A federal judge has overruled Louisville, Kentucky, Mayor Greg Fischer’s decision to ban all church services on Easter Sunday, including drive-in church.
There is justice left in the world!
On Saturday afternoon, ABC reports, Judge Justin Walker of the Western District of Kentucky issued a temporary restraining order against the city of Louisville Saturday in a case filed by On Fire Christian Church.
Judge Walker wrote of the ban that, “On Holy Thursday, an American mayor criminalized the communal celebration of Easter. That sentence is one that this Court never expected to see outside the pages of a dystopian novel, or perhaps the pages of The Onion.”
“But two days ago, citing the need for social distancing during the current pandemic, Louisville’s Mayor Greg Fischer ordered Christians not to attend Sunday services, even if they remained in their cars to worship — and even though it’s Easter,” the decision continued. “The Mayor’s decision is stunning. And it is, ‘beyond all reason,’ unconstitutional.”
The mayor had said in a briefing Friday, “In order to save lives, we must not gather in churches, drive-through services, family gatherings [and] social gatherings this weekend.”
According to a press release from First Liberty Institute, the religious liberty law firm plans to filed the suit on behalf of On Fire Christian Church, who say they have been hosting drive-in services in the church parking lot for weeks in accordance with social distancing guidelines.
On Tuesday, Fischer announced “with a heavy heart” that drive-in church services would not be allowed during the week of Easter. Because of the city’s urban population, Fischer said he can’t allow “hundreds of thousands” of people to drive around town this weekend when he feels they need to stay at home.
Life News notes, however, that Mayor Fischer has not opted to restrict abortions in any way, “despite the fact that they destroy unborn babies’ lives and are almost entirely elective” and “are using up much-needed medical supplies and exposing their patients to additional risks.”
Louisville is home to Kentucky’s only abortion facility, EMW Women’s Surgical Center, whose website proudly declares that it is still open for business during the health crisis.
On Friday, the mayor said that Louisville Metro Police officers will come to known church gatherings Sunday to collect attendees’ license plate information and hand their information over to the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness to “follow up with church attendees to share information about the coronavirus and find out if the attendees have been in contact with other individuals.”
In their lawsuit, the church stated that “gathering on Easter is critical” for its congregation and that preventing their congregation from gathering, while allowing cars to gather in other parking lots, violates the First Amendment and the Kentucky Religious Freedom Act.
The church sent a letter to Fischer on Thursday asking him to rescind his guidelines on drive-in church services. The church said it proceeded with the lawsuit when no one in his office responded.
On Fire Christian Church celebrated the ruling on their Facebook page, announcing they would happily be holding services at 10:30 Sunday morning, which they did.
Hallelujah! Christ is risen!
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