You probably know about John MacArthur’s fight against Leftist Tyrants in California. He is not the only one standing up for religious liberty in California. A new lawsuit was filed against Governor Gavin Newsom’s “seemingly endless State of Emergency.” Father Trevor Burfitt filed a lawsuit against Gov. Newsome and 19 other state and local officials violating his constitutional rights. The Thomas More Society is handling the lawsuit.
And Thomas More Society lawyers claim the state favors some activities while selectively restricting churches.
“It is now beyond reasonable dispute that, absent judicial intervention, Governor Newsom intends to continue indefinitely a massive and baseless suspension of the constitutional rights of Father Burfitt and nearly 40 million other residents of the state of California,” said Thomas More Society Special Counsel Paul Jonna. “He continues to levy strict limits or outright prohibitions on public and private worship activities, which continue to be designated as ‘nonessential,’ while liquor stores, marijuana dispensaries, and the Hollywood movie industry are allowed to operate unhindered. California’s residents are apparently expected to live their lives behind makeshift ‘face coverings’ while maintaining an arbitrary distance of six feet from everyone they encounter outside their homes. And to complete Newsom’s despotic mandates, anyone who declines to obey faces criminal and civil penalties. This is unconstitutional and a blatant violation of the rights guaranteed by California’s constitution.”
Burfitt claims the California lockdowns “radically and severely restricted” his ability to conduct religious work at the mission churches he oversees in Kern, San Bernardino, San Diego, and Los Angeles Counties.
According to the Thomas More Society, the lawsuit details specific issues with Gov. Newsome’s order including:
- A severe occupancy restriction placed on houses of worship has not been imposed on businesses deemed “essential” (by Newsom’s arbitrary judgement alone).
- A total ban on indoor worship, imposed for the second time on July 13, 2020, has discriminated against churches in 38 counties (which include 86% of California’s population), including those in which Burfitt engages in ministry.
- A “social distance” bubble zone of six feet around every person is required, which precludes proper conduct of Catholic worship.
- A “face covering” mandate radically interferes with Catholic worship in numerous ways and also irrationally threatens individual health multiple ways.
Why does this matter? It shows that Leftists are attacking not only evangelicals but all religious expression. In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo threatened to close down Jewish synagogues and churches.
“We know religious institutions have been a problem,” Cuomo said.
This is a systemic problem that requires a Christian response not only in California but around the nation.