Jenna Ellis: LA County continues ‘unconstitutional attack’ on John MacArthur & Grace Community Church

Leftist Tyrants in California continue their attack on churches with an escalation in the battle against Grace Community Church and Pastor John MacArthur. Los Angeles County requested that John MacArthur and Grace Community Church be held in contempt of court, according to the Thomas More Society attorneys representing the church.

“The LA County Board of Supervisors has decided to continue their unconstitutional attack against Pastor John MacArthur and Grace Community Church,” said Jenna Ellis, Special Counsel for the Thomas More Society. “They are now asking the court to hold the church in contempt for simply being open for worship last Sunday. Pastor MacArthur is standing firm that church is essential and has no plans to yield to this tyrannical board, which is clearly defying the constitution’s mandate to protect religious liberty.

Los Angeles County lawyers filed the request to hold Pastor John MacArthur and Grace Community Church in contempt of court on August 18.

The Los Angeles County filing asks the court to impose multiple sanctions including fines per incident and per defendant.

“Defendants collectively committed eight acts of contempt, and the Court should impose a fine of $1,000 for each act of contempt, for a total of $4,000 for each Defendant. In addition, they should be ordered to pay Plaintiffs’ reasonable attorneys’ fees incurred in connection with the contempt proceeding… Defendants’ actions this past Sunday likewise constitute four separate violations of the TRO and Court of Appeal Order by each Defendant. Therefore, the Court should sanction each Defendant $1,500 per violation, for a total of $6,000 per Defendant,” the court filing requested.

Apparently, the county notified church lawyers at 10:56 p.m. of this move.

“On August 18, 2020, at 10:56 p.m., counsel for Plaintiffs provided notice to Defendants’ attorney, Charles LiMandri,” the LA County legal filing details.

According to the LA County filing with the court, the church held services in violation of a court order and denied Los Angeles County Health officials access to the property.

The county claims in the court filing, “MacArthur flaunted the violations and openly disregarded the dangers to public health: ‘So the good news is you’re here, you’re not distancing, and you’re not wearing masks.’ (Id. at 1:12.) Defendants’ deliberate decision to violate the Court Orders constitutes contempt of court.”

The county legal filing also details a list of evidence of the violation including video of Sunday’s Grace Community Church service.

“However, on Sunday, August 16, 2020, Defendants blatantly violated the Court Orders. They held three indoor services…Video from Phil Johnson, a pastor at Grace Church, showed a large group of people gathering indoors, not observing social distancing, and nearly all were not wearing masks…At the beginning of the service, MacArthur stated: ‘the good news is, you’re here, you’re not distancing, and you’re not wearing masks.’ … Grace Church’s indoor service in violation of the Court of Appeal Order was attended by thousands and was widely reported by the media,” according to LA County legal filing.

According to the Thomas More Society this is the latest round in the battle between California and the church.

“MacArthur and Grace Community Church are suing the county – and the state of California – for attempting to shut down their worship under COVID-related orders that violate the state’s constitution. The lawsuit was filed after MacArthur received a cease and desist letter prohibiting indoor worship and threatening him with fines and imprisonment should Grace Community continue to worship in their church building.  After a California Superior Court Judge denied the county’s request for a temporary restraining order against MacArthur and his congregation, the church held weekend worship services. Following that the County of Los Angeles asked the court to hold the pastor and church in contempt,” the Thomas More Society said in a statement released to the press.

A hearing is scheduled for August 20 on the LA County filing to hold Pastor MacArthur and Grace Community Church in contempt.

7 thoughts on “ESCALATION: Los Angeles County wants John MacArthur held in contempt of court”

  1. They want to silence the Church and label believers as a menace to society while the burn and loot crowd get special protections from demonRat leaders in liberal states. The leftists are doing what Hitler did to promote their illegal activities and try and blame the conservatives of these leftist crimes. If this continues there will be many who will do what our founders did to through out Tyranny from the British. Yes it will come to a war, quite frankly a civil war. I don’t think these Calif clowns in power have really thought this through. If it comes to a choice between Constitutional liberties and living with Tyranny, that is when people will rise up. And when we get done, the leftist will be tried as traitors.

  2. JM ignoring God’s warning in Romans 13. Sad.

    No Constitutional support from either state or federal. Second Amendment was created specifically to assure states of non-interference in matters of religion. State constitution has clause overriding religious liberty for health and safety.

    1. *First Amendment

      Also, actions being viewed by outsiders as totally inconsiderate of others. It would be different if JM’s congregants lived an isolated lifestyle in an isolated community, but they don’t. Most of them will return to common businesses on Monday. Many companies would require them to quarantine for 14 days after being at an indoor event with that amount of people — without pay. I wonder if the employees will be truthful with their employers and take the hit? Repeated Sundays would get them fired. Totally inconsiderate of JM.

    2. Dear DW:

      “Congryess shall make no law….prohibiting the free exercise thereof [religion’.”

      By the 14th amendment, these rights are applied to the states, so the US Constitution overrides the CA Constitution.

      Further, in case you doubt that this is an attack on religion, for which CA is notorious, consider that protests and many other activities are permitted, but not church. Why? Because Democrats, the anti-Biblical God party (see Ps. 2) is in complete control of CA government, and this is who they are and what they do.

      1. Timothy Irving,

        Please elaborate. How can a law made to restrain Congress be reinterpreted to override the California state constitution in this particular situation? If this be so why have California and my state of Virginia specifically addressed freedom of religion in their constitutions? If you are proposing that the First Amendment now reads “States shall make no law…prohibiting the free exercise thereof religion,” then are you implying Congress now can? Or are you implying that churches are now legally autonomous, even to the point of infecting society around them with deadly disease unrestrained? If you acknowledge that this is preposterous, then who decides how churches can be regulated? The original intent of the First Amendment confirmed this power resided with the states. This Amendment was necessary to appease Antifederalists who wanted assurance that state control of religion would continue unabated after ratification. That said, John MacArthur claims Jesus is LORD. He should act like Jesus is LORD and obey him, “Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right.” It is perfectly acceptable to petition the Governor to change his mind as Moses did with Pharaoh, obeying in the meantime. What is not acceptable to God is for JM to lead others in open rebellion before any exception has been given…as he is presently doing. The Word of God says to expect condemnation.

  3. The Word of God and the Constitution are on the side of Grace Community. The County and state are on the side of Satan himself and Marxism and Communism. The state is against an all holy God. God will judge them!

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