If you’re attending a church service on Easter Sunday in Kentucky, the governor has ordered authorities to take down your license plate and report you to local health departments; you will then be ordered to a 14-day quarantine.
Democrat Gov. Andy Beshear “said local officials are being directed to record license plate numbers of participants to pass to local health departments,” Kentucky.com reported Friday evening. “Those who attend these gatherings can expect public health officials to show up at their doors with mandates that they self-quarantine for 14 days, the governor said.”
“If you’re going to expose yourself to this virus, it’s not fair to everybody else out there that you might spread it to,” the Democrat said Friday. “Understand, this is the only way we can ensure your decision doesn’t kill somebody else.”
The order reportedly does not apply to drive-in services, but seemingly includes houses of worship that implement social distancing efforts and smaller services.
There has been increasing focus on religious services as the nation crafts a response to the China-originated novel coronavirus, or COVID-19.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, for example, has been criticized for being outright hostile to the faithful, namely Christians and Jews. The mayor has deemed houses of worship non-essential and threatened to close down churches and synagogues permanently if they don’t obey his shutdown order.
“So, I want to say to all those who are preparing the potential of religious services this weekend – if you go to your synagogue, if you go to your church and attempt to hold services after having been told so often not to, our enforcement agents will have no choice but to shut down those services,” de Blasio threatened.
“No faith tradition endorses anything that endangers the members of that faith,” the mayor continued. “So, the NYPD, Fire Department, Buildings Department, and everyone has been instructed that if they see worship services going on, they will go to the officials of that congregation, they’ll inform them they need to stop the services and disperse.”
“If that does not happen, they will take additional action up to the point of fines and potentially closing the building permanently,” de Blasio added.
While most states have deemed houses of worship non-essential, there have been some holdouts allowing safe services to move forward.
Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, for example, overruled some counties within his state, designating churches, synagogues, and mosques as essential.
The house of worship carveout came days after the arrest of Florida pastor Rodney Howard-Browne, who held two large, in-person services despite so-called “social distancing” guidance. The 58-year-old was charged with unlawful assembly and violation of a public health emergency order, which are misdemeanors.
As noted by The Daily Wire, State Attorney Andrew Warren accused Howard-Browne of “hiding behind the First Amendment.”
“I think it’s unfortunate that the pastor here is hiding behind the First Amendment,” Warren said during a press conference. “One, it’s absolutely clear that emergency orders like this are constitutional and valid. Second of all, leaders from our faith-based community across this country have embraced the importance of social distancing.”