Pastor Kevin Wilson and Lighthouse Fellowship Church on Chincoteague Island filed a federal lawsuit against Governor Ralph Northam for violating their religious freedom by targeting churchgoers on Palm Sunday. Liberty Counsel represents the pastor and church and filed the lawsuit today in federal court.
Police served a summons to Pastor Wilson for holding a church service for 16 people spaced far apart in a sanctuary that is rated for 293 people. The charge is violating Virginia Gov. Northam's COVID Order 55 with a penalty of up to a year in jail and/or a $2,500 fine.
Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, "Governor Ralph Northam has clearly discriminated against Lighthouse Fellowship Church which provides essential physical, emotional and spiritual services to the community. This church does not have internet and cannot flip a switch to broadcast online. Even if it could go online, many of the people the church serves do not have internet. Pastor Wilson protected the health and safety of the 16 people that attended on Palm Sunday by requiring them to be spread far apart in the sanctuary. But because the church had six more people than the 10 allowed by the governor, the pastor is being criminally charged. We must balance the First Amendment with protecting the health and welfare of people but picking an arbitrary number of 10 people for every church is not the answer."
My good real estate acquaintance in VA detests Northam, and she's not particularly a Christian but she does support opening up the state. She groans & rolls her eyes at almost everything Northam does, so I'm sure she thinks this is outrageous.
Psalm 121:1-2 I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.