Lawsuit: ‘The suit seeks to prohibit California from enforcing its unconstitutional and onerous coronavirus pandemic regulations against Grace Community Church and seeks a judgment that the health orders violate the California Constitution.’
MacArthur: ‘We will remain open and teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ’
Pastor John MacArthur and Grace Community Church filed a lawsuit to protect their right to worship. Lawyers filed the lawsuit Thursday, August 13, 2020 in the Superior Court of the State of California. While the lawsuit proceeds, MacArthur pledged to continue preaching the Gospel.
“We are simply continuing to do today what we have done for the past 63 years that Grace Community Church has been open to welcome the Los Angeles community and serve their spiritual needs,” Dr. John MacArthur said in a statement. “We will remain open and teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all who decide they want to come worship with us.”
According to the Thomas More Society legal team, “The complaint states that the American people have begun to see that they are being cheated by their own government.”
“They have witnessed how the onerous restrictions imposed on them by public officials to allegedly fight the COVID-19 pandemic simply do not apply to certain, favored groups. When many went to the streets to engage in ‘political protests’ against ‘racism’ and ‘police brutality,’ these protestors refused to comply with the pandemic restrictions. Instead of enforcing the public health orders, public officials were all too eager to grant a de facto exception for these favored protestors,” MacArthur’s legal complaint states.
The legal filing points out the outrageous treatment of conservative protests and religious gatherings compared to the riots and Leftist-inspired protests.
According to the filing, “These same public officials even encouraged these protestors to ‘express’ their ‘rage’ so the public could ‘hear it.’ Indeed, this ‘rage’ was felt by many innocent bystanders and protestors who became victims of violence, looting, destruction of property, and even fatal attacks.
“Of course, these protests could have been shut down—just like California shut down churches. Indeed, when peaceful protests against California’s stay-at-home orders occurred at the state Capitol, Governor Newsom was quick to shut them down.
“This favoritism has caused a huge loss of confidence by the American people in their government leaders, public health officials, and the pandemic restrictions. The too frequently repeated joke—which is not just a joke—is that any otherwise unlawful gathering can proceed as long as it is termed a ‘political protest.’”
The lawsuit was prompted by state actions including a cease and desist demand letter sent to the church on July 29.
The letter threatened fines and imprisonment.
“Violating these orders is a crime punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and imprisonment of up to 90 days. Cal. Health & Safety Code§ 120295. Each day that you conduct indoor services is a separate offense. Pursuant to the State and County health orders, Grace Community Church must immediately cease holding indoor worship services,” the county health department’s letter stated.
And then, the county added an ultimatum.
“Please note that unless written confirmation is received by 5:00 p.m. on July 30, 2020 that Grace Community Church will comply with the law, the County will pursue further action through all available avenues of relief,” the county health department said.
Of course, Grace Community Church and Dr. MacArthur refused to comply and held services on August 2 and August 9.
MacArthur even mocked the unfair and tyrannical nature of Los Angeles’ double standards on health.
At the start of the August 9 service, Dr. MacArthur welcomed worshippers to “the Grace Community Church peaceful protest.”