Following over a year of challenges with courts and the government, Calvary Chapel Pastor Mike McClure spoke out about government overreach and the actions taken against his church over the course of the pandemic.
Cavalry Chapel is a church based on San Jose, California, which also has a school associated with it. The church reopened in May for services after being shut down at the beginning of the pandemic, despite stay-at-home orders that were currently in place in the state.
In June, the church sued the state and county in federal court over its closure, and in October, the county sued the church. At that point the county began to fine the church for violating COVID-19 health order violations.
The church has accrued $3.8 million in fines from the county, with McClure being fined $100,000 personally.
Speaking with Charlie Kirk on Thursday, McClure and his lawyer Bob Tyler spoke about California OSHA entering their schools last week.
"So what happened last Friday? California OSHA showed up to your school elementary school and high school, and what did they do and what did they want?" asked Kirk.
"OSHA showed up last week and they went got a restraining order after I wouldn't let them in, telling them they need to call our lawyer and they came back with a restraining order," responded McClure.
"And they are wanting to find out all of our health measures, not just the physical H1, typical OSHA stuff, which is fine with me. But now it's 'are the kids doing what they're supposed to do or the social distancing? Wearing masks? What's your policy for vaccines?' And so they are now more or less, in my mind, being weaponized by the county to do with the county couldn't do," he continued.
"You know it is, I want to use the right word here, might call it a restraint order, it's actually a warrant. They got a warrant from the court to come investigate and interrogate the employees. It's just unprecedented to have a church that is in the crosshairs, frankly, to this degree of the giant bureaucracy of the Santa Clara county, state of California," said Tyler.
Tyler added that numerous churches and church schools across the state have called him in regards to OSHA sending them letters.
"And, you know, this is it's almost like, I picture Mike as being that that young Chinese student who stood in front of the tanks in Tiananmen Square, we have to put a stop to this here in California," said Tyler.
Tyler continued on to say that OSHA is coming in "under the guise of employee safety."
McClure spoke about the cost of standing his ground, noting that with the difficulties that have arisen, his church has experienced a boom in new members.
"And so I think, as Christians, we have to count the cost today. If we're going to hold on to our jobs, and we're trying to hold on to our nice American dream and this life that we think we're going to get again, it's not going to come back, we're wrong. We have to stand, and I really believe God wants us to occupy until he comes, and what's unique about our country, is that we are the people, the government, we have to stand up for right and true," said McClure.
"And the problem with pastors, I think, in my mind, is that they're just hoping this will go away and things will come back to normal. And they don't want to get caught in the fray but they need to stand up. And by doing it, yeah, you have had a lot of, you know, lost threats and persecution," he said.
"But what we also have had is over 500 people baptized Well, we had I mean hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people coming to church. Our church has quadrupled. I mean, it's it's probably over 3000 people," McClure added.
"These are our times in which we need to stand. Because if we don't, America's gone, and I think people don't understand the true effect that America has on the world," McClure said.
In addition to the extensive fined accrued by the church, McClure said that County Counsel James Williams has threatened the church's mortgage holder and bank, stating that the fines have priority of mortgage and loan. The county also demands the names of members, volunteers and donors, and "financial records to prove the church just opened 'for the money.'" The court though reportedly ruled against the disclosure of these records.
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