In what they have called a "major victory", spokespeople for various California churches are reinstating in-person church services immediately. The US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) ruled on Friday that Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom's lockdown orders violate residents' Constitutional right to the free exercise of religion.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Bishop Arthur Hodges of the South Bay United Pentecostal Church in Chula Vista, CA, had this to say on a TV interview, "We are thrilled and excited to go back to church without legal threat of fines or arrest, and it opens up churches in the entire state of California. So this is a win for every church, every house of worship and every individual of faith that wants to go to their house of worship this Sunday."
Hodges continued, "Online can only go so far. It really doesn’t satisfy the person of faith who’s needing their church," and went on to compare virtual church services to virtual medical appointments, or virtual campfires.
"While we have come under fire from some community members, we stand firm that the fruit of meeting in person lies in the spiritual, emotional and physical healing that worshipping the Lord Jesus Christ has brought to so many throughout the world," said Che Ahn of Harvest Rock Church in Pasadena CA.
"While it is one thing to lock down based on data, it is an entirely different motive to allow some groups a right that is denied to others," said Ahn, who mentioned that the allegedly uneven and unfair Newsom lockdown rules had given "first-rate essential preferences to abortion clinics, marijuana dispensaries, and liquor stores."
Under the new rules, practises such as group singing and chanting may still be restricted, and attendance will still possibly be limited to as little as 25 percent of the building's normal capacity.
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