At a Kentucky church that defied Gov. Andy Beshear’s order against mass gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic and held an Easter service Sunday morning, someone spread nails at the church entrances to the parking lot.
I’m at Maryville Baptist Church, which continues to hold in-person services despite orders to cease . This morning, piles of nails have been scattered at every entrance. pic.twitter.com/WcxkqtVZQw
— Sarah Ladd (@ladd_sarah) April 12, 2020
As The Courier-Journal reported, roughly 50 worshipers attended the service at Maryville Baptist Church in Louisville; a notice was left on their windshields informing them that they should quarantined themselves for 14 days or face “further enforcement measures.” Beshear stated that recipients of the notices will receive a letter “asking them to self-quarantine,” adding, “No one is being charged with anything.”
Beshear stated, “Those that want to have mass gatherings send out a signal all around the country to those that don’t think this virus is serious, that don’t follow the rules and then want to come to a place to make their point.” He was echoed by Kentucky Health Commissioner Steven Stack, who asserted, “At what point do our rights to gather entitle us to have other people die as a result?” On Saturday, Beshear stated, “To our knowledge, 99.89% of all churches and all synagogues and all mosques in Kentucky have chosen to do the right thing. I’m just doing my best to save lives. And there aren’t easy answers.”
On April 4 Beshear issued a statement partially directed at Maryville’s pastor, the Rev. Jack Roberts, saying, “If you’re still holding mass gatherings, church or otherwise, you are spreading the coronavirus. And you are likely causing the death of Kentuckians. It’s that clear.”
The Courier Journal reported on April 8 that Roberts informed them he had received the state order to stop holding services but added he had spoken a national Christian organization whose attorneys “are in the process shortly of filing a lawsuit” against the Beshear administration. He stated, “If you read the Constitution of the United States, if you read the constitution of the state of the Kentucky, they both say that (Beshear) is infringing on the church’s rights.”
On Easter Sunday, constituents who remained in their cars did not receive quarantine notices.
Harlan County Judge-Executive Dan Mosley said on Facebook he knew of 10 churches in Harlan County that scheduled in-person Easter services. He cautioned, “Just know you are putting your members in harm’s way, unlike the hundreds of churches in our county that are doing it the right way and having virtual or drive-up services.”
Beshear has ordered police to record license plates of those attending in-person services; that drew a blast from Senator Rand Paul, who tweeted:
Taking license plates at church? Quarantining someone for being Christian on Easter Sunday? Someone needs to take a step back here.
Kentucky Governor Announces Plan to Record License Plates of Easter Church Goers and Force Them to Quarantine for 14 Days https://t.co/z7U42liQRh
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) April 11, 2020
Rep. Thomas Massie echoed:
What the actual hell?
“Democrat Kentucky Governor Announces Plan to Record License Plates of Easter Church Goers and Force Them to Self-Quarantine for 14 Days”https://t.co/p6bAR8U3M2
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) April 11, 2020
The Lexington Herald-Leader reported on Sunday:
Gov. Andy Beshear announced 134 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and three new coronavirus related deaths on Easter Sunday, bringing Kentucky’s official totals to 1,963 cases and 97 deaths. “We’re getting very close to that 2,000 mark, but here in Kentucky, we’re still not seeing the type of increases that we’re seeing in other states and we are very grateful for that,” Beshear said. …
Beshear said there are now 289 people hospitalized with the coronavirus in Kentucky, including 136 people currently hospitalized in the ICU. At least 607 people have recovered from the virus.