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Governor blasted for 'encouraging people to snitch on churchgoers' - WND
Faith Health U.S.WND
State 'gestapo' form allows complaints against people in a 'religious service'
By WND Staff
Churches have felt put out by various city and state restrictions on assemblies during the coronavirus pandemic.
Similar organizations in some jurisdictions have been treated differently, resulting in First Amendment lawsuits.
But now, Virginia Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam is ramping up the pressure, according to a religious liberty advocate, providing a means for citizens to snitch on people who violate coronavirus rules, such as attending a "religious service" without a face covering.
Along with "religious service," the menu on the form provided online provides for complaints at a "grocery-convenience store," "restaurant," "brick and mortar retail," "winery-brewery," "indoor gun range," "personal grooming service" or "fitness and exercise."
There's no menu item for a protest or demonstration.
"Gov. Ralph Northam has created a gestapo where residents are encouraged to report neighbors for exercising their First Amendment right to attend a worship service without fear of punishment," said Liberty Counsel Chairman Mat Staver. "The governor is trying to drop his heavy hand on churches with unconstitutional restrictions but supporting protests, demonstrations and riots. Encouraging people to snitch on churchgoers is reprehensible."
His organization noted the Virginia Department of Public Health "has been updated with a 'Complaint Report Form' with dropdown options to anonymously report citizens who exceed the emergency limits on building capacity or refuse to wear masks to the state. The form allows users to specify the 'type of establishment' they’re reporting, including indoor gun range or religious service."
Liberty Counsel pointed out there is no option to report "unmasked crowds of more than 50 people that protest, vandalize communities, destroy personal property, or threaten police officers."
Liberty Counsel represents Lighthouse Fellowship Church on Chincoteague Island in Virginia in a federal lawsuit against Northam for sending police to serve a summons to pastor Kevin Wilson. The pastor is accused of holding a church service for 16 people spaced far apart in a sanctuary that is rated for 293 people.
Northam has advocated wearing masks yet has appeared in photos without a mask and surrounded by beachgoers.
He's also condmened lockdown protesters while publicly supporting people rioting over the death of George Floyd.
LIBERTY HAS NO EXPIRATION DATEDemocrats wouldn't buy a clue if it was government subsidized.
Modified by TEEBONE at Sun, Jun 28, 2020, 15:28:05
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