‘Had they parked in the nearby Kroger or Walmart they would not have been targeted…’
(Joshua Paladino, Liberty Headlines) Kentucky State Police officers dropped quarantine notices on cars and documented the license plate numbers of parishioners who attended the Easter Church service at Maryville Baptist Church in Hillview, The Courier-Journal reported.
Some worshipers listened to the service from their cars, while about 50 went inside the church (maintaining interpersonal distancing guidelines). Others fearfully drove away when the police arrived.
Gov. Andy Beshear, a Democrat, announced two days prior to the service, on Good Friday that the state would force those who attend gatherings, including Easter Sunday services, into a 14-day mandatory quarantine.
He told churches to cancel their services, WDRB reported.
“No one is being charged with anything,” he said.
Kentucky Health Commissioner Steven Stack accused church-goers of killing their fellow citizens.
“At what point do our rights to gather entitle us to have other people die as a result?”
Those who attended the service must sign a contract in which they “acknowledge the authority granted to the Kentucky Department for Public Health…[requiring] me to implement the following control measures.
- Monitor themselves for fever, cough, sore throat, or difficulty breathing.”
- Inform the Bullitt County Health Department of any symptoms.
- Self-isolate if they experience any symptoms.
- Call BCHD “before going to my medical provider or the emergency department.”
- Check their temperature “at approximately the same time each day and contact BCHD after each reading.”
- Stop going to “work, school, shopping centers, movie theaters, stadiums, church, or any public place.”
- Not travel outside their county of residence or Kentucky without the state’s approval.
- “Not travel by any public, commercial, or emergency conveyance such as a bus, taxi, airplane, train, boat or without the prior approval.”
On Saturday, U.S. District Judge Justin Walker ruled that the Kentucky mayor could not ban drive-in services.
“On Holy Thursday, an American mayor criminalized the communal celebration of Easter,” he wrote in his decision.
Mat Staver, Liberty Counsel’s founder and chairman, said Beshear intentionally and unconstitutionally targeted churches.
“The only reason these cars were ticketed is because they were in a church parking lot. Had they parked in the nearby Kroger or Walmart they would not have been targeted,” Staver said.
“These people have no symptoms,” he continued. “They were targeted solely because of Gov. Andy Behear’s discriminatory actions against churches. News Flash: The First Amendment does not have a pause button.”