathered outside the San Jose courthouse, holding signs that said “Church is essential” and “Jesus saves the world” to express their support for the church and priests. Almost no one of them wears a mask.
“He is not opposed to wearing a mask and that people should wear them if they want to wear one,” the church’s dean pastor McClure told reporters outside the courtroom. But I’m not a policeman. I’m a priest.
He then said: “I respect the judge, and I know what the law is. However, there is a bigger law (extre jure). When you ask me whether to obey the law or God, I will definitely choose God.
Meanwhile, more than 20,000 people have died of COVID-19 in California, according to data from the U.S. health department.
As in some other parts of the United States, the increasing number of cases has raised serious warnings about medical runs.
It is worth mentioning that there have been many collective infections in American churches. However, at a time of severe epidemic, the scale and type of religious gatherings have become a controversial topic in the United States. Some critics oppose the government’s restrictions on the church, otherwise it is a violation of their freedom.
A prominent black pastor in Virginia died of COVID-19 in April. “I firmly believe God is stronger than this terrible virus (COVID-19)” he also told his followers at a sermon just month ago.
In addition, a Michigan pastor told believers in a sermon in November that “it’s going to get sick with COVID-19 and “early done early.” The comment was criticized by many American netizens after it was made public, but the priest still insisted on his own point of view and claimed: “People can die… But for those who destroy their lives for uncertainty, it is logically unreasonable.”