Yesterday a United States District Court entered an order barring the enforcement of a mayor’s order banning a “drive in” church service.
Here are the first four paragraphs of the court’s opinion:
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 Mayor’s decision is stunning.
And it is, “beyond all reason,” unconstitutional.
The court’s reasoning is simple: It is one thing to ban mass person-to-person gatherings. But drive in liquor stores are open for business. Drive in restaurants are open for business. Ice cream shops are open for business. If you are going to let people buy liquor, hamburgers, and ice cream from their cars, on what basis can you bar them from exercising their fundamental right to worship God — on Easter of all days — from their cars?
The court sum it up on page 13 of its opinion: “if beer is “essential,” so is Easter.”
Mayor Greg Fischer’s picture is below. I call on the people of Louisville to remove him from office.
The mayor’s decision is crazy, but sadly I have seen even churches self-ban in a similar fashion. I know of a group of elderly members of a south Denver metro mega-church who proposed meeting in the church parking lot in their cars with the windows rolled up.
The pastor of that church shut them down, and told them they could not drive their cars onto the church parking lot for that purpose. Stunningly, a pastor issued an order that, had it been issued by a mayor, would be blatantly unconstitutional.
Finally, the opinion by the judge in the case goes beyond merely the legal. It is astonishing in its beauty; it is not a legal opinion as much as a work of great literature. I hereby nominate Judge Justin R. Walker to fill the next vacancy on the United States Supreme Court.