California Churches Fight For the Right to Sing

Free speech and freedom of religion should protect the right to sing in church, the lawsuit says.

A lawsuit has been filed in federal court in Sacramento by three churches in California after Governor Gavin Newsom mandated they suspending singing during the state’s coronavirus resurgence.

The churches are seeking an exemption from the governor’s July 1 executive order requiring them to “discontinue singing and chanting” at services. Like other coronavirus-related church lawsuits, it argues that the order treats churches differently than other sectors of society, saying that Newsom “has been unwavering in his support of massive protests,” where much chanting has occurred.

Their complaint said, “When asked to explain whether people should heed Newsom’s mandate and avoid large crowds and gatherings, Newsom refused to place the same restrictions on protesters and explained ‘we have a Constitution, we have a right to free speech,’ and further stated that ‘we are all dealing with a moment in our nation‘s history that is profound and pronounced — do what you think is best.'”

The governor’s order does not extend the same leniency to churches, instead threatening them with a “fine, imprisonment, or both” if they violate the singing ban.

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For the federal judge in Sacramento to have wisdom as he evaluates the case.
  • For encouragement for the many worshipers in California.
  • For churchgoers who are not able to attend with their congregations because of church closures or limited capacity restrictions.

Sources: Washington Examiner, Sacramento Bee


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