Politics

California churches challenging Governor Newsom over services, sue the state over ban on singing

Religious leaders are fighting back in liberal California.

To most Republicans and conservatives California seems like a lost cause. With Democrat supermajorities in the state legislature, a far left governor, and a solid blue voter base, conservatives feel outnumbered and outgunned. But when leftist Governor Gavin Newsom tried to block religious services over the coronavirus issue, religious leaders decided to fight back. One, Pastor Greg Fairrington, is even considering running for governor against Newsom.

Fairrington, shepherd of the 3,500 members of the Destiny Christian Church in greater Sacramento on Tuesday said he plans to go on holding in-person religious services despite Newsom’s followup shutdown announced on Monday. He has also said that if the public reaction is good, he is judging this by an online appeal, he would challenge Newsom at the polls.

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Says Fairrington, “If we don’t take a stand, all we’re doing is kicking the can down the road and we will be having the same conversations in three weeks, six weeks, six months, or even a year from now,” Fairrington told the press.

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“We need to collectively take a stand and say, ‘We are the church, and we have a biblical and First Amendment right to worship together.’ We believe that the local church serves a critical mental health, spiritual and community outreach role in our communities, as affirmed by our justice department and executive branch of government. Our mandate is to obey the Word of God, and worship is a part of what we do as a church corporately. As we pull together as a community, we choose to live in faith over fear. Just like our currency states, our founders pledged, and our churches believe: In God We Trust,” said the pastor.

Pastor Fairrington has received support not only from all over his state, but from across the country, as people of faith chafe at the seemingly arbitrary restrictions on their worship while rioters are encouraged to roam free.

In related news a lawsuit was filed last week against the state of California by several churches that seek legal remedy against Newsom’s July 1 ban on singing in church.

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The suit, filed on behalf of Calvary Chapel of Ukiah, Calvary Chapel of Fort Bragg, and River of Life Church in Oroville seeks to block Newsom’s order because of an obvious double standard.

Newsom’s order reads, “Places of worship must, therefore, discontinue singing and chanting activities and limit indoor attendance to 25 percent of building capacity or a maximum of 100 attendees, whichever is lower.”

From the church lawsuit: “On or about July 2, 2020, following implementation of the Worship Ban, when asked to explain whether people should heed Newsom’s mandate and avoid large crowds and gatherings, Newsom refused to place the same restrictions on protesters and explained ‘we have a Constitution, we have a right to free speech,’ and further stated that ‘we are all dealing with a moment in our nation‘s history that is profound and pronounced … Do what you think is best.” The double standard is so blatant as to be ridiculous. But in California ridiculous has been the government order of the day for some time.

“Let me be clear, the state does not have the jurisdiction to ban houses of worship from singing praises to God,” Robert Tyler, one of the attorneys filing the suit, said in a statement.

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