A California congregation is faced with a “David and Goliath scenario” after its county punished them with $2.8 million in COVID fines.
Despite a Supreme Court ruling, Santa Clara County is still targeting Calvary Chapel with massive penalties for holding services in 2020, CBN News reports.
Pastor Mike McClure and his San Jose church filed a federal lawsuit in Oct. 2020 against the state and county for unconstitutional orders, but Santa Clara County sued in retaliation for $2.8 million, claiming the church was a public health hazard and a nuisance for holding services in violation of COVID orders.
In Dec. 2020, the church was found in contempt at a court hearing for holding indoor services and given more fines totaling $55,000, according to KNTV.
“I respect the judge and I respect what the law says,” McClure said at the time. “But there’s a bigger law. I have to get told, you follow God or you follow man. I have to follow what God’s word says.”
Mariah Gondeiro, one of the church’s attorneys with Tyler & Bursch, told CBN the case is now in the discovery phase.
“This is truly a David and Goliath scenario. The county and state may have unlimited resources, but we have God on our side. I cannot fathom him being too pleased with how the state and county have treated his children,” she said.
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